Gaza War Diary 1 Wed. April 1-4, 2017 Day 1309-1312 1 3am
MAIN HEADLINE in the Women-in-Green & the Forum for Sovereignty’s Eighth edition, of their outstanding
political March 2017 Journal:
75% pro Israeli Sovereignty
7% pro Palestinian State
In a survey carried out by Maagar Mochot (Israel’s leading research institute) headed by Dr. Yitzhak Katz.
Gaza War Diary 1 Wed. April 1-4, 2017 Day 1309-1312 1 3am
Dear Family & Friends,
I’ve been writing in defense of our G-d Given Rights to Israeli Sovereignty over our own Lands since 1979.
Though the battle isn’t over yet & we still haven’t united in our plans to accomplish this, I feel fulfilled to see the valiant Women-in-Green succeeding to raise that one word: Sovereignty, like a banner, to unite the people & the government of Israel toward that most noble goal. Please order your own copy (see below) to read the comments, commentary & conclusions stated by 12 in the journal, plus 24 at the 4th Sovereignty Conference held in Jerusalem, February 12, 2017.
If you wish to receive your own copy of SOVEREIGNTY, the eighth edition of their stunning political journal, In English or Hebrews, please send your request, # of copies required, your name & address to:
Bravo to Nadia Matar & Yehudit Katsover, today’s leaders of the Women-in-Green started & led by my friend, Ruth Matar & Nadia, Ruth’s daughter-in-law.
All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta Raba x 2/Mom
75% pro Israeli Sovereignty
7% pro Palestinian State
MAIN HEADLINE in the Women-in-Green & the Forum for Sovereignty’s Eighth edition, of their outstanding political March 2017 Journal: 75% are pro Israeli Sovereignty/7% pro Palestinian State.
In a survey carried out by Maagar Mochot (Israel’s leading research institute) headed by Dr. Yitzhak Katz:
29%: Autonomy under Israeli Sovereignty
17%: Israeli Sovereignty in stages
29%: Complete & Immediate Israeli Sovereignty
7%: Establishment of a Palestinian State in the area of Judea & Samaria
18%: Don’t Know.
If you wish to receive your own copy of SOVEREIGNTY, the eighth edition of their stunning political journal, In English or Hebrews, please send your request, # of copies required, your name & address to:
1.Bennett: PM missed a big opportunity
Jewish Home head rips Prime Minister: ‘Instead of putting out alternatives, like Jewish sovereignty, we’ve gone back to two-state solution’. By Hezki Baruch, Arutz Sheva 4/2/17 18:46
Naftali Bennett – Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
Education Minister Naftali Bennett criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday, slamming Netanyahu over what called a “missed opportunity” to change the direction of US-Israel relations.
Earlier on Sunday it was reported that the Prime Minister had presented the cabinet with a package ofgood-will gestures for the Palestinian Authority.
Last Thursday, Netanyahu also presented the Security Cabinet with plans to construct a new town in Samaria – the first officially sanctioned town to be built by Israel in Judea and Samaria in more than 20 years – along with restrictions to limit expansion out of town limits by Jewish communities in the area.
In a post on his Twitter account, Bennett wrote that the plans presented by Netanyahu were “reasonable & balanced – assuming they are implemented as described.”
“There is no quantitative restriction,” continued Bennett. “[But] from my experience we’ll need to ensure that [the plan] is implemented.”
But in a follow-up post Bennett lamented another aspect of Netanyahu’s talks with Trump, what he termed a “missed strategic opportunity,” arguing that the Prime Minister failed to present the new White House with alternatives to the two-state solution.
“This was a missed strategic opportunity. Instead of laying out alternatives (like a plan for [Israeli] sovereignty in [Area C of Judea & Samaria], autonomy, etc.) we were passive, so we went back to the same old [idea] of two-states, which will lead us nowhere but despair. But I can’t complain, since that’s Netanyahu’s declared position (two-states).”
“We, the Jewish Home, with 8 mandates, have managed to stop the release of Israeli-[Arab] terrorists, to pass the Regulation Law, [find a solution for residents of] Amona, etc. But for a paradigm shift away from the retreat [declared in the Prime Minister’s speech at Bar Ilan in 2009] to sovereignty, we need 25 mandates.”
Bennett emphasized that he did not blame President Trump for the unchanged paradigm.
“The story isn’t about President Trump; it’s about the position of the Israeli government. Because we did not lay out a firm Israeli initiative on the table, the vacuum was filled by the two-state solution.”
“Like I said, that’s a historic opportunity that’s been missed. In life you have to take advantage of opportunities.”
IsraPundit by Ted Belman April 2, 2017
2.Talks with Trump on Curbing Settlement Construction Suspended
T. Belman.Just as I suspected. What was reported gave us a lot of room to build just with infilling. On the other hand Bibi said that construction would be restricted. These are polar opposites. So Yesha is saying what counts is what Bibi allows on the ground.
We read today that Bibi is also planning on making gestures to the Palestinians. Whatever happened to Bibi’s demand for reciprocity?
I think that there will be an election this year and a serious attempt to oust him.
The talks between Israel and the Trump Administration regarding “restraining” settlement construction as a means to encourage Palestinian Authority participation in future peace negotiations have been suspended, Israel Radio reported Sunday morning.
According to the report, no understandings or summaries were reached in the most recent, four-day round of talks between Netanyahu’s and Trump’s representatives in Washington DC. As a result, the Prime Minister has decided to adopt a new policy which unilaterally accepts the President’s position but is not part of an official, bilateral agreement with the White House.
Netanyahu presented this decision to his cabinet on Thursday. The same cabinet meeting also passed a unanimous decision to build Amona 2, near the Shiloh community in Samaria. The same meeting also decided to disallow new unsanctioned outposts outside the settlements block in Judea and Samaria and to enforce real curbs on new construction inside the blocks.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) on Friday issued a statement saying that despite the fact that Netanyahu’s decision leaves some wiggle room for new construction, in reality, “our experience with Netanyahu is very bad” when it comes to real outcomes.
