Archive for the ‘Israel’ category

Report: Trump May Exit Peace Talks After ‘Tense’ Kushner/Abbas Meeting

June 24, 2017

Report: Trump May Exit Peace Talks After ‘Tense’ Kushner/Abbas Meeting, Jerusalem Post, Asser Okbi/ Maariv Haskavua, Jpost.Com Staff, June 24, 2017

(“Abbas angrily accused Kushner and Trump’s lead international negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, of taking Israel’s side. . . ” After the Obama administration, he must be shocked. — DM)

Abbas and Kushner. (photo credit:REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump is reportedly weighing whether to pull out of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations following a “tense” meeting with White House senior staff and officials in Ramallah, according to London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat on Saturday.

The report claimed that Trump is to determine the future of reigniting Mideast peace talks in the near future, including  the possibility of withdrawing completely from the process.

The al-Hayat report came just days after a meeting between the administration’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which was described as “tense” by an Abbas advisor present at the talks.

Abbas was supposedly furious with the president’s son-in-law after Kushner relayed Israeli demands to the 81-year-old Palestinian leader which included the immediate halt of payments to terrorists and their families.

Abbas angrily accused Kushner and Trump’s lead international negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, of taking Israel’s side and refused to commit to the request.

The report claims that the Trump administration was equally upset with Abbas after he failed to denounce the latest stabbing attack in Jerusalem, leaving 23-year-old St.-Sgt. Maj. Hadas Malka brutally stabbed to death in a terror attack last week. Ties were further strained after Abbas reportedly refused to meet  American ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The Palestinian official also told the paper that the Americans demanded Palestinian officials curb inflammatory statements regarding Israel.

“(Kushner) will submit his report to the president and, after it is submitted, Trump will decide if there’s a chance for negotiations or it might be preferable to pull out peace talks,” the official said.

Abbas claimed that Israel is using the issue of payments to terrorists and their families as a pretext to avoid entering peace-talks, saying that the payments are a part of the Palestinian government’s “social responsibility.”

U.S.: Strategic Objectives in the Middle East

June 22, 2017

U.S.: Strategic Objectives in the Middle East, Gatestone InstitutePeter Huessy, June 22, 2017

On relations with the Palestinian Authority, the administration has moved to improve matters but has not moved to advocate a two-state solution — for which there is no contemplated security framework sufficient to protect Israel.

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The new “test” of our alliance will be whether the assembled nations will join in removing the hateful parts of such a doctrine from their communities.

What still has to be considered is the U.S. approach to stopping Iran from filling the vacuum created by ridding the region of the Islamic State (ISIS), as well as Iran’s push for extending its path straight through to the Mediterranean.

The tectonic plates in the Middle East have shifted markedly with President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and his announced new regional policy.

The trip represented the beginning of a major but necessary shift in US security policy.

For much of the last nearly half-century, American Middle East policy has been centered on the “peace process” and how to bring Israel and the Palestinians to agreement on a “two-state” solution for two peoples — a phrase that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to say.

First was shuttle diplomacy during 1973-74 in the Nixon administration; then second, in 1978, the Camp David agreement and the recognition of Israel by Egypt, made palatable by $7 billion in new annual US assistance to the two nations; third, the anti-Hizballah doctrine, recently accurately described by National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster, as Iran, since 1983, started spreading its terror to Lebanon and elsewhere in the region. This last effort was often excused by many American and European analysts as a result somehow, of supposed American bad faith. Fourth, came the birth, in 1992, of the “Oslo Accords” where some Israelis and Palestinians imagined that a two-state solution was just another round of negotiations away.

Ironically, during the decade after Oslo, little peace was achieved; instead, terror expanded dramatically. The Palestinians launched three wars, “Intifadas,” against Israel; Al Qaeda launched its terror attacks on U.S. Embassies in Africa; and Iran, Hizballah, and Al Qaeda together carried out the forerunner attacks against America of 9/11/2001.

Since 9/11, despite wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, terrorism has not only failed to recede; on the contrary, it has expanded. Iran has become the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, and the Islamic State (ISIS) has tried to establish a transnational “Islamic caliphate.” Literally tens of thousands of terror attacks have been carried out since 9/11 by those claiming an Islamic duty to do so. These assaults on Western civilization have taken place on bridges, cafes, night clubs, offices, military recruitment centers, theaters, markets, and sporting events — not only across the West but also in countries where Muslims have often been the primary victims.

Particularly condemnable have been the improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, perpetrated to a great extent by Iran, according to U.S. military testimony before Congress.

All the while, we in the West keep trying to convince ourselves that, as a former American president thought, if there were a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, most of the terrorist attacks we see in Europe and the United States “would disappear.”

No matter how hard we may rhetorically push the “peace process”, there is no arc of history that bends naturally in that direction. Rather, nations such as the United States together with its allies must create those alliances best able to meet the challenges to peace and especially defeat the totalitarian elements at the core of Islamist ideology.

