The leader of Hamas has once again threatened to destroy Israel.
This just days after Hamas's defeat in retaliation for firing missles at Israeli civilian centers.
It is tragic that criminals are in charge of the Arab world, criminals bent on the destruction of any semblance pf decency. Hamas, after having been defeated twice, is once again threatening Israel with genocide, knowing full well that their fellow Arabians will be the most numerous victims .
Hamas attacks, Israel responds, as any nation would, and Hamas claims victory in their twisted way, believing that since they sustain more casualties, they are the winners of the "PR" war. Hamas, ultimately, needs to be removed.
They are a genocidal, criminal gang that uses murder to retain power in Gaza, and has boasted repeatedly that their goal is to exterminate Jews and Christians.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
The leader of Hamas has once again threatened to destroy Israel.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Leader of Hamas Killed
The Israel Defense Forces didn’t just kill Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari on Wednesday as he was driving his car down the street in Gaza. They killed him and then instantly posted the strike to YouTube. Then they tweeted a warning to all of Jabari’s comrades: “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”
The Jabari hit is part of the biggest assault the IDF has launched in more than three years on Gaza, with more 20 successful strikes.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, August 03, 2012
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPRThe author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
This media coverage is biased, and does so much damage to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide:
-An adviser to Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, said a few years ago, "You can't brainwash people for four years that Israel is an illegitimate country and that Israelis are like the Nazis and that Israelis are monsters and expect that nothing will happen to Jews." He is right – words and actions have grave consequences.
-“The discrepancy between what actually happened and the version of what happened provided by sources is an enormous gray area.” Jay Epstein.
-Prime Minister Netanyahu was recorded in an interview as saying the two main enemies of Israel are the New York Times and Haaretz. He commented, ‘They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories … on what they read in the New York Times and Haaretz.’”
-“The quack, the charlatan, the jingo, and the terrorist can flourish only where the public is deprived of independent access to information. But where all news comes at second-hand, where all testimony is uncertain, men cease to respond to truths and respond simply to opinions. The environment in which they act is not realities themselves but the pseudo-environment of reports, rumors, and guesses. The whole reference of thought comes to be what somebody asserts and not what actually is.” Walter Lippman, Liberty and the News
-“We are still fighting, not just against terrorism, but for fair treatment in the media. Given the overwhelming influence of the media on public perception, this is a battle we must win.” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
-“If newspapers are useful in overthrowing tyrants, it is only to establish a tyranny of their own.” James Fenimore Cooper.
-“WHEREAS the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and her Arab neighbors has occupied much of the attention of American journalism, in all of its forms, since the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948, making Israel a daily staple of print, audio and video news outlets; and WHEREAS news reporting is a subjective art, where facts, events, visual images and opinions are selected by the reporter in order to construct a narrative of a news story that is of interest, and that the personal bias of the reporter always governs the subjective process of selection; and WHEREAS numerous examples abound of gross violations of accuracy, imbalanced reporting and distortions of the truth in reporting about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians…THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon Jews everywhere to pay special attention to the way Israel is portrayed in the media and the conflict in the Middle East is reported. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that when a violation of accuracy or media bias against Israel occurs, that letters, emails and phone calls of protest be directed towards those media outlets and their sponsors.” Rabbinical Assembly of America
-“Is it not obvious that society cannot continue indefinitely to get its news by this wasteful method? One large section of the community organized to circulate lies, and another large section of the community organized to refute the lies! We might as well send a million men out into the desert to dig holes, and then send another million to fill up the holes.” Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check
-“A lot of this hatred and intolerance comes from ignorance. People don’t know the facts…Israel can do no right in the UK press. Israel always is wrong and everything has a very negative slant. It has become very black and white, where the Palestinians are right, and Israel is wrong… It is helping poison people towards Israel because they are not being told the truth of the conflict. I think there is a case of if you tell a lie enough times, people accept it as being true.” Kasim Hafeez, Muslim Zionist
-“Some people in the press, I think, are just lazy as hell. There are times when I pitch a story and they do it word for word. That’s just embarrassing. They’re adjusting to a time that demands less quality and more quantity. And it works to my advantage most of the time, because I think most reporters have liked me packaging things for them. Most people will opt for what’s easier, so they can move on to the next thing. “ Kurt Bardella, former press secretary for republican congressman Darrell Issa.
So many of us read the media regularly and yell at the TV, or throw the newspaper down in disgust. Wrongly disgraced former United States secretary of Labor Ray Donovan asked the court when he was acquitted of false charges that ruined his career: “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”
Israel needs to visit that same place.
One of the reasons I who grew up in the Betar youth movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky chose to work in public relations was to influence the words of the media. In 1932, Jabotinsky said:
“Who were the first to teach us to always interfere in matters that are not ours, to judge people and nations, even though we were never chosen for the position of judge? The work of the publicist is a legacy from the Prophets of Israel…Our passion is to speak, to proclaim—“Shouting” is what the same audience calls it, ‘we have no need for words, give us actions.’ One thing that audience forgets is that speech is also an action – Perhaps the most authentic of all other actions. Cities have been destroyed, and more will fall, but what was shouted in the wilderness thousands of years ago is alive and still relevant. The world was created by the Word. The world will be mended by the Article.”
Media bias harms Israel – and anyone who knows right from wrong has the obligation to speak out. In today’s world, we found out about the killing of Gadhafi or Bin Laden – and so much other relevant news from people sharing media themselves.
With the rise of digital media, and other tools, everybody today is a journalist, and everybody today is in media. Everybody has access to making a statement, to saying something, and that’s good and exciting, but also scary.
We all must help improve Israel’s public image and help Israel however we can.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, and author of crisis PR book “For Immediate Release”
Friday, August 3, 2012
Whether it’s the Jewish question of her own family, or indeed, in any other capacity, the queen’s personal views on the Chosen People are, as on all other matters, a mystery. The princess royal “regrets to say that she has never been to Israel”—as it was written to me in the letter I received from her male secretary (early feminist click moment, there) when I wrote to her for a school project at my Jewish Day School in approximately 1988 in a manner so politely chagrined I was ashamed I had asked. Prince Philip has been to the Jewish state, albeit in an unofficial capacity, when his mother Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark was honored as one of the Righteous of Nations, and of all the many, many, many groups, ethnic or otherwise, upon which he has aired, shall we say, impolitic remarks over his equally numerous years in the public eye, Jews have, almost shockingly, not been among them.