Smotrich also pointed out that by announcing the release for sale of 2,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria, the PM had, in effect, admitted that he had been the one who blocked the sale of those same 2,000 new units which he himself had approved two months earlier – suggesting that the entire plan, for 5,500 new housing units, was nothing more than a bluff.
Smotrich called on his colleagues on the right to keep their finger on the pulse and not allow Netanyahu “dissolve the construction effort.”
3.ISRAEL’S SILENCED MAJORITY
All previous attempts to reach a deal by extracting concessions from Israel did nothing but weaken Israel.
During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in February, the premier was reportedly taken by surprise when Trump gently prodded – ahead of their meeting – for Israel to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”
Since their meeting, Trump’s prod that Israel curtail the property rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria has been the central issue Trump’s chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt has discussed with Netanyahu and his representatives.
From the moment Netanyahu returned from Washington, his government ministers have been asking him to brief them on his discussions with Trump. He has refused. But on Thursday, Netanyahu finally agreed to update his security cabinet.
His agreement is long past due. It is vital for Netanyahu to tell his cabinet ministers what is happening in his conversations with the Americans about Judea and Samaria. It is imperative that the cabinet determine a clear response to Trump’s apparent demand for a full or partial freeze on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.
Such an agreed response is urgent because Trump’s position is antithetical to the position of the vast majority of Israelis. If the government caters to Trump’s demands it will breach the trust of the public that elected it.
This state of affairs was brought home this week with the publication of a new survey of public opinion regarding the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The survey was carried out among adult Israeli Jews by veteran Israeli pollster Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The results of the poll are straightforward. Since Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli support for territorial concessions to the Palestinians has collapsed. Whereas in 2005, 59% of Israelis supported the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace, today a mere 29% of Israelis support such a policy.
And levels of Israeli opposition to territorial giveaways only grow when the specifics of withdrawal are considered.
Seventy-seven percent of Israelis oppose full withdrawal from Judea and Samaria in the framework of a peace deal. Sixty-four percent oppose a pullout under which Israel would trade sovereignty over the so-called “settlement blocs” for sovereignty over lands inside of the 1949 armistice lines.
Fifty-seven percent of the public opposes an Israeli withdrawal from everything outside the settlement blocs even without such a trade.
The dramatic drop in Israeli support for the establishment of a Palestinian state over the past 12 years has nothing to do with ideology. The Israeli public has not turned its back on the Left’s ideological vision of two-states west of the Jordan River because it has adopted the ideological convictions of the religious Zionist movement.
The Israeli public has abandoned its support for the two-state paradigm because it believes that Israel’s past moves to implement it have weakened the country and that any attempt in the future to implement it will imperil the country.
This conviction is revealed by the fact that 76% of Israeli Jews want Israel to permanently retain sole responsibility for security in all of Judea and Samaria.
Eighty-eight percent say that Israel must permanently control the territory bordering Ben-Gurion Airport. Eighty-one percent insist that Israel must permanently control the land that bordering the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem highway Route 443.
Eighty-one percent of Israelis say that Israel must control the Jordan Valley in perpetuity. Fifty-five percent say that Israel cannot defend itself without permanently controlling the Jordan Valley. Sixty-nine percent of Israelis reject the notion that Israel can subcontract its national security to foreign powers that would deploy forces to the Jordan Valley in the framework of a peace deal.
In other words, Trump’s desire to mediate a deal between Israel and the PLO places him in conflict with anywhere between 60 and 85% of the Israeli public.
Throughout the US presidential race, Trump said repeatedly that his mastery of the art of the deal would enable him to succeed where his predecessors failed. His experience as a negotiator in the business world, he said, makes him more capable of mediating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians than any of his predecessors.
It is possible that Trump is right about his relative advantage over his predecessors. But how well or poorly he negotiates is completely beside the point.
Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama didn’t fail to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians because they were bad negotiators. They failed because there is no deal to be had. This reality is what informs the Israeli public.
The Israeli public rejects the two-state model that is now informing Trump, because it has become convinced that Israel’s partner in a hypothetical deal – the PLO – has no intention of ever making a deal with Israel.
The people of Israel has come to realize that the PLO demands Israeli concessions – like a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria – not because it wants to make peace, but because it wants to weaken Israel.
The reality that informs the position of the Israeli public has been borne out by every PLO action and position since July 2000, when the PLO rejected peace and Palestinian statehood and opted instead to initiate a terrorist war against Israeli society and launch a campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.
In contrast to the Israeli public, the American foreign policy establishment never accepted the obvious meaning of Yasser Arafat’s rejection of then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak’s peace offer at Camp David in July 2000, and his subsequent initiation of an all-out war of terrorism against Israel.
The Americans responsible for determining US Middle Eastern policy, along with the American Jewish community, never acknowledged the significance of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept sovereign responsibility over Gaza after Israel withdrew from the area in 2005.
They never accepted the obvious meaning of Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections in 2006 or the post-Israeli withdrawal transformation of Gaza into a hub of global jihad and a launching pad for continuous aggression against Israel.
Unlike the Israeli public, the Americans closed their eyes to the significance of Mahmoud Abbas’s campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist, to the PA’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist, to the PA’s finance of terrorism, and its indoctrination of Palestinian society to support and work toward the destruction of Israel.
This week, the willful blindness of the American foreign policy establishment and the American Jewish establishment to the reality that informs the position of the Israeli public was on display at AIPAC’s policy conference. Although the conference was held under the banner, “Many Voices, One Mission,” precious few voices were heard that reflected the view of the overwhelming majority of Israelis.
The view of the Israeli public that the two-state policy is entirely divorced from reality because there is no one on the Palestinian side who is interested in living at peace with a Jewish state, and that further Israeli concessions to the PLO endanger the Jewish state, was virtually ignored, particularly by the American speakers.
No senior American policy-maker explained that given the Palestinians’ commitment to the destruction of Israel, any policy that requires Israel to make territorial and other concessions is an anti-Israel policy – in substance if not in intent.
