Tuesday, October 31, 2006
JAMIE COLBY: 15% of Muslims have turned radical of 1 billion Muslims according to this. Of course, there are many, many wonderful people who are Muslim. Is that an accurate number?
EMERSON: You know, it is a good question. I don't think we have reliable numbers on that. I prefer to believe that the majority of Muslims are not tethered to a radical agenda, and yet when I see public relations polls showing that up to 50% of British Muslims support the July attacks of last year, or I see 30 or 40% of American Muslims not believing that radical Islamic militants carried out 9/11, I have questions about this. [T]here are two divides Jamie. One is the actual jihadists, and the other one is the cultural jihadists. They are not the ones carrying out the bombings; they are the ones supporting the bombings.
Friday, October 27, 2006
- Shirli Sitbon
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy declared last week he has changed his opinion on Israel's controversial separation barrier..."...[W]hen I realized terror attacks were reduced by 80 percent in the areas where the wall was erected, I understood..."
(European Jewish Press)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
[F]or the United States to pull entirely out of that country right now, as is being demanded by a growing chorus of critics, would be to snatch an unqualified disaster from the jaws of an enormous blunder.
A total withdrawal from Iraq would play into the hands of the jihadist terrorists. Al Qaeda’s most important short-term strategic goal is to seize control of a state, or part of a state, somewhere in the Muslim world. Such a jihadist state would be the ideal launching pad for future attacks on the West.
[New York Times]
Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
“The uncovered meat is the problem.”
The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab [headcovering], no problem would have occurred.”
Should Israel invade Gaza? -Daniel Pipes
[T]wo schools of thought exist vis-a-vis Israel and the Palestinians: the majority opinion holds that Palestinians will accept Israel only when their political, economic, and other aspirations are satisfied.
The minority one - mine - holds that they will accept Israel only when their will to make war has been crushed. Existing anarchy has started this process but it will be more expeditiously achieved when Israelis themselves can administer the defeat.
[The Jerusalem Post]
Lessons of the War in Lebanon - Mark Helprin
The preeminent lesson is that Israel must create more of a margin of safety in its military operations. It has no alternative but to over-spend, over-prepare, over-fortify, over-stockpile, and over-train. History will see that the essence of this war is that it has served as an exchange of messages in the prelude to an Islamic nuclear confrontation with the West.
(Claremont Review of Books)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Following Israel's full withdrawal in August 2005, Gaza is being consolidated into a terrorist fortress. In private, Egyptians admit that they condone and perhaps even participate in the arms smuggling to Gaza...
The war for Gaza is coming. Whoever stays out of it wins.
(Wall Street Journal)
Time for Realpolitik - Barry Rubin
The era of democracy promotion as the main theme of U.S. Middle East policy is over, for all practical purposes. Having found constructive forces in the region to be close to non-existent, America is back to the strategy of a more traditional realpolitik. The local political cultures and societies are too resistant; the dictatorships too strong and clever; extremists too able to take advantage of any openings offered, for example, by elections.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is incapable of organizing a bake sale, much less delivering on any serious diplomatic bargaining. Fatah is not going to stop terrorism, end incitement, or be more moderate. Fatah is far more comfortable competing with Hamas in bragging about how militant it is, how many martyrs it has produced and how intently it will carry on the struggle to total victory. The group is not about to prove its superiority to Hamas by building roads and producing better schools. (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Will Survive, But What About Europe? - Gerald M. Steinberg
It's important to counter the misleading pessimism about Israel's future that grew out of images from Lebanon, and the conclusions that Israel met its match in the form of Hizballah fighters armed by Iran. Despite some operational errors (found in every military force) and the current leadership crisis, Israel ended the war with far fewer casualties than were expected, and with a more favorable strategic relationship with Hizballah.
Will there be an Israel in 2020? This question about survival should be pointed elsewhere - toward Europe. Will London, Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam, etc. become satellites orbiting around a dominant Muslim empire?
The dominant Western response to Islamic terror is compromise, dialogue, apology, and calls for understanding. This form of political correctness won't work against the violence of mass terror and calls for global jihad. The question is whether the West will recognize the need for a more ferocious response in time for it to survive.
(Canadian Jewish News)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Hamid believes a reformation will lead to the more enlightened practice of Islam. The essential ingredients of reform, he says, are rejection of the principles that apostates must be killed, women can be subjugated and enslaved, Jews are subhuman, and Islam can be spread through violence.
Instead of walking on eggshells for fear of roiling the wasps' nest, he says both East and West would be better served by a vigorous critique of Islam.
