web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

IDF Intelligence Chief: Terror Organizations on the Rise

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi spoke at the 13th annual Herzliya Conference on Thursday, where he delivered a comprehensive review of the strategic changes currently shaping the Middle East and the threats that such changes pose to Israel’s national security. THE IRANIAN THREAT

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the Iranian nuclear program, and was explicit in describing the great threat that Iran poses to the security of the State of Israel, describing it as Israel’s “primary threat”.

“We estimate that they will continue to advance their nuclear program,” he said, explaining that “Iran does not see a high chance of a military attack by the international community on [their] nuclear facilities.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that the Iranian government is in possession of the necessary infrastructure to procure nuclear weapons. “Right now [Iran] has ten thousand spinning centrifuges and another five thousand have been installed,” he said, adding that “should the [President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] decide to move forward towards a bomb, they already have enough material for five or six bombs.”

Despite the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, the international community still has the power to stop them. “The [international] pressure on Iran is intensifying and the economic sanctions are influencing Iran in the most significant way,” he said, adding that such sanctions will become an ever-more influential factor in the decision making in Iran. CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

The intelligence chief stated the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate has identified three central pillars around which the most significant changes influencing the region revolve: the economic situation, social upheaval and Islamization.

“The social upheaval is here to stay,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, referring to the massive political and social changes that have occurred throughout the Middle East in recent years. “It will continue to seethe and bubble and remain the central determining factor in the Middle East,” he said.

He explained that the social upheaval has removed many of the Middle East’s traditional power structures from authority, leaving room for radical Islam to take over. “[The upheaval] is becoming more violent every day, and it is creating a vacuum which is being filled with Islamist and Jihadist political factions,” he warned.

The Head of Military Intelligence said that while political turmoil abounds, governance has vanished and borders are being breached, leaving Israel surrounded by increasingly lawless areas. The lack of control, he says, is leading to the unfettered passage of weapons and munitions. “For the first time in decades Israel has four active borders which could open up from terror attacks,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. THE RISE OF TERROR IN SYRIA

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the sustained political turmoil in Syria, saying that there too radical Islamism has risen up to fill the void left by political instability. “For some of the [new terror] organizations, Israel is not the focus, but the moment they accomplish their Plan A – the fall of Assad, for instance – they will turn their energy towards Israel,” he said.

Elaborating on the situation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that “it is necessary to think of Syria not as a complete state, but as Assad’s state and the rebels’ state – which includes two thirds of Syria’s populated area.” He added that there are rebel enclaves camped all along the border in the Golan Heights from where they lead the day to day fighting.

“11 of 17 crossings [from Syria into the demilitarized UNDOF zone] are in the hands of the rebels, which enables the passage of refugees, weapons and even Jihadist elements,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

The Head of Military Intelligence went on to say that Hezbollah, a traditional ally of Assad, is concerned that should he lose power, Iran may lose free passage through Syria to arm the Lebanese terror organization – a concern which has caused them to become involved in the conflict.

“Assad is intensifying cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran, which maintain a presence in Syria, and are the primary supports of his regime,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “The damage of Syria’s demise would be very grave for them. Iran would lose its only Arab ally which borders Israel and thus lose the capability to open fire on Israel from Syria,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

Where are the Moslems Protesting and Rioting? (Map + List)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

John Hudson has put together an interactive Google Map of sites around the work where Moslems are rioting.

Click here for photos of the protests in Jerusalem and around Israel.

 

