Saturday, January 31, 2015

Obama needs Bibi like Chamberlain needed Churchill

From Forbes, 28 Jan 2015:

It is fitting and proper–indeed essential for our very security–that Speaker John Boehner has extended an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran and its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them anywhere in the world. The invitation has bipartisan support because many members on both sides of the aisle recognize the fundamental threat to world peace that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose. Like Winston Churchill in the 1930s with Nazi Germany, Netanyahu has been sounding the alarm about Iran’s ominous nuclear and terrorist activities.

It’s a message much of Europe and even segments of the US, particularly in the Obama administration, don’t want to hear. The President has made clear his intense dislike of Israel’s prime minister and his refusal to keep quiet about Obama’s desire to conclude a Neville Chamberlain-like deal with Teheran. In a flagrant interference in another country’s election, Obama operatives are working hard in Israel to help bring down the courageous Prime Minister.

Congress needs to hear first-hand the truth about what Iran is doing and the dreadful implications of those activities.

...The basic problem is that the Obama administration wants a deal–any deal–with Teheran and the other parties to the talks are willing to go along in order to snag business contracts with Iran, oblivious to the implications of a radical regime that will be in the position to get the Bomb any time it wants.

Appeasers argue that containment will work with a nuclear-armed Iran just as it did with the old Soviet Union during the Cold War and thus there is nothing to really worry about. Israel and other Mideast nations know better.

The Iranian government, despite the immense corruption of many of its leaders, is a revolutionary regime. Its actions over the years demonstrate that the rhetoric of its officials is more than just hot air. Iran is terror central. It bankrolls and provides arms to Hamas, Hezbollah and all sorts of Islamic terrorists organizations. If the US tacitly concedes its resignation to Iran becoming a nuclear power, then other countries will follow suite in creating their own nukes, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

...Ominously Iran has apparently developed an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach not only Israel but also Europe. It won’t be many years before the mullahs can aim nuclear tipped missiles against the US. No surprise, the current negotiations don’t cover Iranian missile development.

...It is not only Israel that is appalled by what Iran is up to. When Israel very nearly undertook preemptive action against Teheran in 2012, countries such as Saudi Arabia were remarkably open about their support for Israeli military actions that would destroy or cripple Iran’s nuclear facilities.

President Obama is either oblivious to all this or feels that in his perverted worldview, these things don’t much matter. Iran knows Obama desperately wants an agreement. It figures that the more it refuses to accept Obama’s willingness to surrender, the more concessions he will offer.

And spin to the contrary, an agreement will be a surrender. For all intents and purposes, Iran will be allowed to make a nuclear device any time it wishes. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will proclaim that if Teheran goes to make the Bomb, the US will have plenty of time to stop them before the Iranians can actually do it. Nonsense. It is has already crossed a very difficult threshold on uranium enrichment. The mullahs are moving ahead on the plutonium front. Teheran has brazenly blocked the International Atomic Energy Agency from access to its nuclear installations.

Congress is considering legislation proposed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D., NJ) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) that would impose stiff sanctions on Iran if an agreement is not reached by the deadline of June 30. Twice before, negotiation deadlines have been extended. This would effectively tell Iran, put up or shut up. Obama is naturally opposed. He wants nothing that might jeopardize his dangerous course of abject appeasement of an evil regime. The President outrageously dragooned British Prime Minister to play the role of unregistered lobbyist to call Senators to block the Menendez-Kirk bill.

Which gets to why Speaker John Boehner was well within his bounds to extend that invitation to Netanyahu. Such a momentous treaty with Iran as desired by Obama must, under the Constitution, be submitted to the US Senate for ratification.

Obama has trampled on the Constitution time and again–making laws and changing laws at will–and wants no Congressional involvement precisely because the resultant debate would glaringly show what a dangerously miserable deal he had cut.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, recently declared: “The more I hear from the [Obama] Administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Teheran.” 

When President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address that Iran has “halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” the guffaws could be loudly heard from every intelligence agency in the world.

Congress is a separate branch of government. Hearing directly from Netanyahu is well within its prerogatives, especially on a matter as critical as this...

Jews funding Israel's vilification

From Algemeiner, 26 Jan 2015, by Ronn Torossian:

...Needless to say, this is a dangerous time for Jews around the world. Radical Islam has made it clear that its agenda is to kill as many Jews as possible, and to eliminate Israel. Yet, there are those hopefuls who maintain that it is the fault of the Jews for all that ails Islam. They believe that if Jews would only act correctly, whatever that means, there would be no war, no poverty, and no joblessness and hopelessness among the Muslims – and all would be serene.

