Saturday, April 29

Cooperation Between Islamist Terrorist Groups

The Middle East is deteriorating further into anarchy and terror. The Israeli-Palestinian problem is receiving dimensions that are becoming more and more dangerous for the future of world peace. In fact, Hamas is gaining increasing support from rogue regimes such as Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah in Lebanon with its financial support arriving from Iran. The US has left a total mess in Iraq. Iraq has now become a breeding ground for Al Qaeda cells under the leadership of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, a ruthless and notorious terrorist, who has virtually replaced Saddam Hussein. This is what the US had created unintentionally. The so-called Iraqi Government, elected “democratically” by the Iraqi people, is impotent against the ongoing suicide attacks in Baghdad and instigated by ex officers of the deposed Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, to whom they are still loyal. Al Zarqawi's role in terror has not yet been fully evaluated although he is also responsible for much of it. He is the “Osama bin Laden” of Iraq. The relationship between his terrorist group and the Palestinians is uncertain but it would be logical to speculate that cooperation between him and Hamas will increase with time.

Now that Hamas “rules” Palestine, we shall be witnessing many unholy alliances between them and the various terrorist, rogue states in the Middle East. This does not only pose a great danger to Israel but also to the non-Moslem free world. Iran under the megalomaniac despot, Mahmoud Ahmadinajad, is a case in point. Cooperation between Iran, Syria, Al Qaeda, Hamas and the terrorist rebels of Iraq could increase in the future as they share a common goal of Islamist domination in the Middle East. The “liberation of the Palestinians from Israeli occupation” will assume alarming proportions as these unholy alliances of terror grow stronger and the “occupation” will be used as an excuse to engage in further terrorist attacks against innocent people all over the world. Al Qaeda and Hamas have more in common than what divides them. Both organizations rely on the “expertise” of the suicide bomber in order to achieve their aims of creating a strong Islamist presence in order to dominate and influence the world. Hamas is doing this in Gaza under the “liberation of Palestinians from the Israeli oppressor” banner, which in practice means the achievement of the destruction of Israel and its people. It is a well-known fact that Hamas is not prepared to negotiate with Israel, as it does not recognize Israel’s right to exist under any circumstances. Al Qaeda’s main targets are the US, Europe and moderate Arab states such as Egypt, which had suffered a triple bomb blast on 24 April 2006 in Dahab, a holiday resort, in the Sinai Peninsula. Their grand plan is to link up with Hamas and extend their terrorist activities against Israelis as well.

It is very unfortunate that more countries are showing signs of softening their attitude towards Hamas. Hamas is part of an Islamist terrorist conspiracy that will be gaining increasing support from Al Qaeda and its unholy allies to dominate the world. The latest country in the “appeasement of Hamas” game is Sweden.

The following countries in line to invite low profile Hamas representatives are Norway, Austria, Germany and France according to reports from the Swedish press. This is not going to change Hamas in her attitude towards Israel. It will also not render these countries immune from Islamist terror on the Al Qaeda scale. Instead of providing a united front against Hamas and its terrorist allies, these countries are showing signs of appeasing terror and, by default, endangering their citizens’ personal safety. It lays the way open for future Al Qaeda attacks against European countries that nobody can predict with certainty when and where it will occur in the future. The purpose of these attacks will be to lay the blame on Israel and the US, thus whipping up hatred for the Jews by blaming them for the violence.

The old axiom of “there are none as blind as those who will not see” could not ring more true than it does today. The attempts of trying to get the two parties in the Middle East Conflict to negotiate a peace settlement are futile while Hamas does not change its attitude towards Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president says one thing while Hamas says the opposite is no way to start the ball rolling towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas represents nobody. How can one engage in negotiations with him when he is so weak and ineffectual?

The future of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is very poor indeed, while the additional aspect of cooperation between the Islamist terror groups gains momentum. The situation is becoming more dangerous with the added factor of possible cooperation of Islamist terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Al Qaeda, who do share common goals of world domination as their ultimate aim.