Jerusalem
“Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside Sha’ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem on Friday. Four people were arrested as the crowd tried to march towards the US Consulate. Hundreds more Arabs protested in Yafo against the ‘Innocence’ film.” reports JewishPress.com
Bangladesh
“About 1,000 Bangladeshi Islamists tried to march on the U.S. embassy in Dhaka on Thursday to protest against a U.S. film that is said to insult the Prophet Mohammad but security forces stopped them r…
Sanaa, Yemen
“In Sanaa, Yemen, the U.S. Embassy was overrun Thursday by protesters who stormed a wall, set fire to a building inside the compound, broke windows and carried away office supplies and other souvenirs…
Cairo, Egypt
“In Cairo, clouds of tear gas floated through the fortified area around the U.S. Embassy as security forces clashed with protesters for the third straight day,” reports The Washington Post.
Tripoli, Libya
“The US dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli on Wednesday after the mob attack that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans,” reports the AP. “Officials were investigating whethe…
Gaza Strip
“Palestinians on Friday protested an anti-Muslim film, with thousands gathering in the Gaza Strip and hundreds in Jerusalem where there were clashes with Israeli police,” reports Now Lebanon.
Jakarta, Indonesia
“In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, about 200 protesters in Jakarta chanted slogans and held up signs in a largely peaceful protest outside the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy,” repor…
Khartoum, Sudan
“Britain’s Foreign Office says police in Sudan are confronting a protest outside the British embassy in Khartoum,” reports the AP.  Additionally, Reuters reports “Protesters pull down emblem at German…
Kashmir
“Thousands of angry Kashmiri Muslims protested Friday against an anti-Islam film, burning U.S. flags and calling President Barack Obama a ‘terrorist,’ while the top government cleric here reportedly d…
Tripoli, Lebanon
“Hundreds of protesters set alight a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday, witnesses said, chanting against the pope’s visit to Lebanon and shouting ant…
Benghazi, Libya
“Ansar al Sharia supporters protesting in front of Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi carrying black flags,” reports Al Jazeera via Twitter. “Maximum 50 pple.”
Tehran, Iran
“In Tehran, students gathered Thursday outside the Swiss Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, to protest the video,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “No violence was reported.”
Baghdad, Iraq
“In Iraq, reaction to the video clip has been limited to followers of Shiite groups linked to militias and neighboring Iran,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Several hundred followers of anti-Americ…
Islamabad, Pakistan
“The protesters in Islamabad said that the film should be banned across the world and the filmmakers should be severely punished,” reports Pakistan’s The Express Tribune. “They also demanded that the …
Karachi, Pakistan
“JI Chief Munawar Hassan, addressing a protest rally in the Nazimabad area of Karachi, demanded that the US government ban the movie and also demanded the Interior ministry of Pakistan lodge a protest…
Lahore, Pakistan
“The rally in Lahore was organised by Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool which was taken out from Green Chowk to Sohrab Khan, while the one in Multan was organised by Jamiat Talba Arbia and Shehri Mahaz. Prote…
Jalalabad, Afghanistan
“Hundreds of Afghans – some shouting ‘Death to America’ – have held a protest against an anti-Islam film in the eastern city of Jalalabad,” reports the AP.
Mogadishu, Somalia
“Thousands of Somali protesters have taken to the streets of capital Mogadishu to express their anger over the anti-Islam movie produced by an Israeli-American in the United States,” reports Iran’s Pr…
Tunisia
Protesters in Tunisia have set fire to an American school in the capital Tunis, according to Reuters. The New York Post reports that “Anti-American rioting spread yesterday to Tunisia, where police us…
Algeria
“In Algeria, the U.S. Embassy cautioned Americans to avoid its building and other official government buildings Wednesday afternoon, sending an emergency message to U.S. citizens after calls for prote…
London, UK
“About 200 protesters are burning USA and Israeli flags outside the US embassy in London,” Al Jazeera reports.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Chennai, India
“Protesters in southern India have been arrested for throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the city police commissioner said,” reports CNN. “As many as 200 protesters were demonstrating in …
Amsterdam
“The American consulate on the Museumplein in Amsterdam is to close earlier than usual on Friday because of a planned demonstration by Muslims in the late afternoon,” reports DutchNews.nl. “Two school…
Maldives
Protests emerged in the Maldives, according to the BBC, but there are few details on the size of the demonstration.
Sri Lanka
Protests have erupted in eastern Sri Lanka, according to the BBC, but details are thin on the size of the demonstration.
Doha, Qatar
“Hundreds of worshippers marched near the US embassy in Qatar on Friday over the anti-Islam video,” reports Al Jazeera. “The protest had been reportedly called for by Doha-based Egyptian  Sheikh Yusuf…
Jos, Nigeria
“Nigerian troops fired live rounds on Friday to disperse Muslims protesting in the volatile central city of Jos against an American film about the Prophet Mohammad that has triggered unrest in several…
Sheikh Zuwayed
“Protesters belonging to ultraconservative groups in Sinai have stormed a camp for the UN multinational peacekeepers in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed,” reports Al Jazeera. “They brought down the flag and…
Sale, Morocco
“Hundreds of Salafists burned US flags in Morocco after Friday prayers at a mosque in a poor neighbourhood of Sale, twin town to the Moroccan capital Rabat,” reports Al Jazeera. “Around 200 of the har…
Casablanca, Morocco
“Between 300 and 400 Muslim activists had gathered outside the US consulate in Morocco’s largest city Casablanca on Wednesday, amid a heavy police presence, protesting against the film and shouting an…
Damascus, Syria
“Sana, Syria’s state news agency, said hundreds of pro-government supporters protested outside the US embassy in Damascus today,” reports The Guardian. “Protesters held images of beleaguered president…
Amman, Jordan
“Jordanian protesters burn a US flag in front of the Kurdi Mosque near the USA embassy in Amman,” reports the AP. Iran’s Press TV reports that more than 2,000 Jordanians took to the streets to protest…
Nouakchott, Mauritania
“Mauritanian youths also went out in a demonstration that covered the streets of Nouakchott condemning the offensive film,” reports Link TV. “Protestors gathered in front of the American embassy, call…
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysi
Muslims held demonstrations across Malaysia on Friday, calling for the United States to prevent distribution of an anti-Islam film they said was part of a plot by ‘Christian extremists,'” reports Ahra…
Batu Caves, Malaysia
“A crowd … held a demonstration at the Batu Caves, a popular tourist spot outside the capital,” reports Ahram Online.
Ipoh, Malaysia
“Malaysian media reported a… protest in the northern city of Ipoh,” reports Ahram Online.
Hyderabad, India
“A peaceful protest was held here Friday against a blasphemous anti-Islam American movie,” reports News Track India. “Protestors set afire an effigy symbolising the US in the old city of Hyderabad. Po…
Diraz, Bahrain
“More than 2,000 protesters chanted against the film and burned American and Israeli flags after Friday prayers in Diraz, outside the capital, Manama. Security forces were absent,” reports the AP. “…
Istanbul, Turkey
“Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyazit Square to protest the prophet film,” reports the AP. “The protest was organized by Turkey’s main Islamist political party, Saadet.”
Nablus, West Bank
“In the city of Nablus, about 200 people demonstrated against the film as Muslim clerics throughout the territory preached against it in Friday sermons,” reports the AP.
Basrah, Iraq
In the southern city of Basra, about 1,000 took to the streets and burned the American and Israeli flags. One banner said: ‘Freedom doesn’t mean offending two billion Muslims,'” reports the AP.
Mombasa, Kenya
“A group of Kenyan muslims burn[ed] the US flag in protest over the anti-Muslim film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, following afternoon prayers outside th…
Srinagar, India
“A Kashmiri Muslim with his face covered burn[ed] a mock American flag as others shout slogans during a protest Friday in Srinagar, India,” reports the AP.
Kut, Iraq
“Iraqi supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement, burn[ed] the Israeli and the US flags during a protest denouncing a film deemed offensive to Islam, on September 13, 2012 in the central …
Tel Aviv, Israel
“Arab-Israeli Muslim men protest against a film mocking Islam, in front of the U.S. embassy in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on September 13, 2012,” reports AFP.
Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan
“Afghans burn the U.S. flag in the Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 14, 2012, during a protest against an anti-Islam film,” reports the AP.
Sidon, Lebanon
The AP captured photographs of an anti-film protest in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh near Sidon, Lebanon, here.

