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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘fighting’

Fighting Caliphate with Chaos

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsite, Sultan Knish}

Sum up our failed Middle East policy in a nine-letter word starting with an S. “STABILITY.”

Stability is the heart and soul of nation-building. It’s the burden that responsible governments bear for the more irresponsible parts of the world.

First you send experts to figure out what is destabilizing some hellhole whose prime exports are malaria, overpriced tourist knickknacks and beheadings. You teach the locals about democracy, tolerance and storing severed heads in Tupperware containers.

Then if that doesn’t work, you send in the military advisers to teach the local warlords-in-waiting how to better fight the local guerrillas and how to overthrow their own government in a military coup.

Finally, you send in the military. But this gets bloody, messy and expensive very fast.

So most of the time we dispatch sociologists to write reports to our diplomats explaining why people are killing each other in a region where they have been killing each other since time immemorial, and why it’s all our fault. Then we try to figure out how we can make them stop by being nicer to them.

The central assumption here is stability. We assume that stability is achievable and that it is good. The former is completely unproven and even the latter remains a somewhat shaky thesis.

The British wanted stability by replicating the monarchy across a series of Middle Eastern dependents. The vast majority of these survived for a shorter period than New Coke or skunk rock. Their last remnant is the King of Jordan, born to Princess Muna al-Hussein aka Antoinette Avril Gardiner of Suffolk, educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and currently trying to stave off a Muslim Brotherhood-Palestinian uprising by building a billion dollar Star Trek theme park.

The British experiment in stabilizing the Middle East failed miserably. Within a decade the British government was forced to switch from backing the Egyptian assault on Israel to allying with the Jewish State in a failed bid to stop the Egyptian seizure of the Suez Canal.

The American experiment in trying to export our own form of government to Muslims didn’t work any better. The Middle East still has monarchies. It has only one democracy with free and open elections.

Israel. Even Obama and Hillary’s Arab Spring was a perverted attempted to make stability happen by replacing the old Socialist dictators and their cronies with the political Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood. They abandoned it once the chaos rolled in and stability was nowhere to be found among all the corpses.

It might be time to admit that barring the return of the Ottoman Empire, stability won’t be coming to the Middle East any time soon. Exporting democracy didn’t work. Giving the Saudis a free hand to control our foreign policy didn’t work. Trying to force Israel to make concessions to Islamic terrorists didn’t work. And the old tyrants we backed are sand castles along a stormy shore.

Even without the Arab Spring, their days were as numbered as old King Farouk dying in exile in an Italian restaurant.

If stability isn’t achievable, maybe we should stop trying to achieve it. And stability may not even be any good.

Our two most successful bids in the Muslim world, one intentionally and the other unintentionally, succeeded by sowing chaos instead of trying to foster stability. We helped break the Soviet Union on a cheap budget in Afghanistan by feeding the chaos. And then we bled Iran and its terrorist allies in Syria and Iraq for around the price of a single bombing raid. Both of these actions had messy consequences.

But we seem to do better at pushing Mohammed Dumpty off the wall than at putting him back together again. If we can’t find the center of stability, maybe it’s time for us to embrace the chaos.

Embracing the chaos forces us to rethink our role in the world. Stability is an outdated model. It assumes that the world is moving toward unity. Fix the trouble spots and humanity will be ready for world government. Make sure everyone follows international law and we can all hum Lennon’s “Imagine”.

Not only is this a horrible dystopian vision of the future, it’s also a silly fantasy.

The UN is nothing but a clearinghouse for dictators. International law is meaningless outside of commercial disputes. The world isn’t moving toward unity, but to disunity. If even the EU can’t hold together, the notion of the Middle East becoming the good citizens of some global government is a fairy tale told by diplomats while tucking each other into bed in five-star hotels at international conferences.

It’s time to deal with the world as it is. And to ask what our objectives are.

