Archive for the ‘Palestinian terrorists’ category

How American Charities Fund Terrorism

January 15, 2017

How American Charities Fund Terrorism, Middle East ForumSam Westrop via National Review, January 12, 2017

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As the president-elect has repeatedly made clear, his first full day in office will be a busy one. He has promised to effect a wide array of changes. But what about his second day? If he has some free time, we have some suggestions.

As the threat from international terror groups and homegrown radicalization increases, clamping down on domestic Islamist networks should be a priority. In particular: terror financing.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government appeared to ease up on prosecutions of American Islamist charities linked to terror. This was a marked change from the years after 9/11, when scores of charities were shut down after prosecutors found financial and logistical links to terrorist groups across the globe. This effort culminated in 2008, when the Holy Land Foundation was tried in court on charges of financing terrorism. Federal prosecutors listed a considerable number of prominent American Muslim organizations as “unindicted co-conspirators.”

Eight years of a more permissive attitude has afforded Islamist groups the chance for a resurgence. Islamist charities do not just provide a means to move money; they also offer legitimacy to American Islamist organizations struggling to free themselves from decades of allegations of extremism. Islamist charitable endeavors abroad serve to sanitize the Islamist agenda at home.

The most common terrorism link for American Islamist charities involves, unsurprisingly, the Palestinian territories. Where do charitable donations for the Palestinian territories end up? In the Gaza Strip, Hamas, which is designated a foreign terrorist organization, oversees every facet of society, especially the social services in which Western charities work. From the distribution of medicine to the running of schools, orphanages, and kids’ summer camps, Hamas rules the roost.

One example worth investigating is the Gaza-based Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development (UFA). At least eight prominent U.S. charities and, apparently, the taxpayer-funded United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are supporting this Palestinian group. A close examination of UFA shows that it is closely aligned with senior Hamas leaders, provides cash to the families of so-called martyrs in the Gaza strip, and promotes virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric.

3529The Gaza-based Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development (UFA) is close to the Palestinian Hamas movement.

UFA claims to “provide relief, emergency and developmental services to marginalized areas and people in need.” And it probably does. Its social-media pages show happy children playing in the sun, buildings constructed, and food packs distributed. But UFA operates with the political support of senior Hamas figures. And the support of Hamas means the support of a genocidal terror group that has pledged to eradicate Jews across the globe, that throws its political opponents off rooftops, oppresses women and homosexuals, fires rockets at Israeli schools and homes, and uses Palestinian children as human shields to advance its murderous cause.

UFA regularly collaborates with Hamas officials. In 2014, envisioning the “right of return” for Palestinians, it organized a ceremony at which the guest of honor was Mustafa Sawwaf, a prominent Hamas minister. Sawwaf had argued in the Hamas newspaper Al-Risala that “Israel’s disappearance is a necessity [according to] the Koran — that is a truth that we have learned and that we have been teaching since the first intifada, which was the Palestinian people’s first step toward ending the usurpation of Palestine by the Jewish gangs.”

In 2015, UFA hosted a public meeting with Mohamed Abu-Shkian, a senior Hamas official and the mayor of Nuseirat. They discussed “joint cooperation to implement projects that serve the various categories of the Palestinian community.” Abu-Shkian, whom Hamas media has nicknamed “Mohammed the Conqueror,” is a vocal supporter of the “mujahedeen” against Israel, has spoken at the graduation ceremony of a Hamas terror-training program, and has addressed crowds at a ceremony commemorating Hamas terrorists.

Not especially shy about its Hamas connections, UFA openly advertises projects funded by U.S. charities in prominent Hamas literature. And on its website, UFA boasts a certificate of support from Ummah University, an institution in Gaza directly controlled by Hamas’s interior ministry. UFA appears to be a cog in the Hamas martyrdom machine — the charity regularly hosts events financially benefiting “the families of martyrs and prisoners.”

Like Hamas, UFA is not shy about its hatred of Jews either. In a post published on one of the charity’s social-media pages, UFA officials wrote: “We ask God to drive away the anguish of the heroic prisoners in the Nazi Zionist jails and to free Al-Aqsa Al-Sharif [the Noble Al-Aqsa] from the filth of the most dirty Jews.”

3527UFA published these photos showing an official of U.S. charity Baitulmaal handing out checks, at UFA’s offices, to “the families of martyrs of the Palestinian people.”

UFA’s most important U.S. supporter is Baitulmaal, another charity. Saying they help Baitulmaal distribute cash to the “families of martyrs of the Palestinian people,” UFA officials have published photos to corroborate the claim.

