The scandal of foreign aid 8

Sen. Rand Paul introduces a Resolution in the Senate to attach conditions to the aid given by the US to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. He makes a good case against  giving foreign aid in general, and states plainly that he would like to stop it, but stresses that he is only asking for it to be restricted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he reminds the Senate, is asking for aid to be increased to Egypt where the US embassy has been attacked and the US flag burnt. Libyans killed the US ambassador, but their country continues to get US aid. In Pakistan the doctor who helped the US intelligence services discover the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden has been imprisoned for life, and Sen. Paul wants aid to be withheld until this innocent man is released. He points out that China, to which America is heavily  in debt, continues to receive development aid from American taxpayers. China gets $27 million a year in “economic development assistance”, and $71 million goes to Russia. But  for all the aid Americans give, they get nothing back; not even the protection of their embassies. He describes how Arab and African dictators spend vast sums of US taxpayers’ aid money on luxuries and grand living for themselves and their wives while their peoples remain in abject poverty.

The video is an hour long, and Sen. Paul is not a very good speaker, but he is worth listening to because he makes a compelling case. We don’t agree with him on every point he raises, but we too are against giving foreign aid. And we certainly agree that if it is to be given to badly governed states, it should buy something for the donor –  at the very least, protection for US embassies and diplomats.

Sen. Paul says he knows that all but ten or perhaps twenty Senators will vote against his Resolution. (In fact they voted 81-10 against it.) But the people they represent, he tells them, voters in every state in the Union, are overwhelmingly on his side.

 

(Video via Creeping Sahria)

Courting lies – and terrorists 0

This is interesting, but more than interesting, it is important.

It is interesting because it shows how an Obama administration’s think-tank works for it – with a rather naive and transparent cunning, which they must mistake for  brilliant deception.

It is important because it confirms that Obama wants to join hands not only with hostile Muslim states like Iran, but also with actively inimical Muslim terrorists like Hizballah.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, writes:

Can things get worse with the Obama Administration’s foreign – and especially Middle East – policy? Yes, it’s not inevitable but I have just seen personally a dangerous example of what could be happening next. In fact, I never expected that the administration would try to recruit me in this campaign, as you’ll see …

First, a little background. One of the main concerns with the Obama Administration is that it would go beyond just engaging Syria and Iran, turning a blind eye to radical anti-American activities throughout the region.

To cite some examples, it has not supported Iraq in its protests about Syrian-backed terror, even though the group involved is al-Qaida, with which the United States is supposedly at war. Nor has it launched serious efforts to counter Iran’s help to terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan or even Tehran’s direct cooperation with al-Qaida. …

Beyond this, though, there has been the possibility of the U.S. government engaging Hizballah. It is inadequate to describe Hizballah as only a terrorist movement. But it is accurate to describe it as: a Lebanese Shia revolutionary Islamist movement that seeks to gain control over Lebanon, is deeply anti-American, is a loyal client of Iran and Syria, uses large amounts of terrorism, and is committed to Israel’s destruction. Hizballah engages in Lebanese politics, including elections, as one tactic in trying to fulfill these goals.

We have seen steps by the current British government toward engaging Hizballah. And the rationale for doing so is based partly on the fact that Hizballah is now part of the Lebanese governing coalition. Of course, in playing a role in that coalition, Hizballah tries to ensure Syria-Iranian hegemony, threatens the lives of American personnel, and other activities designed to destroy any U.S. influence in the region.

And let’s remember that Hizballah may well have been involved in the murder of courageous politicians and journalists in Lebanon who opposed Syria-Iran-Hizballah control over their country. True, direct involvement hasn’t been proven but they are accessories since they have done everything possible to kill the international investigation into the matter. And the trail certainly leads back to their Syrian patrons.

Here’s where I come in. I have received a letter asking me personally to help with a research project. … The letter says that this is a project for the Center for American Progress and that the results “will be presented to senior U.S. policymakers in the administration.”

I am asked to participate by giving my opinions on how the United States can deal with Hizballah “short of engagement” and “would Israeli leaders see benefit in the U.S. talking with Hizballah about issues which are of crucial importance to Israel?”

Answer to first question: Oppose it in every way possible.

Answer to second question: What the [insert obscene words I don’t use] do you think they would say!

The letter continues:

“As you’ve noted, some like John Brennan [advisor to the president on terrorism] is already thinking about a more flexible policy towards Hizballah and it would be extremely useful to get your views on this to ensure anything decided is done properly.”

I read this letter … as saying that the Center for American Progress is going to issue a report calling for U.S. engagement with Hizballah, and that it has been encouraged to do so by important officials in the Obama Administration.

The phrase “to ensure anything decided is done properly,” I take as a give-away to the fact that they are going to push for direct dealing with Hizballah but want to be able to say that they had listened to alternative views. They merely, I am told by those who know about this project, intend to talk to some who disagree for appearances’ sake and throw in a sentence or two to give the report the slightest tinge of balance.

The person heading this project has already endangered the lives of brave Lebanese. For example, he claimed without foundation that Christians were planning to launch a war on Hizballah, providing a splendid rationale for Hizballah to murder opponents on the excuse of doing so in self-defense. Accepting Hizballah rule is defined as the Christians recognizing they are a minority and trying to get along with their Muslim neighbors.

In other words, those opposing Hizballah are presented as aggressors while Hizballah is just the reasonable party that wants to get along. Moreover all this leaves out the community, about the same size as the Christians and Shia Muslims, that has been leading the resistance to Syria, Iran, and Hizballah: the Sunni Muslims.

In short, the person directing the project talks like a virtual agent of Hizballah and its allies, basically repeating what they tell him.

Aside from the fact that Hizballah is not and will not be moderate there are two other problems that these silly people don’t comprehend.

The first is the signal that such statements send to Arabs and especially Lebanese. Concluding that the United States is selling them out and jumping onto the side of the Islamist revolutionaries (an idea that sounds implausible in Washington but very easily accepted as true in Riyadh, Beirut, Amman, and Cairo), Arab moderates will be demoralized, rush to become appeasers, and seek to cut their own deals with what they perceive as the winning side.

