Dr.Kedar presents: “Peace in the Middle East”

KedarPeaceIsrael Unseen:

Dr. Kedar points out the absurd international belief that there will be peace in the Middle East when Israel signs an agreement with the “Palestinians”.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.

 

Hamas Tunneling Its Way to Future Clash With Israel

by Yaakov Lappin:

 

Israel Hopes to Avoid Third Intifada Despite Palestinian Rhetoric, Violence

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News

Expert who traveled with Syrian rebels: So-called ‘moderates’ are Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamists

3ee5ad57ca164480b7c406b86fcd7872-e1378934344562By Jamie Weinstein:

Jonathan Spyer says the moderate rebels in Syria the Obama administration has been touting are really Muslim Brotherhood-types who adhere to an Islamist ideology.

Spyer should know. An academic who lives in Israel and studies the Middle East, he has traveled to and through Syrian rebel-controlled territory, reporting on what he saw for various publications. Asked by The Daily Caller to respond to a much-cited Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth O’Bagy, which claimed “[m]oderate opposition forces … continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime,” Spyer said, “I can only speak regarding my own experiences and my own knowledge.”

“Undoubtedly outside of Syria, and in the Syrian opposition structures, there are civilian political activists and leaders who are opposed to al-Qaida and opposed to Islamism,” Spyer explained to TheDC in an email interview. “There are also civilian activists and structures within the country which are opposed to al-Qaida and Islamism. But when one looks at the armed rebel groups, one finds an obvious vast majority there who are adherents of Islamism of one kind or another — stretching from Muslim Brotherhood-type formations all the way across to groups openly aligned with al-Qaida central and with al-Zawahiri.”

“The ‘moderate’ force which we are told about supposedly consists of those rebel brigades aligned with the Supreme Military Command, of Major-General Salim Edriss,” he continued. ”Most of the units aligned with the SMC actually come from a 20-unit strong bloc called the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This includes some powerful brigades, such as Liwa al-Islam in the Damascus area, Liwa al Farouq and Liwa al Tawhid. These and the overwhelming majority of the units aligned with the SMC are Islamist formations, who adhere to a Muslim Brotherhood-type outlook.”

Spyer, author of “The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict” and a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, said there is no question that the leaders of rebel forces are not “moderates,” at least as would be defined in the West.

“I spent some time with the Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo city at the height of the fighting there,” Spyer said. ” I interviewed one of the leaders of the brigade. I’ve been in the Middle East for a long time and have worked on these issues for a long time. This was an Islamist fighting force, adhering to an Islamist ideology. So even those forces nominally aligned with western supported bodies are themselves overwhelmingly Islamist in outlook (there may be a very small and marginal number of forces who are ostensibly secular, but these are of no military significance). It’s my contention that the real power in the rebellion lies not in the external structures, but among the commanders of the major fighting groups. These men are Islamists.”

Spyer said he initially supported a quick strike by the U.S. after the regime of Bashar al-Assad most recently gassed its own people, but now believes the Obama administration’s handling of the situation has made America look “indecisive.”

“I did support a rapid response following the use by the regime of chemical weapons on a large scale on August 21,” Spyer explained. “I don’t think it was necessary to begin a huge political process and to telegraph intentions, and it doesn’t surprise me that that whole great mountain has now given birth to the mouse of no action at all. Israel’s actions over the last year in Syria offer I think an object lesson in how to enforce red lines. Go in quickly and forcefully, deliver the lesson, achieve the objective and get out — with the proviso that the action can be repeated if deemed necessary. That didn’t happen in this case with the U.S., and I think instead the administration came across as vacillating and indecisive — and glad to take the fig leaf that the Russian president provided for it.”

Asked to evaluate how President Obama’s Middle East policies are viewed in the region compared to those of former President George W. Bush’s, Spyer said, “All the indications are that the U.S. is no more popular in the Middle East today than it was in the last year of the Bush administration.”

“The difference, I would say, is that while Bush was hated by America’s enemies in the region, they also regarded him at least to some degree as a serious customer who understood the way power is wielded and knew how to reward friends and punish enemies. This isn’t the case with Obama,” he said.

Spyer earned a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces and worked for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office from 1996 to 2000.

Read more at The Daily Caller including the TheDC’s full interview with Spyer on his time in Syria, the make-up of the so-called “moderate” rebels, the fate of Jordan and much more.

Also See Daniel Greenfield’s posts, NBC News Admits “Free Syrian Army” is a Myth and The Myth of the Moderate Syrian Rebels

Israel Says Troops Did Nothing Wrong in Arresting Palestinian Boy, 5

Wadi Maswadeh, 5, is held by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, in footage released by human rights group B'Tselem

Wadi Maswadeh, 5, is held by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, in footage released by human rights group B’Tselem

IB Times, By :

Israel has denied accusations its troops acted illegally after video footage emerged showing seven Israeli soldiers detaining a five-year-old boy for throwing stones in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The footage, released by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, showed the armed Israeli Defence Force troops surrounding the child, who is seen screaming and resisting as he is held and put into a military jeep.

The boy, Wadi Maswadeh, was alleged to have thrown a stone at a passing car driven by Israeli settlers on the road to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a disputed holy site that has been the scene of repeated violence in the past.

He was then driven to his father’s house, where his father Karam Maswadeh was handcuffed and blindfolded before the two were taken to an Israeli military base, where they were briefly held before being handed over to Palestinian police.

The Israeli Defence Force said its soldiers had acted lawfully because no formal arrest ever took place.

“The child was not arrested and no charges were filed,” a military statement said.

It said more than 150 Israelis had been injured in 2,000 rock-throwing incidents across the occupied West Bank this year.

B’Tselem called the incident, which occurred on 9 June, a “grave breach” of Israel’s commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and said it had lodged a formal complaint with the government.

The age of criminal responsibility is set at 12 in Israeli law.

Interviewed later by a local TV network, Wadi admitted throwing a stone, saying he had been aiming at a dog.

B’Tselem director Jessica Montell.said: “This was not a mistake made by an individual soldier, but rather conduct that, to our alarm, was considered reasonable by all the military personnel involved, including senior officers.”

The Israeli Defence Force said the boy had presented a threat to passers-by.

“Soldiers intervened on the spot and accompanied the minor to his parents. From there he was passed on to the care of the Palestinian Security Forces, all the while accompanied by his parents. The child was not arrested and no charges were filed,” it said.

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Must watch video —> Investigative journalist Lee Kaplan bravely fights the propaganda war on Press TV here (Kaplan at 4:25 on video)

Inside Israel’s Preparation for the Next Hizballah Conflict

by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
July 17, 2013

Islamic Jihad’s Summer of Radicalization

by IPT News:

Umm Nidal Farhat: Israelis Are Not Civilians and There Are No Prohibition On Killing Them

FARHAT-obit-articleLarge

Palestinian Legislative Council Candidate and Bereaved Mother of Three Hamas Terrorists Umm Nidal Farhat: “Israelis Are Not Civilians and There Are No Prohibition on Killing them. I Am Willing to Sacrifice All My Sons”

Israel Closely Monitoring Jihadis Moving into the Golan

810_largeby Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
March 19, 2013:

Haifa, Israel – If jihadi groups fighting to topple Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad succeed, “[i]t’s us afterwards,” warned Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. General Benny Gantz during a conference last week. “We could be the next challenge for the same organizations.”

The Golan Heights, the border between Syria and Israel, has become increasingly unstable as the Assad regime loses its grip on power and radical Islamist and al-Qaida-inspired elements of the Free Syrian Army – reportedly backed directly or indirectly by the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia – move into the void.

The situation in Syria is “liquid, unstable and dangerous,” Gantz said in remarks at the 13th Herzilya Conference on Israeli security. If Assad falls, Syria’s massive arsenal of weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Those jihadi groups would feel tempted to target Israel. As if to reinforce Gantz’s point, Reuters reported last Thursday that 1,000 insurgents have moved into Khan Sheikh, just 15 miles from the Golan, after killing 30 soldiers in a battle for a Syrian government missile squadron south of Damascus.

“The terror organizations are gaining footholds in the territory,” Gantz said.

Youtube video shows al-Qaida reconnaissance video of Israeli troops on Golan border

That threat adds to the already tense situation in Israel’s north, where Hizballah poses a constant threat. “[The North] could explode at any moment,” Gantz said. “We are prepared and we will know to act with the required force directly against Hezbollah and its state surroundings.”

