Israel should ensure that Hamas can’t become another Hezbollah

As the world watches the flare-up in fighting between Israel and Hamas, it is important to analyze the wider goals of the IDF’s operation in Gaza.

One of the reasons Israel has targeted Hamas’s military infrastructure in such an overwhelming manner is because Jerusalem does not want the movement to turn into another Hezbollah. In other words, Israel does not want Hamas to develop a deterrence capability, which it can later use to change the strategic rules of the game.

Such a development would hurt Israel’s deterrence image. It would also embolden other terror organizations in the region. This would be a clear and present danger to Israel, moderate Arab states and the peace process.

What should be noted is that Fatah probably shares Israel’s concerns. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been trying for the last two months to reach a deal with Hamas on the issue of presidential elections after his term expires on January 9. But Hamas walked out of the talks, much to the anger of the Egyptians and Fatah.

 

Had Hamas been able to develop its deterrence capability and military infrastructure, it would have been much more difficult for Fatah and Egypt to create some kind of reconciliation in the political system of the yet-unborn state of Palestine. Hamas would have been able to call the shots whenever it wanted, and the PLO and Egypt, together with Israel, would have lost the initiative.

There is also the question of Iran. A stronger Hamas right now is very important for Teheran. Currently, pro-American Arab governments such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, together with Gulf states, are trying to become involved in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. This angers Iran, because its leadership does not trust them.

 

According to the Islamic republic news agency, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani issued a public warning on Friday by clearly stating that “Arab states are advised not to interfere in Iran’s nuclear case, thus harming their prestige.”

An emboldened Hamas is another way to keep the Arab countries, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia, away from Teheran’s nuclear program.

At the same time, an increase in Hamas’s capability to keep the residents of Sderot in their bomb shelters – and the citizens of cities such as Ashkelon fearing for their lives – would have emboldened Teheran and increased its motivation to push up the level of support for Hamas. This would have increased Iran’s popularity in the Arab street.

What Israel has to watch out for is the level of force it applies. There is a very fine line of diminishing returns when it comes to application of massive military force against guerrilla organizations that operate among civilians.

This is especially true when it comes to Hamas, which has become expert at using its own population as a human shield. Any excess on Israel’s part could turn the recent fighting into a Hamas PR victory.

Jerusalem should also not mistake Fatah and Egypt’s animosity toward Hamas as a permanent green light. It should be treated rather as a yellow light, which could turn red at any time.

At the end of the day, the fate of Gaza’s residents also has an impact on their standing in the Middle East and in the Muslim world.

Last but not least, Hamas’s political victory in Gaza should be a warning of what is to come if Israel does not cooperate with Fatah. If moderates are not supported, they lose, and are replaced by extremists.

When the fighting stops, Israel should stop expansion of settlements and boost Fatah. Because by the look of things in Gaza, the alternative is much worse.

Courtesy:  the Jerusalem post

Meir Javedanfar is a Middle East Analyst and coauthor of The Nuclear Sphinx of Teheran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and The State of Iran.

Advertisements

Arabs turn against ‘megalomaniac’ Hamas

ANALYSIS: Abraham Rabinovich

Courtesy: The Australian

 

THE bitter Israel-Hamas conflict has touched off Arab-Arab conflicts almost as bitter.

Responsibility for the war in Gaza, and for the Palestinian fatalities there, was placed squarely on Hamas by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We called the leaders of Hamas and told them, ‘Please, do not end the truce’,” he said. Hamas ended a six-month truce with Israel two weeks before the Israeli attack.

An Abbas aide, Nimr Hammad, termed the rocket fire into Israel reckless. “The one responsible for the massacre is Hamas,” he said. “Hamas should not have given the Israelis a pretext.”

Bassam Abu-Sumayyah, a columnist for the daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, accused Hamas of megalomania and said it had acted without even a little bit of political and security sense. It had behaved like a superpower.

“They thought they have a number of missiles and can therefore prevail in a war of such size,” he wrote.

A columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, Abdallah Awwad, said that Hamas had made a major mistake in trying to be both a government operating in the open and a resistance organisation that operated underground. “We are paying the price of stupidity and the maniacal

love of being rulers,” he said.

Beyond intra-Palestinian disputes, the eruption in Gaza has widened the rift between Egypt, supported by other moderate Arab states, and the Hamas-Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alignment.

Cairo has long feared the radical influence of Hamas on its own Islamist parties. It regards Hamas as a proxy for Iran, which it sees attempting to wrest Muslim leadership in the Middle East from Egypt, even though Iran is not an Arab country.