The second is the signal that such statements send to the radicals themselves. Concluding that the United States fears them and acknowledges their moral superiority and strategic success, they will be more arrogant and aggressive. …

The last time I was in this situation, it involved a government-funded report about Islamist movements. What I didn’t know is that the word had been passed to the project director from the government agency that he was supposed to urge engagement with Islamists. The intention was to keep out anything critical of the idea. At first, then, I was told to my surprise that my paper would be responded to by another paper written by a supporter of engaging Islamists.

When my paper was submitted, however, it was apparently too strong, it was quickly rejected in an insulting way, and I wasn’t paid for my work. The fix was in and those involved were richly rewarded for saying what was wanted, though the actual implementation of such a policy would be disastrous for U.S. interests, as well as for millions of Arabs as well as Israelis.

Friends of mine have had similar experiences recently regarding papers arguing, for example, that engaging Syria is a great idea and that Damascus can be made moderate and split away from Iran. This is all nonsense, but honors and money are to be gained by saying such things.

So I’m not going to help provide a fig leaf for something masquerading as a serious study but set up to advocate a dreadful policy. It would be the equivalent of participating in a mid-1930s’ project designed to show that Germany had no more ambitions in Europe, a mid-1940s’ project that the USSR wanted to be friends, or a late 1970s’ project that Ayatollah Khomeini was a moderate and that an Islamist Iran would pose no threats.

It’s bad enough to live through an era of dangerous and terrible policy decisions, it’s much worse to be complicit in them.

Judaism and Atheism 0

Today is the festival of Passover when Jews celebrate a legendary exodus from Egypt of their Hebrew ancestors under the leadership of an Egyptian prince named Moses. According to the legend, the Hebrews were slaves, and the Egyptian prince was really a Hebrew himself who had been adopted soon after birth by an Egyptian princess. Well, he had to be “re-adopted” somehow by the Hebrews because he it was (so the legend goes) who gave them the laws which bound them together as a nation and founded the religion of Judaism. It is, as all the world knows, a monotheistic religion based on an idea attributed to one Abraham, a Hebrew ancestor who, it is believed, had conceived it hundreds or possibly thousands of years earlier.

It may have been the case that an historical Moses did indeed lead a host of Hebrews out of Egypt, making common cause with them because  – as Sigmund Freud theorizes in his book Moses and Monotheism – he too was a monotheist; a faithful follower of Pharaoh Akhnaton, who had worshiped the sun as the only god, and whose cult after his death had been all but wiped out of history by the priests of the old, revived, polytheistic religion.

One of our founders and editors, C.Gee, has been discussing Judaism and Atheism with one of our readers, Aeschines, as comments on our post On religion (March 25, 2010). We think the discussion is so interesting that we are re-posting it on our front page today:

C.Gee: I regard Judaism as extremely important in the history of rationality. Judaism was the first step to atheism. By making an abstract God, and making him a law-giver (never mind that some of the particular laws were practiced in the region generally), and elevating the principle of obedience to law not man, it constituted a major victory for rationality over superstition, and paved the way for the national, secular, polity. As science progresses, God the law-giver and creator, can have his remit broadened to become God the giver of the laws of nature. He becomes Spinoza’s God, identical with the universe, and thereafter may be ignored, leaving the universe to stand for Him, and then for itself. The two next Books of the [Jewish] Bible should be the Book of Spinoza and the Book of Einstein.

Aeschines: Just curious, but when do you think that Judaism started to influence thought towards atheism?

C.Gee: The idea of an abstract God began in Abrahamic times – 5000 or so years ago. That idea identified the Hebrew people. By the time Moses brought down the Law in God’s name, the Jews had accepted the authority of a God that was everywhere and nowhere (although with some idol-worship recidivism) and we had the beginning of a polity centered on responsibility to fellow men – righteousness to one’s people in God’s name – and an emphasis on how to live this law-abiding life. The Israelites were the first proto-secular, even humanist, society living under a nominal God. Christianity kept the idea of an abstract God, although its immediate object of worship was an idol of God-made-flesh, Jesus. That abstract, absentee God became useful to Christendom during the Enlightenment – precisely because he was absent. Deism was an accommodation with institutional religion for the growing number of people whose frame of mind was secular and scientific. Scientific inquiry could only be undertaken by those who had accepted that there were explanations for phenomena other than animating magic spirits. An abstract, one-time, singular animating spirit called God was a kind of systemic noise – an absent presence that did not interfere with the discovery of the mathematics of universal physical laws. That the Judaic God was a creator and a law-giver, could permit the discovery of His natural laws, in His creation. The Enlightenment was a time of proto-atheism. Further discoveries pushed the originating God further into scientific irrelevance, and secular politics has pushed the law-giving God into social irrelevance. With even the nominality of God now attenuated to vanishing, we are entering into the age of atheism.

Interestingly enough, a recent survey showed that 41% of Jews regard themselves as atheist.

Aeschines: Yes, but what do you think of the horrendous slaughters of native people by the Jews? I am of course referring to the Old Testament genocides and annihilations done in the name of God. The Jews in this regard don’t seem much different from many other religions of that time.

The Assyrians are regarded as “cruel,” but the Jews seem to escape this description, even though they tended to destroy EVERYTHING in their path (with the exception of virgin women, spared presumably for raping).

“The Israelites were the first proto-secular, even humanist, society living under a nominal God.”

Yes, but even a cursory examination of the Bible reveals Yahweh as a malicious, cruel, jealous, contradictory tyrant, much like many of the other gods of antiquity.

C.Gee: The ancient way of war was fierce – no matter in whose name the war was conducted. Even an abstract God can take on human characteristics in the retelling of legendary conquests boasting of the might and mettle of his people in establishing their national territory. (Who knows whether the early conquest by the Jews of those numerous peoples really happened? The Bible is often the only record of it.) But Yahweh had no statue, no location, no maw to feed with living human flesh – even though he was malicious, cruel, jealous, and contradictory. His abstract nature allowed him to be the God of War, of Law, of Creation, of the Hearth, of Everything. No doubt some of these personae conflicted with others, but then a nation must regulate itself in peace and conduct wars. It must sustain itself through Ecclesiastical exigencies. An abstract God is authority for all national endeavors, an unwritten “living” constitution. That constitution kept the nation together even when the territory of its homeland was lost. The idea of nationhood was coterminous with that of God. Belief in one could stand in for belief in the other. I think that many, many Jews now believe in the idea of their nationhood (even those among the diaspora ) and not God.

