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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘mordechai kedar’

Moredechai Kedar on Changes in the Muslim World

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

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Yishai is joined by activist and professor Dr. Mordechai Kedar. Together, they discuss the Muslim world, changes in Africa in Mali and Libya, Europe’s low birthrate, and the real wish of Arabs in Israel. Be sure to listen in to catch this segment where Kedar gives his frank and matter of fact view on the Middle East and what could happen in the future!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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The End of Oslo and a Glimmer of Hope

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Recently, it seemed that the “Arab Spring” might have come to Judea and Samaria, when demonstrations broke out protesting the rise in the prices of gas and food. Palestinian Authority officials blame – could it be otherwise? – Israel for all of its troubles, and can even point to the source of the problem: the Paris Protocol, which binds the economy of the P.A. to the Israeli economy, the Israeli currency, the Israeli tax system and from here also to the prevailing prices in Israel. Their conclusion is that the P.A. must detach itself from the Israeli economy so that it can be independent. This demand was supported by several international bodies, who determined almost unanimously: The occupation is strangling the Palestinian economy.

However, the situation is much more problematic, because the economy is only the symptom of the illness; its result, not the real problem. The actual problem is the failure of the Palestinian project to establish one unique “Palestinian people,” with a shared national identity, on the basis of which civil systems can be established, like an economy and legitimate self-administration. The Oslo Accords brought refugees to the area of Israel known as Judea and Samaria, most of whom are not native to the area (Abu Mazen was born in Safed) and were never accepted by the local Arabs as “one of us”.

Those “architects of Oslo,” chiefly Shimon Peres, imported these foreigners and put them in control of the local population, lacking any legitimacy to rule. Perhaps Yasir Arafat – who was born in Egypt – had the aura of a national symbol, but his successors do not enjoy this aura. He was a leader, and they are politicians. The intention of Oslo, from Israel’s point of view, was – as the late Yitzhak Rabin put it – that Fatah should deal with Hamas “without the constraints of the Supreme Court or human rights organizations,” meaning that Fatah would do the security work for Israel, and it would be its collaborator.

Arafat and his successors never intended to carry out this task, because the Hamas movement is composed of locals, especially in the Gaza Strip, and if the PLO waged a real war against Hamas, it would cause the whole population to rise up against it. So the PLO played the “revolving door” game: they arrested a few activists for the sake of appearances to appease Israel, and freed them after a few days. Therefore the P.A. and its security apparatuses never fought seriously against terror, and for long periods even engaged in terror actively. As a result, the Hamas movement grew and developed so that today it rules in Gaza.

Unsolved Problems

Another basic and negative feature of the Oslo Accords is the fact that these agreements left the settlement of the fundamental problems for the phase of the final status agreements: nothing at all was agreed upon regarding issues such as the borders, the Jewish settlements of Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, the refugees, water, security arrangements and other issues, and they were left for settlement by negotiations that were supposed to have occurred within five years (“the interim period”).

The architects of Oslo naively thought that within five years the two sides would be able to arrive at a final status agreement. The great failure of the Oslo architects is that they did not determine in the agreements what would happen if the two sides did not arrive at a final status agreement. If the agreements expired would all that was written in them be cancelled? Would each side be free to do whatever it wants? The fact that the agreements do not relate to this is criminal negligence, because the manner of exit from agreements must be written into them: If a person rents out an apartment, and the tenant doesn’t pay the rent, the agreement must stipulate what will happen in this case, and what the exit strategy is. Without a detailed description of an exit process, no agreement is worth more than a garlic peel, and this is the case with the Oslo Accords.

Since in July 1999, the “interim period” of five years had elapsed without achieving a final status agreement, the Oslo Accords are now hanging in the air and are subject to the interpretation of each side: the Palestinians claim that it is their right to declare a state unilaterally, despite Israel’s objection, and Israel disagrees with this interpretation.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran’s Culture of Deception Marks its Policies

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Since the dawn of Islamic history, the conflict between the Shi’a and the Sunna has been the axis around which public and political conduct in both sides has turned . The Shi’a challenged the legitimacy of the rule of the Sunni Caliphs, and in places under Shi’a control the Sunnis challenged their right to rule. The struggle was for “the whole jackpot” and when the government seized a person and suspected that he belonged to the other side, his fate was usually death.

Over the years the Sunna and the Shi’a developed different religious systems: the Shi’ite Qur’an includes two chapters which establish the Shi’ite claim to rule, while the Sunnis claim that these chapters are a forgery. The Hadith (the oral tradition that describes the words of Muhammad and how he related to various matters) of the Shi’a side glorifies and elevates Ali bin Abi Talib, the founder of Shi’a, and his right as well as that of his descendants to rule, while the Sunni Hadith represents the Shi’a in a totally negative light. The Shi’a and the Sunna differ from each other in theology, religious law, in the names of men and women, in the calendar, in traditions and customs, etc. The differences are so marked that there are many Sunnis who see Shi’a as a sort of heresy, and the Shi’ites see the Sunnis in a similar light.

