A strange, ironic, and tragic historical moment 2

In a remarkable decision taken at the end of August, Germany’s Interior Ministry declined to bar the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – listed as a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, and Australia – “from campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag”. Yes, the PFLP – on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party – plans to field candidates in this month’s elections in Germany and run for Parliament.

So Bruce Bawer writes at Gatestone.

What is the PFLP?

The Popular  Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is a Marxist group. Its founder was George Habash, born in Lydda (in the British mandated territory of Palestine) in 1926 to  a Greek Orthodox family. His father was a successful corn merchant. Much of his childhood was spent in Jerusalem. He entered the American University of Beirut in 1944 and qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1951. While at the university he founded the Arab National Movement (ANM). Its guiding light was President Nasser of Egypt, who gave it financial support.

With a central doctrine of pan-Arabism, and, vital to that end, the elimination of Israel by violent means, the movement gathered strength and spread rapidly as an underground organization through the Middle East, on both sides of the Red Sea. It attracted intellectuals and members of the military in several Arab states. But stress shifted away from the Palestinian cause to internal political issues. Habash himself believed so unswervingly in the need for revenge (against the British and the Arab leaders who had been  responsible for the 1948 defeat of the Arab armies against the newly declared state of Israel, as well as against the Jews), in the annihilation of Israel and and in the Nasserite aim of Arab unity, that he sometimes quarreled with Nasser himself when the Egyptian leader adjusted his own policies. But Habash continued to function as one of Nasser’s agents of subversion. His leftist tendency became more extreme. He began to think of himself as a “Marxist-Leninist”, but scorned the ineffectual Communist parties of the Middle east, and favored China over the Soviet Union. He no longer saw the issue of Palestine as part of a merely Arab revolution, but both as necessary to world revolution. (By Marxist prophecy, world revolution is inevitable, yet has to be fought for.) The arch-enemy was “imperialism” of which “the Zionist entity” was only one aggressive spearhead. The defeat of the Arab armies by Israel yet again in the 1967 Six Day War persuaded Habash that the immediate and primary goal must be the “liberation of Palestine”. Although only a means to an end, it was the first step.

And so Habash, along with a number of others in the ANM founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on December 7, 1967. It was composed of three small groups: The Heroes of the Return, the Youth Revenge (branches of the ANM), and an already active group called the Palestine Liberation Front, led by a Syrian army officer named Ahmad Jibril.

Jibril had no personal connection to Palestine, but had formed his PLF with some twenty other Syrian army officers. He had personal contacts with the KGB, and the Communist regimes of East Germany and Bulgaria. His terrorist organization had carried out more than ninety raids on Israel between 1965 and the Six Day War.

With the coming together of Jibril, the professional soldier backed by the Communist bloc and Syria, and Habash, the experienced underground leader  with wide influence throughout the Arab National Movement, the PFLP became a significant fedayeen organization. Habash retained Nasser’s patronage, and PFLP recruits were trained in Egypt.

But where there is ideology, there shall be schism.

The PFLP soon split. The break came where it might be expected in an organization which attempted to make Syrian interests adhere to Egyptian interests. Habash and Jibril had different loyalties  and they quarreled. Habash and his friends in the ANM criticized Syria for not permitting fedayeen to cross into Israel from Syrian oil. The Syrians arrested and imprisoned him early in 1968. Finding himself in sole command of the PFLP, Jibril tried to force the PFLP to break with the ANM. But the Heroes of the Return and the Youth of Revenge would not betray their origins. So in October 1968 Jibril expelled both factions from the PFLP.

Habash was snatched by some of his followers while he was being transferred from one prison to another, and smuggled out of Syria into Jordan. Once they had him back, the two small groups expelled by Jibril declared that they were the PFLP and it was Jibril’s group that was expelled. Jibril formed a new organization called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC).

Another split away from Habash’s PFLP occurred when one of his comrades, a  Jordanian Bedouin Christian, Nayef Hawatmeh, who had joined the ANM while he was a student at the Arab University of Beirut. Sentenced to death for pro-Nasserite subversive activities in Jordan in 1957, he had escaped to Baghdad, where he led the Iraqi branch of the ANM. There he took part in an attempted coup d’etat in 1959, and was imprisoned until 1963 when the Ba’th Party overthrew the Qasim regime.  He changed his views from Nasserite to an extreme leftist revolutionary ideology. After working underground for  ANM in Yemen, he joined Habash in Jordan. But they too quarreled over ideological differences. With four comrades, Hawatmeh formed a group of his own called  the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP).

In 1968 all three groups – along with several others – joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which had been invented by Nasser and founded by the Arab League under his auspices in 1964.  From then on, although Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian nationalist leader of the terrorist organization Fatah, was elected chairman of it in 1969, the Marxist revolutionary groups dominated the PLO.

Habash’s second-in-command Wadi’ Haddad plotted a series of aircraft hijackings  on international flights between July 1968 and September 1970. On September 6, 1970, the PFLP hijacked four commercial planes. Two them, one American and one Swiss, were forced to land on a neglected airfield in Jordan, named Dawson’s Field.  There the crews and passengers were held hostage in the planes in the heat of the desert for four days and four nights. Another American airliner was flows to Cairo airport, where the crew and passengers were let out and the plane was blown up. The fourth was an Israeli airliner on its way to London. The Arab terrorist on board was an Israeli woman named Laila Khaled, helped by an American named Patrick Arguello. Their hijacking attempt failed. The Israeli guard on board killed Arguello and arrested Khaled.  Arguello had wounded one of the crew, and in an attempt to save the injured man, the captain flew the plane to London, England being nearer than Israel, where according to instructions he should have returned in such circumstances. The injured man died. And Laila Khaled was detained by the British police – but not for long.

On September 9, a British place on a home flight from Bahrain was hijacked and the pilot forced to fly to join the other two planes on Dawson’s Field. The PFLP demanded that three of their terrorists imprisoned in West Germany, three in Switzerland who had killed an Israeli pilot, and Laila Khaled should be released, or the planes would be blown up next morning with crews and passengers aboard them. The release of fedayeen from Israeli prisons was also demanded. The Israelis refused to bargain with the terrorists, but the British, West German, and Swiss governments complied –  thus providing complete proof that hijacking, terrorism and blackmail paid. It was a signal that started a decade of such crimes.

The crews and passengers were released (some retained by the PFLP and imprisoned in a refugee camp), and then the planes were blown up.

