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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Title: Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel
Author: Ronda Robinson
Publisher: Mazo Publishers

Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel is a compact introduction to decency. Its eighteen personality profiles illustrate how Israelis from all walks of society improve the Holy Land’s quality of life, and then some. Author Ronda Robertson is a freelance journalist who decided to offset mainstream media’s negative stereotyping of today’s Israelis with a book. She did an outstanding job of presenting the goodness of Israel to the world at large in a mere 144-page paperback.

Unlike formulaic biographies from popular publishing houses in the Orthodox Jewish world, Beyond Politics is not predictable. The vignettes of individual men and women who trekked through Ethiopia and Sudan, flew in from Austria, India, and Algeria, or were born on Israeli soil are gritty, adventurous, and heartwarming.

Robinson lets her readers see, hear, and taste the efforts that her subjects undertook to become part of Israel. Shlomo Malla rose from being an illiterate desert dweller who walked 485 dangerous miles to become an Israeli and later a highly educated politician; former Algerian Sara Lanesman made aliya to unify Israel’s deaf citizens with a sign language they can share, ending the confusion of multiple signing dialects in one tiny country; Dr. Lior Sasson leads the way in healing indigent children around the world of heart defects – at no cost to their families; terror attack survivor Liora Tedgi helps people cope with tragedy with her Terror Victims Support Center. Each of them explains the gut-wrenching moments that changed their lives forever, and how they chose to help others to cope with fear, social alienation, life-endangering illness, and grief. Other people lift just as vividly off the page to inspire you and the information-challenged critics of Israel’s Jewish population.

Younger readers will have material for book reports as they marvel over Chicken Lady Clara Hammer, docent Rena Quint, skateboard king Elchanan Davidson (he’s far more accomplished in amazing ways) and shepherd/diplomat Yisrael Avidor. Adults will also appreciate peace-promoting teacher Miri Flusser, Azerbaijan-born violin maker Lev Strinkovsky, biblically-inspired chef Moshe Basson, Scottish-born Sam Greene, therapist Davina Davidson, happily married Joe and Marion Goodstein, Hevron’s beloved tzabarit leader Sarah Nachshon, plus Faydra Shapiro and her pro-Israel education of non-Jewish tourists. Completing the inside look at Israel are interviews with story-teller Rabbi Hanoch Teller and founder of world-famous B’erot Bat Ayin holistic school for women Rabanit Chana Bracha Siegelbaum.

Enjoy the read. Buy Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel to arm yourself with responses to the next nasty reporter who maligns Israel. And consider sending him or her a copy.

http://itsmycrisisandillcryifineedto.blogspot.com/

Mordechai Kedar: Radical Islam in Africa

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Before Islam appeared on the scene, the Arab tribes would contend with each other in endless wars that continued for hundreds of years and cost many lives. When Islam appeared in the first quarter of the seventh century CE, it was meant to be a new, religious basis for the definition of the individual and the group; a unifying focus of ideological identification that would substitute for the divisive tribal identification from which the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula suffered. The tragedy of Islam is that it failed in this important task, so the Islamic peoples and the tribes remained divided and fragmented, bickering with each other and quarreling with each other as if they had forgotten the explicit saying in the Qur’an, (Chapter 3, verse 103): “Cleave, all of you, to the religion of Allah and do not part from each other”. The worst thing is that throughout history, Islam has been used as fuel for the fires of internal conflicts, and many times in the course of the history of Islam, both sides of an internal conflict justified the conflict in terms of Islam, and each declared jihad against the other.

European colonialism left behind it in Africa heterogeneous states, each of which is an aggregation of tribes that differ from each other. Therefore, for many years, most of the African states have been afflicted with violent conflicts that leave in their wake many thousands of dead and wounded. Cases of genocide, in Biafra in the late sixties and in Rwanda in 1994, are the direct result of the conflicts between tribes within African states. In cases where one side of a conflict is Muslim and the other side is Christian or Animist (pagan), the religious element becomes part of the reason for the war, fueling the conflict and turning it into a holy jihad, thus justifying acts of mass slaughter.

When conflicts between the tribes are colored with a religious hue, situations are created in which Muslim dictators behave with total brutality: Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda between 1971 and 1979 eliminated about a half million Ugandans in cold blood. Some of them he threw into Lake Victoria, teeming with crocodiles, to be food for the predators. These days a film is circulating on the nternet of a different case: a mass murderer in Uganda, Joseph Kony, who forcefully enlisted children, armed them, and turned them into mass murderers totally lacking in compassion or conscience.

For about fifty years, in the second half of the twentieth century, a terrible and destructive war was carried out in Sudan, between the Arab-Muslim North and the Christian-Animist South. Over the years, this war has caused about two million fatalities, and it ended in an agreement in July 2011 that brought about  the division of Sudan into two states, a northern state which is Arab and Muslim, and a southern state with a Christian and Animist population.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, genocide has been taking place since 2003, in which Arab Muslim militias, aligned with the Sudanese government, have been methodically eliminating African Muslim tribes, burning their villages, slaughtering the men and making abused slaves of their wives. As of today, about half a million people have been killed as a result of the battles, arson, and starvation that have afflicted the population of Darfur, and millions of its people were forced to flee to Libya, Chad or Nigeria. At the crux of this conflict is the popular belief that prevails among Arab Muslims, that Muslims who are not Arab are not true Muslims, but rather second class Muslims only pretending to be Muslims, and therefore it is permissible to shed their blood.

It is important to note that in Arabic, a person with black skin is called “abd”, “slave”, and Arabs were the biggest slave merchants, selling Africans to work in America. This view of the people of Africa turns them into easy and legitimate prey. In the countries south of the Sahara – Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania – there is a Muslim majority, because most of their inhabitants converted to Islam during the course of history in order not to be considered as slaves. Therefore Arab Muslims consider them not to be true Muslims.

In the battles over Darfur there are organizations with an Islamic character such as “Jamaat Ansar al-Sunnah” or “Group of the Followers of Sunnah”; “Jamayat al-Kitab wal-Sunnah Alh’irih” – “Charity Association of Koran and the Tradition”; and the “Salafion” – “The Glorious Past”. And the texts that these organizations distribute are reminiscent of the texts of Usama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, past and present leader of Al-Qaeda respectively. It is important to note that during the 1990s, Al Qaeda had bases in Sudan. In 1988 the terrorists who struck the American embassy in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and Dar-es-Salam, the capital of Tanzania emanated from these bases; those attacks resulted in more than two hundred fatalities.

President Obama and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’

Monday, March 19th, 2012

“What is being done in Homs [Syria] . . . is simply appalling and shouldn’t be allowed to stand in our world,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron in Washington. The British, he said, are cataloguing “these crimes,” and Assad should “always remember that international law has got a long reach and a long memory.” Standing next to Mr. Cameron, President Obama demanded that Bashar al-Asad step down while reassuring him that the U.S. is unlikely actually to do anything about the problem. “The best thing we can do right now is to make sure that the international community continues to unify around the fact that what the Syrian regime is doing is unacceptable.”

Really? That’s the best we can do? Who out there doesn’t think what the Syrians are doing is unacceptable? The Russians? They know perfectly well it is morally unacceptable; they just don’t care because a larger Russian interest is involved. As in Chechnya. As when the French and Germans said they were opposed to the Iraq war for moral reasons while they were taking Oil-for-Food kickbacks from Saddam.

But despite the fact that PM Cameron is “appalled” by things Mr. Obama has called “unacceptable,” the President and various American officials have recently offered a host of reasons no one should expect us to do anything about them:

  • The US needs “permission” from the UN and the Arab League, along with NATO agreement (though perhaps not the agreement of Congress)
  • It would take 75,000 soldiers to contain Syria’s chemical arsenal
  • There could be a civil war. [In support of Mr. Obama, the French government added yesterday that, “If we give arms to a certain faction of the Syrian opposition, we would make a civil war among Christians, Alawites, Sunnis and Shiites.”]
  • Al-Qaeda is part of the Syrian opposition
  • Russian-supplied Syrian air defenses are formidable.

Most of those points are debatable (there’s already a civil war, while there’s no proof of al-Qaeda involvement). All are largely irrelevant if, indeed, there is a responsibility to stop the perpetrators of what, by most accounts, amounts to war crimes. The United States and our British ally have to determine whether R2P (Responsibility to Protect) is actually only R2PATF (Responsibility to Punish after the Fact).

There is something to be said for the trials of Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Mladich after the Bosnia war, and the 92 indictments that followed the Rwanda massacres. There is less to commend about the indictment of Omar Bashir of Sudan, who remains in charge of Sudan after the depredations in Darfur, Nuba, South Sudan, and the Beja people in the east. And there is nothing that helps the victims of any of the above.