See also an inspiring VideoBite of Arab-American hero Dr. Wafa Sultan:
"I asked a Palestinian I met: 'Let's assume that all the Jews of Israel were to convert to Islam, would you still fight them?' He said, 'no.' In that case, the land is not the problem."
Dr. Wafa Sultan
As coalition policy reaches a crisis, may I resurrect an idea I have been flogging since April 2003? It offers a way out of the current debate over staying the course (as President George W. Bush has long advocated) or withdrawing troops on a short timetable (as his critics demand).
My solution splits the difference, "Stay the course - but change the course." I suggest pulling coalition forces out of the inhabited areas of Iraq and redeploying them to the desert.
This way, the troops remain indefinitely in Iraq, but remote from the urban carnage. It permits the American-led troops to carry out essential tasks (protecting borders, keeping the oil and gas flowing, ensuring that no Saddam-like monster takes power) while ending their non-essential work (maintaining street-level order, guarding their own barracks).
[New York Sun]
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
The escalating violence raking Baghdad and other Iraqi cities is pushing that nation's leaders, neighboring Arab countries, and U.S. advisers to consider a dramatic change of direction in the conduct of the war. Leaks from a U.S. task force headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III are contributing to the widespread sense that the Bush administration is preparing for a "course correction" in the coming months.
The options cited most frequently in Washington include the partition of Iraq into three ethnic- or faith-based regions and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.
"Peace Process" Debacle - Editorial
The Bush administration's policy toward Israel and the Palestinians increasingly seems like a reprise of the Oslo "peace process" pushed by the Clinton administration, which ended in disaster...
Secretary of State Rice now seems bent on propping up a new generation of failed Palestinian leadership - specifically Mahmoud Abbas.
It is a disservice to the Palestinians to continue to pretend that failed, bankrupt leaders like Abbas are part of the solution to their plight. In reality, they are part of the problem.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
- Mike Oliveira
Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised..."Those who seek to destroy the Jews, who seek to destroy Israel, will...ultimately seek to destroy us all. It is why Canada's new government has reacted with speed and spoken with clarity on the recent events in the Middle East."
YouTube and the Cyber Jihad - Editorial
Civil-liberties advocates have constantly overlooked the very real danger of censorship enacted by private businesses fearful of Islamist rage.
France's Intifada - Arnaud de Borchgrave
Anti-Semitic incidents have proliferated in France in recent times, but the news seldom makes it across the Atlantic. The metropolitan Paris police tabulated 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day in the last 30 days throughout the country.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It features slow motion special effects that make quite an impact. May it be seen throughout the Arab and Muslim world:
Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the newly appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, during an interview endorsed the phenomenon of suicide bombers as part of the Palestinian people's legitimate resistance.
How French TV Fudged the Death of Mohammed Al-Durah - Richard Landes
On September 30, 2000, images of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durah and his father - cowering behind a barrel at Netzarim Junction in Gaza - circulated globally, along with a claim that they had been the targeted victims of Israeli fire.
The raw footage features a long succession of obviously faked injuries. One fellow grabbed his leg in agony, then, upon seeing that no one would come to carry him away, walked away without a limp. It was stunning.
Two documentaries...sparked a demonstration in Paris outside the France2 offices by citizens outraged to discover that so horrendous an image may well have been a fake.
Our Failure to Confront Radical Islam Is There for All to See - Denis MacShane
The struggle is not between religion and secularism, nor between the West and Islam, and still less between Bush-Blair and the Taliban or Iraqi insurgents. It is the ideologization of religion that needs confronting.
Jew-baiting behavior that would have had the Left outraged in the 1930s is now actively encouraged by an unholy alliance of the hard Left and Islamist fundamentalists...
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
[B]attling all-out for victory against conventional enemy forces has nearly disappeared, replaced by the more indirect challenge of guerrilla operations, insurgencies, intifadas, and terrorism.
Lopsided wars resemble police operations more than combat in earlier eras. As in crime-fighting, the side enjoying a vast superiority in power operates under a dense array of constraints, while the weaker party freely breaks any law and taboo in its ruthless pursuit of power.
New York Sun
Monday, October 16, 2006
Jihadism wages not only a religious war but a cultural one, aiming to redeem...the honor of an Islam whose glory has shamefully faded. It aims, further, to uphold a masculine honor code that the West's decadent, feminizing influence threatens to undermine.
[T]he prism of honor brings puzzling elements of the current conflict into sharper focus. Americans are baffled that Western appeals to freedom and prosperity get so little traction in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Nor can militant Islamists settle with the West. When the post-honor West says, "Come, now, give up this foolishness, join our club, be free and rich," they hear something more like, "Be our poodle, sit at our feet, enjoy the fruits of capitulation." Admonitions that bellicosity accomplishes nothing miss the point, which is that the very act of fighting ("resistance") redeems honor and therefore accomplishes what matters most.
