Sinem Tezyapar, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, has written The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on behalf of Turkish Muslim leader Adnan Oktar, regarding an Al-Jazeera TV interview with Oktar, dated September 28, 2007, titled “Turkish Thinker Adnan Oktar Tells about His Struggle against the Freemasons.”
According to Tezyapar, Oktar’s references to Zionism in the video are not subtitled correctly.
“I assume that Al Jazeera might have edited and translated them in a way that is coherent to its own ideology,” she notes, saying that “if you will listen to the Turkish original uncut film which was recorded and broadcast on Harun Yahya (Oktar’s literary pseudonym) websites,” he does not object to Zionism. He merely entertains the idea that had Zionism been an expansionist ideology, Oktar would have resisted it. But the Arabic voice over translation depicts him as actually objecting to Zionism.
In her letter to MEMRI, Tezyapar provides the original Turkish transcript, and the following English translation:
ADNAN OKTAR: Zionism is the same, of course. If there is an ideology that aims to rule the world, that rejects other religions, that claims the dominion of a single religion and rejects other people and tries to impose its ideology on them, I will of course fight it. But if somebody does not espouse such ideas, then there is nothing I can say. The Jews are a People of the Book. If they want to practice their own religion, if they want to live in their own country, they should stay and live freely in their own country. I respect that, but, if they say “This is not enough for me. I am going to rule the whole world and will destroy all other religions, so that only I survive”, that I cannot accept.
Tezyapar then requests that the service edit the clip accordingly, or remove it altogether, since it is misleading.
She offers “many links where Mr. Adnan Oktar advocates the rights of Jews to dwell in the Holy Land, to have their own sovereign state.”
One part of the video, that the Times does not note, nor did any other publications except this one was that, in one of the videos, Morsi says that if Israel won’t give in to every single one of the Palestinian demands, the Arab countries should wage war against Israel.
The JewishPress.com was the first major English language Jewish/Israel news publication to have the story about the video, when I posted an article about it in this blog almost two weeks ago on Thursday night, January 3rd. (Over the weekend other major Jewish publications like Times of Israel and Ynetnews.com picked up the story).
Thankfully, the New York Times did not try to hide the fact that Morsi’s statements “have revealed sharp anti-Semitic and anti-Western sentiments,” though its report focused on the repercussions on his relationship with President Obama.
I predict that it won’t affect Obama’s relationship with Morsi at all. The video only documented what everyone already knew: that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and most of Egypt it appears, are preparing for a day when they can resume their role as leader of the Arab world and right all the wrongs Israel has allegedly committed, beginning with its very existence.
Despite the attack on Israel’s embassy, and all the talk in Egypt about “reviewing” amending” the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, the U.S. government, under President Obama, is aiding Egypt in rebuilding its military, by continuing U.S. aid, supporting their quest for international loans, providing grants, cancelling $1 billion in debt as Egypt purchases a $1 billion advanced sub from Germany, and upholds its own sale of F-16s to Egypt.
Unfortunately, Israel is hardly in a position to do anything about U.S. aid to Egypt, because if Israel complains, it will be blamed for the deterioration in both Israel-Egypt relations and U.S.-Egypt relations.
This is the time for American friends of Israel and responsible American leaders to put the brakes on U.S. aid to the Egyptian war machine, before Egypt feels confident enough to wage war, destabilize the region and threaten Israel’s existence once again.
I must quote extensively from a MEMRI analysis of the Egyptian referendum on the new constitution because it shows so vividly how politics work in the Arabic-speaking world today, especially when voting is involved.
First, the analysis presents the pro-constitution camp that is the Islamists. They coordinate their efforts and launched:
“A massive joint campaign aimed at persuading the public to endorse the constitution. This campaign includes holding conferences and symposia across Egypt; training thousands of Muslim Brotherhood activists to promote the constitution, some of whom are even going door to door, according to reports; and also recruiting mosque preachers and satellite channels in the efforts to persuade the public. Especially prominent in this campaign are the attempts to appeal to the average citizen and to impress upon him the economic and social advantages of supporting the constitution.”
Now, what about the opposition to the Islamists, those who might be called moderates?
“In contrast to the unified pro-constitution camp, the opposition organizations that oppose the constitution, headed by the National Salvation Front, have been inconsistent and uncertain, especially in deciding whether to boycott the referendum altogether or to merely urge the citizens to vote against the constitution. Only on December 12, three days before the start of the referendum, did the National Salvation Front officially declare that it would participate in the referendum (on certain conditions) and vote `no.’ The oppositionists’ efforts to persuade the public mainly took the form of online campaigns on social networks, as well as flyers and pamphlets distributed in the streets.”
