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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky





















Saturday, 23 August 2014
Britain's Overloaded Ark
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The French newspapers of late have reported clashes in Calais between different nationalities of ‘refugees’ camping there, preparatory to illegal entry into Britain. The French offer them advice as to how to claim asylum in France, but they are not interested in doing so. They want to get to England, their ‘promised land,’ according to the newspapers.
 
According to my admittedly limited understanding of international law, this makes them not refugees but migrants. Refugees have the right to refugee status only in the first country that can and will offer them safe haven, and by the time they have reached Calais, the ‘refugees’ have passed through several such countries. When my grandparents were refugees, real refugees, they went to China, not from choice but because China was the only country that would have them: and they were glad enough to go.
 
But it is flattering, in a way, that England should be regarded as a ‘promised land’ for this mixture of Sudanese, Eritrean and Yemenis. The question is why.
 
I do not think it can be because of more generous social provisions in England, better schools or hospitals than elsewhere. Our schools and hospitals are not better than elsewhere: I think rather the reverse. Nor are we more generous with monetary subventions.
 
I think there are two main reasons. The first is the English language. Many of the refugees will have some knowledge of it already, and some will be fluent in it; those who don’t speak it will be more eager to learn it than a less global language. Mastery of English opens vistas beyond the capacity of all other languages.
 
The second reason is the relatively liberal labour laws of Britain, which make it easier to find work there. The migrants in Calais are overwhelmingly young men – not surprisingly, because their passage to Europe has often been a rough one – and they are eager to work. There will be no work in the rest of Europe for them, thanks to protective labour laws. If they reach England and claim refugee-status, however, they will specifically forbidden from seeking work, though the more spirited among them will ignore the prohibition.
 
Their eagerness to work (borne out by my experience of such young male ‘refugees’ does not mean that they will be an asset to the country, especially if they can subsequently claim the right to family reunification. The latter has had disastrous effects everywhere it has been granted. 
 
First published in Salisbury Review.
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Posted on 08/23/2014 12:42 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Saturday, 23 August 2014
Jamie Glazov Interviews Norman Berdichevsky
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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Dr. Norman Berdichevsky, an author, freelance writer, editor, researcher, translator and lecturer of history and culture for several major cruise lines. Formerly a lecturer of Hebrew at the University of Central Florida, the Theological Faculty of Aarhus University in Denmark, and the Jews’ Free School in London, as well as an experienced translator (From Hebrew and Danish to English), he is the author of six books and lives in Orlando, Florida. He is the author of the new book,Modern Hebrew: The Past and Future of a Revitalized Language.

FP: Dr. Norman Berdichevsky welcome to Frontpage Interview. Let’s begin with what inspired you to write this new book.

Berdichevsky: Thanks Jamie.

My knowledge of Hebrew, my experience teaching the language in the Diaspora and the eleven years I spent in Israel working as a professional translator, opened up new horizons and enabled me to participate in the resilience of spirit that Israelis feel in the face of adversity. My goal in writing this book is to reach as wide an audience as possible of both Jews and Gentiles, including those with no prior knowledge of the language, to make them more aware of the importance Hebrew has played in the forging of contemporary Israeli society and culture and its function worldwide as the new Jewish international language.

A dynamic nation has been created with a determined belief in a common origin, destiny and struggle with a unifying common language adapted and modernized by the only people who identified with it and its ancient homeland. Anyone wishing to understand modern Israel, its history and development towards a more inclusive society for all its people including non-Jews should be familiar with Modern Hebrew and how this language grew and changed over the past mere one hundred and thirty years through challenges and dilemmas resulting in startling achievements and new prospects.

FP: Expand for us on the transformation of Hebrew and why this book is so important in touching on this issue.

Berdichevsky: Few subjects have commanded the attention and provoked, fascinated, excited, and enchanted so many readers as the saga of the Zionist rebirth of Israel.  Yet in this monumental literature, relatively little space has been devoted to the epic transformation of the classical language of the Bible into Modern “Ivrit”, the national language of the State of Israel, its everyday vernacular spoken by more than  seven million people. It was grafted successfully onto an older literature and longer historical continuity than Latin or Greek and is the official language of business, research, the law, and government of the dynamic State of Israel.

The book explores the historical background, past and current controversies, challenges, dilemmas and prospects facing the Israeli people that stem from the choice made four generations ago to create a renewed nation in the Land of Israel with Hebrew as their national language. It is a study in the politics, linguistics and sociology of language, exploring the relationship of the Israelis with the Jewish Diaspora as well as their fellow non-Jewish citizens, the largely bilingual Arabic and Hebrew-speaking Arab population.

