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.

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The Burgas Attack: Iran’s Terror War Against Israel

By P. David Hornik

Wednesday’s suicide bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian tour guide, as well as the bomber himself. Over thirty Israelis were also injured, three of them seriously.

The bomber had a fake driver’s license of the state of Michigan. On Thursday evening Bulgarian media named him as Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen who was in the Guantanamo detainment camp from 2002 to 2004 and whose freedom was basically secured by the Swedish authorities. Sweden, however, denied the report’s accuracy.

Video footage from the day of the bombing shows that the perpetrator, with long hair, shorts, sneakers, a baseball cap, and a backpack, clearly intended to look like something other than a suicide bomber.

On the other hand, the Israeli daily Haaretz reports that “airport security cameras captured the suspect roaming the airport for at least one hour.” If so, it’s hardly to airport security’s credit that their suspicions weren’t even aroused enough to question him—if they were watching at all.

But Iran—to which Israel’s prime minister, defense minister, and foreign minister publicly assigned ultimate responsibility for the attack—has been trying for months to mass-murder Israelis in less-efficient countries like Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, and others. This time the attempt “succeeded”: “Body parts were strewn across the ground, mangled metal hung from the bus’s ripped roof and black smoke billowed over the airport.”

Israel prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: “All signs point to Iran…. This is [part of] a global Iranian terror onslaught and Israel will react firmly to it.” In a press conference Thursday evening he added “that Israel and world security agencies have caught Hizbullah and Iranian operatives in [numerous] countries, after attacks, planning terror attacks and laying the infrastructure to wage their war of terror.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated: “The immediate executors [of Wednesday’s attack] are Hizbullah operatives, who of course have constant Iranian sponsorship.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also said he had conclusive information implicating Hizbullah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Speculations have attributed the attack to Hizbullah’s desire to avenge the 2008 assassination in Damascus of its terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh, for which it blames Israel, and Iran’s desire to avenge the recent assassinations of nuclear scientists, for which it blames Israel as well. But these are, at most, proximate causes; for both these bodies the destruction of Israel is a central goal, and the murder of its citizens has consistently been a means toward it.

Read more at Front Page

Related article:

U.S. links Iran to nine 2012 plots against Israeli targets around the world: report (nationalpost.com)

Hamas fires 150 rockets into Israel over the last 6 days

June 24, 2012 By Rick Moran via American Thinker

A  barrage of 150 rockets or more have rained down on southern Israel over the last  six days, requiring the Israeli air force to respond by hitting terrorist  launchers in Gaza.

There  were 25 rockets fired yesterday at the town of Sderot.

Times  of Israel:

Gaza-based  terrorists fired 25 rockets into  southern Israel on Saturday, causing damage to  a school and factory. The  latest attacks bring the total number of rockets and  other projectiles  fired from the Strip to approximately 150 over the past six  days.

Israeli  security chiefs held a series of  emergency consultations on Saturday —  including a meeting of defense  chiefs with Defense Minister Ehud Barak — and  decided to try to avoid a  further escalation of hostilities. Amid reports from  Gaza Saturday night  that Hamas was now seeking a ceasefire, security sources  said “quiet  will be met with quiet, but further rocket fire will be met with  further  fire [from Israel].” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also   involved in the consultations.

The  sources said Israel had no interest in a  major military response to the upsurge  in rocket fire, given the current  sensitivities in the region including the  tension surrounding Egypt’s  elections, the ongoing violence in Syria and  Russian President Vladimir  Putin’s visit to Israel this week.

A  senior IDF official also speculated that  Hamas wants to stop an escalation of  hostilities in Gaza. He said that  the group aims to prevent the launching of  long-range rockets, despite  pressure from other Islamist groups in Gaza to act  otherwise. He summed  up the nature of the ceasefire terms as “Quiet met by  quiet, and fire  met by fire.”

As  of Saturday night, plans were for schools in the South to open as usual Sunday,  provided there was no further escalation.

Just  another week for residents in range of rockets fired by terrorists. Of course,  there has been criticism of Israel for responding with bombings. After all,  these are pinpricks – Hamas is just sending a message, they can’t really hurt  anyone – except the poor unlucky Israeli who gets caught in the open when a  rocket lands nearby.

Israel  is expected to allow these attacks on their territory to continue without  response. And if they respond, they are somehow the aggressors. It’s a topsy  turvey world in the Middle East where terrorists trying to kill civilians are  freedom fighters and a nation trying to defend it’s people are war criminals.

Panetta: Israel must bow to nuclear Iran, Islamized ME, paramount US security

From DEBKAfile:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with US President

US President Barack Obama declared in ringing tones Wednesday, Nov. 30, “We don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security. No ally surpasses Israel in importance to the US.” Three days later, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a lecture to the Brookings Institute was crystal-clear about what America expects Israel to deliver in return.