Source: The Atlantic Wire

Int’l Festival Brings Morocco’s Sacred Music to Jerusalem

Monday, September 10th, 2012

The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival recently brought a new tradition to the holy city. For 24 consecutive hours, artists and musicians from Israel and abroad, shared a variety of musical traditions last Thursday, September 6, through the wee hours of the next morning.

Centered at Jerusalem’s Tower of David, the festival venues were chosen to reflect a message of inter-faith unity and sanctity at historical venues reflective of Jerusalem’s diverse faiths.

Musical events and shows were held at Zedekiah’s Cave in the Old City and Notre Dame across the road from the New Gate. In addition to taking part in a Slichot workshop, festival participants also had the opportunity to tour the Ethiopian, Franciscan and Armenian morning prayers at the Church of Holy Sepulcher.

The music festival featured esoteric, meditative and ceremonial music from Azerbaijan, Iran, Africa, Morocco, Iraq, Brazil, and India as well as a Sufi dance workshop. The festival opened with Persian music and chants performed by two Iranian musicians based in Canada, the brothers Kiya and Zia Tabassian who played and sang together with Israeli percussionist Zohar Fresco.

Other international artists included Morocco’s Hassan Hakmoun and his New York-based ensemble, who performed ancient African Islamic folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants of West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago.