The reason the position of the majority of the Israeli public was ignored by the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization in America is that no senior American policy-maker on either side of the partisan aisle is willing to allow the reality that informs the Israeli public to influence its thinking. Although an ideological chasm separates Martin Indyk – John Kerry’s chief negotiator – from Elliott Abrams – George Bush’s point man on Israel – the substance of their views of the goal of US policy-making toward Israel and the Palestinians is largely the same. They both believe that Israel should surrender the vast majority of Judea and Samaria to the PLO.
And this again brings us to Israel and the security cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.
Ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu said that he intended ask his ministers to approve his plan to establish a new town in Judea and Samaria for the residents of the recently destroyed community of Amona.
There is no doubt that from a political perspective, and indeed from a humanitarian perspective, Netanyahu’s commitment to establishing a new community for the former residents of Amona is a positive development. But the question of whether or not Israel should build a new community in Judea and Samaria is not the main issue. Indeed, the issue of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria has never been the main issue.
The pressure the Trump administration is exerting on Israel to constrain the rights of Jews to property in Judea and Samaria is the direct consequence of the refusal of the American foreign policy establishment to reckon with the reality that Israelis have internalized.
The Israeli public today recognizes that there is no deal to be had. The Palestinians will never make peace with Israel, because they remain committed to its destruction.
It doesn’t matter how effective the Americans are at negotiations. It doesn’t matter how many concessions they are able to extract from Israel in their endless attempts to coddle the Palestinians and convince them to negotiate. Indeed, the Americans’ collective refusal to come to terms with the reality that guides the Israeli public indicates that regardless of what their actual feelings toward Israel may be, in demanding Israeli concessions to the PLO, the Americans are implementing a policy that is stridently anti-Israel.
Under the circumstances, Netanyahu’s task, and that of his ministers, is not to convince the new administration to respect the legal rights to property of Jews in Judea and Samaria. Their duty is to represent and advance the interests and positions of the public that elected them.
Netanyahu and his ministers must make clear to Trump and his advisers that there is no point in trying to reach a deal with the PLO. Trump’s predecessors’ failure to reach an accord had nothing to do with their failure to master the art of the deal. They failed because there is no one on the Palestinian side who is interested in making a deal.
Moreover, Netanyahu and his ministers must explain to Trump that all previous attempts to reach a deal by extracting concessions from Israel did nothing but weaken Israel. And the Israeli public will no longer accept any such concessions from their government.
Jpost.Com APRIL 3, 2017 22:01
Boycotting products of Israeli settlements supports the eviction of Jews from all settlements & the establishment of a Palestinian state instead.
The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement has two aspects. One applies to Israel and Israelis; the elimination of the state and genocide. The other applies to Jews who live in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), eastern Jerusalem and Golan – “the settlements.” The first calls for ending the “occupation” that began when Israel was established (the “Nakba”); the second calls for ending the “occupation” that began in 1967.
The first type is prohibited by law in a number of US states, and now in Israel, which recently passed a law banning entry to supporters of BDS. The second, however, is not prohibited and in fact is supported by many “progressive” Jews and Israelis.
The distinction between the two parts of the BDS movement has raised questions among Jews who support Israel but oppose settlements. Will they be welcome to visit Israel? A prominent Jewish scholar who teaches at the Reconstructionist College and the Hebrew College wrote: “I refuse to recite kiddush over wine that is labeled as made in Kiryat Arba… I am concerned about the violation of Jewish law regarding theft, oppression and other interpersonal transgressions that are involved in agricultural products created by Jews in the West Bank territories… I need to know whether that means I am included among those who will no longer be permitted into the country because I support this degree of boycott on a product of Israel’s West Bank settlements.”
I asked him to explain, and he responded: “I do not have the time or heshek [desire] to continue to engage with you on this. I will not be able to respond to further communications. My aim was at the law enacted by the Knesset, not at the grapes or even the wine. The residents of Kiryat Arba (although I confess to knowing nothing of the winemakers in particular) have shown their disdain for their Palestinian neighbors by any number of highly public actions & statements.”
If “settlers” are guilty of crimes and offenses, why not also blame the State of Israel, which promotes and protects them? If the state is complicit, why not boycott it? Is there a connection between boycotting a product and those who produce it, and those who facilitate its production?
Aside from his ignorance of the law, which applies only to those who oppose Israel’s existence, and the fact that he ignores that some Israeli politicians and cultural figures oppose the settlement movement, his boycott of products produced by Jews without any evidence of what he considers wrongful acts violates the Ninth Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness.
Boycotting products produced by Jews living in Judea, Samaria & the Golan, moreover, is not only a “moral” issue.
Many in the international community oppose what they consider Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory (OPT). As the UN has stated, OPT includes “eastern Jerusalem,” that is, the neighborhoods which were built after the Six Day War & the Golan Heights. Even recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital & moving the US embassy there is controversial. The link, therefore, between boycotting Israel &boycotting settlements is critical.
Opposing Israel’s existence is different from opposing settlements, ostensibly, because of the concept of “the two-state solution,” meaning a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem & Gaza, as well as the return of the Golan to Syria.
Where, however, does this lead? Boycotting products of Israeli settlements supports the eviction of Jews from all settlements & the establishment of a Palestinian state instead. Such boycotts support the goals of those who demand that Israel withdraw from all areas conquered in 1967, at least.
If it is a “moral” issue, moreover, why limit oneself to the armistice lines of 1949? Why doesn’t this also apply to areas which were conquered in 1948/9 & became part of the State of Israel? Success & appeal of the BDS movement is its focus on products produced in “settlements.”
It is the movement’s leverage against the state itself.
That Jews support such boycotts must be very encouraging to those who seek Israel’s demise.
The question is not whether wine from Hebron/Kiryat Arba or any other winery in Judea and Samaria is kosher, but whether a blessing made by someone whose heart is filled with baseless hatred for other Jews is valid.
5.THE REBBE OF THE WEST BANK Jpost.Com April 3, 2017 Carter became the single most hostile president to the Jewish state in American history.Egyptian president Anwar Sadat & Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. (photo credit:Us Library Of Congress/Wikimedia)
Last week my wife and I met with our friend Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s chief Middle East negotiator, at the White House.