On the other hand, well, let’s just say it’s not missing any fingers. Prince Harry’s youthful swastika-wearing may have been a genuinely innocent, and well-atoned-for, joke gone wrong, but the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s habitual Heil Hitler’s certainly were not. And even the cuddly Queen Mother, the Lots O’ Huggin’ Bear of the British aristocracy, had, typically of her time and class, plenty of not-so-nice things to say about the Jews behind closed doors. More recently, the late Princess Margaret became so discombobulated at a dinner party by comedian and U.K. national treasure Stephen Fry’s admission of matrilineal descent that she allegedly started screaming: “He’s a Jew! He’s a Jew!” to the assembled guests. Although, to be fair, the issue was a touchy subject for Margaret; the most memorable note of several her vengeful ex-husband Lord Snowdon apparently left around the house for her to find in the waning days of their marriage read: “You look like a Jewish manicurist and I hate you.”
It’s an observation not totally out of left field. When you look at pictures of the aged Princess Margaret, sans tiara and imperial sash, she does look not unlike your mother’s cousin Frieda who started doing nails after her divorce from that schmuck with the dry cleaner. Similarly, if there’s a more classic example of the archetypal nebbish than the young Prince Charles, I have yet to see him. Of course, one could argue that rather than Jewish, they just look German, perhaps lending some credence to Kafka’s famous assertion that these two groups are far more inextricably linked than either is entirely comfortable with, but that’s a whole rabbit-hole of head-measuring pseudo-science I don’t even want to get into.
The point is the queen, and her increasing forays into Judaic grumpiness of late: the shpilkes at the opening ceremony, the hissy fit with Annie Leibowitz, the open disapproval for the “creepiness” of the headless mannequin wearing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress that someone put right in the middle of her living room. Has she been hanging out with Camilla’s friend Joan Rivers lately? Or is she just really, really old? Which itself begs the question: Do Jews act like old people or do old people all act like Jews? Are we just born without the self-censoring part of the brain that takes other people eight decades and/or a massive stroke to attain, or is there something in the pool water at the indoor aquatic aerobics classes? Which came first, the suffering or the refusal to do it in silence?
As for Her Madge, if at the closing ceremony she starts complaining about the angle of the chair back and would it kill them to get her a cold glass of water, but not too cold, because oy, it bothers her dentures, I guess we’ll see if the Bubbification of the Sovereign is complete. In the meantime, pass the sucking candy and G-d save the Queen.
Like this article? Sign up for our Daily Digest to get Tablet Magazine’s new content in your inbox each morning.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has once again called for the annihilation of Israel, which he labeled “the axis of unity of the world hegemonic powers.”
Speaking in advance of International Qods Day, set this year for August 17, Ahmadinejad repeated his annual litany of hate for the Jewish State in a meeting with ambassadors and embassy personnel of Islamic nations in Tehran, according to the official state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), quoting from a statement posted on the website of his presidential office.
"It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs, and behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary and banking organizations in the world, they have been the decision makers...” the Iranian president claimed.
"The Zionist regime is both the symbol of the hegemony of the Zionism over the world and the means in the hand of the oppressor powers for expansion of their hegemony in the region and in the world,” he went on.
"The Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems; any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world,” he declared.
"Zionism is the modern times plight of the human society and when we meet the European politicians they say speak transparently about everything, but they refrain from talking about the Zionist regime, which proves that Israel is the axis of unity of the world hegemonic powers,” he added.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
by Michael Ledeen
Focusing on Iran’s nuclear program misses the point. Defending the United States and its allies from Iran and its proxies requires regime change in Tehran, which cannot be achieved with sanctions and diplomacy alone. Since war is neither necessary nor desirable, Washington should start backing a domestic revolution in Iran.
MICHAEL LEDEEN is Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His blog, Faster, Please, is at PJ Media. The nuclear question is at the center of most countries’ Iran policies. China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all engaged in negotiations to convince Tehran to give up its presumed quest for the bomb. Now, with talks sputtering, Western powers have implemented increasingly tough sanctions, including the European Union’s recent embargo on Iranian oil, in the hope of compelling the regime to reverse course. Yet history suggests, and even many sanctions advocates agree, that sanctions will not compel Iran’s leaders to scrap their nuclear program. In fact, from Fidel Castro’s Cuba to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, hostile countries have rarely changed policy in response to Western embargoes. Some sanctions advocates counter that sanctions did work to get Chile to abandon communism, South Africa to end apartheid, and Libya to give up its nuclear program. But the Chilean and South African governments were not hostile — they were pro-Western, and thus more amenable to the West’s demands. And Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi ended his nuclear pursuit only after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, fearing that he would suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein. Iran, which is clearly hostile and which watched what just happened to a disarmed Libya, will not back down. Some therefore see sanctions as only a prelude to military action — by Israel, the United States, or both. In other words, current Iran strategy boils down to an eventual choice between appeasement and attack. Neither outcome is attractive. However, if the United States and its allies broadened their perspective and paid attention not merely to Iran’s nuclear program but also to the Islamic Republic’s larger assault on the West, they would see that a third and better option exists: supporting a democratic revolution in Iran. Obsession with the nuclear question has obscured the fact that, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has waged a low-level war on the United States. That war began in earnest in 1983, when, evidence suggests, Iranian-backed operatives bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. Such violence continued throughout the 1980s, as Hezbollah, a terrorist organization created by Iran, kidnapped and murdered Americans in Lebanon. In addition to supporting Hezbollah, Iran started funding other terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In the last decade, Iranian agents have attacked U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Late last year, the Obama administration revealed that Iranian agents had attempted to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States and to blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. In January, Ali Saeedi, Khamenei’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, admitted that the regime continues to fear the strength of the Green Movement. In short, the nuclear program is not the central issue in Iran policymaking — defending the United States and its allies from Iranian terrorists and their proxies is. To meet that goal, Washington must replace the Islamic Republic’s regime. The theocrats in Tehran call the United States “the great Satan,” and waging war against it is one of the Iranian leadership’s core missions. The Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed that as his goal very soon after the shah was overthrown in 1979. Calls of “Death to America” have been a constant refrain ever since. Regime change cannot be achieved by sanctions and diplomacy alone. And, although war might bring down the regime, it is neither necessary nor desirable. Supporting a domestic revolution is a wiser strategy. The Iranian regime is not only at war with the United States and its allies; it is also at war with its own people. The regime represses Iranian citizens, restricting their civil liberties and imprisoning, torturing, and killing political opponents. Popular discontent boiled over into open protest after a rigged election in June 2009, as what came to be known as the Green Movement launched an open challenge to the political status quo. The regime brutally suppressed the protests and is keeping the movement’s two leaders, presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, along with Mr. Mousavi’s wife, under house arrest. Conventional wisdom describes the Green Movement as a spent force, citing the lack of mass demonstrations over the past year and half. Iranian authorities regularly restrict and censor the Internet and intercept and block cell phone and satellite communications, and they have increased deployments of security forces in cities across the country. In such an atmosphere, skeptics argue, there can be little opposition to speak of, let alone one with the leadership and mass support to challenge the regime. But this was also the conventional wisdom back in early 2009, and it is as wrong now as it was then. The West was caught unawares by the explosion of popular rage after Mousavi’s election was stolen, and it failed to support the opposition. The regime paid no price for its crackdown. In fact, despite the government lockdown, dissenters today have continued to strike out against the regime through acts such as the sabotage of oil and natural gas pipelines. The disruption of the natural gas line between Iran and Turkey in late June, which was reported by the state-run Press TV, is only the latest of many such attacks. Last March, opposition activists privately claimed responsibility for attacks on two Revolutionary Guards Corps installations. One was Zarin Dasht, where missile fuel and warheads are manufactured. The other was Natanz, a major uranium enrichment center. The explosion took place deep underground, leading to a shutdown of the entire complex. Meanwhile, although the Green Movement’s leaders are still under house arrest, they continue to issue statements to their supporters. And according to a recent online government poll, the population is fed up. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that they favored giving up the nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions. The poll was quickly yanked off the Web site. For their part, Iranian authorities are worried. In January, Ali Saeedi, Khamenei’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, admitted that the regime continues to fear the strength of the Green Movement. Regime leaders are at pains to reassure the public that Mousavi and Karroubi are being well treated. If Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wanted to demonstrate the weakness of the opposition, he would have subjected both to the same harsh treatment that has been meted out to many of their followers. But as Saeedi told Fars, the Iranian state news agency, Mousavi and Karroubi have “supporters and followers,” as well as “a few [clerics] who continue to back elements within the sedition” — the term used by the regime to refer to the Green Movement. The regime’s anxiety about the Green Movement also led it to delay all elections in the country for three years. And when it finally held parliamentary elections this past May, it banned scores of candidates from running and deployed thousands of security forces at polling stations to prevent protests. Their fear might also be the reason that Khamenei avoided speaking at the Revolutionary Guards Day festivities in late June, the first time he had done so in over two decades. Similarly, the regime has reduced the number of anti-American protests it stages, perhaps worrying that the reformers would hijack them. When two popular (and apolitical) Iranian artists died this summer — the actor Iraj Ghaderi and the musician Hassan Kassai — their funerals were held without fanfare and in the middle of the night. The regime is clearly doing all it can to keep Iranians from gathering in the streets. By themselves, the strength of the opposition and the regime’s fears do not justify Western intervention. After all, several Middle Eastern dictators have fallen of late, only to be replaced by actors more hostile to U.S. interests. And some experts contend that the same could happen in Iran. Mousavi served as prime minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989 and played a key role in the creation of the Islamic Republic. Many, including U.S. President Barack Obama, have raised the possibility that his accession might not change much. So, before jumping into the fray on behalf of the opposition, the United States and its allies must ask whether the Green Movement would end Iran’s support for terrorism against the United States and its allies, stop oppressing its own people, and terminate the country’s nuclear weapons program. Although it is dangerous for opposition leaders to be totally explicit about all such matters, their answers are encouraging. During the 2009 electoral campaign, and on several subsequent occasions, Mousavi promised to end Iranian backing for terrorist organizations — a promise that resonates with large numbers of Iranian citizens. In February 2011, demonstrators carried banners decrying the regime’s support for foreign terrorist groups, with slogans such as “Don’t talk to us about the Palestinians, talk about us.” The Green Movement has also pledged to dismantle many oppressive practices of the Islamic Republic. Although the group’s leaders claim that they want to restore the values of the 1979 revolution, during the 2009 presidential election, Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, campaigned alongside him and declared her support of women who dispense with wearing the veil. It was a stark act of defiance against a deeply misogynistic regime. Mousavi, meanwhile, has promised tolerance of religious dissenters, the release of all political prisoners, and greater separation of church and state. As the Green leaders wrote to the Obama administration in November 2009, “religion, by the will of the Iranian people of today, has to be separated from the state in order to guarantee unity of Iran.” Even from house arrest, Mousavi has continued to send signals that he would overturn the policies of the current regime. In the past year, he urged Iranians to read two books: News of a Kidnapping, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Right to Heresy, by Stefan Zweig. The first volume, which deals with a wave of kidnappings in Colombia by drug gangs, inspired a popular Iranian Facebook page called “News of a Kidnapping, the status of a president in captivity.” The second book addresses a revolt against John Calvin by the sixteenth century cleric Sebastian Castellio, after the torture and execution of the heretic Michael Servetus. It is at once a call for religious toleration and an essay on those thinkers who were crushed during their lifetime, only to emerge triumphant in death. By turning to these texts, Mousavi issued a direct challenge to Khamenei and oriented his movement with Western values. It is hard to pinpoint the nuclear intentions of the Green Movement’s leaders, but there is reason for guarded optimism; they have repeatedly condemned the regime’s “adventurism” in foreign affairs, and would certainly seek better relations with the West. As Iranian crude oil production drops, a democratic Iran might opt for nuclear energy, but it seems unlikely that such a government would continue the secret weapons program. And the West, including Israel, would have far less to fear from a free Iran, whatever weapons it might possess, than it does from the current regime. Given the potential for a successful democratic revolution in Iran — and the potential for a democratic government to end Iran’s war against