King Hussein’s patience was already overstrained with the presence of the fedayeen groups in his kingdom, their intention being to take over his country. The PFLP had twice attempted to assassinate him. For him the Dawson’s Field events were the last straw. Starting on September 17, his soldiers and airmen rained hell down on the organizations’ camps, bases and headquarters. Thousands of Palestinians were killed. Syria tried to intervene with a tank invasion, but was repelled. Ultimately all the Palestinian refugees who survived the onslaught were expelled from Jordan. They moved en masse to Lebanon. Arafat’s Fatah created a secret organization Black September – the group that murdered the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.

Bruce Bawer writes:

Described variously as a blend of “Palestinian nationalism with Marxist ideology” and as “a Palestinian nationalist organization with different ideological outlooks at different times (from Arab nationalist, to Maoist, to Leninist)”, [the PFLP] has called for Israel’s destruction and international communist revolution.

Considered more radical than Fatah, it has, ever since its founding, routinely targeted civilians without remorse. During its early days, it was on friendly terms with Germany’s Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof Gang) and received funding from the USSR and China.

The leaders of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang sought training as urban guerrillas in a PFLP camp in Jordan in early 1970. But the scheme was not a success. The Germans and the Arabs could not get along with each other. Each side accused the other of being cold and arrogant. Andreas Baader refused to undergo the commando training offered, through mud and under barbed wire, because he said such skills were unnecessary to an urban guerrilla. None of the men in the German group were able to train with the Arabs because there was too much antagonism between them. But the women did learn something. They were taught to handle pistols, particularly Firebirds,  and Ulrike Meinhof declared that learning how to lift weights and fall out of a fast-moving car was much more fun than sitting at a typewriter. The Arab  terrorists, who were training  may women despite the Mohammedan attitude toward women generally, found the Western women too domineering and less able to stand up to the training exercises than their own, and they liked neither Ulrike Meinhof nor Gudrun Ensslin. Baader, Meinhof, and their fellow factioneers were eventually asked by their hosts to leave, and they returned to Germany.

But Ulrike Meinhof was not done with Jordan. She planned to send her seven-year-old twin daughters, Bettina and Regine, to live in a refugee camp there and be trained along with Palestinian children to become “kamikaze” guerrilla fighters against Israel – possibly suicide bombers. (They were intercepted on their way and rescued by the writer Stefan Aust, who found them on an Italian beach, and returned them to Germany and the care of their father.)

The PFLP camp in Jordan to which the children were to have been consigned was bombed to rubble by King Hussein’s air force in one of his punitive raids.

Bruce Bawer continues:

In recent years the PFLP has been chummy with Iran. Half a century ago, the PFLP specialized in hijacking planes — it was the first Palestinian group to do so, and the first successfully to commandeer an El Al plane. That act, in 1968, is widely considered to mark the beginning of the modern era of international Islamic terrorism. …

Then came the hijackings to Dawson’s Field, after which –

 In 1972, a PFLP member took part in the Lod Airport Massacre, in which 28 people were murdered at what is now called Ben Gurion International Airport. In October 2001, it assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in retaliation for Israel’s killing of its top leader at the time, Abu Ali Mustafa (after whom the group’s militant wing is now named).

During the next few years, the PFLP focused on suicide bombings in Israel; more recently, it has kept busy firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In November 2014, two PFLP associates murdered six people in a synagogue massacre in Jerusalem. On June 16 of this year, it collaborated with Hamas on a fatal attack in East Jerusalem; on July 14, it murdered two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City and bragged that its “heroic operation” had successfully broken through “the security cordon imposed by the Israeli occupation forces on the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, breaking the arrogance of the Zionist security which sees in the city and in Al-Aqsa an impenetrable fortress”.

Perhaps the PFLP’s most famous operative is Carlos the Jackal, the legendary Venezuelan terrorist, currently serving a life sentence in France. Another high-profile member is Leila Khaled, who has been called “the first woman hijacker in history” and who has been allowed in recent years to enter many Western countries, including Germany, Sweden, Austria, and South Africa, to deliver speeches, meet with fellow communists, and confer with supporters of movements that try to destroy Israel economically.

If it seems exceedingly inappropriate for these countries’ governments to afford Khaled such treatment, consider that the UN, the EU, and a number of European countries, including Germany, France, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, have funded non-governmental organizations with links to PFLP – among them Addameer, Al-Haq, the Alternative Information Center, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. At least one of the groups in question, according to NGO Monitor, was founded and is run by the PFLP; others have convicted terrorists on their payrolls and/or have abetted PFLP and its members in one way or another. There has, however, been remarkably little media attention paid to the fact that at least some of taxpayer money donated by these Western countries has found its way into the PFLP’s coffers, and more than $300 million annually to the salaries of terrorists.

But of all the actions taken by Western governments and international organizations that have benefited the PFLP, none has come as close to legitimizing it as Germany’s decision to let it field candidates in this month’s elections. “For observers of terrorism in Germany,” wrote Benjamin Weinthal in the Jerusalem Post, “it is unclear why the ministry is reluctant to outlaw the Palestinian organization.” After all, it is not as if the Federal Republic of Germany has no power to ban parties; it outlawed the Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit (People’s Socialist Movement of Germany) in 1982 and the Freiheitliche Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (Free German Workers Party) in 1995.

Nor are today’s German authorities shy about silencing individuals for holding views they consider inappropriate.

But they are all individuals who dare speak against Arab and Islamic terrorism:

Gatestone Institute’s Soeren Kern noted in 2012 that German authorities were “monitoring… websites that are critical of Muslim immigration” and were prepared to shut them down. In 2014, Bavarian officials sought to gag critics of a new mega-mosque; in January of last year, the Washington Post reported that Germany had “reached a deal with Facebook, Google and Twitter to get tougher on offensive [read: anti-Islamic] content.” German police even raided the home of a critic of Muslim refugees.

A German court had given five months’ probation to a woman for her online comments “about an alleged rape of a German woman by an asylum seeker”. In June 2016, German police raidedthe homes of thirty-six additional people guilty of “hate posting” online; in July, they raidedabout sixty more homes.

It is hard not to see this as a strange, ironic, and tragic historical moment.

In living memory, Germany was transformed from a fearsome totalitarian power, bent on conquest and genocide, into a cornerstone of liberal democracy. Now, even more than many of its similarly misguided European neighbors, it is plainly headed in a direction that should give pause to every lover of Western freedom: even as it is increasingly cracking down on criticism of Islam, it appears prepared to give a genuine Islamic terrorist group the opportunity to win seats in its national legislature.

 

Jillian Becker    September 9, 2017

 

Note: I have quoted the history of the PFLP, largely verbatim, from my book, The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization ((St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1984). And the description of the sojourn of leading members of the Baader-Meinhof gang at a PFLP training camp in Jordan comes from my book: Hitler’s Children: the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang (latest edition available as an ebook published by Endeavour Press in English and in German translation).

