Thursday 26 September 2013

Will the meek ever inherit the world?

Will the meek ever inherit the world?
Not while they remain impotent in the face of Islamist slaughter.

Original Thinking by Barry Shaw.

Christians are being slaughtered across the Islamic crescent of the Middle East and down into Africa. We hear of daily outrages against Christians and their churches. Two Islamic suicide bombers blew themselves up outside an ancient church in Peshawar in Pakistan killing eighty one Christian worshippers. This is yet another bloody assault against non-Muslims in the name of Islam that has plagued Pakistan for over a decade.

In Egypt it is estimated that over two hundred churches have been attacked and destroyed by Muslims. Christians have been killed and many others are fleeing Egypt. Morsi, the failed Muslim Brotherhood leader of Egypt, blamed Christians for his downfall. This led to a rage of violence targeting Christians in their homes and in their places of worship.

In Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, non-Muslims were selected for execution for not being Muslims. Fortunately, Israeli Jews managed to escape the carnage leaving Christians to be shot to death for not knowing the name of Mohammed’s mother.

These are only a few examples of the thousands that plague the Islamic world.

Closer to home, Bethlehem, when under Israeli control, had a Christian population in excess of eighty percent. Since Israel handed authority over to the Palestinians, the Christian population in this significantly Christian holy town has reduced to less than twenty percent, and a number of those are priest, nuns, and administrators of their religious shrines.

Professor Justus Reid Weiner of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has documented the human rights abuses perpetrated against Christians in Palestinian society. This has led to a fall in numbers down to less than 1.7% of the general population. Their plight, he writes, is down to the adoption of Sharia law in the Palestinian Authority Constitution. Moreover, he says, they feel abandoned by their church leaders who, instead of protecting them, prefer to curry favor with the Palestinian leadership.

It is the failure of the Christian leadership globally that is a worrying part of the persecution of their co-religionists.
Just as secular and moderate Muslims have, generally, chosen to remain silent in the face of the genocidal violence of Islamists, so prominent world Christian leaders and churches are turning the other cheek to the slaughter of their fellow men and women.

In South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the South African Council of Churches prefer to side with the religion that is killing their flock in an unholy alliance against Israel. They have nothing to say about the Islamic bloody rampage that is creeping out of the Middle East down into Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, and in their direction. They give wholehearted fervent support for the demonizers and delegitimizers of Israel even as their fellow Christians are screaming out for their help and salvation from the brutal hands of these people.  But their voices are silent. They continue to praise the anti-Israel extremists who organize ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ even as the Arabs perpetrate real apartheid, murder, and destruction against the people they have been appointed to protect. The shame, the fraud, and the crime of their mistake is demonstrated by Israel as being the one country in across the crescent of North Africa and the Middle East in which the Christian population has grown and prospered. Even in Lebanon the Christians quake in fear, those who are left, of course.

While Christians were being gunned down, knifed, beheaded, blown up, live in fear in their thousands throughout the Middle East including Syria and into Africa, during the Feat of Tabernacles over five thousand Christians were joyously expressing their love of Israel and Jews as they paraded proudly and freely in the streets of Jerusalem.

Maybe that is because they know that Israel is the true and faithful guardian of their holy places in the Holy Land. They also share a secret with Israel that seems to have been missed by most of their leaders back home, that both of our faiths are under a clear and present threat from a religion that has one global ambition – to kill or to subjugate non-Muslims.

We are in a war for our very survival, both Christians and Jews.  To echo the words of Jerusalem Post Op-Ed editor, Seth Frantzman, Islamism should be made a crime against humanity (“It’s time to define Islamism as a crime against humanity” Jerusalem Post, 23 September, 2013), and not appeased. Not only would this protect Jews and Christians, but it would also safeguard the interests of voiceless Muslims who do not subscribe to the murderous crusading voice of Islam.

Why am I, an Israeli Jew, be writing this article? Why is it that Seth Frantzman, another Israeli Jew, the one to propose that Islamism be outlawed? 
Why aren't these words resounding from church pulpits, from the Vatican, from the parliaments of the Christians and Muslims, from Muslim lobbying groups, from world bodies?  Well, to begin with, it’s because they are in denial. When was the last time, if ever, you heard anyone in the Obama Administration refer to this global slaughter as Islamic terrorism? Never!

As for the weakness of the Christian Church, they need to find the moral courage to confront this evil that is afflicting their parishioners.
All have failed to raise the issue and left the world bereft of any remedy.

The deep heart of this Islamic terror is not deprivation, or oppression, as liberal progressive academics and politicians would have us believe. It is all about religious malevolent venom, a dark hatred of the other, a dangerous ideology to impose a religious creed by coercion, force, violence and terror.
So tell the progressive liberals and think tank ‘experts’ to stop examining their navels for scabs in our body politic and face the obvious truth.

Voices have been muzzled by official secular appeasement, and the charge of “Islamaphobia” against anyone expressing their fear.
If Islamaphobia is the fear of Islam there is genuine cause for that fear.
The first to adopt Frentzman’s Law should be the secular and moderate Muslims who occasionally tell us that what Islamists are doing is not the real Islam.

We non-believers are so busy being attacked and slaughtered in the name of Islam that we cannot accept that argument. We know who is targeting and killing us, and they are Islamists. So, non-violent Muslims, the ones without an agenda for our destruction, should be the first to promote this law to reject terror and the imposition of Sharia law in the name of their religion on non-compliant societies.
To do so would lead to mutual respect and peaceful co-existence. Remaining silent proves they are siding with our enemy, simply biding their time until the moment they decide to join the army of Islam, raise their sword, and cry ‘Allah Akbar!’

The call for Sharia in the name of Allah should not be a part of democratic debate. Neither should it be perceived as freedom of speech or worship in any democratic society. It should be seen as a political and religious imposition of an ideology as alien as fascism. Like fascism and anti-Semitism, it should be placed beyond the pale and outlawed as a crime against humanity and a free society. Muslims in free societies should go about their life without fear that they are being taught sedition against the society in which they live. Non-violent Muslims, I am sure, would accept to live within such a framework in which they are free to practice their religion in peace and harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors.

This template for harmonious living and mutual respect would make incidents like 9/11, 7/7, and Westgate Mall unthinkable sins in such a peaceful environment.

Perhaps then the meek really can inherit the world.

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’
He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Will Israel be in close combat with Al-Qaida in 2014?

Will Israel be in close combat with Al-Qaida in 2014?

Original Thinking from Barry Shaw.

U.S. servicemen are being photographed holding signs to hide their faces. This new form of Anonymous protest is addressed to their President.
“I didn’t join the army to fight for Al-Qaida in Syria.”

They know that Al-Qaida has become a leading force in the anti-Assad opposition.

In Lebanon, Al-Qaida is poised to overthrow Hezbollah as the Lebanese turn against the “Party of God” for their intervention in Syria on behalf of Assad.

In Sinai, Al-Qaida cells are consolidating their hold and are preparing for future action.

Will we wake up to Israel-v-Al-Qaida in in close combat in 2014 ?

While the world's attention is on Syria, Al-Qaida prepares to take over power in Lebanon, on Israel's northern border.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigade launched a rocket attack against Israel on August 22, 2013. Initially, Israel thought this was yet another Hezbollah attack. It turned out that this new terror group was responsible. The Abdullah Azzam Brigade was founded by Saleh bin Abdallah al Qaraawi, a Saudi-Arabian operative of Al-Qaida. He fought in Iraq, and was badly wounded by an American missile in Afghanistan. Though no longer a fighter, he is still stirring up serious interference by forming Al-Qaida cells close to Israel.

The group is named after a Palestinian Arab, Abdullah Yussef Azzam, who was assassinated in Pakistan in 1989, but whose ideology was adopted by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida. The brigade has a branch in Lebanon located inside the Palestinian refugee camps, mainly Ein al-Hilweh near Sidon. 