us — the question is how the United States and its allies can best support the Green Movement. Although an Iranian revolution may seem unlikely to the casual observer, the Iranian people can be said to have revolution in their DNA, having carried out three revolutions in the twentieth century. Many skeptics argue that any Western aid to the Green Movement would delegitimize it in such a nationalist country. Yet, during the mass demonstrations in 2009 and 2010, protesters waved signs and banners saying “Obama, where are you?” Moreover, in a carefully unsigned letter to the White House in late 2009, Green Movement leaders responded to an administration query by saying that “it is up to the countries of the free world to make up their mind. Will they… push every decision to the future until it is too late, or will they reward the brave people of Iran and simultaneously advance Western interests and world peace?” Even so, the West snubbed the uprising, insisting that the Iranian opposition did not want outside help. As far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that an attempt has been made since then to speak directly with the Green Movement inside the country. (Mousavi has said several times that the Green Movement does not have spokespeople or representatives outside Iran.) Unable or unwilling to engage with the opposition, the West has devoted its energy to the nuclear question alone, pursuing a policy that will produce war or diplomatic and strategic failure. That is why the time has come for the United States and other Western nations to actively support Iran’s democratic dissidents. The same methods that took down the Soviet regime should work: call for the end of the regime, broadcast unbiased news about Iran to the Iranian people, demand the release of political prisoners (naming them whenever possible), help those prisoners communicate with one another, enlist international trade unions to build a strike fund for Iranian workers, and perhaps find ways to provide other kinds of economic and technological support. Meanwhile, the West should continue nuclear negotiations and stick to the sanctions regime, which shows the Iranian people resistance to their oppressive leaders. Iran’s democratic revolutionaries themselves must decide what kind of Western help they most need, and how to use it. But they will be greatly encouraged to see the United States and its allies behind them. There are many good reasons to believe that this strategy can succeed. Not least, the Iranian people have already demonstrated their willingness to confront the regime; the regime’s behavior shows its fear of the people. The missing link is a Western decision to embrace and support democratic revolution in Iran — the country that, after all, initiated the challenge to the region’s tyrants three summers ago.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America
Dear President Obama,
With profound regret—and moral outrage—we are obliged to inform you that a representative of the United Nations Human Rights Council has breached his responsibility to uphold the high standards required by that world body.
Once again, Richard Falk, the UNHRC’s Special Rapporteur for the permanent investigation of “Israel’s violations of the bases and principles of international law,” has published racist remarks against Jews and Judaism.
Last week, on 20 July, writing in the same blog where he posted an anti-Semitic cartoon that was condemned last year by British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.N. High Commissioner for Human rights Navi Pillay, and your representative to the U.N., the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur Falk accused “the organized Jewish community,” as well as the U.S. government, of being “responsible for the massive and enduring confiscation of Palestinian land and rights.” (See “For What,” R. Falk, 20 July 2012, at http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/.)
This absurd and slanderous collective accusation, reproduced in the Palestine Chronicle and on numerous websites, constitutes classic anti-Semitism. Moreover, by attempting to blame Jewish communities everywhere for alleged crimes against Palestinians, Mr. Falk effectively provides an international warrant for terrorism, employing the language and logic used by those who carry out attacks against Jewish community centers, synagogues and schools worldwide.
Mr. Falk published his anti-Semitic libel on the same day that Israel was burying the victims of last Wednesday’s brutal attack against Israeli Jewish tourists in Bulgaria, and on the same day a British court sentenced two homegrown terrorists to prison for planning attacks against Jewish communities in Manchester.
Mr. Falk was also surely aware that when Mohammed Merah opened fire on Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse, on 19 March, it was out of the conviction, in his words, that “The Jews kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine.” When Mr. Falk points an accusing finger at “the organized Jewish community” for alleged crimes against Palestinians, he willy-nilly uses his high United Nations position to encourage such attacks.
Second, all of this comes as Mr. Falk is also providing the cover endorsement for the book “The Wandering Who,” replete with attacks against Israel, Jews and Judaism. The material is so extreme that 20 anti-Zionist activists, including Omar Barghouti and Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah, denounced the book and its author for racism and anti-Semitism. During the July debates of the UNHRC, on behalf of UN Watch I challenged Mr. Falk about his leading promotion of this tract, but he refused to respond.
Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Falk’s latest article dwells at length on his U.N. position, and that his book endorsement lists the same, his defenders will no doubt claim, as they have done before, that these racist remarks were published “in his personal capacity.”
Given that his previous such attempts to evade responsibility failed to block the condemnations of him by your Administration, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world figures, I have no doubt that you will speak out and denounce these latest instances of incitement to racism on the part of Mr. Falk, who, in many respects, embodies the ongoing bias and bigotry of the body he represents, the U.N. Human Rights Council.
To ensure that your message is heard loud and clear in Geneva and around the world, we urge your government to request that your statement be circulated as an official document of the UNHRC at the upcoming September session.
The cause of human rights and the founding principles of the United Nations must not be subverted. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
Hillel C. Neuer
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Prayers were read for the 11 murdered Israelis, wreaths were laid for them and a plaque unveiled about four miles (six kilometers) from the Olympic Stadium.
However, there will be no minute of silence for them at Friday’s opening ceremony.
“The International Olympic Committee have a moral commitment to commemorate the 11 athletes, coaches and referees,” Israeli Olympic Committee secretary general Efraim Zinger said. “Not because they were Israelis, but because they were Olympians and were murdered during the Olympic Games.
“It’s been 40 years since that dreadful day and I hope that the day will come that the IOC will recognize all 11 athletes as victims and find the proper way to commemorate their memory.”
IOC President Jacques Rogge reiterated Saturday that the opening ceremony was not an appropriate arena to remember the dead despite pressure from politicians in the United States, Israel and Germany.
In talks over several years with Israeli officials, the IOC has not been able to agree to a suitable way of remembering the slain athletes at each games, according to Zinger.
“The frustrating fact is that until now, none of the alternative ways to commemorate was practiced,” Zinger said.
Rogge does plan to honor the dead at a reception in London during the games on Aug. 6. IOC officials will also attend a ceremony in Germany on the anniversary of the attack on Sept. 5 at the military airfield of Furstenfeldbruck, where most of the Israelis died.