The Bible is not the constitution of the Jewish people. (It was not, in any case an original founding document, but written at various times ). It is a mythical and historical record and a statute book. Even if it is seen as the literal word of God, its interpreters do not take literally the passages where metaphorical or allegorical meanings must be sought to avoid nonsense. ( God was obviously a versatile speaker – could bark out directions, or hint enigmatically, as the occasion warranted.) Despite that, there is a whole sub-speciality of antisemitism claiming that the Bible is a “blueprint” for modern Israel’s cruel colonialist enterprise – what Joshua did at Jericho, the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians.

You seem to be implying, though, that atheists would not have conducted war, or conducted cruel wars. While no war has been fought in the name of atheism, there are rational justifications for war (conquest was – and still is, despite Geneva conventions – definitely one of them). There is nothing in atheism – the absence of a belief in God – that requires pacifism. There is nothing in atheism that precludes blood-thirstiness.

Posted under Atheism, Judaism by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 29, 2010

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Europe betrayed 0

Here is an account of how and why twenty million Muslims were imported into Europe, and to what effect.

The information is condensed from Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or. (The wording is largely hers, with some added notes and comments of my own – JB.)

1969 France sells 110 Mirage jets to new Libyan dictator, Muammar Qaddafi. Explores with him the concept of a Euro-Arab dialogue. Becomes in the following years a major supplier of arms to many Arab states.

1973 May: London. Conference of Islamic Cultural Centers.  Islamic leaders decide to create, fund and support cultural centres in Europe as ‘a great need was felt [in Europe] for the tenets of Islam’ and such centres would help Muslim communities in Europe play this role [of teaching the tenets of Islam] effectively and fruitfully.’ The Conference also ‘decided to establish the Islamic Council of Europe to serve as an organ of co-ordination among all Islamic institutions and centres.’ It was to ‘propagate the true teachings of Islam throughout Europe.’ Thus there was to be a ‘stepping up of the activities of the Islamic Da’awa [proselytism]’.  To this end, an International Islamic News Agency was to be established, also a Jihad Fund open to subscription ‘with no restrictions’.

The ‘rights’ of immigrants to preserve their beliefs, traditions and national cultures were to be guaranteed by the Europeans. Facilities for the teaching of Arabic were to be ‘improved’. The establishment of a Euro-Arab University was proposed (and initial steps to do so were taken in subsequent years including the founding of the Euro-Arab Business Management School in Granada in 1994).

October 16-17: Kuwait. Mortified by the defeat of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in their war against Israel, the Arab oil-producing countries meet and decide to quadruple the price of oil and to reduce their production of crude oil by 5% each month until Israel withdraws from the territories those three countries lost to Israel in 1967 and failed to recover in 1973. Impose an oil embargo on the US, Denmark, the Netherlands as states friendly to Israel. Sheikh Yamani of Saudi Arabia threatens that the oil states could ‘reduce production by 80%’ and asks the West ‘How could you survive with that?’ In response the US stands firm, France and Germany panic.

November 6: Brussels. Meeting of the EEC nine members. Ignoring objections from Washington, the meeting insists on starting an appeasing approach to the Arab oil states. They issue a joint Resolution based on their dependence on Arab oil, in which they pledge themselves to support the Arabs diplomatically in their conflict with Israel. This was sufficient to induce the Arab states to increase oil supplies and ‘open a dialogue’ (as already conceived in discussions between France and Libya). Thus began a Euro-Arab political solidarity pact that was hostile not only to Israel but also to America.

November 26-27: Georges Pompidou, President of France, and Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany meet. Reaffirm intention to ‘engage in a dialogue with the Arabs’.

November 28: Algiers. Sixth Summit of the Arab Conference. Arab heads of state address a Declaration to the EEC,  noting with interest ‘the first manifestations of a better understanding of the Arab cause by the states of Western Europe’, and setting out Arab political preconditions for the projected dialogue.  The Declaration stresses that the political and economic aspects are interdependent and non-negotiable – ie the supply of oil depends on EEC acceptance of Arab political conditions concerning Israel.

December 15:   Copenhagen. An EEC summit,  called by President Pompidou of France, considers the planning for co-operation between the EEC countries and the Arab League. Four Arab foreign ministers, delegated by the Algiers Arab summit, are invited  to monitor the project. They suggest various strategies in the context of the conditions that the Arab states place on any accord with the EEC.

1974 February 24: Lahore. The Second Islamic Conference, organized by the recently created Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) confirms and elaborates the conditions for co-operation with the EEC.

June 10: Bonn. Britain (which had joined the EEC in 1973, as had Ireland and Denmark), had vetoed the Euro-Arab Dialogue in protest against Holland being under an Arab embargo ‘for being pro-Israeli’, but  the embargo was lifted against Holland, so now  the foreign ministers of the EEC states meet to discuss ‘the Dialogue’.  Areas of co-operation  between Europe and the Arab states include industry and agriculture, science and technology, finance, education, and ‘civil infrastructure’. The Arab states, in other words, are being promised massive transfers of money and know-how with programmes to industrialise and modernise their countries.

Note:  All this was desperately desired by the Arab states, and the provision of it could have been used by Europe as a counter-lever to the oil blackmail which the Arabs had brought to bear on Europe. Furthermore, the Arab oil states needed to sell their oil to Europe, and needed to invest in a thriving European economy. The European governments could have dictated terms. But the EEC, under insistent French leadership, preferred to appease rather than negotiate. The motivation for France was not only commercial. It was a desire to re-acquire a large sphere of influence in the Arab world, in pursuit of an intense ambition to achieve super-power status and so to rival the United States.

July 31: Paris. The first official meeting at ministerial level between the Europeans and the Arabs to discuss the organization of the Dialogue.  An institutionalized structure is created to harmonize and unify the trade and co-operation policies of each of the  EEC countries with the member states of the Arab League.

The EEC founds The European Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation ‘to improve political, cultural, and economic cooperation between Europe and the Arab world’.   Its Executive Committee set to meet regularly every six months.  All the  political parties and groupings of Europe are members of it.  It is to keep in regular contact with European governments, the Presidency of the European Council of Ministers, and the EEC Commission.

September 14-17: Damascus. To meet Arab demands in preparation for the next summit of the Arab Conference, the Association convenes representatives of all the parliamentary parties of the EEC member states except Denmark and resolves, inter alia, to permit the participation of the PLO and its leader, Yasser Arafat, into all negotiations, and  to bring pressure to bear on the United States to shift its Middle East policy in favour of the Arabs. Also to permit Arab countries to export millions of their populations into all the EEC countries, along with their culture and their customs.

October: Rabat. The Seventh Summit of the Arab Conference confirms that the indispensable political preconditions for the Euro-Arab Dialogue have been met by the EEC. The Arabs stress that the interdependence of the political and economic aspects of European-Arab cooperation is not negotiable, ie European oil supplies are dependent on European support for Arab political demands.

A permanent Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD) secretariat of 350 members is created, with its seat in Paris,  for the purpose of promoting economic and political cooperation. The EAD is organized into various committees charged with planning ‘joint industrial, commercial, political, scientific, technical, cultural, and social projects’.  European members are for the most part persons with vested interests in the Arab and Islamic world, whether commercial or in relation to their academic jobs as Arabists and Islamists.

Note: The EEC had been conceived of as an economic institution, dealing with markets, finance, and trade. The Arab states’ pressure for a unified European policy to meet  their political demands were a vital factor in the development of the EEC  from an economic to a political union.

1975 June 10: Cairo. First meeting of The Euro-Arab Dialogue. EEC delegates meet with those of 20 Arab states and the PLO.  The basis of the agreement with Europe is emphasised:  economic deals with Europe in exchange for European alignment with Arab policy on Israel.

With that locked in place, other agreements could follow.

July 24: Rome, and November 27: Abu Dhabi.  EAD meetings. Co-operation extends and deepens.

1976 May 18-20: Luxembourg.  EAD organization and procedures are defined. ‘The Dialogue’ is composed of three organs:

A General Committee – presidency jointly held by heads of Arab and European delegations.  All delegates on both sides are of ministerial and ambassadorial rank.  Purpose, to keep the Dialogue on track. (No wavering on Europe’s part from the founding commitments.) Meetings secret.  No recorded minutes. Can publish summaries of decisions and issue press releases.

A Working Committee. Made up of business experts, economists, oil specialists along with Arab League and EC representatives.  Again, joint Arab League/EC presidency.

A Coordinating Committee.  To co-ordinate the work of various working parties set up by the other committees.

Further EAD meetings (several in Brussels, then in Tunis in February 1977) establish the conditions for an intertwining of Arab and European policies: the establishment of a Palestinian state with Yasser Arafat as its leader; a campaign to bring worldwide political and economic pressure on Israel to force its withdrawal to its 1949 armistice border [as a step in a policy of ‘stages’ with the ultimate aim of extinguishing the State of Israel]; an international boycott of Israel and opposition to any separate peace treaties; promotion of Anti-Israel media propaganda.

Note: The Arabs at this point had not got all they wanted from Europe. They had to accept some significant failures – attested to by the fact that Israel continued to exist, which is nothing short of astonishing in the light of the jihad campaign working so persistently and in most respects triumphantly against it – but they contented themselves temporarily with partial success.

Meetings of the EAD committees continue into 1978.  Then the Camp David agreement between Egypt and Israel acts as a brake on EAD activity.

1980 The EAD meets again when the Europeans are worried about declining oil production in Iran, and the Arabs want to complain to Europe about the Israeli-Egyptian treaty.

1981 January 25-28: Mecca and Taif. The Third Islamic Summit Conference issues a Declaration of Holy Jihad ‘as the duty of every Muslim, man or woman, ordained by the Shariah and the glorious traditions of Islam; to call upon all Muslims, living inside or outside Islamic countries, to discharge this duty by contributing each according to his capacity in the cause of Allah Almighty, Islamic brotherhood, and righteousness.’

One of the chief aims the declaration specifies is ‘to save Al-Quds’ – ie to take Jerusalem into Arab possession. To this aim, through the EAD, Europe accedes, co-operating with the Arab campaign to isolate and vilify Israel and  helping to deliver the United Nations as an  instrument of Arab jihadic purpose.

Note: The EC/EU’s moral commitment to connive at the Palestinian jihad compromised the very foundations of freedom and Western culture, and did not make Europe safer.

Europe is also a designated target of jihad. The national governments are not unaware of the threat that hangs over them, and from early on fear has been one of the motivating causes of the European policy of appeasement:-

1998 Damascus:  Three years before ‘Islamikazes’ carried out the 9/11 mass murder of Americans in New York, six years before the massacres of commuter-train passengers in Madrid, seven years before the underground and bus bombing atrocities in London, a conference of the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Dialogue is held in Syria, under the auspices of the murderous dictator Hafiz al-Assad. Members of fourteen national European parliaments and the European Parliament attend, also representatives of the European Commission. Arab members of sixteen non-democratic parliaments and representatives of the Arab League bring a heavy threat to bear openly on the Europeans: they stress that ‘peace and stability in Europeis ‘closely connected’ to Europe’s compliance with Arab Middle East policy. The official reports of the Dialogue constantly reiterate this point. It could not have been impressed more firmly on European parliamentarians and the EU Commission that jihad could be unleashed against Europe itself if Arab conditions were not met.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the EAD continued to serve as a vehicle for policy decided at Islamic Conferences. It was the principle instrument for implementing the resolutions of the Arab conferences. It advanced the Arab mission of implanting millions of Muslims into Europe who come with no intention of integrating into European culture and society, but arrive with the desire and the legal right, granted by the EEC/EU, to impose their own culture upon the host country – a culture fired by a fundamentalist mission of violent jihad.