Take stability off the table. Put it in a little box and bury it in an unmarked grave at Foggy Bottom. Forget about oil. If we can’t meet our own energy needs, we’ll be spending ten times as much on protecting the Saudis from everyone else and protecting everyone else from the Saudis.

Then we should ask what we really want to achieve in the Middle East.

We want to stop Islamic terrorists and governments from harming us. Trying to stabilize failed states and prop up or appease Islamic governments hasn’t worked. Maybe we ought to try destabilizing them.

There have been worse ideas. We’re still recovering from the last bunch.

To embrace chaos, we have to stop thinking defensively about stability and start thinking offensively about cultivating instability. A Muslim government that sponsors terrorism against us ought to know that it will get its own back in spades. Every Muslim terror group has its rivals and enemies waiting to pounce. The leverage is there. We just need to use it.

When the British and the French tried to shut down Nasser, Eisenhower protected him by threatening to collapse the British pound. What if we were willing to treat our Muslim “allies” who fill the treasuries of terror groups the way that we treat our non-Muslim allies who don’t even fly planes into the Pentagon?

We have spent the past few decades pressuring Israel to make deals with terrorists. What if we started pressuring Muslim countries in the same way to deal with their independence movements?

The counterarguments are obvious. Supply weapons and they end up in the hands of terror groups. But the Muslim world is already an open-air weapons market. If we don’t supply anything too high end, then all we’re doing is pouring gasoline on a forest fire. And buying the deaths of terrorists at bargain prices.

Terrorism does thrive in failed states. But the key point is that it thrives best when it is backed by successful ones. Would the chaos in Syria, Nigeria or Yemen be possible without the wealth and power of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran? Should we really fear unstable Muslim states or stable ones?

That is really the fundamental question that we must answer because it goes to the heart of the moderate Muslim paradox. Is it really the Jihadist who is most dangerous or his mainstream ally?

If we believe that the Saudis and Qataris are our allies and that political Islamists are moderates who can fuse Islam and democracy together, then the stability model makes sense. But when we recognize that there is no such thing as a moderate civilizational Jihad, then we are confronted with the fact that the real threat does not come from failed states or fractured terror groups, but from Islamic unity.

Once we accept that there is a clash of civilizations, chaos becomes a useful civilizational weapon.

Islamists have very effectively divided and conquered us, exploiting our rivalries and political quarrels, for their own gain. They have used our own political chaos, our freedoms and our differences, against us. It is time that we moved beyond a failed model of trying to unify the Muslim world under international law and started trying to divide it instead.

Chaos is the enemy of civilization. But we cannot bring our form of order, one based on cooperation and individual rights, to the Muslim world. And the only other order that can come is that of the Caliphate.

And chaos may be our best defense against the Caliphate.

 

Daniel Greenfield

Fighting Israel’s Battle Online An Interview with Influential Blogger: ‘Elder of Ziyon’

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

On March 1, “Elder of Ziyon” – the anonymous author behind www.ElderofZiyon.blogspot.com – posted a map from a McGraw Hill college textbook purporting to show “Palestinian loss of land 1946 to 2000.” Considering that Jews were often called “Palestinians” before 1948, and that Palestinian Arabs – as a “nation” – never owned any territory until Israel carved out autonomous regions for them in 1993, the map was highly misleading.

Elder of Ziyon demanded that McGraw Hill “be held accountable for pushing such propaganda in college classrooms” and called on his readers to e-mail the publisher. Remarkably, within a week, McGraw Hill had removed the book from circulation and promised to destroy all remaining copies.

It is victories like these, and many smaller ones, that motivate Elder of Ziyon – the name is “meant to be ironic,” he says – to continue blogging daily, as he has for over 12 years.

 

The Jewish Press: Why do you blog under an alias?

Elder of Ziyon: I’m not worried about death threats or anything like that. The main reason is professional. I work in a high-tech industry and it doesn’t help my career potential to use my real name. For any future jobs, people would see my name and think I’m not doing any work – that I blog all day.

Do you?

No. I blog early in the morning, on the train to work, and often before I go to bed.