In a widely reported comment, Gantz added, “Lebanon, as the neighboring state, can’t be sovereign but not responsible. If this goes off, I’d rather be an Israeli civilian, and not a Lebanese civilian.”

The recent abduction of 21 Filipino UN peacekeeping forces on the Golan border by a group associated with the Free Syrian Army highlights the escalating tensions on Syria’s southern border. Although the men were released unharmed, Croatia announced last week that it would withdraw its 100 men from the UN mission “very soon.” So far in 2013 Canada and Japan have pulled out, leaving just Austria, the Philippines, and India providing peacekeeping troops on the border; only the Indian mission appears fully committed to staying.

Fears that the UN may withdraw its entire mission, leaving unfettered freedom of movement for terror groups on Israel’s border, were hardly allayed at a recent press conference given by Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Read more

Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist who blogs at www.paulalster.com and can be followed on Twitter @paul_alster

 

 

Gaza’s Not the Key, Philadelphi Is

By Daniel Pipes

The Second Hamas-Israel War of Nov. 10-21 inspired a mighty debate over rights and wrongs, with each side appealing to the large undecided bloc (19 percent of Americans according to CNN/ORC, 38 percent according to Rasmussen). Is Israel a criminal state that has no right to exist, much less to deploy force? Or is it a modern liberal democracy with the rule of law that justifiably protects innocent civilians? Morality drives this debate.

To any sentient person, it is obvious that Israelis are 100-percent justified to protect themselves from wanton attacks. A cartoon from the First Hamas-Israel War of 2008-09 symbolically showed a Palestinian terrorist shooting from behind a baby carriage at an Israeli soldier in front of a baby carriage.

The tougher question is how to prevent further Hamas-Israel wars. Some background: If Israelis are 100-percent justified protecting themselves, their government also bears complete responsibility for creating this self-inflicted crisis. Specifically, it made two misguided unilateral withdrawals in 2005:

  • From Gaza: Ariel Sharon won reelection as prime minister in Jan. 2003 in part by mocking a rival who called for the unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli residents and soldiers from Gaza; then, inexplicably, in Nov. 2003 he adopted this same policy and put it into effect in Aug. 2005. I dubbed this at that time, “one of the worst errors ever made by a democracy.”
  • From the Philadelphi Corridor: Under U.S. pressure, especially from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sharon signed an agreement in Sep. 2005, called “Agreed Arrangements,” that withdrew Israeli forces from the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-km long and 100-meter wide area between Gaza and Egypt. The hapless “European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point” (EUBAM Rafah) took their place.

Trouble was, the Egyptian authorities had promised in their 1979 peace treaty with Israel (III:2) to prevent “acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, or violence” but in fact permitted massive smuggling of armaments to Gaza via tunnels. According to Doron Almog, a former head of Israel’s Southern Command writing in early 2004, “smuggling has a strategic dimension” because it involves sufficient quantities of arms and materiel “to turn Gaza into launching pad for ever-deeper attacks against Israel proper.”

Almog considered these policies “a dangerous gamble” by the Mubarak regime and a “profound strategic danger” that could “endanger the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord and threaten the stability of the whole region.” He attributed the lax Egyptian attitude to a mix of anti-Zionist views among officialdom and a readiness to vent the Egyptian public’s anti-Zionist sentiments.

Sharon arrogantly signed the “Agreed Arrangements,” contrary to the strong opposition of Israel’s security establishment. Of course, by removing this layer of Israeli protection, an “exponential increase” in the Gaza arsenal predictably followed, culminating in the Fajr-5 missiles that reached Tel Aviv this month.

To permit Israeli soldiers effectively to prevent armaments from reaching Gaza, David Eshel of Defense Update argued in 2009 for the IDF taking back the Philadelphi Corridor and increasing its size to “a fully sterile security line of about 1,000 meters,” even though this would mean having to relocate about 50,000 Gaza residents. Interestingly, the Palestinian Authority’s Ahmed Qurei privately endorsed similar steps in 2008.

Read more

Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum

Why Hamas “Loves Death”—And Cease-Fires

Following the cease-fire announcement, Palestinian Muslims danced in the streets of Gaza, chanting, “People of Gaza, you have won.”

