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.

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Twenty Percent Solution

"The Russian people are just so tired of Putin and his team that they will ultimately change the system. But the real danger for the country is that there will be a bloody revolution."
Boris Nemtsov
The body of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, covered with plastic, lies on Moskvoretsky bridge near St. Basil's cathedral in central Moscow on February 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Dmitry Sereryakov) 

"Boris Nemtsov was a stark opposition leader who criticized the most important state officials in our country, including President Vladimir Putin."
"As we have seen, such criticism in Russia is dangerous for one's life."
Ila Yashin, Russian opposition activist, Moscow

"Maybe if a hundred people were to die people would rise up, but I don't really believe in that."
"People are so under the influence of the (TV) box that they will believe anything that television tells them. If it tells them that terrorists from the Islamic State group came to Russia in order to blow up the fifth column, they'll believe it."
Sergei Musakov, opposition activist, Moscow
Russian opposition supporters carry portraits of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov during a march in Moscow on March 1, 2015 after his murder on a bridge a stone's throw from the Kremlin walls (AFP Photo/Sergei Gapon)

"[Weighing whether the murder represents] a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country, where the figure of Nemtsov could have become a sort of sacrificial victim for those who stop at nothing to achieve their political goals."
Russian prosecutors

"[It looked like a] provocation [according to Putin]. With all respect to Boris Nemtsov, he did not pose any threat in the political sphere."
"If we compare his popularity ratings with the government's ...Nemtsov was quite an average citizen."
Presidential spokesman

"I know that for many people Boris's death will become so much of a Rubicon that the entire country may become different. Will we find ourselves standing even closer to the precipice of all-out war of everybody against everybody? Or will we find within ourselves the strength to understand that political differences are not a reason to stop acting like human beings?"
"For more than a year now, the television screens have been flooded with pure hate for us [the opposition to Vladimir Putin]. And now everyone from the blogger at his apartment desk to President Putin himself is searching for enemies, accusing one another of provocation. What is wrong with us?"
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former imprisoned gas oligarch, exiled in Switzerland

What is wrong with Russia is the totalitarian power structure that Vladimir Putin has set up to ensure that the opposition to his reign is not supported by any Russian majority. His control of the news media ensures that his propaganda is the only news that reaches the ears and eyes of most Russians wedded to their television sets imbibing Mr. Putin's views and boasts and nationalistic pomp and ceremony so appealing to the Russian belief in themselves as entitled and superior.

Superior to their neighbours and entitled to the empowerment by whatever means deemed necessary to portray Russia as the commanding presence whose disfavour of any other nation's aspirations is to be avoided at all costs. The Kremlin had identified Mr. Nemtsov as a leader of a "fifth column"; he was portrayed along with others criticizing the Putin autocracy as traitors doing service to the West hostile to and jealous of Russia's prominence on the world stage.

Others representing an intolerable fifth column were summarily disposed of, from Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and Kremlin critic who was shot to death at age 48 outside her Moscow apartment in 2006; Alexander Litvinenko, the 44-year-old former KGB officer who suffered excruciatingly with radioactive polonium-210 poisoning for accusing Vladimir Putin of corruption, and Boris Berezovsky, found dead with a ligature around his neck in his London mansion in 2013.

Boris Nemtsov's mother, fretting for the safety of her outspoken son knew of what she spoke when she informed him that he was inviting death by criticizing President Putin. He refused to back down from his campaign to unseat a president who denied his opposition party status in a general election, and who had him imprisoned on trumped-up charges time and again.

But despite the country's economic crisis through sanctions evolving from the Ukraine crisis engineered by Mr. Putin, his strongman image so beloved by Russians who celebrate the return of Crimea to Russia from he undeserving Ukrainians, has garnered him an unstoppable 80% approval rating.

And now that Mr. Nemtsov has joined the ranks of those who have paid the ultimate price for irritating Vladimir Putin by charges of corruption and skullduggery, who will there be, courageous enough to do likewise and place his life on the line?

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Enabling Iran

"I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them. For two thousand years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. Today, we are no longer silent. Today, we have a voice."
"And tomorrow, as prime minister of the one and only Jewish state, I plan to use that [voice] state."
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appearing before an estimated 16,000 supporters of Israel, characterized the disagreement over Iran as a family fight. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
"Netanyahu made all sorts of claims — this was going to be a terrible deal, this was going to result in Iran getting $50 billion worth of relief, Iran would not abide by the agreement. None of that has come true."
"If they do agree to it, [not building a nuclear weapon in less than a year in a ten-year agreement] it would be far more effective in controlling their nuclear program than any military action we could take, any military action Israel could take, and far more effective than sanctions will be."
U.S. President Barack Obama
President Obama said in an interview on Monday that the dispute was a distraction and not “permanently destructive.” Credit Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors reported their concern "about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed ... development of a nuclear payload for a missile", last Thursday. This speaks to the level of frustration of the IAEA at the continual stonewalling practised by the Islamic Republic of Iran when it comes to permitting the international inspection body access to nuclear sites that Iran claims are intended for peaceful civilian purposes exclusively.

And because of that insistence and the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama is desperately seeking a legacy issue with which to leave office, Iran is on the cusp of being granted the "right to enrich" status that it requires to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges, and to continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Unspoken is an agreement that Iran will use its military auspices to help battle ISIS; which they would do without this American initiative geared to ensuring that no American troops need be 'on the ground' in a fighting capacity in Iraq and Syria.

The "sunset clause" that President Obama had granted by accepting the Iranian insistence that any restrictions on its program be time-limited, means that after a decade of observing the mild obstacles placed in the way of its immediate production of nuclear weapons, the Iranian Republican Guard which oversees Iran's nuclear program will have the clearance to ramp up their production of enriched uranium with no holds barred.

The country's nuclear development has thus been legitimized, enabling Iran to re-enter the international nuclear community as described by Mr. Obama, representing "a very successful regional power", a regional power that has Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states, let alone Israel, quaking and quivering in fearful anticipation of its end-game to control the Middle East through violent state-on-state aggression. Saudi Arabia knows that Israel is to be the first target, and it will follow.

Iran can now look forward to lifted sanctions, and all restrictions absent, its trade potential restored and oil money flowing in as it flourishes in all forward indices as foreign investment lifts its restored economy. And Iran can advance its momentum on its intercontinental ballistic missile program. Why would Iran need IBMs? To carry nuclear warheads. Riyadh or Tel Aviv don't need IBMs, but to reach other continents they would be useful.