If anything, the so-called Middle East “peace process” has undercut chances of achieving a sound U.S. security policy. While the search for a solution to the Israel-Palestinian “problem” dominated American thinking about Middle East peace for so many decades, other far more serious threats materialized but were often ignored, not the least of which was the rise of Iran as the world’s most aggressive terrorist.

The United States has now moved in a markedly more promising and thoughtful direction.

The new American administration has put together an emerging coalition of nations led by the United States that seeks five objectives:

(1) the defeat of Islamic State;

(2) the formation of a coalition of the major Arab nations, especially Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to clean up in their own back yards financing terrorism and providing terrorists with sanctuary. As Elliott Abrams, an adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush, cautions us, however, this will not be an easy effort: “Partnerships with repressive regimes may in some cases exacerbate rather than solve the problem for us” but, Abrams says, “gradual reform is exactly the right approach…”;

3) “driving out” sharia-inspired violence and human rights abuses from the region’s mosques and madrassas;

(4) a joint partnership with Israel as part of an emerging anti-Iran coalition — without letting relations with the Palestinian authority derail United States and Israeli security interests; and

(5) the adoption of a strategy directly to challenge Iran’s quest for regional and Islamic hegemony, while ending its role in terrorism.

Defeating Islamic State

Defeating ISIS began with an accelerated military campaign and a new American-led strategy to destroy the organization rather than to seek its containment. According to the new U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, “Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis. (Dept. of Defense/Brigitte N. Brantley)

So far, the United States coalition has driven ISIS from 55,000 square kilometers of territory in Iraq and Syria.

A New Coalition

Apart from a strategy to counter ISIS, the Trump administration also called on our allies in the Middle East to put together a new joint multi-state effort to stop financing terrorism. Leading the multi-state effort will be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, which together will supposedly open a new center dedicated to the elimination of terrorist financing. Positive results are not guaranteed, but it is a step in the right direction.

According to Abdul Hadi Habtoor, the center will exchange information about financing networks, adopt means to cut off funding from terrorist groups, and hopefully blacklist Iran’s jihadist army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). These measures in turn will help eliminate the sanctuaries from which terrorists plot and plan.

This move also places emphasis on the responsibility of states to eliminate terrorism. As President Trump said, each country — where it is sovereign — has to “carry the weight of their own self-defense“, be “pro-active” and responsible for “eradicating terrorism”, and “to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil”.

This determination was underscored by many Arab countries breaking diplomatic relations with Qatar for its support of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. Most of Qatar’s Arab neighbors, including the Saudis, Egypt, and the UAE did so, while the US, although denouncing Qatar’s support of terrorism, continues to maintain access to, and use of, its critical military base there.

In short, the U.S. is playing good-cop, bad-cop in the region, while U.S. allies are putting together what Josh Rogin of the Washington Post described as “a regional security architecture encompassing countries on the periphery of Iran.”

Such an approach is not without risk: Turkey, allied with Iran and Qatar, has already has pledged to help Qatar defy the Gulf States’ trade cut-off. If Turkey, for example, seeks to move its promised aid shipments to Qatar through the Suez Canal, the ships could possibly be blocked by Egypt or attacked on the high seas. Does the U.S. then come to the assistance of a NATO member — Turkey — against an ally in the strategic coalition?

Drive Hateful Ideology Out

A companion challenge by the new American President underscored this new security effort. President Trump said to the assembled nations of the Islamic conference that they have to expel the ugly Islamist ideology from the mosques and madrassas that recruit terrorists and justify their actions.

Trump said: “Drive them out of your places of worship”. Such words had never been spoken so clearly by an American president, especially to the collection of nearly all the Islamic-majority countries (minus the Shi’ite bloc) gathered together.

The president’s audience doubtless understood that he was speaking of the doctrine of sharia (Islamic law). The new “test” of our alliance will be whether the assembled nations will join in removing the hateful parts of the doctrine from their communities. It was a sharp but critical departure from the previous American administration’s message in Cairo in 2009, and placed the Islamic doctrine that seeks to establish the sharia throughout the world in a contained context.

New Israeli Partnership

With Israel, the administration has cemented the next part of its strategy. Here the Trump administration successfully improved our political and military relations with Israel. Markedly so. One part of that effort was enhanced missile-defense cooperation called for in the FY18 United States defense budget, specifically to deal with Iranian and Iranian-allied missile threats.

On relations with the Palestinian Authority, the administration has moved to improve matters but has not moved to advocate a two-state solution — for which there is no contemplated security framework sufficient to protect Israel.

Challenge and Roll Back Iran

The final part of the administration’s strategy starts with a thorough review of our Iran strategy and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or “nuclear deal”, with Iran. As Max Singer recently wrote, even if we discount what secretive nuclear capability Iran may now have, the Iranian regime will at the very least be much closer to producing nuclear weapons down the road than when the JCPOA was agreed to.