The tranquility of the Munich Games was shattered in the second week when eight members of the Black September militant group penetrated the laxly secured Olympic Village and took Israeli team members hostage. A day later, all 11 were dead.
Ben Helfgott, who was at the 1972 Olympics, said at Sunday’s commemorations that the memorial service immediately after the massacre was “trivialized” because the murders of the competitors was equated with the deaths of the terrorists.
In front of a tightly packed audience featuring a relative of one victim, London Mayor Boris Johnson recalled watching the events unfold as an 8-year-old child in England.
“What sticks in my mind is that sense of sacrilege and a feeling of horror that the world’s greatest sporting event should suffer such an attack, and that an attack should be mounted against people who had been training for what should have been the greatest event in their lives,” Johnson said. “And I think the world watched with a sense of numb disbelief as those events unfolded because sport should transcend politics.
“It should bring out the best in the human race. It should draw people together in admiration for achievement and for effort. And yet some people chose to profane that great celebration and to cut short the lives of 11 innocent (people).”
Johnson said he hoped the Olympics, which run until Aug. 12, are only remembered for sporting endeavors and that athletes of all faiths are able to “unite in a city that unites the world.”
But the games are starting against a backdrop of security fears surrounding the Israeli delegation, featuring 38 athletes.
Israel is on the alert for plots targeting its citizens overseas after five Israelis vacationing in Bulgaria were killed in a suicide bombing last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“Unfortunately we are part of a very distinguished list of countries” whose teams are susceptible to attack, Zinger said. “We have to live with it.”
Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarris
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Terrorists who attack civilian targets are cowards at the best of times. But killers such as those who blew up a bus carrying Israeli youth in the Bulgarian resort city of Burgas on Wednesday fall into a special category. They posture as “resistance” fighters willing to risk their lives to confront Israel. Yet they are unwilling to confront Israel’s military. So instead, they attack Jews where they are most defenceless — in places such as Europe, South America and South Asia, where Israel cannot defend them.
Terrorist attacks on Jews outside of Israel have been going on for decades. In 1976, for instance, pro-Palestinian terrorists hijacked an Air France flight to Uganda, and released all but the Jewish and Israeli passengers (the only exception being the non-Jewish pilot). In a famous operation, Israeli commandos rescued 102 of the hostages. (All the hijackers and four hostages died – including one whom Ugandan soldiers barbarically killed at a nearby hospital a day after the operation was over.) Since then, terrorists targeting Jews generally have avoided any possibility of rescue by simply slaughtering their targets outright.
Some of these operations were small. For instance, on July 4, 2002 — just over a decade ago — a lone pro-Palestinian terrorist named Hesham Mohamed Hadayet opened fire at the El Al ticket counter in Los Angeles International Airport, killing ticket agent Victoria Hen and Yaakov Aminov, a 47-year-old father of five.
Other attacks have generated much higher death tolls. In 1994, terrorists widely believed to be connected with Iran and its Hezbollah proxies bombed the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building in Argentina, killing 85 people. That attack also took place on July 18, precisely 18 years before this week’s Bulgarian bombing — a fact that likely is no coincidence.
On Wednesday afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria.” While there is no publicly available proof of that claim, Tehran obviously is the number-one suspect. It is the world’s number-one state sponsor of terrorism, and its ruthless leaders — already pariahs except among such nations as Venezuela and Syria — feel they have little to lose given the country’s crumbling economy, and the harsh sanctions regime already in place. The intentions of Iran’s self-destructive leaders are difficult to scrutinize — especially since evidence has been emerging of competing power centers within the government in recent years — but one goal of such attacks may be to goad Israel into a first strike that serves to further push world opinion against the Jewish state.
Assuming Israel does not overreact, the Bulgarian attack likely will have the opposite effect: Increasing support for Israel on a continent that more usually is sympathetic to the Palestinians. From the point of view of Europeans, it is one thing to kills Jews in the West Bank. It is quite another to do so in a EU nation.
What is a proper response to the Bulgarian terrorist attack? Obviously, Bulgarian and Israeli officials will do their best to find the masterminds behind it, and roll up their cells. But beyond that, on a more symbolic level, it would be fitting if the incident prompted International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge to reconsider a proposal to observe a minute of silence at the 2012 London Olympics for the 11 Israelis slain by terrorists at the 1972 games in Munich.
According to Alex Gilady, an Israeli International Olympics Committee member, International Olympics officials believe a minute’s silence “may harm the unity of the Olympics” and “could cause some countries to boycott the Games.” But frankly, the Olympics would probably be a better event if nations such as Iran stayed home — thereby allowing us to avoid disgusting spectacles, as observed in the past, in which their athletes refuse to compete against Israelis, lest they be polluted by a Jew’s touch.
In any event, the Bulgarian attack shows that a memorial for the Munich 11 would not be a backward-looking political gesture; rather, it would serve as recognition that the scourge of human hatred, violence and cowardice that we call terrorism is a global human problem — faced by all the nations of the Olympiad. Yes, it was Jews killed in Munich — in very much the same bloodthirsty fashion as those killed this week in Bulgaria. But tomorrow it could be Christians, or Hindus, or Muslims.
Surely, the protection of all human life is consistent with the Olympic spirit — even if it is alien to the anti-Israeli butchers who performed Wednesday’s despicable terrorist act.
By Jonathan Kay
Jonathan Kay is Managing Editor for Comment at the National Post, and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @jonkay.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Over the years, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera has become a self-declared spearhead in the Palestinian struggle against Israel, thereby making itself more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves. This channel turned the death of Mohammad al-Dura, for example, into a clip aired every 15 minutes during the last Intifada, thereby inciting the Arab street and turning this Intifada into a pan-Arab and global affair.
However, over the past two years the network has had trouble accepting reality, whereby the Arab world is engaged in what truly threatens it: Poverty, unemployment, short life expectancy, the lowly quality of education for the next generation and the feeling of helplessness.
Hence, al-Jazeera started to artificially promote reports on the Palestinian issue in order to bring it back to the agenda. For example, it attempted to turn the issue of Palestinian prisoners into a provocative affair, by promoting a different detainee every time, yet to no avail.