Jason’s a busy man, and I’m grateful for both his friendship and his time. I have published columns before attesting to Jason’s extraordinary competence, high character and humble demeanor – qualities which make him an ideal envoy for peace. Most of all, Jason is a Kiddush Hashem, sanctifying God’s name with his respectful words and actions.
At our meeting, I gave Jason a copy of the Hebrew book I Called and None Listened, a collection of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s speeches, essays and letters about the Land of Israel and how peace in the Middle East might be achieved.
Jason is tasked with a herculean objective: to bring tranquility to the world’s most troubled region. It is a project that will demand every talent in his arsenal, and then some. Joining him in the task is our friend David Friedman as newly installed ambassador to Israel.
Here is a duo in the field of American diplomacy unequaled in their dedication to American values and Israel’s security. How will they go about implementing the president’s sincere desire for a peace deal? How will they find the correct balance of pressure and incentive that might bring an end to conflict?
There were few issues about which the Lubavitcher Rebbe was more passionate than Israel. A man who spoke on Torah for hours at a time several times a week – always stoically and even-handedly – would suddenly transform when it came Israel. In his opposition to the belief that land concessions would bring peace, the Rebbe would alter his entire posture. He would become supercharged with passion, his voice would rise, his body language would surge. His language changed and he was prepared, for the first time, to voice strong challenges to those Israeli leaders compromising Israel’s security through territorial concessions.
The Rebbe’s followers treated him as something of a prophet. I’m not here to debate that point, and those who do not adhere to Chabad ideology would surely beg to differ. But his predictions about land-for-peace deals surely proved prescient.
In the late 1970s, while Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat debated the return of Sinai in exchange for peace, the Rebbe predicted three outcomes for Israel forfeiting territory:
1. The world would develop an insatiable appetite for Jewish land. Rather than the return of Sinai satisfying the world’s lust for diminishing the Jewish state in size, the message to them would be that the Jews themselves had conceded to the claim that they were occupiers.
2. Jews would be attacked. The return of land would compromise Israel’s security and embolden its enemies to strike.
Terrorism would increase rather than decrease.
3. Israel would be demonized. Rather than receiving a windfall of positive publicity and international goodwill for making peace, surrendering land would be used as a PR baseball bat to bludgeon Israel with deligitimization and international boycotts.
All three of the Rebbe’s predictions were unfortunately proven true. After Israel surrendered Sinai, pressure immediately began to build for Israel to return the Golan Heights and Gaza. Judea and Samaria followed in the crosshairs. Most importantly, Jerusalem was identified as the supreme example of Israeli occupation and the eternal capital of the Jewish People became a city to which the Jews had little claim and that would serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
True, Israel has not had war with Egypt in nearly four decades. But it’s an extremely cold peace, similar to the cold war that Israel has with Syria, where there has similarly been no war for nearly four decades. Still, Egypt remains one of the world’s largest exporters of official state-sponsored anti-Semitism & its population is deeply hostile to Jews & Israel, according to all polls.
In addition, Sinai today has become a mini-state dominated by Islamic State (ISIS), with little to no Egyptian control. Israel has recently even remodeled entire sections of the IDF to deal with potential threats from the Sinai Peninsula.
True, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has changed course and has become a friend, perhaps even an ally of Israel.
In light of Egypt’s recent history – which has been an especially volatile period of rapid regime change – we can only hope that this continues and peace will prevail.
But even if we applaud Israel’s courage to make peace with Egypt, why did it lead to Israel’s demonization? It began with Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter.
Scholars have pondered for decades as to how Begin, who had always believed in the “Greater Israel,” could have been the one to give away all of Sinai after winning it in a defensive war. This question is especially potent when you consider the fact that he probably didn’t need to. Egypt had, thank God, been crushed by Israel in three consecutive wars, and its inferiority to the Jewish state in conventional warfare was unquestionable.
Like Syria, to which Israel did not cede an inch of land, Egypt would have, in all likelihood, never renewed open hostilities with Israel. The consensus belief, though, is that Begin believed that the most important issue for Israel’s security was a good relationship with the president of the United States. And it was in this belief that he gave in to all of Carter’s demands.
How did that turn out? Carter became the single most hostile president to the Jewish state in American history. Begin’s capitulation left Carter not with admiration, but with contempt.
The same dynamic played out during the first prime ministership of Benjamin Netanyahu, when he withdrew from Hebron, the second holiest city in all of Israel and the resting place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sara, Rebecca and Leah. Netanyahu felt compelled to abide by the Oslo terms that had been negotiated by Rabin before him. But in doing so, he did nothing to change the continued contempt that president Clinton had always shown him. The very next year, president Clinton would send his own political consultants to work with the Israeli opposition that would ultimately defeat Netanyahu.
I had the privilege of hosting the prime minister’s father, Benzion Netanyahu, at Oxford and Cambridge to talk about his noted book on the origins of the Spanish Inquisition. As fortune would have it, I was with him around the period that his son signed the Wye River Accord in Maryland.
I will never forget the great scholar-warrior, who died in 2012, telling me that his son had been subjected to unbearable pressure, otherwise he would have never relinquished land vital to Israel.
Of course, Israel’s reward for the Oslo Accords was a slew of suicide bombings in 1995 & then a full-scale intifada at the turn of the millennium that would claim over a thousand Jewish lives.
Netanyahu’s government lost the subsequent election and was replaced by one under the helm of Ehud Barak. But when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 he learned from his earlier mistakes and has since never conceded land.
He now continues as almost the longest serving prime minister in Israeli history.
Donald Trump has thus far proved a staunch friend & protector of Israel and his defense of Israel at the UN through his emissary Nikki Haley has no parallel. His warmth toward Prime Minister Netanyahu at their recent meeting was emphatically recounted by Netanyahu at AIPAC.
Jason and David are American patriots and proud Jews. They know that three great principles of the Jewish faith are, first, that peace is life’s highest goal. Second, that every human life is equal and of infinite value, Jew & Arab alike. An Arab child is equally loved by God as a Jewish child & vice versa. Third, God gave the Jewish people a tiny little sliver of land called Israel as an eternal birthright & homeland.
The great events of Jewish biblical history and most of its holy sites are in Judea and Samaria which Jordan, in an effort to erase Jewish history, renamed the West Bank, just as the Romans, two thousand years earlier, had called Judea “Palaestina.”
We all want peace but I would beg to remind those charged with achieving it a lesson we’ve learned: surrendering land has not brought peace but war.
The Palestinians are my brothers and sisters, and Jason Greenblatt’s recent mission to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – which strongly encouraged economic development, self-sufficiency and opportunity for the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria – was a noble and inspiring effort. The Palestinians deserve the same experience of human dignity and standard of living as do the people of Israel. It will not come, however, through their subjugation to the dictatorship of yet another Arab leader.
Nor will it come through a land-forpeace framework that emboldens Israel’s enemies, compromises its security, and solidifies international enmity toward the Jewish state.
Far better for the Trump administration to work on its inspired idea of an outside-in approach, resolving to try & create peace between the Arab gulf states & Israel which will demonstrate to the Palestinians that their hopes of Israel’s isolation & diplomatic capitulation is a thing of the past.
The author, “America’s rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the international bestselling author of 30 books including his most recent, The Israel Warrior. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.
Boycott divest sanction photo by Takver, Creative Commons, via Wikimedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 439, April 4, 2017
For American Jews, Zionism has become a source of debate, controversy, embarrassment, and guilt as they try to come to terms with the activities of the Jewish state and its elected officials. Consequently, many seek to detach themselves from what used to embody the core of Jewish identity. A case in point is Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a pro-BDS Jewish group that uses its “Jewishness” to validate its cause.
While JVP’s desire to persuade the Israeli government to change its policies is legitimate, the growing strength of the BDS movement at large makes the demise of the two-state solution ever more likely. JVP’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, is notorious for her hard leftist views, as illustrated in herop-ed entitledSo strong is JVP’s antipathy to Israel that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called it “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group” in the US.
Yet the true essence of Zionism lies in its ability to encapsulate both religious and secular Jewish identities. The current challenge is to identify the component of renewal. The Zionist enterprise did not end with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Each generation must redefine Zionism as it is relevant to them.
Theodor Herzl famously wrote in his diary, “Were I to sum up the  Basel Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: ‘At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.’”
The difference between Herzl’s generation and post-1948 generations was a first-hand understanding of what the absence of a Jewish state means for Jewish survival. The state represents the difference between autonomy and servility, indeed between life and death. But today’s millennial generation has no memory of a time when Israel did not exist or was ever on the “right side of history.”
Given the wedge that has been pushed between Zionism and Judaism, one might even suggest that were Herzl to raise the question of a Jewish homeland today, he might not receive support. The irony is that what initially led Zionist leaders to bond over the idea of a homeland was the growing threat of antisemitism. Today, even as antisemitism is on the rise around the world, anti-Zionism is often viewed as legitimate criticism.
Abba Eban dispelled this notion eloquently, stating, “There is no difference whatever between antisemitism and the denial of Israel’s statehood. Classical antisemitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination.”
But with the popularity of the BDS movement’s crusade against Israel, some American Jews on the left have placed other Jews beyond the pale, as people who cannot be debated due to their abominable views. Moreover, an insidious double standard applies: Jewish organizations like Hillel must include anti-Israel voices or be deemed intolerant or racist. Jewish intellectuals must engage in dialogue with BDS representatives or other Palestinian advocates who demand the ethnic cleansing of Israel, lest they be called cowards and be subjected to insults. And now, leading American Jewish intellectuals have adopted the rhetoric and methods of BDS, to be applied to Jews only. Perhaps the next move will be to follow the Palestinian lead and charge Israelis in international courts.
Individuals like Peter Beinart, in his book The purport to offer so-called “tough love,” an approach that is supposedly required to curb the alleged expansion of the “occupation.” Driven by guilt, Beinart has embraced the left’s move to distance itself from Israel and the Zionist enterprise at large. For Beinart, the answer is a “Zionist” boycott of Israeli settlements and products.
Beinart, like many post-Zionists and revisionists, only opposes the “occupation,” which leads him to place all the onus for the lingering Palestinian-Israeli problem on Israel. In this distorted narrative, Israel is largely to blame for the collapse of the Oslo/Camp David process of the 1990s-2000s and for the subsequent failures to revive the peace process. But the centrality of the “settlements” is an empty issue. It deflects from the core problem that truly obstructs a negotiated settlement: the Palestinians’ century-long rejection of a sovereign Jewish state.
There is little debate that there will be a redistribution of land in the event that a peace agreement is achieved. Most of the bargaining will be about whether these exchanges will take the shape of a total phased Israeli withdrawal, or an exchange of land annexing the more populous Israeli towns to Israel for other land in the Jordan Valley or Negev Desert. But this must be left to the parties to decide, not imposed by outside powers or guilt-ridden American Jews.
Anti-Zionist American Jews have found Israeli counterparts even in the Knesset. This was on display at the AIPAC Policy Conference in late March, at which Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg, whose trip to the conference had been paid by AIPAC, decided to join a protest outside the conference. At the protest, organized by the Jewish anti-establishment group IfNotNow, demonstrators held up signs reading “Reject AIPAC” and “Reject Occupation.” Zandberg justified her decision to participate by saying,
Stronger Zionist anchors are needed within the Jewish community to overcome the guilt over Israel’s existence rather than its actions. Collective historical memory is absent from today’s discourse on Zionism, especially in America. While there are Zionists on the left and right who still appreciate Jewish history and believe in Jewish destiny, Zionist renewalZion is needed. There is a serious need to teach and appreciate both Herzl’s Zionism and “Start-Up Zionism” if the dream is to be kept alive.
From the beginning, the argument that US President Donald Trump is somehow “good for Israel” has been foolish and incorrect.
Now, with the president’s explicit promise to stop targeting Syrian President Bashar Assad – a gesture designed to impress his public that America’s overriding objective is still to eliminate Sunni Islamic State – Jerusalem can expect reciprocally greater hazards from Hezbollah.
This expanding Shi’ite militia is, after all, a well-armed frontline surrogate of Syria, Iran and (ultimately) Russia.
ISIS is no friend of Israel. Nonetheless, at the most crucial strategic level, it is far less threatening than Syria and Hezbollah. It follows that any newly-announced US policy that will strengthen Damascus and its proxies in order to diminish ISIS is fundamentally backward. At a minimum, it is fully contrary to Jerusalem’s survival needs.
This visceral US policy is starkly injurious for Israel. It also undermines America’s own basic international legal obligations concerning the prevention and punishment of genocide.
More specifically, the US, as a key party to the Genocide Convention, is doctrinally obligated to take suitably remedial actions against any genocidal regime. To be sure, this cornerstone human rights treaty would never allow a principal state party to openly join sides with an expressly active genocider.
As for those who might respond to such an indisputable American jurisprudential obligation by suggesting otherwise, that is, that we simply ought not worry about international law, they should be reminded that the law of nations is an integral part of US law. This is the case, inter alia, by virtue of Article 6 of the US Constitution (the “Supremacy Clause”), and also because of assorted US Supreme Court decisions, especially the Paquete Habana (1900), and Tel-Oren vs. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).
For Trump, chest-thumping rhetoric notwithstanding, the prospective implications of any US policy for Israel have never been examined very closely. To wit, in his vaunted campaign speech on Israel that was delivered on August 15, 2016, then candidate Trump called the Jewish state “America’s greatest ally,” but his subsequent proposals for actually dealing with the Middle East suggested something quite different.
By agreeing to side with any nation that would join us in the fight against ISIS, it had already been made perfectly clear that Trump is perfectly willing to strengthen Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.
Could this patently irrational posture have made any real sense for the US, let alone for Israel? In essence, one ought now to inquire, could it possibly have been consistent with peremptory American obligations under national and international law?
Further, is President Trump’s conspicuous indifference to Syria’s continuing mass murder of civilians what an American president should be actively advancing as US national policy? Further, it is more than just a bit ironic that Israel, a state literally constructed upon the ashes of its own murdered people, should ever be encouraged to go along with such grotesquely barbarous presidential calculations.
America now faces a bewilderingly complex and multi-vector civilizational war that will first have to be won at the intellectual or analytic level; that is, before it can ever be “won” on any more literal battlefield.
The ancient Greeks and Macedonians had always spoken insightfully of war as a cerebral struggle of “mind over mind,” rather than “mind over matter.” Accordingly, before the US can be genuinely helpful to itself, and, as corollary, to its “greatest ally,” President Trump will first have to refrain from any further substitutions of commercial marketing strategy for authentically necessary geopolitical thought.
There is more. Trump also needs to understand that the newly-explicit doctrine concerning his support for a genocidal regime in Damascus will simultaneously strengthen the hard-liners in Iran. Should the main hard-line group known as the Popular Front of Islamic Revolutionary Forces manage to identify a viable candidate to defeat Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the May 19 election, this could make it considerably more likely that Iran will unhesitatingly “go nuclear.” One potential candidate set to oppose Rouhani is Mohsen Rezaei, a former chief of the Revolutionary Guard, who routinely associates the Rouhani administration with “senile diplomacy.”
Does President Trump really want to enhance Rezaei’s chances to defeat the less menacing Rouhani? If he doesn’t, he ought not to continue with his gratuitously empty threats to put the Islamic Republic “on notice.” Soon, he must also factor into his required recalculations that an Iran more likely to go nuclear because of his increasingly sympathetic posture toward Syria would thereby incentivize Saudi Arabia to hasten any of its own plans for a reciprocal nuclearization.
During my half-century of teaching international relations and international law at Princeton and Purdue, I typically reminded my students that there exist multiple and intersecting axes of conflict in world politics. Understood in terms of Trump’s largely incoherent foreign policy, this reminder now means we should not assume that inflicting preponderant harms upon any one particular enemy is necessarily in our overall best strategic interests, or in the best interests of a beleaguered ally such as Israel.
Trump abhors complexity, especially in geo-strategic matters. In consequence, he remains so utterly focused on the single threat from ISIS that he is willing to tolerate ever-deepening military cooperation between Iran, Syria and Russia, and also eventual assertions of “countervailing” power from certain Sunni Arab states. From the particular standpoint of Israeli national security, any further encouragement of such tolerance could make it increasingly difficult or operationally impossible to consider residually defensive preemptions against Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should promptly recognize, from the openly expressed standpoint of Trump’s inverted foreign policy preferences, that it would be reasonable to sacrifice Israel’s most indispensable security requirements for the (presumed) sake of defeating a single sub-state jihadist foe.
ISIS does not present an existential threat to the United States, or to Israel. But by mistakenly focusing on the destruction of ISIS as if it were somehow a genuinely overriding security objective, Syria, Iran and Russia will be incrementally strengthened. Plausibly, the cumulative net effect of all such presidentially mishandled national priorities will be an unexpectedly virulent “Cold War II,” and a correspondingly diminished security position for both Washington and Jerusalem.
President Trump ought not to become the most willing and law-violating servitor of the genocidal regime in Damascus. From the interrelated standpoints of the US and Israel, to decide otherwise would render both states (1) complicit in the very worst ongoing crimes against humanity, and (2) decreasingly able to provide basic security for their respective populations. It follows that the corrosive liabilities of his newly sympathetic posture toward Damascus would be both jurisprudential and strategic.
Dr. Louis René Beres is a Professor Emeritus at Purdue U. & the author of many books & articles dealing with nuclear strategy & nuclear war.
8.Israeli Sovereignty vs Terror By Batya Medad
Batya Medad, New York-born made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of
professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in
Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has
been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. . ..
No surprise. More terror attacks.
Those Arabs sure don’t “deserve” a state.
BDS is just a front for pro-Arab terror anti-Semitism.
When we look for help from the outside world, we’ll only find people willing to help us dismantle and weaken the State of Israel.
There is no need to get approval for Israel’s existence and survival. On November 29th, 1947, the United Nations grudgingly voted “approval” of a Jewish State, but those countries that voted “yes” never expected that theoretical Jewish State to survive at all.
Every single time we try to please foreigners we get weaker. Dependence on approval of others and foreign aid is the diametric opposite of INDEPENDENCE.
There is only one power mightier than the United Nations, United States etcetera, and that is G-D ALMIGHTY!
For those who read the Bible, that’s the message there.
Time after time various rulers/dictators/pharaohs/emperors/kings etc attack, invade, conquer and occupy us and our Land, and then somehow we escape/defeat them and renew our rule and independence. If we declare full and uncompromising sovereignty over all of the Land we hold, we will enjoy permanent peace under G-d’s eternal protection. But if yet again come to some compromise and follow foreign dictates, we will again find ourselves exiled, attacked and enslaved.
9.How to get 1 million more terrorists into the Palestinian Authority
Imagine re-invading a PA ‘West Bank’ with 1 million more armed terrorists. LOL
by Mark Langfan,03/04/17 21:40
Mark Langfan The writer is Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and specializes in security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com. When the Oslo Accords were signed, everyone heard Rabin, Peres, and their coterie of messianic left-wing generals say: If anything goes wrong in Judea & Samaria, we’ll go back in & wipe them out. Ariel Sharon did go back into Judea & Samaria and saw to it that the IDF took back security control of the cities there after the Park Hotel Passover Seder massacre – sadly, over 1000 Israelis had been murdered by then – but then, a short while later, Sharon said the same about Gaza. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, Gaza turned into a terrorist cancer firing tens of thousands of rockets into Israel & there was no Israeli reinvasion, just operations to try to stop the rockets.. That’s because Gaza only really threatens the relatively poor Israelis & sparse kibbutzim around Gaza, not the immensely rich & powerful Tel Aviv elites who treat the Gaza Belt Jews as Israel’s expendables. But the same way Fatah & Hamas easily smuggled in parts & manufactured the rockets in Gaza, they will smuggle in & manufacture weapons in a demilitarized Palestinian Arab ‘West Bank State’. When those rockets lay waste to Tel Aviv & Ben Gurion Airport, there will be an Israeli reinvasion. The problem is that by the time there is an Israeli ‘West Bank’ reinvasion, there will be another million or more armed Palestinians. In short, the 2-state solution makes the Palestinian demographic problem infinitely worse.
If you thought that the “Palestinian demographic problem” was a left-wing nuclear argument, you could not be more wrong. The Palestinian demographic problem is actually a right-wing argument that the Israeli right-wing simply never understood how to use. The “demographic problem” has always been a left-wing hammer that the left-wing would swing when they didn’t have an answer for the fact that unlike the Israeli sparsely populated farmland around the Gaza Strip, small terrorist rockets from Judea & Samaria will pummel the densely populated Tel Aviv-Netanya corridor where 70% of Israel’s Jewish population resides.
Were a Katyusha rocket to be fired into Montana, nobody would get hurt. But if the same rocket were fired into Manhattan from Brooklyn, many deaths would be guaranteed & Manhattan would be paralyzed. Likewise, a Palestinian Arab ‘West Bank’ rocket barrage into Tel Aviv would necessitate a full Israel re-invasion of the Palestinian Authority.
The problem is, if a ‘West Bank State’ is created, or even if substantial contiguous pockets of Palestinian Arab control are really created & the PA is granted the sovereign right to import population, the PA would clearly be able to bring many of the so-called 8,000,000 Palestinian refugees into its state. The Palestinian Arabs can invite anyone else they want into their state, including thousands of Hezb’Allah & tens of thousands of Iranian volunteers for Palestine. So, at some future time Israel will most assuredly have to reinvade that Palestinian ‘West Bank State’.
There won’t be just the growth of the baseline Palestinian population to observe. At that point in the future, the area will hold not only the baseline Palestinian population extant when Israel retreated, but also all the extra additional terrorist population that the government of Palestine invites in. And, guess what else? They will all be armed to the teeth with every manner of small easily smuggle-ready weapons such as anti-tank weapons, and IEDs.
So, every one must understand that the messianic leftist-generals are perpetrating a fraud on the Israeli public when they claim the “demographic argument” necessitates a 2-state solution. Just the opposite, it requires Israel to never give another inch of land on which the Iranian cancer can grow & threaten the 6 million Jews of Israel with another Holocaust.
10.Londonistan: 500 closed churches, 423 new mosques
Christianity is becoming a relic, while Islamization of British capital continues apace.
By Hillel Fendel, Arutz Sheva 02/04/17 16:48
London – Thinkstock
“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together,” says London Islamic preacher Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi.
The city of London – dubbed “Londonistan” by outspoken journalist Melanie Phillips – now has 423 new mosques, which are “built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.” So writes Italian journalist and writer, Arutz Sheva columniist Giulio Meotti in an article written for Gatestone Institute reported here.
The Hyatt United Church, for instance, on Hamilton Road, was purchased by the Egyptian community and is being converted into a mosque. St Peter’s Church is now the Madina Mosque, and the Brick Lane Mosque used to be a Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, writes Meotti, but also people: “The number of converts to Islam [in London] has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.”
“Given the current trends,” he predicts, “Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.”
It is estimated that by 2020, the number of Muslims attending prayers will top the number of Christians attending weekly Mass, 683,000 to 679,000. Within a generation, the number of churchgoers will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.
Meotti cites a Wall Street Journal report stating that 500 London churches of all denominations had been turned into private homes.
Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly Islamic face in many cities. A study carried out in 2015 showed that the most common name in England was none other than Mohammed and variations thereof.
Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city, has a population that is 21.8% Muslim; Manchester, #6, stands at 15.8% Muslim, and Bradford, with well over 300,000 people, is a quarter Muslim, including half its children. In Leicester, too, Britain’s 10th largest city, half the children are Muslim.