Due to the political conflict and religious differences, it was very dangerous for a Shi’ite to live in a Sunni environment, and therefore in order to survive, Shi’a permitted its faithful to engage in taqiyya- concealment in order to survive – one of whose components is khud’a - deception. According to the principles of taqiyya, a Shi’a is permitted to pretend to be a Sunni, to pray like a Sunni, and to act in accordance with the Sunni calendar, as long as in his heart he continues wilaya - fidelity to Shi’a and its leaders.

Thus the Shi’ites became accustomed over the generations to pretense, deception, lying, and among many of them this phenomenon has become almost innate. They learn it from their parents, from the environment and from their social tradition. Lying does not affect the physiology among many Shi’ites and as a result, police departments in many parts of the world know that it is very difficult to detect a lie among Shi’ites by using a polygraph.

Political Ramifications

The culture of Shi’ite deception has been evident in recent years in a concrete way. The first Iranian emissaries who came to Lebanon in 1980, approximately one year after the Iranian Revolution, were represented as educators, teachers and counselors whose mission was cultural and religious only, and therefore the government of Lebanon agreed to their presence and their activities.

Today, looking back, it is clear that this was when the Revolutionary Guard – an actual army – began penetrating into Lebanon, taking control of the Bekaa Valley and establishing training bases where the military strength of Hizb’Allah, a party that has a militia with tens of thousands of missiles, was consolidated. Today there are many in Lebanon who regret that they fell into the trap of Iranian deception.

The most obvious political consequence of the Shi’ite culture of deception is the convoluted and devious manner in which Iran has been conducting contacts with the West regarding the nuclear plan for almost twenty years. The Iranians have violated every commitment that they have undertaken, including their commitment to the I.A.E.A.

They removed all signs of illegal activity, lately they cleared away the remnants of experiments that they conducted in military bases in Parchin, and they still do not permit the U.N. inspectors to visit these bases. The long and complicated negotiations that the Iranians have been conducting with the West have one specific goal – to gain time in order to progress in their military nuclear program. Today this is clear, and Europeans and Americans who have pinned their hopes on negotiations with the Iranians now admit that they have fallen victims to the ongoing Iranian deception.

The Lie Will be Exposed in the End

Recently the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in Teheran. This gathering in Iran of leaders from dozens of states was intended to portray Iran as a well-liked and accepted state and an inseparable part of a large and important group of states, contrary to the image of the “pariah state” that it has in the West. Photographs of the embraces, kisses and handshakes of Ahmadinejad with the leaders of states who came in pilgrimage to him are intended to portray him as an accepted and popular leader, both to the Iranian public and to the Western observer.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Israel and its Neighbors

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

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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 Diplomacy of Rabbis (in Turkey and Beyond)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

We are all aware of the dismal state of Turkish-Israel relations, which deteriorated as a result of a long line of events: Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009), the Davos meeting between Peres and Erdoğan (January 2009) and the cancellation of the joint naval maneuver (that was to take place in October 2009). The Mavi Marmara incident (May 2010), plunged the relationship between the two countries to a new low.

Neither country hosts the other’s ambassadors. The investigative committees that functioned over the past two years failed to bridge differences of opinion. Each has demands of the other and the state of affairs between them seems to be “stuck”.

Yet, there are many people in Israel andTurkey who are very dissatisfied with the present condition of relations between the countries and long for the warmth and brotherhood that characterized the cooperation in many areas in the past.

Despite the politics, over the past two years the trade relations between the two countries actually expanded. While El Al has stopped flying to Turkey, the Turkish airline maintains a number of flights every day between the two countries and the planes are full.

And behind the scenes, some Turkish friends of Israel are working to improve the relationship between the two countries. One such person is Adnan Oktar, a Turk and a Muslim author who has been, for the past twenty-five years, publishing books and articles under the pen-name, Harun Yahya, dealing with issues regarding Darwinism, Communism, history, philosophy and religion.

Oktar has accumulated a good amount of support over the years. According to the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan, in 2010 he was among the fifty most influential people in the Islamic world today, for his dissemination of creationism in an Islamic context and other extensively distributed publications on Islamic topics.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Oktar published a book in which he claims that true Islam rejects terror and since then he has been endeavoring to promote inter-faith dialog and to encourage mutual understanding. In his articles and books he often quotes the prophets of Israeland the vision of redemption and global peace that they gave to the world.