There is no shortage of pro-Israel websites and blogs. Why the need for your site?

A lot of the analysis I do, I don’t see anybody else doing. For example, there was a report the other week that 51 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution. Instead of just reading the news story, though, I took the time to look up the actual questions of the survey and noticed one of the questions they didn’t report on. The question was: Would you support a two-state solution if it meant the conflict was completely over and no more claims could be made?

To that question, the vast majority of Palestinians said “No.” And I was able to relate that to an earlier survey that showed that when Palestinians say they want a two-state solution, they only mean that as a stage to the entire destruction of Israel.

How many readers do you have?

I get about 250,000 readers, or hits, a month. And I have influential readers too. Sometimes, for example, Tablet magazine or Commentary will see my stories and run with them.

Where do you get your news stories?

Many of them come from Arabic sites. Every day I look for certain key words in Arab media that might indicate an interesting story. I don’t know Arabic, but I use Google Translate – which I’ve gotten good at over the years – and I’ll [confirm translations] with experts in Arabic if the story looks very important.

Occasionally I just post material that other people might not have seen. For example, the other night I posted a link to the Israel Air Force website, which had a piece on the 50th anniversary of Operation Yahalom in which the Mossad helped an Iraqi defect to Israel with a Soviet MiG-21 fighter jet [an operation that eventually helped Israel win the Six-Day War]. It was on the IAF site for two weeks, but I didn’t see anybody else cover it.

Many of these stories I find on my own, but others come from fans of the site. When they see something unusual, they’ll send it to me. That’s how I got the story of the [anti-Israel map in the] McGraw Hill textbook. One of my contacts saw it over somebody’s shoulder on the subway and told me about it.

What would you say are some of the highlights of your 12-year blogging career?

One of them came during the 2012 war Operation Pillar of Defense. Two times during that war there were stories of children killed by Israeli rockets and both of those times I was able to prove, with the help of military experts, that it was actually Hamas rockets that killed them. One of the children was actually the kid of a BBC reporter.

Another highlight was revealing that Human Rights Watch researcher Marc Garlasco was actually a connoisseur and collector of Nazi memorabilia. It was a joint effort of several bloggers but I got the original tip. And once we started publicizing the news, Human Rights Watch, in its attempt to defend him, ended up doing what’s called “sock puppetry,” which means they started commenting on all these blogs pretending to be ordinary people even though we saw that the IP address was coming from Human Rights Watch. That of course made the story additionally interesting. In the end, Garlasco had to resign.

Probably the biggest story I broke, though, was about an NGO called MIFTAH founded by Hanan Ashrawi, who’s always on TV blasting Israel as a representative of the PLO. Her organization had articles in Arabic supporting terrorism and claiming that Jews were killing Christian children to use their blood for matzah. This is a well-known Western human rights organization – an NGO – that gets money from major Western governments. So the story became very big, and in the end they had to apologize.

What’s next for you?

I would love to make the stuff I write more permanent. I want to put together more of a reference-type website; there’s a lot of information on my site, but I need to make it easier for people to find things and use it as a resource.

I also started writing a book about the supposed Palestinian right of return. I was doing an analysis – both historic and legal – to see if there’s any merit whatsoever to the claim because I’m very concerned that even if there’s a peace plan one day, people will use this right of return as their next step in delegitimizing Israel. So I want to make sure all the history and legal arguments about it are known ahead of time.

I have lots of ideas and lots of things I’d love to do, but it requires more resources, more funding, and partnership. I’m really hoping to be able to take this to the next level.

Elliot Resnick

Kurdish Jews Scrambling to Save Prophet Nahum’s Crumbling Tomb in ISIS Territory

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Jewish officials in Kurdistan are trying to save an ancient tomb believed to belong to the biblical prophet Nahum and his sister in the Christian town of Alqosh, some 30 miles outside the ISIS controlled city of Mosul. According to local news reports, Nahum’s tomb has been deteriorating and is in danger of collapsing. The town of Alqosh has been protected by Peshmerga forces since ISIS overran the Iraqi army in the region.

Sherzad Mamsani, a Jewish representative of the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government, has asked UNESCO, the semi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, and all foreign diplomats serving in the KRG to help preserve the ancient Jewish site.

“This site does not only belong to Jews. It’s part of human history, therefore saving it is everyone’s responsibility,” Sherzad pleaded in a statement, adding, “We only ask for the renovation of the site, we have previously asked the KRG to renovate it but the work was suspended due to the financial crisis that hit the Kurdistan Region.”

Nahum, whose biblical book (seventh on the list of 12 shorter works by the prophets, between Micha and Habakkuk) identifies him as Nahum of Elqosh, predicted the fall of the Assyrian Empire and its capital Nineveh. His 47 prophetic verses contain no rebuke of the Jews, only comforting promises that they would soon be freed from the Assyrian yoke. Jewish sources are split on the location of Elkosh: some believe it was in Israel, others identify it as the town of Alqosh in northern Iraq.

Nahum’s tomb is located inside a synagogue in Alqosh.

David Israel

Knesset Committee Slams Finance Minister on Fear of Fighting Monopolies

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

“Five years have passed, and prices have not gone down, and in certain cases they have gone up,” members of the Knesset Finance Committee told government representatives during Monday’s meeting marking five years since the summer of 2011 popular social protest in Israel.

The committee members slammed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for “being afraid to fight the monopolies,” but members of Kahlon’s Kulanu party said in response, “We are advancing many reforms, and we can already see the results on the ground.”

Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said that “with all due respect to the Finance Ministry and talks of reform, in practice the prices have not gone down.”

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said, “Five years after the ‘cottage cheese’ protest, not only have the prices not gone down, in real terms they have increased, because the prices of commodities around the world have dropped 30-50%, and this is not being reflected in the Israeli market. Prices are 20% higher, on average, than in Europe. The prices of inputs have also decreased, as has the price of gas and energy, but this has not had any effect. What happened is that the monopolies and chain stores have gained huge profits at the consumers’ expense.”

MK Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Camp) explained that “the expense basket of a young family has three main components: housing, education and food. In housing the prices have only gone up; in education there has been some progress regarding ages 3-4, but not a week goes by that we are not asked to answer questions regarding family expenses related to education. An average family with three children spends some $1,300 a month on education, day care, afternoon child care, camps, and more. As far as food is concerned, some positive steps have been taken, but that nut has not been cracked and, ultimately, too much power has been left in the hands of a small number of companies.”

MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) charged that the Trajtenberg Committee, which examined and proposed solutions to Israel’s socioeconomic problems, was established only to “ease tensions” and “take the wind out of the social protest’s sails.” In practice, he said, “nothing has been done.” Vaknin called to restore price controls, saying “in the absence of competition, this is the solution.”

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) said the problem is “greed.” The chain store owners and the major wholesalers “earn tens of millions on the public’s back,” he stated. “And meanwhile, here in the Knesset, people are strong at talking. The finance minister can make bold decisions and change the market without fearing his friends the tycoons. Here in this committee we have the power to advance a plan to dissolve the monopolies. We will enact a law to that effect.”

MK Roy Folkman of Kulanu said, “We have waged an all-out war on the monopolies. In Israel there is a very high concentration of market controls, and a finance minister who does not fear them has now arrived. We launched reforms in the importing of fresh meat and the prices have dropped. With fish as well, we created parallel importing. For years no one has dared to deal with the monopolies, which maintain a stronghold on Israeli politics, and we have started doing so. A change can already be seen in toiletries, food items, children’s toys and other items. The fight takes courage and ability. Increasing competition is the only way. Price control does not work; [corporations] would only raise the prices of other items. The business sector is more sophisticated than the regulator.”

