The Fiction of Political Islam

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, September 2, 2015:

  • To this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of Egypt’s Islamist President Morsi, and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking President el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.
  • Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how this “political movement” is in reality a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
  • Events in Sinai prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs Islamist terrorists to attack civilians and Egyptian government targets.
  • It is hard not to conclude, looking at President Obama’s record (ignoring protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone”; the dictatorial way the Iran deal is bypassing the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.
  • The Europeans are more aware of the situation but woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom throughout the cities of Europe.
  • The world is beginning to understand that the catastrophes of the Middle East have nothing to do with the resolution of the Palestinian issue but are caused by the innate homicidal tendencies of the Arab rulers and the regional Islamist terrorist organizations.

Hamas is in trouble. Its relations with Egypt are going from bad to worse, and the influx of money, primarily from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the mosques in the Western world — where charity (zakat) was collected to finance anti-Israel terrorism — has dwindled to almost nothing. So has the flow of arms and explosives from Iran, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon. The resulted is the weakening of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, making it ever more difficult for Hamas to continue its ongoing subversion of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and its non-stop attempts to overthrow President Mahmoud Abbas to take over the West Bank and establish there the sort of Islamic emirate it established in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’s military buildup was halted when the President Mohamed Morsi’s radical Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was toppled and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President. Morsi, it will be recalled, strangely received support from President Obama until he was ousted. The Obama administration supported him despite Morsi enabling for the flow of money and arms to Hamas in Gaza to continue unhampered through the tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula. The weapons were used not only to attack Israel, but also to sabotage peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and, indirectly, to attack the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist terrorism festivities ended when President el-Sisi clamped down on the Islamists in Egypt, destroyed the tunnels and sealed Egypt’s border with Gaza. Since el-Sisi has been president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood rule has ended and the tunnels have been destroyed. It is hard to fathom why, to this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of the Islamist Morsi administration and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.

Since el-Sisi has been in power, money and arms no longer flow through the tunnels into the Gaza Strip; instead they began to flow in the opposite direction, from the Gaza Strip into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Since the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated terrorist organizations, Hamas among them, have not accepted defeat, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks targeting the Egyptian regime both inside the country proper and in the Sinai Peninsula. The terrorist campaign receives ongoing support from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, and the ISIS-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Both continuously attack the Egyptian police and army in the Sinai Peninsula, murder Egyptian officials and target Egyptian institutions.

The endless terrorist campaign in Egypt has proven yet again that the claim of a political Islam, separate from the terrorist organizations, is simply a lie. Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how the “political movement” tries to represent itself as dealing only with the da’wah [proselytizing], while in reality it is a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of el-Sisi’s administration. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

While being hosted by the State Department on a visit to Washington in January 2015, Muslim Brotherhood judge Waleed Sharaby (left) flashed the organization’s four-finger “Rabia” sign. At right, ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood) displays the Rabia sign.

The events in the Sinai Peninsula prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from the mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs a hard core of Islamist terrorists to carry out attacks on civilians and Egyptian administration targets.

In the meantime, the real victims are the Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism has paralyzed Egypt’s tourist industry, as foreigners fear to visit Egypt’s antiquities. And now there are terrorist threats to the New Suez Canal, a project initiated and carried out under the leadership of General Sisi to turn both banks of the two canals into an international logistics, commercial and industrial area.

The Islamists’ plans are clear. First, they want to leverage violence, murder and countless Egyptian army casualties into establishing an autonomous terrorist enclave in the Sinai Peninsula. Then they will try to overthrow the Egyptian government and reinstate an Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime headed by Morsi. That is exactly what their offshoot, Hamas, did in the Gaza Strip when it liquidated Palestinian Authority officials and established an Islamic emirate. The writing on the wall is still illegible as far as the U.S. government is concerned. Or else the Obama administration is still in the thrall of extremist Islam and its Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The two main ones are Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has just called new elections so that he can try again to acquire enough seats in parliament to amend Turkey’s constitution to award himself a one-man Sultanate, an absolute dictatorship-for-life to go along with his new palace. The other is Mohamed Morsi, whom Obama apparently is still backing.

It is hard not to conclude, looking at the U.S. president’s record (ignoring the protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” and the dictatorial way the Iran deal has been short-circuited to bypass the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.

The Europeans are more aware of the situation but unfortunately woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom and gather strength throughout the cities of Europe.

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Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

UTT Trains Hundreds in Colorado Despite Efforts by Hamas

cair-hamas-logoBy John Guandolo, August 20, 2015:

Understanding the Threat (UTT) spent last week in Colorado speaking to large groups of citizens, elected officials, law enforcement, and others despite a strong push by Hamas (doing business as “CAIR” – the Council on American Islamic Relations).

Hamas (dba CAIR) sent emails to a large number of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs calling for them to avoid any of UTT’s training programs, and published an article calling UTT’s Founder John Guandolo an “Islamophobe” which is equivalent to a public condemnation for violating the Islamic Law of Slander (to say anything about Islam or Muslims they would dislike), which is a capital crime in Islam.

Calls and emails to the FBI by UTT concerning these threats continue to be ignored.

Despite Hamas’ best efforts, UTT was able to make significant headway in Colorado and share factual information about the threat from the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadi network in America which consists of the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. including: Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and all of its subsidiary Islamic Societies; Muslim Student Associations (MSA) which exist on every major college and university campus; Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) which drives a great deal of the Interfaith Outreach programs in America and propagates a false narrative about Islam; Muslim American Society (MAS); International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT); Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Americans for Palestine (AFP) a Hamas front now operating on many college campuses; Islamic Shura Council; Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA);  Council on Islamic Education (CIE); North American Imams Federation; most of the over 2100 Islamic Centers in the U.S. today; and many other Islamic organizations.

Facts already in evidence in the largest terrorism trials in American history identify CAIR as the 4th organization created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas here.  Members of Congress, the Department of Justice, and over 20 years of evidence make clear CAIR is operating as a terrorist organization (Hamas) in America with their headquarters office only a block from Congressional offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

While Hamas/CAIR continue to publicly threaten UTT founder John Guandolo and personally attack him, UTT continues to present evidence CAIR is a Hamas entity and it and its leaders should be treated as such.

Beyond Hamas: planned Abbas visit elucidates Iran’s lesser-known ties to PA

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to leaders of the now-collapsed Palestinian unity government between his Fatah party and Hamas in Ramallah on June 2, 2014. While Iran has long supported Hamas, the PA's rival, Abbas plans to visit Iran in November. Credit: Issam RImawi/Flash90.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to leaders of the now-collapsed Palestinian unity government between his Fatah party and Hamas in Ramallah on June 2, 2014. While Iran has long supported Hamas, the PA’s rival, Abbas plans to visit Iran in November. Credit: Issam RImawi/Flash90.

JNS.org, By Sean Savage and Alina Dain Sharon, August 13, 2015:

While Iran’s funding of the Palestinian terror group Hamas is well-documented, the Islamic Republic’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is less frequently discussed. But that pattern may start to shift upon the recent announcement of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s planned trip to Iran in November.

Abbas last visited Ira in 2012, when he attended a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. His upcoming visit, announced by Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani, comes just weeks after the signing of a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran. Majdalani himself recently visited Tehran and met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Majdalani said Iran and the PA have agreed to work together on holding an international conference with the goal of bringing about the nuclear disarmament of Israel. (The Jewish state has never confirmed nor denied possessing nuclear weapons.)

“The visit now by a PA emissary, Ahmad Majdalani, is an advance visit and will likely not generate headlines. But Abbas’s visit could be historic. Depending on how it goes, it may be a sign that he has fully gravitated away from diplomacy with Israel if he invests in his ties to the Islamic Republic,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, told J NS.org.

The relationship between Iran and the PA’s precursor, the PLO—which was founded in 1964 and was recognized as the Palestinians’ representative organization following the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993—“go back a long time, all the way to the Islamic Revolution,” said Kyle Shideler, director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy.

“That said, the PLO-Iran relationship has always been bumpy,” he told JNS.org.

According to the United States Institute of Peace, during Iran’s Shah period, the PLO had close ties with the Iranian opposition and even provided training to dissidents. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, “PLO forces trained the original Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on terrorism techniques,” Shideler said. But the PLO would later support Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

As a result of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Accords, “ties have been rather horrible between Iran and the PA,” Schanzer said.

“The PA was created as an interim government as part of the Oslo process, which Iran utterly rejected. This is, in part, what drove Iran to embrace Hamas,” he said.

Shideler pointed to a ship called Karine-A as an example of collaboration between the PA and Iran. The ship was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in 2002 in the Red Sea and found to be carrying 50 tons of weaponry supplied by Iran and Hezbollah, and intended to reach PA hands.

But in 2010, then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stirred a controversy at a rally in Tehran by saying that year’s re-launched U.S.-brokered peace process between Israel and the Palestinians was going to fail, while criticizing Abbas as an Israeli puppet.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh responded by referencing Ahmadinejad’s controversial win in Iran’s 2009 presidential election, saying that “he who does not represent the Iranian people, who forged elections and who suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority, is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the president of Palestine.”

Further, Iran’s ties with Hamas have particularly alienated the Islamic Republic from the PA over the years, given the tense Hamas-PA relationship. According to Shideler, the PA even sought to recruit Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief regional rival nation, to “help in crushing Hamas back in April [2015], effectively offering to bring the Saudi-Iran proxy fight to the [Palestinian] territories. The PA’s bid “seems to have failed, with the Saudi king meeting with Hamas leadership in July,” Shideler told JNS.org.

At the same time, however, the relationship between Hamas and Iran has also been bumpy in recent years. Iran’s ties with Hamas frayed at the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011 because Hamas backed—and potentially also trained—Syrian rebels militarily. More recently, Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal visited Saudi Arabia for a series of high-level meetings. Reports indicate that Iran was outraged by the visit and cancelled a planned visit to Tehran by Mashaal. Additionally, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk has said that Hamas’s relationship with Iran is now virtually nonexistent.

Yet Iranian ties with Hamas “are not dead,” Schanzer told JNS.org.

“The Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s armed wing) still maintains close ties [to Iran],” he said. “The disagreement is with the Hamas political types. Iran is likely to exploit how fractured Hamas is, and ultimately find a way back to being a major patron.”

Then there is Islamic Jihad, the other prominent Palestinian terrorist organization in Hamas-ruled Gaza. Iran has “had recent trouble” with Islamic Jihad, which is reportedly almost bankrupt due to Iran pulling its funding for the terror group after the latter announced support for forces opposing the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shideler noted.

But ultimately, Iran has a vested interest in improving its relations with all of the various Palestinian factions in order to “be recognized as the chief leader and architect to resistance to Israel,” Shideler added.

“That may mean they want to work at ending schisms among the Palestinian leadership and reorienting all factions back towards focusing on Israel. This [upcoming visit by Abbas to Iran] may be intended to convince the PA that Iran wants to be the patron of Palestinian resistance at large, and not just of one or two groups,” he said.

While the Israeli Foreign Ministry has not yet released an official reaction to Abbas’s planned Iran visit, ministry spokesman Alon Melchior told JNS.org that the trip is “a bit peculiar.”

“The logic behind this visit is not really clear. Iran is financing their rivals (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) and terrorizing the region,” Melchior said.

But if one thing is certain, it is that the Abbas visit “won’t make the peace process any easier,” added Melchior.

The Iran nuclear deal also factors into Iranian-Palestinian relations because the Islamic Republic wants to use the agreement to solidify its place as a major Middle East power. It might be no coincidence that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released anew book titled “Palestine” around the time that the nuclear deal was reached.

Abbas “knows he is driving a wedge between Hamas and Iran” by engaging with the Islamic Republic, but the PA leader’s calculus is “bigger than that,” according to Schanzer.

“He also sees Iran as an emerging regional power after the nuclear deal. He is making sure that he is on the right side of Iran when that happens. Also, Iran is about to come into $100 billion in sanctions relief. The PA is broke. Do the math,” Schanzer said.

The PA might also believe that “better relations with Iran are the only way to keep Hamas at bay, since the gambit with the Saudis seemed to have failed,” added Shideler.

In recent years, beyond its military support for Hamas, Iran has had an increased interest in arming the PA-controlled disputed territories. In a 2014 speech, Khamenei said he believes that “the West Bank should be armed just like Gaza,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Shideler believes that while the interests of Iran and the PA might not always align, they do have some common ground.

“Iran is invested in Hamas, and needs Hamas as a proxy to initiate conflicts with Israel… But Iran and the PA can cooperate on diplomatic efforts to publicly embarrass and hamper Israel, such as over the nuclear issue—for example by using the nuclear deal to portray Iran as once again within international consensus on nuclear proliferation and casting Israel as the nuclear rogue,” he said.

Also see:

 

Hamas Calls For Suicide Attacks As Israelis Express Revulsion Over Jewish Terror

Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters

Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters

by IPT News  •  Aug 4, 2015

Hamas is calling for the resumption of suicide bombings targeting Israelis in the wake of Friday’s arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler. Israeli extremists, perhaps from a nearby illegal settlement outpost, are suspected in the attack. Police appealed for public help Tuesday to find those responsible.

Two homes in Duma, a Palestinian village, were torched in the attack. The fire killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha. The arsonists reportedly spray painted “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah” in Hebrew on the house.

Senior Hamas leader Hamad Al-Rakav called for Palestinians in the West Bank to take “revenge” and attack Israeli and even Palestinian Authority (PA) security personnel, referring to them as “traitors and collaborators.”

Friday’s attack prompted widespread condemnation from Israelis of all stripes and acknowledgement for the need to address Jewish extremism more seriously.

“I am shocked by this horrific, heinous act. This is a terror attack in every respect. The State of Israel deals forcefully with terror, regardless of who the perpetrators are,” saidPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Naftali Bennet, Jewish Home party leader said that the attack was not “a ‘hate crime’ or a ‘price tag’ – it’s murder … Terror is terror is terror.”

In contrast, Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis – including those which kill children – often are celebrated and result in people handing out treats to people on the street. The documented glorification of terrorists and martyrdom is widespread and institutionalized in schools and the media.

For example, after a Palestinian terrorist killed a three-month-old Israeli baby in a vehicular attack last October, Palestinian leaders praised the attack and urged others to “escalate the confrontations” against Israel.

A senior adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas referred to the terrorist as a “heroic Martyr” and a Hamas statement glorified the “operation of running over the settlers…which led to the death of a female settler and the injury of 8 others.”

Whereas Israeli authorities actively pursue and arrest Jewish extremists following terrorist attacks, the Palestinian Authority pays salaries to convicted terrorists.

Terrorism – political violence targeting civilians – should be condemned and combatted in all forms. In context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, there is no moral equivalence with respect to how each side addresses the threat of terrorism.

Also see:

More Blind Hate Toward Israel From a CAIR Official

1189IPT News, July 9, 2015:

Lamis Deek, a lawyer and board member for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York (CAIR-NY), is a self-described “Human Rights Advocate” dedicated to promoting justice and human rights – except when it comes to Israel.

In a response to a report Monday that President Obama intends to grant clemency to nonviolent drug offenders, Deek called on the president to release “Political Prisoners” including convicted terrorist financiers and a convicted killer.

“Ok,” Deek wrote on her Facebook page, “and how’s about freeing a [sic] the Political Prisoners then… free Mumia Abu Jamal, Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Holy Land Five, Leonard Peltier and all our political prisoners now!”

Those named share an iconic status within the far Left. Two, Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal, are convicted killers. Abu-Jamal, a former member of the radical Black Panther Party, was convicted in 1982 for killing a Philadelphia police officer. In 2012, Abu Jamal lost his last legal appeal after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a challenge concerning forensic evidence surrounding the case.

The “Holy Land Five” refers to five officials from the Richardson, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation who were convicted in 2008 of illegally transferring over $12 million to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization committed to attacking Israeli civilians and the destruction of the Jewish state.

“The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas,” U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis said before sentencing the five to prison terms ranging from 15 to 65 years.

Supporters continue to describe the five as victims of overzealous post-9/11 prosecutions who simply raised money for deprived Palestinians, and were never connected to any violence.

However, evidence and testimony presented at the trial showed the HLF sent money to Palestinian charities under Hamas control. In addition, HLF and its leaders were part of a secret Hamas-support network in the United States created by the Muslim Brotherhood. Internal committee documents show that the Palestine Committee was designed to serve Hamas with “media, money and men.”

1190Deek’s support for the Holy Land defendants is perfectly consistent with her general position on Israel. When it comes to Israel, Deek’s human rights advocacy turns into vociferous hate for a nation and people. She does not shy away from propagating her belief that Israel should cease to exist. In a Twitter post last month, she wrote, “No impunity, ears to the ground, eyes on creative ways to weaken the genocidal zionist regime…”

It’s an ironic statement, given that Deek has voiced support for Hamas. In its charter, Hamas calls for genocide against Jews and for Israel’s destruction.

During the 2012 war between Israel and Hamas, Deek tweeted that Gaza is a “beacon of resistance, exposes shackles, awakens dignity, inspires revolution, reaffirms our oneness – the reason ‘israel’ won’t last”.

During a 2009 fundraiser for an effort to break Israel’s embargo against the Hamas government in Gaza, Deek explained that Palestinian support for Hamas is a choice for “one united Palestinian state on all of the 1948 territories from the north to the very south. That is what Palestinians chose. And in supporting Palestinian choice we are saying we support their right to liberation from violent colonialism.”

By openly calling for pre-1967 Israel’s destruction, Deek’s anti-Zionist views transcend into the realm of anti-Semitism.

1192Last August she posted photos on her Facebook account glorifying terrorists from the Al-Quds Brigades – the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization that has directly participated in the systematic murder of Israeli civilians since the 1990s.

Deek is hardly alone in her hatred for Israel, and the resulting American Islamists’ rationalization of terrorist violence. Fellow CAIR officials Hussam Ayloush and Zahra Billoo have equated Israel’s army, the IDF, with the marauding barbarians of ISIS, who post grisly videos of their creative methods to kill anyone who crosses their path.

1195Billoo did it again June 16, in response to an article about Westerners who join ISIS, under a headline wondering whether they were criminals or victims. “Are westerners who go to fight for the Israeli Defense Forces victims, or racist, apartheid promoting criminals?” she asked. A previous post expressed more fear of the FBI and the IDF than of ISIS.

She has also spread blatant lies about Israel’s involvement in U.S. law enforcement community engagement.

In 2012, Deek spewed ridiculous conspiracies of the Israeli Mossad posing as FBI agents in America seeking to entrap Muslim Americans during a “Know Your Rights” presentation at a CAIR leadership conference and chapter banquet.

“It was discovered or published that a lot of the interviews that Muslims believed they were going into with the FBI, it turns out it wasn’t with the FBI at all … Guess who it was? Mossad, Israeli intelligence in New York and New Jersey,” Deek said.

Deek’s desire to see an existing nation destroyed and her moral support for Hamas speak volumes about her “human rights” priorities. It’s one thing to advocate for Palestinian nationalism and ways to improve Palestinian lives. But when that position is based on blind hate and the embrace of a terrorist organization which rejects a peaceful settlement and devotes itself instead to death and destruction, she loses any moral high ground and should lose all credibility.

ISIS’ Sinai Attacks Show Real Threat to Hamas

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, July 3, 2015:

The attacks on Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State (ISIS) this week shows why its new vow to topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip should be taken seriously. Polls show that Palestinians have the highest level of sympathy for ISIS in the Arab world with the possible exception of Syria.

ISIS has killed at least 17 Egyptian security personnel (13 soldiers and 4 police officers) and injured 30 in coordinated attacks that reflect increasing sophistication.  The Egyptian military said 70 Islamist terrorists participated and five checkpoints were assaulted. ISIS claims it struck 15 sites all at once.

The Egyptian government immediately accused the Muslim Brotherhood of involvement as it has in the past. Egypt also claims Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, is secretly supporting ISIS operations in the Sinai Peninsula. It has even threatened to attack Hamas in Gaza in response.

The Egyptian claims are questionable because of the open animosity between the two groups and ISIS’ new video pledging to conquer the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli military confirmed the links after Wednesday’s attacks. It identified two senior Hamas officials who advise ISIS and covertly arrange for hospital visits in Gaza for its injured operatives.

The Brotherhood denies involvement and its website has a statementurging Egyptians to reject violence, but the group’s double-talk is well-documented. It is simply false that the Brotherhood is completely non-violent and Brotherhood media outlets explicitly call for violence like that perpetrated by ISIS this week.

However, there does appear to be a division within the Brotherhood.Youth leaders and elements outside the country are advocating violent jihad, while the older generation repeatedly reaffirms the group’s non-violent stance in Egypt. It’s possible this is all a calculated deception. It’s also possible the rift is real and a faction would be willing to support ISIS against a common enemy.

One Brotherhood official, Mohamed Gaber, said it “seeks to use all expertise inside and outside the Brotherhood to achieve its goals at this stage,” referring to toppling the Egyptian government.

The Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Brotherhood makes it tempting for Hamas to support ISIS operations in the Sinai. Hamas may prefer a situation where its southern border is a battlefield between ISIS and Egyptian forces instead of a base for either. Plus, the Brotherhood uses every death as proof that Egypt’s crackdown is counter-productive and should end.

There are three possibilities: Claims of Hamas/Brotherhood links to ISIS in Sinai are simply wrong; the two groups simultaneously collaborate and fight with each other depending on circumstances; or there are elements within Hamas/Brotherhood that work independently with ISIS against the wishes of the leadership.

Whatever the truth is, the attacks in the Sinai show the threat to Hamas should be taken seriously.

A November 2014 poll found that the Palestinians are the most sympathetic population to ISIS in the Arab world. Only 4% view ISIS positively but if you include those who view it somewhat positively, it grows to nearly one-quarter of the population. However, another poll found that only 3% of Palestinians view ISIS’ gains positively and 88% view it negatively.

ISIS could capitalize on widespread dissatisfaction with Hamas and the situation in Gaza. ISIS’ message that Gaza is in bad shape because Hamas is not sufficiently implementing Sharia could resonate with Islamists who are struggling to understand why Hamas’ rule has not been blessed by Allah. The video also slams Hamas for being too soft on Israel.

A poll released last month shows that 50% of the population in Gaza—and an astounding 80% of the youth—want to leave. About 63% favor continuing rocket attacks on Israel. Another poll found that almost 25% would not vote if elections were held today.

Should a full-blown war between Hamas and ISIS break out that makes Gaza look like Syria, the West mustn’t embrace Hamas as the better alternative. The minute differences between them should not be exaggerated out of a desire for a side to pick. They are the two manifestations of the same enemy.

Also see:

Iranian-backed Hizballah and Hamas Bolster Worldwide Terrorist Presence

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut’s suburbs. (photo credit:REUTERS)

by IPT News  •  Jul 1, 2015

While the West extends nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to enhance its international terrorism infrastructure through its proxies. Hizballah has 950 active operatives in the Western European state while Hamas maintains 300 operatives, according to a German intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post.

The number of Islamists in Germany rose from 43,190 in 2013 to 43,890 in 2014, the report said.

Radical Islamists are “the greatest danger to Germany…Germany is on the spectrum of goals for Islamic terrorists,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of German’s domestic intelligence agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).

The report’s chapter on “Islamism and Islamic terrorism” reveals that “Hamas was successful” in organizing people beyond its main support base to participate in anti-Israel protests. There were “more Hamas- supporting events than peace demonstrations, and there was clearly public anti-Semitism” during last summer’s war in Gaza.

A reminder about Hizballah’s reach came this week in a Cyprus criminal court, where an operative was sentenced to six years in jail following a guilty plea to all eight charges levied against him in connection with a plot to attack Israeli and Jewish targets. Authorities seized nine tons of ammonium nitrate from Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a Lebanese-Canadian. Prosecutors revealed that Abdallah was recruited into Hizballah’s military wing roughly five years ago and visited Cyprus approximately 10 times since 2012. This incident marks the second time a Cypriot court sentenced a Hizballah operative to prison for planning attacks against Israeli targets in the last three years.

These developments demonstrate that Iranian backed terrorist organizations continue to bolster their presence internationally and plot attacks throughout the world. Over the last few years, Hizballah has planned attacks against Israeli and Western targets in Thailand, India, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Nepal, and Nigeria among others. In 2012, the terrorist group was responsible for a deadly suicide bus bombing which killed five Israeli tourists and the bus driver in Bulgaria.

Hamas, a terrorist group with long-standing Iranian support, is also enhancing its international terrorist infrastructure. For example, recent reports show that Hamas is actively recruiting Palestinians studying in Malaysia, who are then sent to train in Turkey, to conduct terrorist attacks against Israelis upon returning to the West Bank.

War Crimes in Gaza: Filmmaker Takes Cameras Deep into Hamas Territory appeared first on Breitbart

Youtube/Screenshot

Youtube/Screenshot

Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, June 26. 2015:

Just as another “Freedom Flotilla” is sailing to Gaza, veteran filmmaker Pierre Rehov’s latest film War Crimes in Gaza will be shown next week to the European Parliament under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Pierre Rehov’s film should also be seen by the International Criminal Court, which has just received files documenting what it claims are “Israeli war crimes.”

This 55-minute film is superb and packed with both visual, factual, and historical information. If everyone on board this flotilla watched this film—and if they were open to reason—they would turn back.

Going undercover into Gaza, Rehov is able to show us some of the wealthy mansions and villas of Gaza, the bustling malls and supermarkets, luxury cars, and well-dressed people at beachfront resorts—so different from the usual visual narratives of disinformation. Rehov shows us those as well: The weeping Palestinian civilians amidst rubble telling tales of IDF atrocities and devastation.

Undercover, Rehov has frightening footage of Hamas training children as young as six how to kill; the torture and public corpse-desecration of anyone whom Hamas suspected was a ‘collaborator’ or anyone whom they viewed as an opponent; Hamas’s omnipresent but hidden “civilian” army in Gaza; the location of Hamas missiles and guns in heavily populated civilian areas; how different Hamas missiles look than IDF missiles once they have hit their target—and much else.

The film teaches us that, since Hamas could not inflict major military damage to Israel, their strategy became one of propaganda—the kind meant to turn the entire world against Israel. It worked. Everyone wanted to believe the worst of the Jewish state. No one wanted to focus on the Muslim-on-Muslim, Arab-on-Arab, and Hamas-on-Palestinian violence.

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, confirms, on camera, that Hamas’s goal is not the liberation of Palestinians but the destruction of Israel. Hamas tries to “present Israel as being war criminals.”

According to journalist and author Matti Friedman, hating Jewish Israel “erases a deep sense of guilt” about the Holocaust. Seeing Jews as victimizers not as victims” does that. Friedman also notes in the film that reporters only cover “Israeli actions,” not the preceding Hamas attack, but also because “it matches the story that they want and [reporters] are not interested in being killed [by Hamas]…Bad Jews, good Arabs. Anything that complicates the story is taken out.”

Rehov’s film confirms that Hamas controls all press coverage and will not allow reporters to either see or report on the three kinds of vast, expensive, underground tunnels that Hamas has built all over Gaza. We see the offensive tunnels, which open out into civilian Israel; the smuggling tunnels and the defensive tunnels, which house weapons and Hamas fighters. We come to understand—we see with our own eyes—how Hamas dresses its fighters as “civilians,” and forces it real civilian population to function as human shields in the ground and propaganda wars begun by Hamas.

War Crimes in Gaza turns every Big Lie right side up. From various on-camera Israeli soldiers and military experts, we quickly understand that the IDF follows strict rules of engagement and is, without doubt, the most ethical army in the world with the least civilian casualties possible.

Rehov also challenges some of the latest Lies being told, namely, the IDF purposely killed four small boys who were running on the Gaza beach. Rehov wonders why “so many cameras were filming the sea at this very moment? Were reporters expecting something to happen? Then, who informed them?”

The film attempts to answer some of these. According to Colonel Kemp, “It would not surprise me if the Hamas deliberately lured the IDF to attack this location, as they have done it many times in this conflict before… it is extremely unlikely that children would be targeted by the IDF.” Israeli Colonel Peter Lerner claims that “The IDF had a Hamas terrorist target. We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location.”

Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring group, is perhaps the most eloquent and passionate voice on camera. He hold Hamas responsible for committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. Here is some of what he says:

Israel is using its own rockets and missiles to protect their people. Hamas is doing the opposite. Hamas is gaining power and money while more Palestinians are being victimized in Gaza…there is no doubt that Hamas used people as human shields. IDF sent messages to leave their houses. Hamas prevented them getting out of their houses by saying they are spies of Israel if they do.

Eid insists: “The one [who] committed the genocide is Hamas. The Hamas is offering their innocent people for such a kind of war.”

Rehov has made 12 films, some of which I have previously reviewed. His twelfth film will shortly appear as well. It focuses on the BDS movement. The film’s title is: Beyond Deception Strategy.

Rehov joins Gloria Greenfield as the premier filmmakers spurred by this latest, bloodiest, and long-lasting Al Aqsa Intifada.

Also see:

Investigation Exposes AMP Leaders’ Ties to Former U.S-Based Hamas-Support Network

1186IPT News, June 24, 2015:

Federal investigators shut down a massive Hamas-support network in the United States between 2001 and 2008, prosecuting some elements and freezing the assets of others.

But the Investigative Project on Terrorism finds that many of the same functions – fundraising, propaganda and lobbying ­– endure, now carried out by a group called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). The IPT investigation identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked in the previous, defunct network called the “Palestine Committee.” It was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’ agenda politically and financially in the United States.

Last year, AMP joined a coalition of national Islamist groups in forming the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is among the other founding members (for more on that coalition, click here). CAIR and its founders appear in internal Palestine Committee records admitted into evidence during the largest terror financing trial in U.S. history.

Several Palestine Committee entities were created by Mousa Abu Marzook, who remains a top Hamas political leader. One branch, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), was convicted in 2008 along with five senior officials, of illegally routing more than $12 million to Hamas. HLF’s role in the Palestine Committee was the chief fundraising arm for Hamas in the United States, prosecutors say.

“The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas,” said U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis during a sentencing hearing.

A flow chart of other Palestine Committee entities includes the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a Northern Virginia think tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). IAP served as a propaganda outlet, organizing rallies and publishing magazines with articles supporting Hamas. CAIR was added to a Palestine Committee meeting agenda shortly after its 1994 creation.

UASR published an academic journal and, prosecutors say, was “involved in passing Hamas communiques to the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood community and relaying messages from that community back to Hamas.”

Today, AMP routinely engages in anti-Israeli rhetoric, sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance” against the “Zionist state.” One AMP official acknowledged the goal is to “to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”

An April 2014 AMP-sponsored conference in Chicago, for example, hosted Sabri Samirah, the former chairman of IAP, as a speaker. There was little to no talk about how to achieve peaceful coexistence.

“We are ready to sacrifice all we have for Palestine. Long Live Palestine,” Samirah said. “We have a mission here [in the U.S.] also to support the struggle of our people back there in order to achieve a free land in the Muslim world, without dictators and without corruption.”

The U.S. government had earlier deemed Samirah a “security risk” and he was barred from reentering the country for several years following a trip to Jordan in 2003. While in Jordan, he served as a spokesman for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, the Islamic Action Front. The charges against Samirah were subsequently dropped and he returned to the U.S. last year.

Read more

Also see:

“Perversion of Truth” – UN Report on the 2014 Gaza War

Former New York Surpreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, Chair of UN Investigation in to 2014 Gasa War

Former New York Surpreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, Chair of UN Investigation in to 2014 Gasa War

NER, by Jerry Gordon, June 23, 2015:

In a mid-May 2015 Jerusalem Report/Jerusalem Post interview by Paul Alster, “The Redoubtable Colonel [Richard] Kemp”, anticipated the findings of the UN Task Force Commission on the 2014 Gaza War. Kemp said: “I think their staff is going to be so heavily biased against Israel that it will be quite a struggle for them to produce a fair report.” Col. Kemp, former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, was present on the battle front last summer at the Israeli /Gaza frontier had presented his independent testimony to the UN Human Rights Commission investigation. It was a furtherance of his remarks to the earlier UN report following IDF Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.  Conclusions, as Col. Kemp indicated,  rejected by Israel.

Former British Commander in Afghnistan Col. Richard Kemp (ret.)

Former British Commander in Afghnistan Col. Richard Kemp (ret.)

His predication was reflected in the UN Report by the ‘independent’ investigation released yesterday in Geneva by the Chairperson, former acting New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis. Davis has made a post retirement career after she left the bench in 1998  conducting  independent UN investigations into human rights violations. Justice Davis was member of the team that concluded the IDF had perpetrated war crimes against civilians in Gaza defending Israeli citizens from Hamas rocket terrorism in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. The summation of the latest UN investigation on the 2014 War in Gaza  accused both  Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes, while holding IDF to a “higher standard” of behavior.

Read more

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Gauging UNRWA’s Purpose on its 65th Anniversary

1181by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2015

On April 18, two roadside bombs exploded in the Gaza Strip. Neither of the IEDs planted by Salafi jihadists opposed to Hamas rule in the enclave caused serious damage, but both explosions targeted United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) facilities. While the incidents were widely reported, there has been little questioning of why UNRWA buildings were targeted by those opposing Hamas. The logical conclusion is that in the eyes of those who planted the devices Hamas and UNRWA are identified as cooperating entities.

Back in 2004, confirmation of UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas came from the very highest level when the U.N. organization’s long-time Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime.” Hansen left his post soon after.

According to its critics, UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in UNRWA schools, including incitement against the State of Israel, the aspiration to martyrdom, and the demonization of Jews. Hamas is alleged to control the UNRWA teaching staff union and through those teachers, feed young and impressionable minds a diet of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination. UNRWA vehemently denies this charge.

At its inception in 1950, UNRWA’s definition of a Palestine refugee was crystal clear, including someone whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

Depending on whose figures one accepts, between 600,000-700,000 former residents of British mandated Palestine left their homes in that period. That’s about the same number of Jews who were forced to leave neighboring Arab lands and move to Israel as their lives became untenable in their long established countries of residence.

According to the Center for Near East Policy Studies’ 2011 report ‘The Palestine Papers and the Right of Return’ UNRWA soon expanded the definition of a Palestine refugee to include “descendants of refugees.” Under that definition, there are around5.2 million Palestinian refugees spread across Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, around eight times the original number who left Palestine 67 years ago.

UNRWA supports a Palestinian “right of return,” meaning any or all of those 5.2 million people should have the right to move into Israel.

That result would create a demographic avalanche which would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish homeland.

“According to the UNHCR [United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNRWA’s parent organization], you lose your refugee status if you become a citizen of another country,” David Roet, Israel’s deputy UN ambassador, said in a speech to the UN last week. “But in the Palestinian case, this restriction does not apply. UNRWA – and UNRWA alone – allows refugees to pass their refugee status to their children and now grandchildren.”

UNRWA employs more than 10,000 people in Gaza, Roet added. “Where were they when Hamas stockpiled thousands of rockets, many of them in close vicinity to UNRWR facilities? It seems that while they are quick to condemn Israel, when it comes to reporting on Hamas, UNRWA’s employees become blind, deaf, and mute.”

In UNRWA schools, “Palestinian children are taught that the only solution to their plight is the so-called ‘claim of return.’ Many UNRWA facilities are decorated with keys symbolizing this claim of return. Young children are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them – but in truth these keys have them locked in a distorted reality. The ‘claim of return,’ make no mistake, is a euphemism for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Roet’s comments came amid UN events marking UNRWA’s 65th anniversary and were in response to UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl’s assertion that Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East “face an existential crisis on many fronts.” Yet UNRWA appears to allow the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in its schools even though, as a supposedly apolitical body, it holds veto power over classroom instruction.

Read more

Could Hamas be the Next Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

2009-01-08-hamas-firing-rockets-in-gaza-600CSP, by Rachel Silverman, June 10, 2015:

The United Nations and Egypt have both decided to not label Hamas a terrorist organization. When the U.S. State Department created its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997, Hamas was one of the first names on it. But I guess according to the UN and Egypt, they somehow don’t qualify to be grouped with armies and guerilla groups that kill and maim children in conflicts worldwide.

On Monday morning, the UN decided to leave Hamas off its blacklist of nations and armed organizations that violate children’s rights during conflict. Despite endless documentation of Hamas using hospital patients and children as human shields.

There is evidence that shows Hamas placing weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas during Operation Protective Edge. They also sent men, women, and children to act as human shields for terrorists. Innocent bystanders were killed as a result of Hamas’ abuse of its own civilians. Instead of keeping its citizens out of harm’s way, Hamas encouraged and even forced Gazans to join its violent resistance against Israel.

During Operation Protective Edge Hamas also used hospitals as a command center and to launch attacks against Israel. Unfortunately, using hospitals as part of its human shield is not new for Hamas. A PBS report from 2007 shows how Hamas gunmen intimidated the staff at al-Shifa hospital.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2009, The New York Times reported that:

“Hamas has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps, and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital.”

On Saturday, the Cairo Appeal Court for Urgent Matters canceled a previous verdict labeling Hamas as a terrorist organization. The court said the lower court lacked jurisdiction to issue such a verdict in the first place, according to the report.

On February 28, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters made the ruling after an Egyptian lawyer filed a lawsuit in last November calling for banning Hamas and classifying it as a terror organization.

Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt’s blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group, used illegal underground tunnels connecting Egyptian Rafah to its twin Palestinian town to enter the country and smuggle weapons to attack Egyptian police and army personnel.

Hamas militants have also been accused of carrying out terrorist attacks and killing over 30 people in late October 2014 as well as carrying out an armed jailbreak to free Brotherhood members during Egypt’s popular uprising in 2011.

So tell me why Egypt thought it was a good idea to overturn a verdict that labeled Hamas a terrorist organization?

On January 31, the same court listed al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, as a terrorist organization. The court ruling came days after a series of bloody attacks occurred in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 33 soldiers and policemen. So let me get this straight, Hamas isn’t a terrorist organization, but their military wing is, makes a lot of sense of to me.

The Egyptian government has been at odds with the group repeatedly, with longtime President Hosni Mubarak lashing out at the group and refusing to recognize Hamas’ rule in Gaza. In December 2014 the current Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-SISi, viewed Hamas’ movement as subversive, acting against Egypt’s national security and in line with its mother-movement the Muslim Brotherhood.

For years Egypt has played a major role in peace negotiations between Israel and various Palestinian factions, with Egypt being seen as fairly impartial by both sides. There is no doubt in my mind that this new ruling will affect Egypt’s position as a mediator between the two sides.

Also see:

IS Threatens Israel Monday, Israel Air Force Jets Return Fire This Morning

Screen-Shot-2015-06-04-at-1CSP, by Caitlin Anglemier, June 4, 2015:

The Islamic State (IS) issued a threat to Israel on Monday, June 1st, declaring that the Sunni terrorist group Hamas must halt its recent attacks and assaults on IS supporters in the Gaza Strip within 48 hours “or else”. Hamas’s recent crackdown is in response to the May 31 assassination of one of its senior commanders by the Hadid Brigade (full name, “Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade”), a group of IS supporters in the Gaza Strip. IS issued its 48 hour threat, which gave no insight into future consequences if Hamas does not meet its demands, to various Middle East reporters on Monday who then dispersed the news.

According to an article posted on June 2 by World Net Daily, a leader of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, Islamic State’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, reportedly declared “that if Hamas does not cease its crackdown, the group [IS] will not only continue to target Hamas, it will also break the Israel-Gaza truce with more attacks launched against the Jewish state”. On the same day, however, Hamas forces killed Islamic State supporter Younis al-Honnor. The 27-year-old was reportedly killed unintentionally while resisting arrest by Hamas forces.

As retaliation for Honnor’s death, rockets were fired Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli city Ashkelon and the town Netivot. The “Omar Brigade,” which is likely the same as the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, claimed responsibility for the assault.

In response to Wednesday night’s attack on Ashkelon and Netivot, Israel Air Force jets hit “three ‘terror infrastructure’ targets in the Gaza Strip” this morning.

Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, declared today in a press release “that the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] struck Hamas targets because even if the militants who fired the rockets belong to ‘rogue gangs’ from the Islamic Jihad, Israel holds Hamas ‘responsible for what is happening in the Strip’”.

Before these recent events, on May 3rd of this year, Hamas followers destroyed the Al-Moutahabbin Mosque, located in the central region of the Gaza Strip. This mosque belonged to a group of Islamic State supporters known as the “Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem”. A daily Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masry al-Youm, reported that this group described the destruction as carried out, “in a manner that even the Jewish and American occupation has not done”. This demolition was in response to previous unclaimed bombings in the Gaza Strip.

After the attack on the Al-Moutahabbin mosque, Supporters of the Islamic State of Jerusalem stated its renewed loyalty to and faith in IS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group then threatened Hamas members, even publishing some names and photos, unless Hamas releases several captives, including a local Salafi sheikh.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 following what is known as the Battle of Gaza. A primary difference and source of conflict between Hamas and IS is Islamic law, called sharia. IS abides by and fights to enforce much stricter adherence to sharia law and says Hamas is “too liberal” and “soft on Israel.”

Various tweets have been released indicating such differences, one stating, “The Hamas government is apostate [one who renounces a religious or political belief or principle], and what it is doing does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy.” Another message states, “Khaled Meshaal [head of Hamas political bureau]: Hamas fights for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights so that all religion can be for God.”

The conflict between Hamas and the Islamic State is much more than a dispute over geographic terrain or political quarreling; it is one about a deeply engrained moral, political, and theological ideology. Based on these ideological differences, events like those that have transpired over the past couple days in Gaza and Israel will not cease anytime soon.

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Hamas-Loving Canadian Islamist Baffled by Suspension

“For many years,” the article begins, “Hamas was my passion.”

Hussein Hamdani, a Canadian lawyer, described his excitement and nervousness over meeting Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin in Gaza. The article, published in 2004, was part of a tribute to Yassin after he was killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Hamdani calls Yassin “the people’s Shaykh” and explains that Yassin was part of a group of Hamas founders who decided “armed struggle must be established” against Israel. “It was like sitting at the feet of history,” Hamdani glowingly wrote about meeting one of his heroes. Yassin’s vision “represented the hope that the occupying forces could be defeated.”

One year after openly embracing a jihadist movement in writing, Hamdani was named to a Canadian national security roundtable, where he continued to serve until being suspended April 29 pending an investigation. A spokesperson for Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said that although questions about Hussein’s “radical ideology have circulated for some time, it was hoped that he could be a positive influence to promote Canadian values in the Muslim community. It is now becoming clear this may not have been the case.”

Hamdani calls the suspension political and went on radio last week threatening legal action against people who called attention to his past statements and connections.

The Hamas article has drawn little attention amid the litany of Hamdani’s indulgence with radical ideas and organizations. Among the others:

  • As a Muslim Students Association officer at McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario in 1996, Hamdani wrote a three-page section for “A Guide on How to Run a Successful MSA.” His chapter, “Islamization of Campus Politics and the Politicization of the MSA,” said, “it should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university …It is the duty of the MSA to bring morality back into the campus.” [Emphasis original]

As an example, he cited a proposal to grant benefits to same-sex couples, which “should clearly be seen as immoral and thus voted against or ignored.”

Hamdani later served as MSA president at the University of Western Ontario. The MSA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members who came to North America to attend universities here. The Brotherhood’s goal is to spread the faith throughout the world. In the words of founder Hassan al-Banna: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”

  • His own biography identifies Hamdani as “a founding member of the Ihya Foundation.” Ihya worked with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in creating annual “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” conferences in 2003. According to the Canadian online publication Point de Bascule, which has investigated Hamdani for several years, Hamdani was publicly described as a “key organizer” of the early conferences.

One conference featured William Baker, a neo-Nazi, radical U.S. imam Siraj Wahhaj and Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it had “credible intelligence that conferences similar Reviving the Islamic Spirit “were being used by terrorist organizations to fundraise and to hide the travel of terrorists themselves.” The statement came after five American Muslims sued the Department of Homeland Security for being detained, fingerprinted and questioned as they returned from the 2004 conference. That assessment was reinforced in an appellate court opinion which noted a review of classified information, “CBP [Customs and Border Police] had reason to believe that known terrorists, or those with terrorist ties, would be attending the RIS Conference.”

  • In 2012, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked WAMY’s charitable status after the organization was found to have financed an al-Qaida affiliated organization.

Hamdani’s suspension from the national security panel came the same night a French-language TVA Nouvelles report showcased these and other radical connections. He dismissed the move as retaliation by Conservative Party of Canada members who may be irked by his recent activity for the Liberal Party.

The allegations against him “are lies. I have never, ever, ever been involved with any organization that has links to terrorism whatsoever,” Hamdani told Hamilton radio host Scott Thompson May 12. He also threatened to pursue defamation lawsuits against his critics.

But between 2005 and 2009, two charities Hamdani worked with – the Halton Islamic Association and the Hamdani Foundation – contributed more than $25,000 to IRFAN-Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided IRFAN-Canada’s offices last summer and added the organization to a list of terrorist supporters after auditors determined it sent nearly $15 million to Hamas in that same time period.

Hamdani also claimed a standing invitation to a counter-radicalization program organized by the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Justice this July. Neither organization replied to emails from the Investigative Project on Terrorism seeking confirmation.

“I’ve been vetted by CSIS, the RCMP, the CIA, and the FBI,” Hamdani claimed on Thompson’s program, though it is not clear how or why the CIA would vet the Canadian lawyer.

Most of these disclosures first came from Point de Bascule (Tipping Point). In the radio interview, Hamdani accused Point de Bascule director Marc Lebuis of being “one of these grand conspiracy theorists that, ‘Oh, every Muslim is a dangerous Muslim.’ And so he had a whole page on me for a long, long time and I just ignored it because, you know, there’s lots of kind of racist guys out there with blogs and you don’t react to every single one.”

Lebuis declined a request for comment.

Asked about the MSA Guide’s instruction to “bring morality back into the campus,” Hamdani said his views on same-sex marriage have changed over the years. But his rambling answer, heard in its entirety below, spent more time arguing that the charge to Islamize campus actually was an endorsement of the democratic process.

[Go to IPT for the audio, I can’t embed it here]

“So anyone who’s saying, ‘you shouldn’t encourage Muslims to vote in elections’ is actually acting undemocratic,” Hamdani said.

None of his critics said anything remotely close. The issue was Hamdani’s instruction in the MSA Guide to Islamize campus politics. Taken in context of his other activities – his admitted “passion” for Hamas, his leadership role in helping launch conferences with radical speakers and more – the concern expressed by Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney makes a lot more sense.

As a student, Hamdani was comfortable advocating that people Islamize their communities. During his time on the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on National Security, though, he has advocated that Canada follow the United States in avoiding references to religion when discussing terrorist threats and attacks.

It is not clear how long the investigation into Hamdani will last.

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Ezra Levant interviews Marc Lebuis: