Politic?

This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mandating Diminished Access

"[In military circles a single line of defence] is also known as a single point of failure. If something goes wrong there, then you're left scrambling."
"That's exactly what happened [Wednesday] in Ottawa]. Thee was a single line of defence. It was attacked. It failed."
"To go deep inside somebody's mind and try to determine what they're going to do in the future is damn difficult to impossible."
"Right now, you can literally shoot your way through [into the House of Commons]. [With competing security services] you're going to get turf battles, you're going to get confusion, you're going to get egos."
Tom Quiggin, Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network
reut
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers stand guard on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 23, 2014. A gunman attacked Canada's parliament on Wednesday, with gunfire erupting near a room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking, and a soldier was fatally shot at a nearby war memorial, jolting the Canadian capital. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
"It's imperative we realize the security that was there [Wednesday] morning, prior to the event [violent incursion into Parliament by armed terrorist], will never be the same following the event."
"[The front door of the Centre Block] will not be easily accessible] to the general public and could be locked in future]."
"We now live in a changed environment. The question remains for Canadians: Do we want an American model or do we want something that is more tailored to our needs?"
Pierre-Yves Bourduas, former RCMP deputy commissioner

"He [Zehaf-Bibeau, Parliament Hill armed intruder/killer] seems to have been one of those genuine examples of a homegrown terrorist whose path to terror was unpredictable and perhaps unpreventable."
"[It would be] very prudent [to have a public inquiry that] could really get to the root of what went wrong -- if anything went wrong -- learn lessons and reassure the public as well."
Wesley Wark, University of Ottawa, terror specialist
Parliament security forces varyThe Senate on Parliament Hill does not have armed security personnel, but that is expected to change soon.  Photograph by: Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press File , Postmedia News

What went wrong, actually, is that a man whose parentage appeared to have confused him; with a Libyan father who left Canada to fight in Libya several years ago, and with whom he lived in Libya as a younger man, perhaps he became mired in the ideology of Islamism, even while his father appeared to have engaged in the conflict against Moammar Ghadaffi. On the other hand, the tribal militias in Libya who waged war against the regime were infiltrated with Islamists.

Still, the gunman had a mostly Canadian upbringing, living with his Canadian mother in Quebec, then spending part of his life in Canada living in Calgary and Vancouver. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau distinguished himself, coming to the attention of police wherever he lived, for his petty crime rapsheet, and his addiction to cocaine. He wanted to be a better Muslim, as a convert, and to kick his cocaine habit, and thought that jail time would isolate and cure him.

Estranged from his parents, his devotion became fanatical Islamism. He sought a passport to enable him to leave for Syria. He felt that Canada, along with other Western countries, was at war with Islam; his kind of Islam, in any event. Which gave him the justification in his diseased opinion, to shoot a Armed Forces reservist on honour duty at the National War Memorial, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in the back, killing him. He aspired to greater conquests and sped on to Parliament Hill.

There, the reactions of the RCMP, the Hill Security personnel and before that Ottawa Police was just a mite off to stop him from invading the Centre Block, entering the Hall of Honour and striding just metres from where the Prime Minister and his caucus were meeting behind a closed door, the Opposition caucus on the side opposite. Swift action thereafter on the part of Hill Security awarded him martyrdom.

Which didn't bring the episode to a speedy conclusion, releasing the hundreds of terrified MPs, staffers, visitors, and in fact all of the Parliamentary Precinct, government employees, and nearby schools, businesses and tourists from mandatory lockdown since there was uncertainty respecting the number of gunmen that might have been prowling about looking for additional targets. Now that Ottawa has settled itself back to normal, the predictable questions loom large.

What might have been done to avoid those 24 hours of panic? Not an awful lot, it seems. Canadians want to be secure and are agreeable to having their freedoms slightly impacted in pursuit of security, but there are no absolutes. It would have been absolutely difficult to stop a determined, swift-moving and -conniving gunman from achieving some level of success in his hunt for victims to assuage his fanatically-blighted-religion-inspired rage.

Even in the eye of authorities -- which this particular man was not, yet -- it would appear unreasonable to lock someone up on the basis of suspicion alone that 'something' might, just might erupt. He had not revealed himself as did the killer of two days previous when an Armed Forces warrant officer was deliberately run down and killed by vehicular homicide, who posted his Islamist messages regularly online and whose parents reported their concerns to the RCMP.

The fact is that security as it was, even in its tightened-since-9/11 state was insufficient to deter a determined gunman. The fact also is that security agents did show up in short order when it became obvious that there was a dire emergency situation unfolding on the Hill. RCMP did shoot at the intruder but he still managed to enter the Centre Block, leaving it to Hill Security to confront and shoot him.

It appeared as events swiftly unfolded that the man entered the precincts with speedful ease, with nothing to really deter his progress, as people being confronted by the vision of a masked man wielding a rifle, melted before his advance. Mr. Quiggan, an expert on terrorism and security, advances a solution, that a physical barrier is required at the entrance to Parliament, or a "standoff entryway" at a distance, where first-level security assessments could take place.

And replacing the problematical coordinated separation between RCMP who screen vehicles before permitting them to enter the Hill minimizing the risk of car bomb attacks, after which they are free from scrutiny until they enter one of the buildings when Hill Security takes over. And once they're outside the Parliamentary Precincts, it is the Ottawa Police Force whose responsibility they become. There is now some agreement that one agency must be paramount.

But now that the RCMP will be permanently detailed to be with the Prime Minister wherever and whenever he appears in public, even if Hill Security retains paramount responsibility, the RCMP must still have their place of dominant authority. A problem that is implacable in its concerns and complications. But diminished access to the halls of political power though they belong to the people of Canada, will in theory be the ultimate outcome.


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Saving Them From Themselves

"In most of these cases like this, it's not so much they want to fight with ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham]. They are promised they will have homes, be safe, have husbands and live within their religion."
"It's been a wake-up call to us with this type of predator."
"There's no indication they had been radicalized in a way that they wanted to fight for ISIS."
Tustin Amole, Cherry Creek School District, Colorado

"Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people. What we've experienced here in Minneapolis is that young, disaffected youth who exist primarily on the fringes of society -- they seem to be more  susceptible to this type of propaganda, unfortunately."
Kyle Loven, FBI spokesman, Minneapolis

"[People in their] teens and early 20s are searching for an identity, a cause, something bigger than themselves."
Nader Hashemi, director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver

Zahra Halane, 16, poses with an AK-47, an Isis flag, knife and grenade. A series of tweets about her
Zahra Halane, 16, poses with an AK-47, an Isis flag, knife and grenade. A series of tweets about her kitten, thrown out by her husband, betray her youth. The Guardian
According to Mr. Hashemi, the appeal to ethnic identity and feelings of social justice emphasized by Islamist extremists is key to recruiting Muslim youth. Minneapolis, which has the largest Somali immigrant community in the United States has experienced a problem in terrorism recruiting for years. In the last seven years, 22 young Somali-American men chose to travel to Somalia to fight with Al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group tailored to Muslim youth.

Now, it is young Muslim girls who choose to travel abroad surreptitiously, making their plans, unbeknown to their parents, who discover to their horror what their children have been up to once they've fled. Two sisters of Somali heritage, 17 and 15, and a Sudanese 16-year-old friend made plans to travel together from their home in a Denver suburb to Syria. They were convinced they would find their destiny there.

One of the girls was thought to have been communicating online with someone who enticed them to travel to Syria. Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, addressed herself to this troubling phenomenon surfacing lately in Europe and the United States. It is her opinion that Islamic extremists have made an art of using social media to prey on younger and younger female targets.

They ply them with "Disney-like versions of what it is like to live in the caliphate", she explains, complete with promises that they will find husband and have homes of their own and a wonderful future awaits them. The girls' parents reported they were missing on Friday once it was realized they had skipped school. The girls had taken passports and $2,000 with them in cash from the family home.

Three American teenage girls from Colorado have been detained in Germany while reportedly on their way to Syria to join ISIS. Pictured: Frankfurt airport 
Three American teenage girls from Colorado have been detained in Germany while reportedly on their way to Syria to join ISIS. Pictured: Frankfurt airport 

American authorities contacted their German counterparts and they were detained at the Frankfurt airport as they were planning to travel on to Turkey and make their way from there to Syria. From Germany they were sent home, where they were interviewed by the FBI and then returned to their parents. Investigators were trying to determine what contacts they had made in Syria.

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That Enigmatic Puzzle

"I know the father, I know the grandfather, they are good people. They have no idea why he went there and how he did it. They invested a lot of money in him ... and they were waiting to reap the benefits. And this person showed no signs, he did not tell anybody."
Salim Abu al-Qiyan, Hura, Israel

"He was very smart, very sharp. The last person you would have suspected to be violent. He is the kind of doctor any department head would want."
Dr. Yosef Mishal, department head, Barzilai Medical Center, Israel

"[There was] something there [attracting seemingly successful young men]."
"He (Abu Al-Qiyan) is the right profile for success. No one will answer the clear question: what happened there? But somebody has to do that."
Yousef Abu Jaffer, Hura municipal treasurer

Should 'somebody ... do that', that somebody would have a lot to share with other inquisitively desperate governments who also would like to discover precisely what it is that lures young Muslims from the comfort of their settled communities and their future aspirations to surrender it all to join the fanatical jihadists who make up the Islamic State.

Of course, human nature being idiosyncratic, and people so diverse both in their backgrounds their potential successes and failures, their dreams of the future, their fallibility, their satisfactions, there can be nothing 'precise' that would outline unfailingly the absolute formula that works for success in recruiting seemingly balanced characters to fanatical jihadism.
  • This undated photo released by Barzilai Medical Center shows Othman Abu al-Qiyan, an Israeli Bedouin, who was a quiet whiz kid at the top of his class in Israel who overcome tough odds in this minority Arab village to become a star medical student and hospital intern, until he joined Jihadis and found his death in Syria. Several family members said all they knew is that Abu al-Qiyan left for what he said was a vacation in Turkey with a cousin. They said Abu al-Qiyan later called them from Syria, saying he would meet them in paradise. Photo: Uncredited, AP / Barzilai Medical Center
    Photo By Uncredited/AP  This undated photo released by Barzilai Medical Center shows Othman Abu al-Qiyan, an Israeli Bedouin
Neither his family nor his community, nor government authorities and security agencies thereof, let alone his professional colleagues in his discipline of choice where he excelled as a promising physician, have any idea what propelled Othman Abu al-Qiyan to discard his dream of the healing profession to embark on the killing profession of violent jihad.

He was recognized as a quiet young man, an absolute genius, top of his class in Israel, living in the minority Arab village of Hura, and becoming a star medical student and finally, hospital intern. Hura is in Israel's southern Negev desert. Many residents choose to serve in the Israeli army. The country's Shin Bet security service estimates that a mere 30 Israeli Arabs have chosen to leave for Syria, to fight there.
  • This Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 photo, shows a view of Hura, a Bedouin village in the Negev desert, Israel, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Othman Abu al-Qiyan, an Israeli Bedouin from Hura, was a quiet whiz kid at the top of his class in Israel who overcome tough odds in this minority Arab village to become a star medical student and hospital intern, until he joined Jihadis and found his death in Syria. Several family members said all they knew is that Abu al-Qiyan left for what he said was a vacation in Turkey with a cousin. In August, they got an anonymous call saying that he had been killed in the first wave of American air raids against the Islamic State. Photo: Tsafrir Abayov, AP / AP
    Photo By Tsafrir Abayov/AP  This Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 photo, shows a view of Hura, a Bedouin village in the Negev desert, Israel
But that this talented young man with a promising future in medicine should be among them came as a shock. In his late 20s, Abu al-Qiyan represents the first Bedouin to leave Israel for that purpose. His family, a large extended one, one of the two most powerful clans in Hura, has close ties to the Israeli establishment. Many Israeli soldiers come from his extended family. Abu al-Qiyan's departure from the norm is abhorrent to them.

He was to begin specialization at Beersheba's Soroka hospital in May. And then he vanished. All the family members knew was what he told them, that he left for a vacation in Turkey accompanied by a cousin. Later, he called his family from Syria to inform them where he had left his belongings. And telling them he would meet them next in paradise.

Some of his family travelled to Turkey in a vain attempt to discover his whereabouts, in hopes they could persuade him to return. But an anonymous message arrived in August to inform his family that he had been killed in the first wave of U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State. It wasn't known whether he volunteered as a medic or as a fighter for ISIS.

Speculation locally is that he was radicalized while studying in Jordan, or that he was recruited online. But no one ever heard him speak of anything indicating his turn toward Islamist jihad. They recall his dual loves; medicine and Islam. Even the Shin Bet, with all their experience and insider knowledge are perplexed; they have no intelligence on Othaman Abu al-Qiyan.

Suleiman Azbarga, a 29-year-old local businessman who had studied with Abu Al-Qiyan in Jordan is not among those in his community who have expressed some support for the goal of an Islamic caliphate. "There may be a few who feel pride in this, but these are very, very few The majority of people here feel disappointment, and a sense of loss."

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kurds Aiding Kurds

From Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region lawmakers have authorized their peshmerga fighting forces to travel to neighbouring Syria to add to the aid required to successfully and finally combat Islamic State terrorists in the town of Kobani, bordering Turkey. This will represent the badly-needed boots on the ground that no one else in the neighbourhood seems willing to proffer. It is Kurds helping other Kurds.

Whether the decision will be fulfilled will be hugely dependent on official Turkey's mood, whether Recip Tayyip Erdogan feels inclined at that particular moment to assent to their movement to allow the Iraqi peshmerga to pass through to Syria. There were reluctant rumblings that this would be the case, but the mercurial, autocratic Erdogan who hates the Kurds even more than he does the terrorists that he doesn't quite approve of in comparison to those he does, chafes at the very thought.

He is silently seething over the perfidy of the United States which has been aiding the Syrian Kurds by airstrikes against the Islamic State, and through their airdrops of weapons to the Kurds. All of whom Mr. Erdogan sees as the enemies of Turkey, or perhaps more precisely his very own personal enemies of choice.

Kurdish officials and doctors have stated publicly their belief that Islamic State jihadists had released some kind of toxic gas in a district in eastern Kobani on Tuesday. Residents reported typical symptoms of chemical poisoning including dizziness and watery eyes. And this certainly will not represent the first or the only time that the Islamic State has resorted to such weapons of human destruction.

The information minister of Syria, a regime that just about equals the atrocities committed by the Islamic State, reported that Syria's air force had succeeded in destroying two of the three fighter jets ISIS had managed without too much trouble to seize and according to reports, test-flown with the aid of former Sunni Iraqi pilots over Aleppo.

They are well-matched, the Syrian regime and the Sunni fanatics who fancy themselves a caliphate. Just as Bashar al-Assad has his military resort to strafing his civilian Sunni population, starving them, torturing them, treating them to chemical gas attacks and barrel bombs, so too does the Islamic State favour ethnic-sectarian cleansing in butchering their own targets, from Christians to Yazidis and Shiites.

The Kurds, left to defend themselves, do what they can to give succour to one another. In Suruc, Turkey, close by Kobani across the border in Syria. There, Kurdish women buried three Kurdish fighters, a 20-year-old woman and two young men whose names are known, but whose families are not. This was a measure to give them the dignity of support in death to honour the support those fighters have lavished toward their Kurdish people.

"Our house has been demolished in Kobani and we are living in tents. ...At least we can support our martyrs and we will accompany them to their graves", Fatma Muslim, one of dozens of women who turned up at the hospital in Suruc morgue for the funeral procession to the nearby cemetery, explained.
Mourners carry the coffin with the body of female Kurdish fighter Hanim Dabaan, 20, killed in the fighting with the militants of the Islamic State group in Kobani, Syria, during the funeral of three fighters, at a cemetery in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. The three fighters were killed during the last few days battling Islamic State group  fighters in the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab,located on the border with Turkey. They were buried without their families present; in the chaos of war, since mid-September, hundreds of thousands of Kurds have become refugees, and contacting the families of those killed is not always possible. Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, AP / AP
Mourners carry the coffin with the body of female Kurdish fighter Hanim Dabaan, 20, killed in the fighting with the militants of the Islamic State group in Kobani, Syria, during the funeral of three fighters, at a cemetery in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. The three fighters were killed during the last few days battling Islamic State group fighters in the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab,located on the border with Turkey. They were buried without their families present; in the chaos of war, since mid-September, hundreds of thousands of Kurds have become refugees, and contacting the families of those killed is not always possible.
With no family members to provide the last rites in the Islamic tradition to wash and shroud the dead, it was volunteers who did that. "There is nobody to wash them. There is only one doctor who can wash them, and the rest are volunteers", said 21 year-old Akeed Hamad who offered to help the older Kurdish women, carrying the flag-draped coffins to their graves.

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Enlightening Perspectives

"This was a despicable act of violence [motor-vehicle homicide of 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent] that strikes against not just this soldier and his colleagues but frankly against our very values as a civilized democracy."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Tuesday, October 21, House of Commons
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shown in this screen grab from an online video from the PMO, making a statement on the attacks in Ottawa on Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-PMO    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shown in this screen grab from an online video from the PMO, making a statement on the attacks in Ottawa on Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014.
"I certainly hope that that's not what the prime minister of Canada is doing -- latching on to this kind of crisis to help himself. I know that Canadians deserve better than just that. They deserve full answers."
Leader of the Opposition, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair

Mr. Mulcair took exception to the 'strong language' Prime Minister Harper used in speaking of the jihadist attack that took place the day before in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec causing the deliberate death of a Canadian Forces member of the military. He held it to be self-serving. To cause the public to support the Conservative-led initiative to toughen and tighten Canada's security laws to further protect the country and the public from terrorist attacks.

His complaint was that the Conservatives were too quick to label the attack by a self-radicalized Muslim convert as "clearly linked to terrorist ideology". As for the Liberal Leader, Justin Trudeau, he trod slightly more carefully, without too overtly indicating that he holds similar views to that of Mr. Mulcair: "I think that's a question that certainly members of the press gallery and Canadians can ask. But as an opposition politician, I'm very much focused on demonstrating that this should be beyond politics."

And then came Wednesday, when the gulf of suspicion must surely have threatened to tempt a leap. That's when, literally, all hell broke loose on Parliament Hill, and the doubting Thomases and Justins enjoyed their own very personal introduction to the unknown and the terror that lurks within. Beyond politics. When, with another attack, a loner, also a recent convert to Islam who clearly preferred the fanatical option, murdered a young Armed Forces reservist standing ceremonial guard at the National Cenotaph.

View image on Twitter
John Ivison, National Post


And then went on to hunt for further prospects in the hallowed ceremonial hall of honour in the Centre Block of the House of Commons. Where, as it happened, though the House wasn't sitting, it was busy with MPs at their various party caucuses. Had the armed intruder ventured a mite further he could have interrupted the Conservative caucus and there encountered Canada's Cabinet Ministers, the Prime Minister and other Members of Parliament.

However, and as good fortune had it, that opportunity was denied him, however belatedly, when the Sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers, along with his security personnel let loose with a volley of shots that spread the stink of cordite in Parliament, and left the sole attacker a martyr, fulfilling his dream of aspiring to Paradise, there to be greeted by -- is it 72? -- virgins, awaiting his pleasure.

As they awaited rescue from the inevitable lockdown until security agents could be assured that there were no other terrorists lingering anywhere in the Parliamentary Precinct, there was ample time for the leaders, before they were expeditiously led to safety, to wonder what on Earth was happening to their world of normalcy and political jousting in the House of Commons.

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Looking for Solutions

It's not possible to overlook feeling a pang of sorrow and regret for the introspective concerns of many Canadian Muslims in the wake of the most recent jihadist depredations, the only as-yet successful violent assaults to be carried out on Canadian soil. All other such planned assaults have been apprehended, and perhaps the fact that they have, before they could be carried out, endowed us all with a sense of complacency.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang   Police teams enter Centre Block at Parliament Hill in Ottawa 
on on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. A gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial, wounding a 
soldier, then moved to nearby Parliament Hill and wounded a security guard before he was shot, 
reportedly by Parliament's sergeant-at-arms. 
 
Our very polite assertions of Islamist fundamentalist atrocities, trotted out each time we hear of a fresh assault on the civilized sensibilities of the West when viewing one of the blockbuster videos of beheadings that Islamic State is so fond of parading on line, that "this has nothing to do with Islam", is a sham of shameful dimensions. Since Sharia law promotes jihad, not the polite introspective form of becoming a 'better Muslim', but the deadly-odious form of violent bloodshed, it is indeed Islam.

And while most Canadians would never in their wildest nightmares think of blaming an entire group of religious faithful for the failings of some among them in embracing the medieval brutality of the original prosetylization techniques so typical of historical Islam in broadening its appeal by force and conquest, the fact remains that though there is a very limited number of Muslims who perform violent jihad, a greater number express some sympathy for it.

So, what to do? Expel wholesale anyone with Canadian citizenship who expresses unsavoury personal opinions about violent jihad? Brand their foreheads with a large "J" to identify their presence in society? Warn them under the weight of newly-imposed laws more redolent of wretched totalitarian governments that their views are unwelcome within Canada and they will be prosecuted or worse, for expressing them?

We're pretty impotent, come to think of it. But how about viewing the psychopathic personalities that embrace violent Islam as unwelcome because they have effectively betrayed Canadian values which in the breach as well as in vibrant practise negates their right to citizenship? Evidently recent studies point out that those who leap to the opportunity to become jihadists don't necessary have mental health issues.
Momin Khawaja, pictured entering the Elgin Street courthouse and as a high school student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School (inset), faces seven terror-related charges in connection with a 2004 plot to blow up several targets in London, England. File photo

So scrub that excuse. But we still don't want to welcome their presence among us, since they're clearly not to be trusted, express hatred of the democratic way of life, vastly prefer to live without the kinds of laws that make safety and security of the person an imperative to a free and democratic society with respect for all and equality assured for all.

We've enacted laws to stop them from heading abroad, to remove their passports, to force them to remain within Canada. Why? When we should be ushering them out the airport door and into the planes that will take them to their destination where they can complete their destiny; either to be flown by deadly events to the heavens above, or to be mired in a miserable society they long to be part of where personal freedom is unknown and absolute surrender to a deadly theocracy is the norm.

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There's Genuine Risk

"As long as there's a genuine risk, we should take the measures necessary to protect members [of the military] and their families. But at the same time, we need to make sure this is based on a genuine risk and we don't use this as a means to shut down contact between the Canadian Forces and the general public."
Royal Military College of Canada professor Christian Leuprecht

"Rest assured that the safety and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces personnel is this government's primary concern. [Defence officials constantly assess potential threats, reviewing security measures] to protect our men and women in uniform."
"At the same time, we always encourage our members to remain vigilant."
"[The deliberate attack] underscores the threats that remain at home and abroad."
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson

"The Canadian Armed Forces recognizes the continuously evolving security environment and the importance of minimizing any risks associated with all personnel being deployed on current operations."
CAF spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier

"This event [deliberate targeting of Warrant Officer Vincent] does raise awareness in that they do need to be cautious about things. But with every increase in security, we need to figure out how much liberty, freedom and accountability we're giving up."
Stephen Saideman, defence expert, Carleton University
Martin Couture-Rouleau
A photo of Martin Rouleau holding the Qur'an. He had changed his name on Facebook to Ahmad the Converted. (Facebook)

With the deliberate running-down with a vehicle of two Canadian Forces members on Monday in Quebec, Canadian Forces were informed to "remain vigilant". A 53-year-old, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and a companion were struck, Officer Vincent fatally, in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu by 25-year-old radicalized Muslim convert Martin Rouleau Couture who was himself mortally shot by police as he led them on a high-speed chase away from the mall where the officer was shot.

In the wake of that deliberate targeting of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and in recognition of Islamic State propagandists inciting through social media that those sympathetic to their incendiary, violent cause strike out at all countries that have engaged themselves in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, security experts had much to say about Canada's response to the newly-recognized threat of homegrown jihadist attacks.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson speaking from a military base in Alberta where six CF-18s were departing from to make common cause with the U.S.-led bombing campaign against Islamic State in Iraq, made note of stepped-up security measures in the wake of senior ISIS leaders urging their members and sympathizers of the glory to be had in attacking Canadian military members to retaliate for Canada's incendiary decision to battle ISIS.