In other words, it is no contest. One might add that in Tunisia, Syria, and other countries (including non-Arab Turkey) as well as Egypt most of the time, moderates are not united or disciplined. They are also more poorly funded and more naïve about how to operate politically than the Islamists. The Islamists, or at least some of them (and that’s all that’s necessary) are prepared to use intimidation and violence; the moderates not.And that’s all in addition to having the advantage of appealing to a very powerful, deep-seated religious belief held by the majority. Even though there are unIslamist and even anti-Islamist interpretations of Islam they are not clearly and systematically articulated to counter the Islamist version.
Don’t get me wrong. The anti-Islamists have lots of courage. They are also highly motivated. They feel they are losing their country and know that if they stand up and oppose Islamist regimes they face potential persecution, even death, threats to their family and to the loss of their property.
The problem is that they have no backing from their counterparts in the West, either governments or all but a few non-government organizations. Students don’t demonstrate on their behalf. They don’t own much of the local mass media and are divided by ideological views. Some are not really moderate politically but are Marxists or radical Arab nationalists. And in many cases they lack practical political experience. In short, they have a tremendously uphill battle, as I documented in my book, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.
Consequently, the extremists almost inevitably win. But, you might ask, perhaps the West will help the moderates to redress some of this imbalance? Absolutely not. The moderates don’t have a fair shot or a fair chance, to use phrases popular with America’s president.
In his daily column, Al-Ahram’s Dr. Osama Al-Ghazali Harb referred to a MEMRI TV clip showing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi at a Friday prayers, October 19, nodding his head and answering “amen” as the preacher curses “the Jews.” According to Harb, the clip was an embarrassment for Morsi, who must reconcile his commitment to the peace agreement with Israel and the fact that he, basically, would like to wipe out Israel. Watch the clip and read excerpts from the Harb article, published by MEMRI.
“Over the past two days, MEMRI ‘caught’ a fat fish, which it is now streaming worldwide via the Internet: a television clip of President Mursi during his last visit to [the northwestern city of] Marsa Matrouh. [Mursi is seen] sitting in the front row amongst the congregants of the Al-Tana’im Mosque, listening resignedly to a Friday sermon by Sheikh Futouh ‘Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, head of the Islamic Endowment in Marsa Matrouh.
“As usual, Sheikh Mansour concludes his sermon, in the presence of President Mursi, of course, with the following supplication: ‘Oh Allah, absolve us of our sins, strengthen us, and grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.’ Of course, Mursi nodded his head, mumbling ‘amen’ along with the congregants after each supplication [against the Jews].
“MEMRI is now streaming this scene on the Internet and distributing it around the world with audio and video, and with English subtitles. This is very embarrassing to the president. I do not know how the honorable president would respond if asked: ‘Do you agree with what Sheikh Futouh said?’ If he says no, it is a problem, and if he says yes, it is an even bigger problem. I believe that no one will ask the president this question, but the case and its implications will not go over well [with Western viewers], since this matter embodies the massive gap that still exists between the official contractual obligation for peace with Israel, and the popular objection to this [peace] agreement. As part of his official duty, the president must respect the agreement, as he has stated many times, but he also cannot disconnect from the prevailing popular mood. This is a complex problem that must be dealt with more wisely. Furthermore, it is important to be well prepared for such events.”
Incidentally, in an earlier story we ran the original subtitle translation, provided by MEMRI, which suggested the Egyptian president was saying “amen” to a call on Allah to “destroy the Jews and all their supporters.” MEMRI has since updated their translation to the president beseeching Allah to “deal with the Jews and all their supporters,” which probably means the same thing but not quite as frontally.
Media watchdog organizations have revealed an uptick in youth-directed anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian media and society in the past week, with initiatives sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and European non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that in the wake of Israel’s transferal last week of the remains of 91 terrorists to the PA, PA TV used its youth programming as a platform to lionize the terrorists as “the greatest role models.” PMW reported that the program, Speak Up, is “co-produced by PA TV and PYALARA,” a youth-focused NGO funded in part by the EU.
The program’s two hosts, a young man and young woman, exchange insights about the virtues of the repatriated terrorists, some of whom were responsible for the most notorious suicide bombings against Israel: “Unfortunately, we couldn’t part from them [the terrorists] or even embrace them,” the man says, “but were satisfied standing before their bodies, standing up before their sanctified message: The homeland won’t die, but we will die for it.”
