Friday, July 29, 2016

Food Makes Muslim A Zionist

Nadiya Al-Noor

How a Muslim Became a Zionist - Nadiya Al-Noor

Like many Muslims, I started out being very anti-Israel. I saw Israel as evil. Everyone I knew hated Israel. It is by accident that I started to learn about Israel. I decided to gain access to the kosher kitchen at my university's Hillel because most kosher food is halal [food permitted for Muslims under Islamic law].

As time went on, I realized that most of what I had learned about Israel was anti-Semitic propaganda. Israel was a country just struggling to keep her people safe. It was not an evil oppressor. I learned that Israel had tried many times to make peace agreements. I learned how the Arab states banded together to try and destroy Israel in 1948. I learned how accommodating and welcoming Israel is to all peoples, including Muslims.

I learned that Jews really do need the State of Israel, and that it has been their land for over 3,000 years. Even the Koran speaks about how the Children of Israel would return to their eternal homeland from all corners of the world. 
The writer is a graduate student at Binghamton University in New York. 
(Times of Israel)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Europe's Denial

- Jonathan Spyer

The low-level Islamist insurgency taking place in a number of west European countries represents a profound failure of Western European political culture and of the continent's elites. The problem with these elites is not that they are evil or decadent. It is that their worldview is inadequate to grasp the nature of the time in which they are living.

Their response is denial. Ways are found to maintain that the insurgents are not in fact Islamists or jihadis at all. Mohammed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel drives a truck into a crowd of passersby screaming "Allahu Akbar." This is found to have nothing to do with Islam because of his poor record of mosque attendance. It would be comical if it were not so serious. 
The writer is Director of the Rubin Center (formerly the GLORIA Center), IDC Herzliya, Israel, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. 
(PJ Media)

Is Europe Helpless? - Bret Stephens

The best guide to how Europe can find its way to safety is the country it has spent the best part of the last 50 years lecturing and vilifying: Israel. 

For now, it's the only country in the West that refuses to risk the safety of its citizens on someone else's notion of human rights or altar of peace.

Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism - crowd management techniques and so on - but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. 

Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians. 
(Wall Street Journal)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When is Terrorism not Terrorism?

When is terrorism not terrorism?  If the media is any indication, it's when that terror is directed against Israelis.  This short video makes the issue crystal clear.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The US "Crippled" in the MidEast

Still smiling after one year

Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran - Reuel Marc Gerecht & Ray Takeyh

Last summer, as the administration unveiled its nuclear agreement with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the U.S. would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses. But Washington can either accommodate or confront the clerical regime. It can't do both. And confrontation is made difficult, if not impossible, by the nuclear agreement...

In the year since the nuclear agreement was concluded, Tehran has continued its development of long-range ballistic missiles, a historic signpost of a state with atomic weapons ambitions.

The Gulf is simmering with Iranian intrigue. Tehran is busy fortifying Shia groups in Yemen and exploiting widespread anger against the Sunni princely class. Gulf Arab internal security services are probably not lying when they tell of increasing Iranian covert aid to violent radicals.

Accommodation with the Iranian regime isn't pretty. Morally and strategically, it diminishes, if not cripples, the U.S. in the Muslim world.
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
(Foreign Affairs)

The Fayyad Factor

Salam Fayyad

Why Fayyad Will Fail Again - Jonathan S. Tobin

Once there was a moderate Palestinian leader who pointed the way toward genuine peace with Israel as well as democracy and development for the Palestinians. His name was Salam Fayyad, an American-educated economist who was named prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

But Fayyad's promise was unfulfilled. A man without a party, he was powerless to change a Palestinian political culture that revolved around death and hate. Both Fatah and its Hamas rivals despised him, and few Palestinians mourned when he resigned in 2013.
Fayyad is back now with a new plan that would both ease a path to peace with Israel as well as end the logjam between Fatah and Hamas. It's no surprise that the same forces that worked to ensure he would fail as Palestinian PM don't like it. The reason is it's based on a truce with Israel that would end all terrorism.

If Fayyad had any sort of constituency, his proposal might encourage hope for progress toward peace. But his fan base is largely composed of Americans and Europeans. Israelis will continue to stand their ground and wait for the day when someone like Fayyad will speak for more than just himself.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Egypt & Israel Flirt More

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry [L] meets Netanyahu in Jerusalem

Egyptian Foreign Minister Visits Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "Our two nations have been at peace since we concluded our historic peace treaty 37 years ago and the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan are the cornerstone of stability in the region, and are critical assets for our countries. They are also the cornerstones of a broader regional peace and a broader stability that we hope to achieve. To this end I welcome President el-Sisi's recent offer of Egyptian leadership in efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians and a broader peace in our region."

"Today I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jorden and join us for direct negotiations."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry said: "My visit to Israel today...comes in the context of President el-Sisi's vision, which he elaborated on the 17th of May, for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people, bringing this long conflict to an end. Such a monumental achievement will have a far reaching and dramatic and positive impact." 
(Prime Minister's Office)

Egyptian Foreign Minister's Visit Marks a New Level of Cooperation
- Zvi Bar'el

The decision to send Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Jerusalem shows a new level of ties closer to political normalization.

Egypt has concerns that require it to go public with Israel. The first part of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Nile, is expected to be completed next year, and Egypt says it will reduce Egypt's water supply and lower its electricity output by 25-40%. Egypt believes, quite rightly, that Israel has leverage in Ethiopia, and can persuade Ethiopia to coordinate water-sharing with Cairo so Egypt's economy doesn't suffer.

Cairo is also very interested in the renewed ties between Turkey and Israel, which lets Turkey be a major supplier of consumer goods and construction materials to Gaza. Turkey's entrance puts Egypt in an uncomfortable position in which it, with Israel, continues to impose a formal closure on Gaza...