As Ambassador John Bolton has warned the nuclear deal with Iran did nothing to restrain Iranian harmful behavior: “Defiant missile launches… support for the genocidal Assad regime… backing of then Houthi insurgency in Yemen… worldwide support for terrorism… and commitment to the annihilation of Israel” continue.

In addition, uranium enrichment, heavy water production, the concealed military dimensions of warhead development and joint missile and nuclear work with North Korea all lend a critical urgency to countering Iran’s lethal efforts. The United States did not make these counter-efforts any easier by providing to Tehran $100 billion in escrowed Iranian funds, equivalent to nearly one quarter of the Islamic Republic’s annual GDP.

The United States’ and Europe’s easing of sanctions on Iran has helped reintegrate Iran into global markets via mechanisms such as the electronic payment system run by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). That, in turn, has helped Iran expand dramatically its military modernization budget by 33%, including deals worth tens of billions of dollars in military hardware with China and Russia.

Added to that is Iranian financial- and weapons-support for foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan. Iran’s significant support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen includes weaponry, financing and logistical support, including advanced offensive missiles. The Houthis regularly attempt to carry out missile attacks against Saudi oil facilities.

Such Iran activity is described by the Commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, as “the most significant threat to the Central Region and to our national interests and the interest of our partners and allies”.

As such, it can only be challenged through exactly the kind of military, political, and economic coalition the Trump administration is seeking to band together, which would include the Gulf Arab nations, especially Saudi Arabia, as well as Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.

The administration’s five-step strategy has a chance to work. It creates a policy to destroy ISIS; oppose Islamic terrorism and specifically the imposition of sharia; adopt measures to go after the financing of such terrorism; implement improvements in Gulf allies’ military capabilities — including missile defenses — parallel with pushing NATO members to meet their military spending obligations; put back into place a sound and cooperative relationship with Israel; and specifically contain and roll back Iranian hegemonic ambitions and its terror-master ways.

What still has to be considered, however, is the U.S. approach to stopping Iran from filling the vacuum created by ridding the region of ISIS, as well as Iran’s push for extending its path straight through to the Mediterranean.

If successful, some modicum of peace may be brought to the Middle East. And the arc of history will have finally been shaped toward America’s interests and those of its allies, rather than — however inadvertently — toward its mortal enemies.

Dr. Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981, and was the senior defense consultant at the National Defense University Foundation for more than 20 years.

Study: Muslim Terrorists in Israel More Likely to Abuse, Rape

June 18, 2017

Study: Muslim Terrorists in Israel More Likely to Abuse, Rape, The Point (Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, June 18, 2017

The Promundo/UN Women Study is trying to show one thing. But instead it shows another.  

The survey assesses gender roles, sexual harassment, etc across a few Middle Eastern countries. Including the part of Israel that is occupied by Muslim settlers, which the occupiers describe as “Palestine”. The “Palestine” part of the survey is littered with attacks on Israel and defenses of terrorism. It attempts, in a rather predictable fashion, to blame Jews for the Muslim abuse of women.

The way that the survey formulates this is by finding that Muslim settlers who report a higher level of “occupation-related violence” are more likely to abuse their wives or “partners”.

22% of those who complain about Israeli “occupation related violence” physically or sexually abuse. As opposed to 15% of those who don’t.

25% of them engaged in sexual assault or harassment in the last three months. Again, vs 15%.

The usual NGO/UN matrix is once again trying to blame Israel for Muslim abuse of women. But what it demonstrated instead is that Muslim settlers who hate Israel and may be terrorists are more likely to abuse women.

These results aren’t surprising. But they are another reminder that backing Muslim terror and the so-called “Palestinian settler” struggle is not just bad for its Jewish victims, but is even bad for Muslim women.

Congress to Host Anti-Israel Forum, Sparking Outrage on Hill

May 30, 2017

Congress to Host Anti-Israel Forum, Sparking Outrage on Hill, Washington Free Beacon, May 30, 2017

The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, April 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Congress is scheduled to host an anti-Israel forum that takes aim at the Jewish state’s military, accusing it of “systematic discrimination” against those living in the “occupied Palestinian territory,” according to an invitation for the event circulating on Capitol Hill that has sparked outrage among pro-Israel lawmakers.

The event, which is sponsored by a member of Congress who has chosen to remain anonymous, will feature several anti-Israel organizations that back boycotts of the Jewish state and distribute propaganda accusing the Israeli military of human rights violations, according to an invitation to the June 8 briefing obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The event, “50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation & Life for Palestinian Children,” has riled several pro-Israel offices on the Hill and sparked a search for the anonymous lawmaker who has provided the organization space in room 122 of Capitol Hill’s Cannon House Office Building, according to conversations with multiple sources.