These cash handouts are part of an “Orphan Sponsorship Program.” In videos published by the UFA, it defines orphans as those who have lost their fathers (not their mother), some of whom, it claims, were killed resisting “the ongoing slaughter against the Palestinian people.”

It would appear that American money is being given to the families of Hamas terrorists.

UFA and the U.S. charity Baitulmaal have such a close relationship that they even share the same staff. UFA officials Jomaa Khadoura and Amgad Mansor identify themselves as Baitulmaal employees. Mansor has promoted the views of Nabil Awadi, an Islamic cleric whom the Daily Mail has described as the “key financier” of the Islamic State.

Several other U.S. registered charities support UFA by funding UFA projects or hosting joint events. These include Islamic Relief USA, a branch of a charity established in Britain by Muslim Brotherhood operatives. Islamic Relief USA receives millions of dollars from Western governments, the European Union, and the United Nations. The U.S. government has given $370,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide, the parent organization of its American affiliate. As with Baitulmaal, UFA and the Palestinian branch of Islamic Relief have shared the same employees.

3530The Trump administration should take a close look at these and other charities.

UFA boasts of financial and logistical support from another six U.S. charities: Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Life for Relief and Development, the Zakat Foundation of America, Syria Relief & Development, United Muslims Relief, and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). These are just a few American charities at which a Trump administration should take a closer look.

On social media, UFA refers to American taxpayer funding. In 2013, it announced a project funded by the USAID and implemented by the U.S. charity Mercy Corps. Are taxpayer dollars funding a Gazan charity that works with Hamas, funds the families of “martyrs and prisoners,” and incites hatred against Jews? UFA, as with many Western-funded Palestinian groups, gets away with much of this perhaps because of the appearance of its work.

By providing social services, Islamist terror groups gain political and moral legitimacy among the people under their control as well as among their supporters abroad.

UFA appears to function as a “da’wah group that inherently benefits Hamas. Da’wah is a form of social outreach generally employed by terrorist organizations to reinforce their rule. By providing social services, Islamist terror groups gain political and moral legitimacy among the people under their control as well as among their supporters abroad. But da’wah is also “crucial to terrorist activity,” counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt writes. “They provide cover for raising, laundering, and transferring funds, facilitate the group’s propaganda and recruitment efforts, provide employment to its operatives, and serve as a logistical support network for its terrorist operations.”

American taxpayer funding of UFA is not the first instance of its funding of the Hamas da’wah system. In 2007, ANERA (with which UFA jointly organizes projects) provided the Islamic University of Gaza with $140,000 of USAID money. The university was founded by the “spiritual leader” of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In 2007, according to Palestinian media, 16 of the university’s lecturers and teachers were elected Hamas members of the Palestinian legislature. And in 2008, rockets and explosives fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians were reportedly produced at the university.

But da’wah efforts can be more basic. In areas targeted or controlled by terrorists, groups such as Hamas coordinate with charities to provide social services and welfare. Some counter-terrorism experts believe that this facilitates an influx of unchecked foreign funds, frees up money for violent operations, and whitewashes the work of terrorist organizations.

Aid money is fungible, as is already recognized under official understanding of material support for terrorism. In 2010, the solicitor general, Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court, explained that “Hezbollah builds bombs. Hezbollah also builds homes. . . . When you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs.”

Da’wah is not confined to the Palestinian territories; it also threatens American lives. Other terror groups have learned from the Hamas and Hezbollah. In 2012, the Times of London reported that al-Qaeda terrorists in Mali “have subsidized state utilities, capped food prices and made welfare payments to the needy.” And in 2014, I discovered that British “charity workers” were building schools in Syria that bore the Islamic State flag, all paid for through fundraising efforts in Britain.

Islamist charities linked to terrorism do provide charitable services, including welfare, children’s summer camps, and educational programs. This allows them to acquire Western funding without raising too much suspicion. But the da’wah system ensures that such charitable services serve to prop up Hamas’s grip over the Gaza strip.

The da’wah problem is not new, but it demands the attention of the new administration. Hundreds of charities operate in the Palestinian territories. Certainly some Palestinian charities do not host high-profile visits with senior Hamas leaders, financially reward the families of “martyrs and prisoners,” and incite hatred against Jews. The U.S. taxpayer and American charities should not be funding one that does.

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel

January 12, 2017

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel, Gatestone InstituteYves Mamou, January 12, 2017

(Having done a bang-up job of integrating Islamic refugees, perhaps Paris and the rest of Europe will share the secrets of their “success” — so that avoid them in dealing with Palestinians. — DM)

If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

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For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one.

The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements, then what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look any Palestinian map.

The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Do not forget these names: Yves Aubin de La Messuzière; Denis Bauchard; Philippe Coste; Bertrand Dufourcq; Christian Graeff; Pierre Hunt; Patrick Leclercq; Stanislas de Laboulaye; Jean-Louis Lucet; Gabriel Robin; Jacques-Alain de Sédouy and Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin.

These men are retired French ambassadors. They are apparently well educated, very polite and aristocratic people and they regularly publish op-eds in Le Monde. However, they publish in Le Monde only to threaten Israel.

Their most recent op-ed in Le Monde on January 9, 2017, was to explain how an international conference on the Middle East, the one which scheduled for January 15 in Paris, would be beneficial for the “security” of Israel. Their text is a discouraging enumeration of traditional clichés of France’s hypocritical diplomacy.

Example: “For the Palestinians, nothing is worse than the absence of a state”. In which way is it the worst? As Bret Stephens wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal:

“Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.”

Stephens also noted that:

“a telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state. “

The French ambassadors, however, do not explain. They just add: “The Proclamation of a Palestinian state will certainly not change anything on the ground,” but they say that they hope this symbolic move will create “a new dynamic imposing new realities”. Hmm. Now what could these “new realities” be in a Palestinian state in the middle of a war-torn Middle East?

“Today,” reflects Diana B. Greenwald of the Washington Post, “with Fatah in charge in the West Bank, the main threat comes from Islamist groups, such as Hamas, and even militant groups associated with Fatah that have chafed under Abbas’s heavy-handed rule.”

This evaluation was backed up by the landslide vote for Hamas, not in Gaza, but at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

For these French ambassadors, all Israeli governments, and especially Netanyahu’s, are seemingly driven by a “religious nationalism” which supposedly makes Israel’s prime minister deaf to the national aspirations of Palestinian people — the same Palestinian people who pursue a state by killing Jews with knifes, bus-bombs or vehicular ramming attacks, at the same time shouting, “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is Greatest”]. For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 11: French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a Unity rally in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. A mass unity rally to be held in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. An estimated one million people are expected to converge in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande will lead the march and will be joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)Unhappy France-Israel diplomacy. Pictured: French President François Hollande (right) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on January 11, 2015. (Image source: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Their article is a long and boring lament about the oh-so-difficult conditions of the Palestinian people. But after this complaint, our ambassadors finally get to their real intent: they threaten to banish Israel. If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

“Otherwise, how would Israel escape the danger of sanctions? By calling for the labeling of products from the Israeli settlements, the European Union, was being consistent with its condemnation of the settlements, and paved the way. It is a perilous process for Israel, open to the outside world, and therefore vulnerable. We recall the role of sanctions in the end of apartheid in South Africa”.

They are not precise about what “sanctions” would be. But in an earlier op-ed, published on February 3, 2016, the same group of retired French ambassadors gave some examples of their wishes.

  • Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine by France and all countries of the European Union.
  • A suspension of the association agreement between the European Union and Israel.
  • The end of economic and scientific cooperation between the European Union and Israel.

These pedantic diatribes against the Jewish state are a pathetic illustration of the traditional blindness of European diplomacy, and especially France’s. These ambassadors make the statement that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is eclipsed in world opinion by the misfortunes of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and by the perilous presence of the Islamic state”, but they continue to think that “the resentment of Arab public opinion against the Western world” exists because this same Western world is “accused of complicity with Israel”.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one. The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements. So what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, of course, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look at any Palestinian map.

Middle East expert Gregg Roman straightens out the factual history distorted by the UN and Europe:

“[W]hen taking into account 3,000 years of history and context, Palestinian Arabs, not indigenous Israeli Jews, become the offending party…. Around 1,300 years ago, descendants and followers of the Prophet Mohammad from Arabia poured out of the Peninsular in an orgy of conquest, expansionism and colonization. They first annihilated ancient Jewish tribes in places like Yathrib (known today as Medina) and Khaybar before sweeping north, east and west, conquering what is today known as the Middle East, North Africa and even southern Europe…. Wherever Arab and Islamic rulers conquered, they imposed their culture, language and — most significantly — their religion…. At first, Arab settlers and conquerors did not want to intermingle with their indigenous vassals. They often lived in segregated quarters or created garrison towns from which they imposed their authority on native populations…. while slavery became rampant and unfettered…. Slowly, but surely, the “Arab world” that we know today was artificially and aggressively imposed.”

Arabs, who have been trying to kill Jews there for nearly a hundred years, long before 1967, represent a problem — there are 1.5 million Arab people in Israel, but no one considers them “settlers”. The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror

January 11, 2017

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror, Front Page MagazineJoseph Puder, January 11, 2017

abbasobama

When we consider last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSC) 2334 that passed with deliberate U.S. abstention and later, justified in a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, it makes the adage below come to mind. The Midrash (commentary on part of the Hebrew Scriptures) tells us, “He who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.”  Maimonides wrote in The Guide of the Perplexed that “the wicked and calculating person who killed intentionally and was sentenced to death – if he seeks sanctuary among us, we must not provide him with asylum, and not have mercy upon him, because compassion toward the wicked is cruelty to all beings.

In supporting the Palestinian regime that seeks the destruction of the Jewish State as its ultimate goal, the Obama administration is being compassionate toward the wrong party.  The Obama administration is knowingly and deliberately supporting the creation of another unstable Arab authoritarian regime that has failed its people.  Mahmoud Abbas, like Arafat before him, albeit more subtle, seeks the same goal: undermining the Jewish state, and replacing it with an undemocratic Palestinian state.  Abbas wouldn’t return to the negotiating table unless he is heavily bribed, and like Arafat, at the crucial moment when all reasonable concessions had been made, he walked out.

At their September 16, 2008 meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert agreed to forgo sovereignty over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, and proposed that in the framework of the peace agreement, the area containing the religious sites in Jerusalem would be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from five nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinians, the U.S. and Israel.  The advisors and Fatah officials heard that Olmert laid out for Abbas not only the details of the agreement but also a large map upon which he outlined the borders of the future Palestinian state.  Abbas, like Arafat in July, 2000, walked out.

Considering Palestinian terrorism incited by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against Jewish civilians and soldiers alike, it becomes clear that the Obama administration has shown compassion toward Palestinian aspirations and contempt for Jews aspiring to settle in their ancestral regions of Judea and Samaria.  The Administration would be quite content on a “judenrein” West Bank.   In fact, the U.S. and its European allies support the PA with huge grants, portions of which goes to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands and their families.  They have likewise funded Palestinian-Arab construction projects, built illegally throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Obama administration has also shown compassion for the Iranian regime by ending the economic sanctions against the radical Islamic Iranian regime, which hangs gays and lesbians as well as juveniles.  Amnesty International reported on January 26, 2016, that “Iran remains the leading executioner of juvenile offenders.”  The New York Post reported on August 3, 2016 that “The Obama administration quietly shipped $400 million stacked on wooden pallets in an unmarked plane to Iran in January – just as Tehran was releasing four Americans who had been detained there.”  This was done to appease the Islamic Republic, which is the leading state sponsor of terror around the world, and that has taken Americans in Iran as hostages.

U.S. Mideast mediator Dennis Ross pointed out that the Obama administration was so enamored with the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani, that it “showed readiness to accept an industrial-scale Iranian nuclear program and not to roll it back.”  The Obama administration was willing to bend its principles in order to foster a relationship and perhaps an alliance of sorts (against the Islamic State in Iraq) with the Ayatollahs regime that promised “to wipe Israel off the map.”

In the summer of 2009, the Iranian people voted for freedom and against the choices of the theocratic regime that oppressed them. They demonstrated in the millions with signs that read “Obama, are you with them or with us.”  Obama did not respond. He proved to have little compassion for the oppressed.

In Syria, the Shiite-Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their supported Iraqi-Shiite militias, as well as the Lebanese-Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, are murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian Sunni Muslims, Christians, and others civilians with impunity.  They are bolstering the dictatorship of the Alawi (offshoot of Shiite Islam) minority ruler Bashar Assad.  The Russians have also joined in the killing of Syrian civilians in the name of combatting so-called “terrorists.”

The Palestinians of Hamas and the PA raise their children on hate and expound on the destruction of the Jewish state in schools, mosques, in the media, and in their policy directives.  The Palestinian intolerance towards Jews and Christians is deeply embedded, but due to political correctness, it has never been sufficiently reported in the western media, or by western governments.  Under the Palestinian regime, Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuse by Muslims. There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are directly responsible for many of the human rights violations. Muslims who have converted to Christianity are in the greatest danger. They are often left defenseless against cruelty by Muslim fundamentalists. Some have been murdered.

There is a clear dichotomy in determining who the compassionate side is, and who is the cruel. It comes together perfectly clear in the Syrian civil war arena.  Thousands of Palestinians are fighting on behalf of the Syrian dictator, and help in slaughtering the Syrian people who are fighting for their freedom.  The Palestinian radical group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) led by Ahmed Jibril, provided the Assad war machine with intelligence and ground support, when he laid siege to the Palestinian populated Yarmouk refugee camp.  The PFLP-GC, once a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) joined the Assad troops in killing fellow Palestinians.

Conversely, Israel has opened its hospital gates to wounded Syrians, both civilians and soldiers.  Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last month “We are prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also men if they are not combatants. Bring them to Israel, we will take care of them in our hospitals as we have done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We are looking into ways of doing this. It is being explored as we speak.”  Netanyahu added, “The suffering is great, and the one initiative we took is to help – as I said – thousands of Syrians who are sometimes mutilated beyond belief. We help them. I offered to do more today. I don’t know if we can resolve [the crisis in] Syria, but we can help mitigate some of the suffering. That is the best that Israel can do.”

Being compassionate toward the Palestinian’s aspirations to destroy the Jewish state in stages by forming a terrorist supporting state, the Obama administration is being cruel toward the Jewish state, which seeks to defend its people from the ongoing Palestinian terror.

A necessary, natural move

January 11, 2017

A necessary, natural move, Israel Hayom, Prof. Eyal Zisser, January 10, 2017

(Please see also, Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers. — DM)

The Palestinian terrorist, who perpetrated the deadly ramming at the Armon Hanatziv promenade Sunday afternoon in Jerusalem, did not any need any excuse to murder his victims. It’s possible he was influenced by previous ramming attacks carried out by Islamic State supporters in France and Berlin. It is also possible, however, that he was influenced by recent threats from people close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who warned that moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — as promised by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump — would lead to an ungodly eruption of violence.

Either way, we must recognize that in Palestinian society — inundated with incitement on social media but also from its institutions — there exists a fundamental motivation to harm Israel and Israelis, and it only takes a little for this desire to bubble to the surface. The appearance of ISIS on the scene as a radicalizing element has enraptured a large portion of the younger generation in the Arab and Muslim world, only making this reality worse.

The terrorist attack in Jerusalem came a few days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chose to warn Trump against relocating the American embassy to Jerusalem, as doing so would send the region up in flames.

Perhaps Kerry has failed to notice that the Middle East is already burning, for quite some time now. The flames have consumed Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq. But of all these places, which represent living proof of his failed policies, the outgoing secretary of state chose to focus specifically on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and repeat the same tired mantra that the region’s problems are rooted in the fight between Israel and the Palestinians.

Kerry’s advice to Trump not to move the embassy, therefore, is misleading and should be ignored.

Why is transferring the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem not inherently hazardous, and why is it possible to “sell” such a move to the Arab world? Because any reasonable person understands that doing so would not change the status of the city or the existing reality there in any significant way, nor would it cause a shift in Washington’s fundamental positions on the conflict.

After all, Jerusalem is home to Israel’s state institutions, from the President’s Residence to the Knesset, and all foreign dignitaries visiting Israel, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Kerry, comes to the city to meet their Israeli counterparts. Can anyone seriously argue for forbidding a meeting between a visiting president and his Israeli counterpart in Jerusalem, because it could set the Middle East aflame?

Trump, therefore, can relocate the embassy to Jerusalem unperturbed and also make it clear that such a move, while necessary and natural, will not decide any of the fundamental questions pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not even regarding Jerusalem. With that, it would be best for Trump to notify Washington’s allies in the region and explain to them, politely but firmly, that moving the embassy is recognition of the reality on the ground, which Jordan and Egypt also accept. Doing so would help prevent any unnecessary emotional outbursts.

What Trump can learn from Kerry is that hesitation and trepidation are perceived as weakness in the region and invite pressure, belligerence and even a rejectionist approach. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, who never sought favor from anyone, is respected and feared; certainly no one threatens to burn the region down in response to his policies.

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers

January 10, 2017

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, January 10, 2017

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.

The murderous legacy and personality of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings, are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

“The mosque that produced the mujahed [warrior] Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.” – Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel.

The voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter are being marginalized by the European leaders doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab elite who fund these imams and these mosques.

These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next.

Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash’s expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname “The Engineer” and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians. The bomb-maker was killed by Israeli security forces on January 5, 1996, thereby ending one of the bloodiest chapters of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Two decades later, this arch-terrorist is still being revered as a hero and martyr. His murderous legacy and personality are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

A few years ago, the PA decided to honor Ayyash by naming a street in Ramallah after him. The street sign was posted in Ramallah, the headquarters of the PA where Abbas lives and works, and reads:

“Yahya Ayyash, 1966-1996, born in Nablus, studied electrical engineering in Bir Zeit University. Was a member of the (Hamas military wing) Iz ad-Din al-Qassam, and was linked by Israel to a number of bombings. He was assassinated by Israel in his Beit Lahia (Gaza Strip) home on January 5, 1996.”

This week, Palestinians took to social media to glorify the arch-terrorist further, depicting him as a role model and urging youths to follow in his footsteps.

On Twitter, for instance, they launched a hashtag entitled, “Be Like Ayyash.” The campaign encourages Palestinian youths to admire the bomb-maker and endorse his “jihad” (holy war) against Israel. Activists posted video clips, songs, poems and portraits praising and lionizing Ayyash and his terrorism. The campaign, according to the sponsors, is also designed to acquaint Palestinians with the “humane and leadership qualities” of Ayyash and remind them of his “heroic actions.”

Unsurprisingly, the social media campaign has attracted the attention of thousands of Palestinians and Arabs, who heaped praise on the Hamas bomb-maker-turned-icon. Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

This Palestinian “engineer” is not being glorified because he used his expertise to help improve the lives of Palestinians. He is being lauded because he used the education he received to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to kill Israelis.

One activist hailed Ayyash as “The Master of Men and the Moon of Palestine.” He added: “We are proud of you, Hawk of Iz ad-Din al-Qassam!”

Another activist posted: “Oh history take note – the engineer of Palestine used to divert the path of Zionist buses towards hell!” (a reference to the suicide bombings that targeted Israeli buses).

Here is what another Palestinian had to say about the mass-murderer: “Yahya Ayyash is an idea, and ideas do not die. Although the resistance in the Gaza Strip has developed its weapons, the bombing of a bus has a special flavor!”

2200An image recently posted to Twitter glorifying Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. The image shows Ayyash’s face superimposed over an Israeli bus that was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber in the 1990’s.

Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, joined the chorus of terror glorifiers by offering his own post commemorating the anniversary of the death of Ayyash. “Yahya Ayyash did not die,” wrote the leading Islamic scholar, considered the spiritual father of Muslim Brotherhood. “He is alive in the conscience of all Palestine. The mosque that produced the mujahed (warrior) Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.”

Sheikh al-Qaradawi is right in two important ways. The first of these is that Ayyash was indeed “produced” by a mosque. Those close to Ayyash describe him as a devout Muslim who used to spend much of his time in mosques, where he was undoubtedly exposed to anti-Semitic hate-speech and indoctrination at the hands of preachers and imams.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Al-Qaradawi is also right when he says that the mosques are continuing to produce “heroes.” This is true because incitement and anti-Semitism remains a main theme of the Friday prayer sermons. Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

“Ayyash was only 29 years old, but he became a legend that instilled fear in the hearts of the Zionists,” remarked another social media activist. “He was transformed into an exemplary engineer inspiring new generations.”

Hamas leaders, for their part, chose to celebrate the anniversary of the death of their terrorist by voicing hope that Palestinian youths would look at him as their role model and follow in his footsteps. “The students of Yahya Ayyash are the hope of the Palestinians,” said Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran. He said that Ayyash continues to serve as an inspiration for youths who wish to join the jihad against Israel.

That Ayyash was a Hamas member has not prevented the rival Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas from joining the campaign of glorification.

True, Hamas and Fatah are rivals and they despise each other. But when it comes to murdering Israelis, they wholeheartedly agree. In truth, Fatah would have preferred if Ayyash had been one of its own. Had that been so Fatah would have been able to boast (instead of Hamas) of the “heroic” attacks engineered by the beloved terrorist.

Still, in the eyes of Fatah, this Hamas arch-terrorist is a hero because he killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. On one of its Facebook pages, Fatah had these words to say about Ayyash: “The revolutionaries never die; Fatah pledges to remain committed to the martyrs and the path of Yasser Arafat.”

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel. This Fatah stance should not come as a surprise to those who have been following its leaders’ and activists’ statements and actions. The glorification of terrorists has always been an integral part of Fatah ideology. Most recently, Fatah celebrated its 52nd anniversary in a series of Facebook posts glorifying Palestinian terrorists.

Some would argue that the absence of education for peace with Israel on the Palestinian side is largely responsible for the failure of the peace process. However, this assessment falls short of the full truth. That truth is that the same Palestinian children who are not educated toward peace with Israel are educated toward killing Israeli civilians, as many as possible. The continued glorification of terrorists and the encouragement of youths to join the jihad against Israel and Jews, as well as the celebrations marking the death of Ayyash, demonstrate this truth. Where, the international community might ask, are the voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter?

Their voices are being marginalized by many European leaders comfortably doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab and Muslim elite who fund those imams and mosques. These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next, and that what they have been seeing is just the start. That is how the Muslims in a few hundred years took over Persia, Turkey, southern Spain, all of North Africa, and most of Eastern Europe.

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.

Netanyahu, Congress, AIPAC and the PLO

January 10, 2017

Netanyahu, Congress, AIPAC and the PLO, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 10, 2017

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Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The whitewashing of the PLO must end.

It is not in the least surprising that the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority did not condemn the terrorist attack on Sunday. It is not surprising because the PLO-controlled PA encouraged the attack.

As Khaled Abu Toameh wrote for the Gatestone Institute, in the aftermath of last month’s US-enabled passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which criminalizes Israel, the PA went on the warpath.

Among other things, Muhammad Abu Shtayyeh, who serves as a close adviser to PLO chief and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called for an intensification of terrorist attacks against Israelis. Shtayyeh said that now is the time to “bolster the popular resistance” against Israel.

As Abu Toameh noted, “‘Popular resistance’ is code for throwing stones and petrol bombs and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.”

Sunday’s terrorist murderer probably was inspired by Islamic State, and its adherents’ recent truck ramming murder sprees in Nice and Berlin, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

But Sunday’s 28-year-old cold blooded killer hailed from Jerusalem, not Nice.

His brain was washed since he was five years old by the PLO-controlled PA’s steady cycle of jihadist incitement.

From the time he was in preschool, the killer was indoctrinated to aspire to commit the mass murder of Jews he carried out on Sunday.

For 23 years, Israel and the US have empowered the PLO.

During this period, the terrorist group never took any concrete steps to promote peace. At no point in the past generation has a PLO leader ever told the Palestinians or supporters abroad that the time has come to bury the hatchet and accept Israel.

Instead, for 23 years, the PLO has openly supported Israel’s annihilation. Often that support has been stated in code words like “popular resistance” which everyone understands means murder.

To make it easy for Americans and Israelis to continue funding, arming, training and of course, recognizing the PLO as a “moderate” organization despite its continued sponsorship of terrorism, PLO members are always happy to talk about a “two-state solution” with Westerners that wish to be lied to.

But they do not hesitate to threaten anyone who rejects their lies about Jews and Israel. For instance, Abbas reacted to US President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to abide by the US law requiring the State Department to move the US embassy to Jerusalem by threatening him.

Trump’s plan will have “serious implications” for the US, Abbas told a group of visiting Israeli leftists.

PLO Executive Committee chairman Saeb Erekat said that if Trump moves the US embassy to Israel’s capital, the PLO will lobby Arab states to expel the US ambassadors from their capitals.

Jebl Mukaber, the Jerusalem neighborhood where Sunday’s terrorist lived, used to be just an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. It wasn’t particularly friendly.

But it also wasn’t particularly hostile.

But then for about five minutes in 1993, the PLO pretended it wasn’t a terrorist group. To the delight of the US, Israel responded by giving it operational bases in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. The PLO then went about indoctrinating residents of the areas under its control as well as throughout Israel that they must reject all forms of coexistence with Israel and work toward its destruction.

These acts of war on the ground have always been complemented by PLO efforts to destroy Israel in the court of world opinion through its unrelenting and ever escalating worldwide political war against the Jewish state.

In keeping with this state of affairs, following 2334’s passage, at the same time its members called for intensifying terrorist attacks against Israel, the PLO Executive Committee decided to escalate its international economic boycott campaign against Israel and ratchet up its campaign to convince the International Criminal Court to convict Israelis of imaginary war crimes.

Like Sunday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, it ought to go without saying that these actions are all acts of war against Israel.

The reason it is necessary to state what ought to be the self-evident fact that the PLO is a terrorist organization engaged in a total war against Israel and the Jewish People is because the people that are supposed to act on this reality insist on denying it. The Netanyahu government, the US Congress and US Jewish organizations led by AIPAC still refuse admit the truth about the PLO and draw the necessary conclusions.

Those necessary conclusions are similarly self-evident.

Israel and the US should cut all ties to the PLO.

The PLO should be re-designated as the terrorist group it never stopped being and treated accordingly.

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed non-binding Resolution 11, which condemned resolution 2334. Resolution 11 was shepherded through the House by AIPAC, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s support.

The House resolution, which is set to be followed by a nearly identical Senate resolution in the coming days, is based on the proposition that 2334 is bad not because, as the Simon Wiesenthal Center rightly said, it was the worst antisemitic act of 2016. Rather, the congressional resolution rejects 2334 because it harms the chance of Israel and the PLO reaching a negotiated peace that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Resolution 11 is marginally helpful because it rejects economic and political warfare against Israel. But substantively, in regard to the PLO and its legitimacy, the greatest difference between Resolution 11 and 2334 is that while 2334 embraces the PLO’s anti-Jewish rejection of all Jewish ties to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Resolution 11 recognizes Israel’s right to the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter.

Beyond Jerusalem’s Old City, Congress’s resolution accepts the pro-PLO position that it is a good idea to work toward the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria to make room for a Jew-free Palestinian state led by PLO terrorists.

To credit its position, the House resolution states that 2334’s refusal to distinguish between Jerusalem’s Old City and Judea and Samaria means it equates “these sites with outposts in the West Bank that the Israeli government has deemed illegal.”

The problem with this wording is that it ignores the fact that the Knesset is about to pass a law that would effectively cancel that delineation. Similarly, it ignores that the delineation of Israeli communities built since 2000 in Judea and Samaria as illegal was done by a radical Justice Ministry attorney who now heads the post-Zionist New Israel Fund.

In other words, Congress’s resolution reflects the view of the far-left fringes of the Israeli political spectrum.

Supported by Netanyahu, AIPAC shepherded this resolution through the House, despite harsh opposition from the House Freedom Caucus whose members wish to end US support for the PLO and for a PLO state.

Although AIPAC condemned the Obama administration’s refusal to veto 2334, it continues to fervently support the PLO and Palestinian statehood. Indeed, just days after 2334 passed, AIPAC officials and missions were meeting with Erekat and other PLO operatives in Ramallah, as if there is anything pro-Israel about meeting with people who just got the Security Council to resolve that Israel is a criminal state.

AIPAC’s continued support for the PLO no doubt stems in part from its desire to keep the Democratic Party inside the pro-Israel tent. Unfortunately, that ship seems to have sailed.

Nearly 40% of House Democrats including minority leader Nancy Pelosi and assistant leader Jim Clyburn voted against the PLO state supporting resolution.

Rep. Keith Ellison, who is the front-runner to be elected Democratic National Committee chairman later this month, also voted no. Two thirds of the 95 Democrats supported by J Street opposed the resolution.

Most of the Democrats that supported Resolution 11 may well have supported it even if it had left out the goal of giving the PLO a state. It cannot be credibly argued that Reps. Elliot Engel and Steny Hoyer would have opposed Resolution 11 if it had simply stated that 2334 was antisemitic.

Certainly it is hard to argue they would have opposed it if the vote was delayed until January 21. Indeed, it is hard to understand why it was necessary to pass the resolution while President Barack Obama – who partnered with the PLO to pass 2334 – is still in office.

Resolution 2334’s passage must be viewed as an inflection point. It is no longer possible to credibly argue that the PLO is remotely interested in peace with Israel. Sunday’s murderous terrorist attack Jerusalem was further testament of this truth.

The time has come for Israelis and Israel’s supporters in the US to demand that our leaders – from Prime Minister Netanyahu to AIPAC to members of Congress – finally recognize and act of this truth. The whitewashing of the PLO must end.

Eyewitness: Rammed Soldiers Hesitated to Shoot Fearing Court Martial (Graphic)

January 8, 2017

Eyewitness: Rammed Soldiers Hesitated to Shoot Fearing Court Martial (Graphic), The Jewish PressDavid Israel, January 8, 2016

truck-attackPhoto Credit: Screenshot

The tour guide who accompanied the IDF cadets on their visit to Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem Sunday afternoon told Army Radio that they hesitated to shoot at that truck as it was speeding in their direction. He attributed their fateful pause to last week’s manslaughter conviction of Sgt. Elor Azaria by a military panel of judges for his shooting of a subdued terrorist in hebron.

Stopping just short of placing the blame for the four dead soldiers on the court, the tour guide said he was the only one shooting his handgun at the terrorist truck driver, and only after he had emptied his magazine did some cadets start shooting.

The tour guide spoke to Army Radio from the back of an ambulance, and sounded highly agitated. He said every IDF soldier has been keeping abreast of the Azaria trial and Thursday’s verdict affected them directly. “All they’re being told recently is – watch it,” he reiterated.

Moshe Aharon, a bus driver who was present at the scene of the attack told Army Radio: “A group of soldiers with their duffle bags were standing there, I just let them off the bus – when a truck came ramming into a group of the soldiers and ran over them. The soldiers shot at him and he ran over them a second time. He got to my bus, then switched to reverse and ran over them again.”

Four soldiers died and one was critically wounded in Sunday’s attack. A dozen more soldiers were wounded.

According to Channel 10 News, Arab passers by who witnessed the fatal attack stood and applauded.