Speaking with Tazpit News Agency, Hakmoun described his childhood growing up in Marrakesh, Morocco. “I grew up in a musical family in Morocco. My mother is mystic music healer and I learned the Gnawan musical traditions from a young age.”

“This is my second time in Israel,” added Hakmoun, who performed in Tel Aviv in 1994. Hakmoun, who is Muslim, believes that people can live as one. “When you come to Jerusalem, you see churches, mosques and synagogues, next to each other. There is a peacefulness here that you never see on TV.”

“The most amazing part of this city, is seeing how the footsteps of all the world’s major religions have passed through here—the prophets actually walked through these neighborhoods,” said Hakmoun.

Hakmoun moved to the United States in his early twenties with his family and made his first U.S. musical debut at the Lincoln Center in 1987. He has since then performed widely across the U.S. and internationally, and produced several albums, fusing traditional Gnawan music with American sounds, and making the Gnawan musical and dance tradition a popular element in the American music scene.

“In Morocco, Gnawa music wasn’t so popular when I was growing up, but thanks to the major Gnawa World Music Festival that was spear-headed by the senior adviser to Morocco’s King Mohammed, André Azoulay, who is also Jewish, our traditional music has become much more appreciated in my home country” explained Hakmoun.

Playing the sintir, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood, Hakmoun sang soulful and spiritual Gnawan rhythms with his ensemble, to a mostly Israeli audience at the Tower of David on Thursday night. Of the many chants, and songs that were played, Hakmoun also included a prayer for peace for the region.

Radical Islam Spreading in Spain

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Two Islamists have been arrested in Spain on charges of torturing and murdering two fellow Muslims for “abandoning radical Islam.”

The arrests came just days after Spanish newspapers reported that jihadists in Spain are travelling to Syria to help overthrow the government there.

Spanish authorities say the incidents, on top of many others in recent months, point to the accelerating spread in the country of radical Salafi Islam, which Spain’s National Intelligence Center, the CNI, in a leaked secret report — corroborated by the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies, an organization tied to the Spanish Ministry of Defense, in its own recently published a 43-page report entitled, “Islamist Movements in Spain” — states is increasingly posing the greatest threat to national security.

Rachid Mohamed Abdellah and Nabil Mohamed Chaib, both of whom are Spanish citizens of Moroccan origin, were jailed after being questioned by Judge Eloy Velasco at the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) in Madrid on June 28.

Police say the two men, aged 25 and 30 respectively, are members of an Islamist cell based in the city of Melilla, a Spanish exclave on the northern coast of Morocco. They are accused of torturing and murdering two other members of the cell who “adopted Western behavior and tried to disengage from radical Islam.” Spanish authorities say the murders were meted out according to Islamic Sharia law, which calls for the killing of “infidels.”

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said the suspects are “capable of carrying out especially brutal attacks,” and share “the same radical orthodoxy” of the Islamists who carried out the March 2004 Madrid train bombings in which 191 people were killed and 1,800 wounded.

At a news conference following the arrests, the Director General of Spanish Police, Ignacio Cosidó, said: “They were part of an extremely radical group, and had committed a double murder of two members of their own organization who had shown signs of wanting to leave. Their ideology is clearly jihadi and they believe in terrorism as a means to achieve their objectives. Therefore, they posed a threat of the highest order.”

Abdellah and Chaib were arrested in the Melilla neighborhood of Cañada de Hidum after an extended confrontation with police, who – pelted with rocks and bottles by local Muslims – were forced to call for reinforcements.

Spanish police further state that the cell was composed mainly of Spanish citizens of North African origin living in Melilla, and Moroccans living in Farkhana, Morocco. The suspects were engaged in recruiting and indoctrinating Muslim youths for training in jihadist camps or war zones in places such as Afghanistan. The cell was notable for its secrecy and for the adoption of strong internal security measures aimed at keeping its activities clandestine.

Members of the cell were forced to live a life of submission to the Takfiri branch of Islam, a violent offshoot of fundamentalist Saudi Salafism, that seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate [empire] in the Middle East and large parts of Europe. Among other beliefs, Takfiris consider violence to be a legitimate method to achieve their religious and political goals.

The arrests come just days after the Madrid-based newspaper El País reported that jihadists from Ceuta, another Spanish exclave in northern Morocco, have been travelling to Syria to help overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. The report states that one of the jihadists, a 33-year-old taxi driver, Rachid Wahbi, was killed just days after arriving in Syria.

