Israeli Security Sees Rising West Bank Salafi-Jihadi Threat

The American Studies Association’s Badge of Shame

Boycott_Jews_april_1_1933by :

The American Studies Association (ASA) voted this week for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The action taken by the ASA is nothing less than a badge of shame. The ostensible reason given was “solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge the freedom for all, including Palestinians.” The truth is, however, that the ASA has never targeted any other country for a boycott.  Israel, a democracy that protects the civil liberties and religious freedoms of its minorities, while protecting its citizens from constant Palestinian terrorism, is the ASA’s sole target. While measures such as checkpoints are used by Israel to protect its citizens from Palestinian suicide bombers, one can hardly regard them as a form of injustice.  Palestinian students might arrive late to class on occasion but the measures do not impede their studies or academic freedom.

The ASA is alleged to have 5,000 members, and the association has described itself as the “nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” In the vote to endorse the boycott, 1,252 members voted. Of those, 66% voted for the boycott, 30.5% voted against. Following the vote, the ASA announced, “We believe that the ASA endorsement of the boycott is warranted, given U.S. military and other support for Israel. Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many of the ASA…”

Abe Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director responded to the ASA boycott with the following statement: “This shameful, morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest attack on academic freedom by the American Studies Association should be soundly condemned by all who are committed to the ideal that open exchange of ideas is the most effective way to achieve change. Targeting Israeli institutions solely because they are in Israel – the only democratic country in the Middle East where scholarship and debate are encouraged and flourish – is based on myopic and fundamentally distorted perspective of Israel and the conflict, and it is manifestly unjust.”

The arbitrary focus on Israel by the ASA, while ignoring the Muslim world where women and religious minority rights are routinely violated, reveals a clear prejudice on the part of the ASA. The ASA’s own words suggest an ideological bias in declaring, “Given U.S. military and other support for Israel,” as if the U.S. does not give military and financial aid to other countries, including the Palestinian Authority. U.S. aid to the Palestinians hasn’t curtailed its encouragement of hatred and intolerance towards Jews and Israel throughout its educational system. Palestinian campuses are hotbeds of anti-Zionism, and the professors and administrators have openly and consistently spawned terrorism against the Jewish State. And, while Israeli-Jews are unwelcome on Arab or Palestinian-Arab campuses, Arabs in Israel enjoy academic freedom – including the right to wage raucous demonstrations against the Jewish state. ASA members should ask the simple question pertaining to freedom and human rights: Could a Jewish-Israeli student survive on a Palestinian campus? The obvious answer is no. He or she would likely be killed.

Another reason given for the ASA boycott against Israeli academic institutions is allegedly “Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions.” This shameful excuse by the ASA is indicative of malice, if not ignorance. The ASA should know that the UN has been stacked against Israel almost from the beginning. The combination of the Muslim and Soviet blocs could have passed a resolution in the General Assembly that the “earth is flat” and it would have won by an overwhelming majority. Today, while the Soviet bloc is gone, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is still the largest and most influential voting bloc in the UN. Insofar as international law is concerned, UN Security Council Resolution 242 speaks of Israel exchanging “territory,” not all the territories in the West Bank or Judea and Samaria it liberated from Jordan in 1967. Jordan occupied these territories during the 1948 War of Independence and its annexation attempts were never recognized by the international community. Egypt and Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel and the former received the entire Sinai Peninsula in return. Jordan, too, settled its claims with Israel.

Read more at Front Page

 

Kerry’s Slander of ‘Illegitimate’ Israeli Settlements

ker-450x260By P. David Hornik:

The Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” have reportedly hit a rough patch. The talks on Tuesday were said to have “ended in a row, with raised voices and the exchange of verbal insults.”

It started last week when Israel released the second batch of Palestinian security prisoners, all of whom were serving time for murder or attempted murder. They were welcomed as heroes in Ramallah. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas shook each freed prisoner’s hand, and they were awarded generous cash grants on top of the stipends they already receive.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to allay outrage particularly on the more right-leaning side of his coalition, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the building of 3500 housing units for Israelis—all of them either in East Jerusalem or West Bank (Judea and Samaria) settlement blocs. Several Israeli officials claimed the Palestinian side had already consented to such construction as a quid pro quo for the prisoner releases.