An Iranian short range "Tondar" missile is launched during a war game at an undisclosed location in Iran in this undated photo released July 6, 2011. (Reuters)

And now that the future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is in doubt, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other states may decide that their future too should include nuclear weapons. Why should Pakistan be the only other Muslim state with a nuclear arsenal, after all, besides Iran. No one should imagine that Shi'ite Iran is not as deeply invested in Islamist jihad as the Sunni Islamic State. And while the Islamic State is terrorism personified, Iran is terrorism's greatest benefactor.

It has developed, armed and mentored Hezbollah and Hamas, both terrorist groups that Egypt has also, along with international terror lists, has named terrorist entities along with the Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Iran has incited jihadist violence from Argentina to Bulgaria, and it is helping Syria's Alawite Shi'ite regime to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Syrian Muslims, inspiring Shia militias to commit atrocities equal to those of ISIS against Iraqi Sunnis.

Why wouldn't an Israeli President address the United States Congress when invited to do so by Republican leader John Boehner, who feels the American people need to hear what the foremost intelligence on Iran -- the Middle East country against whom repeated existential threats of annihilation have emanated from Iran -- has to say of the danger that country poses to the world at large, and more immediately on the horizon to the existence of the State of Israel?

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Led By Islam

"These books promote infidelity and call for obeying Allah. So they will be burned."
ISIS jihadi
Once one of the great cities of the Assyrian Empire, 2,500 years ago, Nimrud lies within Isis-held territory east of the Tigris river, 30 miles south of Mosul.
"There were so many statues at the site when I visited in the 1960s that we had to jump over them. They probably represent officials or priests, and they stood in temples in the ancient city."
 "I remember two whole rooms devoted to Hatra in the Iraq Museum."
"Those artifacts [looted by locals] get passed down to grandchildren. Eventually no one in the family wants them, they're sold, and museums can recover them."
"These things [treasures being destroyed by ISIS] are part of the history of humanity. If you destroy them, you're destroying the history of everyone."
Lamia al-Gailani Werr, Iraqi archaeologist, London
Picture shows ISIS militants destroying statues inside the Nineveh museum, northern Iraq
A video posted on the Internet on February 26 shows Islamic State militants destroying statues in Mosul Museum in Iraq. Dating from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 100, the figures were from nearby Hatra, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Video still Balkis Press, SIPA, Associated Press

In Mosul, a city of a million people, mostly Sunni Iraqis, Iraq's second-largest city now held by ISIS, ethnic and religious minorities have fled the carnage that ISIS brought. And ISIS followers have destroyed 8,000 books found in libraries there. Books were piled in the streets and burned. Islamic State militants used electric drills to destroy a major archaeological site at the Nergal Gate at Nineveh, the sculpture of a mythical beast.

ISIS "considers culture, civilization and science as their fierce enemies", remarked Hakim al-Zamili, head of the Iraq parliament's security committee. And that much is most certainly true; culture, civilization and science are fiercely anti-Islamist. Their existence is a provocation to the brutally Medieval minds that guide the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the logic and civility dismissive of the ISIS drive to destroy everything that culture and civilization and science exemplify.

Civilized and cultured people who are quick to come to the defence of Islam when Muslims speak of criticism of Islam as Islamophobia, insist that the Islamic State jihadists are not Muslims. That the religion they practise is not truly Islam, in their sensitive eagerness to mollify the hurt feelings of Muslims who are not religious fanatics, dangerous to other Muslims and the world at large. But the truth lies elsewhere; ISIS practices Islam as it was written, and Muslims believe that what was written is the word of their god.

Islam's demand is that its sacred texts be considered the literal truth, and obeyed as such. It represents itself as the only true faith, and any divergence from its principles are forbidden. Shariah law is, in and of itself based on a totalitarian ideology. It unifies state and religion and controls the lives of the faithful down to every last vestige of their existence; lives dedicated wholly to Islam and the total surrender to Islam's unquestionable directives.

Not only must other religions bow to Islam, but all symbols of those religions from the far distant past whose remnants are archaeological world treasures, to the religions worshipped around the world to the present day, must be destroyed, for their existence is displeasing to Islam. And so, the world heritage of ancient treasures that speak to the existence of culture, society, heritage and religion is slated for destruction by the world's most hate-ridden force.

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Netanyahu tries to head off Iran’s machinations after Obama empowers Tehran as favored Mid East ally

Netanyahu tries to head off Iran’s machinations after Obama empowers Tehran as favored Mid East ally

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 1, 2015, 10:37 PM (IDT)
Almost the last words Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heard Sunday, March 1, as he took off for Washington to address Congress on Iran, was in effect “Don’t do it!” They came from a group of 180 senior ex-IDF military officers. After the personal abuse is weeded out of their message, what remains is that Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of the US Congress Tuesday, March 3, was not worth making because it would damage relations with the US.

Maj. Gen. Amiram Levin, former Northern Command chief and ex-Deputy Director of the Mossad, put it this way: “Bibi, you are making an error in navigation; the target is Tehran not Washington.” He went on to say: “[Instead] of working hand in hand with the president,,, you go there and poke a finger in his eye.”

debkafile’s analysts maintain that the navigation error is the general’s. Before shooting his slings and arrows at the Israeli prime minister’s office, he should long ago have taken note of President Barack Obama’s Middle East record in relation to Israel’s during his six years in the White House.
It took time to catch on to Obama’s two-faced policy towards Israel because it was handled with subtlety.

On the one hand, he made sure Israel was well supplied with all its material security needs. This enabled him to boast that no US president or administration before him had done as much to safeguard Israel’s security.

But behind this façade, Obama made sure that Israel’s security stayed firmly in the technical-material-financial realm and never crossed the line into a strategic relationship.
That was because he needed to keep his hands free for the objective of transferring the role of foremost US ally in the Middle East from Israel to Iran, a process that took into account the ayatollahs’ nuclear aspirations.

This process unfolding over recent years has left Israel face to face with a nakedly hostile Iran empowered by the United States.

Tehran is not letting its oft-repeated threat to wipe Israel off the map hang fire until its nuclear aspirations are assured of consummation under the negotiations continuing later this week in the Swiss town of Montreux between US Secretary John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minsiter Mohammed Javad Zarif. In the meantime, without President Obama lifting a finger in defense of “Israel’s security,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps officers are drawing Israel into a military stranglehold on the ground.