A number of anti-Israel groups have attempted to hold briefings on Capitol Hill in the past months, with one group of Israel-boycott backers being forced to cancel a briefing after news of the event spilled into public following a report by the Free Beacon.

That event was sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas), who only stepped forward publicly after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) learned about the forum and demanded it be cancelled.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about Thursday’s event—which is being sponsored by a network of anti-Israel activists and boycott supporters tied to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and other Christian groups known for their anti-Israel activism—said that the event seeks to spread anti-Israel propaganda aimed at undermining the Jewish state.

“This event is textbook propaganda aimed to perpetuate anti-Israel falsehoods and misconceptions,” said one senior congressional source familiar with the event and its sponsors.

The member of Congress who is sponsoring the event should publicly step forward and proclaim their support, the source said.

“Any member willing to sponsor this event should do so publicly,” said the official. “Come forward and defend your decision to host this Israel-bashing forum.”

Supporters of these groups are being asked to contact their senators and congressman to “urge them to attend this important briefing to learn more about the struggles of Palestinian children,” according to the event invitation, which further urges activists to ask lawmakers “to work for an end to 50 years of military occupation.”

Groups involved in organizing the event include several advocacy organizations known for their criticism of the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF. They include the Defense for Children International-Palestine and American Friends Service Committee, which operate an affiliated advocacy group dedicated to accusing the IDF of various crimes against humanity.

These organizations have been cited by pro-Israel organizations and watchdog groups for their promotion of anti-Israel propaganda and false information about the IDF.

Speakers scheduled to attend the event include: Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestinian director for Human Rights Watch, which routinely criticizes Israel; Brad Parker, the staff attorney and international advocacy officer for Defense for Children International-Palestine, a group that backs Israel boycotts; Nadia Ben-Youssef, director of the Adalah Justice Project, which has accused Israel of “genocide”; and Yazan Meqbil, a Leonard Education Scholar and student at Goshen College.

The panelists, several of whom have been cited by experts for their vocal anti-Israel activism, are tasked with examining “how persistent human rights violations, systematic impunity, discrimination, and a hyper-militarized environment affect the lives of the Palestinian children growing up under a military occupation with no end in sight,” according to the invitation for the event.

One senior official at a D.C.-based pro-Israel organization told the Free Beacon that lawmakers are being alerted about the event and its agenda.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if whoever is backing this disgraceful event in Congress chose to stay anonymous,” said the source. “Usually lawmakers scramble to take credit for whatever they can. But on an issue like Israel, where there is overwhelming public support for a strong relationship with a critical ally, it’d be understandable if someone didn’t want to put their name on it.”

An email to the American Friends Service Committee, one of the forum’s main organizers, seeking further information about which lawmaker is sponsoring the event was not returned by press time.

UK Government to Hold Pro-Terrorism Expo in London?

May 30, 2017

UK Government to Hold Pro-Terrorism Expo in London? Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, May 30, 2017

(Will Formerly Great Britain soon hold a celebration in honor of the Islamic State in Manchester? Failure to do so would be Islamophobic. A concert would, of course, be appropriate. — DM)

“‘Friends of Al-Aqsa’ is one of the more extremist Islamist organizations at work in Britain today. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity ‘Interpal’ (proscribed by the US Treasury) and advertises it on its website. It collaborates with the Khomenist Iranian-funded faux human rights organization known as the Islamic Human Rights Commission in organizing events such as Al Quds day at which public support is expressed for the Iranian proxy militia Hizbollah.” — UK Media Watch.

Under these definitions, Hamas is exposed as a terrorist organization both by its repeated use of indiscriminate killing and the contents of its two Charters from 1988 and 2017.

“There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except through jihad…” — Hamas Charters of 1988 and 2017, Articles 18 and 21.

Hamas is not the only extremist organization to which Friends of Al-Aqsa has lent its support.

Mere weeks after the terrorist attacks in Britain — on May 22 in Manchester and earlier in Westminster — there is planned in London, on July 8-9, a major event which its organizers describe as:

Palestine Expo: the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe. In a year of immense significance for Palestine, we are pleased to announce, Palestine Expo 2017

The “biggest ever in Europe”: heady stuff. In a major coup, the exposition will take place, not in a scruffy hall on the outskirts of the city, but in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, near the Houses of Parliament, in the shadow of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The prestigious centre is owned by the UK Government and its operation is conducted by an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government. It has 2,000 square metres of exhibition space, four main auditoria, seven conference rooms and many smaller rooms, and specialises in events for more than 1,000 delegates. Palexpo[1] will occupy five of its six levels.