He cited “Israeli estimates” to argue against an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities because “it would set back (the program) by one to two years at best.” He urged Israel to take risks and get to “the damn negotiating table” with the Palestinians, and “mend fences with countries like Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, which share an interest in regional stability”- in view of Israel’s “growing isolation in a volatile region.”

The content and tone of the defense secretary’s lecture were clearly designed to rebut Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s comments Thursday, Dec. 1, that as a sovereign state, Israel is bound to determine its own security needs and the ultimate responsibility for its national security rests with the government in Jerusalem and the Israeli Defense Forces – no one else.

Panetta’s lecture was long on generalizations and contradictions and short on facts.

The “Israeli estimates” he cited referred to the most outspoken opponents of the Netanyahu-Barak government, namely the former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, the ex-chief of staff Gaby Ashkenazi, former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, as well as Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.

debkafile: Their political agenda would tend to overrule their true views on the merits of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites. It also runs contrary to the assessment of every responsible, knowledgeable Israeli intelligence and military expert, who all believe an attack could delay Iran’s nuclear armament by three or four years at the least.

Yet Panetta chose the contrary, minority view to support his arguments against an Israeli attack.

He also contradicted himself on at least one point:

On the one hand, the defense secretary told the Washington forum that, “No greater threat exists to the security and prosperity of the Middle East than a nuclear-armed Iran,” adding that Obama has not ruled out using military force to stop Iran from going nuclear.

On the other hand, Panetta warned “the consequences (of an Israeli attack) could be that we have an escalation that …would not only involve many lives… but trigger Iranian retaliation against US forces, and ultimately spark a backlash in Iran that would bolster its rulers.”

The facts contradict this assertion: An opinion poll secretly conducted at the universities of Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan in early November showed that 72 percent of those canvassed were certain the population of Iran’s cities would rise up against the Islamic regime the moment the US or Israel attacked its nuclear program.

As to the secretary’s argument that it would also be hard for attackers to reach Iran’s nuclear installations because some of them (the centrifuge plant transferred to Fordo, near Qom) have already been moved underground, he failed to answer two key questions:

1. Why was Israel held back from carrying out a military operation when those installations were still on the surface and vulnerable?

2.  By continuing to hold back Israel back, is he saying that Iran should be allowed to go all the way to manufacturing a nuclear bomb without military interference? Is the US defense secretary advising Israel to learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, even though its menace is constantly expanding?

Panetta did not supply an answer to either question. But he was a lot clearer on Iran’s threat to American security when he said: “…any disruption of the free flow of commerce through the Persian Gulf is a very grave threat to all of us” and a redline for the US.”
Was he saying that a nuclear-armed Iran was not a red line for America?

The defense secretary then offered the opinion that “sanctions and diplomatic pressure were working” to isolate Iran. debkafile’s Middle East sources emphasize that he would not find a single informed politician, general, intelligence official or economist in the region who agreed with him. Just the reverse: the region’s leaders and international financial community report that the Islamic Republic has overcome sanctions with remarkable success and they have not slowed down its nuclear progress by a second.

The US would safeguard Israel’s security, said Panetta, but “Israel has a responsibility to pursue shared goals (with the US) – to build regional support for Israeli and United States’ security objectives.”

He was referring to the US offer of a security shield in return for Israel’s pursuit of “shared goals.” The only trouble with that offer is that when it was put before Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, they agreed to pursue only certain “shared goals” – but not those affecting their national security, especially on the Iranian question, which they preferred to address by developing their own independent nuclear options. Therefore, the US shield on offer would be very limited.

His assumption that if Israel could persuade the Palestinians to sit down for peace talks and if it reached out to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, relations would instantly improve, is just as fallacious.

Perhaps Panetta has not heard that Mahmoud Abbas stands by his year-long refusal to face Israel across any “damned tables” and only this week tried to manipulate the Middle East Quartet into forcing Israel to accept an indirect track.
Neither does he address the anti-Israel posture adopted by the rulers of Egypt, Turkey and Jordan to persuade their people of their affinity with the Islamist forces rising in the region, like the ultra-orthodox Salafis of Egypt.

Neither Israel, nor any of the mainstream Arab governments accept the Obama-Panetta proposition that time will magically temper the extremism of the Islamist regimes. They have before them the example of a former Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, who made the same argument 32 years ago for the West to dump the shah and welcome Khomeini’s ayatollah regime.

 It is time for Jerusalem to state clearly to the Obama administration that there is no way to reconcile Israel’s essential security needs with the rejection of a military operation to cripple Iran’s nuclear program; or to promote the rise of Islamist forces in the Arab capitals neighboring on the Jewish state and at the same time hold Israel to account for not reaching out to them.

Israel must put its cards on the table, after Panetta put his, by saying: “I understand the view that this is not the time to pursue peace, and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view.”