(National Journal, 13Oct06)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A credible threat of an international coalition prepared to use force will make the Iranian leadership pause and reconsider the risks. It may also lead to internal pressures inside Iran, where the general public might understand the risks of becoming targets of military attacks by an international force. The U.S. will still have to lead - there is no alternative on the horizon.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Negotiating in the Bazaar - Moshe Sharon
In the Mideastern bazaar, diplomacy agreements are kept not because they are signed but because they are imposed. In the bazaar, the most important rule is that if the vendor knows about your desire to purchase a certain merchandise, he will put its price up.
The merchandise in question is "peace," and the Arabs give the impression that they possess this merchandise - and inflate its price - when the truth is they have never had it. In the bazaar only the stupid buyer pays for something he has yet to see.
Israel should stop talking about "peace." From now on, Israel should make a decision to create a new state of affairs, one that will compel the Arab side to ask for peace - and pay for it in real terms. For, unlike the Arabs, Israel has this merchandise for sale. What will lead them to pay? If they conclude that Israel is so strong they cannot destroy it.
Here are Ten Rules for Negotiations in the Middle Eastern bazaar [see full article].
The writer, professor of Islamic History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was previously the prime minister's adviser on Arab affairs to Menachem Begin.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
[C]entrists across Europe [are] angry at terror attacks in the name of religion on a continent that has largely abandoned it, and disturbed that any criticism of Islam or Muslim immigration provokes threats of violence. [O]rdinary people as well as politicians - are asking whether once unquestioned values of tolerance and multiculturalism should have limits.
(New York Times)
Intransigent Hamas: It's Easy to Call for a Middle East Peace. But What If Palestinian Leaders Don't Want It? - Editorial (Washington Post)
While stirring but thoughtless appeals for a Middle East peace settlement continue to ring out around the world, the foreign minister of Egypt, Ahmed Aboul Gheit - who has spent the past several months immersed in a failing effort to restore the broken connections between the Palestinian Authority and its international donors, as well as Israel - placed the blame exactly where it belongs: on the Palestinian political leadership.
It's easy enough for global leaders to issue flowery appeals for action on the Middle East or to imply that progress would be possible if only the United States used its leverage with Israel. The stubborn reality is that there can be no movement toward peace until a Palestinian leadership appears that is ready to accept a two-state solution.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States. Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared, that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol... Muslim taxi drivers asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission for permission to refuse passengers carrying liquor...
MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views on alcohol to taxi starters and customers alike. From the airport's point of view, this scheme offers a sensible and efficient mechanism to resolve a minor irritant, leaving no passenger insulted and no driver losing business.
[T]he proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari'a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.
What of taxi drivers beyond those at MSP? Other Muslims in Minneapolis-St. Paul and across the country could well demand the same privilege. Bus conductors might follow suit.
Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas...
It is precisely the innocuous nature of the two-light taxi solution that makes it so insidious - and why the Metropolitan Airports Commission should reconsider its wrong-headed decision. Readers who wish to make their views known to the MAC can write it at email@example.com.
[New York Sun]
UPDATED: Good news!
No Islamic Law in Minnesota, for Now - by Daniel Pipes
For now, taxi drivers who refuse fares so as to avoid transporting alcohol will continue, as has been the case, to forfeit their place in the airport taxi queue and must return to the back of the line, in keeping with a MAC ordinance. But the Free Muslims Coalition correctly argues that this does not suffice. Cab drivers who discriminate against passengers with bottles of alcohol, it holds, "should be banned altogether from picking up passengers at the airport" and their hack permits should be cancelled.
Exactly. Islamists need to understand that the Constitution rules in the United States, not Shari'a, and Americans will vigorously ensure that it continues to do so.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a gadfly Bangladeshi journalist, is running for his life. Assuming he survives till Thursday, he will face charges of blasphemy, sedition, treason, and espionage in a Dhaka courtroom. His crime is to have tried to attend a writers' conference in Tel Aviv on how the media can foster world peace. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
(Wall Street Journal, 10Oct06)
Arab Leaders Sweat Iran, Sunnis Start to See Shiite State as Bigger Threat than Israel - Frida Ghitis
Some Middle East observers have come to see signs of a dramatic realignment in the region... At the root of the change is Sunni Arabs' fear of Shiite Iran.