The administration should want al-Asad and other despotic leaders – not to mention our friends – to believe that the United States and its allies in the West mean what they say. At the moment, the bad guys, at least, have no reason to.

In the wake of charges against American pro-democracy workers in Egypt and revocation of their exit visas, Congress determined to withhold U.S. aid until the State Department certified that the country was “making progress in basic freedoms and human rights.” Although one would be hard-pressed to see progress, The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Clinton is close to announcing that she will bypass Congress and hand over $1.5 billion in mostly military aid.

She will, according to sources in the article, claim “national security” grounds, fearing that continuing to withhold the money will make the military junta and the Muslim Brotherhood even angrier with the U.S. than they already are. That, and most of the money is tied up in existing defense contracts with U.S. firms.

So, U.S. aid no longer serves the goals of U.S. foreign policy may have, it is a) a blackmail payoff against further Egyptian anti-Americanism and b) a “shovel ready” jobs program. Neither shows American backbone.

If Syria and Egypt have nothing to fear from the President of the United States, what will the Iranians fear? Still standing with Mr. Cameron, President Obama followed up on his determination not to inconvenience al-Asad with what The Washington Post called a “stern warning” that Tehran “must meet its international obligations or face the consequences.”

Yeah, right.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

ADL’s Foxman: Farrakhan Speech Dripping with Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Stop the presses! The 78-year-old retired calypso singer and Nation of Islam leader accused Jews of controlling the government, the media, and finance and entertainment, and “repeated many of the past anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that have made him one of the nation’s foremost promoters of anti-Semitism to a legion of followers.” So says the Anti Defamation League press release following Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Sunday three-hour speech before his followers.

Give Farrakhan some credit for consistency. It’s not easy, holding an audience captive when all you’ve got are a bunch of age-old racist lies and a religion invented by some truly strange early-20th century folks.

Except this time around the master of racial hatred added a new gem to the collection: he warned that racial hatred would lead to attempts to assassinate President Barack Obama.

The Chicago Tribune said Farrakhan spent much of his speech decrying what he said was Satan’s influence over racist forces in politics and society, and then asking: “Do you think they’re wicked enough to be plotting our brother’s assassination as we speak?”

Who knows. Meanwhile, his speech was disturbing enough to elicit a reaction from Anti Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman: “Farrakhan’s annual address to the Nation of Islam was dripping with anti-Semitism and hatred and should stand as a textbook example of the continuing potency in some circles of anti-Semitism in America.”

At one point, Farrakhan repeated the canard that the US is doing the bidding of the Jews in the Middle east. “I advise white and black America, Hispanic and Asian America, why would you send your children to die in a war engineered by Zionists who love Israel more than they love the United States of America… Don’t send these children to war for the sake of Israel.”

And there was this brilliant gem, which is a bit difficult to follow logically, and perhaps not entirely worth the effort: “Did you know that Israel provoked the war in the Sudan? For 20 years or more, the Sudan was in the civil war and it started because Israel wanted to create a war in southern and northern Sudan to divert Egypt to come to the defense of the Sudan to take pressure away from Egypt attacking Israel.”

Read it a couple of times and see if it makes any more sense. We gave up.

Foxman did, too, apparently, since he expressed his surprise that “rather than laugh him off the stage, tens of thousands of supporters cheered him on and encouraged his anti-Semitism and bigotry.”

“I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m just telling the truth,” Farrakhan said at the end of a diatribe on how the Jews were responsible for that great New Yorker cover with Obama and wife giving each other the “terrorist bump.”

Everybody’s a critic..

Mordechai Kedar: Tribalism in the Middle East – The Real Thing

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Many ideologies have passed over the Mediterranean Sea on their way to the Arab world, and each time a new ideology arrived, many thought that it would be the ideology, with a capital ‘I’ that would unite, organize, form and lead the Arab world into European-style modernity. The nationalism (loyalty of the individual to his ethnic group) that was awakened in Europe after the “Spring of Nations” (1848) was known as “Komiya” – patriotism, in the Arab world, which is expressed by connection and loyalty to the homeland. Pan-Slavism was transformed into pan-Arabism; European socialism was adopted by the Arab world under the name of “Ba’ath”; Communism was also imported and was known as “Shayoo’aya” and even Nazi ideas that arrived in the years of the thirties took hold among some modern Arab intellectuals. One example is Muhammad Anwar al-Sa’adat, who was head of the Egyptian Nazi movement, and was later to become the president of Egypt.