Netanyahu’s political rivals, while slamming him day by day, turn their gaze away from the encroaching Iranian forces taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel.

It must be obvious that to bolster its rising status as the leading regional power, Iran must be reach the nuclear threshold - at the very least – if not nuclear armaments proper, or else how will Tehran be able to expand its territorial holdings and defend its lebensraum. 

This is not something that Barack Obama or his National Security Adviser Susan Rice are prepared to admit. They are not about to confirm intelligence reports, which expose the military collaboration between the Obama administration and Iran’s supreme leader Aytatollah Ali Khamenei as being piped through the office of Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Washington denies that there is any such collaboration - or any suggestion that the White House had reviewed recommendations and assessments of an option for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Al Qods Brigades to take over the ground war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as American contractors.

Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani is frequently spotted these days flitting between Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, while his intelligence and liaison officers file reports to the Obama administration, through the Iraqi prime minister’s office, on their forthcoming military steps and wait for Washington’s approval.

America understandably lacks the will to have its ground forces embroiled in another Middle East war. Washington is therefore not about to turn away a regional power offering to undertake this task – even though it may be unleasing a bloody conflagration between Shiite and Sunni Muslims that would be hard to extinguish.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the rest of the Gulf are as dismayed as Israel by Obama’s regional strategy, which, stripped of its diplomatic veneer, boils down to a straight trade: The US will allow Iran to reach the status of a pre-nuclear power and regional hegemon, while Tehran, in return, will send its officers and ground troops to fight in Iraq, Syria and even Afghanistan.

The 180 ex-IDF officers and Israel’s opposition leaders, Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, were right when they argued that Israel’s bond with the US presidency is too valuable to jeopardize. But it is the Obama White House which is trifling with that bond – not Netanyahu, whose mission in Washington is no more than a tardy attempt to check Iran’s malignant machinations which go forward without restraint.

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Iraq and the U.S. Now and Then

"The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran.
Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu set off for the United States to deliver the speech, which has imperilled ties between the two allies.
Israel fears that U.S. President Barack Obama's Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework accord, will allow its arch foe to develop atomic weapons -- something Tehran denies seeking.
By accepting an invitation from the Republican party to address Congress on Tuesday, the Israeli leader infuriated the Obama administration, which said it was not told of the speech before plans were made public in an apparent breach of protocol.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington's determination to pursue negotiations with Iran, saying on Sunday the United States deserved 'the benefit of the doubt' to see if a nuclear deal could be reached."
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington October 1, 2014.      REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington October 1, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The United States can afford to weigh the results of their overtures to the Islamic Republic of Iran at leisure, to determine whether their gambit really did deserve "the benefit of the doubt". If the 'nuclear deal' that Iran has continued to regard as its entitlement does conclude as many fear, including the Prime Minister of Israel, the Obama administration can afford to say 'whoops, we erred in judgement', while Israel scrambles to defend itself from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Iran has caused no end of problems for the United States, from its direct attacks on Americans and American symbols, to its training, arming and incitements to violence of non-state knock-offs of its Republican Guard, much like its Lebanese trophy terrorist Hezbollah militias that have done Iran's bidding on the international front, attacking and killing Jews and Israelis in the Republic's existential war against the State of Israel.

"The effect on intelligence collection, not surprisingly, was devastated. I did my own investigation to see just how bad it was. In 1986 the Directorate of Intelligence [in the CIA] had computerized all intelligence reports, putting them on a single server that I wanted to get access to. I started by searching for all reporting on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Pasdaran, from human sources -- that is, agents, people on the ground. In the late 1980s, reporting on the Iranian Pasdaran started to taper off. By 1995 there was nothing -- not a single report. It wasn't like the U.S. had lost interest in the Pasdaran, or should have. The Pasdaran blew up the Al-Khobar barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996. It was more like we had voluntarily deafened ourselves and gouged our eyes out in the midst of an ongoing crisis."
Robert Baer, See No Evil

When Barack Obama ascended to the presidency of the United States of America, he held out a hand in friendship to the Muslim world. He extended an especial appeal for reconciliation to Tehran, and for his troubles received a metaphorical fist-blow to the head in response. It appears to have addled his brain. But he is not unique in understating and failing to comprehend the threat that Iran poses with its single-minded focus on nuclear weaponry.

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Conferring Courage

The American Central Command official who claimed in Baghdad that an assault is near imminent to retake the Sunni-majority city of Mosul, now occupied by the Islamic State, evidently took it upon himself to interpret long-range plans of the Iraqi government to restore its honour and its geography. When it does decide the time is right, it will have its hands full in battling the Islamic State for whom continued possession of Mosul is an imperative, with its one million souls and strategic location within its caliphate.

The attack was described as one that would take place in the spring involving 20,000 to 25,000 soldiers representing eight Iraqi army brigades, three peshmerga Kurdish brigades, and a police force trained in irregular warfare. Since there is an estimated one thousand to 2,000 ISIS fighters within Mosul maintaining control there, the odds seem about right. With the exception of the peshmerga, ten-to-one odds may give an advantage to the Iraqi military which hasn't distinguished itself on the battlefield, other than for the speed with which it is known to decamp in terror.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on the outskirts of Mosul
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on the outskirts of Mosul. Photograph: Reuters
Mosul has been cleansed of its population of Christians and Yazidis and other minority ethnic and religious groups. They've either been slaughtered, along with the Iraqi troops that didn't move fast enough, or escaped that fate, like the bulk of the Iraqi troops that so courteously left all the U.S.-supplied weaponry and military vehicles to the incoming Islamic State militias to better equip them for their long-range territorial aspirations.

The Iraqi Sunnis who remain in Mosul, are content enough with the presence of Islamic State. Better a Sunni taskmaster than the corrupted discriminatory policies and insulting neglect of the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government, even if, since ISIS's takeover of Mosul civic services have been reduced, residents face higher food prices, blackouts and water supply cuts. These inconveniences more than balanced out in the opinion of Mosul's Sunnis than living under the hated oppression of the Shias.

Supporters "blame the government rather than ISIS" advised Hassan Hassan, an authority at the Delma Institute, based in Abu Dhabi, doing research on ISIS. "I think ISIS is very comfortable in its heartland", he added. And, according to Mr. Hassan, given the generous plethora of vehicles abandoned by the Iraqi army in June, ISIS can at any time move in large numbers of troops to augment those established within the city, so the number of one to two thousand is not a firm estimate of the numbers an Iraqi assault on Mosul would confront.

ISIS has been preparing itself for the defence of Mosul, training in guerrilla warfare, striking out from civilian areas. And, as they did in Syria's Kobani, planting large numbers of improvised explosive devices to greet any possible invasion. While ISIS gloats in the large caches of American-supplied arms it took possession of, the U.S. has once again provided Iraq with additional arms. In the past week ten thousand M-16 rifles and additional military equipment has been given to the Iraqi troops.

Up until the present time the main force leading the fight against ISIS has not been the Iraqi military, many of whose troops are being trained once again by Americans, according to a U.S. Central Command official. Instead it has been the Kurdish peshmerga and Shia militias who have been fighting ISIS in the area. Should they take part in a proposed assault on Mosul, the city's inhabitants will not view them as liberators but as despised murderers. Shia militias are accused of sectarian murders across Iraq.

"Anyone but the Shia militias", a Mosul businessman who had fled to Kurdistan last June said. "Even the Americans would be better". As for the Kurds, they are less interested in committing to assist in the retaking of Mosul than with getting on with pursuing their own nationalist aspirations, creating in the process a buffer area against ISIS. "The peshmerga don't want to go to Mosul because they will be seen as invaders", said the peshmerga spokesman, Hekmat Ali.

But, Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdish region's National Security council stated that "the Kurds will definitely have to play a role." Dutch and Italian military advisers have been teaching urban fighting techniques to members of a peshmerga platoon at an infantry training camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. "If Massoud Barzani [president of the Kurdish region and head of the peshmerga] says so, we will do it", said the platoon leader of helping with an attack on Mosul.

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Where The Example Lies

"Perhaps they did slip up in this case, but one won't know until there's been an inquiry or a report of some kind."
"[British intelligence faces a challenge of identifying threats from] hundreds,probably thousands [of suspects]."
David Anderson, charged with reviewing Britain's terrorism legislation

"When we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the example lies. When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know where the solution is and where the victory lies."
"We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West."
Asim Qureshi, research director, CAGE, Muslim human rights/terrorism advocacy group

"The tactic of approaching suspects provides an] opportunity for the individual to draw back from the terrorist group."
"The idea that somehow being spoken to by a member of MI5 is a radicalizing act -- I think this is very false."
"There are probably several thousand of these individuals [radicalized Muslim Britons] of concern, and the numbers are rising as more people go to Syria and Iraq and are radicalized out there."
John Sawers, former head, MI6 intelligence service, Britain

The photo of an unmasked Mohammed Emwazi is from university records, showing the man who became known as Jihadi John. Emwazi studied computers and business management from 2006-09.
The photo of an unmasked Mohammed Emwazi is from university records, showing the man who became known as Jihadi John. Emwazi studied computers and business management from 2006-09. (University of Westminster/ISIS)

If you're a British Muslim, then you believe that CAGE is a humanitarian group to whom as someone who feels persecuted by British authorities, you can turn for advice and sympathy and instructions on how to proceed to protect your identity from being recognized/categorized as a member of a jihadist Islamist terrorist group whose only purpose is to protect Muslims from Western Islamophobia. If you are not Muslim, then eyeing the agenda of CAGE you conclude it is an advocate for terrorism.

The issue is whether or not embarking on a mission of violent intimidation, creating millions of frantic refugees -- usually other Muslims but of the 'wrong' sect -- and raping and enslaving and slaughtering minority groups in honour of Koranic instructions on how best to spread Islam's totalitarian ideology is a terrorist occupation, or an honourable jihad with which recruits are entrusted. In view of the fact that Islamist recruits to jihad are obeying an Islamic code, they are mujahideen, not terrorists.

And those who attempt to intervene, to intercede and to interrupt the process of prosetylization and the expansion of the caliphate with its sharia law and its triumphant conquest of land consecrated to Islam, adding to it geographies that are destined to succumb to Islam, are engaged in action inimical to what god has decreed, therefore deserving death. Muslims living in the lands of the oppressors have an obligating duty to defy its man-made laws in honour of the divine laws of Islam.

That Asim Qureshi spoke of Mohammed Emwazi -- a 29-year-old British citizen of Kuwaiti descent -- identified as the murderer "Jihadi John" who was offended by British intelligence enquiries respecting his affiliations with what Britain construes as terrorist groups -- as a "beautiful young man", who had turned to jihad as a result of prodding by authorities, places the responsibility for terrorism on the interfering West. All CAGE is interested in is defending the rights of Muslim victims of injustice, torture and illegal detention.

And occasionally speaking favourably of the al-Qaeda cleric, an American citizen whose words of inspiration have been responsible for the recruitment of Muslim men to jihad all over the world. Anwar al-Awlaki might have been killed in an American drone attack in 2011 but his sermons keep enticing young Muslims to jihad, and have succeeded in inspiring deadly attacks in the West like army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan who shot to death 13 service people and injured 32 at Fort Hood in 2009.

The identification of "Jihadi John" as Mohammed Emwazi, was an embarrassment to Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in that he had been on Britain's intelligence services radar for years, yet was able to leave the country, despite the mild interrogation he was exposed to and which had so infuriated him, to end up in Syria as a remorseless killer of Westerners, exposing his hooded face and his British-accented voice to international viewers in a series of ISIS videos.

Perhaps British intelligence should turn its focus a little more aggressively to the dedicated humanitarian work of Asim Qureshi and the good folk who work at CAGE for a better view on what motivates and inspires British Muslims to devote themselves selflessly to Islamist annihilation of those critical of Islamic State, interfering with their journey to conquer the infidels and purify Muslim lands from the corrupting influence of the West.

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Gatestone Institute

The essential problem with the would-be deal is that it will leave Iran with an enhanced ability to enrich uranium -- an ability that can lead Iran to nuclear weapons production in a relatively short time.
The purpose of an agreement is to push Iran away from the ability to make nuclear weapons.
According to reports surfacing from the talks, the proposed arrangement will likely leave a good portion of Iran's known centrifuges, which enrich uranium, intact.
Such a deal fails to provide any guarantee that this same infrastructure will not later be used to get Iran quickly to the nuclear weapons production stage.
An agreement that would be acceptable to Israel is one in which Jerusalem would have sufficient time to respond in case Iran violates its agreement.
Under the terms of what seems to be the current agreement, however, the amount of time needed might not be adequate -- meaning that Israel may not be able to consider itself bound by the agreement.
Israel does not oppose the idea of an agreement, but it opposes the particular one apparently being advanced in the diplomatic talks.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to develop its arsenal of ballistic missiles, which could carry these nuclear warheads.
Iranian officials boast of controlling four Arab capitals.
The emerging Iran nuclear deal spells trouble.
For the past several months, Israeli security officials have privately been expressing concern over the emerging deal between the Obama Administration and the Iranian regime over Tehran's nuclear program.

Defense officials familiar with the complex threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions have sought to stay clear of political statements, instead offering straightforward explanations as to why the deal, as it appears to be forming, will pose an extremely serious problem for the security of Israel and other Middle Eastern states in the path of Iran's seemingly hegemonic aspirations.

Leaving aside the many technical details that are part of the wider picture of Iran's nuclear activities, the essential problem with the would-be deal is that it will leave Iran with an enhanced ability to enrich uranium -- an ability that can lead Iran to nuclear weapons production in a relatively short time.

The purpose of an agreement is to push Iran away from the ability to make nuclear weapons. Israel does not oppose the idea of an agreement, but it opposes the particular formula apparently being advanced in diplomatic talks.

The strength or weakness of any agreement rests on how long it would give the U.S. or Israel to respond in case Iran violates the agreement. An agreement that would be acceptable to Israel is one in which Jerusalem would have sufficient time to respond in case Iran violates it.
Under the terms of what seems to be the current proposal, however, the amount of time needed might not be adequate -- meaning that Israel may not be able to consider itself bound by the agreement.

According to reports surfacing from the talks, the proposed arrangement will likely leave a good portion of the Islamic Republic's large number of known centrifuges, which enrich uranium, intact.

For Israel, this negative development has all the potential to turn a critical strategic security threat into an existential one. Such a deal gives Iran's nuclear infrastructure an international license and seal of approval, but fails to provide any guarantee that this same infrastructure will not later be used to get Iran quickly to the nuclear weapons production stage.

It seems clear at this stage that both Tehran and Washington want an agreement; Iran wishes to lift crippling economic sanctions that helped force it to the negotiations table, and President Barack Obama seems keen on leaving behind a legacy of international diplomacy as a mechanism to solve conflicts.

The idea that Iran is about to abandon its vision of having nuclear weapons, or that it sees an agreement with poor terms as anything other than a temporary halt of the march to the nuclear bomb, is just not realistic.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei remains committed to the idea of an Iranian-Shi'ite empire that dominates the region. Iran and its network of highly armed proxies -- active in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and engaged in active subversion in many other countries -- already have contributed enormously to the Middle East's dangerous instability and fueled its escalating conflicts. Iran seems to hope that it will one day be able to use these proxies to promote its expansionist regional agenda under a nuclear umbrella.

At the same time, Khamenei appears to recognize the many constraints that Iran faces today, which stand between it and a nuclear capability. These constraints include (according to international media reports) a string of covert operations that have hampered Iran's nuclear progress, international economic sanctions, and the credible Israeli threat of military force at this time. As a result, Iran today has apparently stopped short of moving to the nuclear weapons production stage.

What has not stopped is Iran's large-scale uranium enrichment program. Centrifuges continue to spin, and the number of centrifuges continues to multiply. Research and development on newer, more effective centrifuges continues apace. Iran's ability to enrich uranium is growing at a troubling pace. Its Arak facility, which can be used to create plutonium as an alternative path to nuclear weapons, is also active.

The Arak heavy water reactor, in Iran, is capable of producing plutonium. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Iran now must decide whether or not to slow down its nuclear program in exchange for a respite from sanctions. If the reports on the generous terms being offered to it by the Obama Administration are true, it will be difficult for Iran to avoid the enticement of a deal that leaves it in possession of the components needed to break through rapidly to nuclear weapons production, at a future time of its choosing.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to develop its arsenal of ballistic missiles, which could carry these nuclear warheads. It already possesses some 400 ballistic missiles that can reach Israel, and it is working on building longer-range solid fuel missiles that have a range of between 2000 to 2500 kilometers.

In addition to these, Iran is expanding its regional proxy network. Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, is the world's most highly armed terror entity, with an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel. Many of these, including a growing number of guided missiles, are being produced at Hezbollah's request by Iran's weapons industries, and smuggled into Lebanon via an international weapons network controlled by the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Hezbollah, with Iran's help, has recently been expanding from southern Lebanon into southern Syria, seeking to set up a second base there to threaten Israel.

Iran has tightened its control over the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus; Assad has become completely dependent on Iran for his survival.

Iran's domination of the Shi'ite Iraqi regime has also grown dramatically in recent months, as Baghdad's dependence on Iran to save it from the (Sunni) Islamic State has risen.

Iran now controls the Yemenite capital of Sana'a, after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels conquered the city. The Houthis can now threaten the Bab-El-Mandeb Strait, a key strategic waterway through which passes four percent of the world's oil.

Iranian officials boast of controlling four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana'a.

These developments and the emerging nuclear deal do not have just Israel concerned. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the small Gulf states are equally, if not more, alarmed.

Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas, which is recovering from the war it began last summer against Israel, is once again moving closer into the Iranian orbit. Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza has always remained a firm Iranian puppet.

Khamenei has openly declared his intention to arm Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank.

These developments mean that a "bad" nuclear deal -- one that would allow Iran to retain a substantial uranium enrichment infrastructure -- would not only legitimize Iran's status as a threshold nuclear state, but also boost what seems to be the Islamic Republic's relentless drive to spread its influence throughout the Middle East and beyond.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Full Circle