Oktar has accumulated more than a few rivals who try anything to silence him: He was accused, for example, of being Holocaust denier because a book under the title “The Holocaust Lie” was falsely published under his pen-name in 1995.

Because of his public support for the right of the Jewish people to live on the land of its fathers with sovereignty, independence and in true peace with its neighbors, whether Arab, Turkish, Iranians or others, his detractors claim that he is actually an agent of the Mossad.

As an Islamic thinker, Oktar prefers to conduct a dialog with believing Jews, because he finds a common cultural basis with them. To him, a God-fearing Jew is his brother, as is any person in the world who believes in God. Abraham – the “Father of Many Nations” – is the ancient father of all monotheists, and therefore there is no reason that they should bicker over anything. Peace, brotherhood and cooperation between people are the supreme values in the eyes of the Creator, and therefore war, conflict and death are contrary to His will.

These beliefs moved Oktar to invite to Turkey a delegation of religious Knesset Members and other notables, for a series of meetings with Turkey’s political echelon,  specifically the religious Justice and Development Party (the AKP), which has ruled Turkey since 2002.

The Israeli delegation included Members of Knesset Rabbi Nisim Ze’ev and Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen, who is also deputy minister of the treasury. Other prominent religious figures included the rabbi ofGeneva, Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak Dayan and Rabbi Benjamin Abramson, an adviser to the Sanhedrin. I participated as well.

Oktar and his organization provided complete funding for the meetings and members of both delegations including flights, accommodations, transportation and strictly kosher food for the Israelis.

The delegation conducted two days of hearings, one inAnkara,Turkey’s capital, and one in Istanbul. The discussions included dozens of people from the boiling cauldron of Turkish politics, most of whom are members of the AKP.

It is important to note that the AKP is not homogeneous. It has many shades and variations. Just try to imagine a religious party in Israel that includes Satmar, Shas, Degel Hatorah, Aguda, Mafdal (now the Jewish Home), as well as the Conservatives and the Reform. The wolf will live with the lamb and the tiger will lie down with the kid before such a party is established in Israel.

Mordechai Kedar: What’s Next for Saudi Arabia?

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Approximately one week ago, the Saudi crown prince, Prince Naif Bin Abd Al-Aziz died at age 78, apparently from complications of diabetes. The official media of the kingdom assumed an air of mourning and spoke of the death of the prince as a “loss to the homeland.” For many years Prince Naïf has been a cornerstone of the of the Saudi family regime, because he fulfilled a number of key roles: minister of the interior (36 years), deputy to the prime minister (3 years), and crown prince (less than one year). In his various roles he actively supervised matters of internal security, pilgrimage, religion and overseeing the media. His political importance mainly stemmed from having taken a hard line against the regime’s domestic opposition, from the liberals to al-Qaeda, from the feminists to the Shi’ites. He was worthy of the titles “Strongman” and “Support of the Regime” that he was given.

About one year ago the kingdom lost the previous crown prince, Naif’s brother Sultan, who was 86 years old. One brother, King Abdullah, is 89 years old, but there are those who think that he is in his 92nd year, and his health is unstable: during the funeral prayer for Naif, in Mecca, the king sat on a chair instead of standing, as is customary, because of the burden of his years, the effects of disease, the stress of the kingship and the death of his younger brother, which factors, combined, made it difficult for him to stand. Some friends came to the funeral to support him: the Amir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, head of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian military, Field marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, the present prime minister of Lebanon – Najib Mikati, and the previous one – Saad al-Hariri as well as other heads of Arab and Islamic states. Those who get fat checks from him often…

An important detail of the funeral of Naif is the fact that he was buried in Mecca, in spite of the fact that the family is not originally from Mecca, which is in the Hijaz, but from Riyadh, in the Najad area. Naif is the third of the sons of the founder of the kingdom Abd Al-Aziz ibn Saud, to be buried in Mecca; Mansur, who was minister of defense and Majid who was governor of the Mecca region. Some of Abd al-Aziz’s grandchildren are already buried in Mecca (they were not so young either). It is worth noting that the sons of Najid who are buried in Mecca are buried in a cemetery specifically designated for them, which is called “Maqbarat al-adal”, Cemetery of the Just, meaning godly justice. Tribalism – it seems – exists even in death… Their devotion to Mecca stems from their desire to show their reverence for the Islamic holy places, reflecting the nickname of the king as “The Servant of the Two Holy Places” – Mecca and Medina.