Dr. Leuprecht, a senior fellow at Queen's University also mused on "the changing nature of warfare and conflict in the 21st Century", due to a proliferation of communications technology enabled by the Internet. He spoke as well of his distrust of the efficacy of measures such as limits on when military personnel should wear their uniforms and the upgrade of security at military bases as well as at events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies as being instrumental in preventing the micro-terrorist attack.

Two days later it would be interesting to hear whether or how or why they might alter their thoughts on Canadian security measures within the country to help fend off any planned 'revenge' attacks by Islamist jihadists. The allusion by Dr. Leuprecht made to Remembrance Day ceremonies came to the reality of the horror of a member of the Armed Services being gunned down at that very site where in three weeks' time Remembrance Day ceremonies will take place.

Up to the present time, there have been quite a few plots that Canadians of Muslim descent have been involved in planning, all of them apprehended, foiling their plans. They have faced trial and have been found guilty of their plots, from members of the Toronto 18 to Momin Khawaja, To Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, on to Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed.

The only Islamist jihadis who successfully carried out their atrocities in the expectation that they would be performing the exalted work of Islam in perpetrating Sharia-demanding jihad meriting them a place in Paradise and renown everafter in the annals of Islamofascism's book of heroic martyrs, have so far been 'radicalized' loners, Canadian-born converts to Islam. Isn't that touched with irony?

On Wednesday, Canada's disbelief that jihad would be brought home was changed when yet another 'lone-wolf' enterprisingly took the Islamic State incitements to violence under his belt and, toting a rifle, Islamic head scarf around his face, shot at point-blank range a reservist on ceremonial duty before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National Cenotaph, then went on to enter the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in search of Parliamentarians to deliver his jihadi message to.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld   RCMP intervention team members walk past a gate on Parliament hill in 
Ottawa Wednesday Oct.22, 2014. A Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has 
been shot by an unknown gunman and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.

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 The Clarion Project

Video: Father Helps ISIS Militants Stone Daughter as per Sharia

Tue, October 21, 2014
Islamic State militant standing next to the father of the woman about to be stoned.
Islamic State militant standing next to the father of the woman about to be stoned.

Islamic State militants in Syria stoned to death a young woman who they had accused of committing adultery.

According to the Arabic language news site Al-Arabiya, the stoning took place in the eastern part of the Hama province. A gruesome video of the execution was published by the media sources of the Islamic State (see below).

The video shows the victim’s father standing next an Islamic State member while facing his daughter. Using a pleasant, gentle tone, the militant explains to the woman that she is being punished for the crime of adultery.

The Islamic State member then asks the father if he’s willing to forgive his daughter. The father refuses adamantly. Turning to his daughter he adds, “I’m not your father.”

The militant again tries to convince the father to forgive his daughter before she is stoned to death, but he refuses. The daughter pleads with her father to forgive her, only to be told by him, “Don’t call me father.” In the end, the father only agrees to say, “Allah will forgive.”

The video then shows the central militant from the Islamic State turning to the woman and saying, “My sister, I want to tell you a few words. You are about to receive a punishment that Allah commanded.”

He then turns to the Muslim men, telling them that they should not leave their wives for more time that is allowed according to (Islamic) sharia law.

The woman is then covered in a blanket, with her face left exposed. Her father ties her arms at her waist and then led her to a pit. He proceeds to tie her legs together after which the Islamic State militants, together with the father, start pummeling her head with large stones.

At this point the image is blurred by the Islamic State’s video editor, however the act of the stoning can still be seen.

Towards the end of the video, music -- added by the Islamic State’s editors – accompanies the scene of the father hurling, at point blank range, one stone after another at his daughter’s head.

Warning, very graphic, disturbing images


To learn more about the Islamic State and its brutal system of sharia-based governance see Clarion Project's Factsheet: The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Celebrating Freedom, Experiencing Terror

"My concern for the women of Afghanistan or Pakistan, it's really concern for these women who need champions to speak on their behalf. Malala [Yousafzai] has been a great champion."
Conservative Senator Salma Ataullahjan

"[Malala Yousafzai issued a cri de coeur against those within the Muslim world hostile to the education of girls speaking of] a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism."
"Let us pick up our books and pens, they are our most powerful weapons."
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world."
Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Laureate

This was the day that the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was set to go to Toronto to appear at the "Strong Girls, Strong World" event taking place there. Malala Yousafzai would be the honoured guest. Wednesday was the day that he would honour this Pakistani young woman's courage and her campaign on behalf of girls in the Muslim world and beyond deserving of an education. The plan was to award her with the rare presentation of honourary Canadian citizenship.

This is an honour that has been bestowed seldom. To the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg whose determination and defiance in the face of fearsomely deadly Nazi domination saved thousands of Jews from the death chambers, a post-mortem honour. To the Dalai Lama a recognition of his place in the world as an international messenger of peace and a prick to the conscience of those who decry China's totalitarian oppression of minorities.

For Malala Yousafzai the recognition would be in honour of her having the stolid determination to dangerously defy the decree of the Taliban-led hill tribe leaders of Pakistan, denying education to girls. She was awarded the punitive distinction of being shot in the head in October 2012 in recognition by the Taliban of the influence that a young girl could wield in her defiance of their deadly orders to obey and remain modestly silent in the face of misogynistic oppression.

Her ongoing promotion for the schooling of girls has brought her the recognition that infuriates fundamentalist Islamists. Her survival after her ordeal with restorative surgery bringing her back to robust health after months of recovery helped her to become an international symbol of the heroism of girls in the face of threats to keep them dependent on the whims of men in an an achronistic paternalistic society based on the subservience of women.

But the day dawned inclement to the purpose at hand. Violent Islamist attackers of the very mould of those who had shot Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan imposed their vision of jihadist fascism in the capital of Canada, killing a member of the Armed Forces on guard before the National War Memorial and going on to attack the very seat of government in the Canadian Parliament, effectively shutting down Parliament and the centre of the capital for the day, while security forces attempted to restore order and security.

Canadians who felt they had good reason to believe that the violence and terroristic fear that plagued countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria would never drop by their doorsteps have discovered that Islamist fanaticism has tentacles everywhere, even in liberal democracies that pride themselves on their pluralistic outlook of equality and liberty. Attacks that take place in faroff Pakistan can also plague peaceful Canada.

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Greater Vigilance Called For

"We did not have any indication, none whatsoever, of his [Martin Couture Rouleau] intention to commit a crime in Canada. If we did, we would have arrested him."
RCMP Superintendent Martine Fontaine

"He wasn't speaking in the language of jihad until around April or May. From his on-line profile, he seemed like a typical and fairly boring, convert who was going through internal debates with Christian belief, with atheism, with secularism, and so on."
Amarnath Amarasingam, post-doctoral fellow, Dalhousie University Resilience Research Centre

"[Martin "Ahmed" Rouleau declared a] martyr [by ISIL. Urging others to] follow the footsteps of our brave brother Martin Rouleau who took revenge for Canadian military aggression in our lands."
Abu Khalid Al Kanadi, ISIL Canadian
Martin Couture-Rouleau
A photo of Martin Rouleau holding the Qur'an. He had changed his name on Facebook to Ahmad the Converted. (Facebook)

The RCMP has revealed they had met with the 25-year-old Quebec resident who had self-radicalized as a Muslim convert in an last attempt to convince him that he was making a grave error in committing himself to Islamist jihad. He had come to the attention of Canadian security agencies because he made no secret of his fanatical views and the hatred he expressed for Jews, Christianity, the Government of Canada, the Armed Services and unjust intervention by Canada in joining the U.S. and its allies to deter the Islamic State in its atrocities.

His Facebook postings more than alerted the RCMP; the sentiments expressed in those postings were downright alarming. They certainly alarmed his family who contacted authorities. He was identified as a "high-risk traveller", arrested and questioned in July at the airport as he planned to leave for Turkey. From there, cross over into Syria where he could join the Islamic State terrorists, become as one with them. Since he was stopped at the gate, as it were, he suggested that he might consider after all, the pleas of the RCMP handlers attempting to turn him away from terror.

And since he wasn't able to join his spiritual soulmates in Syria or Iraq, he undertook to do the next-best thing, just as the provocateurs, propagandists and recruiters recommended over Islamist social media sites: attack wherever you happen to be, zero in on Americans, Australians, Frenchmen, Brits, Canadians. Do whatever you can to convey your contempt for them, from spitting in their face, to attacking them with whatever tools at your disposal. A knife could be just such a tool, lacking firearms, and so could a vehicle.

And so, meeting with the man repeatedly, along with his family and the imam at the mosque he attended, the RCMP attempted to speak reason to the unreasoned psychopath, to direct him away from his obsession with Islamist 'extremism'. "We wanted to avoid his turning to violence", explained Superintendent Fontaine. In the end, they were unable to. Nor were they able to detain him indefinitely on suspicion that he was potentially dangerous under current Canadian law.

According to the RCMP, Martin Rouleau took his car to a strip mall in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec at nine in the morning on Monday past. There he sat patiently with an obvious plan in mind, waiting in his vehicle, for over two hours until members of the Canadian Forces showed up at the mall, from their nearby base, walking in a group of three, one in uniform. He started up his car, and drove directly toward the three, fatally injuring Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53.

Directly following the attack witnesses dialled 911 and so did Martin Rouleau, who then sped from the scene. A patrol officer followed his car, a high-speed chase ensuing that resulted in the killer flipping his vehicle into a ditch. He emerged through a window, wielding a knife and threateningly approached police, who shot him dead. The event is being treated by authorities in the manner it clearly deserves; as a terrorist act.

CSIS explained that the hit-and-run could be viewed as a criminal act, but "there are national security implications. There is reason to believe the event was the violent expression of an extremist ideology promoted by terrorist groups with global followings."  Little did they realize when they said that, that two days later in Ottawa, yet another terrorist attack would leave another member of the Canadian Armed Forces dead, and Parliament invaded by a rifle-toting Islamist, locking down the Parliamentary Precinct and central Ottawa.

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Righteous Denial

"Under the pre-1967 borders, Israel already controls 78 percent of historic Palestine. So, its forcible appropriation of large swaths of the remaining 22 percent is rightly denounced by international jurists, human rights organizations and UN members for what it is: a massive illegal land grab that makes Palestinians' daily lives miserable and prevents the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, as proposed in the 1947 UN Partition Plan."
Thomas Woodley, president, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

"The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza."
"What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders"."
Louis Rene Beres, professor of International Law, Department of Political Science, Purdue University

"CJPME [Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East] does frequently criticize the Israeli government. This is consistent with our mandate: to promote respect for international law and human rights in the Middle East. Israel is indeed a major perpetrator of human rights abuses for a number of reasons. Canadian MPs hear a lot from apologists for or deniers of Israel's violations. CJPME cannot be faulted for wanting to ensure that the MPs hear an alternative perspective."
Thomas Woodley, president, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

"Since then, [evacuation of Israeli Jews from Gaza] Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that and for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]

It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that both Hamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]
Louis Rene Beres, professor of International Law, Department of Political Science, Purdue University

An Israeli policeman stands on guard nea
An Israeli policeman stands on guard near the scene after a car rammed a group of pedestrians at the Ammunition Hill tram stop, which lies on the seamline between west and occupied east Jerusalem. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Mr. Woodley, attempting to explain his perspective and the exemplary manner in which he claims his organization represents the Israeli-Palestinian situation within Canada ostensibly to 'inform' Canadians at large and Canadian Members of Parliament in particular of the truths underlying the implacable Israeli refusal of peace and justice toward the Palestinians, somehow manages to miss the fact that the Palestinians deliberately, covertly, cleverly, time and again find some reason, without the cogency of reason, to deep-six all peace negotiations with Israel.

The man has taken public umbrage with a newspaper piece written by Terry Glavin, a commentator whose perspective is quite obviously nowhere near approximating Mr. Woodley's. Mr. Glavin forthrightly describes Mr. Woodley as anti-Israel, which Mr. Woodley sanctimoniously denies, despite all indications to the contrary. "With a civilian death toll of six in Israel, and 1,486 in Gaza, Israel's claim to victim status was revealed as bogus", he wrote. Nowhere in that brief, self-serving narrative is an acknowledgement that most of the so-called Gaza civilian deaths can be accounted for Hamas fighters meeting their deserved end.

Nor that Israel has suffered intolerably frequent assaults by Hamas, by Islamic Jihad, by Fatah and other death-delivering Palestinians eager to bring insecurity and to demolish the Jewish state which finally led it to asserting its right to be present in the Middle East as a Jewish state dedicated to the protective haven-offering for worldwide Jewry. And that the Gaza War ensued as a result of constant violent provocations by Palestinians against Israel. Nor does he give any inkling that Britain historically gave most of the original Palestine in a generous gesture to the Jordanians, and this is precisely where the Palestinian State should be located.

Over the years, mainly during the second intifada, Palestinian organizations killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and wounded thousands in attacks that deliberately targeted civilians in Israel and in the occupied territories. B’Tselem strongly objects to attempts to justify these attacks through distorted interpretations of international law. Civilians must be shielded from all hostilities. Attacks against civilians undermine every moral, legal and human standard. The intentional targeting of civilians, under any circumstances whatsoever, is defined as a war crime.

In the words of Professor Beres, offering an unadorned, unaltered perspective on the rights and justice in this matter: "One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law."

That represents historical reality, not the mealy-mouthed offerings of CJPME of which its president writes: "CJPME strives simply to prepare Canadian policy-makers and society to play a constructive role in this process, so that Israelis, Palestinians and others in the Middle East might enjoy the human rights, peace and security that they so deserve". While in reality it is only within Israel that all its citizens, Jews and Arabs, Christians and Druze and any other minorities who are fortunate enough to have Israeli citizenship enjoy human rights and peace. It is only security, thanks to the constant assaults by their neighbours, that Israelis lack.

Another undeniable reality that Mr. Woodley prefers to overlook is that all the pleasures and rights and freedoms available to Israelis within a free and democratic society are missing in neighbouring Arab/Muslim states. Many of whose severe dysfunction through oppressive tyrannies antagonize their own citizens who cannot rely on absent democracy to assert their rights. Not to mention those wonderfully administered countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon where human rights dare not raise their tentatively hopeful notional heads. And where bloody conflict rages threatening to consume the entire geography

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Art Versus Sham as Political Perspective

"Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination.
And it got worse. The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us.
One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause."
Alan Dershowitz, Lawyer, journalist, opera buff
Demonstrators protest against 'The Death of Klinghoffer'
Demonstrators protest outside Lincoln Center in New York on October 20, 2014 against The Metropolitan Opera's planned performances of 'The Death of Klinghoffer.' Photo by AFP
"[We believe the arts] can play a critical role in examining and understanding significant world events. The Death of Klinghoffer does no such thing. It presents false moral equivalencies without context, and offers no real insight into the historical reality and the senseless murder of an American Jew."
Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer

There's the opinion of Leon Klinghoffer's daughters whose view of their father's murder does not take kindly to the portrayal of the atrocity and the sympathies it attempts to unleash from the audience in the controversial opera written by American composer John Adams, premiered at the Metropolitan Opera this week. Their opinion is widely shared, and on the other hand, just as widely damned as a critique on the freedom of expression and the arts.

Their father, Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old New Yorker, disabled and confined to a wheelchair was aboard the Achille Lauro Italian cruise ship with their mother when it was hijacked by four Palestine Liberation Organization terrorists in 1985. The terrorists held no Jews in high regard, particularly not one who returned their contempt, doubly. The elderly handicapped man was shot, and wheeled with his wheelchair off the ship into the embracing ocean which buried him.

In the opera, there is sympathy that through the perspective of many people is misplaced in the opinion of its detractors, in equating the 'suffering' of the Palestinians to the suffering of Holocaust-victimized Jewry. As though to equate the Palestinian Arabs' longing for land to be returned to them which they claimed alien-to-the-land Jews had taken from them, was equal to the death-agonies of anguished millions of Jews whose lives were forfeit to the dream of Nazi command of the world where only Aryan perfection would exist.

Rabbi Avi Weiss gathered Jewish youth around him from a number of faith-based schools to join New York celebrities like former mayor Rudy Giuliani and other local politicians at a rally planned to protest the Met's featuring of The Death of Klinghoffer. "The language [in the opera] is explosive. It's radioactive. It's dangerous. It inspires violence", explained the rabbi. Others who have joined the protest are former New York governor George Pataki and U.S. Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Peter King.

There are those opera lovers who have concluded otherwise. And that includes opera expert
Fred Plotkin who stated his opinion: "Does this opera present the killers in a favourable light? No. Are the Klinghoffers far and away the most sympathetic characters in the opera, the ones we care about most? I believe so." A review in the Israeli online newspaper Haaretz, by Brian Schaefer, concurs with Mr. Plotkin expressing the following:
"As much as the protesters would have you think that “The Death of Klinghoffer” is all about the personal narratives of the Palestinian terrorists, it is Klinghoffer, his wife Marilyn, and the ship’s captain who are the opera’s most fully developed characters. (The captain largely narrates the unfolding events.) Klinghoffer is given several searing arias and is portrayed as a brave and righteous man. Marilyn, who at the time of the attack was battling terminal cancer and died four months later, is depicted with poise and dignity. In the murder of her husband, she carries the weight of the Jewish people. Adams recognizes and honors this by giving Marilyn the final, chilling word."
'The Death of Klinghoffer'
Alan Opie, playing Leon Klinghoffer, right, performs in a dress rehearsal of John Adam's opera 'The Death of Klinghoffer' at the ENO in London, February 23, 2012. Photo by Reuters

And here, I give the final, chilling word to Alan Dershowitz:
"At bottom The Death of Klinghoffer—a title deliberately selected to sanitize his brutal murder—is more propaganda than art. It has some artistic moments but the dominant theme is to create a false moral equivalence between terrorism and its victims, between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, and between the Holocaust and the self-inflicted Nakba. It is a mediocre opera, by a good composer and very bad librettist. But you wouldn't know that from the raucous standing ovations received not only by the performers and chorus master, who deserved them, but also by the composer, who did not. The applause was not for the art. Indeed, during the intermission and on the way out, the word I heard most often was "boring." The over-the-top standing ovations were for the "courage" displayed by all those involved in the production. But it takes little courage to be anti-Israel these days, or to outrage Jews. There were, to be sure, a few brief expressions of negative opinion during the opera, one of which was briefly disruptive, as an audience member repeatedly shouted "Klinghoffer's murder will never be forgiven." He was arrested and removed."