Events listed include:

Inspirational Speakers
Interactive Zones
Knowledge village
Food Court
Live Entertainment
Academic Workshop (“will be run by a group of academics from leading UK universities”)
Student Hub
Gallery
Shopping Quarter

On the surface, it might appear that this is merely a cultural event designed to give the British public a taste of Palestinian cooking, music, art, in particular, history (starting in 1948!). A closer examination, however, reveals something less pleasant. Underneath the surface, this exposition is dedicated to a presentation of Palestinian victimhood and “resistance” (read terrorism), the same “resistance” as in Israel, and on similar false pretexts.

In Israel, the false pretext is that Jews — who have lived in Canaan and Judea for 3,000 years, as is substantiated by enough documentary and archaeological evidence to sink a supertanker — are supposedly occupying “Palestinian land”. In Europe, the false pretext is “revenge for colonialism”, which has historically existed under the Muslims, in their conquests of Iran, the Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, northern Cyprus, Spain and most of Eastern Europe. This expansion has continued in the present day to Lebanon, northern Cyprus, Indonesia, the Philippines and is working its way through Europe, Canada and Australia. The Europeans are evidently gullible enough, it seems, to swallow all pretexts without bothering to check any facts.

The Queen Elizabeth II Centre is the venue for the upcoming “Palestine Expo 2017”, organized by the anti-Semitic pro-Hamas activist group, “Friends of Al-Aqsa”. (Image source: Jdforrester/Wikimedia Commons)

Who has organized this massive upcoming London event? One might have expected it to be the Palestinian Mission of the UK (often treated erroneously as an embassy, as it claims to represent the “State of Palestine”, which does not exist). However, although the Mission will probably be a participant in the exposition, a direct link for it cannot be found. The same is true for the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority.

The organizers of the event are, in fact, a relatively small British organization, Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), founded in 1997 by a British optician, Ismail Patel, closely involved in several Islamic organizations such as the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). The BMI is a front group for Hamas, and has been for many years “the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood”. Patel was a spokesman for the BMI. And the BMI was the chief organizer of London’s 2008 IslamExpo, which Britain’s Minister of Communities and Local Government at the time, Hazel Blears, strongly criticized:

“It was clear that because of the views of some of the organisers, and because of the nature of some of the exhibitors, this was an event that no Minister should attend. Organisers like Anas al-Tikriti, who believes in boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day. Or speakers like Azzam Tamimi, who has sought to justify suicide bombing. Or exhibitors like the Government of Iran.”

Friends of Al-Aqsa is, itself, an anti-Semitic pro-Hamas activist group. It helped establish in London the anti-Israel al-Quds Day events, in which extremists march to support the terror group Hizbullah and the theocratic Iranian regime that calls for England, Israel and America to be wiped from the pages of time.

Patel himself is an outspoken upholder of these values. In 2009, he addressed a Stop the Gaza Massacre demonstration in support of Hamas:

“Hamas is no terrorist organization. The reason they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel […] to the state of Israel: you no longer represent the Jewish people.”

Hamas has, in fact, been condemned as a terrorist group by the US, the UK, the EU countries, Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Terrorism itself has been difficult to define legally, mostly because the countries that use it do not wish to define it; nevertheless, several countries have matching definitions. The British 2006 Terrorism Act provides a basic list of activities that constitute terrorism:

(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where-

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),
(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-

(a) involves serious violence against a person,
(b) involves serious damage to property,
(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

Section 1(3) to (5) goes on to expand on the effect and extent of this definition.

The Canadian Department of Justice definition reads in similar terms. Another definition also attributed to Canada reads:

“A terrorist is a man who murders indiscriminately, distinguishing neither between civilian and innocent and guilty nor soldier and civilian.”

Under these definitions, Hamas is exposed as a terrorist organization both by its repeated use of indiscriminate killing and the contents of its two Charters from 1988: (“la hall li’l-qadiyya al-Filastiniyya illa bi’l-jihad — There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except through jihad.” Article 13) and 2017:

“Hamas confirms that no peace in Palestine should be agreed on, based on injustice to the Palestinians or their land. Any arrangements based on that will not lead to peace, and the resistance and Jihad will remain as a legal right, a project and an honor for all our nation’s people.” — Article 21. (Emphasis added.)

Hamas is not the only extremist organization to which Friends of Al-Aqsa has lent its support. The outlawed Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which has close Hamas affiliations, is led by Shaykh Raed Salah. Salah has aided organizations that fund Hamas, and claims that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks (and that 4,000 Jews stayed away from work at the World Trade Center that day). Salah has also called Osama Bin Laden a martyr, and has said that honor killings of young women are acceptable.

According to Tamar Pileggi:

“In late 2015, Israel banned the radical Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, accusing it of maintaining links to terror groups and of stoking a wave of violence that saw dozens of deaths in a spate of stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.”

Before that, in 2011, FOA along with other extremist groups brought Salah to the UK, despite a travel ban. When Salah was arrested and to be deported, Patel spoke out in support for him. But Salah had well before that delivered bloodcurdling sermons calling on Palestinians to become martyrs while attacking Israeli soldiers.