Meotti cites a report in The Spectator according to which only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States.
But possibly most telling is the presence in London of no fewer than 100 Sharia (Islamic law) courts, according to official statistics; there are likely many more. “The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution,” according to Giotti. “These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.”
One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that courts must be more “multicultural” – an allusion to “Islamic.” Leading personalities such as former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Chief Justice Lord Phillips have suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of Sharia law.
Analysts continue to observe and report on the trend, and invariably conclude by asking: “Is anyone doing anything to stop it?”
12.Hizb ut-Tahrir in Turkey Calls for Restoring the Caliphate By Uzay Bulut 3/29/17
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, by Dennis Jarvis via Wikimedia Commons
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 435 3/29/17
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Violence is not the only means by which Islamist groups and individuals hope to expand Islamic influence, establish Islamic governments, and eventually restore the caliphate. In addition to the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda, many non-violent, legal groups either overtly or covertly share those aims. “Are they violent or not?” should not be the main question while analyzing Islamist groups or governments. “What is their aim?” is the better question if we are to understand them and take effective precautions. Methods might vary, but the establishment of Islamic rule is the ultimate goal of Islamist ideology.
Recent discussions of jihad or political Islam (or Islamism as it is commonly known) have most often focused on ISIS. But jihad and other efforts towards establishing an Islamic political order are not the exclusive province of ISIS. The expansion and institutionalization of Islam by violent (and non-violent) means is a millenarian tradition and a fundamental goal of Islam from its earliest days. ISIS is just one Islamist organization seeking to re-establish the caliphate.
Dating back to the Prophet Muhammad’s immediate successors, the caliphate (Khilafah) is a form of government, ruled by Islamic Sharia law, that represents the political unity of the worldwide Muslim community (Umma). The last caliphate of the Ottoman Empire was abolished in 1924 by republican Turkey, but Islamist groups and organizations around the world have never ceased attempting to re-establish the venerable institution.
The Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, for example, an international and pan-Islamic political organization, is quite active in Turkey, with conferences, publications, and marches. According to its official website, “Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political party whose ideology is Islam, so politics is its work and Islam is its ideology. It works within the Umma and together with her, so that she adopts Islam as her cause and is led to restore the Khilafah and the ruling by what Allah revealed.”
The group also publishes the monthly magazine Koklu Degisim (Radical Change), wherein it promotes the idea that “violence and all other problems in the Middle East are caused by Western states.” It opposes the Geneva talks to end the Syrian civil war and calls for the fall of Russia, Israel, the UN, and the “infidel” West. An article published in its June 2016 edition said: “Islam as an ideological and a political idea is permanent & it will win.”
On March 3, 2017, Mahmut Kar, the head of the media bureau of “the Turkey Province of Hizbut Tahrir”, and Osman Yildiz, the Istanbul representative of its magazine “Koklu Degisim” (Radical Change), were taken into police custody when they went to the Bayrampasa police station in Istanbul to receive a letter of notification about a ban on their planned conference, “Why does the world need the caliphate?” due to be held three days later. They were released a week later.
This detention must have come as a surprise to the group given that, for quite some time, it had been holding annual conferences advocating the restoration of the caliphate. On March 3, 2015, on the 91 anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate, Hizb ut-Tahrir held a conference titled “The Democratic Presidency Model or the Rashidun Caliphate?” at the AKP-governed Uskudar Municipality, In March 2015, while thousands of supporters marched in Istanbul chanting: “From Turkey to Egypt, from Indonesia to Morocco, from Lebanon to Kurdistan, caliphate, caliphate!”
The following year, the group organized two “international caliphate conference.” The first, held in Istanbul on March 3, 2016, was attended by some 1,000 people with speakers from many countries; the second was held three days later in the AKP-ruled Ankara municipality with the participation of over 5,000 people (according to Hizb ut-Tahrir press release). “We want the Rashidun Caliphate,” theologian and author Abdullah Imamoglu told the Ankara conference. “When we say this, are there those who say ‘What is the caliphate when there is kafir [infidel] America?’ We reply to them that a second caliphate is not a dream.”
According to Kar, his March 2017 detention stemmed from Ankara’s eagerness to give the impression that it was at war with ISIS. He wrote: “Turkey, in order to say ‘I struggle against ISIS’, & to prove this to the West & the USA with concrete statistics, arbitrarily detains many Muslims without doing a detailed investigation.” This, in his view, was totally unnecessary since “Hizb-ut Tahrir absolutely opposes the use of force and violence and armed struggle … The real issue is reminding Muslims of the caliphate that was abolished 93 years ago. It is about, without prevaricating or beating around the bush, screaming the fact that the caliphate is the administrative system of Islam.”
This desire is hardly limited to Hizb ut-Tahrir. The yearning for the imposition of sharia law and the restoration of the caliphate is a central element of political Islam. The open expression of this desire and the means for its pursuit are simply a matter of timing and tactics. ISIS and al-Qaeda strive to attain these goals through violent means, Hizb ut-Tahrir, like other Islamist organizations and governments, does not engage in violence – or at least will refrain from violence until “the right time” comes.
So before rushing to whitewash Islamist efforts to re-establish the caliphate by attributing them to poverty, “Muslim grievances” or Western foreign policy, one ought to consider the historical continuity and universality of these efforts as well as their doctrinal foundations.
From Turkey to Indonesia, from Pakistan to Canada, from Egypt to Sweden, millions of Muslims – regardless of economic, social, or ethnic background – yearn to re-establish a caliphate ruled by the Sharia. Their common trait is their religious piety. Much of the history of Islam is a history of conquest of non-Muslim lands and the establishment of Islamic rule in them. In fact, that is Islamism’s ultimate goal.
Before one defends Sharia law in the name of “diversity” or “multiculturalism”, one would therefore be well advised to investigate what happens to human rights – particularly women’s rights and religious liberty – once political Islam becomes the ruling ideology.
View PDF Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist. She covers Turkish politics, political Islam & religious minorities in Turkey & the Middle East.