All of these ideas were buzzing in the public arena in the Middle East within the last hundred years, and observers from outside – mainly the officials of the colonial offices of the British Empire – thought that European modernity had arrived to the Middle East and had settled among its peoples through the modern ideologies that were imported in the mouths and in the pens of those enlightened Arabs who were educated in the Sorbonne, Oxford, Yale and Harvard. On the basis of these ideologies – so the British, French and Italian colonial officials hoped – nation-states would emerge, as happened in Europe, and these nation-states would supply a focal point for identity, social adhesion, and national consciousness for the masses in the Middle East (though nobody asked these people if they at all wished to adopt the social methods and ideologies of the European states).

But this didn’t happen. The masses of the Middle East, for the most part, remained loyal to their tribe, ethnic group, religious group, or sect and rejected all of the ideas that were imported from the West. The cornerstone of Middle Eastern culture was and remains tribal culture, that which Europeans thought it possible to eliminate by means of a few articles in the newspaper or speeches on the radio. Today we address our words to the loyalty of the peoples of the Middle East within their traditional frameworks.

Afghanistan

The source of this miserable country’s problems is the fact that the British included within it eleven different ethnic groups: Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, and Baloch. These groups share very little in common, because they have different languages, different world views, different customs, different leadership, different goals, and, in short – these peoples are so different from one another that they don’t even speak the same language. It’s also important to note that none of these groups is called “Afghani”. So is it really surprising that this state is a failed state, and that no one manages to stabilize it? Throughout this state’s history, foreigners have tried to bring these ethnic groups together into some kind of basic cooperation, but the experiments have all failed. It is a wonder to me that the world continues to resuscitate this dead political body, which should have been divided into its ethnic parts long ago.

Iraq

This unfortunate state is torn and divided along four axes:

The ethnic axis – In Iraq there are four ethnic groups: Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Persians.

The Tribal Axis – The population in Iraq comprises approximately seventy tribes, each of which functions as if it were an ethnic group. The sons of these tribes do not marry the daughters of another tribe, because they don’t trust them, and therefore also tend not to open a business with another tribe. Each tribe has its own dialect, and in Iraq some of the tribes have their own flag and anthem, which are not connected to the flag and anthem of Iraq.

The Religious Axis – In Iraq there are a large number of religions: Muslim, Christian, a few dozen Jews, Tsavaaim, Mandaean, Zoroastrians, Bahai, Yazidi and more. The Muslims see the members of other religions as heretics.

The Sectarian Axis – The religions are divided: The Muslims are divided into Sunni, Shia, Salafi and Sufi; the Christians have about eight different sects.

Thus, Iraq is “blessed” with all of the four axes of division that are known in the Middle East. Is it a wonder that this state is hemorrhaging?

Libya:

Because Libya is entirely within the Sahara desert where there is almost no water at all, the population is divided into small tribes; in Libya there are about 140 different tribes. After they succeeded in overthrowing Qadafi, the tribes are now fighting one another.

Jordan:

In Jordan, about one quarter of the population is Bedouin, and three quarters are “Palestinian”, meaning farmers and city people who do not want to be Bedouins and cannot be Bedouins, and therefore they are now trying to split off from the regime, (which anyway is headed by a family that the Saudis threw out ninety years ago) and to establish for themselves an “alternative homeland”, that is, a different Palestine, in addition to that which they hope will arise between the sea and the Jordan River. This is the reason that Jordan’s King Abdullah comes to Washington each month: – primarily to urge President Obama to exert pressure on Israel to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. If a state such as this will arise, then the King will be able to say to his citizens: “The Palestinian State already exists” and the king will then be able to exile to that Palestinian state anyone in Jordan who speaks of an “alternative homeland”. In this way he hopes to survive on his throne.

Israel Moves to Stop Flood of Illegal Immigrants

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The Knesset on Tuesday passed a law allowing foreigners caught illegally entering the country to be held in detention facilities for up to three years, without trial. The law also sets penalties of up to 15 years in prison for Israelis who assist in such infiltrations.

The new regulations, which update a 1954 law passed in response to Palestinian terrorist raids, are meant to stop the flow across the Egyptian border into Israel of tens of thousands of Africans seeking work or asylum. Current regulations allow authorities a much shorter period of detention, in many cases forcing the government to release illegal immigrants.

Opponents of the law said it infringed on human rights, and called its provisions for holding immigrants without trial unconstitutional. The law’s sponsors said that those who provide humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants already in the country would not be subject to penalty.