Iran may just be starting to keep Arab leaders awake at night. As a result, Sunni regimes in the Arab world, according to some observers, are beginning to see Iran, not Israel, as the country to fear.
A Wake Up Call for Israel Too - Ron Ben-Yishai
In the wake of the nuclear test that North Korea conducted Monday, it is imperative that the West and Israel quickly sober up and stop deluding themselves... North Korea proved once again that diplomatic pressure, economic temptations, threats of military action, or sanctions could not stop fanatic regimes of totalitarian states from obtaining the bomb if they are determined.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
The idea that a Palestinian state would bring peace to the world is a sick joke. As is the notion that the Palestinian people want peace, but are prevented by their leaders.
[S]ome things are not soluble by reason. Certainly it would be in the best interests of the Palestinian people to run out Hamas, to reject the intransigence of Fatah, to just say let's live together with the Jews. But the Arabs do not always do what is in their best interests.
(New York Daily News)
Lessons of the Hamas-Fatah Fighting - Ze'ev Schiff
The bloody clashes between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian Authority show that the international financial and economic siege of the Hamas government, led by the U.S, is succeeding.
The most serious incident in recent days was the threat on the life of Robert Redeker...who published an article on September 19 in Le Figaro criticizing Muslim aggressiveness in Europe.
A few days later, an Internet site that represents extreme Muslim groups published pictures of Redeker, his place of work, his address, instructions on how to get to his house, and a decision to execute him. French security forces took these threats seriously and moved Redeker and his family to a safe house.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Most Iranians don't share Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel worldview. They have no blood feud with Israel, and would cheerfully accept better relations if it meant their daily lives would improve.
Iranians are no dummies. Millions of middle-class Iranians travel to Turkey on vacation and see the shiny cars, international banks, and consumer bounty that come along with a policy of accommodation. They want that for themselves. Sadly, their government wants to share its bounty with Hizballah.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
[T]he Bnei Menashe of northeastern India [will] finally begin the long journey home to Zion. The significance of this should be readily apparent, even to the most hardened of cynics. After all, whoever heard of an ancient lost tribe returning to its ancestral homeland 2,700 years after their deportation? Without exaggerating, it seems fair to say that this is a miracle of Biblical proportions.
[I]t sends goosebumps down my arms when I think about how the vision of Isaiah is literally coming to pass before our eyes.
The aliya of the Bnei Menashe is a historic event. It is a timely and welcome example of just what Israel, and its wondrous rebirth, is truly all about: the ingathering of our exiles...
[THE JERUSALEM POST]
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
If a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear problem is to be found, it is time for Washington to plan for war. Diplomats cannot break the current impasse simply by trying more aggressive diplomacy. Tehran will only change course if it believes it faces a credible threat for defying the will of the world.
[W]ar preparation is itself a form of diplomacy.
With the U.S. Army tied down in Iraq, Iranian officials believe the U.S. military is hamstrung. But the U.S. Navy and Air Force are not hamstrung.
Perhaps it is time to stage war games and exercises in the Persian Gulf and on Iran's borders. The Iranian government should know what it is up against. Only the threat of force, and not the threat of UN finger-wagging, can persuade Tehran to stop spinning its centrifuges.
[New York Daily News]
CNN and Time Magazine outdid themselves by giving this well-known Holocaust denier a cover story glorifying him and turning him into a star of Hollywood proportions. The media went further than its usual apology for terrorists, giving the maniac from Teheran an even larger platform to express a new gem: that there are no Jews in the State of Israel - only Zionists.
There is nothing strange about the press presenting different points of view, however abhorrent. What is inexcusable in this case is the moral relativism with which the issue was treated, as though blatant anti-Semitism on the part of a world leader is no different from a movie actress talking about her midlife crisis. The media, in its desperate search for new stars, becomes a very dangerous equalizer in times of the war on Islamic terrorism.
Another example is the way Hamas is treated journalistically. Reportage using the term "National Unity Government" to describe a potential merger between Abu Mazen's Fatah party and the party that advocates in its charter the killing of every last Jew is a serious abuse of communications. The phrase "National Unity Government" is supposed to refer to the joining of political parties within a democracy. The confusing of language and images does enormous political and moral damage to freedom and democracy, precisely in a time when we are supposed to be defending these values with all our might.
Arabs Still Openly Call Jews "Their Dogs," Even in San Francisco -
Joseph Abdel Wahed
I was at the anti-Israel demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in San Francisco... The demonstration, organized by a Palestinian group called Al Awda, was loud, boisterous, and passionate. Suddenly and shockingly, demonstrators began chanting in Arabic: "Al Yahud Kelabna," or "the Jews are our dogs."