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The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
When U.S. President Barack Obama announces in the United Nations that he wants a two-state solution for Israel and "Palestine," and when U.S. Secretary of State repeated it recently -- and when Sweden and the UK vote for a Palestinian State, and now possibly Spain and France -- they should be more careful what they wish for.

Although there is no lawful justification for offering statehood, but Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, on September 26, 2014, told the United Nations that "the hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived." Earlier, in 2012, the PA had already received elevated status from the UN General Assembly to that of a "nonmember observer state," but this elevation fell short of full sovereignty.

There can also be no justification -- ethical, legal, or geopolitical -- for waging war against the ISIS jihadis in Syria and Iraq, while simultaneously urging statehood for the Hamas/PA jihadis in West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

The so-called "Two-State Solution" approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, strongly reaffirmed by the US, Sweden and the UK, is founded upon multiple errors. For one, it still accepts the false Arab narrative of an Israeli "occupation."

Recurrent and virulent Arab terrorism against the Jews -- who have lived in the area for nearly three thousand years -- began many years before Israel's de jure statehood. The Hebron riots and massacre of 1929 are perhaps the best known example; and Arab terrorism continued throughout the British Mandate period, 1920-1948.

Organized Arab terrorism against the state Israel began the first hour of Israel's independence, in mid-May 1948.

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders."

Furthermore, the PLO was formally declared a "terrorist organization" in a number of major U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).

Then, almost ten years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the fratricidal Palestinian factions, in 2005 forcibly expelled more than 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, these ethnically cleansed areas, as a result of relentless and discriminatory Palestinian demands, were transformed by Hamas from productive agricultural and living areas to barren fields and, frequently, extended terrorist rocket-launching sites.

Since then, Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that and for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]

It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that both Hamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]

At its core, President Obama's, Sweden's and Britain's policy toward Israel and "Palestine" reveals dangerous and hard-to-correct bewitchments of language. However untrue, the ritualistic canard of an Israeli "occupation" has now been repeated so often, and so authoritatively, that it is generally taken prima facie as irrefutable "fact."

On June 30, 1922, however, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine -- anywhere they chose -- between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.

Today, Palestinian claims and policies are fashioned not so much as proper material for diplomatic negotiation (after all, the PA and Hamas are already pursuing accelerated Palestinian statehood outside the framework of previous bilateral legal arrangements with Israel), but rather as a lethal incantation, which still does not make its claim true.

One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law.

Also widely disregarded is that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were the principal aggressors in the openly genocidal Arab attacks that first began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish State's UN-backed declaration of independent statehood entered into force.

Already, back in 1918[4], Jerusalem's Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, stated plainly: "This was and will remain an Arab land.... the Zionists will be massacred to the last man.... Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country."

The U.S. Administration, Sweden and Britain also disregard that these same Arab states launched yet another aggression -- that of 1967, or the Six Day War. As a direct result, the so-called Israeli "occupation" followed. The Israelis pushed back their aggressors, then immediately tried to exchange the newly-acquired land for peace, recognition and negotiations -- only to be told, by the Khartoum Conference the same year, No, no and no.

No, no and NO. From left to right: 1) King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, President Nasser of Egypt, President Sallal of Yemen, Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait and President Arif of Iraq at the1967 Arab League Summit in Khartoum; 2) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; 3) Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed -- not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.

During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized -- those were the lands that were "occupied" -- by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel; and thereafter claimed, as a fait accompli, as the traditional (and no-longer legal in the post-UN Charter world) prerogative of an armed conflict.

These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of "Palestine" state. Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of "Palestine." From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states' non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, had given its full approval.
* * *
A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, during the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres was signed, in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine," based on the expectation that Britain would correctly prepare the area to become the "national home for the Jewish People": To wit:
"The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."



In 1922, however, Great Britain, unilaterally, and without lawful authority, split off 78% of the lands promised to the Jews -- all of "Palestine" east of the Jordan River -- and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern "Palestine" now took the name "Transjordan," which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed "Jordan".

From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a grave contravention of its core Mandatory obligations under international law.

In 1947, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. Ironically, despite this second allotment again giving complete advantage to Arab interests, the Arab states did not.

On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre."[5]
This unambiguously genocidal declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab, Muslim and Islamist actions against Israel, including those of the supposedly "moderate," U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority leadership of Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the actions and attitudes of Arabs and Muslims toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained genocidal.

Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel has a formal name: it is called crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity, which include "Extermination," was one of three original counts of indictment at the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, invoked pursuant to the London Charter of August 8, 1945.

In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states after the Six Day War, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the territories could possibly be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated "War of Extermination" in 1948-49, as well as the Arabs repeatedly using that territory to launch aggression against Israel. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967.

The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding with "Three Nos": "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were even any "Israeli occupied territories." From their own candid statements in the PLO Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Charter of 1988 -- it is this very same territory -- all of Israel -- that they are now planning to liberate.

President Obama's still-proposed "Two-State Solution" derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance -- legal, historical and conceptual -- of Israel and "Palestine."

Even if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish "settlement activity," no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.[6] There was none when Israel left southern Lebanon, none when Israel left Gaza and there is therefore reason to expect there will be none now.

Rather, what still seems in place, and backed by the President Obama, Sweden and the UK, is the PLO "Phased Plan" of June 9, 1974, which repeats the principle policies of the Palestinian National Council: to take what one can get, then to use that to take the rest "as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[7]

For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution -- and simultaneously create another jihadist, enemy terrorist state
Louis René Beres is a Professor of International Law in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.

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