The Arab world’s attention is no longer directed at the imagined reality promoted by al-Jazeera, that is, against Israel, but rather, at the truly burning issues. Therefore, the network decided to embark on a major campaign to change this.
The channel announced that for months its people have been working on an investigative report about Yasser Arafat’s death; this week, their sensational headlines revealed: Al-Jazeera discovered a radioactive substance, polonium, in Arafat’s clothing.
The report was prominently displayed on al-Jazeera’s television channel and website (the whole front page featured a huge photo.) Arafat’s widow, Suha, was rushed to the studios, and follow-up stories were prepared. For example, the life of Arafat, other people who died of polonium, remarks by Arafat’s daughter, and so on. Facebook and Twitter pages were also updated.
Outdated agendaAl-Jazeera officials smiled with satisfaction: They shall be shaking up the Middle East and restoring the old agenda. They did not blame Israel explicitly, but noted that only a state with a nuclear reactor can provide such a substance.
The result was embarrassing. News stories about Syria prompt hundreds of talkbacks on al-Jazeera’s website yet Arafat, despite the huge headlines, only elicited dozens of cool reactions. His widow received 10 responses, some of them insulting. Ahmed from Canada wrote: “Assad is burning Syria and slaughtering its people, and al-Jazeera prepares an investigative report about the death of Arafat 10 years ago? Please cover the distress of Syria’s citizens 24 hours a day.”
“I’m a Kurd from Kurdistan and I think that a Palestinian hand murdered Arafat,” another commentator wrote. “Is all of this done out of love for Arafat, or in order to topple someone else?” yet another reader wrote, hinting that al-Jazeera is planning to topple Mahmoud Abbas, who isn’t popular with network officials.
Even the responses to Suha Arafat were disparaging and venomous. One reader wrote: “Before demanding to exhume Arafat’s body, return the donation money you took.” Ouch. That’s not quite what al-Jazeera expected.
Another point of interest is the attitude of competing a television network, the Saudi al-Arabiya, to the report. In a brief story on its website (“Arafat doubts remain”) that was quickly removed, the network disparaged al-Jazeera’s report and hinted that this is old news. “Many Palestinians believe that he was poisoned,” al-Arabiya noted, quoting one official at the Swiss lab that did the tests for al-Jazeera saying that there is no decisive proof that Arafat was murdered.
Al-Jazeera, which aimed to restore the old Arab agenda, merely proved that it was an invented agenda to a large extend; an outdated agenda. This network, which wanted to lay a trap for Israel, fell in it itself and revealed its intentions. Instead of promoting agendas, al-Jazeera would do well to engage in the issues that truly bother and threaten Arab citizens. To its regret, these issues do not involve Israel.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
According to deep cultural mandates, as a raped woman, Lal Bibi has been "dishonoured" and will kill herself -- and she publicly says she must, unless her rapists are brought to justice to restore her honour and dignity. Afghanistan's justice system routinely fails to pursue these cases and so far the chief suspects in Lal Bibi's case have not been prosecuted, likely in the hopes that international attention will die down. Every day that passes without an arrest pushes Lal Bibi closer to suicide -- but there is hope.
This weekend, the US, UK, Japan and other major donors are expected to pledge 4 billion dollars to Afghanistan -- money that will pay for the very police forces responsible for Lal Bibi’s rape. But an international outcry can shame donor countries into action, conditioning their aid on real action to fight rape and protect women. We don't have much time left -- click below for change that could save Lal Bibi’s life and our petition will be delivered right into the donor conference in Tokyo:
Local custom in some parts of Afghanistan dictates that women are shamed by rape and must kill themselves to restore their family's honour for generations to come. Amazingly, Lal Bibi and her family courageously are seeking to save her life by insisting on the prosecution of her torturers and shifting the blame to the perpetrators, in society's eyes.
The Afghan police force responsible for the rape depends heavily on foreign funding that will be pledged this weekend, when all of Afghanistan’s major donors gather in Tokyo. Donor countries can and should require that funds are not spent to grow a police force that acts with appalling impunity and that police officers work to protect women, not attack them!
There are hundreds of women and girls all across Afghanistan who are subject to the “tribal justice” meted out to Lal Bibi. Thousands more are watching carefully to see how the Afghan government and the world will respond to the girl who is fighting back and refuses to die quietly. Let's stand with her -- sign the petition below and tell everyone:
The global war on women is relentless. But time and time again our community joins together to win. We helped stop the illegal stoning of Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran, and fought for justice for rape survivors in Libya, Morocco and Honduras. Let’s show the global power of our community to help win justice for Lal Bibi and millions of women in Afghanistan.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Emma, Alaphia, Ricken, Laura, Antonia and the rest of the Avaaz team
P.S. Avaaz has launched Community Petitions, an exciting new platform where it's quick and easy to create a campaign on any issue you care strongly about. Start your own by clicking here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?do.ps.lal_bibi
Rape case tests Afghan justice (Radio Free Europe)
Afghan rape case turns focus on local police (New York Times)
Afghanistan expects $4 billion in aid pledges at the July conference (CNBC)
Tokyo Declaration to push donors, Afghanistan to make better use of aid (Reuters)
Afghan government confident about endorsement of its strategic vision in Tokyo (UNAMA)
Sunday, July 01, 2012
They are all turning over in their bloody graves, thanks to congressional useful idiot, Darrell Issa. Talk about aid and comfort to the enemy.
Then there’s that stubborn little fact that Hezbollah, Arabic for “Warriors for Allah,” or “Party of Allah” (hint: it’s not a birthday party), is one of the three major components of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, according to the Wall Street Journal and countless other sources.
Jihad Darrell’s new Hezbollah buddies officially support “the use of hostages” and “suicide in jihad operations.” When the State Department released this year’s terrorist list, Hezbollah was on it – yet again. Hezbollah’s response: “We regard the hostile [act] of the American administration as proof that we are following the right path.” Hezbollah declares that, “it is the duty of all Muslims to engage in Islamic jihad if it ensures the ultimate goal, which consists in inflicting losses on the enemy.” That enemy is the West, particularly America. Maybe these were the “humanitarian” actions of Hezbollah that Jihad Darrell was quoted as praising.