According to UK Media Watch:

“Friends of Al Aqsa” is one of the more extremist (sic) Islamist organizations at work in Britain today. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity “Interpal” (proscribed by the US Treasury) and advertises it on its website. It collaborates with the Khomenist Iranian-funded faux human rights organization known as the Islamic Human Rights Commission in organizing events such as Al Quds day at which public support is expressed for the Iranian proxy militia Hizbollah.

For the Jewish community of the UK, Friends of Al-Aqsa and Patel represent a real threat. The group has published anti-Semitic authors. One, the journalist Khalid Amayreh, claimed that Jews control America, and that the Iraq war “was conceived in and planned by Israel through the mostly Jewish neocons in Washington”. Another was the Jewish British self-declared Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, who runs the anti-Israel organization Deir Yassin Remembered. Friends of Al-Aqsa has also published material by Gilad Atzmon, who has accused the Jews of Germany of waging war against Hitler and has said of the Holocaust:

“The Holocaust became the new Western religion. Unfortunately, it [the Holocaust] is the most sinister religion known to man. It is a license to kill, to flatten, no nuke, to wipe, to rape, to loot and to ethnically cleanse. It made vengeance and revenge into a Western value.”

Of the speakers listed for Palexpo, several are well-known for their pro-Hamas, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views. Ilan Pappé of Exeter University is a highly radical and much-criticized historian who has called for the elimination of Israel and its replacement by a single Arab state.

John Pilger is an Australian journalist and film-maker, one of whose documentaries has been described as “a veritable encyclopedia of every anti-Israel canard in existence today”. He has suggested that terrorist group Hezbollah represented “humanity at its noblest”; approvingly cited the arguments of the above-mentioned anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Gilad Atzmon; has suggested that “influential” Jews around the world are culpable in “Israeli crimes” and has likened Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews. According to Pilger , “the Zionist state remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than all the Muslim states combined.”

Pilger has also asserted that “killing children seems like sport for the IDF [Israel Defence Forces]”. His distortions are breathtaking. He has defended Hamas strenuously. Here, for example, he accuses his most hated countries, American and Israel, of distorting the truth:

“The majority [of Gazans] voted for the ‘wrong’ party, Hamas, which the U.S. and Israel, with their inimitable penchant for pot-calling-the-kettle-black, describe as terrorist.”

He added the astonishing comment that, “Indeed, the vote for Hamas was actually a vote for peace” — about an organization whose Charter declares that, as mentioned, “The only solution to the Palestinian question is through jihad”.

Ben White is one of the UK’s most extreme anti-Israel speakers and writers. In his eyes, Israel can do no right; the Palestinians, including Hamas, no wrong. He “writes extensively about what he terms ‘Palestine/Israel’ to the point of near obsession and was a regular contributor to [the Guardian’s] ‘Comment is Free’ and the virulently anti-Israel ‘Electronic Intifada'”. Here is a list of quotations from his writings. He is a supporter of the anti-Jewish one-state solution and an ardent promoter of the fiction that Israel is an “apartheid state”. He regularly downplays Hamas and Palestinian terrorism, and instead places all blame for violence on Israel.

Among other speakers with reputations for extremist views are Miko Peled, who regards the Israeli army as terrorists (despite international recognition of it as “the most moral army in the world”). His anti-Semitism became clear when, commenting on a US-Israel aid deal, he said:

“Then theyr [sic] surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves. #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.”

Peled has compared Israel to Nazi Germany and called for a Palestinian state to replace Israel.

Tariq Ramadan is a famous Egyptian-Swiss Muslim scholar, philosopher and writer closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (he is the grandson of the Brotherhood’s founder, Hasan al-Banna’). He is famous for duplicity and use of doublespeak.[2] He has donated money to the terrorist group Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and he has been denied a visa to the United States for his links to Hamas. He “was barred under a section of the Patriot Act, which bars entry to foreigners who have used a ‘position of prominence … to endorse or espouse terrorist activity.'” He “has often been accused of being an Islamist, anti-Semitic, and sexist. He has drawn severe criticism from numerous Western public figures, ranging from scholars and journalists to political, religious, and community leaders”.

The other speakers listed fall into similar categories as supporters of trying to destroy Israel through economic means, Palestinian “resistance” to Israel, and anti-Semitism.

Currently, Friends of Al-Aqsa and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are planning to sue Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) for libel, forcing the rights group to instruct lawyers to act in their defence. From the evidence presented here, JHRW could scarcely have a better case. Its appeal to the management of the Queen Elizabeth II Centre for the cancellation of a terror-linked event is entirely in line with British concerns about radical and terrorist ideologies, anti-Semitism, and international terrorism. Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, their supporters, and the various organizations to which they are linked, have never changed their beliefs regarding Israel, the Jewish people, or the West.

Dr Denis MacEoin PhD (Cambridge 1979) is a scholar of Islam and Persia, a former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies and currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


[1] Not to be confused with Geneva’s Palexpo: Palais des Expositions et des Congrès

[2] See Caroline Fourest, Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, New York, London, 2008 and Paul Berman Flight of the Intellectuals, NY and London, 2011, Chapter One. See also Christopher Hitchens here.

Al Qaeda criticizes Saudi relations with West during President Trump’s visit

May 22, 2017

Al Qaeda criticizes Saudi relations with West during President Trump’s visit, Long War Journal May 22, 2017

Al Qaeda seized on President Donald J. Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia to once again criticize the royal family and call for an uprising.

According to bin Laden, these early Saudi dealings with the West led to the British capture of Palestine and, later on, the establishment of the Israeli state.

Osama bin Laden liked to argue that there is a “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy against Muslims. His son, Hamza, has continued with these themes, making it one of his central talking points and accusing the House of Saud of being part of it.

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On May 20, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden. The junior bin Laden follows in his father’s footsteps by blasting the Saudi royal family. His speech is the second part in a series aimed at the House of Saud. Part 1, in which Hamza called for regime change, was released last August.

It’s not clear when Hamza recorded his latest anti-Saudi message. He does not mention President Trump or the American delegation. Instead, he focuses on the early decades of the Saudi dynasty, portraying it as a corrupt regime that serves the interests of the West. Still, al Qaeda undoubtedly wanted to maximize the audience for Hamza’s audio by releasing it during President Trump’s visit.

Then, on May 21, al Qaeda published the 15th issue of its Al Nafir Bulletin (seen below). The one-page newsletter is devoted to Trump’s visit. “The Al Saud rulers and all apostate rulers appear before us today in wasteful ceremonies to offer loyalty and renew their allegiance to the hateful Crusader master of the White House, Trump,” the newsletter reads.

Just hours before Al Nafir was released online, President Trump attended a ceremony with King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to commemorate the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh. Unsurprisingly, Al Nafir’s editors criticize the move, arguing that the “rulers” had really committed to building “an apostate army to fight jihad and the Mujahideen in the name of fighting terror and terrorism.” The center will be used “to fight faith, purity, and commitment, under the call to fight extremism, backwardness, and intolerance,” al Qaeda contends.

In Al-Nafir, al Qaeda also argues that the Saudi government should give its money to the people instead of investing it in defense deals and other arrangements with the US. Al Qaeda uses these two issues — the Saudis’ supposed misuse of funds and the creation of the new center — to renew its call for jihad.

“So here are the Crusaders and the apostates, and they have stolen your money, fought your religion, shed your blood, and transgressed against your honor,” Al Nafir reads. “When will you return to your religion and do jihad in the cause of Allah?”

Hamza bin Laden’s critique of Ibn Saud

Al Qaeda has been raising Hamza’s media profile since the summer of 2015, when he was first introduced as a prominent jihadist figure. On May 13, just one week before Hamza’s new anti-Saudi message, As Sahab released another speech from Osama’s heir. In that talk, Hamza provided advice to “martyrdom seekers” living in the West. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report: Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’]

In his latest message, Hamza accuses the Saudi government of promulgating a false version of its own history, arguing that “generations have been raised” ignorant of what truly transpired during the first years of the 20th Century, when the House of Saud rose. Bin Laden is keen to undermine King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud’s (Ibn Saud) legacy, portraying him as a witting agent of the British. Only when the proper history is told, Hamza says, will Muslims “understand the magnitude of the injustice brought upon” their country and then work to “restore” their “stolen rights.”

Bin Laden accuses Ibn Saud of working with the British from the beginning, seeking their “approval” before leaving Kuwait (where the Saud family lived) and conquering the city of Riyadh in 1902. Riyadh and large parts of the Arabian peninsula were controlled by Ibn Rashid’s men, who were allied with the Ottoman Empire at the time. Bin Laden says Ibn Saud could only expand his power at the expense of the Ottoman Empire’s allies and he sought assistance from the British to do it. This, from al Qaeda’s perspective, violates Islamic law, as Ibn Saud attacked fellow Muslims while working with the British.

According to bin Laden, the Saudi telling of Ibn Saud’s early conquests omits these “sharia violations,” including the assault on the Ottoman’s ally “to serve the English” and the “unlawful killing of Muslims.”

In the period leading up to World War I, the Ottoman government sought to reconcile the opposing forces inside the Arabian Peninsula. And so a deal was struck between the Ottomans and Ibn Saud, which granted the Saudi patriarch territorial rights in exchange for military cooperation and an agreement to prevent “foreign powers” from expanding their influence in the region. But Ibn Saud broke this agreement as well, bin Laden says, after he again sided with the British. (Ibn Saud’s territory was declared a British protectorate as part of a treaty in 1915.) Ibn Saud moved on the Turks’ main client, Ibn Rashid, despite their previous understanding. In so doing, bin Laden charges, the founder of the Saudi dynasty paved the way for “the English and their allies to occupy the homelands of the Muslims.”