"The burial was done in the way of his religion, of Islam: they prayed for him with prayers for the deceased, then laid him to rest. Michael is a good person on the inside, and he's kind and affectionate."
"It does not justify his attack toward the head of government, and doesn't make it right to kill a soul. Because in our religion, we believe that if someone kills one person, it's as if they killed all of humanity."
"As for the public opinion in Libya, there are some here who call him a hero, there are some who consider it a big crime, and some who don't care about the situation. I think that this is very normal in any country, because not all people know the whole truth about the story."
"The Canadian government is primarily responsible for all of this. Of course [Zehaf-Bibeau] thought that Canada was thinking to attack a Muslim country, Iraq, and he didn't know the reality of ISIL. He thought ISIL was the Islamic country he wanted; that it was what every real Muslim, or any lover of peace, wanted."
"But he was cheated by ISIL. Even us Muslims don't want ISIL because it does not represent peace. Even I was cheated by their Islamic symbols -- but when I saw the killings, I knew they were not Muslims."
"Canadian media is twisting the story and I have seen many journalists lie and relate the issue to religion when there are no ties to religion. They ruined the image of Islam and ruined the image of Abdullah [Zehaf-Bibeau] with their narratives."
"We want you to know that all Muslims aren't evil; some are good and some are not good."
Ashraf Zehaf, cousin of Michael [Abdullah] Zehaf-Bibeau
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was buried in Libya, a cousin says.
Michael, aka Abdullah Zehaf-Bibeau, 32 years old, a Canadian citizen whose mother is Canadian and father Libyan, shot to death Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on October 22, as the reserve soldier stood guard at the National War Memorial. That accomplished, the armed man rushed to the nearby Parliament Buildings, to enter the great hall, and search out others to kill, presumably the Prime Minister and any other officials he might come across. He was killed by Parliamentary security guards.

Now, he has returned in death to Libya, although he was born in Canada. It is where his father, Bulgasem Zehaf, took his son's body for a traditional Muslim burial, after release by the Canadian coroner's office, with the permission of the Ottawa-based Libyan mission, according to consular official Khalifa Alghuwel.

In 2011, Canada took part in UN- and NATO-sponsored aerial bombing of the military forces of Moammar Ghaddafi when a civil war broke out that succeeded eventually in removing the Libyan tyrant from his seat of power. The result was not as the West had envisioned; the freeing of a people from the talons of a totalitarian government, leaving them the capacity and the will to install another government modelled on democratic principles.

Libya was and is too beset by tribal, clan, sectarian animosities, too ingrained by centuries of hate and conflict, with each element jostling the other through violent clashes while persecuting the minorities among them. The weapons caches abandoned by Ghaddafi's military to the marauding Islamists taking advantage of the country's upheaval have substantially benefited the Islamist jihadists across North Africa and the Middle East.

Little did Canada visualize that their part in the effort to bring peace and security to a far distant country would result in one of their own nationals of Libyan heritage attacking the very seat of government in their own country. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had been flagged by Canadian intelligence as a possible threat, had been refused a passport to enable him to travel out of Canada and into Libya. His vengeance for that denial was the killing he perpetrated. That, according to his cousin's narrative.

"As for Abdullah -- or 'Michael Zehaf-Bibeau' -- his family has accepted the (fact of what happened October 22) and they believe that Abdullah carried out this act as a result of his own narrow-mindedness, and that it was wrong", said his cousin. And in the same breath held Canadian authorities responsible, by denying the man the passport he wanted, for the calamity which unfolded when he rampaged in Ottawa, killing a soldier and threatening Parliament.

ISIL is now well established in Libya, even in the city where the cousin lives, Zawiya. Ashraf Zehaf, glad to see the last of Gadhaffi, holds countries like Canada responsible for the chaotic patchwork of armed thugs in his country roaming about, destroying and killing. Even so, he speaks for Libyans claiming that the ISIL video of the slaughter of 21 Egyptian Copts was an invention.

"Libyans mostly believe that the ISIL video was fabricated, and (we're) not convinced by it because as you know, there are two parties in Libya conflicting for power. Since Islamic terrorism became a scapegoat for governments around the world, (ISIL) became something that the government can control. The government describes it as terrorism in order to allow it to remove those groups by force, although what qualifies as terrorism is still determined by -- who knows -- Ms. America?"

Muslims know terrorism when they see it, and they don't see it in Islamic State, nor evidently do they recognize it in the 'good person on the inside' ... 'kind and affectionate', who killed a Canadian soldier at the country's national memorial to the tragedy that is war.

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The Boiling Cauldron

Even if Israel were to be offered a perfect deal with the Palestinians, it would represent a surface illusion. With whom would Israel sign that peace agreement? The Palestinian Authority which, as a democratic force in an undemocratic neighbourhood has seen its mandate come and go, and two years after a general election was to have been called, Mahmoud Abbas is still President, his cabinet and himself long past their agreed-upon election mandate.

Signing a peace agreement with the West Bank, is at best a wholly notional arrangement, one that the European Union strenuously calls for, blaming Israel for not agreeing to 'peace' with the Palestinians. What peace could there possibly be, when one-third of the Palestinians, governed by the terrorist group Hamas, which has attempted repeatedly to assassinate Arafat, and is pledged to Israel's destruction, refuses the very existence of Israel.

In these circumstances, Mahmoud Abbas, representing the 'reasonable', and 'moderate' factions with Fatah and the PLO still agitating against the 'oppression' of the 'apartheid state' that struggles to restrain their cadres from violent attacks against Israeli citizens, has been given protection by the Israeli Defence Forces because his administration, despite its inciting West Bank Palestinians to 'resist' the 'occupation'; code for violence; is the only game in town.

Which is to say no game at all. Which hasn't stopped Mahmoud Abbas from blustering and hammering that Israel represses Palestinians' future. Leading him to make his ingress to United Nations' recognition. What Israel does is attempt to protect its population and its state from the depredations of Fatah/Palestinian Authority and the onslaught of Hamas, ever willing to sacrifice Gazans as fodder for the public relations war against Israel, lapped up by the European community.

Israel is a veritable ocean of calm in a storm-beset Middle East. A country which, though threatened with annihilation from its enemies, from Hamas to Hezbollah; the Muslim Brotherhood, to Syria; Iran to Qatar, manages to comport itself in a measured response to its existential angst over those very real threats. Whereas it poses no threat to the wider Middle East, it is that wider Middle East that is imploding under the weight of its own ingrained and traditional tribal and sectarian hatreds.

Where the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has serious concerns about what might occur should ISIS move toward the Jordanian border, even while its sizeable Muslim Brotherhood contingent incessantly plots for the Kingdom's overthrow. Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon and now on the Golan heights present another formidable challenge, not only to Israel, but to Syria, armed with their stock of advanced rockets courtesy of Iran.

Claims that the Israeli-Palestinian unsettled adversarial condition is responsible for all the unrest in the Middle East, and if that trenchant problem were to be solved, then all would be peacefulness and light, have been exploded by the results of the Arab spring. Iran's stealthy, violent and successful spread of Shi'ite power, from its borders into Iraq, stretching into Syria, Lebanon and now Yemen have given it the 'authority' it seeks as the premier conquering caliphate with its distinct Shiite reflection.

The Islamic State's rise in response to the Shiite-led expansion with its own caliphate and its surge in horrific atrocities far more public than those equally dreadful performed through state sanctioned public executions where beheadings are the common parlance of Islamic-state punishment, has appalled the world. But it is the entire tinder box of fundamentalist Islamism that has smouldered in the firebox to become a raging conflagration still spreading its toxic fumes.

And within that landscape sits the United States' determination to swivel from Sunni to Shiite, making common cause with Iran/Qatar against the Islamic State to aid Iraq and Syria from being wholly consumed, and the spread of Sunni empowerment with its Wahhabist Salafist tenure made permanent. In supporting Qatar and Iran in their conflict with Islamic State and by extension Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Barack Obama has chosen 'sides'.

His 'side' now surrenders his country's traditional allies to the desperate position of fending for themselves in a lop-sided situation of choices; which aggressor is the most egregiously inimical to the future aspirations of the United States? Religious fanaticism has overtaken nationalist totalitarianism, and the powerful mentorship of America has made its choice.

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 Adventure Travel to Turkey

"If he had spoken to me of such a thing, I would have wanted to execute him myself, sir. I would never have accepted it."
"I brought up my sons saying 'You are a Quebecer, you are Canadian. We don't spit on the country that welcomes us.' My son was well-raised, a model (citizen), until he disappeared."
"I work from morning to night. I can't sleep beside his bed to watch whether he is connected to the Internet."
Father of Bilel Zouaidia, Algerian immigrant to Canada

What Mr. Zouaidia did do when he became aware that something seemed not quite right with his son, 18, after he had taken lessons in Arabic and the Qu'ran, at a local college, was to take his son's passport into his own possession. Without that passport his son, he reasoned, even if he felt he had a compelling reason to leave Canada and embark on a trip abroad, would not be able to.

And what Bilel Zouaidia then did was report that his papers had been stolen. And he then, as the law permits him to do, under such circumstances, applied for a new passport. Since then, College de Maisonneuve said through its spokesperson that it was taking immediate steps to cancel a three-year rental agreement with Adil Charkaoui, under the auspices of the Centre communautaire islamique de l'Est de Montreal.

This is the same Adil Charkaoui who had been under a cloud of suspicious activities tied in to Islamist terrorism who denied all charges against him, and through a lack of evidence had been declared officially innocent of those charges. And well he may be, but this new turn of events does cast suspicions somewhere.
"Before he left, he was more dedicated to practising Islam than he was to school. And he was a brilliant student."
At a news conference, Brigette Desjardins, speaking for College de Maisonneuve explained that the contract's cancellation resulted from the impression that the instructions received by students seeking information about the Qu'ran and learning to speak Arabic contravened the school's "values". If they did any such thing, then they must by extension also be contravening the values of Canadian society as an entirety.

The fact that recently released information is that no fewer than four men and two women were reported to have disappeared since January 16, when they are said to have boarded a fight to Turkey for the obvious enough goal of crossing from Turkey into Syria, to take up their new lives as jihadi fighters with Islamic State, certainly supports that impression.
"They took my son. I hate them. We are miserable. They put a hole in his head and brainwashed him."

That six that were mentioned do not, evidently describe the entire story, since authorities in the province believe that other young Montrealers whose numbers were unspecified, have also gone missing, with the understanding that they too have joined the Islamic State whose missionary zeal in impressing young Muslims with their sacred obligation to jihad has been picked up by impressionable and restless 'youth'.

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Gatestone Institute

Even if many Muslims came to Europe seeking economic opportunity, they are often defined as victims of racism and oppression. So, the thinking goes, if you are a victim of racism and oppression, how can you be racist yourself?
The Palestinians repeat almost daily that they would like to kill the Israelis, while the Israelis say they would like peace. What follows are usually bitter, politically-motivated denunciations of Israel by Europe, masquerading as human rights.
Despite the increasingly savage state of the world and an openly genocidal Iran -- soon to be nuclear, if it is not already -- Israeli leaders remain the ones Europeans love to accuse, hate and demonize.
The terrorist attacks are denounced by journalists and political leaders, but their denunciations always sound sanctimonious and thin, condemning the "anti-Semitism" they themselves have been encouraging.
In Europe today, slandering Israel is widely conveyed by European Muslims, and if a political leader or journalist does not agree with what they say, he must be a racist.
There are now 44 million Muslims in Europe.
In Europe, evoking the memory of Auschwitz has become difficult; tomorrow, it may be impossible.

The ceremony marking the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp was held on January 27 -- and will likely be the last commemoration of its kind. The Nazis wanted a Europe without Jews. They killed six million, but in their ultimate goal, they failed.

Three hundred survivors were invited; all were more than eighty years old. Although filmed testimonies will remain, there may be no more direct witnesses.

While European political leaders speak of Auschwitz with the solemn formula of "never again," it increasingly seems meaningless. Surveys show that in most European countries, including Germany, a growing number of people want to turn the page, and say they want forget about the Holocaust in a way they do not say they want to forget about, for instance, the Crucifixion.

When articles on the Holocaust are published in major European magazines, an increasing number of people leave comments to point out that the Holocaust was just one genocide among others, and there is no reason to insist on this one in particular.

When other genocides are evoked, the fate of the Palestinians also quickly takes center stage, even though the Palestinians repeat almost daily that they would like to kill the Israelis, while the Israelis say they would like peace. The Israelis have never said they would like to kill the Palestinians.

What follows are usually bitter, politically motivated denunciations of Israel by Europe, masquerading as human rights.

Despite the monstrous crimes committed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram or Iran; despite two hundred thousand dead in Syria; and despite the massacres of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq, for European journalists, the Jewish state remains, it seems, the favored prime target.
Where else in the middle east but Israel can a journalist lead a comfortable life, file a story along the only lines his editor will like by noon, go to the beach, and have dinner with his family? Maybe if he bashes Israel enough, his story will even make the front page, and he will receive an award for courage in journalism. So, in the international media, Israeli Jews are often libelously described as criminals who simply are doing to other people what was done to the Jews seventy years ago.

Despite the increasingly savage state of the world, with an openly genocidal Iran -- soon to be a nuclear, if it is not already -- and with the squalid brutality of dictators such as Bashar al-Assad, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Kim Jong Un and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, Israeli leaders remain the ones many Europeans love to accuse, hate and demonize.

The desire to forget the past, to hurl degrading charges against Israeli Jews, to slander the Jewish state, and to demonize Israeli leadership displays a growing animosity against Jews, in addition to encouraging renewed anti-Jewish violence on European soil.

Often anti-Israeli demonstrations are punctuated with explicit slogans targeting Jews. These demonstrations then lead to riots and physical attacks against synagogues and Jews.

The attacks are denounced by journalists and political leaders, but their denunciations always sound sanctimonious and thin, condemning the "anti-Semitism" they themselves have been encouraging. Most European journalists and political leaders claim to fight anti-Semitism. Most do not.[1] They almost never address the harsh words used about Israel, Israeli Jews or Israel's leaders. They speak and act as if those words had no influence. Their denunciations therefore always sound devious and glossy.

The long, persistent, European hatred of Jews, which led to Auschwitz, was a crime so sickening that, for a few decades, Europeans were crushed with shame. Since then, they seem to have sought unceasingly to alleviate this burden.

One attempt, Holocaust denial, merely sparked outrage and horror for a while. Attempts to trivialize the Holocaust persist. The growing desire in many Europeans to forget about those events could even be making trivializing the Holocaust a success.

Another attempt is to slander Israel. If falsely accusing it of being a criminal state; and Israeli Jews of being unacceptable; and Israeli leaders of having dark plans, then Europeans can see themselves as less criminal and allow themselves to feel less guilt.[2]

Slandering Israel in Europe is also effective because, although it comes from both extremes, it mostly comes from the "left."[3]

The "left" portrays itself as "anti-fascist"; anyone who does not agree with their views must therefore be a fascist.

They describe Palestinian Arabs as victims, which they are – but not because of Israel. No Palestinians are now governed by Israelis, only Arabs. Israel forcibly evacuated all the Jews from Gaza in 2005, so it could be, for the Palestinians, a "Singapore on the Mediterranean."
Israelis left greenhouses in perfect condition for them, so the Palestinians could start out with a solid economy. The Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses within hours. Hamas threw Fatah members off the tops of buildings until Fatah ran away. Hamas now rules Gaza in a unity government with Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority. Support for Abbas's Fatah is support for Hamas.

But many Europeans – even now, faced with the same terror attacks Israel has faced for years -- do not let such facts get in their way. Never mind that the Palestinians had built secret death-tunnels for surprise attacks to kidnap and murder Jewish civilians Never mind that the Palestinians continually call for the death -- not just of Israelis -- but of Jews. Never mind that Palestinians rejected every partition, land or peace offer, granting them 98% of what they asked, since 1947. Many Europeans still describe Israeli Jews as fascist torturers, sometimes comparable to the Nazis.[4]

Slandering Israel is effective in Europe today because there has been a shift in its population. Millions of Muslim migrants have come there. Now they are European citizens. Even if many originally came to Europe seeking economic opportunity, they are often defined by Europeans as victims of racism and oppression. So, the thinking goes, if you are a victim of racism and oppression, how can you be racist yourself?

Many Muslims have been indoctrinated from childhood to hate Israel, hate the Jews and hate the West.[5] This view is helped along by genocidal Islamic texts; the Palestinian media, both Hamas and Fatah; the international media, who only accept articles that have an anti-Israeli angle, and European-funded, non-governmental organizations which pretend to defend "human rights" but instead are dedicated to the political agenda: trying to dismantle Israel.
European governments and the European Union each year spend hundreds of million of euros– transparency and accountability rigorously kept hidden -- for the political agenda of trying to bring Israel to its knees, diplomatically and economically. This international agenda is spurred on with the encouragement of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], composed of 56 states plus "Palestine," and which makes up the largest bloc at the deeply corrupt United Nations.

In Europe today, slandering Israel is widely conveyed by European Muslims, and if a political leader or journalist does not agree with what they say, he must be a racist.
Hatred of Israel so permeates the European atmosphere that almost no journalists or political leaders -- with the exception of a courageous few, who are immediately and harshly punished -- seem prepared to confront it in a way that might actually bear results.

A few years ago, attacks against Jews in Europe could be violent, but rarely led to assassinations. But all this started to change in 2006, when a group in Paris kidnapped and tortured a young Jew, Ilan Halimi, for three weeks before finally killing him. In 2012, the man who attacked the Jewish school in Toulouse also wanted to kill Jews, and did. The man who attacked the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014 wanted to kill Jews, and did. He did. The man who entered kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9 wanted to kill Jews, and did. The man who attacked a synagogue in Copenhagen on February 14 wanted to kill Jews; perhaps to his disappointment, he killed only one.

In response to the attacks, 1,000 extremely praiseworthy Muslims in Norway, in solidarity with the Jews, formed a "ring of peace" around the main synagogue in Oslo. "We do not want individuals to define what Islam is for the rest of us," said one of the demonstration's organizers, Zeeshan Abdullah. But more attacks in Europe will follow.

European populations remain passive and inert. They reacted in Paris on January 11 mostly because famous cartoonists were killed two days earlier than the attack on the kosher store. Had it been only Jews that were killed, there probably would have been no crowd reaction at all. There were no crowds after the Toulouse or Brussels killings. There was also, before the Muslim ring in Copenhagen, a small crowd reaction after the murder there – most likely because the killer had also attacked a meeting on free speech.

World leaders link arms at the Paris anti-terror rally on January 11, 2014. Guy Millière writes that had it been only Jews that were been killed, there probably would have been no rally at all. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

Israeli leaders, deciphering the situation, have for years denounced the rising anti-Israel atmosphere in Europe, and accurately predicted what the violent consequences would be.
Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has repeated that at least now there is a Jewish state where Jews can live freely.

More than 60,000 Jews have left Europe during the past decade, and thousands are still leaving.

While there were 9.8 million Jews in Europe in 1939, there are now 1.4 million: 0.2% of the population.

There are now 44 million Muslims in Europe. The number of those who are radicalized is on the rise, and the number who hate Israel and Jews is high.

Seventy years after Auschwitz, a Europe without Jews now seems a possibility.

[1] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, RVP Publishers, 2013.
[2] Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Return of Anti-Semitism, Encounter Books, 2005
[3] Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel, University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
[4] Robert Wistrich, op.cit.
[5] Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West, Anchor Books, 2010.

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