What is scary is that some of these hopefuls are Jews themselves, and are connected to an organization called the New Israel Fund – a cleverly devised name to fool the na├»ve and well-intended into donating money towards Israel’s detriment.

The New Israel Fund, or NIF, is a chief funder of many of the actions and organizations that seek to see Israel criminalized in world courts, to promote the downfall of Israel’s economy, and to usher in a state of Palestine absent any considerable Jewish presence. 

So how do they do it, and what keeps them going?

New Israel Fund is a fund aggregator that draws money under the guise of being pro-Israel, and metes it out to sub-organizations that have very real anti-Israel agendas. They make no attempts to hide it either.

B’tselem, for example, is a major grantee of the NIF – and it vigorously works to shame the IDF and its soldiers in the world media.

Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shtika) is now engaging in an “investigation” into Israel’s actions in Gaza, with the hope of seeing the ICC file formal charges against Israeli leaders.

Then there is Adalah, which sends missionaries around the globe, instructing them on local and international methods of charging various Israeli government entities with any number of crimes and violations – so that Israel gets tied up in minor legal battles around the world, thus distracting personnel and freezing up money.

NIF also claims to be against attempts to boycott Israel, but among its very active grantees are groups such as the Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF,) which spends a good deal of its resources pushing Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) initiatives on American college campuses and in corporate circles.

The brutal and bloody hacking to death of Jews in an Israeli synagogue did not stir too many people outside of Israel, but the brutal killing of an entire newspaper staff in Paris did. Those Jews who died in the Paris kosher supermarket were mourned by the world because their deaths were tied to the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo staff, and then people cared.

The New Israel Fund is funded by American Jewish foundations, including The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation. Given their other support patterns, they likely do not know how the NIF works to undermine Israel.

Sally Gottesman is another example. She gives to the NIF’s initiatives for women, but would probably give directly to her causes if she were aware of the NIF’s duplicitous nature. The same can be said of Dr. Gabor T. Herman.

Yet there are other donors, such as the Juliane M. Heyman 2008 Charitable Remainder Unitrust. Its donations to other organizations are relatively small, making its donation to the NIF uncharacteristically large. The managers of this fund might be in full support of anti-Israel messaging, knowing full-well just where the money is going.

The New Israel Fund and its many grantees hurt Israel. There is no two ways about it, and given the times we are living in, Israel and Jews have enough on our plates without having to worry about deep cuts from within.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hezbollah Attack on Israel Seen as Part of ‘Iranian Project’ on Syria Terror Base

From Algemeiner, January 29, 2015:

Two IDF soldiers were killed and seven others wounded jeep in a Hezbollah rocket attack on a jeep on the Lebanon border. Photo: Ch.2 screenshot.
Two IDF soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in a Hezbollah rocket attack on a jeep on the Lebanon border. Photo: Ch.2 screenshot.

Who was behind Wednesday’s attack on northern Israel that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others? The easy answer would be the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, which claimed responsibility for the attack. But the longer view points to Hezbollah’s state sponsor: Iran.

 Dr. Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at Israel’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, said that Hezbollah’s actions represent “an attempt to change the strategic rules of the game.” According to Karmon, Iran and Hezbollah have been working for months to take advantage of instability in Syria in order to create a forward military position against Israel in Syria’s Quneitra region, close to the triple Syria-Lebanon-Israel border.
“This is actually an Iranian project,...They have around 1,500 people on the ground in Syria, most of which are counseling or training Syrian militias, and they have Hezbollah providing military support.”
On Wednesday, Hezbollah fired five Kornet guided anti-tank missiles at a Israeli military convoy approximately 2.5 miles inside Israel’s border with Lebanon. A day earlier, less sophisticated mortars were fired from southern Syria into Israeli territory, with no damage reported.
...Netanyahu—like Karmon—stressed that the attack leads back to Iran, adding that “with the assistance of Hezbollah, Iran has been for some time trying to open another front against Israel on the Golan Heights. We are acting with force and determination against these attempts.”
“Because of the weakness of the Syrian regime, the Iranians are now permitted to have a foothold directly on Israel’s border, which until now they didn’t have,” Karmon told

Israel is widely believed to be responsible for a Jan. 18 airstrike against that foothold in southern Syria, which killed six Hezbollah operatives and six Iranians, including notorious Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh and Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allahdadi.