However, Egypt attempted to broker a reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that would permit a leadership acceptable to all Palestinians to emerge in new elections. Hamas derailed the proposal, to Egypt’s fury.

Egypt, in turn, refused to open the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt to Gaza residents, even during the Israeli attack when many Gazans were clamouring to get out. This infuriated Hamas and caused anti-Egyptian protests in much of the Arab world.

For Egypt, the most annoying criticism came from Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the formidable leader of the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Addressing Egyptian citizens, particularly army officers, Nasrallah called on them to protest at Cairo’s lack of response to the Israeli attack.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said of Nasrallah’s speech: “(He) practically declared war on us.” As for Nasrallah’s appeal to Egyptian officers, Mr Gheit said of Egypt’s army: “They will also protect Egypt against people like you.”

Doesn’t Obama and family deserve a little private time???

With just over 3 weeks to assume office, Obama remains silent on this current crisis in Gaza issue, rightfully as he should be. Remember this man has to take over a nation in recession a nation with a trillion dollar debt, a nation where jobs cuts being reported in unheard numbers every month, a nation where people are losing health care. With the question, will this man concentrate more on the domestic crisis or the middle east which undoubtly will be the foreign issue number on by the time he take over the white house, which is, reminder ….. reminder, another 3 weeks away. Why don’t people leave this guy and his family alone, don’t they do deserve this vacation after one of the lengthy and definitely most stressful election campaigns in the history?
Despite Obama repeatedly reminding the media that there is only one US president at a time and he issuing statements can send a mixed signal to the world. He being briefed of the present situation in Gaza or his monitoring the situation does not make him the president. Somehow people expect him to issue some kind of statement contrasts the present white house stand. In the most unashamed intrusion of the Obama’s private vacation time, today a small group of placard-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered near his vacation retreat in Hawaii on Tuesday to protest against the Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Israel sends humanitarian aid to Gaza.Hamas resposnsible for the present killings

Let there be no mistake. Israel has every right to defend itself. In the fact of the total indifference of the UN to continued rocket fire on Israel, Israel certainly had to do something to stop the rocket fire, defend its citizens, and attempt to force the Hamas to release the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.
Since the breakdown of the so-called truce, which was never very quiet in the best weeks, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States did nothing other than to bemoan the mythical humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call on Israel to send more supplies. The supplies were sent, both before and after the breakdown of the truce.

Israel has maneuvered itself into a unique legal situation, where it is forced by world opinion and twisted juridical rulings to supply its declared enemy with war material. Building materials were used to construct bunkers. Cash released by Israel was used to pay the salaries of rocket launching crews and to purchase weapons smuggled in through the tunnels beneath the Rafah crossing. No country could remain forever silent and non-reactive in the face of the continued provocation.

The real issue in Gaza has nothing to do with Shalit or with sieges or rocket fire. The stakes are much bigger. The Hamas has been steadily and successfully pursuing a rather single minded program: to establish itself as the Palestinian government and supplant the Fatah, thereby voiding the concessions made by Palestinians in the Oslo process, without reversing any of the Israeli concessions. Once installed in Gaza and the West Bank and recognized as a “legitimate government” and “peace partner,” Hamas will use these territories to establish an official or unofficial Islamic state, and use it to launch terror attacks against Israel, as well as to foment subversion in Jordan and Egypt. These goals are to be reached by continuously “pushing the envelope” – establishing increasingly intolerable conditions as the status quo, accepted and approved by the entire world, in which Israel must acquiesce. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has a similar strategy vis-a-vis what is left of the Lebanese government, and is well on its way to implementing it.

Hamas has already made considerable and quite admirable progress toward its goals:
Legitimacy – Hamas, having seized power illegally, is accepted as the de-facto Gaza government. Numerous voices, including some “peace advocates” inside Israel, call for direct talks with Hamas. Arab governments rush to promote “unity” between Hamas and the Fatah. This unity would be similar to the humiliating farce of the Doha agreements, which forced the Hezbollah on the Lebanese people. The Arabs are disappointed when the Hamas refuses to go along with the charade. The kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, which should have been met with stony silence, is instead the subject of humiliating negotiations in which Israel is fully expected to free over a thousand dangerous terrorists in order to get back one soldier. International diplomats are all eager to further this shameful process.

Violation of all accords as the status quo – The Hamas have systematically torn up every last vestige of the Oslo accords as well as all the understandings related to disengagement. Quantities of arms are imported into Gaza, and 15,000 soldiers, equivalent to a division, are maintained at the expense of the $3 billion funding that the EU and other donors supply to the Palestinian Authority.