“I have a great deal of sympathy for the work that Hezbollah tries to do,” he told the Beirut Daily Star. Hmmm. To which work is Jihad Darrell referring? Is it 1986 Hezbollah’s torturing to death of Ibrahim Benesti, aged 54, of Beirut, and his elderly relatives, Yehudah and Yosef, whose only crime was being Jewish? Benesti, whose family – like many Lebanese Jews – had been in Lebanon since 2,000 B.C. (before the birth of Mohammed), was a charitable and kindly candy store owner who gave free candy to children of all religions. Or maybe Jihad Darrell was referring to the “humanitarian” 1985 Hezbollah torture-murder of Isaac Tarab, 63, and Chaim Halala Cohen, 39, also guilty of being Jewish.
This man, Darrell Issa, is digusting.
More disgusting is that Issa was representing the House International Relations Committee on which he serves, leading a congressional delegation including Arab-American Congressman Nick Joe Rahall, D-Va.
And he hangs out with disgusting people. Issa partied with terrorist-in-chief Yasser Arafat, gushing over him as “a charismatic individual, despite being a very small man and very old. He gives you food off his plate if you sit next to him.”
Political consultant and columnist, Michael Andreen, an Issa constituent, is outraged, saying it’s time for apologist Issa to go. But he still has “a good laugh at Arafat using the na?ve junior congressman as his own personal food taster.”
Issa also hung out in Syria, the country which sanctions Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, and which allowed Hezbollah to get its explosives through security checkpoints to kill the 241 U.S. Marines.
Issa buddy Arafat provided much of the explosive weaponry and was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, mining the perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Iran during the hostage crisis, the torture-murders of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel and Charge D’Affaires George Curtis Moore (the highest ranking black in the U.S. Foreign Service at the time) – beaten so badly authorities couldn’t tell which was black and which was white.
If he sounds familiar, Jihad Darrell is the same congressman who threw a temper tantrum, screaming about profiling, when he showed up an hour late for an Air France flight, with a suspicious one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia, and was refused entry to the already boarded plane. Issa didn’t fool security, but he managed to charm others with his phoniness. Columnist Debra Saunders wrote a whole column, “Ahsan Baig’s Molehill,” lauding Issa for denouncing racial profiling lawsuits and advocating that Arabs “adjust” and make “sacrifices in wartime.” Problem is, at the same time, he was telling every other press source about his plans for new, anti-profiling legislation against airlines, to line Arabs’ and their trial lawyers’ pockets and risk our security.
Many advocate that America emulate Israel in its dealings with terrorism. That’s a great idea, with regard to Issa. Recently, Israel stripped Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bashara, of his immunity from prosecution for urging the Palestinians to attack Israel and copy Hezbollah, its murders and suicide bombings. Israel is prosecuting Bashara, and we should do the same with the treasonous Issa.
Ironically, Jihad Darrell’s last name, Issa, means “Jesus” in Arabic. But, instead of turning the other cheek in 2002, voters in his 48th district should eagerly mark the ballot for his opponent.
Monday, June 25, 2012
–Bob Dylan, “Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine”
Muhammad al-Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, has become president of Egypt. But what does it mean to be president of Egypt? That’s the current question. Let me divide the discussion into two parts: What does this tell about “us” and what does this tell about Egypt and its future?
First, what does it tell about the West? The answer is that there are things that can be learned and understood, leading to some predictive power, but unfortunately the current hegemonic elite and its worldview refuse to learn.
Here’s the New York Times passing on what administration officials told its reporters: “The Obama administration, expressing relief on Sunday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate will be Egypt’s next president, voiced cautious optimism that the choice could keep the country’s rocky transition to democracy on track.” So we should be happy the Brotherhood won? I guess this means that if they lost the Brotherhood might riot, turn to violence, and Egypt’s democratic experiment would have failed. Now, however, we supposedly can feel okay because the Brotherhood will impose an anti-American Sharia state based on majority rule? So, apparently, the U.S. government is on the Muslim Brotherhood’s side.
What could be more revealing than the words off Jacqueline Stevens in the New York Times: “Chimps randomly throwing darts at the possible outcomes would have done almost as well as the experts”? Well, it depends on which experts. Martin Kramer, one of those who was right all along about Egypt, has a choice selection of quotes from a certain kind of Middle East expert who was dead wrong. A near-infinite number of such quotes can be gathered from the pages of America’s most august newspapers.
These people all share the current left-wing ideology; the refusal to understand the menace of revolutionary Islamism; the general belief that President Barack Obama is doing a great job; and the tendency to blame either Israel or America for the region’s problems. So if a big mistake has been made, it is that approach that has proven to be in the chimp category.
Having written about the Middle East for almost forty years, I’ve seen the power of the “chimps” that repeatedly make the same mistakes over and over again. Their power has waxed and waned, falling to the lowest points, for example, just after the 1991 Kuwait war and just after September 11, 2001. But they keep making comebacks and in the last two years their influence has been at an all-time high.
In early October 2010 I wrote an article based on actually reading what the Muslim Brotherhood leaders were saying. It was titled “The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is Declaring Jihad on America; Will Anyone in America Notice?” And they were signaling a change in their traditionally cautious strategy to go for revolution. Why? They told us: President Husni Mubarak was on his last legs, the regime seemed vulnerable to being overthown, America was weak, and their assessment was that the revolutionary Islamist forces were advancing everywhere.
By the time the uprising broke out, in January 2011, numerous voices were raised in warning. If the mainstream were to be honest, it would have to admit that those voices included Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.
[Incidentally, imagine the anger, the hatred, and the gnashing of teeth that will occur in response to the previous sentence. Yet aren't people engaged in public debate--especially intellectuals, and that includes liberal intellectuals--supposed to acknowledge the truth? Who refuses to give credit for those, even opponents, who are right? Who refuses to learn from their own mistakes? Not real liberals or conservatives, but ideologically rigid radicals.]
None of these people were experts but they listened to the better experts, at times went over the heads of the mass media to look at what the Brotherhood really said, and also had a basic sense of reality that guided them correctly on this issue. Equally accurate was every article written on the subject in PJ Media. To admit this, however, would require the hegemonic forces to accept that these people who were being demonized and despised might be right on other issues as well.