The widening of the Israeli-Egyptian map of political interests, with an economic bonus in the background in the realm of natural gas, is a key development.  

Egyptian Minister's Visit: Encouraging Step - Zvi Mazel

The visit to Israel of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry is an encouraging, significant step. The visit is intended to show the world - and especially the Arab world - that Egypt is reclaiming its leading position in the Middle East. The country is now relatively stable: economic growth in 2015 was 4.2%, and similar numbers are expected for the current year.

Shoukry's visit also testifies to the resurgence of the pragmatic alliance comprised of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan to fight Islamic terrorism and Iranian subversive attempts.
The writer served as Israel's Ambassador to Egypt, Sweden, and Romania.
(Jerusalem Post)

Facebook Hit on Tolerance for Terror

Israeli Group Sues Facebook over Palestinian Violence 

Israeli and American families of victims of Palestinian attacks filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the social network is providing a platform for militants to spread incitement and violence, their lawyers said. 

Shurat Hadin, an Israeli legal advocacy group, filed the suit on behalf of the five families in New York federal court, alleging that Facebook is violating U.S. anti-terrorism laws by providing a service to militant groups that assists them in "recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing terrorists, raising funds, creating fear and carrying out attacks."

The lawsuit focuses on the Islamic militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and which has fought three wars against Israel since the Palestinian group overran the coastal territory in 2007. Hamas, an armed group sworn to Israel's destruction, has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

"Facebook can't sit in its stone tower in Palo Alto while blood is being spilled here on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It has a social responsibility. It can't serve as a social network for Hamas," said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Israeli lawyer who is representing the families.

The suit comes amid a 10-month outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has seen scores of Palestinian attacks targeting Israeli civilians and troops.
Israel says the violence is being fueled by a Palestinian campaign of incitement on social media...

Facebook had no immediate comment on the lawsuit, saying it had not yet received a copy.

The case is among a handful to argue that U.S. anti-terrorism laws should take precedence over the provisions of the Communications Decency Act, which normally shield online companies for liability for what their users post.

It is not clear whether the lawsuit will succeed. The court may rule that freedom of expression precedes anti-terror laws. Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the case "appears to be a more compelling complaint" than other similar suits filed in recent months.

He said the most interesting argument is that beyond saying Facebook served as a conduit for hate speech, it says the service played a role in specific attacks. "This case will be well worth watching," he said.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

Arab Spring Became Arab Implosion

The Great Arab Implosion and Its Consequences - Ofir Haivry

Another reality is emerging in the Middle East, redrawing the regional power balances - the rise of newly armed, self-governing nations and tribes.

They include a de-facto Kurdistan possessing the largest undefeated armed force between Jerusalem and Tehran; an Alawite-dominated western Syria; a consolidated Shiite southern Iraq; an increasingly autonomous Druzistan in southern Syria; a Yemen redivided into de-facto northern Shiite and southern Sunni countries; Libya's historical provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania recreating their old division; with the possibility of the Sunni tribes of western Syria and eastern Iraq coalescing into a desert Sunnistan with or without IS.

Similar developments are clearly brewing in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Jordan, as well as among the Berbers of Algeria and the Kurds of Turkey and Iran.

With artificial regimes and borders gone, people in the region seek protection and solidarity in the old identities that have survived the Arab reverie: their nation, their religion, their tribe.

These are the only building blocks upon which a new and stable system can be founded.
The writer is vice-president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A Story with No End

Israel Can Only Manage, Not End, the Threat - Efraim Inbar

[I]t is a mistake to believe that it is possible to root Hamas out of Gaza and destroy its capabilities once and for all. There is no one-shot solution to the Hamas military/terrorist challenge.

Despite assertions to the contrary by the Israeli right, the end of Hamas rule is not an easily attainable military objective. The roots of Hamas are deep in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. A recent poll indicates that if new presidential elections were to be held right now in the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas's candidate Ismail Haniyeh would do better than Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas simply cannot be eradicated by outsiders conquering Gaza and then politically reengineering Palestinian society. One cannot import a leadership of choice.

The calls from the Israeli left for a "political solution" are similarly unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration. They might reluctantly accept temporary cease-fires, but they continue to categorically reject any diplomatic course of action intended to fully solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel must be realistic about what can be achieved by military means. Force should be applied not to attain impossible political goals, but [rather] in the service of a long-term strategy of attrition designed to debilitate enemy capabilities and exact a cost with the object of enhancing temporary deterrence.  [O]ccasional large-scale operations have a temporary deterrent effect that creates periods of quiet along Israel's borders.  Hamas needs to be punished for its aggression and reminded of the cost it must pay for continuing its violence against Israel. And on a practical level, a period of calm can be achieved by destroying capabilities that are both difficult and expensive to rebuild. Buying time is a legitimate military goal.

The greater goal is the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can go about their lives without the continuing threat of indiscriminate terror, and in which a significant blow has been struck to Hamas's terror infrastructure. So far, the Israeli government has wisely adopted these limited political and military goals, a strategy dubbed "mowing the grass."

This strategy has a positive effect both within and beyond the borders of the conflict. Other actors in the Middle East are watching, and they too need vivid reminders that aggression against Israel can be costly. In this tough neighborhood, inaction is perceived as weakness, harming deterrence and inviting aggression.

The question "When will this end?" is inherently flawed. There is, unfortunately, no end in sight. As long as the basic motivations of Hamas remain, the violent struggle will continue. But this does not mean that significant periods of quiet cannot be achieved by military action.

Israel will probably be engaged in a war of attrition against Hamas for a long time. Keeping the enemy off balance and reducing its capabilities will require Israeli military readiness and a willingness to use force intermittently, while maintaining a healthy and resilient Israeli home front despite the protracted conflict.
[Middle East Forum]