MK Rachel Azaria, also from Kulanu, said “We are making great efforts, but every issue that reaches the Knesset gets stuck there. Every reform encounters objections, and it is nearly impossible to pass anything, including the fight against black market capital. I belong to the finance minister’s faction and it is my job to pass things, but nothing can be advanced; there are always dramas here; in some cases it’s the kibbutzim, in others kashrut – everybody has an interest. We have to be brave and deal with the basic problems: monopolies, quotas and interested bodies that prevent change. In the Arrangements Law we will introduce important reforms, and then we will see if all those who are yelling here will support them. We are the cause of the high prices. We have an opportunity to lower the cost of living, and I hope everyone here will support [the measures].”

JNi.Media

Analysis: Obama Administration Fighting Netanyahu Via AP Leak

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

The Obama Administration has apparently decided on its course of action regarding Judea and Samaria until the inauguration of a new president in January: threats and attacks delivered through well placed leaks with the major news outlets, which are intended to foster anxiety in Jerusalem. A case in point is this weekend’s AP story, citing US and other diplomats who say Obama plans to endorse a “tougher tone” against Israel in the upcoming report by the so-called “Quartet” of mediators from the US, the EU, Russia and the UN. Said diplomats have promised that the US will no longer endeavor to temper the language of the report, criticizing settlements construction, demolitions and property seizures. They also promise to place the blame for the impasse in the peace negotiations squarely on Israel.

The report, due in late May or early June, will bear no intrinsic penalties against Israel, an island of violence and unrest in an otherwise peaceful and idyllic Middle East, but the diplomats who leaked the news have told AP it could be used by the UN assembly and “possibly sent to the Security Council for an endorsement.”

It is curious why the Obama White House would want to create yet another problem for the Democratic presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who would be forced to comment on such a report and run the risk of alienating either the left- or right-flank of the party. Is the Obama need for revenge against the Jewish State stronger than his support for his own party’s campaign? Time will tell.

On its face, the AP leak looks more like a taunt than a change in policy, reminiscent of the reference to the comparison by an anonymous Administration official of Netanyahu to chicken droppings in the famous October 2014 Jeffrey Goldberg article. Like that and so many other poisoned arrows, the report will probably enrage Netanyahu and his circle, and will also endorse complaints on the part of the PA, but its influence on policy changes is doubtful. Scores of anti-Israeli, pro-Arab reports cannot change the math of the 20th Knesset nor the precarious balance of Israel’s Labor party under Chairman Itzhak Herzog.

As the AP story put it soberly, “The Quartet, which is supposed to guide the two parties to peace, has been largely irrelevant for the past several years. It was created in 2002 at a low point in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship and in the years since has held sporadic meetings. Most have ended with bland statements condemning violence, criticizing settlements and calling for both sides to improve security and the atmosphere for peace talks. … The new report will repeat those calls, but the diplomats said they hoped the new criticism of Israel, in particular, would jolt the parties into action.”

Not in this Knesset, apparently.

JNi.Media

Leftist Leader Appalled by Police Gratuitous Tasing of Settler (Video)

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

“How can you be nauseated when you watch the riot police using the taser again and again on the settler Boaz Albert who’s lying on the floor screaming in pain,” writes on her Facebook page MK Zehava Gal-On, chair of the left wing Meretz party, who has no love lost for the settlement movement. But the level of abuse and brutality on the part of the police in this case has cut through political dividing lines.

A video produced and distributed by the Yitzhar outpost spokesperson’s office shows local resident Boaz Albert being subdued by a team of policemen who arrested him for breaking an administrative restraining order banning him from setting foot in the settlement.

His wife and children are living there. He sneaked in to see them. Somebody called the cops.

In the video, police barge into Albert’s home, the screen goes dark and we hear him screaming in pain. Then a police officer is seen holding a stun gun and threatening to use it against Albert who is begging not to be tasered again, crying out that he’s emphatically not resisting arrest—while one of the cops is saying:”Electricute him already.” Then four police carry Albert out in a manner that could not possibly enable him to resist them – then, in the dark we hear him screaming in agony as some cop apparently shot him full of volts just for the fun of it.

“There is no justification in the world for using this cruel weapon on a man who is not acting violently and does not present danger to the four cops who hover over him and who could easily arrest him without a problem.”

Gal-On said that she is fighting for the rights of settlers against police abuse, just as she’s fighting on behalf of Palestinians who are arrested without trial. She called on the right to join her in condemning both kinds of police violations of people’s civil rights.

Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar of “Women in Green” also condemned the “scandalous arrest of Boaz Albert, a resident of Yitzhar, a father of six, in a violent military operation in which security forces shot him and his brother with iron arrows from a Taser gun and wounded him. All this because of Albert’s ‘crime’ of refusing to obey the immoral and anti-democratic edict of expulsion that was given him.”

The Women in Green contend that “these expulsion orders are used solely against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria and not against Arab stone-throwers nor against the European anarchists that attack soldiers.”

Katsover and Matar call on the “Eretz Israel” lobby MKs to intervene in the case. Meanwhile, Albert has been set free by a district court judge in Lod on friday afternoon.

A demonstration is planned for 10 PM israel time, in the Beit El area, to protest police cruelty against Boaz Albert.


Yori Yanover

Muslim Brothers’ Spring: Police Shoot Protestors in Tahrir Sq. (Video)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Photos circulated on social media Tuesday of activist Gaber Salah Gaber, with claims that he was killed in clashes on the streets surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud. Head of the emergency department at Qasr al-Aini Hospital Hesham Abu Aisha says Gaber is currently on life support in the intensive care unit.

He told MENA that Gaber was shot by rubber bullets in his head, neck, chest and arm. Aisha added that Gaber has a hematoma on the right lung.

Aisha said that shots had injured Gaber’s brain and that surgical intervention would be useless.

Clashes that began on Monday flared up again after a day of calm on Tuesday evening with both protesters and police throwing rocks at one another in the area surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Clashes broke out in downtown Cairo Monday evening after security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters and prevent them from approaching the Interior Ministry.

Protesters “of unknown affiliations” attempted to break into the Shura Council (the parliament’s upper house) building and the nearby Qasr Al-Eini Hospital, according to state-run news agency MENA. The entrance to the square from Qasr Al-Eini Street has also been closed off.

According to Al Ahram, also a semi-official publication, clashes between police forces and protesters, which have erupted intermittently since Monday afternoon, continued into Tuesday evening after protesters regrouped on Qasr Al-Eini Street adjacent to Tahrir Square.

Gunfire was still being heard intermittently around the flashpoint square, according to MENA. Earlier Tuesday evening, an Ahram Online reporter saw volunteer doctors attempting to remove birdshot pellets from a protester’s body.

Al Ahram reported that skirmishes broke out Monday afternoon when protesters commemorating the anniversary of last year’s clashes began fighting with Central Security Forces near interior ministry headquarters on Nubar Street.

But no one actually knows why the clashes started in the first place. The interior ministry said that fighting began when “lurkers” threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security officers on Qasr Al-Eini Street.

Dozens were injured in the subsequent clashes, including two currently in critical condition.

Eight policemen and 20 soldiers were injured during the clashes on Monday, the interior ministry said.

Human rights activists and lawyers said a number of protesters had been arrested in Tahrir Square early Tuesday morning.

According to Egypt Independent, members of youth and political groups in the city of Mahalla in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya besieged a police station on Tuesday evening, chanting slogans denouncing the Interior Ministry and the Muslim Brotherhood and demanding the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and retribution for victims of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street violence.

They also demanded the dismissal of Hesham Qandil’s Cabinet and bring to trial those responsible for the Assiut train accident that killed over 50 children on Saturday. They said they would continue to demonstrate until their demands are met, and warned President Morsy of a revolution that would topple him.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/muslim-brothers-spring-police-shoot-protestors-in-tahrir-sq-video/2012/11/21/

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