Illegal immigration from Africa has become a major concern for Israel. The first wave began in 2005, when a few hundred people fleeing fighting in Sudan travelled through Egypt to seek protection in the country. Tens of thousands of Sudanese, Eritreans and other African nationals soon followed, seeking better living conditions in Israel.

Middle East Wrap-Up: No Deals with Hamas, Attack on Sudan Convoy

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Netanyahu: No peace talks if Hamas joins PA government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday that he would refuse to negotiate with a Palestinian government that included representatives of the Islamist terrorist group Hamas.

Click photo to download. Caption: Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: PD.Netanyahu made the remarks just days after Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo to discuss the restructuring of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian umbrella body whose largest faction is Abbas’ Fatah, so as to include Hamas.

Speaking to Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “If Hamas joins the Palestinian government, I will not hold peace negotiations. Progress would have to be made in keeping with the current security arrangements, which are getting more and more difficult to maintain in light of the regional turmoil.”

Israeli politician’s car hit with firebombs

Kadima politician Otnier Schneller’s vehicle was firebombed twice last week as he was driving near the Binaymin community of Ofra. He was headed to a Hanukkah celebration at his daughter’s home with his wife and two grandchildren when the attacks occurred.

Neither of the bombs actually hit the vehicle although both fell very close. Schneller has been targeted with similar firebombs three times in the past already.

“Fortunately, MK Schneller was unhurt but this is not self-evident. The left and the media have forgotten who Israel’s real enemies are. When you shed the blood of settlers for two weeks, generalize and blame everyone for price tag incidents, it’s no wonder that Arab terrorism has reared its head. The terrorists understand the signs,” a statement by the National Union party said.

Salafists in Egypt shift gears, condemn ties with Israel

Egypt’s ultra-conservative Islamist party Al-Nour shifted gears on the Israel-Egypt peace treaty on Sunday, saying they will “stand firmly against normalization between the two countries in all forms, and are against ties with any entity that wants to harm the Egyptian identity,” according to Israel Hayom.

The statement came after the Salafist Al-Nour’s spokesman Dr. Yusari Hamad gave an interview last week to Israel Army Radio in which he stated that all Al-Nour supports peace with Israel. The interview caused an uproar in the Egyptian press and prompted the party to clarify their position. The party will work to change clauses in the treaty “in a legitimate manner,” according to the statement on Sunday.

Al-Nour is currently in second place after the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party which earned around 40% of the votes.

After the interview aired last week, Hamad told The Associated Press that he did not know he was talking to Israeli Army Radio, and he was only told it was for an Israeli broadcaster. He claimed that had he known, he would not have agreed to the Army Radio interview because “they occupy our Palestinian brothers.”

Israel attacks Gaza-bound arms convoy in Sudan

The Israel Air Force recently struck two vehicles in eastern Sudan that were smuggling Iranian weapons to Gaza, according to Sudanese media reports published on Sunday.

Sudanese government and army officials have denied that any such attack occurred, and Israeli officials were remaining mum on the reports, Israel Hayom reported.

According to Sudanese newspaper Al-Intibaha on Sunday, quoting sources from local tribes who witnessed the attacks, the first IAF strike took place about 10 days ago, targeting a convoy of six Land Cruiser SUVs. Four people were killed and two cars were completely destroyed, the report said.

The second attack, according to the newspaper, took place last Sunday, hitting a Toyota and killing everyone in it. The people in the car, however, were reported to be “gold seekers” and not arms smugglers.

While there was no official Israeli response to Sunday’s Sudanese report, defense officials have, for some time, been closely monitoring the Iran-Hamas smuggling route which routinely passes through Sudan.

Coptic Christians face persecution in Egypt

Middle East experts are warning that Coptic Christians might face greater persecution in the wake of recent unrest in Egypt, the Wall Street Journal reported. Recently, Egyptian mobs have looted Coptic churches, homes and shops, and burned churches.

Things have been historically not easy for this minority in this predominantly Muslim country. Islamists traditionally view Coptic Christians as “kafirs,” meaning “nonbelievers” in Arabic. In February, 2011, 23-year-old Coptic Christian Kirolos Andraws was attacked by thugs on an Egyptian street and told he deserves to die for refusing to convert to Islam. This forced Andraws to escape to the U.S. on a tourist visa and seek political asylum.  “I have no other option,” he said.

A Muslim cleric already cut off the ear of one Christian man, justifying the deed in Islamic law.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east-wrap-up-no-deals-with-hamas-attack-on-sudan-convoy/2011/12/30/

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