Spanish police say the jihadists, many of whom are Spanish citizens, have been travelling from Ceuta to Málaga and then on to Madrid, from where they board flights to Istanbul. Once in Turkey, they make contact with jihadists who facilitate their entry into Syria.

Police believe the jihadists from Ceuta involve Takfiris who, in the Los Caracolas district of the city, attend a mosque considered the most radical of the 33 mosques in Ceuta because of its links to Salafism. Spanish police say the jihadists also meet regularly in homes in the Condesa neighborhood of Ceuta, where they watch videos on jihad.

Separately, nine Islamists accused of planning terrorist attacks aimed at “liberating” Spain for Islam were found not guilty by the National Court in Madrid in April 2012.

Zohara

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Zohara was born in Morocco. With her husband, she raised a large family. A busy woman, she always seemed to find time to help others in need.

Her daughter, Aliza, told me of the many sleepless nights her mother spent nursing babies. That is not unusual in itself, were it not for the fact that many of the babies she nursed were not her own.

Zohara lived in a cohesive but poor community of Moroccan Jews. She let it be known that if there were any mother who could not nurse her child, she was prepared to help that mother. In addition to feeding her own babies, she would always be available – day or night – to feed other babies as well.

Zohara was not just involved in this great chesed work. Though not wealthy, she managed to help those less fortunate – with food and other needs.

Twenty years ago, Zohara’s holy neshamah was returned to Shamayim. Her daughter, Aliza, rightfully refers to her mother as a tzaddeikit. After her mother’s petirah, Aliza decided she wanted to find a way to honor her mother’s memory in a way that would reflect the selfless life she had led.

And so with my daughter, Shani, I waited to meet Aliza. This was a day I longed for. I was shopping for a wedding gown for my youngest child.

There are many ways to shop for a bridal gown. One can purchase or rent one. Another option is going to some of the many gemachim that carry gowns free of charge or for a reasonable price. The gemachim provide the bride with the possibility of finding a gown without paying the huge expense of a new one. (The word gemach is an acronym for gemilat chesed, an act of loving-kindness.)

My daughter and I decided to first try our luck with a gemach. We were told of one run by a woman named Aliza. She had a variety of gowns on display in a Jerusalem seminary for young women. The seminary generously supplied the space for this purpose.

Aliza took us into a small room, full of wedding gowns. She discussed the type of gowns that might appeal to Shani, transforming my daughter into a bride before my eyes.

Aliza does not charge any fees for the gowns she displays. She does it for the pure joy it brings her, and in the knowledge that it brings an aliyah to her mother’s neshamah. She suggests that anyone who borrows a gown from her should consider making a small donation to help her update her supplies. There is no obligation or pressure to do this.

After trying on many different styles, Shani found a gown she liked. But she still wanted to check out other places before making her final decision. Aliza told Shani not to feel uncomfortable about it. She told her she took pleasure in meeting a new kallah, and in fact presented my daughter with a lovely gift for her new home before we left.

I asked Aliza what made her decide to open her gemach.

She pointed to the sign on the door. This gemach was named Zohara, after her mother. The word Zohara means light, brilliance, splendor. The name not only describes her mother’s character, but also the image of a bride on her wedding day.

Aliza, like her mother, is a special woman. In addition to her gemach for wedding gowns, she also runs a gemach that helps disadvantaged families with their daily needs. Aliza’s name is also very appropriate, as she brings joy to others.

May she continue to do chesed.

Rubin Reports: Being an Israeli and a Jew in 2012: Let’s Face Reality Without Illusion, Shrug, and Move Forward

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/
It is the year 2012, which seems to be going by very fast and is already one-fourth finished. People are walking around with smart phones and all sorts of electronic devices undreamed of not long ago. There has been what is called an “Arab Spring”, stoking fantasies about instant democracy. An African-American was elected president of the United States, and that was after his party’s nomination, and thus probably the White House, almost went to a woman!
Times have changed.
Yet the hysterical hatred for Israel in the Arabic-speaking world and among Muslims in general has only increased; the philosophy of rejectionism is as strong as ever or, put another way, even stronger. Indeed, it is no longer safe, and certainly isn’t comfortable, for Jews in much of Europe and even, for those who support Israel, on American college campuses.
Two examples of how the lynch mobs are out in force in places where formerly they were least present.

In previously moderate Tunisia, now under Muslim Brotherhood rule, thousands of Salafists paraded, chanting to kill the Jews in order to enter paradise. The new Tunisian constitution contains a provision that the country could never recognize Israel. Almost a half-century ago, Tunisia’s then leader was the first Arab politician to call for recognizing Israel. We’re still waiting.