It facilitated the creation of those fundamentalist trends. It introduced the educational and cultural programs of the European Islamic Centres into European schools – programs enthusiastically accepted and applied by European political leaders, intellectuals, and activists. EAD facilitated the creation of fundamentalist trends.

2000 The European Commission provides  funds to revive a dormant organisation called the European Institute for Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation, known as MEDEA. (The Euro-Arab political partnership was increasingly called ‘Mediterranean’, the Arab states being referred to as ‘the South’ and the EU states as ‘the North’.)  MEDEA is now chaired by a  Belgian minister for foreign affairs who reorganises MEDEA’s European Parliament section of over 100 members. There are also MEDEA sections in individual national parliaments. Subsequently the organisation issues regular press releases to opinion- makers, intellectuals and pressure groups, and plays a major role in spreading Arab influence in Europe.

2001 September 11: New York and Washington. ‘Islamikaze’ terrorists fly hijacked planes into the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, killing close on 3000 people. Another hijacked plane is forced down by its passengers near Shanksville in Pennsylvania. President Bush declares ‘War on Terror’.

October: The US, its military assisted by seven other countries, the UK primarily, also Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Italy, invades Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to overthrow  that fundamentalist Islamic government. The Taliban had equipped al-Qaeda, the  organization, led by Osama bin Laden, which had despatched the terrorist attackers of America. The Taliban is (temporarily) overthrown.

2002 June 20. Brussels:  The Arabs ask for special privileges for Arab immigrants into the EU to put them ‘on an equal basis with Europeans’. The host countries are exhorted to provide Arab immigrants with vocational training, freedom of movement, suitable living conditions, and financial aid if they should choose to return to their homelands.

2003 March 20: The US and Britain invade Iraq to overthrow the dictator Saddam Hussein. Other countries, including Spain, lend various degrees of military assistance.  France and Russia emphatically oppose the invasion. Anti-war demonstrations, intensely anti-American, are staged throughout Europe.

In this year the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) reports to the European Commission that the economic outlook for Europe is  gloomy but would be brightened if there were to be increased Arab immigrationIn Britain, however, the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, warns that the imposing of mass immigration on a populace that did not want it, threatened the social fabric of Britain because of “the disintegration of community relations and social cohesion”.

December 2-3. Naples:  At a Euro-Mediterranean Conference of ministers of foreign affairs, EU officials reaffirm Europe’s ‘solidarity’ with its ‘Mediterranean partners’. At this conference even more foundations, committees and subcommittees are proposed.  The European Bank  – an institution funded entirely by Europe’s tax-payers – will open a subsidiary to serve Arab (sharia conforming) requirements. The absence of democracy in the Arab states, their economic stagnation, continuing terrorism carried out in many parts of the world in the name of Islam, are not matters on which the Europeans choose to lay stress.

2004 March 11 Madrid: Terrorist bombs are exploded by Muslim residents of Spain on commuter trains. Nearly 200 people killed, nearly 2000 injured. The response of the Spanish electorate a few days later is to vote Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who supported President Bush in his war on Iraq, out of power, and vote in Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who has opposed Spain’s participation in the Iraq war. The change favours the Islamic terrorists. The result amounts to a national capitulation to terrorism.

November 2.  Amsterdam: Theo van Gogh, Dutch film maker, is shot, stabbed and has his throat slit by a Dutch-born Muslim. The victim had made a film about the abuse of Muslim women.

In this year Eastern European countries are admitted into the EU. Arab leaders fear that their immigrants will no longer be welcome in Western Europe. They ask for and are granted assurances that Europe’s chief sources of immigration will continue to be ‘above all the Mediterranean Arab countries.’  So EU policy in this regard is (yet again) shaped to conform to Arab demands. It will ‘balance’ its expansion into Eastern Europe with an increase in Arab immigration.

2005 July 7: London. Terrorist bombs explode on three underground trains and a bus in central London.  56 killed, about 700 injured. The killers are identified as British born Muslims.

Violent jihad had been unleashed against Europe from within.

Increasingly the continent is being made to feel the tragic consequences of its policies. In the light of the demographic facts on the ground – a drastic shrinking of indigenous populations and an exponential rise in the numbers of  Muslims – it seems it may now be too late for it to save itself.

Jillian Becker February 11, 2010

A realm of deadly failure 0

‘The most destructive address in the history of American foreign policy’, is the verdict of Ralph Peters on President Obama’s Cairo speech. We agree.

This is the worst time imaginable to have a pro-Islam leftist occupying the Oval office.

Taking a realistic, and consequently pessimistic, survey of the Islamic lands from the Mediterranean to the border of India – and the sole exception to their failure, the small singular Jewish state beleaguered among them – Peters writes in the New York Post:

No region — not even sub-Saharan Africa — competes with the greater Middle East when it comes to wanton savagery, thwarted opportunities and the danger posed to innocent populations around the world. With fanatical terrorists of unprecedented brutality, Islamist extremists pursuing nuclear weapons, rogue regimes, disintegrating states and threats of genocide against Israel, the lands of heat and dust between the Nile and the Indus form a realm of deadly failure that will haunt the civilized world throughout our lifetimes.

A survey of the region’s key countries — and problems — doesn’t offer much good news for the Obama Administration’s naive foreign policy efforts:

LEBANON: This isn’t a country — it’s a temporary stand-off. Recently, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafik, was assassinated by Syria, had to make a humbling visit to Damascus. Syria’s decades-long penetration of the government in Beirut and various Lebanese factions (not least, its backing of the Hezbollah terror organization) has kept Beirut dependent on Damascus to break the political gridlock in parliament. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been rearming mightily in the wake of its 2006 war with Israel. A new war would devastate much of Lebanon — if internal strife doesn’t do it first.

EGYPT: A US client long counted among the most stable states in the Middle East, Egypt faces a potential succession crisis as octogenarian president Hosni Mubarak, who’s ruled the country for almost three decades, grooms his singularly unimpressive son, Gamal, to take over upon his death. The government and armed forces are more factionalized than they seem to outsiders, Islamist movements have proven ineradicable, and violence against Egypt’s minority Christians is on the rise again…

TURKEY: Long in NATO, but denied membership in the European Union, Turkey has grappled with an identity crisis. Increasingly, its political bosses back an Islamic identity. The ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) soft-peddles its religious agenda when dealing with the West, but has been methodically dismantling the secular constitution left behind by Kemal Ataturk — who rescued Turkey from oblivion 90 years ago… Will the military move to preserve the legacy of Ataturk? Unlikely. But if the generals did move, the Obama administration would back the Islamists

SYRIA: The neighborhood’s in such awful shape that this police state’s beginning to look like a success story… On the other hand, the Assad family’s government backs terrorism, harbors remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime, still hopes for Israel’s destruction — and wouldn’t mind having nukes, if it could figure out how to get them. When Damascus looks like a beacon, it’s getting awfully dark in the Middle East.

ISRAEL: Civilization’s last hope in the region, Israel remains the target of international leftists dreaming of another, more-thorough Holocaust. The “peace process” will continue to fail. Arabs need Israel to blame for their failures. And President Obama empowered the worst Arab elements with his Cairo speech, which convinced the dead-enders there’s no need to compromise with Israel — that the US would shift its support to the Arab cause. That Cairo speech may prove to have been the most-destructive address in the history of American foreign policy.

IRAQ: Can’t say we didn’t try. After years of serious progress toward a national compromise, Shia political agents close to Iran recently banned over 500 influential Sunni candidates from standing in Iraq’s upcoming elections. Reconciliation has come to a screeching halt. The Shia are smug, the Sunnis feel betrayed, and the Kurds are still denied title to the traditionally Kurdish city of Kirkuk. Every faction’s fighting for a greater share of oil revenues. And the Obama administration’s AWOL (this was Bush’s war — we wouldn’t want a positive outcome)… the old blood feuds and thirst for vengeance go deeper than we thought

SAUDI ARABIA: Its two main exports are oil and fanaticism. Saudi funding supports a global effort to drive Muslims into the fold of its severe Wahhabi cult — and to prevent Muslims (including those in the US) from integrating into local societies. The Saudis care nothing for the fate or suffering of fellow Muslims (check out the Palestinians). They care only for their repressive version of Islam. The birthplace of Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia’s differences with his terror organization are over strategy and tactics, not over their mutual goal of forcing extremist Islam on all of humanity.

IRAN: Racing to acquire nuclear weapons, delighting in the prospect of a cataclysmic war that would lead to the “return of the hidden imam,” beating the hell out of its own people in the streets, murdering members of the intelligentsia, and explicit in its vows to destroy Israel, the government of Iran continues to be protected by China and Russia. There will be no meaningful sanctions. Over the next few years, we’ll see a nuclear test in the southeastern desert region of Baluchistan. Will Israel strike first? Perhaps. Would the US? Not under this administration. The best hope is for a miracle that leads to a popular overthrow of the current maddened regime. But strategy can’t be based upon the expectation of miracles.

YEMEN: It’s Saudi Arabia without oil, running water or literacy. Perhaps the most-backward country in this stubbornly backward region, Yemen has harbored terrorists for years (we really didn’t want to know). Its government cannot control its territory, its tribes are so fanatical they alarm the Saudis (who have had to fight them), and Iran backs the Shiite minority in its revolt against the state. Throw in Yemen’s strategic position astride the world’s most-sensitive oil-shipping routes, and this pretense of a country looks far more important than Afghanistan.

DUBAI: The late Michael Jackson’s flirtation with this high-rise bazaar apparently couldn’t rescue an economy built on sand…

AFGHANISTAN: We’re there, and we don’t know why. We know why we went in 2001, but al Qaeda’s long gone. Initially, we were welcomed. Now, the more troops we send, the stronger the Taliban becomes. We’re tied to a corrupt, inept government despised by the people. Afghans won’t fight for that government, but they’ll give their lives for the Taliban. And we’re determined to turn the place into Disney World.  Should we just leave? No. Afghanistan provides a crucial base for striking the terrorists across the border in Pakistan… Afghanistan is worthless in itself. Instead of concentrating on killing our enemies, we’re buying worthless real estate with American blood.

PAKISTAN: 180 million anti-American Muslims, thanks to generations of politicians who took American aid while playing the anti-American card with their constituents. The government won’t crack down on the Taliban factions it’s preserving for a reconquest of Afghanistan after we exit… Promised another $7.5 billion in aid, Pakistan’s response has been not only to bite the hand that feeds it, but to gnaw it to a bloody pulp. And, in an act of strategic folly, we’ve left our troops in Afghanistan dependent upon a single supply line that runs for over a thousand miles through Pakistan. .. Isn’t it about time we got a grip? Around Pakistan’s throat? … Leaving the greatest power in history at the mercy of the impossibly corrupt regime in Pakistan guarantees that our troops lives are wasted next door in Afghanistan. Afghanistan isn’t our problem. Pakistan’s the problem.

Sisters of perpetual hate 2

In our post Pacifists for jihad (January 13, 2010), we considered what might motivate the Code Pink women, suggesting ignorance, stupidity, and malice. On further thought, we would put hate at the top of the list.

Recently some Code Pink members tried to enter Gaza through Egypt. An Israeli woman journalist, Amira Hass, wrote a sympathetic account of the adventure which did not go quite according to plan.

(A note of passing interest: Hass is the German word for hate.)

Here’s Caroline Glick:

Last month, 1,300 pro-Palestinian activists from the US and Europe came to the region in the name of peace and social justice to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. Led by the self-declared feminist, antiwar group Code Pink, the demonstrators’ plan was to enter Gaza from the Egyptian border at Rafah and deliver “humanitarian aid” to the Hamas terrorist organization.

But it was not to be. Led by Code Pink founder and California Democratic fund-raiser Jodie Evans, the demonstrators were not welcomed by Egyptian authorities. Many were surrounded by riot police and barbed wire as they demonstrated outside the US and French embassies and the UN Development Program’s headquarters. Others were barred from leaving their hotels.

Those who managed to escape their hotels and the bullpens outside the embassies were barred from staging night protests in solidarity with Hamas on the Nile. In the end, as the militant Israeli pro-Palestinian activist Amira Hass chronicled in Haaretz last week, all but 100 of them were barred from travelling to Gaza. …

[Bernadine] Dohrn, the woman who has called for a “revolutionary war” to destroy the US, felt that the Egyptian authorities’ behavior was nothing but an unfortunate diversion from their mission…

Unfortunately for the lucky 100 who were permitted to enter Hamastan, the diversions didn’t end at the Egyptians border. Hamas immediately placed them under siege. The Palestinian champions had planned to enjoy home hospitality from friends in Gaza. But once there they were prohibited from leaving the Hamas-owned Commodore Hotel and from having any contact with local Gazans without a Hamas escort.

Rather than being permitted to judge the situation in Gaza for themselves, they were carted onto Hamas buses and taken on “devastation tours” of what their Hamas tour guides claimed was damage caused by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. …

But they didn’t really mind. Reacting to her effective imprisonment in the Hamas-owned hotel, one of the demonstrators, an American woman named Poya Pakzad*, cooed on her blog that the Commodore Hotel was “the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at, in my life.”

Pakzad did complain, however, about what she acknowledged was the “farce” devastation tour she was taken on. She claimed that her Hamas guides were ignorant. In her studied view, they understated the number of Palestinians rendered homeless by the IDF counterterror offensive last year by some 60 percent…

Hass’s participation in the pro-Hamas propaganda trip is a bit surprising. In November 2008, she was forced to flee from Gaza to Israel after Hamas threatened to kill her. At the time, Hass appealed to the Israeli military – which she has spent the better part of her career bashing – and asked to be allowed to enter Israel from Gaza, after sailing illegally to Gaza from Cyprus on a ferry chartered by the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit.

Hass’s behavior is actually more revealing than surprising. The truth is that Hass and her fellow demonstrators were willing to be used as media props by Hamas precisely because it isn’t the Palestinians’ welfare that concerns them. If they cared about the Palestinians they would be demonstrating against Hamas, which prohibited local women from participating in their march to the Israeli border, and which barred non-Hamas members from speaking with them. It would offend their sensitivities that Hamas goons beat women for not covering themselves from head to toe in Islamic potato sacks. It would bother them that Hamas executes its political opponents by among other things throwing them off the roofs of apartment buildings.

The demonstrators did not come to Gaza to demonstrate their support for the Palestinians, but rather their hatred for Israel and for their own Western governments that refuse to join Hamas in its war against Israel. As one of the organizers told Hass as she sat corralled by Egyptian riot police … “In our presence here, we are saying that we are not casting the blame on Egypt. The responsibility for the shameless and obscene Israeli siege on Gaza rests squarely with our own countries.”

By happily collaborating with Hamas in its propaganda extravaganza, these demonstrators demonstrated that the rights of Palestinians are not their concern. Their concern is waging war against their own societies and against Israel. They are more than happy to have their pictures taken with the likes of Hamas terror master Ismail Haniyeh

The Free Gaza movement members are but a chip off the old psychopathic block of nearly a century of far-left Western activists whose hatred for their own countries motivated them to hide the crimes of mass murderers from Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong to Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh to Daniel Ortega and Saddam Hussein…

These fanatics are usually dismissed as fringe elements. But the truth is that … the distance between these true believers and the centers of state power has not been very great…

Code Pink … is welcome at the Obama White House. Its leader Evans was an official fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Evans visited the White House after travelling to Gaza last June. While there she met with Hamas leaders who gave her a letter for Obama. Evans met Obama himself at a donor dinner in San Francisco last October where, while standing in front of cameras, she gave him documents she received in Afghanistan, where she met with Taliban officials.

Then, too, among the board members of the Free Gaza movement is former US senator James Abourezk. Abourezk is reputedly close to Obama and according to knowledgeable sources has been a key figure in shaping Obama’s policy towards Israel… Dohrn and her husband [William] Ayres are also friendly with the president of the United States. Dohrn and Ayres have been Obama’s political patrons since he launched his first campaign for the Illinois state Senate in 1996. In White House visitors’ logs, Ayres is listed as having twice visited the building since Obama’s inauguration…

*We were in error quoting that Poya Pakzad is an American woman. Poya Pakzad is a Danish man. He has drawn our attention to the mistake in a comment. Our apologies to him.  1/19/2010

Rumors of war 2

There’s talk in the ether that Obama has decided to allow Iran yet another year to ‘unclench its fist’ and stop enriching uranium for nuclear bombs. If so, this will be – what? the sixth or seventh extension of time that Obama has given the grim mullahs and the poisonous Ahmadinejad. The answer is always the same ‘No!’  Before Obama came along, Europe had persisted for about eight years with hinting to the Iranians that they should really try to play nice. ‘If you don’t stop’, they warned, ‘we’ll have to ask you again!’ Ignoring that withering threat, and scorning Obama’s ‘deadlines’ which they were confident would always be extended, the Iranians advanced steadily and vigorously towards becoming a nuclear-armed power.

It is also being said (less believably, we think) that Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to wait yet again, but only for another six months before he will use force to stop Iran getting the bomb.

Meanwhile certain Arab states which quietly hoped that either the US or Israel, or preferably both together, would act against Iran, may be running out of hope and patience. Now something dramatic seems to be developing.

Here is a mixture of fact and surmise from DEBKAfile:

The powerful Iranian speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, arrived [last Sunday, December 20] in Cairo and was received at once by Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for a conversation lasting two hours.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report that the Iranian visitor carried with him a wide-ranging proposal to ease the strained relations between Tehran and the moderate Arab governments.

Without wasting a moment, the next day, the Egyptian president flew to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Arab emirates to discuss the momentous turn of events.

The octogenarian Mubarak travels very infrequently these days because of his failing health except in extraordinary circumstances. He was galvanized this time by the message Larijani brought from Tehran containing the offer of “a new Iranian approach to resolving outstanding issues.” Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already offered to open an embassy in Cairo for the first time since ties were broken off after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Aware that any breakthrough with the Arab governments was contingent on allaying their fears of its nuclear drive, Iran’s offer of a new beginning is reported by our sources as including a form of Iranian-Arab nuclear cooperation. Its immediate objective is to close ranks with the Arab nations in order to outmaneuver the US-Israeli campaign against its nuclear drive, thereby derailing the US president Barack Obama’s plans for … sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The expeditiousness of Mubarak response to Tehran’s overture and the promptness of his Gulf consultations indicated that the bloc of Arab nations, which he and Saudi king Abdullah lead, has given up on effective action by America or Israel, including force, for throwing Iran off its current nuclear course.

