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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘parliamentary elections’

America’s Problems in the Middle East are Just Beginning

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran meanwhile smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills larger number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically-elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

As it happens, Iran already is smuggling weapons via Syria to the West Bank to gain leverage against the Abbas government, as Stratfor reports (hat tip: the Daily Alert ), including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. Hamas crushed Fatah in the 2006 West Bank elections parliamentary elections 74-45, and made short work of the supposedly moderate Palestinian faction when it seized power in Gaza in 2007. As Syria disintegrates, along with Iraq and Lebanon, the artificial borders of Arab states drawn first by Ottoman conquerors and revised by British and French colonial authorities will have small meaning. Palestinians caught up in the Syrian and and Lebanese conflagrations would pour into a new Palestinian state and swell the ranks of the hard-core Jihadi irredentists. Iran will continue to use Hamas as a cat’s paw.

Among other things, the American response to the events in Egypt show the utter pointlessness of American security guarantees in the present negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority. Even in the extremely unlikely event that Mohammed Abbas chose to make peace with Israel, he would face a high probability of civil war, just as Ireland’s independence leader Michael Collins did when he struck a deal with the British for an Irish “Free State” rather than a republic. Collins killed more Irishmen than the British did in the preceding independence struggle. I do not want to compare Abbas to Collins, and I do not think he has any attention of making peace with Israel. But American blundering in Egypt has closed out the option, for whoever makes peace with Israel will require a free hand with Iranian-backed rejectionists.

America forgets that it corrected the flaw in its founding by killing 30 percent of Southern men of military age during its own Civil War, so many that the Confederate Army collapsed for lack of manpower. There are numerous wars which do not end until all the young men who want to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so. And of all of history’s conflicts, none was so likely to end with this sort of demographic attrition as the present war in the Middle East. Compared to the young Arabs, Persians and Pakistanis of today, American Southerners of 1861 were models of middle-class rectitude, with the world’s highest living standards and bright prospects for the future. The Europeans of 1914 stood at the cusp of modernity; one only can imagine what they might have accomplished had they not committed mutual suicide in two World Wars.

Today’s Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims have grim future prospects. The world economy has left them behind, and they cannot catch up. Egypt was at the threshold of starvation and economic collapse when the military intervened, bringing in subsidies from the Gulf monarchies. The young men of the Middle East have less to lose, perhaps, than any generation in any country in modern times. As we observe in Syria, large numbers of them will fight to the death.

America cannot bear to think about its own Civil War because the wounds are too painful; in order to reunite the country after 1865, we concocted a myth of tragic fratricide. Wilsonian idealism was born of the South’s attempt to suppress its guilt for the war, I have argued in the past. That is an academic consideration now. America’s credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of both parties, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage of violence. Egypt’s military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America’s inability to understand that Egypt’s military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington’s efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The events of the past week have demonstrated that America’s allies in the Middle East from Israel to the Persian Gulf can trust no-one in Washington-neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. Those of us in America who try to analyze events in the region will be the last to hear the news, and the value of our work will diminish over time.

Behind the News in Israel.

Islamists in Jordan Oppose Upcoming Elections and Democracy Altogether

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Why are radical Muslims opposed to the upcoming parliamentary election in Jordan?

Because they believe that democracy is in contradiction with Islam’s concept of the sovereignty of Allah’s law. They argue that Islam and democracy cannot go together, and they are obviously right, especially if one considers the experiences of people living under Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thanks to the “Arab Spring,” which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of countries, Muslim extremists today feel free to express their opinion on political and religious issues.

One of them, Abed Shehadeh, leader of the Salafi Jihadi movement in Jordan, ruled this week that democracy in its concept as “ruling of the people by the people” and “should be forbidden in Islam.”

Shehadeh, who is also known as Abu Mohammad Tahawi, explained that sovereignty and government belong to Allah alone and not to the people.

He said that the upcoming parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for January 23, were forbidden and contradictory to Islamic Shariah “because the parliament legislates laws and regulations that contradict Allah’s law.”

Shehadeh also criticized electoral programs presented by the candidates and lists. He said that the “the electoral slogans used by the candidates were “impossible to implement on the ground.”

He urged Jordanians to boycott the elections because “choosing legislators other than Allah is forbidden.”

The Salafi Jihadi leader’s call for boycotting the election does not seem to have fallen on deaf ears in Jordan, where many voters seem determined to boycott the vote.

Although it is banned in Jordan, the Salafi Jihadi movement has managed to recruit several thousand supporters over the past few years.

In April 2011, the movement held one of its largest demonstrations in the industrial town of Zarqa north of Amman. Eighty-three policemen were wounded, including four who were stabbed by Salafis.

It now remains to be seen whether the Salafi Jihadists will resort to violence to prevent or foil the parliamentary election.

Jordanian security officials have expressed deep concern over the radical movement’s involvement in the civil war in Syria. Dozens of Jordanian Salafis have crossed the border to join various Islamist terror groups waging Jihad [holy war] against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime.

The Jordanians’ biggest fear is that when the Salafis are done with Syria, they will intensify their efforts to turn the kingdom into an Islamic state.

The Jordanian Salafis who are fighting in Syria are not seeking to install democracy. Nor are they seeking to enable Syrians to hold free and democratic elections to choose their representatives. As their leader, Shehadeh, explained, democracy and elections are forbidden in Islam.

The Salafis, like other radical Islamist groups, want to establish an Islamic empire and impose strict Shariah laws on Arabs and Muslims. They are convinced that sovereignty and “government should be only in the hands of Allah,” who has entrusted them with serving as his representatives and messengers on earth.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/islamists-in-jordan-oppose-upcoming-elections-and-democracy-altogether/2013/01/12/

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