Saturday, April 22

The Holocaust and Hamas

Today there is no doubt that one can view Hamas as part of the “Evil Axis”. Their fight for freedom from the occupation of Israel for an independent Palestinian State pales into insignificance. Even if there were no occupation, there would be hostility towards Israel. The Hamas idea of an independent Palestinian state is really a state replacing Israel. In order to obtain their objective, non-recognition of Israel is an essential basic element of their ideology to attain this goal. It is only natural that Hamas would ally itself with all the Israel hating countries in order to establish an evil alliance. This “evil axis” is becoming more Islamist oriented rather than a fight for the liberation of Palestine. The countries belonging to this “evil axis” are Syria, Iran, elements in Iraq aligned with Al Qaeda and they are inviting new members as well.

The world must realize that inviting Hamas leaders to their shores whether in an official or unofficial capacity is giving Hamas legitimacy that they do not deserve. This organization of cutthroat terrorists has two goals:

  1. Israel’s total destruction and expulsion of its Jews.

  2. The establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state replacing Israel that will pass discriminatory legislation against non-Moslems.

Mahmoud Ahmadinajad has made no bones about his desire to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth”. Khaled Mashal, the Hamas leader and ideologue who lives in Damascus, Syria, has uttered similar sentiments.

It is a known fact that, Hamas and its anti-Jewish allies have embarked on a road of expressing anti-Jewish (Israel) rhetoric and this is expressed at every opportunity. Only recently, Iran held a competition for anti-Semitic cartoons whose nature resembles the Der Steurmer cartoons of Nazi Germany. It may be a good idea to read the article by Prahu Guptara in the Pearcey Report as to what is happening in the rogue states like Iran. If anything, the resemblance of the “Evil Axis” regimes (Hamas of Palestine, Bashar Assad of Syria and Mahmoud Ahmadinajad of Iran) to the Nazi genocide motivations against Jews is obvious. These countries are whipping up religious hysteria in order to rabble rouse their populations into accepting these megalomaniac despots to ignore the economic woes of their respective countries. They blame Israel and the Jews for the failures of their countries. The Nazis in Germany used this familiar tactic against the Jews for the spiraling inflation and economic catastrophe prior to their democratic elections in 1933 that resulted in their election to the Reichstag (Parliament).

Jews in the Diaspora observe Holocaust Remembrance Day to perpetuate the memory of those who perished under Nazi rule because they were Jews. The world of nations must also view this day in a modern context by condemning genocide against any people. There must be condemnation of the cynical use of the Holocaust by modern racist movements as represented by Hamas and their terrorist allies, including the “Evil Axis”. The invitations extended to Hamas to visit countries in order to explain their ideological stand ought to be treated with the contempt that it deserves. It further legitimizes Islamist terrorism and genocide. Hamas are not freedom fighters for the Palestinian cause but racists who wish to enforce extreme medieval ideologies on the people they claim to represent.


Wednesday, April 19

A Tragic Pesach (Passover) Week

Pesach, the Festival of Freedom has turned into a tragedy for the victims of the suicide bomb blast that occurred near the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv on Monday 17th April 2006. Once again, Hamas and its bloodthirsty allies – Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Brigades and their violent ilk have proved their mettle in carrying out another cruel attack on innocent people! Hamas is accountable for this attack, as they had given their support verbally for this horrendous act! Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president had denounced this attack. This is a declaration of war against Israel. Mahmoud Abbas is powerless. He is the figurehead of the Hamas dominated Palestinian Authority. Abbas is a total anachronism – an example not seen anywhere else in the world. He is the president of a Hamas dominated Palestinian Authority, antagonistic to his worldview of making peace with Israel and his opposition to violence. He does not represent the majority in the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Electorate.

Negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas are a polemic exercise that will achieve no results. Mahmoud Abbas, after his election in January 2005, was ineffectual and weak when his Fatah party ruled Palestine. He was incapable in the past of halting violence. Now his status as leader is even weaker than it ever was. He is a write-off as a negotiating partner for peace. Once again, there is no partner with whom Israel can negotiate a viable peace agreement.

Hamas is harping on “the occupation” as an excuse to carry out violence against Israel. They see every form of violence and hate as legitimate in order to liberate the Palestinians from Israeli occupation. They are still not prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist or negotiate a viable peace settlement with Israel. The same old scenarios of Palestinian suicide bombings will continue according to their spokespersons. They will continue to blame Israel for the violence that they perpetrate. There is this mindset amongst the Hamas Palestinian leadership of total commitment to Israel’s destruction.

Those countries in the world that open their doors to Hamas representatives to pay “state visits” are exacerbating the standpoint of Hamas towards Israel. The act of inviting this terror group to their countries in the hope of “moderating” Hamas’s non-compromising attitude is doomed to fail. The only thing that will be achieved will be the legitimization of Hamas in their respective countries. This will have a snowball effect and will encourage Hamas to carry out or support further violence against Israel using the pretext of “Palestinian suffering under the occupation”.

The use of the term “Palestinian suffering and the Israeli Army murdering innocent Palestinians”, as a pretext for carrying out this horrendous suicide bombings, is cynical! Hamas and allies do not value human life, not their own (the encouragement of suicide bombings and “martyrdom”) or those of anybody else. Hamas is not a liberation movement but a Nazi movement whose ideology is based on race and creed alone. Anybody who is a non-Moslem will be a subject of discrimination under the Hamas regime if he/she is bold enough to choose Palestine as a place to live. They will be treated as inferior, second-class citizens. Hamas, like the Nazis of Germany of 1933, were elected to power democratically.

If Hamas were to change its direction and climb down the “Tree of Hate” for Israel, Jews, and the U.S., show pragmatism of leadership, then there would be grounds for serious negotiations. The Palestinians deserve peace no less than Israel. The Palestinians have suffered from Israeli occupation with all its ramifications. The roadblocks and security fence that encroaches on Palestinian farmlands, causing great difficulties for Palestinians logistically, are the result of the constant Palestinian suicide attacks and terror against Israelis. Instead of laying down their arms and recognizing Israel’s right to exist, Hamas has adopted a policy of non-recognition, non-negotiation and glorification of violence against Israel. They are sowing the seeds of increased suffering for the Palestinian People who are in a crisis economically as it is. Hamas has formed an unholy axis with Iran under their notorious fascist leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinajad – the supporter of genocide against the Jews of Israel! Iran has pledged financial aid to Hamas. Israel has every right to defend herself against Hamas generated terror. It is unfortunate that innocent Palestinian lives (including those of children) are lost because of Israel Security Forces acting against Palestinian terror. Loss of innocent lives, whether Palestinian or Israeli, is unjustifiable. Contrary to Hamas and its terrorist allies whose purpose is to maim and kill as many innocent Israelis as possible, irrespective of whether they are Arab or Jew, this is not the aim of Israel’s Security Forces. Hamas makes cynical use of Palestinian lives to justify their support of murdering innocent people.

It is desirable for both sides to negotiate a permanent peace settlement so that the Palestinians achieve the establishment of an independent state living alongside Israel in peace, harmony and dignity. However, the way things are now, this goal will never be attainable until there is a change of attitudes on both sides towards reaching that goal. Both sides must come to terms with the other side’s existence and identity. Both sides must make bold decisions to stop the violence directed against one another and sit down at the negotiating table. Both sides owe a lot to future generations of Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in dignity, peace and understanding for one another.

Saturday, April 8

Passover 2006 - the"Festival of Freedom"

There is a feeling of spring in the air despite the unseasonably cold weather with its heavy rains. There is hardly a household in Israel that is not pre-occupied with spring-cleaning (Pesach Cleaning). This is a “Festival of Freedom” or as the kibbutz movements views it – the “Spring Festival”. Many housewives are utilizing muscles that have remained dormant from year to year. They climb ladders (some fall from the ladders and fill the hospital emergency wards because of fractures incurred). The agility of the Israeli housewife knows no bounds as every nook and cranny is painstakingly cleaned. They remove the leaven, imagined or unimagined with the dust that has settled over the last year. Is this really a festival of freedom from the ancient Egyptian yoke? For many people it is a bind and a race against time before the festival sets in. It is a hassle and certainly not a Festival of Freedom for many who are poverty stricken because of “budget reforms” of the previous government.  

The “Festival of Freedom” pales into insignificance as many become slaves of matzoth. If the ancient Passover scene was re-enacted today with all its preparation, it is unlikely that the Israelites would be able to escape from the evil Pharaoh as the preparations for unleavened Passover would take ages and this would delay the escape of the ancient Israelites. The Halacha laws regarding Passover are so complex that familiarity with them would also be a factor in delaying escape to freedom. This would give Pharaoh sufficient time to harden his heart and change his mind. The legacy of slavery of the Israelites would continue to this day.

It is very hard to celebrate the Festival of Freedom when there are Palestinians under Israeli occupation that does not have a state. The reasons for that are very well known. Now with the Israeli and Palestinian elections behind us, the chances of Palestinian independence have decreased even further. Hamas won an overwhelming victory and their intransigence towards recognizing Israel’s right to exist as well as not giving up their terrorist acts against Israel is good enough reason not to acquiesce to Hamas. The
Israeli voter has spoken and the trend is towards unilateral disengagement even though this is not so well emphasized. There are signs that Hamas is trying to find a way to climb down from the tree of non-recognition of Israel without losing face. They still have a long way to go. Perhaps we should be less conscience–stricken over the occupation now than ever before as Hamas to date does not show any desire to negotiate a peace settlement with Israel that could lead to their independence.

How can we celebrate the Festival of Freedom without a conscience when there are civil rights abuses and religious intolerance towards non-Orthodox streams of Judaism? Even the Israeli Arab citizen does not have equal rights in practice. There are racist rabbis who are against Arab- Jewish cooperation and co-existence as evidenced this weekend when there was a groundbreaking ceremony for a Jewish-Arab School to be built in Jerusalem. Is this the new Orthodox Judaism of today? While supporters say the school represents hope for coexistence and multiculturalism, the project has come under attack. Noted cabbalist, Rabbi David Batzri, called the school "despicable and sinful." Batzri and his son, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, are being investigated by the State Prosecutor's Office for incitement to racism. The school, known as the Hand-In-Hand Centre for Jewish-Arab Education in Jerusalem, was founded in 1998. It is currently located in the working-class, Jewish Katamonim neighborhood. However, the building is old and it is too small to accommodate even the current enrollment of 312. At least 12 names are already on the waiting list for each grade. With room for 500 students, the new building will be able to accommodate the school's natural growth. Administrators are also interested in expanding into a high school.

The movement against the project has become increasingly vocal. It made headlines recently when Batzri senior, head of the city's Hashalom yeshiva, told a neighborhood gathering against the project that "the establishment of such a school is a despicable and sinful act. An Arab cannot contaminate what is pure. It is forbidden to blend darkness and light. The nation of Israel is pure and the Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil disaster, an evil devil and a nasty affliction." His son reportedly echoed his father's words, calling Arabs "donkeys and beasts." "They want to take our girls. They are endowed with true filthiness. There is pure and there is impure and they are impure," Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri allegedly said. Rabbi David Batzri received wide media coverage after calling the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last summer divine retribution for U.S. support of the Gaza disengagement. He has also been quoted as saying that Jewish law calls for homosexuals to be "put to death."