The Lebanese branch also goes by the name of Ziyad al-Jarrah Companies, and its mission is to launch attacks against Israel from its positions within Lebanon. It recently announced a jihad against UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon. Ziyad al-Jarrah may be a familiar name to American intelligence as he was one of the nineteen terrorists responsible for the September 11 World Trade Center bombing in 2001.
With Hezbollah in disarray in Lebanon, the Abdullah Azzam Brigade killed a leading Hezbollah leader near the Lebanon-Syria border in July. A month prior to that, it released a statement condemning Hezbollah for its involvement in Syria. This Al-Qaida affiliate will become one of the leading players in Lebanon’s domestic conflict that will surely spill over onto the Israel side of their border.

On September 1, Egyptian forces arrested Muhammed Ibrahim, the leader of Al-Qaida in the Sinai Peninsula, in a bloody battle in which he attemted to explode two hand grenades while resisting arrest.  
Egypt had previously arrested Ibrahim for the 2005 attack on the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh which killed eighty eight people. Ibrahim managed to escape in a planned major breakout from four Egyptian jails in March, 2011, which was part of the 2011 revolution against the Mubarak regime. Many Al-Qaida operatives, including Ibrahim, managed to escape capture and return to the Sinai. Ibrahim is also accused of planning the Sinai attack in 2012 which killed 25 Egyptian soldiers.

Lawlessness has increased in the Sinai since the removal from power of the Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi. Terrorists continue to infiltrate the Sinai and join up with rival groups with Al-Qaida being the most prominent.

Israel is happy to have the Egyptian army do battle with them but it knows that, eventually, Israel will be the prime target for a consolidated Sinai-based Al-Qaida. There is little doubt that the terror group is itching to have a go at Israel and an IDF intervention may only be a matter of time.

Despite efforts on the Iraq-Syria border, hundreds of Al-Qaida trained terrorists, and trucks filled with heavy and light weapons, have been flooding into Syria in a repeat of the Libyan scenario. One Iraqi official said that the ancient towns of Nineveh and Anbar have become “landbridges for the transportation of weapons and ammunition from Al-Qaida’s huge arsenal built up over its years of existence in Iraq.”
The funding of the Al-Qaida operations in Syria comes from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf state who are increasingly disillusioned with America’s lack of leadership on Syria.

The Turkish military are training Syrian rebels many of whom are Al-Qaida operatives. Turkey is also providing heavy weaponry including anti-tank and anti-aircraft rockets, mortars, and heavy machine-guns.
Al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, openly urged “the free people of Syria and its mujahidin” to overthrow Assad “the leader of criminal gangs.”

Western impotence is allowing Al-Qaida to play an affirmative role in the Syrian opposition to Assad. It is increasingly clear that any victory over the Assad’s Alawite coalition will be led by Al-Qaida forces that will not then go silently into the night but will remain in Syria as a spoiler for other conflicts in the region, the prime target of which will be Israel just over the border on the Golan Heights.Faced with the mounting evidence of Al-Qaida successes in the region can anyone deny that Israel will not be forced to confront Al-Qaida across its borders, or even within Israel, in 2014?

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’  He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. 

Thursday 12 September 2013

The Definition, and non-recognition, of terrorism.

The Definition, and Non-Recognition, of Terrorism.

Original Thinking by Barry Shaw.

The recent 13th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism, organized by ICT Herzlia, headed by Boaz Ganor, was a tremendous success.
One of the key factors to the success of this stimulating event was that it addressed all they key issues in today’s burning and murderous world.

However, for me, a jarring note was a chance meeting with a European journalist at one of the conference’s workshops. This reporter has been based in Israel for two years and her brief was Israel-Palestinian relations, or lack of them.

Our conversation approached the matter of Palestinian terrorism at which point she became defensive.
“We don’t call it terrorism. We don’t take sides” was her knee-jerk response.

I told her that I was one of the co-founders of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization and asked her what she calls the person who walked into the Park Hotel in my hometown and blew up over thirty people, mainly elderly, women, and children, and injured many more. Her answer was that he was a suicide bomber. I asked if this isn't a terrorist. “No,” she replied, “he is a fighter.”

By this time the girl was looking for an escape route and excused herself by telling me she had somewhere to go. Conversation promptly ended for fear I may convince her otherwise. Some would say she is entitled to her opinion. But does she?