Terror as the status quo – The right of the Hamas terrorists militants to rain rockets down on Israeli towns is accepted without question, and greeted with the most perfunctory protests. No international agency or government has done anything to stop them.

Upping the Ante The Hamas condition for renewing the truce is that it must be extended to the West Bank. The implication is clear. If Israel is unable to operate in the West Bank, pro-Hamas forces will quickly overwhelm the Palestinian Authority there, and install themselves as the government.

All the above are guaranteed to generate the righteous indignation of every friend of Israel. The Israeli action is justified and long overdue. But the real question is, “What can it accomplish?” In a brief attack, the Israel Air Force destroyed every “police” station in Gaza, killing about 200 persons, mostly Hamas, and evidently destroyed a lot of rocket launching silos and other installations. The current operation “Operation Cast Lead,” (Oferet Yetzukah – named for the Hanukkah Dreidl song of Bialik) had been planned six months ago, we are told. Meticulous intelligence work was accompanied by appropriate disinformation and it all went off without a hitch. The lessons of the Second Lebanon War, we are assured, were learned meticulously. Perhaps the military lessons were learned, though people forget that the Second Lebanon War opened with a brilliant military achievement – destruction of all the intermediate and long range missiles of the Hezbollah.
After about a month of restraint in the face of mounting Hamas attacks, the Israeli operation drew favorable media comment in Israel. Even Bradley Burston, who seemed to be advocating surrender to Hamas only last week, rallied to the defense of the cause. When the guns talk, the critics are silent.

But what does Israel do in the next act? The IDF plan should also have written in to their plan the predictable condemnations by the UN Secretary General EU, and world leaders, that have already been registered and that will soon lead to UN action as well. As in Lebanon, the media are already churning out fake photographs and fake atrocity stories that will build support for the terror group. As in Lebanon, the IDF is trying to destroy “terrorist infrastructure,” which is worthless in any case. Can it be that the government didn’t learn the main lesson of the Lebanon war, that you cannot beat a terrorist or guerrilla group with an air war? Or is this only the opening act of the drama? Will the UN allow Israel to continue its operations, and what will be the result? Ismail Haniyeh is already broadcasting defiant victory, Nasrallah style, from a Gaza bunker. Clearly, it will take a lot more than today’s action to make the Hamas change its ways, to gain a “victory.”

What would constitute a victory over the Hamas in Gaza? As in Lebanon, the only real victory over the Hamas must be dismantling of the Hamas government and disbanding of the Hamas, or alternatively, the unlikely outcome where Hamas abandons its Islamist principles, abandons violence, abandons Jihad, rewrites the anti-Semitic Hamas charter and commits to live in peace with Israel. Neither of these goals are realistic, because the Iranians and Syrians who control the Hamas are determined to fight Israel to the last Palestinian, no matter what.

Therefore, only eliminating the Hamas may bring real victory. Nothing else will stop them, and anything else would constitute a victory, unless it can be shown that it will eventually lead to the final goal. The best we can hope for from an operation like this is a return to the status quo ante in which an uneasy truce is maintained and Syria and Iran continue to call the shots – literally. The media show about the Gaza siege will go on. The arms buildup will go on, and the Hamas threat to overthrow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will continue to loom in the background. That is the good alternative. The bad alternative is an outcome like that “achieved” in Lebanon. Hamas is established as the de facto organization in control of the Palestinian government, and builds up its military potential behind the screen of a worthless international force.

But the option of overthrowing Hamas does not really exist and would not solve the problem. Even if Israel were to take over Gaza, it is certain that as long as Syria and Iran continue to have the regimes that they have, they will use the reoccupation of Gaza to turn the place into a worse security liability for Israel than it is now. Remove the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, and they will be replaced by another group. Perhaps it will be called the Itbah al yahoud Beit al Maqdes Jihad brigades or another group. It doesn’t matter what the name will be.

In view of the proximity of a national election and the constant clamor for action, the restraint urged continuously by Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak and adopted by the government was admirable. He knows quite well what the cost of the operation can be, what the risks are, and what the likely outcome is, but he had no choice. A government must defend its people. If the world is totally deaf and blind to the terrorization of the Western Negev, the Israeli government had to do something. The opposition, and the government, especially foreign minister Tzipi Livni blamed the failure to act on Barak, as did much of the media. An enterprising opposition MK wanted to try Barak as a traitor. One man cannot stand against a deluge. If the operation succeeds, which is not likely, everyone will rush to take credit. If it fails, it will no doubt be blamed on Ehud Barak and Chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Ami Isseroff

The Religion Of Peace-For The Cause Of Allah

I hope allah forgives your wicked souls, in this temporary life attain what you wish, lie as much as you like, that is why allah is all mercyful, all forgivinf to his sincere servents, repent and he may forgive, commit to evil and you will receive your just rewards, although Islam will dominate thw world, because the Quran says, there will be suffering but we will always be here, even supporting your econmoy as it seems, ask your government, cough cough, and say what you like because you have hurt the rights of mankind, and rights of allah and you will be questioned, whether you live to 70 or 100 you will die, it is inevitable, so your answers await in your grave!