Picking up where the male host left off, the woman said: “These [Martyrs] are more honored than all of us… They are the greatest role models for us, not only because they fought and struggled for the homeland, but also because they went beyond the sacrifice [of] strain and effort, to the stage where they actually sacrificed their lives for the homeland.”
Their displays of reverence was consistent with the official line of the PA, which honored the terrorists with funerals fit for national heroes.
Another report by PMW uncovered a puppet show for Palestinian children in east Jerusalem – sponsored by the UN-supported Palestinian NGO Burj Luq-Luq Social Center Society – that managed to turn an event promoting non-smoking into a platform for anti-Israel propaganda. The educational event started with one puppet saying: “I wanted to stand before the audience and sing to Jerusalem, which is being kept from us. Jerusalem, whose youth are being killed by the Jews, to sing and to say: Jerusalem, we are coming, Jerusalem, the time of death has arrived. Jerusalem, we will not surrender to the enemies or be humiliated.”
Another puppet continues: “I, and many other youth like me, think that cigarettes will help us to grow, to turn into men. Jerusalem doesn’t need men who hold cigarettes. It needs men who hold machine guns, not cigarettes.”
Watch the video, courtesy of PMW, below:
According to PMW, the Burj Luq-Luq Social Center Society’s website states that the organization “maintains strategic ties with: …the French consulate, the Swiss Development Agency, the Youth Development Department, which belongs to the Association of Arab Studies the ‘Orient House,’ the Italian Institutions Union, the Faisal Husseini Institute,.. UNFPA…, the [Palestinian] Ministry of Youth and Sports… UNICEF, UNESCO…”
Finally, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) translated a featured article on the Al-Quds Brigades website which highlights an end-of-year ceremony for a kindergarten in Gaza. The military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad reported that the attending children dressed up in military uniforms, and acted out scenes of jihad armed with wooden rifles as well as torture at the hands of Israeli soldiers.
The article explained that the children of Gaza “are raised on the love of jihad, of resistance and of Palestine, and on the massacres and crimes of the Zionists– to the point that their lives, even in kindergarten, have become similar to those of the resistance fighters.”
The kindergarten teacher was quoted as saying: “In our annual end-of-year celebrations, we focus on having them enact the role of jihad and resistance fighters for the sake of Allah.” She also said that her aim is to raise “jihad fighters and commanders who will defend the soil of Palestine and Jerusalem.”
The article also quoted a uniform-clad child brandishing a wooden rifle, who declared: “When I grow up, I will [join] the ranks of the Islamic Jihad, and resist the Zionist enemy and fire rockets at him until I die as a martyr and join my father in Paradise.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood launched presidential candidate Muhammad Mursi’s campaign with the promise that “the capital of the Caliphate – the capital of the United States of the Arabs – will be Jerusalem,” according to a transcript obtained by MEMRI.
Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi, chosen to initiate Mursi’s campaign at a rally aired on Al-Nas TV on May 1, 2012, began by describing Mursi as the man that would restore a supra-national Islamic government: “We can see how the dream of the Islamic Caliphate is being realized, Allah willing, by Dr. Muhammad Mursi…his supporters, and his political party. We can see how the great dream, shared by us all – that of the United States of the Arabs… will be restored by this man and his supporters.
“The capital of the Caliphate – the capital of the United States of the Arabs,” he continued, “will be Jerusalem, Allah willing!”
Not long afterward, Higazi reiterated the campaign promise, but this time in more unequivocal language: “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca, or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing. Our cry shall be: ‘Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem! Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!’”
The crowd responded in kind: “Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem! Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem! Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!”
Taking his cue from Higazi, the attending master of ceremonies embarked on a lengthy anti-Semitic ode, repeating over and over again, to the delight of the eager crowd, “[b]anish the sleep from the eyes of all Jews…Come on, you lovers of martyrdom, you are all Hamas. From the eyes of all Jews… Forget about the whole world, forget about all the conferences…Brandish your weapons… Say your prayers…”
“We say it loud and clear,” Higazi intoned, “Yes, Jerusalem is our goal. We shall pray in Jerusalem, or else we shall die as martyrs on its threshold. Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!”
“Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!” the crowd responded.
Egyptian Presidential elections are scheduled to take place May 23-24. Of the twelve candidates, Mursi, former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh are considered the frontrunners. Moussa, unabashed in his anti-Israel and anti-American views, and has been quoted as saying that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty is “dead and buried.” Aboul Fotouh, formerly of the Muslim Brotherhood and currently considered the “moderate” frontrunner, is endorsed by the the radical Salafi Al-Nour Party, which believes in implementing strict Sharia law.