Tuesday’s dustup in the talks was said to have erupted over that issue. The Palestinian negotiators claimed their side had never agreed to such a quid pro quo and slammed the construction itself. Many reports said the talks on the whole were on the verge of collapse.

A few hours later, on Tuesday afternoon, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry arrived in Israel in an effort to salvage the situation.

He lost no time taking the Palestinian side.

For one thing, he claimed that “at no time” had the Palestinians consented to any Israeli building beyond the 1949 armistice lines—even, it was implied, as a concession in return for Israel’s wholesale freeing of terrorists.

Kerry also stated, immediately after discussions with Abbas: “Let me emphasize at this point the position of the United States of America on the settlements is that we consider them…to be illegitimate.”

Considering that about half a million Israelis now live in Jerusalem neighborhoods that are dubbed “settlements” and in West Bank communities, which include full-fledged towns like Modi’in Illit (pop. 59,000), Beitar Illit (pop. 46,000), Maale Adumim (pop. 39,000), Ariel (pop. 18,000) and others, and considering that in some of these areas Israelis are subjected to frequent, potentially lethal rock- and firebomb-throwing attacks, along with actual lethal and near-lethal shooting, beating, and stabbing attacks in recent months (hereherehere, and here), the charge that all Israeli Jewish residence in these places is “illegitimate” is serious indeed and seemingly incendiary and dangerous.

Read more at Front Page

Palestinian Authority Endorses Shooting of 9-Year-Old Jewish Girl

israeli-girl-450x301Front Page, By :

Obama claimed that President Abbas is Israel’s true peace partner and that giving him and his Fatah buddies a country to run will make Israel safer.

Here’s a look at how safe that will be… starting with Noam Glick, a 9-year-old girl

After a nine-year-old girl was shot in the Israeli town of Psagot in the West Bank yesterday, the administrator of an official Fatah Facebook page praised the terrorist shooter. He related the attack to a sniper attack that killed an Israeli soldier in Hebron two weeks ago.

Writing on behalf of Fatah, the page administrator praised “the sniper of Palestine” who began his work in Hebron (the shooting of the soldier), passed through El-Bireh (the shooting of the girl), and – according to the Fatah Facebook page administrator – will continue in more places in the future.

Here’s the heroic Sniper of Palestine at work.

The girl was playing in the yard of her house when she was hit by a shot to the upper body. The girl was rushed from the scene to the hospital in Jerusalem.

A second paramedic on the scene, Yoni Hacohen, said the girl was frightened and in pain. “She spoke to us on the way the whole time. She was a real hero and we told her so,” he said.

The spokesman for Psagot, David Tzviel, said later on Saturday night that it is known for a fact that the shooter infiltrated the settlement, and that the girl was not shot by a sniper. He said he based this on the testimony of the girl, who told rescue personnel that she saw the man who shot her enter her yard, come up onto the balcony and shoot her.

Another glorious achievement for the Muslim Martyrs Brigade of Palestine. Consider the incredible heroism involved in sneaking into a back yard and shooting a 9-year-old girl.

I’m sure Allah will double his 72 virgins just for that.

Sadly the Hero of Palestine’s attempt to murder the entire Glick family was prevented by a 9-year-old girl.

On Saturday night, a terrorist entered the community of Psagot, north of Jerusalem, and shot nine-year-old Noam Glick in the neck at close range. The girl was badly injured, but is in good condition after surgery.

According to her father Yisrael, if it had not been for Noam’s quick response, the attack could have ended in the entire family’s murder.

“It’s the most frightening thing that can happen to a family – that a terrorist enters the family home,” he told IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal). “The terrorist basically was startled by Noam and, instead of entering the house, shot her… Her scream saved us from disaster.”

Noam was conscious after the shooting and was able to tell her parents that a man with his face covered had entered the yard and had shot her.

Maybe the Heroic Palestinian snipers should stick to shooting ten month olds like Shalhevet Pass.

Israel Hopes to Avoid Third Intifada Despite Palestinian Rhetoric, Violence

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News

Obama to Israel: Suicide Is Security

obama-downturn-economy-28NOV2012-620x413-450x335 By :

“Friends of Israel, including the United States,” President Obama said in his speech to the UN on Tuesday, “must recognize that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends upon the realization of a Palestinian state….”

Particularly because of its timing, the statement left most Israelis rubbing their eyes.

Transportation Minister Israel Katz of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party called Obama’s words “one of the worst statements by an American president in history. Israel’s existence does not depend on anything, especially not the Palestinians….”

Imagine carving out about one-fourth of the U.S. and making it a separate country bordering Washington and a few miles from New York. This country is populated by people who systematically teach their children that the United States has no right to exist and must be destroyed, and name schools, public squares, and summer camps after terrorists who have inflicted mass-casualty attacks on the U.S.

No one in his right mind would call that a way to ensure America’s security.

There are, though, more specific reasons to marvel at (while not being surprised by) Obama’s words.

Over the past week, two Israeli soldiers have been murdered by Palestinian terror. On Friday 20-year-old Tomer Hazan was killed by a Palestinian coworkerwho lured him to his village near Qalqilya in the West Bank. On Sunday 20-year-old Gavriel Kovi was killed by a Palestinian sniper while guarding civilians in the West Bank town of Hebron.

In the case of Tomer Hazan’s murder, the coworker, Nidal Amar, tried to hide his body in a bid to use it as ransom for Amar’s brother, jailed in Israel on terror charges. Amar was quickly apprehended.

In the case of Gavriel Kovi’s murder, the killer has not yet been found.

No condemnation of these acts was forthcoming from any Palestinian Authority official, including President Mahmoud Abbas—this at a time when Israel is engaged in yet another round of “peace talks” with the PA that Secretary of State John Kerry heavily pressured both sides to launch.

Read more at Front Page

Also see Caroline Glick’s latest, Obama’s power and its limitations

America’s Problems in the Middle East are Just Beginning

images (5)By David P. Goldman:

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran meanwhile smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills a large number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically-elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

As it happens, Iran already is smuggling weapons  via Syria to the West Bank to gain leverage against the Abbas government, asStratfor reports (hat tip: the Daily Alert), including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. Hamas crushed Fatah in the 2006 West Bank elections parliamentary elections 74-45, and made short work of the supposedly moderate Palestinian faction when it seized power in Gaza in 2007. As Syria disintegrates, along with Iraq and Lebanon, the artificial borders of Arab states drawn first by Ottoman conquerors and revised by British and French colonial authorities will have small meaning. Palestinians caught up in the Syrian and and Lebanese conflagrations would pour into a new Palestinian state and swell the ranks of the hard-core Jihadi irredentists. Iran will continue to use Hamas as a cat’s paw.

Among other things, the American response to the events in Egypt shows the utter pointlessness of American security guarantees in the present negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority. Even in the extremely unlikely event that Mohammed Abbas chose to make peace with Israel, he would face a high probability of civil war, just as Ireland’s independence leader Michael Collins did when he struck a deal with the British for an Irish “Free State” rather than a republic. Collins killed more Irishmen than the British did in the preceding independence struggle. I do not want to compare Abbas to Collins, and I do not think he has any intention of making peace with Israel. But American blundering in Egypt has closed out the option, for whoever makes peace with Israel will require a free hand with Iranian-backed rejectionists.

Read more at PJMedia

 

Report: Iran, Hamas Trying to Sneak Syrian Arms into West Bank

Palestinian militants in Saair, West Bank, on Feb. 25. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Palestinian militants in Saair, West Bank, on Feb. 25. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

by IPT News:

While there’s obvious concern about radical Islamists smuggling weapons into Syria as part of the fight against dictator Bashar al-Assad, an intelligence analysis agency says Iran may be funneling dangerous arms in the opposite direction.

recent analysis from Stratfor cites the arrest of five Syrian arms and drug smugglers in Jordan last Tuesday. They carried anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles and assault rifles. Jordan has been used as a supply route for arms meant for Syrian rebels. But Stratfor notes that the suspects were picked up heading south, away from Syria.

It cites unnamed sources who say the smugglers were trying to take weapons out of Syria and give them to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the West Bank. The PFLP-GC has close ties to Syrian intelligence, and the report offers a theory that the secular terrorist group was working in service of the Islamists in Hamas.

Confusing the matter is a series of conflicting alliances over Syria. Shia Iran and its Lebanese terrorist proxy Hizballah are propping Assad up with weapons and troops. The Sunni Hamas, however, has sided with the rebels. This has put a chill in relations among the parties, with Iran dramatically cutting its financial support for Hamas and Hamas moving its operations out of Syria.

But Stratfor theorizes that necessity is bringing the parties’ interests back into alignment. The failure of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt has left Hamas isolated, and Iran “is trying to compensate for the sectarian challenges confronting its allies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq by widening its militant proxy network wherever it can. Part of this strategy involves building up a presence in the West Bank to threaten Israel. This strategy also falls in line with Hamas’ interest in undermining Fatah,” which rules the West Bank.

If correct, the development is troubling for Israel, which already faces rocket fire targeting civilians from Gaza and now from Sinai. The arms could be used to ambush Israeli soldiers. Jordan already is on high alert for weapons smuggling, and observant officers intercepted the West Bank-bound cargo, so the terrorists will not have an easy time making their deliveries. But, Stratfor finds, these “quiet efforts are worth noting, particularly as Hamas and Iran are now finding reasons to repair their relationship after a period of strain.”

Read the full analysis here.

Israeli Prisons, Hothouses for Breeding Palestinian Terrorists

by Anat Berko
Special to IPT News
August 2, 2013

 

Islam’s Iconoclasm and the War Against Christians

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Orthodox Church in West Bank desecrated by Muslims, showing the burnt and defaced iconostasis (icon screen)

by Ralph Sidway:

One of the great sorrows — after the church attacks, murders, abductions, rapes and forced conversions — caused by the Islamic persecution of Christians must be the defilement of holy icons by Muslims. Indeed, it is highly probable that the iconoclast heresy which rocked Christianity in the seventh through the ninth centuries was triggered or accelerated by the brutal and sudden rise of Islam after the death of Muhammad in 632A.D.

Even after the Seventh Ecumenical Council upheld the use of icons (in 787), the iconoclasts continued to trouble the Church, led by the emperor Theophilus. But after his death, in 842 the icons were permanently restored, and continue to be a defining characteristic of the Orthodox Church and all the Eastern Christian communions (the Coptic Church, Assyrian and Chaldean churches, etc.).

Islam is strongly set against images of any kind, although one may encounter in rare Islamic books depictions of Muhammad and his earliest companions, or Muhammad being visited by the spirit-being supposed to be the archangel Gabriel. But when it comes to Christian images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or the saints, Islam is the “icon smasher” extraordinaire. (“Icon smasher” is a literal translation of “iconoclast.”)

In the Christian lands conquered by Muslims from the seventh century onwards, only a small percentage of churches were left to serve the indigenous Christian population. Those churches not destroyed were converted into mosques, their frescoes and mosaics painted or covered over, or, if they were panel icons, hacked into pieces and burned.

Naming and confronting Islam’s profound, innate hatred of traditional Christianity’s holy images helps us grasp the deeper motivations behind the recent push to re-convert all the Hagia Sophia churches of Turkey into mosques, including and especially the great Hagia Sophia of Constantinople (Istanbul) built by the Emperor Justinian in 537A.D.

Read more

Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad.  He operates the Facing Islam blog.

 

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)

Kerry’s folly, Israel’s peril

-252791648by Frank Gaffney:

In one of Team Obama’s trademark Friday afternoon specials, Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week that his six rounds of shuttle diplomacy had resulted in an agreement to reconvene Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.  As usual, the timing was appropriate for an initiative designed to garner favorable headlines, but that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

It appears that Kerry has bought this “breakthrough” by bullying Israel into making further concessions to its Palestinian enemies, even before the talks begin.  In exchange for nothing more than the Palestinians’ agreement-in-principle to resume them, the Israelis will release some number of additional convicted terrorists.  Never mind that the ones left in Israeli jails after numerous previous releases are, by and large, those who have most successfully and murderously attacked innocent civilians in the Jewish State.

If the Israelis once again pay this price, they must expect the same results as before: More hardened criminals unleashed to wage jihad against Israel – and against any Palestinians that might actually wish to make peace with her.

The rapturous public welcome routinely accorded these terrorists makes clear that it is such war-mongers, not the peace-makers, who are blessed in the radicalized West Bank.  That is even more true in Gaza, where few defy the despotic and virulently anti-Israel dictates of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise: the designated terrorist organization, Hamas.

For that reason, among many others, notwithstanding Kerry’s ego-driven pursuit of negotiations, his purported “breakthrough” cannot produce real progress towards a genuine peace.  And inevitably, pressure will begin to mount all over again for further Israeli concessions.

This pattern was evident in the immediate aftermath of the latest Friday afternoon special.  Unidentified Palestinian officials promptly put out the word that Secretary Kerry had, as The Blaze reported, given “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a letter guaranteeing that new peace negotiations with Israel will be based on pre-1967 borders.”

Israeli officials, including prominent politicians in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, have responded sharply.  They deny any agreement to use as the basis for these talks a return to the indefensible territorial boundaries that have aptly been called “Auschwitz borders.”  So, the new negotiations may founder before they begin.

But let’s engage in a thought-experiment.  Just for the purpose of discussion, consider what would happen if Israel did agree to surrender territory on the West Bank and Golan Heights that provides a modicum of strategic depth to the otherwise incredibly vulnerable Jewish State?

One need look no further than the emerging correlation of forces arrayed against Israel.  The unmistakable reality is that it is facing the prospect for the first time in a generation of actual or prospective enemies on every side, including potentially devastating attacks from the sea.

Read more at Center For Security Policy

Obama Trip Map Cuts Jerusalem, the Golan Heights Out of Israel

obamasisrael-275x350Front Page - By Daniel Greenfield:

Diplomacy. This administration is bad at it. Sure you could write this off as a graphic designer’s error, but it’s an error that hews closely to  the geography of an anti-Israel policy.

I wouldn’t expect Obama Inc. to include Judea and Samaria inside Israel. But cutting out Jerusalem and the Golan Heights would seem to be a bit much.

Obama Inc’s bids to get Israel to give up the Golan Heights stalled when Assad became an international war criminal and the odds of the new Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda overlords making a deal with Israel for the Golan Heights seems wildly unlikely, even by the insane peace madness standards of the last twenty years.

But for some reason Obama Inc. is standing on principle. As for Jerusalem, cutting off all of it suggests what? A revival of the old international city plan?

And apparently Obama expects Israel to hand over territory within its 1948 borders to a Palestinian state on top of that?

The map of the Middle East displayed in an Obama administration video released days before President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel shows the Jewish state dispossessed of substantial parts of its current territory, including its capital.

The map of Israel, displayed repeatedly during the video, shows the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, northern Israel, and areas surrounding what is currently the West Bank as non-Israeli territory. The Golan Heights is shown as part of Syria; Jerusalem is shown as part of the West Bank; and northern Israel is shown as part of Lebanon.

The itinerary on the White House website also implies that Jerusalem is neither Israel’s capital nor even part of Israel.

The president’s schedule lists two stops in “Tel Aviv, Israel” and one in “Amman, Jordan” but his activities in Israel’s capital city are identified as taking place only in “Jerusalem” — with no country name attached. This keeps with a reluctantly-acknowledged administration policy of denying that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital or even a part of Israel.

Jerusalem? What, where is that.

 

images (33)

 

 

An Israeli Soldier’s song to the world for Passover:

 

 

Facebook’s “Accidental Mistake” and Free Speech in the Arab World

FB censoringby Khaled Abu Toameh

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants. One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who “accidentally” removed the article will make the same mistake and and close down the accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders. It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing there voices.

“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” — George Bernard Shaw

Earlier this week, Facebook closed down this writer’s account for “security reasons,” arguing that he had posted an item that violates its terms of use.

Twenty-four hours later, Facebook issued a “sincere apology” and said that a member of its team had “accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake.”

Although Facebook did not say which “problematic” item had prompted it to take such a drastic measure, apparently it was referring to an article that had been published by Gatestone Institute: The Palestinian Authority’s Inconvenient Truths.

Facebook’s move came at a time when Arab dictatorships in general, and the Palestinian Authority in particular, have been cracking down on Facebook users.

During the past year alone, a number of Palestinian journalists and bloggers were arrested by Western-funded Palestinian Authority security services in the West Bank for criticizing the PA leadership on their Facebook pages.

Among those detained was Esmat Abdel Khaleq, a university lecturer in journalism. She was held in detention for two weeks for posting comments on her Facebook page that allegedly insult Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. The media in the West Bank is mostly controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has repeatedly demonstrated a large degree of intolerance toward any form of criticism. The same applies, of course, to most Arab dictatorships.

Arab governments have obviously become wary of the use their critics are making of Facebook to air their grievances and opinions. In some countries, including the Palestinian Authority, intelligence services have set up special teams to monitor Facebook and other social media networks in search of critics and “dissidents.”

But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants.

One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who “accidentally” removed the article will make the same mistake and close down accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders.

Take for example, the account of senior Hamas official Izzat al Risheq, or the numerous accounts that promote hatred and violence and are openly affiliated with terrorist and jihadi groups.

All one has to do is log in to these accounts, especially the ones in Arabic, to see how most of them are engaged in all forms of incitement.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Israel’s jihad is mine

Qanta Ahmed

Qanta Ahmed

IPT:

by Qanta Ahmed Times of Israel January 10, 2013

As Israel considers building a new fence to contain the Syrian conflict to the north, which fences can keep out Hamas’s even more lethal ideologies? While Gaza and the Muslim Arab world continue to claim victory in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, for the sane observers among us, there is only ever defeat – the defeat of morality in the desecration of a great religion. While most Muslims laud Hamas and scorn Israel, for me, an observing Muslim, Israel’s war against Hamas remains my struggle – my jihad.

Israel’s eight-day operation “Pillar of Defense” sought to dismantle the Hamas apparatus from within Gaza. The predictably seamless alignment of the Muslim world against Israel was even more breathtaking than usual in the face of Syria’s 22 months of systematic genocide, one which has consistently failed to trigger unanimous Muslim protest. What does this say about us as Muslims?

We are hypocrites.

While Muslims define Israel as the enemy, we ignore Assad, and diabolically laud Hamas. Hamas is never sated – each year it devours ever more Palestinians, regardless of age or gender. If Israelis lose fewer citizens than the Palestinians in these conflicts it is for the same reason Israel exchanges more prisoners for each captive soldier: quite simply Israel values human life more than does Hamas, which relishes ground operations taking place among densely populate civilian areas.

Explaining this to Muslims in the Twitterverse, I get sharply reminded that Hamas does not have the “luxury of launch sites” that Israel enjoys. Have we lost our minds, Muslims? How can we speak of ‘launch sites’ as ‘luxuries’ while disregarding the culling taking place in Syria? Perhaps we have not lost our minds, but we have most certainly lost our religion.

As I am not one to speak for others, allow me to let Hamas speak for themselves. They are bald-faced about their mission, seeking glory through death, annunciation through annihilation:

We are ready to offer 1,000, 2,000 or even 10,000 martyrs every year. We are ready to keep offering martyrs for twenty years because we are sure we are moving in the right direction and that we will prevail in the end” (Hamas leader Khalid Al Mish’al in Gaza”

To Hamas, a Palestinian life is worth more when “martyred,” a dead child more of a blessing than one living. “The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds [martyrs] of tomorrow,” reads a sign displayed at a Hamas-run kindergarten. The martyrdom mantra is their anthem.

While observers speculate Hamas will shortly usurp the crumbling Fatah leadership and ideologically annex the West Bank, we must remember Hamas’ raison d’etre: Islamist nihilism, a totalitarian ideology, jet-fueled on the language and images stolen from mighty Islam. Israeli negotiators who must engage with this opponent are walking on the sharp-edged sword of Damocles and unlike Muslims, the Israelis certainly know it.

Coloring their fascism with Islam, Hamas claims religious legitimacy to openly seek destruction of the Jewish state and eradication of the Jewish people. By grafting themselves onto Into Islamic ideals – the vertebral column of that which is most sacred to Muslims – they render Islam itself heinous, representing their true ruthlessness: theirs is a willingness to sacrifice anything –including Islam – to portray Israel as evil.

This ethos was captured in a single unprecedented obscenity: Hamas’ morbid motorcade. Cocksure thugs, defiantly cruising on motorcycles trailed exposed cadavers of Palestinians – Muslim men – trousers pooled at dead ankles. To chants of ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ as dozens of Palestinian onlookers silently watched, Hamas took its ghoulish victory lap explicitly to show Gazans how they execute ‘suspected informers to Israel’. This is the Islam of Hamas.

This is why Hamas does not represent me, or other believing Muslims. This is why Israel’s battle is mine. This is why Israel’s struggle – Israel’s jihad – is mine. These are the ‘Muslims’ that Israelis must confront and these are the “Muslims” who intimidate innocent Palestinians into subjugation to their monstrous political Islamism.

But we Muslims in particular, more than conflict-hardened Israelis, should hardly be surprised, for it was Muslims who were once forewarned of scourges such as Hamas.

The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) was once asked what he most feared for his followers. Centuries later, his response, recorded in the hadith, haunts, stating he feared those who:

…Interpret verses of the Qur’an out of context…A people that recite Qur’an….but it will not go past their throats, a people with excellent words and vile deeds. They will pass through the religion (of Islam) like the arrow passes through its quarry. They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its course. They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all creation. They summon to the book of Allah, but they have nothing to do with it. Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they.

This is the true nature of Hamas, which recites the Quran yet doesn’t hold it in their hearts, that “summon to the book of Allah but have nothing to do with it.” By the above, it would seem the IDF (that eliminates Hamas) is surely closer to Allah than Hamas.

Yet instead of condemning Hamas, and recognizing them as imposters among us, the Muslim world celebrates them, even as Hamas violates the most profound Islamic principle: the sanctity of life, a right man must protect even in preference to any rights God claims from man.

When Muslims support Hamas, we support no less than the signatories to Islam’s collective extinction. Muslim support renders Hamas legitimate, their methods acceptable, their ideals valid. Our support as Muslims is their lifeblood. In supporting them, we hemorrhage our only currency, our only asset – our great monotheism.

Two years into the Arab Awakening, the freshly turned soil is ripe for the seeding. Hamas operatives everywhere are already celebrated as ‘liberators’ of Gazans, when they have actually long been their jailers, ‘victors’ over Israel, when Hamas is the personal death knell of all pluralism in the region. Gazans so recently celebrating in the street are no more than hostages afflicted with the worst Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, heading to their own death through their misplaced hope in their virulently Islamist leadership.

During Operation Pillar of Defense, Jewish friends said “this must be such a difficult time for you, but I am glad of our friendship” implying that because I am Muslim, my loyalty must surely be to Gaza, my enmity automatically aligned with Israel.

Not so. As a Muslim, I am clear: my loyalty is with Islam, and therefore explicitly with justice, justice for all humanity, a humanity that must include Jews. Hamas is obscenely unjust, so how can my loyalty be with them? To be loyal to Hamas is no less than to abandon Islam. To be loyal to Hamas is the ultimate blasphemy.

While I understand the need for Israeli negotiators to engage with Hamas first to secure the current ceasefire and then for some sort of functional peace, the reality is their militant ideology must be suffocated out of existence or else the détente is little more than an illusion. For this, unlike for suicide bombers or Syrian rockets, there are no Israeli fences or walls, no Iron Domes, only Muslim barriers – robust barriers of counter-ideology.

It is Muslims who must take the first steps to excoriate Hamas, to expose them as the ruthless nihilists they explicitly announce themselves to be. We must scorn Hamas for masquerading among the poor as their savior when they are instead their executioner. Muslims must hold all media accountable for telling the truth: Palestinians are the Muslims orphaned not by Israel but by the entire Muslim world itself. Land-grabs and permanent refugee camps are testament to such.

We must ask ourselves the difficult questions. Does Hamas, who prostitute their progeny in the service of terror, represent Islam? Is Hamas emulating our Prophet as they rain rockets on unarmed, civilian, non-combatants? Do their Fajr missiles, named after Muslim prayers no less, encompass the spirit of Islam as was revealed to its followers? Do Hamas’ stated goals – including elimination of Israel – represent coexistence with the People of the Book, who are cherished in the Quran as dear to God and their Messenger, Moses, particularly admired by our Maker for his courage in the face of fear?

Don’t be fooled by Hamas’ words Muslims; we have a duty to judge them on their vile deeds.

If Islam is to truly thrive, it will only do so when more and more anti-Islamist Muslims confront and extinguish radical Islamist ideologues. Otherwise, we stand to lose both Israel and Islam in one fell swoop of the Islamist axe. Whether rescuing Palestinians and Israelis captive to the whim of Hamas, or rescuing Islam from Islamist Hamas, this is truly our jihad and no one else’s, which is why Israel’s jihad is also mine.

Qanta Ahmed is a physician and author of In the Land of Invisible Women; Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion; @MissDiagnosis; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/qanta-ahmed/

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