The Dirty Business of the King’s Replacement

“Hayat al-Bi’a” – the Council of the Declaration of Faith – was established a number of years ago, and its senior members are princes from the generation of the sons and grandsons of the founder of the kingdom, for whom the kingdom is named. The role of the council is to deal with the senior appointments of the state, to assure that only the candidates who are the most talented and most acceptable to all will reach the head of the pyramid of power in the kingdom. Prince Mashal, the king’s brother, heads the council, which is supposed to meet in the near future, in order to choose a new crown prince. Prince Salman, who is 76 years old and minister of defense, is the apparent choice, or it may be the 71-year-old Prince Hamad, who officiates in the role of deputy minister of interior. The struggle among the sons of Abd al-Aziz is difficult and stormy, and is accompanied by intrigues, coalitions and manipulations, all of which occur behind the scenes; only the bottom line becomes known to the public, such as the firing of Prince Abd al-Rahman, minister of defense, or Prince Talal’s slamming the door behind him after the king named Naif to be the deputy of the prime minister, despite the fact that he wasn’t recommended by the Bi’a Council.

Mordechai Kedar: What Drives Turkey?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Recently, two problems have arisen between Israel and Turkey: One is an aftermath of the Marmara affair, which observes its second anniversary this week, on the 31st of May. Turkey has prepared an indictment against four Israelis who served as senior officers in the IDF during the operation: Gabi Ashkenazi – the chief of staff, Amos Yadlin – the head of Military Intelligence, Eliezer Marom – commander of the Navy and Avishai Levi – head of the Air Force Intelligence Group. Even if these indictments are only served in the Turkish court for now, where the “accused” people will not bother to go, Turkey might eventually issue an international arrest order against them, so that officials of any country that they travel to might arrest them and transfer them to Turkey, to be brought to trial.

The second problem is the production of gas from gas fields that Israel discovered on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has reservations about how the gas will be distributed between Israel and Cyprus, and it has already launched threats to all concerned that it will damage the drilling and production equipment if its interests are not satisfied.

These two problems might darken Israeli-Turkish relations for the next few years, so it is important for Israelis to understand the world view of the leaders of this state. Last week, on May 23, the president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, published an article in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, in which he publicly revealed how the elite of the Turkish regime sees the world that surrounds it. Below, is the entire article, originally published by “Makor Rishon”, with the comments of the translator, Mordechai Kedar, in parenthesis.

“Turkey’s New Path” by Abdullah Gul

Recently, Turkey has been in the forefront of international economic and political discussions. On one hand, despite the economic crisis that is washing over neighboring Europe, Turkey remains the state with the second fastest growing economy in the world, after China. On the other hand, there is almost no discussion of world problems, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Somalia, Iran and the Arab Spring, and from the promotion of development to inter-cultural dialog, where Turkey does not fill a prominent role.

This is a new phenomenon to a certain extent, because as recently as ten years ago Turkey wasn’t thought of as more than a strong NATO ally. The situation began to change in 2002 [the year when Islam rose to power in Turkey] when a new morning of political stability dawned, which enabled the emergence of a more powerful Turkish image, along with the will and commitment to realize this image.

In order to implement this goal the [Islamist] governments of Turkey since 2002 began to carry out courageous economic reforms, which paved the way for continual growth and a protective shield against the economic crisis that broke out in 2008. As a result of this, the Turkish GNP has tripled, and Turkey has become the state with the 16th largest economy in the world. Likewise, Turkey has benefited from a strong public budget, because of an intelligent monetary policy, from fixed dynamics of debt, from an organized banking system and from smoothly operating credit markets.

At the same time we have acted to broaden the range of individual freedoms [what about the press that the regime silences because of official criticism?] which were subjugated for a long time [during the secular regime] because of security fears, as we acted to broaden the relations between the military and the citizenry [by subjugating the military to the Islamic regime] and the promise of social and cultural rights. We have devoted the greatest attention to the problems of ethnic minorities [for the Kurds too?] and religious minorities [for the Greek Orthodox too?]. These reforms have turned Turkey into an active and living democracy, a more stable society living in peace with itself, able to see the external environment [Europe, the Arab and Islamic world] in a different way [more so than in the past].

We have simply stopped thinking of our geography and our history [as the Ottoman Empire] as a curse or as something negative, and we’ve begun, on the contrary, to see our place in the junction between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as an opportunity for interaction with many players simultaneously [and to become a regional power]. As a result, we’ve begun to extend our hands to the neighboring states and to the states beyond them, in an effort to broaden the political dialog, to open shared economic connections and to strengthen mutual societal and cultural understanding [with a policy of zero conflicts that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has developed]. Despite the fact that ten years is too short a time to make an accurate evaluation of this ambitious policy, we have clearly succeeded to a great extent. For example, we’ve succeeded to quadruple our trade with our neighbors, and many times we have played an effective role in strengthening the efforts towards reconciliation and peace-making. However, the most important thing is that Turkey has become an example of success that many surrounding states aspire to emulate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/mordechai-kedar-what-drives-turkey/2012/06/04/

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