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April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

US Air Force Vet Charged with Trying to Help Islamic State

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A US Air Force vet tried to join ISIS in Syria, but only made it as far As Turkey before he was sent back, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, flew to Egypt in January and tried to enter Turkey, who didn’t let him in. Egypy then deported him back to the US, where he was then arrested.

Pugh has been on the radar for a decade, the WSJ reports, after converting to Islam and telling a co-worker, in 2001, that he sympathised with Osama bin Laden.

Pugh was an Air Force mechanic from 1986-1990.

The WSJ reports that in the past 18 months, dozens of Americans have had criminal charges filed against them in connection to ISIS.

Kerry’s Gaffe Exposes ‘IsraelPhobia’

Monday, March 16th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke enthusiastically about Egypt in a speech on Friday but made a very undiplomatic boo-boo by stating that Egyptian President Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is committed to Israel’s future.

Yes, that is what he said. Here is the entire sentence, according to the official U.S. State Dept, transcript of his speech at American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh.:

President Sisi has engaged on a bold and critical path to implement reforms. He’s committed to restoring investor confidence in Israel’s future.”

The State Dept. later noted that he meant to say “Egypt’s future.”

How could a mistake like that have been made by the  Secretary of the State of the United States of America, the man who knows he can bring peace between Israel and the Arab world, and between Iran and the rest of the world? The U.S. Embassy in Cairo had a nifty explanation for the blooper and posted on Twitter:

“Clear theme of @JohnKerry speech/visit today: confidence in #EGYPT’s future. All night flight+morning event=unintended slip (wrong country!)

Jet lag is definitely a problem for diplomats like Kerry, who seem to spend more time on the plane than at home.

But excuses are not going save the world when he sits with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and says “Hamas, whoops I mean Israel,” or sits with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and says, “Jews, whoops I mean settlers.”

But all of that could be forgiven because his talks with the Palestinian Authority and Israel were nothing more than a way to boost profits for hotels where he stayed, but what happens when he talking with Iran over its nuclear program?

First of all, he has to remember he is in Switzerland today and not in Swaziland.

His aides need to remind him he is talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and not Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

And Kerry needs to be reminded that “peaceful nuclear energy” in Iran means in plain English, “A nuclear bomb to destroy not only Israel but also the United States.”

Egypt Cites ‘Existential Threat’ from ISIS, ‘Terror Groups’

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Egyptian Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffer warned in a speech Wednesday that his nation is facing an “existential war” in its battle against “terrorist groups.”

Speaking to a meeting of Arab interior ministers in Algeria, Ghaffar urged Arab nations to use all their resources to counter the imminent danger. The terrorist organizations, he said, “not only aim to come to power but also to divide Arabic countries and destroy their military and security capabilities…”

The danger posed by fighters from Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has escalated after local-area terror groups pledged allegiance to the organization, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and similar local groups in Libya are now linked to Daesh, with Ansar having since changed name to “Sinai Province.”

Egypt proposed creating a joint Arab force to preserve Arab national security. The proposal is to be presented again at the Arab Summit, slated to take place later this month.

Was Mordechai Crazy? A Torah Thought for Purim

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

There is an interesting parallel between Pharaoh and Ahashverosh. Both absolute rulers are sure that their way is just and supreme. Pharaoh rules by force while Ahashverosh rules with the honey trap, but they have the same intentions and the results are the same. Both of them enslave Israel to their will and threaten to destroy the Jewish People. Both Moses and Mordechai ‘irresponsibly’ endanger the nation and at the beginning, make the situation worse.

“Why, Moshe and Aaron?” asks/threatens the king of Egypt. “Why disturb the nation?” You are bothering them. They, after all, are used to slavery. They were born for slavery. “Go take care of your other issues.” You are not leaders. You are private individuals.

As opposed to Pharaoh, Ahashverosh does not threaten anybody. He simply invites them all to his feast. Is it kosher? Strictly kosher. So how can the Jews show contempt for the king and refuse to attend? True, the vessels on display at the feast are the vessels from the destroyed holy Temple in Jerusalem. But why get bogged down with petty details? This is how Ahashverosh pulls the Jews along, getting them to make peace with the fact that they are in exile, encouraging them to even enjoy their status. Ahashverosh entices the Jews to revel at the feast that celebrates their acceptance of the destruction of the Temple – the palace and symbol of the kingly rule of the Creator in His World. Instead of accepting G-d’s rule, the Jews accept the rule of a mere human: Ahashverosh.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

Mordechai is connected to Jewish destiny. He knows that the exile mentality that Ahashverosh succeeded in creating threatens the Jews’ ability to realize their destiny. He knows that without destiny, there will be no existence for the Jews, either. And so, despite the fact that no danger seems to be looming over the horizon, and strictly because of the betrayal of the Mount and the Temple, Mordechai ‘endangers’ the entire Nation (crazy, pyromaniac…) and restores the Jewish People to their destiny.

Was he crazy? Perhaps. Ben Gurion may also have been ‘crazy’ when he declared the establishment of the State of Israel. History is the judge. But the clear lesson is that the majority will always prefer to ‘manage’ with the current situation and pay for short-term stabilization of their existence in the coinage of destiny. True leadership is concerned about existence, but will never surrender or take its eyes off its nation’s destiny.

Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom.

Egypt Formally Designates Hamas as Terrorist Entity

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

An Egyptian court has formally ruled that Gaza’s ruling Hamas organization is a terrorist group, the country’s state-run media reports.

The decision officially outlaws Hamas in much the same way that the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in Egypt. Hamas was founded by the Brotherhood, as have been many other terrorist organizations as well.

Both the United States and the European Union banned Hamas as a terrorist organization years ago.

Hamas denounced the decision at a news briefing. “It is a shocking and dangerous decision that targets the Palestinian people,” spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told journalists. “It will directly contaminate the reputation of Egypt.”

The same court outlawed as a terrorist group the military wing of Hamas – the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades – last month.

The current ruling came one week after the passage of the country’s Terrorist Entities Law which specifies the designation of a terror group, CNN reported. According to the new law, the prosecutor general must propose the declaration of a group as a terror organization. The decision must be approved by an appeals court as well, according to Ahmed Ragheb, head of the National Group for Human Rights and Law.

In addition, authorities may also freeze the assets of designated terror groups, and issue travel bans as well.

Egypt’s relations with Turkey — another regional neighbor — have been rocky since former Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in 2013. Turkey’s AKP-led government, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Erdogan in particular has long been a close friend of Hamas. Recently Hamas was welcomed to open a new “foreign office” headquarters in the Turkish capital after Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal and his minions were expelled from Qatar.

Since Egypt’s participation in negotiations between Hamas in Gaza and Israel was essential in security a cease-fire during the last war, it remains to be seen how the current situation will affect future relations in the region.

Egyptian Imam Says ‘Corrupt Interpretation’ Led to Radical Islamic Terror

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The head of the centuries-old Al-Azhar Islamic Center, Grand Imam El-Tayeb, blamed “corrupt interpretations of some texts in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah” for the spread of radical Islamist groups.

“The most striking reason, that I see, is the historical accumulation of extremist tendencies,” the country’s top Islamic cleric said, according to the Al Ahram newspaper.

Speaking at an anti-terrorism conference in Mecca on Sunday, El-Tayeb said it is essential to impose a “control” on the “chaos of fatwas (religious rulings) against other Muslims as infidels.”

Otherwise, he said, there will be “no hope” for the Islamic Ummah – the Islamic world – to retrieve its unity.

The Imam called for a conference of Muslim scholars, to create a set of common values, yet allow the people of each nation to follow their own set of agreed-upon unique teachings. Such a system would create “social stability,” he said.

El-Tayeb also called for the introduction of a special education curriculum to correct “false and ambiguous concepts.”

In addition, the Muslim leader underlined the importance of ‘tolerance’ in dialogue.

Egypt Suggests Pan-Arab Force to Fight ISIS

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for a pan-Arab military force to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Speaking a week after Egypt bombed ISIS positions in Libya in retaliation for the terrorist army’s execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, al-Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he believes in “coordination with our Arab brothers.”

Judging by the Egyptian military’s far from superior past, it is no wonder the former general wants allies.

Historically, Egypt has had a dismal record in hostage situations. Unfortunately, the February crisis has been the norm, rather than the exception. Failures in negotiating the safe release of hostages have started from the 1970s, with its bloodiest result in 1985,” Dr. Omar Ashour, a senior lecturer in security studies at the University of Exeter wrote for Al Jazeera.

The attack on Libya last week boosted Al-Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s popularity but also raises questions why he did not act sooner, before the hostages were beheaded.

The aerial strikes also served to bury to put on the back burner, temporarily, at home, where he has been harshly criticized for detaining thousands of people for alleged terrorism during the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Sisi admitted in his televised speech on Sunday, “I am sure there are many innocent people inside prisons. Soon many of them will be released according to the available permissions.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-suggests-pan-arab-force-to-fight-isis/2015/02/23/

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