In the final panel of the conference, which coincidentally addressed the topic “Defining Terrorism” and to which this journalist was conspicuous by her absence, I told Boaz Ganor, who chaired the workshop, that I had encountered a European journalist who was attending his international conference on counter-terrorism yet is incapable, or unwilling, to use the term “terrorist” in her articles.

The journalist had told me that she couldn't, or wouldn't, use that word because she or her journal would not be accused “of taking sides,” but the mere fact that, for her, a terrorist has morphed into a “fighter” even when targeting civilians displays a clear case of taking sides. The use of the word “fighter” goes some way in justifying the motive behind killing innocent civilians. More grotesquely, it equalizes the perpetrator and the victims.  Such is the perverted morality of European journalists, and many of their politicians.
Boaz Ganor has a theory for the definition of terrorism. It is based on the deliberate targeting of civilians for murder for political, religious, or cultural aims. Ganor differentiates between this and attacks against military targets which, by his definition, does not constitute an act of terror.
This theory was met with a robust rejection from Colonel Richard Kemp, who led British forces in Afghanistan and is a counter-terrorism advisor to the British Government. In his opinion, the beheading of Lee Rigby, an off-duty soldier, dressed in civilian clothes, on the streets of Woolwich, London, by two Islamists on 22 May, 2013, can only be described as an act of terror.
Boaz Ganor professed that if Hamas were to officially declare that they will continue to hate Israel, work for its destruction, continue to target and kill Israeli military personnel, but will renounce and refrain from targeting civilians, that he would be the first to say that they are no longer a terrorist organization.
“This,” he said, “would constitute a victory for counter-terrorism.”
He may have a point but until that day comes the murder of Israeli civilians by Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, or Al-Qaida continue to unquestionably be acts of terror.
The international communities’ inability to come up with a clear or adequate definition of terror is preventing the victims of terror from having the justice that comes with having their day in court.  They cannot successfully bring a case of terrorism against perpetrators in a legal environment that has no guidance or clarity in defining what terrorism is.  The failure to properly define terrorism hampers the extradition of perpetrators for trial and judgment.
A definition that has international recognition is urgently needed for the sake of justice for the
victims of terror, and for the morality and defense of nations in which terror is perpetrated.

Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.
He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’

Smiling their way to weapons of mass destruction.

Smiling their way to weapons of mass destruction.

Original Thinking by Barry Shaw.

When an enemy uses mass destruction on its own people, and also  threatens other states, there should be no dilemma between security and morality.

We saw that with Hitler. We saw it with Saddam Hussein. We see it in Syria. We see it with Iran as they race to the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

In all cases, the free world failed to recognize and name the perpetrators as their enemy until much too late.
In all cases, the free world chose to appease and delay action until conditions became infinitely worse for them to respond.

As Hitler’s troops were massacring Jews and marching into Poland, America said, “It’s not our fight.”

In 1940, after Nazi Germany was already occupying Poland and Czechoslovakia, presidential candidate Roosevelt said, “I will not allow our boys to fight in a foreign war,” and got himself elected with this slogan. It was only in 1941, after Japan attacked US ships in Pearl Harbor, which Roosevelt described as “an act of infamy” did American wake up to the moral cause of World War 2. By that time Germany had reached Moscow and the French coast.

The use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in Halabje did nothing to encourage America and its allies to step in on the basis of morality and a serious breach of international law for the use of chemical weapons on civilians. He had to march into Kuwait and threaten American interests in Saudi Arabia before President Bush One rushed his forces to stop him. Morality and humanitarian causes be damned it seems when others are being slaughtered with mass destruction.

One can assume that the West will only act against Syria, or even Iran, after America itself has been targeted for death and destruction, and not before if history is anything to go by.

Deterrence, it seems, is no longer a factor or strategic option for the West.

This clearly applies to Iran. We will see the West become hypnotized by the upcoming charm offensive from the new Iranian leadership. With an adopted strategic policy of appeasement and wishful thinking, the West will be seduced by nice words and empty promises, rather than hold Iran’s feet to the fire.

Rouhani’s centrifuges keep spinning as he smiles his way to the bomb.

Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.
He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’