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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘dr. mordechai kedar’

Mideast Expert: Little Likelihood of Syrian Attack on Israel

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Bar Ilan University’s Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a prominent Middle East scholar, believes that the chances of a Syrian attack on Israel are smaller than ever since it appears that President Obama is “trying to get out of his commitments.” He added, “I don’t see why the Syrians will want to get into trouble with Israel if the US will not attack Syria for the foreseeable future.” Kedar was referring to President Obama’s recent announcement that he is postponing an attack on Syria until he receives congressional approval. As a result of this decision, Kedar believes that Obama has undermined America’s credibility with rogue states such as Syria.

Kedar also sees as problematic Obama’s proposed limits on a Syrian attack, both in time and scope, since such limitations decrease the likelihood of success. “What happened in the whole world is the US credibility is much less than what it was before. The US commitment to stand with its allies is viewed in a much more problematic way. The US lost its credibility as an ally of Israel and Turkey,” Kedar stated.

With the Syrian media recently listing potential targets in Israel, Cyprus, and Turkey should the United States strike Syria, Kedar insists that the American government appears weak by not directly threatening the Syrian regime should they harm American allies. “Any blink on the American side is viewed as something that doesn’t help America. [Its] enemies learn that America talks in [an unconvincing] way. I’m afraid in the future nobody will take America sincerely.”

If rogue states like Iran and Syria no longer take the United States seriously, Kedar believes they will be emboldened to take actions that threaten global security, such as pursuing nuclear weapons programs and utilizing chemical weapons. “I have the impression that Israel sent the message to Assad that if he targets Israel, Israel will target his own private neck. At this phase, this is the only thing that will work with Assad. The only deterrence is telling Assad that if he attacks Israel, he is a dead man. This is the only deterrence he will take seriously,” Kedar emphasized.

While he believes the chances of a Syrian attack on Israel have decreased, Kedar warned, “If the US attacks Syria, there is a chance that Syria will retaliate against Israel, for Israel is viewed as more vulnerable than the US. No scenario should be overruled.” Nevertheless, Kedar does not see how Syria would profit from attacking Israel, especially with chemical weapons. “This scenario will not serve the Syrian regime. They are trying their utmost to prove they don’t use these weapons,” he added. “Using chemical weapons will expose them as the people that use chemical weapons. The Israeli citizens are equipped against chemical weapons and this is why the damage will be limited, so why shoot this bullet if this bullet can come back to them?”

With this in mind, Kedar emphasized that the security threat to Israel from Syrian missiles is far graver than that of Hamas’ rockets, since Syrian missiles are heavier and more dangerous. “Look, the Iron Dome cannot provide 100 percent protection. There is no 100 protection against missiles. They might penetrate the Israeli defenses. No place in Israel will be safe, because the Syrian missiles cover most parts of Israel.”

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What Matters Most Is Egypt Maintain Peace with Israel

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar says for Israel the most important issue concerning Egypt is the new Egyptian regimes’ commitment to maintaining the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University, an expert on Middle Eastern Affairs, told United With Israel, “It is nice for Israel that the Muslim Brotherhood does not control Egypt, yet all that matters is that the peace agreement is kept. I’m not expecting hugs and kisses. All we need is that the peace agreement will be kept and implemented. The rest is not our business. If Morsi kept it, we have basis to believe that the others less committed to the Islamist way of thinking will not break the rules, especially because they need foreign aid.”

Some Israeli officials believe that whoever will be the next Egyptian President will be better for Israel than Morsi. Morsi had made numerous anti-semitic statements, including comparing Zionists to the descendants of apes and pigs and called upon Egyptians to nurse their children and grandchildren on hatred for Jews. Additionally, he had cut off gas deals with Israel, radicalized the Egyptian media to be more anti-Israel, and actively worked to prevent the Israeli Embassy in Cairo from being operational.

When asked about the prospect of the Egyptian secularist movement succeeding in future Egyptian elections given that they decided to unite under one candidate, Kedar emphasized, “As in every where, it is better to have one candidate; it increases his chances of winning.” Many protesters in Tahrir Square blame the secularists failure in the last Egyptian elections on the fact that multiple liberal candidates ran, resulting in weakening their voting power. Additionally, Kedar stated, “The military already announced that they are going to reshape the constitution. This will have an influence” on upcoming Egyptian elections.