Karmon believes the airstrike “was a message sent by Israel” to forewarn Iran and Hezbollah not to continue their military efforts in Syrian territory.

The retaliatory attacks by Hezbollah following the deadly airstrike were widely expected. That the more sophisticated Kornet anti-tank missiles were fired from Lebanon and not Syria provides a strong indication that the Syrian position is not as well-stocked with weaponry as southern Lebanon—a zone that was supposed remain completely demilitarized according to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which arranged for the cessation of hostilities following the Second Lebanon War of 2006.
“Resolution 1701 calls for complete disarmament in Southern Lebanon, and yet Hezbollah, instead of disarming, they have amassed some 80,000-90,000 missiles,” Karmon said.
“Now they want to achieve the same equation in southern Syria. If Israel will not stop them, and there are two to three years with relative quiet, with only occasional penetrations of our border and sometimes mortar fire and so on, a kind of ‘war of attrition,’ then all of a sudden we will find ourselves staring at 5,000-10,000 missiles...” ...
According to Karmon, Israel’s enemies were making progress in their strategic advances in Syria. He suggested that the Israeli airstrike was an “attack against the Iranian and Hezbollah command delegation to this area, that was preparing the implementation of this project.”
In a statement, Hezbollah called Wednesday’s attack into Israel a “first announcement” carried out by the “fallen martyrs of the Quneitra brigade,” an indication that Hezbollah may have additional retaliatory measures in store. But these retaliations may not necessarily come in the form of another direct attack Israeli soil, which would likely bait Israel into yet another round of strikes and potentially kickstart a wider military conflict.

Karmon believes that Israel “can decide that from its point of view that this round of the conflict is finished.” Yet Hezbollah’s statement lends itself to additional rounds of rocket fire or other acts of terror.
“I think there is a high probability that Hezbollah will try an operation abroad,” Karmon said.
Over the past three to four years, Hezbollah has made several attempts to attack Israel-related targets. Hezbollah is widely believed to be responsible for the July 2012 bombing at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria, which targeted a bus carrying 42 Israelis who had just arrived on a flight from Tel Aviv. The bus driver and five Israelis were killed, and 32 Israelis were injured.

In October 2014, a suspected Hezbollah operative was arrested in Lima, Peru. Karmon noted that according to media reports, that Peruvian law enforcement likely received intelligence by Israel’s Mossad, indicating that Hezbollah sought to target Israelis and Jews in Peru—including the Israeli Embassy in Lima—and other Jewish community institutions.

Yet even with the threats to the Israeli homefront and Israeli-related targets abroad, Karmon contends that Hezbollah is likely not trying to bait Israel into an all-out war.
“Iran and Hezbollah know that if Israel entered to into a major military attack on the Syrian border, [Syrian President] Bashar Assad will fall. Clearly, they need Assad to stay in power,” Karmon said.
“In Lebanon, Hezbollah knows that if Israel launches a full-scale operation, all the Christians and Sunnis, and even most of the Shi’a Muslims will fight against [Hezbollah], so they have to play brinksmanship, on the one hand to advance their plan to take control of this territory, and on the other hand hoping that Israel will not dare to stop them...” ...
Whether or not there is an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah “depends very much on the decision of the Israeli government, not just today, but in the near future... ”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pull your head in, Beinart

From Arutz Sheva, 27 Jan 2015, by Benyamin Korn and Moshe Philips
Peter Beinart should be intellectually honest enough to admit that he erred about Palestinian incitement.

On January 15, [notorious Jewish Israel-basher] Peter Beinart declared that Palestinians who hate Israel never claim that they were inspired by anti-Israel incitement.

Just six days later, on January 21, a Palestinian who stabbed twelve Israelis on a Tel Aviv bus said he was inspired by "radical Islamic broadcasts."

Beinart is a CNN commentator, a columnist for Haaretz, and a fellow at a liberal think think, the New America Foundation. He made a splash in 2012 in the Jewish world with his book The Crisis of Zionism, in which he called for a boycott of Israelis who reside in areas beyond the pre-1967 armistice line.