UNRWA, nursery of terrorism, resents being attacked 2

Ever since May 1, 1950, the Palestinian Arabs have been kept in a state of welfare dependency by the United Nations. On that day the UN created a special sub-organization called the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, its acronym the unpronounceable UNRWA. It was established specially to provide for the Palestinians, not for any other of the millions of refugees scattered through the Third World. It gave them monthly food rations and schooling. By far the greater part of its funding came from Western nations, one third from the US.* The Soviet Union contributed nothing.

Israel contributed to UNRWA, though dispensing with its services, preferring to assume responsibility for the integration of all the  Arabs who remained within its borders.

The UNRWA schools taught hatred of the United States, Israel and Jews in general. In 1968 these school were taken over in all but name by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO. UNRWA accepted the stipulation of the PLO Covenant  that it was a “national duty to bring up Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner”, and “all means of information and education” must be used to forge a national consciousness and prepare the young Palestinian to die in the armed struggle for his homeland.

Students could find themselves refused graduation certificates if they did not join a militant “fedayeen” group. For instance: an  UNRWA vocational training school at Siblin, near Sidon in Lebanon, awarded qualifications only to members of  Arafat’s own fedayeen group, Fatah. One room in the school was reserved as an office for Arafat. His portrait hung on the wall above a swastika. On the upper storey were the classrooms, and there teaching materials were stored; among them quantities of PLO propaganda, and – in 1982 – poems praising the assassins of Anwar Sadat – the Egyptian leader who had gone to Jerusalem to make a peace agreement with the Israelis.The lower story was used as an arms store. Katyusha rockets, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, mines, and Kalashnikov sub-machine guns were stacked – under the students. There were also stores of military uniforms and manuals. Most of the arms were made in the USSR, but some were from Sweden, and there was also some NATO equipment. Posters and maps on the walls of the classrooms showed the final solution of the Palestinian problem – the abolition of Israel.

For the most part, UNRWA education of the young was  an education in active aggression. This was the case even in the ordinary UNRWA schools, where general school curricula were followed, but all subjects were used as vehicles  of propaganda.

To sum up, the UNRWA schools have been raising generations of jihadis, dedicated to the destruction of Israel by terrorist means.

They have been teaching, urging, encouraging, assisting violence – until early this month, when their own headquarters in Gaza were attacked.

This is from the Independent, April 5, 2013 – a British newspaper plainly sympathetic to the Palestinians, and to Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs them in Gaza:

The United Nations has suspended significant operations in Gaza after demonstrators protesting against cuts to the agency’s programmes in the Palestinian enclave breached the organisation’s headquarters.

There have been several demonstrations against cuts to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)’s aid work – specifically cash hand outs to Gazans – in recent weeks but the protests escalated on Thursday when several people stormed its main compound in Gaza city.

In response, UNRWA said it would close its relief and distribution centres until it receives guarantees from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, of greater security.

Robert Turner, UNRWA’s director of operations in Gaza, said that the agency, “respect[ed] people’s right to peaceful demonstration but what happened today was completely unacceptable: the situation could very easily have resulted in serious injuries to UNRWA staff and to the demonstrators. This escalation, apparently pre-planned, was unwarranted and unprecedented. These demonstrations affect our ability to provide much needed service to the Palestine refugees in Gaza and – because they also targeted the Gaza headquarters building – our operations in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.”

UNRWA’s work is vital in Gaza. The organisation provides assistance … to more than 800,000 people in the isolated territory, which is subject to tough controls imposed by both Israel and Egypt. However, UNRWA has also protested that it has a funding deficit of $67m and that without more money it will be forced to scale back its activities.

The agency receives money from a number of western donors, including the US and the European Union, and often there is a shortfall between what is pledged and what is subsequently paid. It is believed that there is a shortage in both UNRWA’s general fund, and its emergency project funding, which competes with other disaster appeals. …

Gaza’s population – between 1.5 and 1.7 million – is growing exponentially and is expected to top two million within seven years. More than a million people are classified as refugees.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original refugees, and who knows how many generations still to come, must be supported as victims, their status as dependents preserved. Originally, the idea of keeping them in a state of beggary – as a reproach to the conscience of the Israelis and the West – came from the heads of the Arab states. The UN embraced it. And no nation questions it, not even the United States.

UNRWA has a difficult relationship with Hamas, despite providing a lifeline for as much as half the population in Gaza. There have been rows about what is taught in UNRWA-sponsored schools [!?], and last month  UNRWA cancelled the running of the annual Gaza marathon after Hamas refused to allow women to compete.

UNRWA has apparently discovered, after 63 years of working with Muslims, that they discriminate against women.

UNRWA officials are in high dudgeon. Just think of it – their headquarters attacked quite violently, so that people may have been hurt!

Hamas is now sorry for offending them.

Hamas yesterday urged UNRWA to reconsider its decision to suspend its work. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, said the group condemned any violence against UNRWA but said the decision to close the food centres was “unjustified”.

“People have the right to protest against UNRWA’s cuts, but at the same time we condemn any violence against the organisation. When the administration of UNRWA asked the Palestinian security services to intervene, they stopped the chaos. We ask UNRWA to reconsider its decision and [reiterate] the importance of UNRWA’s role in helping Palestinian refugees,” he added.

Will UNRWA forgive Hamas? Will the teaching of terrorism resume – perhaps a little more militantly?

Our guess is, it will.

 

PS. The UN must be destroyed. 

 

*  From 1948 to 1950, the US donated half the money for the relief aid of the refugees. Thirty-one years later, in the year 1981 – a year which fairly indicates the proportion of the burden shared by some United Nations members through UNRWA – the US contributed $462 million, 32%; the European Union 13%. So nearly half came from America and Western Europe. Britain gave another $10 million in addition to its contribution through the EU. Sweden and Japan gave about the same. Western Germany gave an additional $5 million. The only Arab states that contributed sums in the millions were: Saudi Arabia, $6 million; Kuwait – the richest country in the world then, reckoned by per capita income – $1 million; Libya, 4.25 million; Iraq, $3.5 million. Proportionately, in comparison with these oil-rich countries, impecunious Israel was far more generous giving just under half a million. Turkey and Nigeria gave $200,000 each; Syria, $168, 000; the United Arab Emirates, $800,000; Yemen $2,000. The Holy See gave $12,500. The only Communist countries that donated anything at all were Rumania, $3,300; Yugoslavia, $25,000; China, $3,500. Now, another thirty-two years on, there is no end in sight to the dependency of the Palestinian “refugees”. Will they never be allowed – or compelled – to grow up?