***

By Andrew Bostom

No less than 20 rockets were fired into Israel Wednesday (11/21/12) night within the first three hours after the cease-fire understanding between Israel and Hamas ostensibly began at 9 p.m. local time. Despite inauspicious beginnings, following an overnight calm, by Thursday morning (11/22/12), senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials maintained they believe Hamas and Islamic Jihad intended to implement the cease-fire with Israel, and prevent other jihadist factions from firing into Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak clarified that the cease-fire was not an agreement with Hamas, but rather a document of “understandings”—between Israel and Egypt, on the one hand, and Egypt and Hamas, on the other. During an interview with Israel Radio, Barak insisted,  “There is no agreement. I am holding the paper in my hands.” Moreover, Barak and the IDF believe that despite Hamas’ public triumphant crowing, the Gaza regime was privately aware of the significant level of damage its jihadist infrastructure had sustained during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Hamas’ renewed jihadist violence against Israel was punctuated, initially, by messages extolling their “love of death” to terrorize and demoralize the Israelis, then suing for a cease-fire when the Israelis retaliated with devastating effectiveness. These actions epitomize the archetypal jihad tactics of Islam’s founder Muhammad, idealized as the eternal model for behaviors that all Muslims should emulate.

Nearly six decades ago (in 1956), Arthur Jeffery, a great modern scholar of Islam, reviewed Guillaume’s magisterial English translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, the oldest and most important Muslim biography of Muhammad. Jeffery’s review included this trenchant observation:

Years ago the late Canon Gairdner in Cairo said that the best answer to the numerous apologetic Lives of Muhammad published in the interests of Muslim propaganda in the West would be an unvarnished translation of the earliest Arabic biography of the prophet.

W. H. T. (Canon) Gairdner, in 1915, highlighted the dilemma posed by Islam’s sacralization of Muhammad’s timeless behavioral role model, revealed in such pious Muslim biographical works:

As incidents in the life of an Arab conqueror, the tales of raiding, private assassinations and public executions, perpetual enlargements of the harem, and so forth, might be historically explicable and therefore pardonable but it is another matter that they should be taken as a setting forth of the moral ideal for all time.

As recorded by Palestinian Media  Watch, Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades—named after the murderous 1930s jihadist Izz al-Din al-Qassam—issued a November 18, 2012 message  addressed to Israeli soldiers, which stated:

From the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers: The Al-Qassam Brigades love death more than you love life. [emphasis added]

Such macabre, hideous sentiments are intrinsic to Hamas’ ideology, and deeply rooted in Islamic theology.

The Preamble to Hamas’ 1988 foundational covenant plainly affirms its abiding,  ancient commitment to jihad “martyrdom,” in the context of re-conquering all of historical Palestine:

[Hamas] joins arms with all those who wage jihad for the liberation of Palestine. The souls of its jihad fighters meet the souls of all those jihad fighters who sacrificed their lives for the land of Palestine, from the time when the Prophet’s companions conquered it until the present.

And the specific motif of Muslims as “loving death” more than infidels, especially perfidious Jews, love life, also dates back to the advent of Islam.

According to Islam’s seminal early historian, al-Tabari (d. 923), during Abu Bakr’s reign as Caliph (i.e., immediately after Muhammad’s death), his commander Khalid b. al-Walid’s wrote a letter in 634 to a Persian leader in Iraq identified as “Hurmuz,” warning of a prototypical expansionist jihad campaign, spearheaded by Muslim warriors enamored of death.

Read more

Between a rock and a hard place

By Melanie Phillips

In Israel, an enormous call-up of reservists suggests that a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent – and this morning’s further attacks on Tel Aviv make that more likely still. The prospect of a ground invasion fills Israelis with dread. A ground invasion means that Israeli soldiers will go into Gaza street by street and house by house to destroy the rocket launchers, rockets and ammunition dumps where they have been stored. Many have been situated in residential neighbourhoods, for two reasons: first, to deter the Israel Defence Force from attacking them for fear of killing civilians as a consequence; and second, to ensure that many Gazan civilians are indeed killed, thus guaranteeing an international outcry so that Israel will be forced to stop its operation to destroy these weapons.