Stateside, many still equate Hebrew with its rabbinical counterpart, the purview of bar mitzvahs and synagogue prayer. In Israel, the story is different. In the 1880s, early Zionists sought to adopt a modernized version of the ancient biblical language. Most believed it couldn’t be done. Today, Israeli Hebrew has become the most successful language revitalization project in history. It is used in every realm of Israeli life.

FP: What topics do you cover specifically?

Berdichevsky: The book is written for those with no prior knowledge of Hebrew as a national language and colloquial vernacular. It examines some of the basic “mechanics of the language,” including the many changes that have occurred in the transition to Modern Hebrew. It analyzes how it overcame many obstacles to become a spoken vernacular and its growing prestige. It deals primarily with the social and political role of the language, the role model Modern Hebrew played for other national revivals(Welsh, Irish, Basque Maltese, Catalan, Modern Greek and Turkish). Also discussed are the dilemmas facing the language arising from the fact that Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora “don’t speak the same language,” while Israeli Arabs and Jews often do.

Why has Hebrew declined in the Diaspora and what are the long term consequences of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora Not Speaking the Same Language? How did Hebrew become a modern language? How did it win out over Yiddish? How different are Modern and Biblical Hebrew? What has acquisition of Hebrew meant for the Arab minority in Israel? Why has study of Modern Hebrew declined in the United States? How has the Arab Spring turmoil been reflected among the Arab minority in Israel? The book deals with all of these vital questions.

“Modern Hebrew” does not cover literature nor is it another biography of the pioneer founder of the movement to make Hebrew into a modern spoken language, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. It is the story of his vision and how it animated a large part of the Jewish world, gave new confidence and pride to Jewish youth during the most difficult period of modern history and infused Zionism with a dynamic cultural content.

FP: What major updates did Zionists have to make to biblical Hebrew or the language of the Mishna?

Berdichevsky: The language had to change radically. Biblical Hebrew has a vocabulary of about 7,000 words, of which maybe 1,000 or more are obscure today. It was totally unfit even for the end of the 18th century, let alone the 20th century. An educated Israeli today has a vocabulary of at least ten times that. There are also significant differences in the structure and grammar of the language. For instance, if you look at biblical Hebrew, the tenses are completely out of joint; the past and the future mix in the same sentence, for stylistic purposes. Modern Hebrew also established a standard pronunciation that didn’t exist before. It is for this reason that many students with some training for their bar-Mitzvah and able to read the prayers are unable to follow the modern language.

FP: What has acquisition of Hebrew meant for the Arab minority?

Berdichevsky: In spite of the current crisis over Gaza, and violent demonstrations (condemned by almost all the mayors of Arab towns in Israel), the trend among Israeli Arabs, especially those in the professions is greater educational and career opportunities through Hebrew and the rate of proficiency and even fluency among them has steadily increased. It is no accident that few Arab Israeli men seek marriage partners with women from the West Bank who are much more conservative, not likely to work outside the home, and not proficient in Hebrew.

It comes as a surprise to many foreign observers that nine of fourteenEgyptian universities, including Al-Azhar Islamic University, offer courses in Modern Hebrew with approximately 20,000 students, more than are studying the language in the United States! They are majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. Mounir Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist, told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv that between two and three thousand students graduate each year with bachelor’s degrees from Hebrew studies courses. He explained that Egyptian students “are exposed to Israeli culture and history, and unlike their colleagues who see Israel as only a source of hatred and conquest, they learn about it from a different angle altogether.”

In a journalistic scoop on July 2, 2013, Israeli reporter Guy Zohar interviewed Egyptian woman journalist and political activist Heba Abu Seif on Israeli live television.  Her perfect and fluent Hebrew surprised many viewers and is an optimistic sign. Just as Israelis could now view events with direct commentary from on the spot sources in their own language, it portends a revolutionary transformation that in the future, Arab opinion about Israel will no longer rely entirely on its own traditional and highly biased accounts.

FP: What does the American Jewish Community miss out on by not knowing Modern Hebrew well?

Berdichevsky: Over the past two generations, there has been a steady decline among many American Jews in the cultural and emotional identification they feel with Modern Hebrew literature, song and dance, elements that once drew them close to the Zionist project and the emergence of a modern national Israeli culture. Many tourists in Israel miss out on much that is not available by instant translations.