Norway legitimized terrorism 1

A leader of the Workers Youth League, the organization that was targeted in the Utoya attack, was himself a trained terrorist.

Here’s the story.

On May 15, 1974, three terrorists belonging to the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP) broke into an apartment at Ma’alot in Israel, and killed three members of the family who occupied it, the father, the pregnant mother, and their four-year-old child, and severely wounded another child. The terrorists then went on to a local school, where they found 100 teenagers and their teachers staying overnight on an outing from Safed. The terrorists held them hostage, using them as sandbags at the windows. Explosives were wired to the walls of the school. At one point the terrorists started singing songs of the Palmach, the commando force of the pre-1948 Jewish Defense Army. After sixteen hours the Israeli security forces stormed the building. The terrorists killed 22 of their hostages and one rescuing soldier, and wounded 56 others before they themselves were shot and killed.

Under the leadership of a Christian from Jordan, Nayef Hawatmeh, the PDFLP had broken away from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Both were self-declared Marxist groups. They  both joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) when it was reconstituted in 1968 under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, chief of Fatah.

Two years after the Ma’alot atrocities, the PDFLP [also known as the DFLP] acquired a Norwegian member, Lars Gule, who served as the head of the Workers Youth League – the organization that was running the youth camp on Utoya Island when Anders Breivik perpetrated his massacre.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page that two years after the Ma’alot Massacre –

Lars Gule was trained by the DFLP and dispatched to Israel via Norway with explosives hidden in the covers of his books. …

None of this impeded Gule’s career in any way. He went on to the University of Bergen and served as the head of the Workers Youth League, the organization that was targeted in the Utoya attack. Today he is a prominent figure on the left.

How can we make sense of this? Glenn Beck compared the Workers Youth League camp to a Hitler Youth camp. He was close, but not entirely right. The roots of the Workers Youth League are actually Communist.

A very fine difference if any at all!

Norway’s Labour Party was a member of the Communist International. The Workers Youth League was formed by the merger of the Left Communist Youth League and the Socialist Youth League of Norway. We often use “Communist” as a pejorative– but in this case the Utoya camp, literally was a Communist youth camp.

The day before the massacre, Norwegian Foreign Minister Gahre-Store visited the camp and was greeted with banners calling for a boycott of Israel, and Gahre-Store responded with an Anti-Israel speech to cheers from the campers. …

There are few children of workers at the Workers Youth League camp. They are for the most part the children of the party, the sons and daughters of bureaucrats and party leaders, training the next generation to perpetuate the Labour Party state.

Breivik came from that same background. The son of the left wing elite. And if his parents’ marriage had not collapsed, with the young boy allotting a share of the blame to the Labour Party, he would likely have a comfortable spot in the socialist state. Breivik may have turned against his roots, but the idea that terroristic violence is a legitimate solution is one that he could have easily picked up on the left.

Gahre-Store may have been greeted with a banner calling for the boycott of Israel, but he would never have been greeted with one calling for a boycott of terrorists. And indeed if there is an Islamist terrorist group that Gahre-Store doesn’t support, it’s hard to find. Gahre-Store had called for negotiating with Al-Shahaab in Somalia, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, he spoke with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and called for a reconciliation with the Taliban.

Nor is the Workers Youth League call for the destruction of Israel a recent one. In the 70′s … the man who led the organization [Johan Jurgen Holst] then went on to become the country’s Foreign Minister playing a key role in the Oslo Accords that turned Israel into a free fire zone for the terrorist allies of the League and the Labour Party.

Media commentators have made a great deal of Breivik’s radicalization, but despite his death toll, his radicalization seems to be an isolated event in comparison to the magnitude of radicalization at Utoya. If Breivik’s violence and bigotry is to be condemned – shouldn’t the species of violence and bigotry at Utoya be condemned as well?

The left can hold up Utoya as an example, but there are a legion of counter-examples. Not the least of which is Lars Gule, traveling with explosives in his backpack, on a journey that took him from DFLP terrorist to Workers Youth League leader.

And behind that is the larger string of DFLP and Fatah atrocities. And that of other terrorist groups around the world. The Utoya attack cannot be viewed as an isolated event. It must be seen within the context of support for terrorism as a valid tactic. An idea that goes back to the Marxist roots of the Labour Party and which is embodied in its political support for terrorism. …

Breivik and Lars Gule had their common origins in a country dominated by a political left which sees violence as a legitimate tool of political change, while dehumanizing its victims. Norway’s ambassador to Israel carefully distinguished between the Utoya attack and the terrorist attacks on Israelis. The latter would go away if Israel just followed Gahre-Store’s example and negotiated with Hamas.

But what Norway’s political elite failed to grasp is that the genie of terrorism cannot be kept in a lamp, to emerge only at your command. Once you legitimize terrorism as a tool of political change, you lose the ability to determine who will make use of it. Breivik followed the example of Lars Gule, that of the Marxist terrorists, whose intellectual legacy is the black tar that seeps through the painted walls of Norwegian foreign policy.

The evil that men do 4

Believers in God speak of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes and other such natural events as “acts of God”. Funny thing is, they still maintain that their God is good, the very essence of Goodness. Plainly enough to us, if there were a God killing people, ruining their lives, wrecking their homes, dooming them to hunger, cold, loss, and sickness in Japan right now by earthquake and tsunami, he would be an evil power.

For us who do not believe in divine control of the universe, what is happening in Japan is not a moral evil but a natural disaster. Nature is not a thinking thing. It has no moral responsibility. There is no point in criticizing it. Being  good and bad has to do with moral decisions, which are human and only human. What human beings do must be judged, not what nature does.

It is for this reason that we say the cold-blooded murder of five people in Samaria, the victims of human viciousness, needs our thought more than does the plight of tens of thousands of earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, regardless of how much our emotions may be moved by one or the other.

Udi Fogel, 36, his wife Ruth, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4 and Hadas, 3 months were all stabbed to death in the early hours of Saturday March 12.

Can there be any reasonable doubt that the killings were carried out by a Palestinian or more than one Palestinian?

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is ostensibly the keeper of law and order on the “West Bank” which includes Samaria. The PA, which is Fatah in a suit, has received billions of US tax-payers’ money – at least $500 million per annum. Its  law enforcers are equipped and trained by the US. And where else does the money go? To raise generations hating Israelis and all Jews, teaching that the killing of Jews is a high moral duty, and to attain the “martyrdom” of suicide while doing so is the highest of moral achievements. That is what the US tax-payer is subsidizing.

From RedState:

For years, the left wing foreign policy establishment has rapturously promoted the ‘Palestinians’ as the cause célèbre of our national security interests. Despite their unyielding commitment to terror, these supercilious ‘wizards of smart’ have credulously identified the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ state as the consummate solution to all geo-political problems. They posit that upon creation of a 22nd Arab state and 2nd Palestinian state (the first being Jordon), the culture of terror would cease and we would all experience peace in our time. …

To that end, congress has been cajoled into authorizing billions of dollars in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In addition, we have equipped and trained their armed forces with the best our military has to offer. This travesty is justified as integral to strengthening the “Palestinian people” and the “moderate PA leadership” in their alleged battle against the “extremist” Hamas. Those of us with more than a superficial understanding of the Middle East and Islamo-fascism, have always known the PA to be indistinguishable from Hamas. After all, the PA, otherwise known as the Fatah, was the catalyst in terror under the leadership of Yasser Arafat long before Hamas arrived on the scene.

The barbaric massacre of a family of five … should dispel the fallacy of the moderate Palestinian even in the eyes of their fatuous promoters. Here are the sickening details of the massacre:

Between 22:20 and 22:30 the terrorists entered the house through the living room picture window, did not notice the 6-year-old boy sleeping on the couch and continued on to the bedroom where they slashed the throats of the father and newborn [three months old] baby who were sleeping there. The mother came out of the bathroom and was stabbed on its threshold. The evidence shows that she tried to fight the terrorists.

They then slashed the throat of the 11-year old-son who was reading in bed. They did not notice the 2-year old asleep in his bed, but murdered the 3-year old with two stabs to his heart. After that, they locked the door, exited through the window and escaped.

So who committed this atrocity, Hamas? Nope. They always blithely claim responsibility for such attacks, yet have been silent in this instance. …

After the “Imad Mughniyeh” cell [of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade] assumed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, the organization released a statement saying that killing children is not part of their ideological views.

And there are those who will believe that lie, so the subventions from the US will continue without President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton having a moment’s uneasiness of conscience – if either of them even possesses such a moral faculty, which we seriously doubt.

No, the name’s not Rachel Corrie 1

Palestinian violence against civilians in Israel is little reported in Europe or America.

Today a man was killed in Israel by one of the many rockets fired from Gaza, but his death and the manner of it has received scant attention by the media.

We would like to record his name, but for some reason it’s being kept secret according to a report from Bangkok:

A Thai farm worker was killed when Palestinian militants fired a rocket at Israel from the Gaza Strip, Israeli medics say. …

Magen David Adom, of Israel’s emergency services, and deputy Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi yesterday said the man was aged about 30 years and was working in an agricultural community in Napiv Ha Ahara, just north of Gaza, when he was killed.

The man had worked in Israel since 2006, Mr Thani said. He declined to disclose his name. …

A small Islamist faction calling itself Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton don’t seem to think that the lethal firing of rockets into Israel insults their efforts to promote what they call “the peace process”, even though it’s such a precarious thing that it was easily knocked off course by the announcement of a housing project in Jerusalem for Jewish occupants.

Jonathan Tobin writes at Commentary’s Contentions:

While most of the world rattles on about how Israel’s impudent decision to build apartments for Jews in an existing Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem will harm the peace process, the real obstacles to peace staged yet another demonstration of Middle East realities. In the last two days, Palestinian terrorists fired three rockets into southern Israel. Two landed near the town of Sderot in Southern Israel on Wednesday. One adult and a child suffered from shock from that blast. Then today, a rocket hit nearby Moshav Netiv Ha’asara, killing a worker from Thailand. Thirty such rockets have landed in southern Israel since the beginning of 2010.

Apologists for the Hamas terrorists, who run Gaza as a private fiefdom, were quick to blame the attacks on splinter groups beyond the control of the supposedly responsible thugs of Hamas. Two such groups claimed responsibility. One is an al-Qaeda offshoot, and the other is none other than the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the terrorist wing of the supposedly moderate and peace-loving Fatah Party that controls the West Bank.

The rockets were an appropriate welcome to the Dame Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign-policy official, who was in Gaza for a visit. Though Ashton won’t meet with Hamas officials, her trip to Gaza is seen as helping the ongoing campaign to lift the limited blockade of the terrorist-run enclave even though Israel allows food and medical supplies into the Strip, so there is no humanitarian crisis. Those who would like to see this Hamasistan freed from all constraints say that the “humanitarian” issues should take precedence over “politics.” But their humanitarianism takes no notice of Israelis who still live under the constant threat of terrorist missile attacks. Nor do they think Hamas should be forced to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for an end to the blockade.

Such “humanitarianism” is also blind to why Israelis are leery of any further territorial concessions to the Palestinians – because they rightly fear that the ordeal of Sderot could easily be repeated in any part of Central Israel, as well as in Jerusalem, once Israel’s forces are forced to completely withdraw from the West Bank. Gaza is not just a symbol of the failures of Palestinian nationalism, as the welfare of over a million Arabs has been ignored as Hamas pursues its pathologically violent agenda of hostility to Israel. It is also a symbol of the failure of Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal policy, which Americans once hoped would allow the area to become a zone of peace and prosperity.

For all of the recent emphasis on Israel’s behavior, Gaza stands as both a lesson and a warning to those who heedlessly urge further concessions on Israel on behalf of a peace process in which the Palestinians have no real interest.

No name. And no agreement on which terrorist groups claim to have killed him. It is, however, generally agreed that he was the victim of deliberate Palestinian violence.

But never mind – it’s not as if he mattered like Rachel Corrie. She died when she put herself in the path of an Israeli bulldozer to save Palestinian property. She is celebrated as a martyr. A street in Ramallah, on the West Bank, is named after her.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Europe, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 18, 2010

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Choose your suspect 1

The  Dubai police accused Israel of assassinating the Hamas monster, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in a Dubai hotel. Their “evidence” was some entertaining videos of “the assassins” going about the hotel and elsewhere. But they could be recordings of any ordinary vacationers going off to play tennis, or to shop, or whatever.

Nothing really links Israel to the assassination except some passports allegedly carrying names of people who have visited or are visiting Israel.

If Israeli Intelligence was behind the killing, would they have issued passports easily traceable to those people? Well, maybe in a double-bluff, thinking that just this question would be asked and that the answer would probably be “no”. Possible, but not convincing.

We cannot even be sure that the Hamas monster is dead. Perhaps he was kidnapped. Perhaps he himself  set up the whole thing in collusion with the Dubai police in order to fake his own death, to escape the amazingly large number of enemies who want him dead (see below).

Now the Dubai police seem to be thinking that Hamas killed their own man.

Fatah also accuses Hamas.

Hamas accuses Fatah as well as Israel.

It is rumoured that some of the suspected ‘Israeli agents’ made their escape by sailing off  to – of all unlikely places –  Iran!

Yossi Melman takes note that the Dubai police now say that there were 15 more “Israeli agents” involved and reports in Haaretz:

The story just gets more and more complicated, which on its face at least leads us into territory that is more than amazing – wild even – which is hard to judge by rational and professional means.

Twenty-six agents, perhaps even 30, sent to assassinate one person? Granted if they could flee the scene by sea, how could one think that Mossad agents would take cover in Iran? I ask myself. Even if they have unprecedented self confidence the likes of which are unknown? …

There is no doubt that more than a little of the information that [the Dubai police chief] is disclosing or leaking to the media is part of a ploy in which bits of disinformation are planted. He’s throwing out a lure in the hope that someone in Israel will swallow the bait and respond by incriminating himself or disclosing confidential information. …

Now the world is being fed new, allegedly even more dramatic, information about 15 additional suspects, which was released by the Dubai Information Ministry and not the police.

The police chief, who attracted international coverage, apparently isn’t itching to advance the investigation. Last week he was out of the office for personal reasons and now it has been announced that he is on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

It is hard to believe that, if the Mossad intelligence agency carried out the operation, the planners were so irresponsible as to dispatch nearly 30 agents and to expose an entire select operational unit on one assassination operation. This is true even if we assume the planner thought the target should be hit no matter what, and even if hypothetically Mabhouh was on his way to Iran to arrange an arms deal that Israel had seen as changing the balance of power.

Either the new revelations are another salvo in Dubai’s psychological warfare or the police investigators are groping in the dark. It is doubtful we will ever know the truth. The evidence linking Israel to the affair is still weak, certainly for courtroom purposes but also in the diplomatic sphere. But the saga also sends a message of deterrence to Hamas that the long arm of whoever carried out the operation can hit another senior Hamas official.

Mel Frykberg reports at The JC.com that:

Hamas has closed ranks and is licking its wounds following the Jan. 20 assassination in Dubai of one of its top operatives, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It is alleged that one of its own was responsible for providing the hit team with vital logistical information.

Dubai’s chief of police, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, on Sunday called on Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar to launch an “internal investigation” into the operation.

Tamim claims that an associate of al-Mabhouh, a high-ranking military leader, leaked information about the Hamas leader’s visit to Dubai and went as far as to refer to the associate as “the real murderer.” …

“The collective Hamas leadership has gone into damage control. Various sources approached by IPS refused to talk or even answer their phones. …

As more information about the subterfuge surrounding the assassination is made public knowledge, the more conspiracy theories circulate and the thicker the plot becomes.

Two former PA-affiliated Fatah members, and former PA intelligence officers in Gaza before Hamas overthrew the PA unity government in the June 2007 coup, have been named as chief suspects in the Dubai slaying.

Anwar Sheibar and Ahmed Hasnain were allegedly members of a death cell which carried out violent suppression of the PA’s political opponents, especially Hamas members, before they fled Gaza after the 2007 coup.

According to newspaper reports they were recently arrested in Jordan and then extradited to Dubai on request of the Dubai authorities.

The two are alleged to have rented hotel rooms and hired vehicles for the assassination squad

Media reports allege both men are … on the PA payroll in Ramallah…

Tom Gross writes this at the National Post:

We all know that journalists (including some at highly-regarded newspapers) often makes things up, but rarely have we witnessed such a mix of misinformation, disinformation and innuendo passed off as fact, as we have in recent days in the reports dealing with the death of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Mabhouh. (Some of this admittedly can be attributed to the complete failure of the Israeli government – whether or not Israel had anything to do with the matter – to provide an effective response to the media.)

For example, the story in the (London) Sunday Telegraph that British immigrants to Israel had their passports removed and copied at passport control at Tel Aviv airport, is highly implausible. Passports are not taken from immigrants at Tel Aviv airport…

The Telegraph story, written by a London-based correspondent, has all the signs of being planted by anti-Israel elements at the British Foreign Office (of which there are many) …

But other media lapped up the Telegraph story. For example, Sky News ran it all day on its ticker tape at the foot of the screen, probably doing great damage to future British tourism to Israel by falsely reporting that British passports would be removed and copied at Ben Gurion airport. …

Even worse was the story in the London Sunday Times by reporter Uzi Mahnaimi, claiming the paper had evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had personally ordered the hit on Mabhouh, and even providing quotes attributed to Netanyahu when he supposedly gave such orders. The Sunday Times story was then splashed all day as the lead story on the websites of papers like Ha’aretz, which is so full of contempt for the elected government of Israel that it will publish almost anything to paint Netanyahu in a bad light.

A comparable motive is true in Britain in the case of The Daily Mail, who were determined to attack Gordon Brown’s government and thus on Friday published an anonymous story (without any author’s byline, or quoted persons in it) claiming the British government “knew in advance that Israel was going to use British passports”. The Daily Mail claimed in its story that they had been told this by a serving member of the Mossad. Again, this is virtually inconceivable since serving members of the Mossad do not speak to journalists but The Daily Mail’s report was treated seriously and rebroadcast around the world as lead item by major TV stations.

Even The New York Times and International Herald Tribune got in on the act on Friday, telling readers that Israel has engaged in 40 Dubai-type assassinations in recent years – again claims made without a shred of evidence, and highly unlikely to be true.

The French media have also regurgitated the stories of the British media, leading to French Prime Minister François Fillon, who was in Syria this weekend, to declare – in front of President Assad of all people! – “we are against this form of assassination; whoever orders them should be punished. Like the British and the Germans we have asked Israeli authorities to explain themselves.”

At the same time that they blamed Israel, these very same British and American media made very little of the fact that every day last week their own governments killed terrorists in Afghanistan (and elsewhere). …

Having milked all it could out of its reports in recent days that British citizens’ passports were used, The Times of London’s main online world news headline subsequently read “Dubai hit squad ‘used diplomatic passports’” – which is the opposite of what The Times was claiming last week.)

Mabhouh had five different passports with him in Dubai: there seems to be no media coverage or interest in which countries’ passports he was using.

And this:

Unlike the anti-Israel elements of the Western media that have rushed to blame Israel (creating a public furor and thereby forcing the hands of the British, Irish and French governments to summon their respective Israeli ambassadors), the Arab media are suggesting that the truth is far more complicated.

For example, the Arab world’s leading and arguably its most reliable newspaper, Al Sharq Alawsat, runs these stories:

* UAE Tipped Jordan of Palestinian Suspects whilst they were in the Air – Sources

* Palestinian Dubai Murder Suspects are Hamas Members – Palestinian Security Official…

Indeed it is not even clear that the photographs that the Dubai authorities have released to the media are actually real people. They have been shown repeatedly in news broadcasts and plastered on the front page of newspapers around the world in the last 72 hours, and not a single person has come forto say they recognize any of them.

And this:

Prominent international TV stations have also paid enormous attention to this story, blaming Israel without any concrete evidence. For example, the first four stories on the 8 am World News broadcast on CNN International yesterday concerned Mabhouh’s death (even though it occurred four weeks earlier). Only after those items did CNN report on the capture of the most senior Taliban commander since 2001, which many would argue is a far more important news story, both strategically in terms of international politics and specifically for the United States.

This morning CNN again led its news with a series of reports on the Dubai matter lasting 7 minutes, and BBC World led reports on the subject lasting almost 8 minutes. (The channels spent only a few seconds much later in their broadcasts mentioning the ongoing vicious fighting in Afghanistan involving U.S. and British troops, and failed to mention fresh Afghan civilian deaths there.)

Meanwhile, the former editor of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, said “I’d be happy if someone used my passport to kill such a disgusting Hamas terrorist.”

I would make the following points, based on a series of discussions with persons with longstanding familiarity with intelligence matters.

* There seems a very real possibility that Israel is being set up. Airlines keep detailed passenger records these days and anyone could have got the flight manifestos of British and other passport holders who have flown to Israel in the past and then used these names in a deliberate attempt to point the finger of blame at Israel.

* The Dubai authorities have provided no forensic evidence that points to Israel, only a series of photos and videos of random hotel guests who may or may not all know each other. In any event, the persons shown in these photos and videos are not shown committing any crime. It would be very easy to frame Israel, using the identities of six randomly-chosen Israelis based on flight manifestos. This could have been done by anyone – and especially by persons who wanted to avoid being suspected of this action by blaming the Israelis and diverting attention from the real perpetrators.

* It is not necessarily a Middle Eastern actor that is behind what The Daily Telegraph called a “ruthlessly efficient assassination” and “a meticulously-planned operation.” In this atmosphere of hypertension, where governments are fighting battles with terror organizations (often clandestinely) in many locations around the world, the intelligence agencies of many countries have created data banks of identities using flight lists and other sources. Persons with longstanding familiarity with intelligence matters tell me that many governments – and not just the European ones – use European operatives to carry out their killings, including in the cases of other previous assassinations in Dubai.

* It would be uncharacteristically stupid of Mossad operatives if they had in fact so easily allowed themselves to be filmed, and Mossad operatives are not stupid.

* Mabhouh entered Dubai on a fake passport and it may have been difficult for the Mossad to follow his footsteps and synchronize any assassination with his travel schedule. But Hamas knew his whereabouts and plans at all times, and so did the Iranians and presumably the Syrians.

* Many governments wanted Mabhouh out of the way, not only Israel. Sources confirm to me that the missiles Mabhouh was procuring from the Iranians had the capability of hitting central Tel Aviv, and were Hamas to use such missiles later this year, the Israeli response might lead to a region-wide conflagration, which many Western and Arab governments want to avoid.

* If Israel was responsible – and that is a very big if – it would be an indication of how strongly Israel feels it is being left with few other options in protecting its citizens from deadly threats. All the governments that have supported the Goldstone report have in effect told Israel that it cannot defend itself when attacked by missiles from Gaza in future, missiles that put over five million people at risk, so it would not be surprising if Israel decided it has no choice but to try and prevent those missiles reaching Gaza at an earlier stage in the supply chain.

* Sources tell me that this was a particularly significant trip by Mabhouh (to Dubai, the regional arms hub, from his home in Damascus), in which he was en route to procure weapons of particular significance. His present activity was viewed as a turning point in the type of weaponry being smuggled, and it was considered very important to intervene at an early stage.

* The governments of Jordan and Egypt (where Mabhouh previously spent a year in prison in 2003) have sought Mabhouh for some time. Some Arab media have reported that the operation against Mabhouh may have been carried out by a rival Palestinian group and the photographed individuals have nothing to do with it.

* What is true is that someone is making increasing moves against operatives connected to the Iranian regime. In recent years, senior Iranian officials linked to the intelligence services or nuclear program have disappeared quietly, the latest one while on pilgrimage to Mecca. Perhaps the Saudis were responsible.

Or perhaps the Dubai police chief did it himself and invented everything else to demonstrate his technological prowess and proficiency as a detective.

The Green Prince 0

The son of a leading Hamas figure, who famously converted to Christianity, served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service’s most valuable source in the militant organization’s leadership …

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

Yousef’s memoir, “Son of Hamas” … will be released next week in the United States. Yousef, 32, became a devout Christian 10 years ago and now lives in California after fleeing the West Bank in 2007 and going public with his conversion.

Yousef was considered the Shin Bet’s most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname “the Green Prince” – using the color of the Islamist group’s flag, and “prince” because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement’s founders.

During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings. These included Ibrahim Hamid (a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti (founder of the Fatah-linked Tanzim militia) and Abdullah Barghouti (a Hamas bomb-maker with no close relation to the Fatah figure). Yousef was also responsible for thwarting Israel’s plan to assassinate his father.

“I wish I were in Gaza now,” Yousef said by phone from California, “I would put on an army uniform and join Israel’s special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there, I could help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done.” …

Only now … is Yousef exposing the secret he kept since 1996, when he was first held by Shin Bet agents seeking to enlist him in infiltrating the upper echelon of Hamas.

Their efforts proved successful, and Yousef was released from prison in 1997. His former handler, who no longer serves with the security service, says Yousef collaborated with Israel because he wanted to save lives.

“So many people owe him their life and don’t even know it,” said the handler, named in Yousef’s book as Captain Loai. “People who did a lot less were awarded the Israel Security Prize. He certainly deserves it.”

Loai makes no secret of his admiration for his former source. “The amazing thing is that none of his actions were done for money,” he says. “He did things he believed in… His grasp of intelligence matters was just as good as ours – the ideas, the insights. One insight of his was worth 1,000 hours of thought by top experts.”

Loai recalled one time when the Shin Bet received information that a suicide bomber was going to be picked up at Manara Square in Ramallah and be given an explosives belt.

“We didn’t know his name or what he looked like – only that he was in his 20s and would be wearing a red shirt,” he said. “We sent the Green Prince to the square and with his acute sense, he located the target within minutes. He saw who picked him up, followed the car and made it possible for us to arrest the suicide bomber and the man who was supposed to give him the belt. So another attack was thwarted, though no one knows about it. No one opens Champagne bottles or bursts into song and dance. This was an almost daily thing for the Prince. He displayed courage, had sharp antennae and an ability to cope with danger. We knew he was one of those who in any situation – rain, snow, summer – give their all.”