In Morocco, perhaps the overall most moderate country in the Arabic-speaking world, a meeting of the Mediterranean Parliamentary Union was held. Israel, which has a parliamentary system and is on the Mediterranean (I can see the sea from my roof), is a member of this group. Consequently one Israeli attended the meeting. The result was a riot in which thousands of Moroccans assaulted the building, and the leader of the ruling Islamist party complained about how the country’s soil had been tainted.
I won’t bother citing a thousand other examples. But with the triumph of revolutionary Islamists and the throwing down the memory hole of decades of disastrous Arab anti-Israel policies, the Arabic-speaking world is becoming more radical on this issue. It is now joined by Turkey and Iran. They hate us; they despise us; they want to kill us.
Yawn.
In this situation there is a strong temptation for Westerners to say that if only Israel didn’t exist (radical version) or if it made huge concessions (liberal version) then all of the problems in the Middle East would go away and all the region’s conflicts with the West would go away, too.
And in this situation there is a strong temptation for Western Jews to say that if only Israel made more concessions on territory or tore down the settlements there would be peace; hate would turn into love or at least benign indifference, and all the problems of the Jews would go away.
And in this situation there is a total temptation for Western leftists—including a disproportionate number of Jews among them—that if only Israel disappeared or made huge concessions than socialist utopia would come speedily in our time.
In fact, for the first time in history we are seeing a concerted, well-funded campaign to destroy the base of support for Israel among American Jews. It is rather ironic that this is happening in 2012.
After all, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, southern Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and parts of the West Bank. Since 1993, Israel has not established a single new settlement nor expanded the geographic size of existing settlements. Israeli governments offered (twelve years ago!) to accept a Palestinian state in all of the Gaza Strip, almost all of the West Bank, and in much of east Jerusalem.
And so on.
Now we are told by the highly publicized and very smug that if only there is an economic boycott of settlements, Israel will be saved.
We are not told that if only there is a willingness among Arabs and Muslims to make peace, plus the total defeat of the revolutionary Islamists, peace is far more likely to be achieved.
That real solution has two differences from the first one:
–There is literally nothing we can do, no concession or risk, which will bring about that outcome.

–Thus, we do not have the power in our hands to resolve this conflict. We can stand up, sit down, walk by the way, or return to the 1967 borders and it won’t matter.
About 25 years ago, I was convulsed with laughter when covering a Palestine National Council meeting in Algeria while watching a young American Jewish Peace Now kid try to explain to a group of Fatah guys that they really did just want a state of their own to live alongside Israel. They kept explaining to him that this wasn’t the way they thought at all. They wanted “all of Palestine from the river to the sea.”
This well-meaning boob thought he knew the Palestinians’ actual political stance better than they did.
It is not comforting to acknowledge that there simply isn’t going to be any formal peace agreement or end of the conflict. I won’t say “never” but I’m pretty sure for the next 30 to 50 years, and somewhat less certain for the rest of this century.
But, of course, in time anti-Semitism in Europe went away—oops! It didn’t, but you know what I mean.
Does saying these things make me “right-wing”? Not at all. It is also the consensus position of the great majority of left-of-center Israelis and it should be the position of liberal Jews in other countries. The whole point is that this is not a matter of our will or preference or program but something that is being forced upon us.
Sure, I want a two-state solution, but not as a launching pad for the next round of would-be genocide. I want the ideal solution of peace and a good neighborhood but I don’t expect that to happen. Not my fault; not our fault.
Let’s face reality, stop blaming ourselves, and get on with our lives. Let us improve Israel’s society, economy, and culture. Of course, let’s also defend ourselves. Let us try to preserve as much as possible of the rapidly disappearing Jewish people. And if you want to boycott someone, why not start with those who insist on remaining our enemies and who would like to murder us?
Makes sense to me.

Demand for Sharia Law in Libya Growing

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

The call for Sharia law to inspire legislation is gaining traction in Libya, with Islamists rallying across the country on Friday against the emergence of secular political parties.

The demonstrations were comprised mainly of members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafis. Men holding copies of the Koran protested in squares in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Sabha.

In the wake of the recent Islamic electoral successes in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Islamist parties in Libya are expected to fair very well in elections for a national assembly, expected to take place in June.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/demand-for-sharia-law-in-libya-growing/2012/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: