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August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Time To Crush Hamas

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushama Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaih Nadu deserve applause for having rejected some of the Opposition members’ demand in the Indian Parliament to condemn Israel’s ongoing air and artillery bombardment of the Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip . Last week some members of the Parliament argued that the strikes had led to the deaths of over two hundred Palestinians, including some civilians and children and as such New Delhi must condemn this  “ aggression.” and demand a halt to the attack.  Minister Swaraj retorted, “ any discourteous reference to any friendly country would affect relations.”  Her colleague Naidu echoed similar sentiments.   

 

One finds any such demand to condemn Israel is absolutely discriminatory. The lack of fairness herein is clear from the fact that those Opposition members who have made this demand seem to be so upset about the death of a couple of hundred in Gaza but they have hardly ever been moved when many Middle Eastern regimes have indulged in or been parties to the cold-blooded killings of the hundreds of thousands of their own citizens, including women and children .  

 

Their demand to condemn Israel is ludicrous too.  They have, in the present context, seemed to have ignored the predicament of Israel , the only developed democracy in the Middle East, at the hands of Hamas, a notorious terrorist organization with a charter based on the fanatic ideology of hatred and violence  against vast sections of humanity, including women . The latter has had no history of faith in peace and development in the region. Jerusalem withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005  uprooting more than 8.000 of its citizens and abandoning all its border controls of Gaza, except the Israeli one . Yet this terrorist outfit has fired more than 12.000 rockets at Israeli towns since 2005 and indulged in dozens of other terror attacks on civilians in the country .

Pertinently, in its activities and operations Hamas has had the support of certain reactionary establishments in the Middle East. For long it had the support of the  “Axis of Resistance” (Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and the Islamic Jihad). After Hamas’s parent movement Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Cairo, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi  blessed it. In the recent past the Emir of Qatar is said to have granted Hamas $ 400 million .

 

Recently , Hamas has further vitiated the political atmosphere in the region . Former Hamas Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh has announced  the “Third Intifada” has  begun in the West Bank.  He has praised the terrorism of the Hamas military wing and called Israeli civilians killed in its terrorist operations  “settlers”.  Senior members of Hamas , such as Khalid Mashʿal, Fauzi Barhum, and Mushir al-Masri, have praised the recent abduction and later killings of the three Jewish teenagers . Mashʿal has referred to the Israeli civilians killed in its attacks  as “soldiers. ”

 

This has not but put Jerusalem under tremendous moral and legal obligations to use all means at its disposal to protect its citizens by liquidating the entire Hamas’ infrastructure completely. Its previous offensives, including the “Operation Pillar of Defense” (November 2012) have failed to end Hamas’ operational control in the Gaza Strip. As such  the Benjamin Netanyahu government needs to leave no stone unturned in its current  “Operation Protective Edge” to corner Hamas once for all.  

 

The current dispensation of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi  in Cairo seems to appreciate Israeli imperatives in this regard. It has recently done a lot in neutralizing Hamas in the region. After  the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed  Morsi, Cairo has declared Hamas a terror movement . The Egyptian army has destroyed a majority of Hamas’ smuggling tunnels to the Gaza Strip. One wishes the Palestinian Authority government would distance itself completely from Hamas  now for the sake of peace and development in the region. The Authority ought to realize there is no point having a partner whose ideology is hatred and violence against fellow human beings . The Hamas rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip kill or maim not only  Israelis but also Palestinians in the West Bank.

 

Unfortunately, however, despite precautionary measures, such as dropping leaflets to warn Gazan residents about the areas and buildings to be targeted by the ongoing Israeli on Gaza , some innocent people get killed as the terrorists force them to be used as human shields . This could be avoided to a great extent if Jerusalem planned a full-fledged ground invasion in consultation with major military powers and moderate Muslim nations such as Egypt and Jordan in the region, entered the Strip and destroyed Hamas one by one. Hamas is a threat to them all in the short or long term.   They could provide Jerusalem with whatever appropriate military,  logistical and diplomatic support were needed in its current “Operation Protective Edge.”

 

Addressing the Rape Crisis In India: Will Golda Meir Inspire Modi ?

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

It is only natural that the growing incidence of sexual violence in India has come in for severe criticism by the enlightened humanity at home and abroad.

Joining the voices of condemnation on the issue, American Democratic senators Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin, Ed Markey, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mary Landrieu, and Chris Coons have recently written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their “shock and horror.” Their letter points the allegations of “complicity and negligence by the local police” and urges Modi to “take immediate action to combat gender-based violence and improve the safety of women and girls in India.”

The senators’ letter reads :

We look forward to continuing to partner with your government on immediate and sustained action to provide adequate psychosocial support for victims of sex crimes, improve gender and sexual assault response training for all Indian police, promote effective implementation of anti-rape laws, increase efforts to prosecute and hold perpetrators accountable, and help decrease the stigma associated with reporting crimes of sexual violence.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations also made criticized the incidence of rapes in India alluding to the need for “changing laws and changing attitudes,” and “systemic failures” in curbing sexual violence. Significantly, the senators’ letter is of a similar tenor. It notes that “more needs to be done to prevent violence against women, improve victim support services, bring perpetrators to justice, and address other forms of gender-based violence including child marriage.”

There is hardly any exaggeration in such outcry against sexual violence in India. An analysis of the various authentic studies conducted by the National Crime Records Bureau, the Human Rights Watch and other agencies reveals that rape incidents have increased over the years endangering the very honor of women in India.

Most rapes go unreported due to the victims’ fear of retaliation or humiliation. India accounts for a rape rate of 2 per 100,000 people. The majority of victims has been in the 18-30 year age group.

More than 7,200 minors are raped each year in India. It is 12.5 per cent of the total number of sexual victims. In sex trafficking and crime against minors India ranks the seventh worst. The annual rape rate in India increased to 2.0 per 100,000 people over the 2008-2012 period.

Sadly, the women’s rights scenario is grim in other parts of the world as well. The rape rates per 100,000 people are 8.1 Western Europe, 14.7 in Latin America and 40.2 in Southern African region.

The annual rape rate (2008-2012) increased to 1.2 in Japan, 3.6 in Morocco, 4.6 in Bahrain, 12.3 in Mexico , 24.1 in the United Kingdom, 28.6 in the United States, and 114.9 in South Africa. In the cases of sexual victims, the minors account for 17.4 per cent in the United States. In sex trafficking and crime against minors, China ranks first, Russia eleventh and Indonesia fourteenth.

As the Prime Minister of India, one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and leading democracies, Modi must address crimes against women. This kind of crime exposes how hollow India’s claims to some of its finest historical traditions and human values really are today!

Father of the Indian Nation Mahatma Gandhi believed in women’s rights to education, dress, divorce, remarriage, employment and declared, “I am uncompromising in the matter of women’s rights. In my opinion, she should labour under no legal disability not suffered by men.”

Gandhi rejected the projection of women as a weaker sex and said, “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, woman is less of a brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than a woman?”

Indian National Caught with Smuggled Diamonds in His Underwear

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Israeli officials at a Jordanian border crossing have arrested an Indian tourist who literally was caught with his pants down, exposing smuggled diamonds and gold worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Customs officials apparently did not have any advance knowledge of the smuggling attempt but noticed that the man showed discomfort from his clothing.

A detailed search turned up gold in the tourist’s toothbrush holder and approximately 150 carats of diamonds in his underwear. The smuggler admitted he intended to sell the diamonds in Israel.

Tibetan Monks Chant Prayers for Peace in Jerusalem

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The sounds of Tibetan monks chanting, an Iranian playing the santoor, western African style music, Rastafarian and reggae beats, as well as some Israeli rock, among other musical genres could recently be heard pulsating from Jerusalem’s Tower of David in the Old City.

The international and local rhythms made up the beats of the second annual Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, whose musical venues were located in different parts of the city, including the YMCA, Tzidkiyahu’s Cave, and Hebrew University.

Group's leader, Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor in the Tower of David. Photo Credit: Tzuri Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency.

Group’s leader, Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor in the Tower of David.
Photo Credit: Tzuri Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency.

The three day festival (August 20-23) attracted at least 1,000 visitors each night to the Tower of David, according to festival director Eilat Lieber. “It was very important for me to bring this unique festival to the Tower of David,” Lieber told Tazpit News Agency.

“This has been an important opportunity to hear not only great music but to experience the respect that exists between different religions and cultures across this city and in the world,” Lieber said.

“This kind of mutual respect is not entirely obvious as division and conflict are often the only themes portrayed in media coverage of Jerusalem,” added Tower of David spokeswoman Caroline Shapiro.

One of the musical performers, Alan Kushan, an Iranian living in the U.S., had positive remarks about the capital of Israel.

“Jerusalem is a wonderful city to perform in,” the Iranian santoor player, Alan Kushan told Tazpit. “It’s not only an honor to play in the city of King David and his son King Solomon. I think it’s a duty that I should come and play music. As an artist, my message to fellow Iranian musicians is not to be afraid of visiting this city.”

The exiled order of Tibetan Buddhists, known as the Tashi Lhunpo Monks, could also be seen walking around the ancient stones of the Tower of David, dressed in their traditional maroon robes. The monks, exiled from Tibet and now living in South India, chanted Tibetan prayers, accompanied by cymbals, gongs, bells and ceremonial dancing during their night performance.

It was the Tibetan monks’ first visit to Jerusalem, having spent the year touring across Europe and raising funds to continue their way of life at the South Indian monastery. “The monks cannot study in Tibet in freedom because the Chinese regime forbids them from doing so,” explained Jane Rasch, a spokeswoman for the group. “There is much understanding and sympathy between Israelis and these second-generation exiled monks living in India.”

At the Tower of David, the monks also created their signature mandala of peace (Yamantaka Mandela) made of colorful, crushed marble from southern India, as Israeli onlookers watched in fascination.

Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor, the leader of the visiting group of monks, told Tazpit that Jerusalem was a special city, but more crowded than he had anticipated. Lobzang, who speaks Tibetan, Hindi, and a little English, explained with a laugh that he learned two words in Hebrew during his visit: shalom and sababa.

Punjab Farmers Learn Farming Techniques from Israel

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

A 10-member delegation of dairy farmers from the Punjab region of India recently visited Israel to participate in a training program about modern dairy farming techniques at kibbutzim and moshavim across Israel.

A member of the delegation, Karnail Singh, told the Times of India that weather conditions in Israel are similar to Punjab but that in Israel there are “special arrangements to control heat stress.”

Singh noted that many dairy farms in Israel employ such technology as solar systems that generate electricity for the farming functions. There are 776 family-owned farms and 163 cooperative-based farms in Israel.

The Punjab delegation also included veterinarians, researchers and staff from the Punjab Dairy Development Board.

Report: Muslim Countries ‘Worst Violators of Religious Freedom’

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Ten out of the 15 countries with the worst religious freedom abuses are Muslim, according to the recently released U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2013 Annual Report identifying the status of religious freedom throughout the world, and citing countries that are the least tolerant of religious freedom.

IRFA requires the President of the United States, who has delegated this authority to the Secretary of State, to designate as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, those governments that have engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom.

IRFA defines “particularly severe” violations as ones that are “systematic, ongoing, and egregious,” including acts such as torture, prolonged detention without charges, disappearances, or “other flagrant denial[s] of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.”

After a country is designated a CPC, the President is required by law to take action to remedy the situation, or to invoke a waiver if circumstances warrant (As the late JFK put it: He may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB).

For the 2013 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State re-designate the following eight countries as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.

USCIRF also finds that seven other countries meet the CPC threshold and should be so designated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

USCIRF also places countries on its Tier 2 list, where the country is on the threshold of a CPC status, meaning that the violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are particularly severe and that at least one, but not all three, of the elements of the “systematic, ongoing, egregious” standard is met.

The Tier 2 designation provides advance warning of negative trends that could develop into severe violations of religious freedom, thereby giving policymakers an opportunity to engage early and increasing the likelihood of preventing or diminishing the violations. USCIRF has concluded that the following eight countries meet the Tier 2 standard in this reporting period: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Russia.

But not to worry – the State Department has issued indefinite waivers on taking any action against Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. As a result of these waivers, the United States has not implemented any policy response tied to the CPC designation for either country.

Gives a whole new meaning to the slogan “Freedom must be earned.”

In Egypt, the government has failed to protect Coptic Christians, who comprise 10 percent of the country’s 90 million people. The Copts have been tortured and killed and individuals continue to be prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for “contempt” or “defamation” of religion (Islam).

Somebody should start boycotting Egyptian products…

In Iran, religious freedom for minorities has deteriorated over the last year, a bad year for the Baha’is, Christians, and Sufi Muslims. The Report details that, “physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment” intensified.

Jews, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and Zoroastrians have faced harassment, intimidation, discrimination, arrests, and imprisonment. Anyone who has dissented against the government, a theocratic republic, including Majority Shi’i and minority Sunni Muslims, have been intimidated, harassed, and detained. Several dissidents and human rights defenders have been sentenced to death and executed for “waging war against God.”

Human sacrifice, that must be their god’s favorite pastime.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev: What’s in a Name?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Killed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen Muslim, has been identified by the FBI as a “strong believer” in Islam, and an adept of jihadism. Tamerlan was unabashed in his Muslim piety and avowal of jihad—the latter bringing him to the attention of both Russian intelligence and the FBI.

Indeed, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was identified last summer, during a 6-month sojourn in Russia, as having frequented a well-known jihad-fomenting mosque in Machachkala, Dagestan, meeting directly with a jihadist underground movement leader there at least six times.  It has further been suggested that Tamerlan and his surviving brother Dzhokar, a Boston Marathon bombing suspect co-conspirator, who was in thrall to his elder brother (as well as to jihadism), were jointly “inspired” by Doku Umarov, known as Russia’s Bin Laden, and also an ethnic Chechen. Umarov is believed to have organized jihad terror attacks, such as the mass-murderous homicide bombing of Moscow’s Metro system, which slaughtered at least 40. Ominously, as noted by Chechen analyst, Dr. Carlo Gallo, “Umarov has made statements in which he said that the enemy of Islam is not just Russia, but America….”

But the astute observations of young freelance writer Alyssa Kilzer—a client of Zubeidat Tsarnaev, mother to Tamerlan and Dzhokar—are even more chilling, and indicate that the brother’s “radicalization” was a pious Muslim family affair. Ms. Kilzer, who received facials from Zubeidat Tsarnaev for several years at the Tsarnaev household (410 Norfolk Street, on the border between Cambridge and Watertown, M.A.), therein witnessed arranged marriages, wife-battering, hijab donning, strict Islamic piety with repeated Koranic references, and ultimately, baleful anti-American Islamic conspiracy theories about 9/11/2001. Kilzer also alludes to the “political activities” of Zubeidat Tsarnaev and her husband (Anzor) had engaged in (a euphemism for their anti-Russian jihadism?), which caused the Daghestani native parents—both lawyers—to flee.

The Tsarnaev family ties to Daghestan—a primordial hub of Islamic jihadism in the Causcasus for over a millennium—may prove critical to understanding the jihad carnage in Boston wrought by the Tsarnaev brothers. Moreover, it is also worth noting that Dzhokar Tsarnaev was mentored (albeit only via e-mail correspondence) by a full-throated University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth apologist for so-called Chechen separatism, Brian Glyn Williams.

But there was an even more basic, profound warning sign of the Tsarnaev family’s dangerous Weltanschauung—the very name Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev chose for their eldest son: “Tamerlan(e).”

The cover art for "Sharia Versus Freedom—The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism," a miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of the Zafarnama by Sharaf al-Din Ali-Yazdi, from the year 1552.

The cover art for “Sharia Versus Freedom—The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism,” a miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of the Zafarnama by Sharaf al-Din Ali-Yazdi, from the year 1552.

The cover art for my recent book “Sharia Versus Freedom—The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism” (at right) reproduces a miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of the Zafarnama by Sharaf al-Din Ali-Yazdi, the best-known example of early Persian historiography the Islamized Mongol conqueror Amir Timur-i-lang, or “Tamerlane.” The image was housed in the British Library and originally published/produced in Shiraz, Iran, 1552. It depicts soldiers filing before Tamerlane holding heads of their decapitated enemies which they used to build a tower shaped like the minaret of a mosque, in Baghdad (1401).

The upper inscription embedded within the painting reads,

How fate and destiny have cast awe in the minds of the “Tavaajis”! [king’s messengers, and herein, more generally, “traitors”], In an orderly and numerical fashion, They made minarets with the heads of the wretched “Tavaajis” As a lesson to the inhabitants of the world.

While the lower embedded inscription states,

So that no subordinate would dare to challenge superiors and no fox acts like a lion, and threatens the kings; Under the temptation of the demon pride…

Historian Jean Aubin’s 1962 analysis notes that the Baghdad siege lasted nearly forty days, adding that the Zafarnama insists, “in hopes of seeing the city surrender and conserve it intact, Tamerlane delayed several times the attack requested by his officers.” Ravaged by starvation, groups of soldiers and residents fled the city, “by jumping from the summit of the ramparts.” When Tamerlane’s forces launched their final assault, escape from Baghdad was prevented by archers who were arranged on both riverbanks of the Tigris.  Consistent with the earlier accounts of Browne and Grousset, Aubin summarizes the fate of Baghdad’s hapless population, stating,  

The rare survivors—approximately one person out of a hundred, according to the Zafar-nama—were sold into slavery. The only ones spared were theologians, sheiks, and dervishes who managed to reach Tamerlane’s pavilion. They were given food and clothes, and sent to a safe place.

Tamerlane was born at Kash (Shahr-i-Sebz, the “GreenCity”) in Transoxiana (some 50 miles south of Samarkand, in modern Uzbekistan), on April 8 (or 11), 1336 A.D.  Amir Turghay, his father, was chief of the Gurgan or Chagtai branch of the Barlas Turks. By age 34 (1369/70), Timur had killed his major rival (Mir Husain), becoming the pre-eminent ruler of Transoxiana. He spent the next six to seven years consolidating his power in Transoxiana before launching the aggressive conquests of Persia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and then attacking Hindustan (India) under the tottering Delhi Sultanate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/tamerlan-tsarnaev-whats-in-a-name/2013/04/24/

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