All laws, debates in the Knesset, the legal cases in court, and applications for patents, are, of course in Hebrew. Israeli affairs portrayed by the media in the Diaspora are often based on highly selected and fragmentary extracts of published material translated and occasionally mistranslated from Hebrew. Although many people with an interest in Israel are aware of the importance of the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language and may recognize the name of pioneer linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, they do not appreciate the difficulties involved or what challenges were posed before the eventual accomplishment of what almost all linguists had declared impossible.

This is a remarkable story that deserves to be told to a mass audience. Moreover, it is the story of the three generations long world-wide rivalry with Yiddish and the techniques used to make Hebrew into a language capable of handling all the demands of a modern society. Not knowing Modern Hebrew, neither they, nor their children are familiar with Israeli authors, playwrights, movie directors, actors, singers, pop singers, athletes, or the standings of Israel’s football (soccer) clubs.

While no educated person, let alone a Jew, is ignorant of Albert Einstein (he remains the Jewish figure most celebrated by the world, as determined by the number of postage stamps representing dozens of countries which have so honored him for his achievements in physics), the same cannot be said of Arik Einstein, who, until his death in November last year was certainly regarded by the Israeli public as its most beloved singer in the modern era of popular Hebrew song.

Yet, he was largely unknown among Jews abroad who are unfamiliar with Modern Hebrew language and culture. His popularity, appeal and charm have been compared to that of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen combined. He certainly remained in the public limelight for as long as any of these three American superstars and what is more impressive, he was equally successful in all of the genres of modern popular song including traditional love ballads, patriotic expressions of love of country, its landscape and people, soulful laments, protest songs and even children’s songs and rock.

Why is such a personality so prominent in Israel’s cultural life such an unknown quantity in the Diaspora. In spite of all the oceans of ink spilt over “Jewish solidarity” and that the Jews are one people, the reality is that there is a growing cultural gap in which language plays a major role. This is the point of departure of my book that also touches upon the political divide between Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora, especially in the United States.

FP: Dr. Norman Berdichevsky, thank you for visiting Frontpage Interview.

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Posted on 08/23/2014 12:23 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 23 August 2014
One More Arab State, Quick To Exploit The ISIS Business And Ask For Aid
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Here.

But why should the Lebanese army need more American military aid? In Lebanon, Hezbollah has a huge and trained army, and lots of equipment from both Syria and Iran, all of which could be used to fight ISIS. Why should the Americans be asked to supply to the less effective Lebanese military (some of whose members are Sunni, and may be ISIS supporters), who might be as little able to hold onto such equipment as the Iraqi army proved to be?

 

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Posted on 08/23/2014 7:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
French Singer Benjamin Biolay: Aid To Kurds, Sympathy For Christians In Iraq "Islamophobia"
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The Tale of Benjamin Biolay, without Mr. MacGregor, here.
 

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Tunisian Leaders Learn That To Deal With Wild-Eyed True Believers In Islam, Repression Is Indipensable
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Ataturk knew it. Al-Sisi knows it. Bourguiba knew it.The Shah and his court knew it.Ben Ali knew it. Ataturk and Bourguiba were systematic and ruthless and clever. The Shah, however, was vainglorious, confused, and insufficiently ruthless. Ben Ali was possessed by greed.

And now those in Tunisia who wanted to be French, and who thought they could behave like little Frenchmen have discovered that in a Muslim country, they can' afford that luxury. (And the French are finding out that, in a country with six or seven million Muslims, they will no longer be able to either). Clever, as well as ruthless, repressionof Muslims and the Real Islam is necessary. It's the only way to deal with, to constrain, those perrmanently high on Islam, because they insist on taking it straight up, instead of on the rocks and diluted.

The story here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Shiites (Apparently) Massacre Sunnis, And Sunnis In Iraqi Goverment Give A Ridiculous Ultimatum
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The Shi'a in Iraq will never surrender the power, political and therefore also economic, they have acquired, and the Sunnis will never reconcile themselves to the loss of that power. And the Kurds will not allow themselves ever again to be ruled by Arabs in Baghdad.

The story of the mosque massacre, and the ultimatum by Sunni political figures, here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Hezbollah's Casualties In Syria Mount, Day By Day
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The latest, from sunny Qalamoun, here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
A Musical Interlude: That's What I Like About You (Jack Teagarden, Fats Waller)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Modi Calls Off Talks With Pakistan
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Other Indian governments have not responded to Paksitani provocations. But in this case, by meeting with Muslim separatists (supremacists) in Kashmir, a high Pakistani official signalled that Pakistan would continue its main reason for being, which is Islam, and the promotion of  Islam, and Muslim rule, first in Kashmir and then, of course, in the rest of India which, formerly ruled by Muslims, ought by rights to return to Muslim rule.

Modi, and the BJP, then promptly took the right decision, and called off planned talks with Pakistan. It is wretched Pakistan that is falling apart, wretched Pakistan that  can't deal with its own Taliban, or with Tablighi-e-Jamaat, or Sipah-e-Sahaba, or a dozen other groups, or with rabble-rousing Imran Khan, or Qadri, or the revolt in Baluchistan, or a hundred other examples of political, social, economic, moral, and intellectual failures. Pakistan cannot cease to be a wretched place because all it has is Islam, and those in Pakistan who have made, dimly, some connection between Islam and the country's many failures, can't allow themselves to express this thought, or to follow it to its logical conclusions.

Modi's prompt no-nonsense cancellation here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 8:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
In Islamic Societies, Individuals May Execute The Laws Of Sharia
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And in a sports stadium in Libya, the brother  of a man who was killed did that -- execute the law (Hudud, the norms and sanctions of the criminal law under Sharia), and the man responsible.

Here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 1:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Shia Kill Sunnis In Man-Bites-Dog Mosque Killing
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Here.

Meanwhile, the usual whining about why "the Americans" came to the aid of the Yazidis in Sinjar, but haven't yet done the same for the Shiite Turkmens now being besieged by Sunnis. But why should America not pick and choose whom it wishes to protect? Non-Muslims first of all, then non-Arab Muslims who, precisely because they are not Arabs, feel the tug of ethnic identity -- in this case, Kurdish -- that works to dilute the hold of Islam. That's true for Kurds, who have been the victims of Arab massacres, and not only during the Anfal campaign.

The American government should be least interested in protecting full-fledged Muslim Arabs from each other. That's last on the To-Do List.

 

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Posted on 08/22/2014 11:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Crazed With Embarassment And Fury, Hamas Murders 21 Innocent Civilians
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Posted on 08/22/2014 11:18 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Israel is not ‘sightless’ in Gaza
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Destroyed home of Mohammed Deif in Gaza city, August 20, 2014
Source: AFP

Yesterday in Jerusalem, with visiting American Congressaman Darrell  Issa (R-CA) at his side, Israeli PM Netanyahu heaped considerable praise on Shin Bet-Israel’s General Security Service - for the targeted  killings of senior Hamas commanders in Rafah. The International Business Times (IBT) quoted Netanyahu saying:

The “hard work and professionalism” of Shin Bet had enabled the Israeli military to “carry out this operation against the Hamas leaders who plotted fatal attacks against Israelis,” Netanyahu reportedly said, referring to pre-dawn air strikes in Rafah that killed the three Hamas commanders.

“In the name of every Israeli citizen, I thank the Shin Bet, the heads of the intelligence and operational units, and the chief of the organization, Yoram Cohen,” he said, according to Ha’aretz. Meanwhile, the Israeli military said that it had killed six militants of the Islamic Jihad -- a Palestinian Islamist organization -- as they were “about to launch rockets into Israel.”

Possibly in retaliation, today, Hamas,  publicly executed 18 ‘collaborators’. These public executions come in the midst of a rising wave of ‘collaborator’ executions in the terrorist stronghold of Gaza.  Israel National News  reported a series of such reprisals in an article, “Hamas Goes on an 'Israel Collaborator' Killing Spree”:

Majd, a website close to Hamas, on Thursday reported that Hamas's military wing,the Al-Qassam Brigades, executed three Gaza residents and arrested seven others for ‘collaborating’ with Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

No date was given for the executions or arrests, but the Hamas security official quoted in the report said the three were killed after "revolutionary procedures" were completed against them.

The same website reported on August 6 that "a number" of Arab collaborators had been killed, again without giving a date.

In the last week of July, Palestinian sources reported that over 30 Gazans were executed by Hamas, most of them in the Shejaiya neighborhood. In that case too, Hamas claimed that they were collaborators with Israel.

The Times of Israel  reported  a revelation by a Lebanese publication that a phone call between Hamas leader Khalid Mashal in Qatar and  Mohammed Deif ,the elusive  head of the Hamas military wing, may have  provided Israel with intelligence  that sealed the fate of both he and his family.  According to the TOI  Mashal may have broken protocol to discuss a possible cease fire with Israel.  The Deif residence in Gaza was hit with several bunker buster bombs which  cratered  the structure. That resulted  in a massive funeral purportedly for  Deif’s  wife and children.  Hamas spokesman persist in conveying the impression that Deif escaped the fatal attack, and yet have not provided any proof of life.  That attack signifies, as one source told me,  that the IAF is flying missions with small bunker buster bombs, in just such a  instance to make  an instantaneous attack. 

Mohammed Deif, Hamas military leader

A report by the Shaham Palestinian news service  published a picture of deif along with this statement:

“The bodies arrived at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, after the occupation planes attacked the al-Dalo home, in the Rimal neighborhood in the north, in Gaza City, last night,” the report said. “The document we obtained was confiscated by an armed squad of the Al-Qassam brigade from Shifa’s archive, and also changed the check-in information in the hospital to erase Deif’s name from the list.”

“We at Saham News are forced to tell the Palestinian nation, with great sadness, of the death of Deif,” it concluded. “We belong to Allah, and to him we return.”

Hamas Military leader in Turkey, Salah al-Aruri

Shin Bet is also to be credited for its role in uncovering  the Hamas  power play against Fatah in the West Bank with funds  and arms caches. Many observers believe this may have been a key part of the Rosh Ha Shanah attack plan by  Hamas that included infiltration of suicide commandos through  the terror tunnels dug across the frontier between Gaza and Israel. The joint IDF-Shin Bet Operation Brother’s Keeper that detained hundreds of Hamas operatives in the search  for three murdered Jewish Yeshiva students may have provided the intelligence resulting in disclosures of the thwarted plot. Senior Hamas representative ensconced in Turkey, Salah al-Aruri,  announced his role in orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish yeshiva students. The Jerusalem Post reported:

A senior Hamas official admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the organization’s armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank in June, Channel 2 reported.

The Hamas official, Salah al-Aruri made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the “heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron.”

Israeli lawyer, Nitsana Darshan Leitner of Shurat ha Din (Israel Law Center) asked US Attorney  General Eric Holder to invoke the extradition treaties between the US and Turkey to bring to justice al-Aruri for the murder of Israeli-American, Fraenkel.  Meanwhile, PA President Abbas is reported to have had heated conversations in Doha, Qatar with Mashal triggered by Hamas’ plans to overthrow Fatah . Further, there are indications that pressure  is building  on the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to eject Mashal from his luxurious palace in Doha.  Qatar has been a major funder of Hamas, supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and  ISIS, along with Erdogan’s Turkey. If that eventuated Mashal might then be subject to apprehension and possible trial in Egypt. Lest we forget, PM Netanyahu was caught in an embarrassing position in 1998, when an attempted assassination of Mashal by Mossad agents  was disclosed by the late King Hussein of Jordan.  Mashal also could have been taken out, while a resident in Damascus, before his departure for Qatar at the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. Witness the Mossad assassination in February 2008 of Hezbollah terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyeh.

Whether it is human intelligence through cultivation of assets, or ELINT ears and eyes in the skies over Gaza, these targeted assassination episodes by the IDF with assistance from Shin bet have succeeded in decimating  the military leadership of Hamas. These actions clearly indicate that unlike the Biblical Shimshon, Samson the Nazerite, Israel is not ‘sightless’ in Gaza. 

 

 

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Posted on 08/22/2014 9:37 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Friday, 22 August 2014
Sana Hassainia, Canadian MP, Who Almost Never Shows Up For Work
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She's found a way to bow out, having lived off of the taxpayers, on a kind of self-fashioned dole, ever since being elected to the Canadian Parliament. And what's that way? To blame the leader of the New Liberals, Mr. Mulcair, for being, as she, Sana Hassainia, puts it, too friendly towards Israel.

It sounds as if no one, including -- or perhaps especially -- the members of her own New Liberal Party, will miss her.

The story here.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 8:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 22 August 2014
British-born Muslim convert 'plotted atrocity and had a knife and hammer wrapped in an Islamic flag'
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A teenager planned to carry out an attack on a soldier or a member of the Government, a court heard today.

Muslim convert Brustchom Ziamani, 19, was arrested in East London on Tuesday with a rucksack containing a knife and hammer wrapped in an Islamic flag, it was alleged. 

Wearing a black Call of Duty t-shirt and dark tracksuit bottoms Ziamani, of Camberwell, south London, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday 21st August charged with engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

He refused to sit down and stood through throughout the brief hearing.

Prosecutor Mark Dawson said Ziamani had extreme ideological material in his rucksack. He added: 'He was arrested at 4.30pm on Tuesday with a knife and a hammer in a bag on his back wrapped in an Islamic flag. He is 19 and of previous good character. He said to (a female teenager) he is going to commit a ... terrorist atrocity either on troops or members of the government.'

Mr Dawson told the court that officers had scoured Ziamani's computer and had 'three disks worth of material' to analyse.

The young terror suspect, who is British born but whose family is of Congolese origin, stood in the dock with his hands in his pockets during the hearing. 

Judge John Zani, told the defendant he would be remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on September 12.

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Posted on 08/22/2014 1:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Steven Salaita, Unhinged In Every Sense
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Fit for the Laughing Academy, and not for any other kind.

His tale, and his unhinged tweets, here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 10:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
8.12, To Start With
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The killing of James Foley, an Infidel, is justified by dozens of verses in the Qur'an and hundreds of the most "authentic" Hadith, in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari and the other four "sahih" muhaddithin.

The next time someone idiotically or sinisterly claims that this or that "has nothing to do with Islam" have at the ready a dozen or so verses from the Qur'an, and even, perhaps, a print-out of the Calcutta Qur'an Petition, with its Jihad verses. And find another printout of the most relevant Hadith. You can do it. And what's more, you can give copies to a dozen friends and relatives, and have them make a dozen copies, and then... well, you know, it's like the old ad for some shampoo, possibly Breck.

Start, for example, with 9.5 and 9.29, or possibly 8.12.

Yes, why not, start with 8.12, and "striking terror" into the hearts of the Infidels by smiting them at their necks. There's no ambiguity there.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 9:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Make The "Blockade" Of Gaza A Real Blockade
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All through the years of thousands of rockets being fired into Israel, all during the Gaza campaign this year, and in the previous Gaza campaigns, Israel has continued to supply electricity, medicine, food to Gaza. This makes no sense. Make the "blockade" into a real blockade, and then agree, in return for demilitarization -- which means a handing-over or public destruction of the remaining thousands of rockets -- to return to the pseudo-"blockade" that Gaza currently has imposed upon it.

Shlomo Eldar, on an obvious idea -- à la guerre comme à la guerre -- here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 8:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Making Turkey And Qatar Do What We Want
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Neither Turkey, nor Qatar, are part of the West. They are both Muslim countries, run by people who are not embarrassed by, and have no felt need to constrain, the political and social power of Islam but who, rather, want to see those with secularizing instincts checked and even punished. Both countries have given aid to those called, misleadingly, "Islamists" and that includes those who later joined, or always were part of, ISIS.

But Turkey needs the West for all kinds of things, including markets in which to sell and arms manufacturers from which to buy. It is a member of NATO, but it became a member in 1952, as a reward for sending a small contingent of soldiers (4500) to Korea, and at a time when it seemed that Kemalism was securely and permanently installed as the state religion, with Ataturk replacing Muhammad as a figure of universal adoration and emulation.

Qatar needs the West for protection against all of the other states in the Gulf, iincluding Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and even the Emirates, which is much more advanced than Qatar and worries about its influence.

Turkey could be booted out of NATO. It no longer possesses the military value it once did, during the Cold War. The Turkish government did not permti, in 200,  a fourth American division to invade Iraq from the north, and it would certainly not allow the handful of American bases to be used to fight what it considered to be Muslim states and peoples and interests. And it could be deprived of access to American weaponry, which it relies on, and keenly covets, and what's more, could also be deprived of spare parts for the military equipment, and planes, it already possesses.

Qatar regards the American naval base there as a guarantor of its survival, and of the survival of the ruling Al-Thani family. But there is less need for such a naval base now that, after the fiasco of Tarbaby Iraq, this administration, and others that follow it, will never again be sucked into the sinkhole of land wars in Muslim lands. Even to start making noises about leaving -- which would lead to dismay, and then to hysteria, in Qatar -- would be salutary. It would  provoke the Qataris to do what they know how to do best, which is to offer bribes. They might offer to pay for that American protection, and if the Americans decide to put things on that basis, a nominal amount -- say, 100-200 billion a year, protection cheap at any price -- might be demanded. After spending two trillion dollars on Muslims in Iraq, and one trillion on Muslims in Afghanistan, the United States needs a little reimbursement.

Slap them down. Start making noises about cutting the only ties that, with Muslim states, bind -- the ties of military aid, that is money, equipment, training, and direct protection by American troops. They both deserve it.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 4:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Better To Skip The Wild Sky Yonder In Libya
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Posted on 08/21/2014 3:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
What is Wrong with ISIS is What is Wrong with Islam
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Daniel Greenfield writes (with thanks to Michael B.):

Know your enemy. To know what ISIS is, we have to clear away the media myths about ISIS.

ISIS is not a new phenomenon.

Wahhabi armies have been attacking Iraq in order to wipe out Shiites for over two hundred years. One of the more notably brutal attacks took place during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson. 

That same year the Marine Corps saw action against the Barbary Pirates and West Point opened, but even Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn chiming via Ouija board would have trouble blaming the Wahhabi assault on the Iraqi city of Kerbala in 1802 on the United States or an oil pipeline.

Forget the media portrayals of ISIS as a new extreme group that even the newly moderate Al Qaeda thinks is over the top, its armies are doing the same things that Wahhabi armies have been doing for centuries. ISIS has Twitter accounts, pickup trucks and other borrowed Western technology, but otherwise it’s just a recurring phenomenon that has always been part of Islam. Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other for over a thousand years. Declaring other Muslims to be infidels and killing them is also a lot older than the suicide bomb vest.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are at odds because its Iraqi namesake had a different agenda. Al Qaeda always had different factions with their own agendas. These factions were not more extreme or less extreme. They just had different nationalistic backgrounds and aims. 

The Egyptian wing of Al Qaeda was obsessed with Egypt. Bin Laden was obsessed with Saudi Arabia. Some in Al Qaeda wanted a total world war. Others wanted to focus on taking over Muslim countries as bases. These differences sometimes led to threats and even violence among Al Qaeda members.

Bin Laden prioritized Saudi Arabia and America. That made it possible for Al Qaeda to pick up training from Hezbollah which helped make 9/11 possible. This low level cooperation with Iran was endangered when Al Qaeda in Iraq made fighting a religious war with Shiites into its priority. 

That did not mean that Bin Laden liked Shiites and thought that AQIQ was “extreme” for killing them. This was a tactical disagreement over means. 

During the Iraq War, Bin Laden had endorsed Al Qaeda in Iraq’s goal of fighting the Shiite “Rejectionists” by framing it as an attack on America. AQIQ’s Zarqawi had privately made it clear that he would not pledge allegiance to Osama bin Laden unless the terrorist leader endorsed his campaign against Shiites. 

Bin Laden and the Taliban had been equally comfortable with Sipahe Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which provided manpower for the Taliban while massacring Shiites in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year LEJ had killed over a hundred Shiite Hazaras in one bombing.

The narrative that ISIS was more extreme than Al Qaeda because it killed Shiites and other Muslims doesn’t hold up in even recent history.

The media finds it convenient to depict the rise of newly extremist groups being radicalized by American foreign policy, Israeli blockades or Danish cartoons. A closer look however shows us that these groups did not become radicalized, rather they increased their capabilities.

ISIS understood from the very beginning that targeting Shiites and later Kurds would give it more appeal to Sunni Arabs inside Iraq and around the Persian Gulf. Bin Laden tried to rally Muslims by attacking America. ISIS has rallied Muslims by killing Shiites, Kurds, Christians and anyone else it can find.
 

Every news report insists that ISIS is an extreme outlier, but if that were really true then it would not have been able to conquer sizable chunks of Iraq and Syria. ISIS became huge and powerful because its ideology drew the most fighters and the most financial support. ISIS is powerful because it’s popular.

ISIS has become more popular and more powerful than Al Qaeda because Muslims hate other Muslims even more than they hate America. Media reports treat ISIS as an outside force that inexplicably rolls across Iraq and terrorizes everyone in its path. In reality, it’s the public face of a Sunni coalition. When ISIS massacres Yazidis, it’s not just following an ideology; it’s giving Sunni Arabs what they want.

Jamal Jamir, a surviving Yazidi, told CNN that his Arab neighbors had joined in the killing. 

ISIS is dominating parts of Iraq and Syria because it draws on the support of a sizable part of the Sunni Arab population. It has their support because it is committed to killing or driving out Christians, Yazidis, Shiites and a long list of peoples in Iraq who either aren’t Muslims or aren’t Arabs and giving their land and possessions to the Sunni Arabs.

The media spent years denying that the Syrian Civil War was a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. It’s unable to deny the obvious in Iraq, but it carefully avoids considering the implications.

Genocides are local. They are rarely carried out without the consent and participation of the locals. An army alone will have trouble committing genocide unless it has the cooperation of a local population that wants to see another group exterminated. When we talk about ISIS, we are really talking about Sunni Arabs in Iraq and Syria. Not all of them, but enough that ISIS and its associated groups have become the standard bearers of the Sunni civil wars in Syria and Iraq.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain can complain that we could have avoided the rise of ISIS if we had only armed the right sort of Jihadists in Syria. But if ISIS became dominant because its agenda had popular support, then it would not have mattered whom we armed or didn’t arm.

We armed the Iraqi military to the teeth, but it didn’t do any good because the military didn’t represent any larger consensus in an Iraq divided along religious and ethnic lines. 

To understand ISIS, we have to unlearn many of the bad ideas we picked up since September 11. Terrorists, the media tell us, represent some extreme edge of the population. If they have popular support, it’s only because the civilian population has somehow become radicalized. (And usually it’s our fault.)

And yet that model doesn’t hold up. It never did.

The religious and ethnic strife in the Middle East out of which ISIS emerged and which has become its brand, goes back over a thousand years. If support for terrorism emerges from radicalization, then the armies of Islam were radicalized in the time of Mohammed and have never been de-radicalized. 

Terrorism is not reactive. As ISIS has shown us, it has a vision for the future. The Caliphate, like the Reich, is a utopia which can only be created through the mass murder and repression of all those who do not belong. This isn’t a new vision. It’s the founding vision of Islam.

What is wrong with ISIS is what is wrong with Islam.

We can defeat ISIS, but we should remember that its roots are in the hearts of the Sunni Muslims who have supported it. ISIS and Al Qaeda are only symptoms of the larger problem. 

We can see the larger problem flying Jihadist flags in London and New Jersey. We can see it trooping through Australian and Canadian airports to join ISIS. We can see it in the eyes of the Sunni Arabs murdering their Yazidi neighbors. ISIS is an expression of the murderous hate within Islam. We are not only at war with an acronym, but with the dark hatred in the hearts of men, some of whom are in Iraq and Pakistan. And some of whom live next door.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 1:54 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
"There Is No Compulsion In Religion" (2.256)
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To escapee death, Yazidis convert to Islam, and are filmed by a triumphalist Muslim cinematographer, for distribution far and wide. We are being shown a history lesson. We are being shown how vast areas, peopled by many different kinds of non-Muslims, were conquered quickly, or slowly, by small numbers of Muslims, who managed to be transform them into places inhabited overwhelmingly by Muslims.

Here.
 

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Posted on 08/21/2014 1:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
A Musical Interlude: Deep Water (Elsie Carlisle)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 12:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Iran Thinks West Should Bribe It To Fight ISIS In Iraq
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Here.

This is delusion. ISIS is much more of an immediate threat to the Rafidite dogs -- the Shi'a -- of Iraq, and to their Iranian backers. These Uber-Sunnis, whom the Iranians like to call "takfiris" as if in their hatred of Shi'a, and refusal to regard their brand of Islam as authentic, were some crazed belief, rather than reflecting, as it does, mainstream Sunni attitudes toward Shi'a Islam. Neither the American, nor any other Western government, needs to make concessions to Iran to fight for its life, and the life of other Shi'a, by opposing ISIS in Iraq.

In fact, it is the other way around. The Western powers have shown themselves interested in protecting, quite late, the non-Muslim minorities -- Christians and Yazidis mainly -- in northern Iraq, and in arming the Kurds, who are to be trusted to fight, unlike the Arabs, and unlike the Arabs, are far better disposed toward Western Infidels because their ethnic identity -- their Kurdishness -- dilutes and weakens the hold of Islam, whereas the Arab ethnic identity reinforces it. But the Western powers have so far not taken steps to protect the Shi'a of Baghdad, and one hopes that policy will continue.

It is Iran that should be trying -- by offering to give up its nuclear project -- to win Western aid against ISIS in central and southern Iraq. In a rightly-ordered world, with well-prepared and unconfused Western leaders, that would be obvious.

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Posted on 08/21/2014 11:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 21 August 2014
"Unarmed"?
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Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way, and perfectly willing to bash a policeman in the face or -- it's not yet clear -- to smash his face against his own car.

Unarmed?

6 feet four, 300 pounds, 18 years of age, full of adrenalin and aggression and having already proved himself that day ready to take on anyone standing in his way, and perfectly willing to bash a policeman in the face or -- it's not yet clear -- to smash that policeman's face against something -- the steering wheel? -- in his own police car, and certainly, ready to charge that policeman, like a maddened bull, and if his charge were to be completed, to grab that average-sized policeman, and either take his gun, and shoot him with it, or more likely, simply beat him to death.

Unarmed?

Not as far as that policeman was concerned, and it was he whose life was at stake and who had to make split-second decisions, without anyone around to come to his aid but many no doubt willing to join in attacking him, as to how to save himself.

 

 

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Posted on 08/21/2014 11:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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