With his memoir, Yousef hopes to send a message of peace to Israelis. Still, he admits he is pessimistic over the prospect of Israel signing a peace agreement with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, let alone Hamas.

“Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis,” he said. “Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.”

We don’t often trust this source, the Israeli paper Haaretz, because it is biased to the left with all that that entails. But this time we believe it.

Aid for torturers 0

While politicians in Western democracies, or at least in Britain and the US, interrogate their consciences over how much physical and mental pressure they may allow their agents to use on captured terrorists to elicit vital security information, they choose to overlook the practice of torture in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank …

The West Bank? There Britain has suddenly to take heed of  what the following report calls ‘a wave of torture’  because Britain is the paymaster of the torturers.  The Mail on Sunday is to be commended for exposing the facts, but calling it a ‘wave’ that has been going on for ‘the past two years’ implies that the practice is unusual, when in truth, as the British Foreign Office knows perfectly well, it is prevalent and customary.

From the MailOnline:

The Government is sending British police and intelligence officers to the West Bank to try to stop a wave of brutal torture by Palestinian security forces funded by UK taxpayers.

Their mission is to set up and train a new ‘internal affairs’ department with sweeping powers to investigate abuse and bring torturers to justice.

The department is being paid for by Britain, with an initial planning budget of £100,000 – a sum set to soar as it becomes established.

Yesterday a senior official from the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA), which runs the West Bank and its security agencies, admitted for the first time that torture, beatings and extra-judicial killings have been rife for the past two years, with hundreds of torture allegations and at least four murders in custody, the most recent in August. …

Support for the new department follows the disclosure by The Mail on Sunday in January that Britain spends £20million a year funding the forces responsible for the abuse.

Most of their victims are accused of involvement with Hamas, the radical Islamist party that seized power through violence in the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is controlled by the rival Fatah party.

Fatah and Hamas are both terrorist organizations. Britain gives millions to Hamas too – though strictly, of course, for ‘humanitarian aid’.

As if money were not fungible!

Posted under Arab States, Britain, Commentary, Diplomacy, Islam, middle east, News, Terrorism, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 30, 2009

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Obama the dictator 0

Charles Krauthammer writes:

Obama the Humble declares there will be no more “dictating” to other countries. We should “forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions,” he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth “start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating.”  

An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: “a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”

What’s the issue? No “natural growth” means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within  the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.

To what end? Over the last decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements — and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.

That was envisioned in the Clinton plan in the Camp David negotiations in 2000, and again at Taba in 2001. After all, why turn towns to rubble when, instead, Arabs and Jews can stay in their homes if the 1949 armistice line is shifted slightly into the Palestinian side to capture the major close-in Jewish settlements, and then shifted into Israeli territory to capture Israeli land to give to the Palestinians?

This idea is not only logical, not only accepted by both Democratic and Republican administrations for the last decade, but was agreed to in writing in the letters of understanding exchanged between Israel and the United States in 2004 — and subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed by a concurrent resolution of Congress.

Yet the Obama State Department has repeatedly refused to endorse these agreements or even say it will honor them. This from a president who piously insists that all parties to the conflict honor previous obligations.

The entire “natural growth” issue is a concoction. It’s farcical to suggest that the peace process is moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren — when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert’s peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode — waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave — before he’ll do anything to advance peace.

In his much-heralded “Muslim world” address in Cairo Thursday, Obama declared that the Palestinian people’s “situation” is “intolerable.” Indeed it is, the result of 60 years of Palestinian leadership that gave its people corruption, tyranny, religious intolerance and forced militarization; leadership that for three generations — Haj Amin al-Husseini in 1947, Yasser Arafat in 2000, Abbas in December 2008 — rejected every offer of independence and dignity, choosing destitution and despair rather than accept any settlement not accompanied by the extinction of Israel.

In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders — Fatah and Hamas alike — built no schools, no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, no institutions that would relieve their people’s suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.

Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one [two actually, see our post immediately below – JB] concrete declaration of new American policy: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over “natural growth” may curry favor with the Muslim “street.” But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

Self-defeating? While we agree with almost everything in this column, we question whether what Obama is doing is ‘self-defeating’.  For America, certainly. But for Obama himself? No. He has shown every sign of intending to augment Muslim power and prestige, and a willingness – no, an eagerness – to sacrifice Israel to that end.  

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Islam, Israel, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 6, 2009

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The truth will out 0

 Rafael D Frankel, correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, wrote in the August 12, 2008 edition:


"I want [the Israelis] to come back," says Riyad al-Laham, an unemployed father of eight who worked in the area’s Jewish settlements for nearly 20 years. "All the Mawassi people used to work in the settlements and make good money. Now there is nothing to do. Even our own agricultural land is barren."

Located in the middle of Gush Katif, the former block of Jewish settlements here, Mawassi fell within the security cordon the Israeli army threw around its citizens from 2002 to 2005, when attacks from the neighboring Palestinian town of Khan Yunis came almost daily.

During those years, the people of Mawassi continued to work in Gush Katif, mainly as farmhands in hundreds of greenhouses the Jewish settlers operated.

Mr. Laham and many others in Mawassi say they preferred the relative economic security of those days to the current destitution, even if they are now free from Israeli occupation.

"Freedom to go where?" Laham asks. "I have no fuel now for my car. Where can I go? Freedom is a slogan. Even for a donkey you need money – which I don’t have."

Three years ago, before Israel withdrew, Mawassi was a town of fertile corn crops and greenhouses, which – like the ones in the Jewish settlements – grew cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and strawberries.

Now, in the ethnic Palestinian section of town, nearly half the land lies barren.

Only shells remain of many of the greenhouses that were stripped of valuable materials.

A city that fed itself with its produce and the money its men made from working with the settlers, Mawassi is now dependent on food handouts from the United Nations.

Like the rest of Gaza, its people lack cooking gas and petrol, even if they feel more secure without Israeli soldiers all around them.

In the Bedouin section of town, Salem al-Bahabsa sits with five of his 24 grandchildren in front of his chicken coop. Goats and sheep wander around the other parts of the Bedouin quarter, where people live mostly in tents with tin roofs.

"We are all now unemployed and depend on charity for food," Mr. Bahabsa says. "My sons were farmers in the greenhouses. We worked in the settlements and had resources. Now, I don’t think I could survive without [the UN]…. Before was better."

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 21, 2008

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