Within the region today, coexistence with Iran looks like a safer bet.

If this burgeoning realignment of Middle East partnerships goes forward, the region’s strategic balance will be pulled out of shape, Washington’s influence heavily downgraded and Israel isolated.

And Obama’s pacifist policy towards Iran will have increased the probability of war.

In proportion 2

We took this map from Dry Bones, the Israeli cartoonist. The Islamic states colored yellow all passionately desire the elimination of Israel. Turkey is warming its diplomatic relations with Iran. Iran is not only actively building up its own military power, including a nuclear capability, but also arming proxy forces on Israel’s borders in Lebanon and Gaza. Two more neighboring Islamic states, ostensibly less aggressive towards Israel but in fact no less desirous of its destruction, are Jordan and Egypt. Beyond Jordan lies ruthlessly jihadist Saudi Arabia. Now imagine the whole of Europe as equally hostile Muslim territory, as it almost certainly will be in just a few decades from now. Bear in mind that the present decider-in-chief of US foreign policy is the son of a Muslim, emotionally pro-Islam, and reluctant to take any action to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear-armed power. What are the odds that the tiny sliver of a state called Israel will survive to the end of this century, do you think?

map of Iranian influence

Endless war? 0

From American Thinker:

It must be recognized and acknowledged by Americans that all governments of Islamic countries, secular and sectarian, cannot divorce themselves from the religious Jihadist aspect ever-present in their societies. The yearly surveys showing large majorities in these countries favoring strict Shariah is but one piece of the evidentiary puzzle. Almost without exception, to a greater or lesser extent, the governments of Islamic nations, irrespective of their official ties to Islam, find themselves in a confrontation with a discontented Jihadist element in their respective populations. In order to preserve their iron grip on the national treasury and the security forces, these governments (examples: our “allies” Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia), either directly or through surrogates in the royal or landed aristocracy, direct and support the Jihadist hostility toward kafirs, unbelievers in Islam, that are most often represented as Israel and the US; although Britain and India are also frequent Islamic terrorist targets. Even Turkey, founded 86-years-ago as a secular state to free the Turks from their repressive Ottoman Muslim past, has recently come under increasing Shariah-Islamic influence. The unavoidable conclusion is that radical Islam (understood as Shariah-Islam), often manifesting itself in Islamic Jihad, is a fact of life in all of our dealings and endeavors in the Islamic world. This omnipresent jihad aspect of Islam is the element that must be added to the debate over our Afghan strategy to supply the much needed clarity.

So how does this reality factor into the military strategic equation? Primarily it means that no Islamic government can ever be truly counted on to affirmatively eradicate Jihadist violence against US interests. This in and of itself suggests at the very least that the objective of nation-building in Afghanistan is a fool’s errand simply or so remote as to make it foolish. It also … would mean that, while it may be to our tactical advantage to temporarily ally with Islamic governments, it would be blood and money wasted to invest in trying to change an Islamic society. Consequently and most importantly, it would mean that, while denying Afghanistan to al Qaeda as an operational base and assisting the Pak government in defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda within Pakistan are vital national priorities, the delusion that these Islamic societies can be “Westernized” must be re-thought…

The American illusion that we can ever fight “a war to end all wars” is just that, an illusion. Shariah-driven Islam has been waging Jihad against the West for 1300+ years, why would we expect it to stop because we manage to facilitate democratic elections that empower corrupt Islamic leaders like Nouri al-Maliki or Hamid Karzai? We are just going to have to “shoot the closest bear” one at a time and reconcile our thinking that Jihad will reappear periodically like Haley’s Comet.

We think it probable that one great shock, such as a devastating attack on Iran’s nuclear installations, could send a message that would keep the jihadists still and trembling for years to come.

We do not think it remotely likely that Obama will order such a strike.

The world must look to Israel to save it from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Posted under Afghanistan, Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, September 13, 2009

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Hamas fights a bloody battle with the ‘non-existent’ in Gaza 1

From the Telegraph:

Six people were killed and 55 wounded in Gaza fighting on Friday when Hamas police stormed a mosque where radicals had declared an Islamist “emirate” in the Palestinian territory, emergency services said.

Shooting was continuing after dark, witnesses said, after clashes began in the afternoon following weekly prayers in the southern city of Rafah, which straddles the Egyptian border.

Among the dead was Mohammed al-Shamali, head of the Hamas military unit for southern Gaza, emergency services said, adding that bodies of some other victims could not be reached because of the intensity of the fighting…

An Egyptian security official said a three-year-old boy was critically wounded by a bullet from the fighting across the [Egyptian] border.

Witnesses said that following the prayers, a group of Palestinians announced the formation of the Islamist “emirate,” defying the authority of Hamas, which has ruled Gaza’s 1.5 million people for the past two years.

“We are today proclaiming the creation of an Islamist Emirate in the Gaza Strip,” Abdul Latif Musa, a representative of Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers of the Partisans of God), said at the Bin Taymiyya mosque, the witnesses reported.

Musa was surrounded by armed fighters when he made his statement, according to the witnesses.

Rafah is the Gaza stronghold of the so-called Salafist movement, of which Jund Ansar Allah is said to a part and which is ideologically close to al-Qaeda.

An AFP photographer reported that Hamas police dynamited Musa’s house. It could not be established whether the Islamist was there at the time.

Hamas police blocked all entrances to Rafah, the photographer said.

The Hamas interior ministry warned that those violating the law would be pursued and arrested.

“Everyone outside the law and carrying arms in order to spread chaos will be pursued and arrested,” a ministry statement said.

At the same time, Hamas premier Ismail Haniya denied that the group exists.

“No such groups exist on the ground in Gaza,” he said at prayers in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya. He blamed the “Israeli media for spreading this information with a view to turning the world against Gaza.”

Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007 after a week of vicious fighting with forces of the secular Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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