Bin Laden reminds his audience that Captain William Henry Irvine Shakespear, a British emissary, served as Ibn Saud’s military adviser and had “command” of the Muslim forces while organizing “their ranks.” This was part of Britain’s broader “financial and military” support for Ibn Saud. This is all “clear evidence” of English support, bin Laden says, and led to “Crusader hegemony” over the region.

According to bin Laden, these early Saudi dealings with the West led to the British capture of Palestine and, later on, the establishment of the Israeli state.

Osama bin Laden liked to argue that there is a “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy against Muslims. His son, Hamza, has continued with these theme, making it one of his central talking points and accusing the House of Saud of being part of it.

The Devil’s Triangle: At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah

May 19, 2017

The Devil’s Triangle: At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah, Israel National News, Mark Langfan, May 19, 2017

This weekend President Trump must make the stakes clear to the Sunnis gathered in Saudi Arabia to meet him.  President Trump must bring truth to Arab and Islamic fantasies.  He must tell them Israel, and the ‘West Bank’ are not the issue; the only issue is fighting Iran and controlling the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle.  The Arabs and the Sunnis themselves must contribute blood and treasure to securing this strategic triangle and killing the Iran monster before it can metastasize into an unstoppable one.

The US and the US coalition forces have to move, and move fast to control the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle so as to avoid an Iran that will cause the death and destruction of millions of people for many, many decades into the future.

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You may have carefully read all the newspapers about the Middle East, but you will likely have never heard about the three Syria cities of At Tanf, Abu Kamal, or Ar Rusafah.  But the soon-to-be-determined military control of the geographic area bounded by these 3 Syrian cities in Syria’s south east corner will determine the fate of the entire world. 

To see the area on a US government map so that you fully understand this article, click here.

If Iran and its proxies control these three Syrian cities, Iran will have achieved its strategic goal of creating a topologic unbroken ground corridor from Iran through Iraq, through Syria, through Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea.  If Iran fails to secure this geographic Syrian triangle, Iran’s tens of billions of dollars spent to mass-murder Syrian Sunnis to create the foundation of its neo-Safavidic Empire will collapse under its own weight, and Iran’s Khomeneist Shiite Regime will likely implode.

Therefore, next month’s military victors in the battle for this strategic triangle will dictate decades of future conflict, or future peace in the Middle East and the world.

What’s the first order of battle?  If the Islamic State leaders are truly Sunnis, American and US Coalition forces should convince the Islamic State to cede and surrender Raqqah immediately, so US coalition forces can focus on and secure the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah triangle immediately.  Otherwise, the US coalition will have to divert precious and scarce resources to conquering Raqqah, while Iran is redeploying its forces to steal the Triangle.

The question is simple.  Does the Islamic State want the Iranian Shiites to win the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle, to win Syria, and become the unstoppable Shiite hegemon?  Or does the Sunni Islamic State want the Shiite Iran to lose?  The catastrophic scenario would be for the US coalition forces to win the Raqqah battle against the Islamic State, only to lose the Syrian war to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The second order of battle?  Trump’s minions must convince the Russians that it is in Russia’s ultimate strategic national interest to allow the US coalition to quickly and decisively win the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle.  The US must convince Russia that an Iran with a ground corridor through Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean is as catastrophic to Russian vital national security interests in 2017 as Hitler’s acquisition of Czechoslovakia and Poland was to the Soviet Union in 1939.  Then, Stalin partnered with Hitler in building Hitler the highway for his Wehrmacht to invade the Soviet Union.

Once Iran militarily digests this Iraq-Syrian land corridor, Iran won’t need Russia anymore.  Putin will have created a unstoppable Islamic Terror Superpower.  Putin should remember Stalin’s exuberant celebration of occupying half of Poland was a short-lived delusion that soon came crashing down on his head when he had to face the ugly reality of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union that came close to occupying Moscow itself.

Iraq is a modern-day Czechoslovakia, and Syria is a modern-day Poland.  It is the Iranian war that will lay the groundwork for the next Iranian-Safavidic violent expansion throughout the Middle East.

The third order of battle?  This weekend President Trump must make the stakes clear to the Sunnis gathered in Saudi Arabia to meet him.  President Trump must bring truth to Arab and Islamic fantasies.  He must tell them Israel, and the ‘West Bank’ are not the issue; the only issue is fighting Iran and controlling the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle.  The Arabs and the Sunnis themselves must contribute blood and treasure to securing this strategic triangle and killing the Iran monster before it can metastasize into an unstoppable one.

The US and the US coalition forces have to move, and move fast to control the At-Tanf/Abu Kamal/Ar Rusafah Triangle so as to avoid an Iran that will cause the death and destruction of millions of people for many, many decades into the future.