Appearing on the "Voice of Israel" radio show on January 15, Beinart attempted to explain Palestinians hatred of Israel and Jews. Here's what he said:
"I know a lot of Palestinians who hate Israel, in fact I would say almost all the Palestinians I know hate Israel, but when I ask them why they hate Israel, and I've talked many, many, many times with people about this, they don't mention textbooks, or movies, or names of streets that have terrorists on them…But what they tell me, what I hear about, again and again and again, is the personal trauma and suffering that they and people they love have experienced."
Hamza Matrouk, the 23 year-old Palestinian who stabbed and slashed a dozen Israeli bus passengers in Tel Aviv, told the police that he was motivated in part by "radical Islamic broadcasts that spoke of 'reaching paradise'. 'He said he decided to achieve that by carrying out an attack,' a police spokesman said."

A friend of Matrouk's told the Palestinian news service Maan that the night before the attack, "Hamza and I hung out with friends in the camp until 11 p.m. and we had fun. He was laughing and kidding." Strange--no hint of all the "trauma" and "suffering" that Peter Beinart thinks is what motivates Palestinian haters and terrorists....

... The Tel Aviv stabber has slashed to pieces Beinart's attempt to minimize the role of Palestinian incitement. Beinart should [acknowledge his error].

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Adolf Eichmann hoped his ‘Arab friends’ would continue his battle against the Jews

Over Christmas I finally got around to reading Eichmann Before Jerusalem by Bettina Stangneth.  I cannot recommend this book... highly enough.  It challenges and indeed changes nearly all received wisdom about the leading figure behind the genocide of European Jews during World War II.