It is a great pity that there is an abundance of rabbinical bigots of this ilk strutting around and making their voices felt. They are the first to goad the nation into observing the Passover Festival of Freedom and use the Orthodox Establishment to force their religious will on the people. Shops are not allowed to sell chametz (products not kosher for Passover) during Pesach. If they do, they are fined heavily. This is not freedom of choice. Passover has so many laws that bind the non-observant as well as the observant that one can hardly view Passover as a “Festival of Freedom” from slavery.


Saturday, April 1

The Aftermath of the 2006 Israeli Elections

The Elections have come and gone amidst much speculation that the Israeli Electorate would elect the Kadima Party with an overwhelming majority. This did not occur. The polls were inaccurate and did not predict such large support for the Pensioner’s Party, which received seven mandates. This surprised everybody, not least the candidates themselves. An overwhelming majority in Israel is NOT an absolute majority and as I had written last week, the results were predictable and great reliance will be on the coalition partners who will determine the nature of the new government under P.M. Ehud Olmert.

The wheeling and dealing has already begun. It looks as if the balance of power remains in the hands of the Labour leader, Amir Peretz. There will be compromises on election promises towards a more humane social policy that takes into account the necessities of the weaker sections of Israeli society. It remains to be seen what coalition will arise from the aftermath of the elections.

What is disturbing is that Kadima will invite potential partners whose programmes are diametrically opposed to it. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu Party is a case in point. This party received support from many right-wingers who were disappointed with the Likud’s performance in the previous government. There is even talk of the Likud and Labour forming some kind of a block to prevent Kadima from forming the new government. I hope that this is a rumor. It is almost certain that this is NOT what the electorate wants. If this does occur, it would prove that the electorate desires are not taken into account and further reinforces the fact that voting in Israel is an exercise in futility and frustration.

There are positive signs after the elections. The Likud received its just reward for its handling of the weaker sections of Israel’s society. It had many Knesset members under criminal investigation for bribery and corruption. Much of the Likud policies were determined by a loutish central committee who were determined to direct all policies for their own personal gain and that of their connections. Nepotism was the name of the game. Israel was crying for clean government. The Likud has been sent to the sidelines of Israeli politics with a poor showing of twelve mandates. Many parties such as Shas, Labour and Pensioners have gained strength on a social programme ticket. This area was neglected in the past, especially when Bibi Netanyahu was Finance Minister. He had made budget cuts that affected the poor adversely. Employees in the public service had extra cuts in salary by having to pay increased taxes to bail out Israel’s economic problems. The wealthy were hardly affected.

The Israeli Electorate was confused and this was illustrated by the outcome of the elections. The extreme right wing has no way of forming a block to prevent Olmert from forming a new government. The National Union-National Religious Party, despite their union, did not receive the support that they expected. An unfortunate outcome is the increased strength of the right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party. This could be a problem for Kadima who is showing signs of courting that party. This would be an obstacle for further withdrawals under the new government. The left wing was also not clear-cut. Meretz had a poor showing. They received five mandates. It remains to be seen whether they will be included in the new government.

The importance of the potential partners for the formation of a viable coalition remains just as true today as in the past. Kadima is a centre party that could be pulled in any direction because of the nature of its coalition partners. It is hoped that there will not be too many compromises of opposites in order to get a coalition at all costs. Most of the Israeli electorate had censured the right wing settler movement parties, which are an obstacle for peace with the Palestinians.

The future direction is clear despite the traditionally confused electoral results. To an extent, it also illustrates the immaturity of the Israeli electorate in its handling of the democratic processes in the country. It ranges from lukewarm apathy to frustration with the behaviour of the previous loutish Likud Government. They knew that they had to remove the Likud from power but had no idea what party to support overwhelmingly instead.

Perhaps the message that one can discern from the haphazard voting patterns is a desire to move in a direction of improving social conditions and disengagement from the Palestinians. The nature of disengagement from the Palestinians is unclear as Hamas is not ready to negotiate with Israel at this stage.