A TRUE MUSLIM WRITES THIS

Islam’s true face: Honour Killing

According to the United Nations, more than 5000 women and children are killed every year under the name of honour killing. The murder of Fadime Sahindal in Sweden brought about a lot of feelings and media coverage all over the world.

Following this tragic event, a lot of questions were raised and debates carried out as to why and how such a crime could have happened. A lot of people talked about the fact that women are killed in different circumstances and that it involves violence by men against women.

The fact that women are killed is a bitter truth. However, when women and children are murdered by their own close relatives and loved ones is a concept that has its roots mainly in the Middle East where women’s sexuality has always been the centre of power and production.

Power itself together with nationalistic sentiments and religion control the society. Following the honour killings of Pela and Fadime in Sweden; and Hursu in England, a lot of academics and pro cultural relativists said that “honour killing lives in the original culture that is still left in certain parts of the world and has nothing to do with religion”. If we accept this explanation then we have given all religions a free hand in interfering in women’s lives.

There is no doubt that honour killing is far more ancient than for example Islam or Christianity. However my question is why does it still happen? Does the original culture exist in Europe?

Obviously the political and religious situation and the consequence culture in the Middle East have a lot to do with the issue. After all it is not any coincident that most honour killings happen in the region or have their roots in the Middle East. For me, honour killing involves physical and physiological violence against women at home and in the society.

Women who choose to take control of their lives, choose their own partners, exercise their freedom, or choose to have sex before marriage are targets for honour killings.

The person who kills under the name of honour is trying to consolidate his/ her position in the society, in the family and community. He/she uses religion to achieve such position. Families who loose their honour are not taken seriously in the community. This is, without doubt, the consequence of the political power that dominates people’s lives. The same system and power imposes laws and regulations such as compulsory veil, negates the right to choose ones life and prohibits freedom of speech in the society. Political Islam steers women’s lives with the help of Sharia law.

In Iran the constitution is based on Sharia law where women are considered immature and imbeciles in every aspect of society. Today, there is a strong women’s movement all over the Middle East against religious injustice in women’s lives and against patriarchy. There are campaigns against honour killings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon and Morocco. It is a movement for equality and human rights.

This debate has another angle in Europe. There is talk of “culture in ethnic minority communities”. It means women’s and children’s rights are tramped on, while cultural relativists take over women’s and children’s lives. Respecting culture takes precedence to human life and women’s rights. Imams and priests have become the representatives and speakers of these communities. It has created a situation where medieval culture is kept alive and religion takes over.

I put a few questions to you. Is this culture so progressive and an advance phenomenon in today’s society that needs to be preserved? Should we have a set of rules for ethnic minorities and another set of rules for the rest of the population? Doesn’t this remind you of apartheid system? Or is there something that I call state racism since it treats people differently?

The result of cultural relativism is worsening of women’s lives. Human history has shown that the old traditions and religious interference in women’s lives is not something that can be fought against without radical actions that show society stands by progressive values. Cultural relativism and racism are two sides of the same coin. It is about time that women activists and human rights organisations look at this issue seriously and change their position against reactionary forces in Europe and engage their energy and recourses into progressive and radical fight in the Middle East.

 

 

Abbas Rezai (2005):  A 20-year-old Iranian man, gets killed in Hogsby. The motive is supposedly that his girlfriend’s family, who comes from Afghanistan, could not accept their relationship. The trial found the girlfriend’s brother guilty and fined him four years in institutional youth welfare and banishment from Sweden for life. Her parents are free. The lawyer of the mother to the murdered man is convinced that they planned the killing and has the opinion that they also should be sentenced for the murder.

A Kurdish Wife (2003): A 28-year-old Kurdish man stabs his one-year-younger wife with 37 slashes in Strangnas. The man did not accept that his wife wanted to get a divorce. The trial found him guilty and fined him ten years in prison and banishment from Sweden for life.

Fadime Sahindal (2002): A 26-year-old Kurdish girl, was killed in Uppsala in the evening of the 21st January. Her father did not accept that she had a Swedish boyfriend and wanted to have Swedish life style. The trial found her father guilty and he got a life sentence. Two months before she was killed she held a speech in the Swedish Parliament about her life and how she was treated by her family, relatives and Swedish authorities.

Pela Atroshi (1999): She was shot to death in Dhouk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her sister called the Swedish police and reported the murder. Two uncles got a life sentence for the murder. The father is still wanted by the authorities.

Umea (1996): A 15-year-old Iraqi girl in Umea was killed by her brother and cousin after a party. The motive was that she had a Swedish life style.

Palestinian Girl (1994): A Palestinian man in Vastmanland killed his 18-year-old daughter when she refused to marry the man the father had chosen for her.

Parvin Kaboli, Secretary of Organisation for Women’s Liberation

 

 

by Parvin Kaboli

Enough is enough of radical Islam

Enough is enough of radical Islam

by Ben Shapiro

Enough with the pseudonyms. Western civilization isn’t at war with terrorism any more than it is at war with grenades. Western civilization is at war with militant Islam, which dominates Muslim communities all over the world. Militant Islam isn’t a tiny minority of otherwise good-hearted Muslims. It’s a dominant strain of evil that runs rampant in a population of well over 1 billion.

Enough with the psychoanalysis. They don’t hate us because of Israel. They don’t hate us because of Kashmir. They don’t hate us because we have troops in Saudi Arabia or because we deposed Saddam Hussein. They don’t hate us because of Britney Spears. They hate us because we are infidels, and because we don’t plan on surrendering or providing them material aid in their war of aggressive expansion.

Enough with the niceties. We don’t lose our souls when we treat our enemies as enemies. We don’t undermine our principles when we post more police officers in vulnerable areas, or when we send Marines to kill bad guys, or when we torture terrorists for information. And we don’t redeem ourselves when we close Guantanamo Bay or try terrorists in civilian courts or censor anti-Islam comics. When it comes to war, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Enough with the words. Talking with Iran without wielding the threat of force, either economic or military, won’t help. Appealing to the United Nations, run by thugs and dictators ranging from Putin to Chavez to Ahmadinejad, is an exercise in pathetic futility. Evil countries don’t suddenly decide to abandon their evil goals — they are forced to do so by pressure and circumstance.

Enough with the faux allies. We don’t gain anything by pretending that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are true allies. They aren’t. At best, they are playing both sides of the table. We ought to be drilling now in order to break OPEC. Building windmills isn’t going to cut it. We should also be backing India to the hilt in its current conflict with Pakistan — unless Pakistan can destroy its terrorist element, India should be given full leeway to do what it needs to do. Russia and China, meanwhile, are facilitating anti-Western terrorism. Treating them as friends in this global war is simply begging for a backstabbing.

Enough with the myths. Not everyone on earth is crying out for freedom. There are plenty of people who are happy in their misery, believing that their suffering is part and parcel of a correct religious system. Those people direct their anger outward, targeting unbelievers. We cannot simply knock off dictators and expect indoctrinated populations to rise to the liberal democratic challenge. The election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is more a rule than an exception in the Islamic world.

Enough with the lies. Stop telling us that Islam is a religion of peace. If it is, prove it through action. Stop telling us that President-elect Barack Obama will fix our broken relationship with the Muslim world. They hate Obama just as much as they hated President George W. Bush, although they think Obama is more of a patsy than Bush was. Stop telling us that we shouldnt worry about the Islamic infiltration of our economy. If the Saudis own a large chunk of our banking institutions and control the oil market, they can certainly leverage their influence in dangerous ways.

Enough. After the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the plane downed in Pennsylvania, the endless suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks in Israel, the Bali bombings, the synagogue bombing in Tunisia, the LAX shootings, the Kenyan hotel bombing, the Casablanca attacks, the Turkey synagogue attacks, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, and the repeated attacks in India culminating in the Mumbai massacres — among literally thousands of others — it’s about time that the West got the point: we’re in a war. Our enemies are determined. They will not quit just because we offer them Big Macs, Christina Aguilera CDs, or even the freedom to vote. They will not quit just because we ensure that they have Korans in their Guantanamo cells, or because we offer to ban The Satanic Verses (as India did). They will only quit when they are dead. It is our job to make them so, and to eliminate every obstacle to their destruction.

So enough. No more empty talk. No more idle promises. No more happy ignorance, half measures, or appeasement-minded platitudes. The time for hard-nosed, uncompromising action hasn’t merely come — it’s been overdue by seven years. The voice of our brothers’ blood cries out from the ground.