Such a ground operation, where from past experience many of these places have been booby-trapped, carry the certainty of a high casualty rate among the Israeli soldiers.

That is why Israel today waits in dread. People in Britain and elsewhere who have the luxury of living in a country that has not been under existential attack for six decades have absolutely no idea of the extraordinary pressure under which so many Israeli families live. Their children are conscripted into the armed forces because Israel is under permanent threat of attack by an Arab and Muslim world which is determined to wipe Israel off the map.

And so these young Israelis are sent to fight and some of them — maybe many of them — will die, in a country where every such life that is lost is a national tragedy because the Jewish people was almost wiped out half a century ago, and their families will be torn apart – all because millions of murderous fanatics who believe the Jews must not be allowed to live in their own historic homeland continue to try to destroy that homeland and murder as many Jews as possible. And many more of Israel’s children will die if the Israel Defence Force starts a ground war in Gaza. Yet Israelis also know that if the rockets and missiles from Gaza are to stop, a ground war may be the only way to destroy these weapons since there is a limit to what can be achieved by aerial bombardment.

This is the kind of rock and very hard place indeed dilemma under which Israelis live week in, week out – and have done for more than sixty years, all because a bunch of fanatics are bent on their annihilation. Yet none of this is acknowledged by those in Britain, whose hearts bleed for the Palestinians who are the aggressors in this conflict but never for the Israelis who are their victims – and whose motives in mounting such a military operation must therefore be assumed to be malevolent or evil.

Among western leaders, the hypocrisy is particularly odious. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has been saying Israel has the right to defend itself against attack, nevertheless also says :

‘Israel does have to bear in mind that it is when ground invasions have taken place in previous conflicts that they have lost international support and a great deal of sympathy around the world.’

In the US similarly there are reportsthat Obama is telling Israel not to mount a ground invasion –because the likely toll of civilian casualties would benefit Hamas. So according to these leaders, Israel absolutely has the right to defend itself — but not actually to take the action that will defeat its attackers! And just whose international support might Israel lose by such a casualty toll? Why, the support of leaders like Hague and Obama!  What hypocrisy, furthermore, from those who have been bombing the living daylights out of Afghanistan but impose a totally different standard on Israel.

Of course, no-one in Israel imagines that even the most successful operation in Gaza will defeat the Hamas. The most they hope for is to degrade its capabilities for mass murder so that Israelis can have a few years free of attack before they have to do the same thing all over again.

The reason why this conflict goes on and on in this interminable way, leaving Israel in a state of permanent siege, is quite simple. It is that the so-called civilised world, for all its empty pledges of support for Israel, actually leaves it to swing in the wind.

It persists in casting the conflict entirely falsely as a fight over land boundaries. It totally ignores the Judeophobic incitement to hatred and murder of Israelis with which the Palestinians indoctrinate their children; it totally ignores the Nazi-style (and yes , it is straight from the Nazi lexicon) deranged racist demonisation of the Jews as cosmically evil people responsible for all the ills in the world and controlling everything that moves in the west; it totally ignores the statements made even by so-called moderates such as Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinians  will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, thus committing them to permanent war against it; it totally ignores the fact that this is a religious war against the Jews (read the Hamas Charter); it totally ignores the gross inversion and misrepresentation of history by which the Arabs have concealed the fact that it is only the Jewish peoplefor whom Israel was ever their national homeland.

Read more

Rockets? What Hamas Rockets?

IPT News

Violence between Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza this week is prompting the usual outcry from Islamist groups in America and abroad.

Rallies are planned in major cities throughout the United States Friday. Twitter feeds teemed with righteous outrage at what Islamists describe as Israeli aggression.

Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda Party issued a statement praising “the heroic Palestinian people and their steadfast struggle for their legitimate rights and continuous readiness to sacrifice all for that end.” It also “strongly condemns the continuous Zionist savage crimes committed against our brothers and sisters in Gaza and throughout Palestine.”

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood described Israeli strikes as “criminal aggression” done under the cover of American protection.

Nowhere do any of the organizations or activists mention the thousands of rockets Palestinian terrorists have fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza toward Israeli civilians. The pattern holds true among American Islamists.