Meanwhile, the New York Times correspondent is still telling readers:
“…many in the West have a lot of mistaken impressions about the Brotherhood. It is at its base a religious revival group committed to a bottom-up and gradual approach to moving the culture in a more Islamic direction. Their platform carefully avoids any hint of restrictions on personal behavior or liberties. Rather, it seems to suggest the Brotherhood would try to nudge Egyptian culture in a more conservative direction by public and private example. For instance, the Brotherhood would not restrict the content of films but it might subsidize films that expressed traditional Islamic values. And it would allow Islamic charities and religious groups more freedom to spread their own messages.
“Its leaders are not clerics or religious scholars. Almost all have advanced degrees in medicine or the natural sciences. (Mohamed Morsi, the presidential candidate, got his PhD in materials engineering at the University of Southern California.) They are politicians. Under Mubarak, the Brotherhood played a growing role as an elected bloc of the Parliament, and unlike the ruling party its lawmakers acted like real politicians — they sought the views of their constituents, studied the issues and introduced legislation, and over time moved toward the middle. They are committed to democratic elections and the peaceful rotation of political power, which usually means moving to the middle.”
Actually, the Brotherhood’s leader is a cleric and who cares about the degrees other leaders received–Hamas leaders include all sorts of professionals–degrees that did not require them to learn anything about Western humanities or social sciences? Moreover, it is completely false to say they were moderate in Mubarak’s parliament. See here on that point and also here, two articles that explained how the Brotherhood was radical and likely to take over Egypt written in 2006 in my MERIA Journal by Egyptian authors.
But to say that nothing has been learned by the “best and brightest,” here’s the same New York Times reporter writing on Libya:
“In an unfolding contest here over the future of the Islamist movement, Mr. Hasadi’s vision of peaceful change appears ascendant. For the West, his success may represent the greatest promise of the Arab Spring, that political participation could neutralize the militant strand of Islam that has called thousands to fight and die in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.”
So the New York Times thinks that Hasadi is a man advocating “peaceful change” who the West should support. Regarding Hasadi, here’s what I wrote nine months ago:
“According to Al Jazeera…Abdul al-Hakim al-Hasad…was formerly head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an al-Qaeda affiliate….The group was still designated as terrorist by the U.S. government. Here it is on the terrorism list (number 26, in alphabetical order) released by the State Department last May.”
So what evidence is there that he’s changed his views? None that I’m aware of. Do the words–which also apply to Syria–”here we go again” occur to anyone?
If we assess honestly what has happened, it would require us to conclude that the aggressiveness of revolutionary Islamism and the weakness of the U.S. response to this challenge have been the principal problems in the Middle East and must be addressed seriously or things will get steadily worse, more violent, and more oppressive. Yet if we are all equally “chimps,” one can ignore all of the lessons of the last eighteen months and, thus, continue to make more terrible errors in the months to come.
But what should we make specifically of this most recent event, the certification of al-Mursi’s victory? Certainly, it is another step forward for the Brotherhood toward capturing the most important Arab country. A confident Hamas (which has now officially joined the Muslim Brotherhood’s international network) has launched a war against Israel by firing dozens of cross-border rockets from the Gaza Strip and other means which the “international community” and democratic West are ignoring, to set one more terrible precedent in the war—one-sided as far as they’re concerned—with revolutionary Islamism.
Even now the “chimps” refuse to acknowledge the extremism of the Brotherhood, the most significant anti-American, antisemitic group in the entire world today. They ignore the fully documented fact that al-Mursi campaigned on a basis of hatred for America, fundamentally transforming Egypt into a Sharia state, going to war with Israel, and spreading revolution throughout the region. At this very moment, for example, the U.S. government is supporting a Brotherhood-led puppet group as the leadership of the Syrian uprising and arming its forces.
Yet within Egypt itself the outcome is not clear at all. There are as many options as there are rumors in Cairo. Remember that there is no Egyptian constitution, no parliament, and no timetable for electing a new parliament. The powers of the president are not defined.
So al-Mursi is going to govern the country or, which seems more likely, the rulers will continue to be the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and al-Mursi will be a figurehead. It seems likely that this situation will prevail for at least one year. Will the military make some deal with al-Mursi and the Brotherhood which trades limited power for accepting limits on their power? Here’s an article by Eric Trager, who has also consistently been right on Egypt, writing about how hard-line al-Mursi is personally and the likelihood he will follow the instructions of the Brotherhood’s jihadist supreme guide, al-Badi, in his decision-making.
Will, as seems less likely, the Brotherhood embark on a campaign of armed resistance or, more probably, just continue demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo? Here we can see the difference between all of the nonsense spoken in 2011 and reality. If the army wants a “revolution,” there will be a “revolution”; if the army wants to resist, then it will remain in power. It is important to note, however, that the Salafist groups will not take this lying down. There will be a lot of violence.
Finally, there is a question of Western policy toward Egypt. What should happen is realpolitik, survival response. The military is saving Egypt from catastrophe. That doesn’t mean its rule is wonderful, democratic, or terribly competent. The army is not going to solve Egypt’s problems, but neither is anyone else.
Yet probably what will happen is that the U.S. government will condemn on some level the military, stamp its foot ineffectively, and spout words like “turnover of power,” “transparency,” “rapid action,” and so on. In effect, of course, they are insisting that Egypt be turned into a totalitarian state, the sooner the better.
Of course, the Brotherhood did win the election—three elections in fact, upper and lower house of parliament as well as the presidency—and so if that is one’s sole criterion then they should take power, just as Hamas and Hizballah won elections. It is time, though, to start thinking of U.S. interests.
It is also worth noting that what one could call the Islamist vote sank from almost 75 percent in the parliamentary elections to 52 percent in the presidential ones. Perhaps the military calculates that in a year the support for revolutionary Islamism might be still high but not a majority. We will have to follow the events in Egypt closely. It is advisable to start listening to the non-chimps and their analysis so that the West, and the United States in particular, don’t end up as chumps.
Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel
- ► 2017 (25)
- ► 2016 (17)
- ► 2015 (14)
- ► 2014 (13)
- ► 2013 (19)
- ► August (5)
- ► July (7)
- ► 2011 (32)
- ► 2010 (28)
- ► 2009 (30)
- ► 2008 (21)