Eichmann; unrepentant mass-murderer in the dock in Jerusalem
The title of course refers to Hannah Arendt’s omnipresent and over-praised account of Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial, Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil.  I would say that Stangneth’s book not merely surpasses but actually buries Arendt’s account.  Not least in showing how Arendt was fooled by Eichmann’s role-play in the dock in Jerusalem.  For whereas Arendt famously portrayed the man in the glass booth as a type of bureaucrat, Stangneth shows not only that Eichmann was not the man Arendt took him to be, but that she fell for a very carefully curated and prepared performance.  Putting together a whole library of scattered documents from Eichmann’s exile in Argentina in the 1950s, Stangneth puts the actual, unrepentant Eichmann back centre stage.
There are a number of startling discoveries in the book, not least among them being the extent to which Eichmann had kept up with the books and scholarship on the Holocaust as they came out so that by the time he was awaiting trial in Jerusalem he was fully on top of all primary and secondary material put to him.  There is also the extent to which Stangneth is able to show (through accounts from various members of the South America Nazi circles) how well known the true identity of ‘Ricardo Klement’ actually was within the German expat community in those years.
But Stangneth’s principle scholarly triumph has been her ability to piece together and make sense of the extant transcripts and recordings known as the Sassen conversations.  Together with Eichmann’s contemporary attempts at memoir-writing they bring a wholly new interpretation on his years in Argentina.  These conversations – recorded by the journalist and Nazi Willem Sassen in the 1950s – came to light before Eichmann went on trial.  But in Jerusalem Eichmann threw doubt on their authenticity and for this reason (as well as the complex dissemination and distribution of the transcripts plus disputes over ownership as well as attempts to disown them) the complete picture of these interviews has taken until now to come to light.  Stangneth’s work on these materials is extraordinary and the results more than reward her considerable efforts.  For instance she shows that those who participated in the conversations (including Sassen himself) tried very hard to cover over exactly what had gone on after Eichmann was abducted by the Mossad.  And Stangneth startlingly shows the extent to which these discussions were far from being one-on-one interviews but were in fact semi-public events.
The nature of these events, and their content, is of considerable contemporary as well as historical relevance.  For two reasons in particular.  The first relates to the ongoing European discussion of free speech and Holocaust denial laws.  Because Stangneth shows that as an increasing amount of information on the Holocaust came to light in the 1950s the immediate reaction of the remaining Nazis and neo-Nazis in South America was denial.  Some of the Argentina Nazis sincerely believed that the Federal German Republic would not last and that their belief system might yet return to save the German people.  But even these remote fantasists realised that the news of the Holocaust presented problems for their rehabilitation.  And so they hoped to expose the Holocaust.  Their first attempts were not only crude but were swiftly overtaken by an unstoppable flood of information and scholarship.  By the mid-1950s even the most committed remaining Nazis clearly found ignoring the weight of evidence to be an uphill struggle.  And so this group of Nazis in South America, brought together by Sassen, thought that Eichmann might provide the solution to their quandary.  They believed that Eichmann would be able to help them not just because he had been the person most closely involved in the Nazi programmes against the Jews, but as the man cited at Nuremberg as having first used the six million figure.  The Buenos Aires Nazis assumed that if they got Eichmann on record then they could show the world that the six million figure was a lie, or at least a great exaggeration.
By this point Eichmann was also thinking of breaking his cover in some way.  In 1956 he once again attempted to write a book, this time provisionally titled Die anderen sprachen, jetzt will ich sprechen [The Others Spoke, Now I Want to Speak!].  But the conversations with the Sassen circle – which came from the same instinct of his to break his silence – turned out to constitute an attempt to square an impossible circle.  For Eichmann saw the Sassen circle’s efforts to minimize the Holocaust as something like a spitting on his life’s work.  Eichmann knew that the six million figure was accurate, and seems to have only gradually realised that his audience were hoping for something quite different from him.  The discussions clearly broke down under this unresolvable issue.  Among the reasons why I would suggest that this has some contemporary relevance is that it is the clearest possible reminder of how in open discussion even the people most committed to trying to prove the Holocaust did not occur (former leading Nazi officials) ended up being unable to disprove the facts. On that occasion – as so often – they slunk away.
But the second reason why Stangneth’s book seems relevant for more than historical reasons is because of what it tells us about a stream of poison which remains very much at the centre of current events.
In The Others Spoke, Now I Want to Speak! (the reference is to his former colleagues who – in another un-square-able moment – Eichmann believed had defamed him at Nuremberg) he had the opportunity to write about the recent Suez Crisis.  Here is one passage Stangneth quotes which was new to me at least.
‘And while we are considering all this – we, who are still searching for clarity on whether (and if yes, how far) we assisted in what were in fact damnable events during the war – current events knock us down and take our breath away.  For Israeli bayonets are now overrunning the Egyptian people, who have been startled from their peaceful sleep.  Israeli tanks and armored cars are tearing through Sinai, firing and burning, and Israeli air squadrons are bombing peaceful Egyptian villages and towns.  For the second time since 1945, they are invading… Who are the aggressors here?  Who are the war criminals?  The victims are Egyptians, Arabs, Mohammedans.  Amon and Allah, I fear that, following what was exercised on the Germans in 1945, Your Egyptian people will have to do penance, to all the people of Israel, to the main aggressor and perpetrator against humanity in the Middle East, to those responsible for the murdered Muslims, as I said, Your Egyptian people will have to do penance for having the temerity to want to live on their ancestral soil… We all know the reasons why, beginning in the Middle Ages and from then on in an unbroken sequence, a lasting discord arose between the Jews and their host nation, Germany.’
There then follows an extraordinary and important passage.  For Eichmann goes on to say that if he himself were ever found guilty of any crime it would only be ‘for political reasons’.  He tries to argue that a guilty verdict against him would be ‘an impossibility in international law’ but goes on to say that he could never obtain justice ‘in the so-called Western culture.’  The reason for this is obvious enough: because in the Christian Bible ‘to which a large part of Western thought clings, it is expressly established that everything sacred came from the Jews.’  Western culture has, for Eichmann, been irrevocably Judaised. And so Eichmann looks to a different group, to the ‘large circle of friends, many millions of people’ to whom this manuscript is aimed:
‘But you, you 360 million Mohammedans, to whom I have had a strong inner connection since the days of my association with your Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, you, who have a greater truth in the surahs of your Koran, I call upon you to pass judgment on me.  You children of Allah have known the Jews longer and better than the West has.  Your noble Muftis and scholars of law may sit in judgement upon me and, at least in a symbolic way, give me your verdict.’ [pp 227-8]
Elsewhere Stangneth shows how open Eichmann must have been in his admiration for Israel’s neighbours.  After Eichmann’s abduction his family apparently became concerned about his second son.  According to a police report, ‘As Horst was easily excitable the Eichmann family was afraid that when he heard about his father’s fate, he might volunteer to fight for the Arab countries in campaigns against Israel.’  As Stangneth adds,
‘Eichmann had obviously told his children where his new troops were to be found.’ [229]
Of course for years after the war there were rumours that Eichmann had fled to an Arab country.  He might have had a better time there.  Other Nazis certainly did, including Alois Brunner – Eichmann’s ‘best man’ – who settled in Damascus after the war and who is now believed to have died in Syria as recently as 2010.  Eichmann’s Argentina years were certainly filled with frustration and rage.  What is most interesting is how mentally caught he remained even before he was captured, principally by the impossible conundrum of how to persuade the world to accept what he had done and simultaneously boast about his role in the worst genocide in history.
There is much more to say about this book.  But I do urge people to read it.  Not least for the way in which Stangneth sums up the problem with the only strain of Nazi history which really remains strong to this day. 
 ‘Eichmann refused to do penance and longed for applause.  But first and foremost, of course, he hoped his “Arab friends” would continue his battle against the Jews ...  He hadn’t managed to complete his task of “total annihilation,” but the Muslims could still complete it for him.’