A statement issued Thursday from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) illustrates this point. Israel “has escalated air and ground attacks against the Gaza Strip, killing Palestinian men, women and children,” it says. “Israel is claiming these attacks are about going after militants, but in reality it’s about assassination of Palestinian leaders, destruction of Gazan infrastructure and the gross killings of Palestinian civilians, including women and children.”

The statement offers no information to substantiate such a claim. Israel military officials, in contrast, have posted videos of one of their strikes, which targeted the longtime head of Hamas’s military wing. Other posts show how rocket launchers are placed strategically amid civilian areas, creating unwitting human shields of nearby residents and increasing the chances for collateral casualties.

MPAC mentioned none of this, but called on the United States to pressure Israel to back off and cast Israel as dictating policy for America. “Obama has four more years as the elected leader of our nation. Rather than capitulating to a foreign government that is bent on aggression, he should be meeting with human rights activists, religious leaders, student groups and the international community who are calling for the U.S. to stand up for America’s interests against any and all human rights abuses.”

The statement makes no reference to Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and makes no call for the rocket fire to cease. This is nothing new. But if the concern truly is for the wellbeing of Palestinians in Gaza, condemnation of Hamas for placing them in harm’s way seems in order.

Similarly, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a group which has defended Hamas previously, issued a series of posts organizing protests Thursday and Friday in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities. Organizers of a rally in New York Thursday night include the Muslim American Society’s New York chapter, Arab Muslim American Federation and Students for Justice in Palestine chapters.

“Demand President Obama take action this time and pressure the Israeli government to end their attacks on the people of Gaza and end the illegal blockade of Gaza,” an AMP release promoting the protests said.

It does not appear to be working. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that the United States lays the blame for the conflict at Hamas’s feet. “Hamas claims to have the best interest of the Palestinian people at heart. Yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause,” Carney said. “Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people closer to achieving self determination.”

President Obama “reiterated the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense” in calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Carney added.

Read more

Muslim Brotherhood Mobilizes for Hamas

By Ryan Mauro

Israel has finally struck back against the terrorist enclave of Gaza after having 120 rockets fired at it since Saturday and over 700 this year alone. For now, the Obama administration is rhetorically supporting Israel, but the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt is doubling down on its support for Hamas, Gaza’s ruling terrorist organization, and has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel. U.S.-based Islamists and their non-Muslim allies can be counted on in the ensuing days to pressure the administration to throw Israel under the bus in favor of the Islamist rulers of Egypt. If Egypt takes action, the administration will have to choose between its relationship with Israel or its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no middle ground to straddle.

The Israeli Defense Forces struck 100 terrorist targets, and the Iron Dome missile defense system took out 28 rockets before they landed in Israel. The campaign began with a precision strike on a car carrying Hamas military chief Ahmad Jabari, the mastermind of the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Video of the strike shows it was designed to minimize civilian casualties. The IDF tweeted, “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leader, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.” Israel is also threatening a ground operation into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says the initial strike “opened the gates of hell” and it will fight back. With about 35,000 fighters, that’s no idle threat. Senior Hamas leaders say they are considering firing long-range rockets at Rishon LeZion, a city 7 miles from Tel Aviv. They are also contemplating carrying out suicide bombings and assassinations and are in talks with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and other Gaza-based terrorists like the Popular Resistance Committees and Palestinian Islamic Jihad about their response. The involvement of the latter is significant because its alliance with Iran remains solid. The relationship between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran has been strained because they are on opposite sides in Syria.

Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood warns that Israel will not go unchallenged like it did during Operation Cast Lead in 2009. It promises “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres”—massacres that never happened. The Brotherhood said the situation is different now because of the Arab Spring and Egypt “will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.”

Egyptian President Morsi will be under increasing pressure to take action and its political benefits will be tempting. The Brotherhood’s popularity in Egypt is declining but a new poll shows that 77% of the public favor dissolving the peace treaty with Israel, up from under 25% about three years ago.

Opponents of Israel will accuse it of destroying the non-existent peace process. On the contrary, the Israeli strikes, especially the one on Jabari, are necessary for progress towards peace to happen. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and in September 2010, Jabari threatened to torpedo peace talks by increasing attacks. The Hamas charter even says, “The time will not come until the Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”

The political pressure on President Obama to demand a ceasefire will grow quickly. Anti-Israel forces on the left will make their voices heard. Muslim-Americans were a part of the coalition that won him re-election with over 85% voting for him, according to a survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  Anti-Israel advisors to the administration, especially those with Islamist ties, will argue that the fighting is counter-productive. Already, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee, is tweeting that Israel’s military tactics don’t work and it must “elect a peacemaker like Sadat.”

The Islamist networks in the U.S. will use their massive organizational capabilities to demand U.S. pressure on Israel, and they’ll make good use of their interfaith allies.

American Muslims for Palestine, an Islamist group that meets with State Department officials, quickly condemned Israel and demanded that the U.S. cut off aid. Its statement did not even mention the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel. It accused Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of waging war for political gain ahead of his country’s January 22 election. The theme echoed the Brotherhood, which lashed out  at “The Zionist war that is operating under electoral calculations for personal gain…”

The U.S.-based Islamists will undoubtedly use the American Muslims for Palestine conference on November 22-25 in Oak Brook Hills, Illinois to mobilize supporters against the Obama administration’s stance. A  second blockbuster Islamist event is being held on December 21-25 in Chicago, the 11th annual Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America convention. The power of these groups, especially when they coordinate, cannot be discounted.

The situation will dramatically escalate if the Palestinian Authority asks the United Nations to recognize it as a nonmember observer state. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has written a draft proposal to recognize a provisional Palestinian state with temporary borders if it abandons this course. If it does not, a Foreign Minister position paper argues for toppling Palestinian President Abbas and dismantling the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamists in the U.S. and their anti-Israel allies are about to move full force. President Obama said in March that the U.S. will “always have Israel’s back.” To honor that commitment, he will have to stand up to the Islamist network and international community. If Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood do indeed take action, he will have to abandon his faulty hope of an accommodation with them.

We’ve been told to ignore the fiery rhetoric of the Muslim Brotherhood because they are a “moderate” force. We’ve been told that the administration is a stalwart friend of Israel. Those two reassurances are about to be tested.

Published at Front Page

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.

Mixed Signals on Jihadist Role in Syria

Free Syrian Army

IPT Blog:

As reports mount that jihadists are playing a larger role in the fighting in Syria, Israeli security forces are preparing for the possibility of cross-border terrorist attacks.

Israeli Defense Ministry officials say terror groups are flocking to Syria from Iraq and other countries. While their main objective is toppling dictator Bashar al-Assad, there is concern that terrorists may target Israelis living in the Golan Heights.

The military’s working assumption is that a terrorist attack from the Syrian border can occur without the prior intelligence, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Brig. Gen. Tamir Hyman said Thursday.

“Terror organizations may seek to exploit a situation of instability and lack of governability that may develop on the Syrian side of the border,” Hyman said at a briefing for reporters on the Golan.

But a number of recent media accounts suggest that Syrians fighting Assad are determined to prevent their revolution from being hijacked by jihadists.

A report in The New Republic this week describes the case of Walid al-Boustani, head of an “Islamic Emirate of Homs” which lasted only a few weeks. The locals did not appreciate an “Emir” who murdered and kidnapped their friends. So, in March a local Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigade executed Boustani, a native of Lebanon.

Many Syrians suspect that jihadists like Boustani are agents of the Assad regime or that their organizations have been infiltrated by Baathist spies.

The author of the New Republic piece, Arab social media analyst Tyler Golson, writes that many in the FSA want nothing to do with jihadists. For these revolutionaries, the critical question is whether Washington is regarded as a serious player in arming the Syrian resistance.

Right now, independent Salafi sheikhs have indicated a willingness to support militant groups outside the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army.

“If a unified jihadist opposition did manage to challenge the Free Syrian Army’s primacy in the coming months, it could be an ominous indicator of where Syria’s opposition is heading,” Golson writes. “We could see the Free Syrian Army’s central leadership begin to placate the Islamists by adopting Islamist rhetoric or institutions such as a sharia council, or Saudi Arabia starting to hedge its support for the FSA by taking meetings with upstart Islamist ‘emirs.’ Either way, it would mean that the jihad is very much on in Syria.”

Read the full article here.