When asked about the Muslim Brotherhoods political role in Egypt’s future, Kedar said, “The Muslim Brotherhood won’t be silent as their achievements were nullified. They will regroup. They definitely will try to go back to the government by elections or by demonstrations because they feel the government was taken from them without justification and they were pushed to the margins.” Kedar warned, “Some people from the Muslim Brotherhood may regroup as a terrorist organization. They might carry out terrorist attacks against those who acted against them.” There have already been instances where Morsi supporters have threatened to target their opponents with suicide bombings. Such a move would significantly worsen the security situation in Egypt, which has negative regional implications.

Kedar claimed that the lawlessness that presently exists in the Sinai adversely affects Israel and this situation is unlikely to get better no matter who is in charge. He stated, the Egyptian military doesn’t need “tanks and airplanes” to take care of the problem; they merely “need commander units to go to the caves, mountains, and rocks” where radical jihadists are hiding. He emphasized, “As long as the Egyptian Army doesn’t do this, they can’t do a thing to change the situation.” However, he explained that in this period of history the Egyptian military is “more concerned about what is happening in Cairo and Alexandria,” resulting in allowing the lawlessness in the Sinai to continue. While the lawlessness of the Sinai was always a problem, it had gotten worse under Morsi, yet even with fresh leadership, Kedar emphasized, “The problems of Egypt exist regardless who is in power.”

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Judgement Day in Africa

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Ten months ago, in March of 2012, I wrote about the awakening of radical Islam in Africa. We noted at the time that in the countries of North Africa – Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia – the organization called “al-Qaeda of the Maghreb” operates, and from time to time kidnaps and murders tourists and professionals such as  engineers who come to these countries as tourists or to perform specific functions. My conclusion at that time was:

The population of Africa is involved in a series of disputes with a tribal background, and in which the Islamist and ethnic components play an important, and sometimes critical part. The combination of Saudi Arabian money, Wahhabi propaganda, the presence of terror organizations and wide distribution of weapons (some of which disappeared from weapons storehouses of the Libyan army as a result of the fall of Qadhaffi), does not contribute to the easing of relations between various groups of the African population, and developing trends also do not indicate a tendency toward calm. Recent events in Algeria are the proof of what was already apparent: an area that is neglected by the government will become a hothouse for terror. Most of the territory of Algeria, which is more than ten times the size of Israel, is located in the vast, largely unpopulated Sahara Desert. There are  small concentrations of population situated near sources of livelihood such as  a spring or a well, and recently, mines and sources of energy – oil and gas. These clusters are isolated and exposed to armed groups that roam the area freely, propounding slogans and messages characteristic of al-Qaeda.

One of these groups, which calls itself the “Signed-in-Blood,” under the command of Mukhtar Belmukhtar, and numbering about forty fighters, carried out the attack on the gas drilling installation in ‘Ayn Aminas, abducted about 700 workers, some of whom were European, and held them as hostages. The subsequent attack of the Algerian army on the gas installation caused 55 fatalities: 32 terrorists and 23 hostages, and freed 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreign workers. The attackers, who arrived in several all-terrain vehicles, used heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades and personal weapons, and a number of Algerian soldiers were killed and wounded in the course of the battle with them.

The world, especially the European countries, severely criticized the clumsy and unprofessional way that the Algerians dealt with the matter. In response, the government of Algeria defends itself with the claim that if they had not acted quickly and decisively, the number of victims would have been far greater.

The natural question is why a gas production facility was attacked, and what motivates the terror organizations to harm especially Algeria. The answer has to do with the developments of recent years in North Africa. The dictators of these states rule their oppressed peoples by the use of force. When Libya fell, along with it fell the doctrine that guided the West, according to which these dictators will deal in the accepted way in Africa (with determination and ruthlessness) with terrorist elements such as al-Qaeda of the Maghreb, who roam the area, threatening to overthrow the fragile regimes and establish upon their ruins Islamic states that will then export terrorism to the more affluent parts of the world.

Radical Islamic agents are involved up to their necks in the wars of Mali and Somalia and in battles that are being waged in Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria and in Kenya. The murder of the American ambassador in Libya last September was only one example of these groups’ activities. The governmental chaos that reigns in these countries creates a situation that allows the jihadi organizations to control vast territories, which serve them  as a base for organization, storage of armaments and training, so that they can continue their efforts to bring down African states, whose illegitimate boundaries were demarcated by colonialism, with the aim of dismantling the nation of Islam into small, weak units.

European workers who come to the African countries are perceived as an offshoot of colonialism, because their whole task – in the eyes of the jihadists – is to strengthen Western  hegemony over the peoples of Africa, on their habitat and their natural resources, to employ and exploit them and turn them again into slaves of the smug and arrogant West. That is why these organizations abduct European workers; it is to discourage other Europeans from coming. And the ransom money paid by the companies greases the wheels of these jihadi organizations. They spend the infidels’ money on acquisition of weapons, ammunition, communications equipment, navigation equipment and vehicles, and the money also allows the organizations to purchase collaborative activity from other groups among the population, and to bribe governmental officials and military and intelligence personnel.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Israel and its Neighbors

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a scholar of Arabic literature and academic expert on the Israeli Arab population.  Together, they discuss Israel’s relationship with it’s neighbors, especially Turkey, Egypt, and Iran and how the rapidly changing situations in each of these countries affects Israel.  Keep informed and listen to this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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The Sectarian Genie: The Sunni-Shi’ite Struggle Released by the Arab Spring

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The Islamic Oral Law (the Hadith) quotes the prophet Muhammad who stated: “My nation will be split into seventy two factions, and only one of them will escape Hell.”  Since Muhammad closed his eyes for eternity in the year 632 CE, the Muslims – regarding this tradition – have been absorbed by two questions, one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical one is: which is the correct and righteous faction which is destined to inherit Paradise, and which are all of the other factions to whom the gates of Hell are open wide to receive them. The practical question, which stems from the theoretical, is how each faction verifies that it – the correct and the righteous – is the one that will live in an earthly paradise, and how can it make concrete life hell for the other factions.

Shi’ites

These questions were first dealt with immediately after Muhammad’s funeral, when the Muslim elders met to decide who will be the Caliph, Muhammad’s successor. Ali bin Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin, who was also his son-in-law, claimed that the caliphate belonged to him, but his claim was not accepted and three others were named as caliphs before him. He waited twenty-four long years until he was named as the fourth Caliph. During this time he consolidated around him a support group, who were even willing to engage in violent battle in order to take over the status of sovereignty. They were the first Shi’ites. The meaning of the word Shi’a in Arabic is “faction”, meaning the faction of Ali.

After Ali was murdered in 661, his son, Hussein, continued to claim that the leadership belongs to him, because he was of the clan of Hashem, the family of the Prophet, and not the Caliphs of the Umayyad clan, a branch of the Quraysh tribe, which seized control. Because of this claim he was seen as a rebel and in the year 680 he was caught by the army of the regime near the city of Karbala in Southern Iraq, and slaughtered together with most of his family and supporters. This event was the seminal event of the Shi’ites until today, and the Shi’ites mark the “Ashura” – the “yahrzeit” – of Hussein with memorial rites, some of them beating and wounding themselves until they bleed.

Over the years, Shi’a developed its own theology and religious laws so different from that of Sunni, which is mainstream Islam, that there are those who claim that the Sunna and the Shi’a are two different religions. Many Sunnis see Shi’ites as heretics of a sort, and more than a few Shi’ites see Sunnis in the same way. Many Shi’ites see Sunni as najas, or unclean. The Shi’ites say that their claim to leadership is based on two chapters in the Qur’an, while the Sunnis claim that these two chapters are a Shi’ite forgery. For all of history the Shi’ites have been considered as a group which is rebelling against the regime and therefore the judgement for a Shi’ite is death. In areas where the Shi’ites have ruled, this was the fate of the Sunnis.

The struggle between the Sunna and the Shi’a continues in full strength until today, with Iran leading the Shi’a side while Saudi Arabia is in the forefront of Sunni Islam.

In Saudi Arabia, the Hanbali school leads, with its extreme Wahhabi version of Islam, according to which the Shi’ites are heretics. Therefore the Shi’ites who live in Eastern Saudi Arabia are ground into dust: they are forbidden to sound the call to prayer on loudspeakers because their call includes a Shi’ite addendum. They are forbidden to mark the Ashura publicly and they are forbidden to demonstrate. The Saudi regime relates to them with fierce determination and zero sensitivity.

The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) which cost one million people their lives on both sides, was part of the struggle between the Shi’a and and the Sunna, because Saddam Hussein was Sunni. In Lebanon, the Shi’ite Hizb’Allah fights the Sunnis and their friends over hegemony in the Land of the Cedars, and in Bahrain the Farsi-speaking Shi’ite majority has been trying for years to free itself from the Sunni minority which rules over it with an iron fist and an outstretched arm. This past year, when the spirit of the “Arab Spring” brought the Shi’ite majority into the streets, Saudi Arabia occupied Bahrain and forced the sectarian genie back into its bottle.

Mordechai Kedar: The Suffering of Africa – Sins of Europe Projected on Israel

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Those Africans who enter Israel illegally in order to find work are a very small part of the general global problem of emigrants from Africa who are searching for a new land that will allow them to live, even with only a minimum income and standards of living – and the main thing that drives them is survival. Their poor condition, in Israel, in Europe, in North and South America and in Asia, raises the question: how did an entire continent, where a billion people live, about one fifth of the world population, arrive at such a low condition, and how, among the 61 states and entities that it comprises, not even one offers its citizens security, education, health and welfare at a reasonable level. How did it happen that a whole continent is torn by never-ending wars, mass murders costing millions of lives, and famines that still threaten the residents, most of whom want only to flee from it.

The one answer to all of these questions is: Europe, or more accurately, the greedy lust of the European peoples in previous centuries, which was reflected in colonization; and the way in which the Europeans related to the peoples of Africa when they ruled it, and the way that they left Africa and abandoned it to its suffering.

We must remember that in Africa there were never “peoples” in the European sense of the word; there were tribes. These family-based groups, over the course of generations, grew and split off to form new tribes, but their members always remained loyal to tribal culture. Traditionally, each tribe had its own religion, language, customs, laws, dress, standards of behavior, living area, sources of livelihood and economic interests around which every member of the tribe would unite. To defend themselves and their sources of livelihood, the members of the tribe formed a fighting group, without which it would be extremely difficult for the tribe to survive. For thousands of years the tribes of Africa lived this way undisturbed, in continual balance between man and nature, between tribes and neighbors, between man and his beliefs.

The European conquest and colonization that began in the late 15th century, brought continual disaster upon the tribes of Africa: the colonialists saw the black continent as a source of raw material for European industry – gold, silver, copper, iron, zinc, aluminum, diamonds, rubber and wood, and later, oil. But worst of all was that the African was seen as a slave, an amazingly cheap source of labor whose life had value only inasmuch as he could be exploited as a cheap source of labor. The most obvious example of this is the behavior of King Leopold II, king of Belgium (1835-1909), who ruled as Czar of the Congo from 1884 to 1908, and regarded the Congo, and all that it contained, as his private property. He used the residents of Congo as slave labor in his mines and rubber industry, and a third of the people met their death in this work. Slaves who could not fulfill the production quotas that were demanded from them were punished with amputation of a hand. Men were forced into slave labor, families were destroyed and whole tribes were wiped out by famine. Africans were considered lower than animals, and the wealth that the king stole from the lands of the Congo served his large construction building projects in Belgium. Many of the beautiful and stylish buildings in Belgium are the result of his conduct, which earned him harsh criticism from other countries.

During the period from the 16th to the 19th century, millions of Africans were captured by European, Arab and local slave traders and sold into slavery, mainly to South and North America. About one sixth of the slaves did not survive the journey by ship, mainly because of the miserable nutritional and sanitary conditions in these floating prisons. Slave-hunters cast the tribes of Western Africa into a never-ending chain of acts of reprisal because of their collaboration with slave traders.

At the Berlin Conference in the year 1884, the colonialist countries of Europe marked the borders of Africa as a “division of spoils,” and became wealthy from the raw materials and the slaves that were brought out from the lands of Africa. A not insignificant part of European wealth today is a direct result of this act – the greatest plunder in the history of mankind.

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