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Islamic State sets up in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

From Gatestone Institute, 23 Jan 2015, by Khaled Abu Toameh:

...Hamas and other Palestinian groups are continuing to deny the obvious, namely that the Islamic State terror group has managed to set up bases of power in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians do not feel comfortable talking about the fact that Islamic State is working hard to recruit Palestinians to its ranks.

The presence of Islamic State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an embarrassing development for both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

For Hamas, the fact that Islamic State has long been operating in the Gaza Strip is something that it does not want the world to know about.

Hamas cannot afford a situation where another Islamist terror group poses a challenge to its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip. Since it seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has successfully suppressed the emergence of rival forces, first and foremost the secular Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

But if until recently it was Fatah that posed a challenge and threat to Hamas's rule, now it is the Islamic State and its supporters in the Gaza Strip are openly defying the Islamist movement's regime.
When the first reports about Islamic State's presence in the Gaza Strip emerged last year, Hamas and other Palestinians were quick to dismiss them as "false."

Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official, said in February 2014 that the Islamic State "does not exist" in the Gaza Strip.

This week, however, it became evident that Hamas was lying when it denied the presence of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip.

Some 200 supporters of the Islamic State, who held up Islamic State flags, took to the streets of Gaza City to protest the latest cartoons published by the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.
The protesters tried to storm the offices of the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. They also chanted slogans that called for slaughtering French nationals, and burned the French flag.

Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. Some in the crowd carried posters glorifying the terrorists who carried out this month's attacks in Paris. (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

The protest apparently caught Hamas by surprise. Hamas security forces that were rushed to the scene dispersed the protesters and arrested seven Islamic State supporters.

Attempts by Hamas to impose a news blackout on the Islamic State protest failed, as photos and videos of the demonstration found their way to social media. Needless to say, Hamas-affiliated media outlets ignored the protest. They were hoping that the world would also not see the Islamic State demonstrators on the streets of Gaza City.

Hamas's biggest fear is that scenes of Islamic State supporters marching in the heart of Gaza City will scare international donors and dissuade them from providing badly needed funds for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also afraid that Western officials working with the United Nations and relief agencies will stop visiting the Gaza Strip after watching the footage of Islamic State supporters.

In recent weeks, it has also become evident that Islamic State has some kind of a presence in the West Bank -- a fact that poses a serious threat to Abbas's Palestinian Authority [PA].
Just last week, Israel announced arrests of members of an Islamic State terror cell in the West Bank city of Hebron. The three Palestinian members of the cell confessed during interrogation that had planned to launch a series of terror attacks against Israel. The three suspects were identified as Waddah Shehadeh, 22, Fayyad al-Zaru, 21 and Qusai Maswaddeh, 23.

Until recently, Hamas was considered the number one threat to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Now, however, it has become evident that Islamic State is also trying to set up bases of power in the West Bank. According to Israeli security sources, dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank have defected to Islamic State in recent months. Their main goal, the sources, said, is to topple the PA and launch terror attacks on Israel.

Abbas is lucky that the Israeli security forces are still operating in the West Bank, including inside cities and towns controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Were it not for the IDF and various branches of the Israeli security establishment, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Islamic State would have toppled the Palestinian Authority and beheaded Abbas and his officials a long time ago.

Still, Abbas does not feel comfortable acknowledging the fact that a growing number of Palestinians in the West Bank are joining Islamic State. Abbas fears is that if he admits that Islamic State is already operating in the West Bank, this could dissuade many Western countries from supporting his effort to persuade the world to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Like Hamas, Abbas also fears that Westerners would stop visiting Ramallah and other West Bank Palestinian cities once they learn about Islamic State's presence in these areas.

Although Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are continuing to bury their heads in the sand and deny what is there, they cannot avoid responsibility for the emergence of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The glorification of terrorists and jihadists by the PA and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement by both the PA and Hamas, are driving many Palestinians into the open arms of the Islamic State.

This is something that the UN Security Council members will have to consider the next time they are asked to vote in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state. Otherwise, they will be voting for the creation of an Islamic, and not a Palestinian, state.

Go to hell, Europe

From Spengler, 21 January 2015:

... even the best-intentioned Europeans feel their skin crawl in the presence of the sort of Jews who represent the future of the Jewish people: those who follow Jewish tradition, raise Jewish families, and embrace the cause of Zionism. 

Europeans adore secular Israelis who wallow in existential doubts...

Jews like Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister and leader of the Jewish Home party, give them the creeps.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter much whether the assimilated, secularized Jews of Europe stay or leave, for most of their children and very few of their grandchildren will be Jewish. Among non-Orthodox French and British Jews, intermarriage rates are around 45%, not as alarming as the 71% among non-Orthodox U.S. Jews and 80% among Russian and Ukrainian Jews, but high enough to sharply reduce Jewish numbers over a generation or two.

Except for a minority of non-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews, the impassioned and engaged Jews whose children and grandchildren will be Jewish identify strongly with the state of Israel.

The infertile and feckless Europeans don’t have much of a future, either; at present fertility rates, the German and Italian languages will disappear altogether in two hundred years. It is easy for them to swap existential spit with denatured secular Jews who don’t have a future, either. Religious Jews are most likely to leave, for they depend on communal institutions — synagogues, schools, kosher food providers, and so forth — that offer easily identifiable targets for terrorists.

It’s been so long since Europeans took their own national identity seriously that it’s hard for them to remember why it is that they can’t stand the sort of Jew who represents the Jewish future. One has to put them on the proverbial couch and coax it out of them:
Europeans hate Jews because European national identity from the outset was a dreadful parody of Jewish identity. 
One learns this most clearly from the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, who argued the secret of European identity was the desire of every nation to be chosen in the flesh.

As I wrote in this space on the anniversary of the First World War, “The unquiet urge of each nation to be chosen in its own skin began with the first conversion of Europe’s pagans; it was embedded in European Christendom at its founding. Christian chroniclers cast the newly-baptized European monarchs in the role of biblical kings, and their nations in the role of the biblical Israel.

The first claims to national election came at the crest of the early Dark Ages, from the sixth-century chronicler St Gregory of Tours (538-594), and the seventh-century Iberian churchman St Isidore of Seville… Transmuting the barbarian invaders who infested the ruined empire of the Romans into Christians was perhaps the most remarkable political accomplishment in world history, but it required a bit of flimflam that had ghastly consequences over the long term. The filth of the old European paganism accumulated in the tangled bowels of Europe until the terrible events of 1914-1945 released it.”

When real Americans — the kind of Americans who identify with the American Founding — meet real Jews — the kind of Jews who embrace Israel’s past and future — there is an instant sympathy, for Jews remind Americans of what is best in their character: the new mission in the Wilderness, the vision of a new City on a hill.

New England was settled in response to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, and as many German Protestants — the losers in that war — came to America as Englishmen.

When Europeans meet Jews, we remind them of what was worst in their character: the lampoon of Jewish identity that infected European nationalism. The Nazi delusion of a “Master Race, ” after all, was a satanic parody of the Election of Israel. In the past, each European nation that fancied itself God’s instrument on earth set out to humiliate, expel, or even exterminate the Jews, for how could France or Spain or Russia or Germany be the Chosen Nation when the Jews claimed that status? Old Europe hated the Jews because it envied election; New Europe hates the Jews because it eschews election altogether. The old hatred suppurates and boils under the ectoderm of the new hatred.

...After three devastating wars lasting two generations each — the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, the Napoleonic Wars of 1799-1815, and the two World Wars of the 20th century — the Europeans grew weary of their contentious national identities. They agreed to become nothing in particular.

Patriotism is an obscenity in Germany, a joke in Italy, a curse in Spain, a relic in England, and a faux pas in France. To declare one’s self a Jewish patriot, a Zionist, transgresses the boundary of civilized discourse in today’s Europe. Personally, I find this disappointing; I speak three European languages apart from English and have nothing to say to anybody in any of them.

So when we hear expressions of sympathy from European leaders who treasure their Jewish communities, but tell Israel not to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, and propose to concoct a Palestinian State without an end-of-hostilities agreement from the Arab side, our instinctive and correct response is to send them to hell....