Een gids voor de Palestijnse vocabulaire

door Khaled Abu Toameh
3 Augustus 2016


  • Veel Palestijnen verwijzen naar steden in Israël als de “bezette” steden en dorpen, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle en Lod bijvoorbeeld, die vaak worden beschreven in de Palestijnse media als de “Palestijnse steden” of “bezette steden”. In deze steden Joden, evenals elders in Israël levende Joden, worden soms aangeduid als “kolonisten”.
  • Veel Palestijnen nog niet in het reine zijn gekomen met Israël betreffende zijn recht om te bestaan. Voor hen gaat dit niet alleen over de “bezetting” van de Westelijke Jordaanoever, de Gazastrook en Oost-Jeruzalem. De echte “bezetting” begon voor hen met de oprichting van Israël in 1948.
  • Niet-Arabisch sprekenden kunnen deze bewering ongegrond vinden, omdat wat ze horen wat de Palestijnse vertegenwoordigers in het Engels zeggen, en dat weerspiegelt niet de berichten die worden doorgegeven aan de Palestijnen in het Arabisch.

“Maar als denken de taal corrumpeert, kan de taal ook het denken corrupt maken.”— George Orwell, 1984.

Wat moet u doen als u niet van Israël houdt, maar slechts één kanaal hebt voor die afkeer: het uitdrukken in retoriek en geschrift?

Nou, als u een Palestijn bent, kunt u altijd nog met uw eigen terminologie komen — één die negatief licht werpt op Israël en alles wat daaraan gekoppeld is. Dit is precies de tactiek die Palestijnen hebben uitgevoerd in de afgelopen decennia met het uitvinden van hun eigen voorwaarden en frases wanneer ze spreken over Israël.

George Orwell voorzag natuurlijk dit probleem. Voor hem “kan taal ook het denken beschadigen.” De anti-Israël gevoelens, decennia lang aangeleverd door de Palestijnen, hebben niet alleen het denken gecorrumpeerd, maar ook mensen opgezet tegen Israël, door het creëren van brandgevaarlijke situaties die werden ontworpen om vlammend uit te barsten.

Om duidelijk te zijn: dit is niet het bekende ophitsen in de Palestijnse media, dat wordt beschreven op internationale forums.

Dit heeft een andere kleur. Dit ophitsen demoniseert Israël en de Joden. In dat verhaal is Israël het kwaad, evenals het totaal vreemd is in het Midden-Oosten.

Orwell maakt in zijn verstandige opmerkingen over de taal geen melding van het bedrog door meerdere tongen. Maar dat bedrog zit diep ingebed in het Palestijnse spreken over Israël.

Politieke voorkeuren bepalen enigszins welke terminologie er met betrekking tot Israël werkzaam is bij de Palestijnen. Bij voorkeur gebruiken Palestijnen uiterst negatieve termen in het bespreken van Israël.

Tot aan de ondertekening van de akkoorden van Oslo in 1993, verwees de “gematigde” Fatah Factie, vandaag de dag onder leiding van President Mahmoud Abbas, naar Israël, zoals zijn Palestijnse broeders het doen vandaag, als de “Zionistische entiteit”. Dat was voordat Israël de PLO officieel erkende onder de voorwaarden van de Oslo-akkoorden. Toen het werd beschouwd als schandalig en onaanvaardbaar om Israël bij haar naam te noemen, zodat dit zou worden ge?nterpreteerd, moge God het verhoeden, als erkenning van Israël.

De President van de Palestijnse Autoriteit Mahmoud Abbas, spreekt in het Arabisch tijdens een persconferentie uitgezonden op 24 december 2014, en gebruikte het woord “Israël” toen hij verklaare dat hij weigerde Israël te erkennen als een Joodse staat. (Afbeeldingsbron: Palestinian Media Watch)

Meer dan twee decennia later, vinden Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Factie en de Palestijnse Autoriteit (PA) het nog steeds het moeilijk om de naam Israël te noemen.

Sinds zijn oprichting in 1994 is het officiële beleid van de Palestijnse Autoriteit (in het Arabisch) geweest om te verwijzen naar Israël als “de andere kant”. Dit werd in de instructies doorgegeven aan de PA-ambtenaren en veiligheidspersoneel en zijn in feite blijvend, ook vandaag.

In die dagen toen de veiligheidstroepen van de PA nog “gezamenlijke patrouilles” uitvoerden met Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldaten in vele delen van de Westelijke Jordaanoever, was het de Palestijnse politieagenten verboden gebruik te maken van de naam Israël of het IDF, vooral wanneer zij met hun collega’s en bevelhebbers via de walkie-talkies aan het communiceren waren. De namen Israël en IDF werden vervangen door “de andere kant”.

Een hoge Palestijnse veiligheidsambtenaar die hierover werd gevraagd, heeft toegegeven dat de orders rechtstreeks uit het kantoor van Yasser Arafat kwamen: “Ja, we tekenden een overeenkomst waarin Israël wordt erkend, maar de meeste van onze ambtenaren en politiemensen hebben nog steeds een reëel probleem met de vermelding van de naam Israël,” zei de officier.

De instructies blijven van kracht, zelfs als de Palestijnse Autoriteit de “coördinatie van de zekerheid” blijft uitvoeren met Israël. Palestijnse veiligheids en civiele ambtenaren die dagelijks contact onderhouden met hun Israëlische collega’s zien regelmatig af van het uiten van de namen Israël of IDF. In een splintertje goed nieuws verwijzen ze niet langer naar Israël als de “Zionistische entiteit”.

Toch blijven de Palestijnse media en de vertegenwoordigers van de PA, in hun verklaringen (in het Arabisch) gebruik maken van terminologie die vernederend en zelfs beledigend is als het gaat om het omgaan met Israël.

Israël bijvoorbeeld, wordt vaak aangeduid als de “bezettingsstaat” en de Israëlische regering wordt beschreven als de “bezettingsregering.”

Vele Palestijnen blijven gekant tegen het gebruik van de naam Israël omdat ze gewoon haar bestaansrecht niet erkennen.

De Palestijnse schrijver Muhsen Saleh heeft kritiek op sommige Arabieren en de Palestijnen die soms gebruik maken van de naam Israël in hun toespraken en geschriften:

“Voor vele jaren weigerden de Arabieren en regimes en hun mediakanalen om de naam “Israël” te gebruiken wanneer werd verwezen naar de bezettende entiteit, die werd opgericht in grote delen van het land Palestina van 1948. Ze gebruikten, om te verwijzen naar de vijand, de woorden Zionistische entiteit of de bezetting, of slechts gebruikten zij de naam Israël tussen aanhalingstekens als een teken dat ze het toch niet erkenden. Vandaag echter wordt de naam “Israël” gebruikt zonder aanhalingstekens en zonder schaamte.”

De minister-president van Israël, ongeacht zijn identiteit of politieke overtuiging, wordt vaakgenoemd de “premier van bezetting”. Sommigen verkiezen de term “Premier van Tel Aviv.”

De Israëlische Minister van Defensie wordt, los gezien van zijn identiteit of politieke overtuiging, vaak aangeduid als de “Minister van Oorlog.” De implicatie: Israël is nog constant in oorlog met de Palestijnen en de Arabieren. Onnodig te zeggen, dat het IDF altijd wordt aangeduid als de “bezettingstroepen”, wiens enige missie is het doden van Palestijnen, het vernietigen van hun huizen en hun leven in ellende brengen.

Een ander teken van de moeilijkheid voor vele Palestijnen in het gebruik van de naam Israël kan worden gevonden in hun praten over de Arabische burgers van Israël.

Palestijnse ambtenaren en media-kanalen verwijzen regelmatig naar deze burgers als “de Arabieren van de binnenkant” — impliceren dat de “binnenkant” eigenlijk een intern onderdeel is van “Palestina.” Anderen verwijzen naar deze burgers als “de Arabieren van voor 1948” of de “Palestijnen binnen de groene lijn” of “de Arabieren die leven binnen de bezette gebieden sinds 1948.”

En nog steeds hebben we niet gesproken over het feit dat veel Palestijnen verwijzen naar steden in Israël als de “bezette” steden en dorpen, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle en Lod bijvoorbeeld, die vaak worden beschreven in de Palestijnse media als de “Palestijnse steden” of “bezette steden”. In deze steden Joden, evenals elders in Israël levende Joden, worden soms aangeduid als “kolonisten”.

Joden die een bezoek brengen aan de Tempelberg, of Haram Al-Sharif, in Jeruzalem, worden regelmatig beschreven door de Palestijnse media en ambtenaren als “troepen kolonisten” en “koloniale terroristische bendes”.

Dit zijn slechts een handvol voorbeelden van de taal in het Palestijnse verhaal. Zo’n taal ontbloot de waarheid: dat veel Palestijnen nog niet in het reine zijn gekomen met Israël betreffende zijn recht om te bestaan. Voor hen gaat dit niet alleen over de “bezetting” van de Westelijke Jordaanoever, de Gazastrook en Oost-Jeruzalem. De echte “bezetting” begon voor hen met de oprichting van Israël in 1948.

Het is geen geheim dat de Palestijnse leiders hebben gefaald om hun volk voor te bereiden op vrede met Israël. Erger nog, de terminologie die door deze leiders, en een groeiend aantal Palestijnen, is aangenomen, is een duidelijk teken dat deze leiders via hun retoriek en media-kanalen, doorgaan met het bevorderen van een beleid dat niet alleen Israël de-legitimeert, en het als een slechte staat neerzet, maar ook zijn bestaansrecht ontkent. Niet-Arabisch sprekenden kunnen deze bewering ongegrond vinden, omdat wat ze horen wat de Palestijnse vertegenwoordigers in het Engels zeggen, en dat weerspiegelt niet de berichten die worden doorgegeven aan de Palestijnen in het Arabisch.

Het internationaal Engels sprekende publiek zou er goed aan doen om bepaalde nauwkeurige vertalingen te lezen van wat er gezegd wordt over Israël in het Arabisch. Dat is de enige uitlaat van de Palestijnse Newspeak, hoewel het maakt dat Orwell zich in zijn graf zou kunnen omdraaien.

Khaled Abu Toameh, een bekroond journalist, is gevestigd in Jeruzalem.

Bron: http://www.nl.gatestoneinstitute.org

 

Arabs Must Turn a New Page with Israel

by Fred Maroun
August 4, 2016 at 5:00 am


  • We must look at Israel not as foreign presence, which it is not, but as a unique and remarkable component of the Middle East that enriches the region.
  • The creation of such a Palestinian state under today’s conditions is likely to result in a Hamas-dominated state that is violently hostile towards Israel. The Palestinian Authority must be transitioned into a peaceful and stable entity before it can be expected to run a state.
  • Binyamin Netanyahu recently suggested an approach to make the peace initiative work, but Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi rejected it out of hand. This is not how harmonious relationships between nations are built.
  • “We must all rise above all forms of fanaticism, self-deception and obsolete theories of superiority.” — Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, 1977.

This is part two of a two-part series. The first part examined the mistakes that we Arabs made in our interactions with Israel.

There is much that we can do to improve our relationship with Israel — if we want to — and there is good reason to think that it would be in both our short- and long-term interest if we did. The most critical change is in approach. Changing that would start to repair the foundation of the relationship and would provide a basis for mutual respect and trust, without which any solution would remain fragile.

Understand Israel

We must see the real Israel rather than the monstrosity that Arabs have been brainwashed to see. We are so afraid to call Israel by its real name that we refer to it as the “Zionist entity”. The name is “Israel”; as written in Haaretz, “Israel has been the name of an ethnic group in the Levant going back at least 3200 years”.

The standard Arab narrative about Israel is that it is the result of Western colonialism. This language has also been adopted by many, who claim that “settler colonialism that began with the Nakba … in 1948”, implying that all of Israel is a colony. This claim is not true, and no healthy relationship can be built while one side keeps repeating lies about the other.

Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, a people with a long and complex history on that land. Attempts to kill them and exile them came from many sources over the centuries, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans and the Crusaders. These are historical facts.

Israel’s then Prime Minister Golda Meir said in 1973, “We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs — we have no place to go”. No matter how much pressure Arabs put on Jews to leave, they are not going anywhere; in fact, that pressure only hardens their resolve. Israel is their home.

We must look at Israel not as foreign presence, which it is not, but as a unique and remarkable component of the Middle East that enriches the region.

Not our enemy

We must stop calling Israel our enemy. We deliberately chose to make Israel our enemy when we attacked it, rather than accept the existence of a tiny Jewish state in our midst.

Israel (including the annexed Golan Heights and East Jerusalem) is only 19% of British Mandate Palestine (which included Jordan), on which Britain promised in 1924 to build a “Jewish National Home“. Israel is so small that it would have to be duplicated 595 times to cover the entire Arab world.

We made self-defeating decisions in our relationship with Israel, based on the belief that it is our enemy and that we can only deal with it though force — but the tiny state of Israel is not a threat to the Arab world.

Every year, Palestinians hold rallies, often violent ones, to commemorate the Nakba(“catastrophe”), which is name they give to the Arab loss in the war of 1948/49. They carry keys, symbolizing the keys to homes that their ancestors fled during that war. This commemoration, like much of the Arab rhetoric about Israel, is a one-sided view that demonizes Israel while it absolves Arabs of all responsibility for starting and continuing a conflict that resulted in decades of violence as well as displacements of both Arabs and Jews.

This false narrative does not leave much room for peace with Israel. How can peace be acceptable to Arabs who are repeatedly fed the false narrative that everything is Israel’s fault, when, in fact, “everything” is not “all Israel’s fault”?

Admitting mistakes is never easy, but without admitting them, we are weaving a contrived narrative that contradicts historical facts. Building a positive future requires accepting that the past is gone and cannot be restored.

Despite the Holocaust, Germany is today one of Israel’s closest friends, but this was possible only because Germany admitted its moral failure. Although our refusal to accept Israel is not morally equivalent to the Holocaust, it was undeniably a moral failure, and moving past it would allow us to establish constructive relations with Israel.

Resolving the Palestinian Question

For a successful resolution of the Palestinian question, we must understand the few fundamental issues on which Israel cannot compromise. At present, the Arab world, and particularly the Palestinians, shows so little understanding of Israel’s fundamental issues that the Israeli public’s faith in peace negotiations is low. As reported in the Jerusalem Post, “most Israelis (67.7%) do not believe that negotiations will bring peace in the coming years and less than a third (29.1%) think it will ever yield such a result”.

Israel’s ability to remain a Jewish state and a haven for Jews worldwide is its most basic existential necessity. Without it, Israel would be only a name. For this reason, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated unequivocally that there is “no room to maneuver” on the Palestinian claim of a “right of return” for the descendants of Palestinian refugees. It may be unreasonable to expect relatively small and weak countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to absorb all the refugees residing there, but rich Gulf countries have the ability to help. If Europe can absorb millions of Muslim refugees, why could we not do it too?

A second existential necessity for Israel is its need for defensible borders, as explained in an extensive report. Israel has been defending its very existence against Arab attacks for seven decades. It has been attacked from all sides using all methods imaginable, from missiles to suicide belts to tunnels. Israel does not see the pre-1967 armistice lines as defensible, as wasexplained as far back as 1977 by then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, widely considered a pro-peace moderate.

A third fundamental point is Jewish access to holy sites, starting with the most important one, the Old City in East Jerusalem. Jews see their win in East Jerusalem in the war of 1967 not as a conquest, but as the liberation and reunification of their historic home since the time of King David, ca. 1000 BCE. Although Israeli governments, both in 2000 and in 2008, offered to give up control over part of Jerusalem, one should not assume that a similar offer will be likely in the future. In June of this year, PM Netanyahu pledged that, “The idea of a divided, split, wounded city is one we will never return to.” Other issues such as borders, compensation for refugees, removal of some settlements, and the level of Palestinian sovereignty appear to be negotiable. Netanyahu further stated, “Israel wants peace. I want peace. I want to renew the diplomatic process to achieve peace”.

But we Arabs must understand that this can only be possible within the constraints of the three fundamental issues.

The Arab League’s Peace Initiative

A peace initiative was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 and again in 2007, but this initiative falls short in two ways, first in its substance and second in its form.

The initiative demands that Israel go back to the pre-1967 armistice lines. Not only does Israel not consider those borders defensible, but during the fifty years that elapsed since then, Israel has built large settlement blocks in the West Bank. We Arabs had previously expelled the Jews who were native to that land, and it is unrealistic to expect that Israel would agree to victimize its own Jewish citizens yet again.

The initiative declares that Arab states reject “all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries”, implying that Israel and the new Palestinian state would be responsible for absorbing the descendants of all Palestinian refugees. For the new Palestinian state, it would be a huge burden to add to the task of building a new state, as it would mean an increase to its population from 6 million to 9 million. This would leave Israel to receive the refugees, which it will not do.

Equally unrealistic is the initiative’s causal reference to “the establishment of a Sovereign Independent Palestinian State”. The creation of such a state under today’s conditions is likely to result in a Hamas-dominated state that is violently hostile towards Israel. The Palestinian Authority must be transitioned into a peaceful and stable entity before it can be expected to run a state.

The biggest problem with the Arab League’s peace initiative, however, is the way that it was delivered. It was presented as a fait accompli and was thrown at Israel without discussion. The Arab League did not even respond to then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s offer to attend the 2002 Arab League summit. More recently, Netanyahu suggested an approach to make the peace initiative work, but Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi rejected it out of hand. This is not how harmonious relationships between nations are built, especially after decades of Arab animosity towards Israel.

There was no need to write this document at all. All that the Arab League had to do was to declare that Arab states are open to making peace with Israel, accept Sharon’s offer to attend, then send a delegation to Israel as a sign of goodwill. There would be no commitment in such a gesture, but it would show that the Arab League is serious. This is how Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat approached peace with Israel.

Sadat in His Own Words

We should take inspiration from and follow the lead of Sadat, an Arab leader who took a bold step towards peace and achieved a peace agreement that even the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt felt compelled to respect 35 years later.

We should take inspiration from and follow the lead of Sadat, an Arab leader who took a bold step towards peace and achieved a peace agreement that even the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt felt compelled to respect. Pictured: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (right) acknowledge applause during a Joint Session of Congress in which U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced the results of the Camp David Accords, September 18, 1978. (Image source: Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress)

Sadat knew that taking steps towards peace requires more than simply writing documents and speaking from afar, which is why he went to Israel to present his vision. He said to the Israeli Knesset, “There are moments in the life of nations and peoples when it is incumbent on those known for their wisdom and clarity of vision to overlook the past, with all its complexities and weighing memories, in a bold drive towards new horizons”.

Sadat demonstrated that he understood some of Israel’s fundamental issues when he said, “What is peace for Israel? It means that Israel lives in the region with her Arab neighbors, in security and safety”.

Sadat understood the benefit of peace to all people of the Middle East, including Arabs, and he understood the duty of leaders in making peace a reality. He said, “We owe it to this generation and the generations to come, not to leave a stone unturned in our pursuit of peace. … Peace and prosperity in our area are closely linked and interrelated”.

A New Page

The Arab world has an abysmal record on human rights, is mired in internal wars, and continues pointless hostility towards Israel, a neighbor that is far ahead of us scientifically and economically, and from which we could benefit greatly.

We must take ownership of our past actions towards Israel, and we must make the changes needed to turn the page. In the words of Sadat, “We must all rise above all forms of fanaticism, self-deception and obsolete theories of superiority”. It is up to us.

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

 

A Guide to the Palestinian Lexicon

by Khaled Abu Toameh
August 1, 2016 at 5:30 am


  • Many Palestinians refer to cities inside Israel proper as “occupied.” Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle and Lod, for example, are often described in the Palestinian media as “Palestinian Cities” or “Occupied Cities.” Jews living in these cities, as well as other parts of Israel, are sometimes referred to as “Settlers.”
  • Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. For them, this not only about the “occupation” of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The real “occupation”, for them, began with the creation of Israel in 1948.
  • Non-Arabic speakers may find this assertion baseless, because what they hear and read from Palestinian representatives in English does not reflect the messages being relayed to Palestinians in Arabic.
  • It is no secret that Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare their people for peace with Israel, and deny its right to exist.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” — George Orwell, 1984.

What do you do if you do not like Israel, but have only one outlet for that dislike: expressing it in rhetoric and print?

Well, if you are a Palestinian, you can always come up with your own terminology — one that sheds negative light on Israel and anything that is associated with it. This is precisely the tack Palestinians have taken over the past few decades, inventing their own terms and phrases when talking about Israel.

George Orwell, of course, saw through this behavior. For him, “language can also corrupt thought.” The anti-Israel sentiments, delivered for decades by Palestinians, not only corrupt thought, but also incite people against Israel, by creating incendiary situations that are designed to burst into flames.

To be clear: this is not the familiar incitement in the Palestinian media that is discussed in international forums.

This is a different color. This incitement demonizes Israel and Jews. In this narrative, Israel is evil, as well as alien to the Middle East.

Orwell, in his wise remarks on language, did not mention the deceit of multiple tongues. But that deceit is deeply embedded in the Palestinian discourse on Israel.

Political affiliations somewhat determine which terminology is employed by Palestinians with reference to Israel. Yet across affiliations, Palestinians employ extremely negative terms to discuss Israel.

Until the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the “moderate” Fatah faction, currently headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, referred to Israel, as its Palestinian brothers do today, as the “Zionist entity.” That was before the PLO officially recognized Israel under the terms of the Oslo Accords. Back then, it was considered disgraceful and unacceptable to call Israel by its name, lest that be interpreted, God forbid, as recognition of Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking in Arabic at a press conference broadcast December 24, 2014, used the word “Israel” in explaining that he refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Image source:Palestinian Media Watch)

More than two decades later, Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Palestinian Authority (PA) still find it difficult to mention the name Israel.

Since its creation in 1994, the Palestinian Authority’s official policy (in Arabic) has been to refer to Israel as “the Other Side.” These were the instructions handed down to PA civil servants and security personnel, and they remain in effect today.

In those days, when the PA security forces were still conducting “joint patrols” with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in many parts of the West Bank, Palestinian policemen were banned from using the name Israel or IDF, especially when they were communicating with their colleagues and commanders through walkie-talkies. The names Israel and IDF were replaced with “the Other Side.”

A senior Palestinian security official who was asked about this back then admitted that the orders came directly from the office of Yasser Arafat. “Yes, we signed an agreement that recognizes Israel, but most of our officers and policemen still have a real problem mentioning the name Israel,” the officer said.

The instructions remain in effect even as the Palestinian Authority continues to conduct “security coordination” with Israel. Palestinian security and civilian officials who maintain daily contact with their Israeli counterparts regularly refrain from uttering the names Israel or IDF. In a sliver of good news, they no longer refer to Israel as the “Zionist Entity.”

Yet the Palestinian media and representatives of the PA, in their statements (in Arabic), continue to use terminology that is degrading and even abusive when it comes to dealing with Israel.

Israel, for example, is often referred to as the “State of Occupation” and the Israeli Government is described as the “Government of Occupation.”

Many Palestinians remain opposed to the use of the name Israel because they simply do not recognize its right to exist.

Palestinian writer Muhsen Saleh criticized some Arabs and Palestinians for sometimes using the name Israel in their speeches and writings:

“For many years, the Arabs and regimes and their media outlets refused to use the name ‘Israel’ when referring to the usurper entity that was established on large parts of the land of 1948 Palestine. They used to refer to it as the enemy, the Zionist entity or the Occupation, or at least they used to put the name Israel in quotes as a sign that they do not recognize it. Today, however, the name ‘Israel’ is being used without quotes and without embarrassment.”

The prime minister of Israel, regardless of his identity or political affiliation, is often called the “Prime Minister of Occupation.” Some prefer to use the term “Prime Minister of Tel Aviv.”

The Israeli Defense Minister, again regardless of his identity or political affiliation, is oftenreferred to as the “Minister of War.” The implication: Israel is at constant war with the Palestinians and Arabs. Needless to say, the IDF is always referred to as the “Occupation Forces,” whose only mission is to kill Palestinians, destroy their homes and turn their lives into misery.

Another sign of the difficulty many Palestinians find in using the name Israel can be found in their talk about the Arab citizens of Israel.

Palestinian officials and media outlets regularly refer to these citizens as “the Arabs of the Inside” — implying that the “inside” is actually an internal part of “Palestine.” Others refer to these citizens as “the Arabs of 1948” or the “Palestinians Inside the Green Line” or “the Arabs living inside the 1948 Occupied Territories.”

And we still have not talked about the fact that many Palestinians refer to cities inside Israel proper as “occupied” cities and towns. Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle and Lod, for example, are often described in the Palestinian media as “Palestinian Cities” or “Occupied Cities.” Jews living in these cities, as well as other parts of Israel, are sometimes referred to as “Settlers.”

Jews visiting the Temple Mount, or Haram Al-Sharif, in Jerusalem are regularly described by Palestinian media outlets and officials as “Herds of Settlers” and “Settler Terrorist Gangs.”

These are only a handful of examples of the language of the Palestinian narrative. Such language exposes the truth: that many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. For them, this not only about the “occupation” of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The real “occupation,” for them, began with the creation of Israel in 1948.

It is no secret that Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare their people for peace with Israel. Even worse, the terminology adopted by these leaders and a growing number of Palestinians is a clear sign that these leaders, through their rhetoric and media outlets, continue to promote a policy that not only delegitimizes Israel and depicts it as an evil state, but also denies its right to exist. Non-Arabic speakers may find this assertion baseless, because what they hear and read from Palestinian representatives in English does not reflect the messages being relayed to Palestinians in Arabic.

The international English-speaking audience would do well to get some accurate translations of what is being said about Israel in Arabic. It is the only way out of Palestinian Newspeak, although it might make Orwell roll over in his grave.

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

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Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

 

What the Arab League Meeting Reveals

by Lawrence A. Franklin
August 1, 2016 at 4:00 am


  • The most significant aspect of this year’s Arab League conference was the downgrading in significance of Palestinian issues on the agenda.
  • The community of Arab states is bereft of the confidence to act collectively in its own interests, and has a fearful inability to meet the challenge of either Iran or radical Islamic terrorism, which threaten the very existence of their regimes.

The Arab League concluded its 27th annual summit on July 28 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The sessions exposed the deep divisions in the Arab world, the bloc’s decreased influence in regional affairs, and the declining importance of Palestinian issues in the Middle East.

The annual affair apparently failed to make progress on last year’s Saudi proposal to establish an all-Arab, multinational force in response to Iran’s aggressive policies in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. The Nouakchott-hosted sessions also seem to have made no progress toward developing a unified anti-terrorist agenda. The growth of the Islamic State presence in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa was evidently a prime motivator for the perceived need for an anti-terrorism policy.

The Arab League concluded its annual summit on July 28, which was held this year in a tent in Nouakchott, Mauritania. (Image source: CCTV News video screenshot)

The Arab League’s precipitous decline in political clout was symbolically exposed by the failureof many key national leaders to attend the conference. The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia did not attend. Only eight national leaders from the 22-member organization attended the conference.

However, the most significant aspect of this year’s conference was the downgrading in significance of Palestinian issues on the agenda. Perhaps aware of this development, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas also decided not to attend. However, PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki explained that Abbas could not attend due to the recent death of his brother. Later, Maliki, somewhat quixotically, called upon the Arab League to help sponsor a UN Resolution to initiate a lawsuit against the United Kingdom for having embraced the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which made it official London policy to support the creation of a national home for the Jewish People.

Nevertheless, when the representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hectored delegates that they no longer seem to treat the depressed state of the Palestinian people as the overriding issue that should unite all Arabs, his pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears. The PFLP gave public evidence of the Palestinian issue’s fall from priority, stating on their website that “this year’s resolutions are no more than a carbon copy of the resolutions of the Arab Summits made in previous years. It reflects the situation too of the Arab League which long ago lost the Arab peoples’ confidence.”

Hamas also ruefully expressed similar frustration with the Arab League delegates, saying the summit “reflects the status of decline which the Arabs are suffering, even at the official level.”

Ironically, the only commentator who assessed that the Palestinian issue remains paramount in Arab minds was the French Consul General in Jerusalem, Herv Magro, who commented that “the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is the central issue in the Middle East.”

Arab and Islamic states traditionally give lip service to the Palestine issue and Israel’s “occupation” of Arab lands. However, from the substance discussed at the Arab Summit, it seems apparent that Palestinian affairs and the so-called Arab-Israeli peace process are not currently the primary concerns of Arab states. Certainly, there was little evidence at this year’s annual meeting that Palestine was any representative’s principal concern, except that of the PFLP delegate.

The tenor of this year’s conference demonstrates the politically reality of a divided Arab world, a community of Arab states that is bereft of the confidence to act collectively in its own interests, and its fearful inability to meet the challenge of either Iran or radical Islamic terrorism, which threaten the very existence of their regimes.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

 

De historische fouten van de Arabieren en hun interacties met Israël

door Fred Maroun
31 Juli 2016


  • Wij, Arabieren, zijn erin geslaagd om onze relatie met Israël tot iets gruwelijks te maken, maar het ergste van alles is de huidige situatie van de Palestijnen. Onze grootste fout was het niet accepteren van de VN-partitie plan van 1947.
  • Misschien moet men geen oorlogen lanceren, als men niet bereid is de resultaten te accepteren van het eventuele verliezen ervan.
  • De Joden houden de Arabieren niet in kampen, wij wel.
  • Jordanië heeft sommige vluchtelingen geïntegreerd, maar niet allemaal. We konden dan wel hebben bewezen dat wij, Arabieren, grote en nobele mensen zijn, maar in plaats daarvan toonden we de wereld, als we blijven doen wat we doen, dat onze haat ten opzichte van elkaar en tegen Joden veel groter is dan een concept van een vermeende Arabische solidariteit.

In de huidige staat van de relatie tussen de Arabische wereld en Israël zien we een lappendeken van vijandigheid, gespannen vrede, beperkte samenwerking, rust en geweld. Wij, Arabieren, zijn er in geslaagd onze relatie met Israël tot iets gruwelijk te maken, maar het ergste van alles is de huidige situatie van de Palestijnen.

De oorspronkelijke fout

Onze eerste fout in de laatste eeuwen heeft plaatsgevonden ruim vóór de onafhankelijkheidsverklaring van Israël in mei 1948. Het bestond uit het niet erkennen van Joden als gelijken.

Zoals gedocumenteerd door een toonaangevende Amerikaanse geleerde, Mark R. Cohen, in de Joodse geschiedenis in de moslimwereld, is tijdens die era de Joden, net als de andere niet-moslims, de status gegeven van dhimmis [niet – moslims, die moeten betalen voor bescherming en afzonderlijke wetten moeten volgen om te worden getolereerd in de moslim-gecontroleerde gebieden]. Nieuwe huizen van aanbidding mochten niet worden gebouwd, en oude niet worden hersteld. Zij moesten nederig handelen in aanwezigheid van moslims. Ze moesten in hun liturgische praktijk de preëminentie eren van de islam. Ze waren verder verplicht om zich te onderscheiden van de moslims door hun kleding en het vermijden van symbolen van eer. Andere beperkingen hebben hen uitgesloten van posities van gezag in een islamitische regering”.

Op 1 maart 1944, terwijl de nazi’s bezig waren met het uitmoorden van zes miljoen Joden, en ruim voordat Israël zijn onafhankelijkheid verklaarde, verklaarde Haj Amin al-Husseini, toen Grand Mufti van Jeruzalem, op Radio Berlin: “Arabieren, rijs op als één man en vechten voor uw heilige rechten. Om de Joden te doden waar je ze zal vinden. Dit behaagt Allah, de geschiedenis en de religie. Dit geeft u eer. Allah is met u.”

Als we deze fout niet hadden gemaakt, hadden we op twee manieren kunnen profiteren.

De Joden zouden waarschijnlijk in grotere aantallen zijn gebleven in het Islamitische Midden-Oosten, en ze zouden de Midden-Oosterse beschaving hebben bevorderd in plaats van de beschavingen van die plaatsen waar zij naar toe vluchtten, vooral Europa en later de Verenigde Staten.

Ten tweede, als Joden zich veilig hadden gevoeld en geaccepteerd waren in het Midden-Oosten, onder Arabieren, hadden zij niet de behoefte gevoeld een onafhankelijke staat uit te roepen, die ons bewaard zou hebben van onze latere fouten.

De grootste vergissing

Onze tweede en ergste fout was het niet accepteren van het VN-verdelingsplan van 1947. VN-resolutie 181 vormde de juridische basis voor een Joodse staat én een Arabische staat, om te delen wat vroeger het door de Britten bestuurde Palestina was.

Zoals gerapporteerd door de BBC, voorzag die resolutie hierin:

“Een Joodse staat met 56.47% van het Palestina Mandaat (met uitzondering van Jeruzalem) met een bevolking van 498.000 Joden en 325.000 Arabieren. Een Arabische staat die 43.53% betrof van het Palestina Mandaat (met uitzondering van Jeruzalem), met 807.000 inwoners aan Arabische en 10.000 Joodse inwoners. Een internationaal onder curatele staand bestuur in Jeruzalem, waar een bevolking van 100.000 Joden en 105.000 Arabieren was.”

Hoewel het land dat aan de Joodse staat was toegekend iets groter was dan het land dat aan de Arabische staat was toegekend, was veel van het Joodse deel een totale woestijn, de Negev en Arava, en was het vruchtbare land toegewezen aan de Arabieren. Het plan was ook voordelig voor de Arabieren om twee andere redenen:

  • De Joodse staat had slechts een krappe meerderheid aan Joden, waarin de Arabieren bijna evenveel invloed zouden krijgen als de Joden in het bestuur van de Joodse staat, terwijl de Arabische staat bijna zuiver Arabisch was, die geen politieke voordeel toekende aan Joden die daarbinnen leefden.
  • Het hele geheel voorgesteld als staat bestond uit drie min of meer losgekoppeld stukken, resulterend om sterk geografische onderling afhankelijk te zijn tussen die twee staten. Mochten de twee staten op vriendschappelijke voet staan, ze waarschijnlijk samen hebben gewerkt in vele opzichten als een enkele Federatie. In deze Federatie hadden de Arabieren een grote meerderheid.

In plaats van de aanvaarding van het plan als een cadeau, toen het nog kon, besloten wij Arabieren dat wij een Joodse staat niet konden accepteren, punt. In mei 1948 heeft Azzam Pasha, de secretaris-generaal van de Arabische Liga, aangekondigd, met betrekking tot het voorgestelde nieuwe Joodse deel van de verdeling: dat “Dit een oorlog van uitroeiing zal worden, een gedenkwaardig bloedbad waarover zal worden gesproken zoals over de Mongoolse slachtingen en de kruistochten.” Wij begonnen dus met een oorlog die bestemd was voor de uitroeiing van de nieuwe staat in haar kinderschoenen, maar we verloren die, en het resultaat van onze fout was een veel sterkere Joodse staat:

  • De Joodse meerderheid van de Joodse staat groeide aanzienlijk als gevolg van de uitwisseling van bevolkingen die dan heeft plaatsgevonden, met veel Arabieren op de vlucht voor de oorlog in Israël en vele Joden vluchtende uit een vijandige Arabische wereld naar de nieuwe staat.
  • De Joden verwierven extra land tijdens deze oorlog die wij gelanceerd hebben, wat resulteerde in de wapenstilstandslijnen (vandaag de groene lijnen of pre-1967-lijnen genoemd), die Israël een deel van het land gaf dat eerder was toegewezen aan de Arabische staat. De Joodse staat verwierf ook veel betere aaneengeslotenheid, terwijl de Arabische delen werden verdeeld in twee stukken (Gaza en de Westelijke Jordaanoever) gescheiden door bijna 50 kilometer afstand.

Misschien moet men geen oorlogen lanceren, als men niet bereid is de resultaten te accepteren van het eventuele verliezen ervan.

In mei 1948 heeft Azzam Pasha (rechts), de secretaris-generaal van de Arabische Liga, aangekondigd om met betrekking tot het voorgestelde nieuwe Joodse deel van de verdeling: “Dit wordt een oorlog tot uitroeiing, een gedenkwaardig bloedbad, waarover zal worden gesproken zoals over de Mongoolse slachtingen en de kruistochten.”

Meer oorlogen en meer fouten

Na de Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog (de naam die de Joden aan de oorlog van 1947/1948 geven) was Israël in alle praktische doeleinden beperkt tot het land binnen de groene lijnen. Israël had geen autoriteit of zeggenschap over Gaza en de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Als er gekozen was om vrede te sluiten met Israël op dat moment, hadden wij, Arabieren, twee opties gehad:

  • We hadden Gaza kunnen verenigen met Egypte, en de Westelijke Jordaanoever met Jordanië, en de Palestijnen kunnen voorzien van burgerschap in één van twee relatief sterke Arabische landen, die zowel getalsmatig als geografisch sterker waren dan Israël.
  • Wij hadden een nieuwe staat gemaakt in Gaza en de Westelijke Jordaanoever.

In plaats daarvan kozen we ervoor om door te gaan met vijandelijkheden met Israël. In de lente van 1967 vormden we een coalitie voor de aanval op Israël. Op 20 mei 1967 verklaarde de Syrische Minister van Defensie, Hafez Assad: “De tijd is gekomen over te gaan tot een slag van vernietiging.” Op 27 mei 1967 verklaarde de Egyptische President Abdul Nasser: “Onze fundamentele doelstelling is de vernietiging van Israël”. In juni kostte het Israël zes dagen om ons te verslaan en totaal te vernederen tegenover de wereld. In deze oorlog verloren we nog veel meer grond, met inbegrip van Gaza en de Westelijke Jordaanoever.

Na de oorlog van 1967 (die de Joden de Zesdaagse oorlog noemen) bood Israël ons het land aan voor vrede, om daarmee ons een kans te geven tot het herstellen van de fout van de Zesdaagse oorlog. We reageerden met de Khartoum-resoluties en met te verklaren: “Geen vrede met Israël, geen erkenning van Israël en geen onderhandelingen met Israël”.

Niet alleen hadden we niets geleerd van 1967, we hebben nogmaals een coalitie gevormd in oktober 1973 en probeerden opnieuw om Israël te vernietigen. We bereikten enige winst, maar vervolgens keerde het tij en we verloren het nogmaals. Na deze derde vernederende nederlaag, brak onze coalitie tegen Israël. En Egypte en Jordanië besloten zelfs om vrede met Israël te sluiten.

De rest van ons bleef zich hardnekkig verzetten tegen Israëls bestaan, zelfs Syrië, dat net als Egypte en Jordanië, land had verloren aan Israël tijdens de Zesdaagse oorlog. Vandaag bezit Israël nog steeds dat grondgebied, en er is geen enkele reële kans op dat het land ooit terug zal gaan naar Syrië. De Israëlische premier verklaarde onlangs: “Israël zal nooit de Golanhoogte verlaten”.

De tragedie van de Palestijnen

Het meest verwerpelijke en het meest tragische van onze fouten is de wijze waarop wij, Arabieren, de Palestijnen hebben behandeld sinds Israëls verklaring van onafhankelijkheid.

De Joden van Israël verwelkomden de Joodse vluchtelingen uit Arabische en andere moslimlanden in de Israëlische kudde, ongeacht de kosten of de moeilijkheden bij de integratie van mensen met heel verschillende achtergronden. Israël integreerde gretig de vluchtelingen uit verre landen, met inbegrip van Ethiopië, India, Marokko, Brazilië, Iran, Oekraïne en Rusland. Door dit te doen, laten ze de krachtige band zien die de Joden aan elkaar bindt. Op hetzelfde moment hadden wij de kans om op dezelfde manier de band te tonen die Arabieren bindt, maar in plaats van de gastvrij de Arabische vluchtelingen te verwelkomen uit de oorlog van 1947/48, beperkten wij hen tot een kampleven met ernstige beperkingen op hun dagelijkse leven.

In Libanon, zoals gerapporteerd door Amnesty International, “lijden de Palestijnen onder discriminatie en uitsluiting op de arbeidsmarkt, wat bijdraagt aan de hoge niveaus van werkloosheid, lage lonen en slechte arbeidsvoorwaarden. Terwijl de Libanese autoriteiten onlangs een verbod hebben opgeheven op 50 van de 70 banen die uitgesloten waren voor hen, ondervinden de Palestijnen nog steeds belemmeringen in het vinden van werk. Het ontbreken van voldoende werkgelegenheid leidt tot een hoog percentage aan drop-outs voor Palestijnse schoolkinderen die ook beperkte toegang hebben tot het secundaire openbare onderwijs. De daaruit voortvloeiende armoede wordt verergerd door de beperkingen van hun toegang tot sociale diensten”.

Libanon en Syrië hebben de vluchtelingen, die eerder een paar kilometer van de landsgrenzen woonden niet geïntegreerd, mensen met bijna identieke culturen, talen en godsdiensten, en het land deelden. Jordanië heeft sommige vluchtelingen geïntegreerd, maar niet allemaal. We konden dan wel hebben bewezen dat wij, Arabieren, grote en nobele mensen zijn, maar in plaats daarvan toonden we de wereld, als we blijven doen wat we doen, dat onze haat ten opzichte van elkaar en tegen Joden veel groter is dan een concept van een vermeende Arabische solidariteit. Beschamend voor ons is dat zeven decennia nadat de Palestijnse vluchtelingen uit Israël vluchtten, hun nakomelingen nog steeds beschouwd worden als vluchtelingen.

Het slechtste deel van de manier waarop die we de Palestijnse vluchtelingen hebben behandeld is dat er zelfs binnen de Westelijke Jordaanoever en de Gazastrook, tot op deze dag een onderscheid blijft tussen de Palestijnse vluchtelingen en inheemse Palestijnen. In die landen, volgens de cijfers van het jaar 2010, aangeboden door het Palestijnse vluchtelingen ResearchNet aan de McGill University, woont 37 procent van de Palestijnen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever en Gaza in kampen! Gaza heeft acht Palestijnse vluchtelingenkampen en de Westelijke Jordaanoever heeft er negentien. De Joden houden de Arabieren niet in kampen, wij wel. De Palestijnse President Mahmoed Abbas claimt een staat op dat gebied, maar we kunnen moeilijk verwachten dat men hem serieus neemt wanneer hij de Palestijnse vluchtelingen in kampen laat zitten, onder zijn gezag, maar hen zelfs niet met de andere Palestijnen laat integreren. De dwaasheid van de situatie wedijvert met de botheid.

Waar we nu zijn

Vanwege onze eigen fouten is vandaag onze relatie met Israël een mislukking. De enige kracht in onze economieën is olie, wat een bedervende bron is, vanwege fracking, en vermindert daardoor in waarde. We hebben bijna niets gedaan om ons voor te bereiden op de toekomst, waar we inventiviteit en productiviteit nodig zullen hebben. Foreign Policy Magazine zegt: “Hoewel Arabische regeringen allang de noodzaak herkenden van een verschuiving weg van de buitensporige afhankelijkheid van koolwaterstoffen, hebben zij weinig succes met het doen ervan. … Zelfs de economie van de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten, een van de meest gediversifieerde in de Golf, is sterk afhankelijk van olie-export.”

Business Insider waardeerde Israël in 2015 als het op twee na meest innovatieve land van de wereld. Landen van over de hele wereld profiteren van Israëls creativiteit, met inbegrip van landen als het zo afgelegen en geavanceerde Japan. En nog halen we uit naar Israël, een innovatief powerhouse, met iets dat gebeurt aan onze grenzen.

We falen ook om te profiteren van Israëls militaire genie om te helpen te vechten tegen onze nieuwe en verwoestende vijanden zoals ISIS.

Het ergste van allemaal is, dat onze eigen mensen, de Palestijnen, verspreid hebben — verdeeld, gedesillusioneerd, en volstrekt niet in staat tot een heropleving van het nationale project dat we in 1948 van onder hun voeten hebben weggenomen en dat we sindsdien onherkenbaar hebben verminkt.

Het is een understatement om te zeggen dat we onze aanpak jegens Israël moet veranderen. Er zijn fundamentele veranderingen die wijzelf moeten doen, en we moeten de moed en morele vastberadenheid vinden om ze te creëren.

De Joden houden geen Arabieren in kampen, zoals wij.

Fred Maroun, een linkse Arabier, gevestigd in Canada, heeft opinie-artikelen geschreven voor New Canadian Media, en andere nieuwskanalen. Van 1961-1984 woonde hij in Libanon.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

 

The Impact of Islamic Fundamentalism on Free Speech

by Denis MacEoin
June 19, 2016 at 5:00 am


  • The 57-member-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have been working hard for years to render Islam the only religion, political system and ideology in the world that may not be questioned with impunity. They have tried — and are in many respects succeeding — to ring-fence Islam as a creed beyond criticism, while reserving for themselves the right to condemn Christians, Jews, Hindus, democrats, liberals, women and gays in often vile, even violent language. Should anyone say anything that seems to them disrespectful of their faith, he or she will at once be declared an “Islamophobe.”
  • Like almost every world leader, Obama declares, with gross inaccuracy, that “Islam is a religion of peace”. It is politically expedient to deny the very real connection to jihad violence in the Qur’an, the Traditions (ahadith), shari’a law, and the entire course of Islamic history. They do this partly for political reasons, but probably more out of fear of offending Muslims. We know only too well how angry many Muslims can become at even the lightest offence.
  • “If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name. … I hope nobody ever comes after them.” – Salman Rushdie, on the PEN members who objected to giving its award to Charlie Hebdo, after 12 of its staff were murdered by jihadists.
  • The OIC succeeded in winning a UN Human Rights Council resolution that makes “defamation of religion” a crime. But the OIC knows full well that only Muslims are likely to use Western laws to deny free speech about their own faith. Last year, the US Congress introduced House Resolution 569, also purportedly intended to combat hate speech. It contains an oddity: it singles out Muslims for protection three times. It does not mention any other faith community.

One of the greatest achievements of the Enlightenment in Europe and the United States is the principle of free speech and reasoned criticism. Democracy is underpinned by it. Our courts and parliaments are built on it. Without it, scholars, journalists, and advocates would be trapped, as their ancestors had been, in a verbal prison. It is enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, in the words

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Without full freedom to express ourselves in speech or in print, none of us could criticize a religion, an ideology, a political party, a law, an academic theorem, or anything else we might feel to be misguided, flawed, or even dangerous. Through it, we are free to worship as we choose, to preach as we see fit, to stand up in a parliament to oppose the government, to satirize the pompous, to take elites down a peg or two, to raise the oppressed to dignity, or to say that anything is nonsense.

Sir Karl Popper, the philosopher, wrote The Open Society and Its Enemies in defence of democracy, freedom and free speech. In Popper’s open society, all people have to be able to think and express themselves freely, without fear of punishment or censorship.

Closed societies are totalitarian and depend on claims to absolute truth. The citizen is not free to challenge the ideas of the state. Theocracies, including past and present Islamic states, rest for their authority on the rigid application of infallible scripture and divinely revealed laws.

The chief threat to free speech today comes from a combination of radical Islamic censorship and Western political correctness. Over the past century and more, Western societies have built up a consensus on the centrality of freedom of expression. We are allowed to criticize any political system or ideology we care to: capitalism, socialism, liberalism, communism, libertarianism, anarchism, even democracy itself. Not only that, but — provided we do not use personalized hate speech or exhortations to violence — we are free to call to account any religion from Christianity to Scientology, Judaism to any cult we choose. Some writers, such as the late Christopher Hitchens, have been uncensored in their condemnations of religion as such.

It can be hard for religious people to bear the harsher criticisms, and many individuals would like to close them down, but lack that power. Organizations such as Britain’s National Secular Society (established in 1866) flourish and even advise governments.

It used to be possible to do this with Islam as well. In some measure it still is. But many Muslim bodies — notably the 57-member-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — have been working hard for years to render Islam the only religion, political system and ideology in the world that may not be questioned with impunity. They have tried — and are in many respects succeeding — to ring-fence Islam as a creed beyond criticism, while reserving for themselves the right to condemn Christians, Jews, Hindus, democrats, liberals, women, gays, or anyone else in often vile, even violent language. Should anyone say anything that seems to them disrespectful of their faith, he or she will at once be declared an “Islamophobe.”

I am not talking here about hate literature comparable to the ubiquitous anti-Semitic writing so freely available on the internet. Much milder things have fallen and continue to fall afoul of Islamic defensiveness. We know some of the more obvious: a novel, a bunch of cartoons, some films, some political speeches, and a few blogs which have resulted in savage floggings, imprisonment, torture, death threats and murders. There is plenty of vulgar anti-Muslim comment online, just as there is plenty of everything in the public arena. But Muslim sensibilities have become so tender now that even fair, balanced, and informed questions about Muhammad, his early followers, the Qur’an, various doctrines, aspects of Islamic history, the behaviour of some Muslims, even the outrages committed by them, are rejected as Islamophobic.

Politicians and the media rush to disavow any connection between jihadi violence and Islam, and hurry to protect Muslims from the anticipated anger that massacres might provoke. Officials are not wrong to urge against reprisals or hatred targeting ordinary, uninvolved Muslims. But many often seem too quick to avoid pinning blame on actual Islamic laws and doctrines that inspire the jihad attacks.

Just after the horrendous slaughter in a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, U.S. President Barack Obama made a speech in which he described the attack as an “act of hate” and an “act of terror”. Not “Islamic terrorism” or even the misleading phrase “Islamist terrorism”. Like almost every world leader, he declares, with gross inaccuracy, that “Islam is a religion of peace”. It is politically expedient to deny the very real connection to jihad violence in the Qur’an, the Traditions (ahadith), shari’a law, and the entire course of Islamic history. Obama and many others simply deny themselves the right to state what is true, partly for political reasons, but probably more out of fear of offending Muslims in general, and Muslim clerics and leaders in particular. We know only too well how angry many Muslims can become at even the lightest perceived offence.

The list of threats, attacks, and murders carried out to avenge perceived irreverence towards Islam, Muhammad, the Qur’an or other symbols of Islam is now long. Even the mildest complaints from Muslim organizations can result in the banning or non-publication of books, distancing from authors, condemnations of alleged “Islamophobes” by declared supporters of free speech, the cancellation of lectures, arrests, and prosecutions of men and women for “crimes” that were not crimes at all. There are trials, fines and sentencings for advocates of an accurate and honest portrayal of Islam, its sources, and its history.

Danish author Lars Hedegaard suffered an attack on his life and lives in a secret location. Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, suffered an axe attack that failed, and is under permanent protection by the security services. In 2009, in Austria, the politician Susanne Winter was found guilty of “anti-Muslim incitement,” for saying, “In today’s system, the Prophet Mohammad would be considered a child-molester,” and that Islam “should be thrown back where it came from, behind the Mediterranean.” She was fined 24,000 euros ($31,000) and given a three-month suspended sentence. The phrase “child molester” was based on the fact, recorded by Muslim biographers, that Muhammad had sexual relations with his new wife A’isha when she was nine years old.

In 2011, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a former Austrian diplomat and teacher, was put on trial for “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion,” found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in prison. Some of her comments may have seemed extreme and fit for criticism, but the court’s failure to engage with her historically accurate charge that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl and continued to have sex with her until she turned eighteen, regarding her criticism of it as somehow defamatory, and the judge’s decision to punish her for saying something that can be found in Islamic sources, illustrates the betrayal of Western values of free speech in defence of something we would normally penalize.

The stories of the bounty placed on Salman Rushdie’s head by the Ayatollah Khomeini, the threats and attacks against the artists who drew the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, or the murderous assault on the editorial team at Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015 are well known. Accustomed to free speech, open blasphemy, and satire, at home with irreverence for individuals and institutions, and assured of the legality of those freedoms — threats and attacks like those terrify us. Or should.

Iran’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini put a cash bounty on the head of British novelist Salman Rushdie 27 years ago, because he deemed Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, offensive. In February 2016, a group of Iranian media outlets added $600,000 to the cash reward.

But even more terrifying is the way in which so many politically correct Western writers and politicians have turned their backs on our most basic values. There are many instances, but the most disturbing has to be the reaction of Pen International, the internationally acclaimed defender of free speech everywhere, to Charlie Hebdo. PEN International is known worldwide as an association of writers. Together they work tirelessly for the freedom of authors from imprisonment, torture, or other restrictions on their freedom to write honestly and controversially. In 2015, PEN’s American Center planned to present its annual Freedom of Expression Award during its May 5 gala to Charlie Hebdo. The award was to be handed to Gerard Biart, the publication’s editor-in-chief, and to Jean-Baptiste Thorat, a staff member who arrived late on the day when Muslim radicals slaughtered twelve of his colleagues. This is the sort of thing PEN does well: upholding everyone’s right to speak out even when offence is taken.

When, however, this was announced, six PEN members, almost predictably, condemned the decision to give the award to Charlie Hebdo, and refused to attend the gala. Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi exercised their right to double standards by blaming Charlie Hebdo for its offensiveness. Kushner expressed her discomfort with the magazine’s “cultural intolerance.” Does that mean that PEN should never have supported Salman Rushdie for having offended millions of Muslims just to express his feelings about Islam?

Peter Carey expressed his support, not for the satirists, but for the Muslim minority in France, speaking of “PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population.” We never heard Carey speaking out when a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, was tortured to death for weeks in France, or when Jews in Toulouse were shot and killed. He seems to be saying that the French government should shut up any writer or artist who offends the extreme sensitivities of a small percent of its population.

Teju Cole remarked, in the wake of the killings, that Charlie Hebdo claimed to offend all parties but had recently “gone specifically for racist and Islamophobic provocations.” But Islam is not a race, and the magazine has never been racist, so why charge that in response to the sort of free speech PEN has always worked hard to advance?

A sensible and nuanced rebuttal of these charges came from Salman Rushdie himself, a former president of PEN:

“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name. What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”

Those six later morphed into something like one hundred and forty-five. By April 30, Carey and the others were joined by another one hundred and thirty-nine members who signed a protest petition. Writers, some distinguished, some obscure, had taken up their pens to defy the principle of free speech in an organization dedicated to free speech — many of whom live in a land that protects free speech in its First Amendment precisely for their benefit.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation had succeeded in winning a UN Human Rights Council resolution (16/18, 2010) that makes “defamation of religion” (read: blasphemy in the eyes of its followers) a crime. But the OIC knows full well that only Muslims are likely to use Western laws to deny free speech about their own faith. Five years later, in December 2015, the US Congress introduced House Resolution 569, intended to combat hate speech and other crimes. Insofar as it addresses matters of genuine concern to us all, it seems beyond reproach. But it contains an oddity. It singles out Muslims for protection three times. It does not mention any other faith community.

The greatest defence of our democracy, our freedom, our openness to political and religious debate, and our longing to live in Popper’s open society without hindrance — namely freedom of expression — is now under serious threat. The West survived the totalitarianism of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union without any loss of our freedoms. But today, a new enemy has arisen, global in its reach, more and more often militant in its expression, rooted in 1.6 billion people, seated at the UN and other international bodies, and already partially cowing us into submission to its repressive prejudices. Since the edict against Salman Rushdie, there is no way of calculating how many books have been shelved, how many television documentaries have never been aired, how many film scripts have been tossed in the waste bin, how many conferences have been cancelled or torn down, or how many killers are waiting in the wings for the next book, or poem, or song or sport that will transgress the strictures of Islamic law and doctrine.

Denis MacEoin PhD is a specialist in Islamic affairs. He is currently writing a study of concerns about Islam in the Western world.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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Father Naddaf: Beacon of Light to the Christians of Israel

by Susan Warner
June 19, 2016 at 4:30 am


  • Chapter one of this story began when Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Nazareth, started to speak up for the idea that it was time for Christians to embrace their homeland, Israel, and their Jewish roots.
  • “Christian Arabs are hostages.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.
  • “We have a joint fate in this land [Israel], because whatever happens to the Jews here will happen to us.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.
  • “On what authority does President Abbas claim that Jesus was a Palestinian? The Bible says that He was born in the Jewish city of Bethlehem to Jewish parents from the city of Nazareth and was circumcised on the 8th day as a Jew and presented to the Jewish Temple by His parents according to the Mosaic law.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.
  • Father Naddaf has been providing leadership to unite Christians and Jews; a rapidly increasing number of Christians see him as offering them the opportunity to envision and build a tremendous future.

When Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Nazareth, Israel, launched his campaign to convince Israeli Christians to enlist in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), he unwittingly ignited a firestorm between opposing forces within and around Israel’s Christian and Muslim communities.

His decision, born of his love and respect for his native land — combined with his acknowledgement of Judaism and Israel as the cradle of Christianity — perhaps has set the stage for a long overdue reunification in Israel between contemporary Christians and Jews.

In the short term, Father Naddaf’s decision has polarized the Christian community, a large part of which has aligned itself with the Arab-Palestinian narrative — a narrative engineered by forces behind Yasser Arafat in the 1960s — and designed to obliterate Israel as a Jewish nation.

In the long term, however, Father Naddaf’s decision could facilitate an opportunity for Christians to focus on the value of Israel as its most important friend and partner. Naddaf’s journey has the potential to model the way in which Israeli Christians relate to each other, to their homeland and to their Jewish neighbors.

Perhaps by announcing his support of Israel and by boldly acknowledging Christianity’s roots in Judaism, Naddaf took one small step towards decoupling contemporary Israeli Christians from their current misplaced identity of themselves as “Arabs,” as “Palestinians,” and as a kind of fifth column within Israel.

As a Times of Israel article by Mitch Ginsburg asserts:

“Naddaf wants to carve out a new identity and a separate community. He believes that in the coming years he can rally 50,000 Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel to align themselves with the Jewish people and with Israel. The first order of business on the path toward that new identity, he said, was ‘breaking the fear’ that has gripped the community. He likened the Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel, the minority of the minority, to the Jews of the Diaspora: good grades, pretty good jobs, few troubles. ‘Christian Arabs are hostages,’ he said, adding, ‘the only time they feel free to identify as Christians is when they are castigating me.’

How Christians in the region began to identify as Arabs is a complex puzzle; Christian history from 30 CE until the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 CE was not Arabic at all, but rather Jewish and Roman.

Early Christian anti-Semitism, evidenced as early as the second century CE, certainly played a large part in separating Christians from their Jewish roots. Another wedge was the seventh century invasion of the region by Arab Islamic armies, which turned the region into an Islamic colonialist stronghold where Christians lived largely as dhimmis (second class, “tolerated” citizens who had to follow a humiliating set of laws and buy protection) until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1916 and the end of World War I.

Father Gabriel Naddaf is now at the forefront of what one side sees as a hopeful unity movement and what others loudly decry as a political plot to fragment the Arab-Palestinian political cause.

Chapter one of this story began when Father Gabriel Naddaf, then a newly appointed priest of Greek Orthodox Church, started to speak up for the idea that it was time for Christians to embrace their homeland, Israel, and their Jewish roots. At the time, the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Iranaeus, rejected the idea as too controversial.

Mitch Ginsberg’s article points out how unique and extraordinary is Naddaf’s decision:

“[A]n Arabic-speaking Christian clergyman, Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest, has done the unthinkable: He has issued a call for Christian Arab citizens of Israel to reassess their Arab identity and to consider themselves indigenous Christians, of Greek and Aramaic origin, inextricably linked to the Jewish people and the Old Testament, and to fortify that bond by serving in the Israeli army.”

Chapter two launches the remake of an identity. It starts in 2007 when a member of the Maronite Christian Church from the Northern Israeli town of Jish (Gush Halav), IDF Captain (res.)Shadi Khalloul met with soon-to-be member of Knesset (MK) Yariv Levin. Out of that meeting came a new term from an ancient saga — Arameans. It also became a cause of interest for Levin, who, when elected MK in 2009, began to advocate on behalf of Israeli-Arameans.

Arameans, considered by historians a lost civilization, are of Semitic origin. The Aramaic language — a language similar to Hebrew — was a common trade language throughout a large swath of the Middle East during the Second Temple period. Jesus and his Apostles spoke the Aramaic language, which, at least until recently, was still spoken in towns throughout Syria — long after its ethnic origins had disappeared.

The term “Aramean” has not yet caught on with the news media which continues to call the Christians in the Middle East “Christian Arabs” — a confusing term, in part because “Christians” from many different streams of Christianity, and “Muslim Arabs” have been thrown into the same convenient pot.

Typically, and for reasons that can only be speculated on — the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox denominational streams have aligned themselves with the Palestinian-Arab and Muslim politico-religious agendas. Similarly, some Protestant denominations, which have aligned themselves with Palestinian Arabs, have joined the chorus against Israel.

Father Naddaf’s ideas run counter to some Christian theologies today that seem less religious than politically motivated. Christian “Palestinianism,” for example, is a manipulative and erroneous theology linking Jesus with the Palestinian Arab political cause.

It is not too surprising that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has jumped on this bandwagon citing the “Palestinian Jesus” narrative as a rallying cry for its cause, but submitting to a radical Islamic replacement theology would negate archeology and history, as well as Christianity.

In a 2015 article for Breaking Israel News, Ahuva Belofsky writes:

“In response to repeated statements by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials that Jesus was a Palestinian, Israeli Christian leader Father Gabriel Naddaf denounced the claims. ‘On what authority does President Abbas claim that Jesus was a Palestinian?’ Naddaf wrote. ‘The Bible says that He was born in the Jewish city of Bethlehem to Jewish parents from the city of Nazareth and was circumcised on the 8th day as a Jew and presented to the Jewish Temple by His parents according to the Mosaic law.'”

Chapter three captures Father Naddaf’s sense of destiny for Christians hand-in-hand with Israel as a Jewish State. A day came when Naddaf realized that he did not identify at all with the epithet “Arab Christian” and that it neither applies to him nor to his Greek Orthodox followers. “We have a joint fate in this land [Israel], because whatever happens to the Jews here will happen to us,” he asserted in a recent statement.

Since those early days, he has been working continuously to differentiate himself from the “Arab” label attached him by the media, by religious tradition and until recently by the Israeli government, which has now formally recognized Aramean as an official “minority group” eligible to receive benefits from the Israeli government.

Naddaf’s work to enlist Christian youths into the IDF started quietly at first. In 2014 theJerusalem Post reported that the IDF, which does not require Christians or Muslims to serve, began to send official enlistment notices to Christian youths of military age, inviting them voluntarily to enlist for duty. From an inconspicuous start, now more than 100 Christian youths each year are volunteering to serve, and Naddaf believes the number will increase rapidly. Through the IDF, Christians will be able to assimilate more easily into Israeli society.

However, life for a visionary is never easy. According to Ginsburg in his 2014 article in Times of Israel:

“He knows that his life is in danger. He has been called a traitor. His car tires have been slashed; bloody rags have been left outside his apartment building. He is regularly threatened over the telephone and, last year, his son was attacked outside his home by a youth wielding an iron club.”

News reports do not make it clear who the attackers are, but a billboard near his church in Nazareth, put up after his son was attacked, leaves little doubt:

The large billboard in the center of Nazareth warning Christians against slandering Allah, photographed January 2014.

The Israeli government has unfortunately been slow to prosecute the perpetrators of these attacks; evidently there are few fingerprints. But Naddaf is committed to this path, even while others of his friends and allies have abandoned the project due to threats from the religious hierarchy and elsewhere.

Many theologians, both Jewish and Christian, identify Israel as the center of God’s world — the “apple of God’s eye,” it says in Zechariah 2:8. But there are many Christians for whom the Bible is less an “authoritative” historical document and more a book of poetry or inspiration. There are also those Christian groups (some say a majority) who follow “replacement theologies,” which have written off Israel altogether. This widespread but erroneous version of Christianity transfers the covenant promises God made with Israel to the Christian Church.

In a similar vein, a common Muslim narrative says that Islam replaces both Christianity and Judaism. There are many in the Muslim world intent on rewriting the history of the Middle East; they have vowed to blot out the name of Israel and the Jews altogether. In some circles, these two groups have been in collaboration with each other. As we have been seeing recently in Nigeria, Syria and Iraq, after the Jews are targeted, the Christians are targeted next: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people, ” goes the saying in the Middle East.

Father Naddaf, by contrast, has been providing leadership to unite Christians and Jews. A rapidly increasing number of Christians see him as offering them the opportunity to envision and build a tremendous future.

Susan Warner is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute and co-founder of a Christian group, Olive Tree Ministries in Wilmington, DE, USA. She has been writing and teaching about Israel and the Middle East for over 15 years. Contact her atisraelolivetree@yahoo.com.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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Hamas Threatens Jordan

by Bassam Tawil
June 15, 2016 at 5:00 am


  • The signs near the Al-Aqsa mosque were clear: “The cameras will be broken and the hands that hung them will be cut off.”
  • Installing video cameras near the Al Aqsa mosque would be a painful thorn in the side of all the terrorist organizations. The immensely successful collaborations in the area — those with Jordan and Israel and Egypt and Israel — serve the security interests of all three countries, as well as the Palestinians who do not wish to be taken over by Islamic extremists even more brutal than the leaders we have now. And that is precisely why Palestinian elements, from the Palestinian Authority to Hamas, were determined to sabotage the project.
  • Changing the name of the Temple Mount to Haram al Sharif is another example of the treacherous United Nations’ rewriting of history. The UN move is seen even by us Muslims as a villainous lie that denies not only the historic Jewish presence in Jerusalem, but the history of Christianity as well. Do they really think we are that stupid?
  • Regardless of what the treacherous UN thinks, surrendering to Islamist demands will not win the war against terrorism.

An article published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on April 20, 2016 asked why Jordanian Prime Minister Abdallah Ensour fired Salame Hamad from his post as Minister of the Interior, despite Hamad having restored internal security and causing Jordanians to feel they were living in a country of law and order.[1]

The reason, it turned out, was that he was not decisive enough in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood. While he did close some of its offices and place strict limitations on the number of Gazans visiting Jordan, he apparently did not deal with the movement emphatically enough, and had even met with its leaders in his office twice.

One of the signs of this weakness in dealing with Islamists was Jordan’s surprising recent backpedaling on an agreement instituted by the Jordanian Wakf (office of religious endowment), which was brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. According to the agreement, video cameras would be installed in Jerusalem at the Al-Aqsa mosque. The footage would be transmitted in real time to both Israeli and the Jordanian authorities. Such an arrangement would improve security in Al-Aqsa, and expose and prevent hostile activities by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Northern Branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement and members of the Hizb al-Tahrir radical Islamist group.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, have, in fact, managed also to foul their relations with Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. After years of loyalty by Jordanian Islamists to the royal house of the Hashemites, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.), in recent years Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood entered into conflict with the Jordanian government.

Signs of the conflict were quickly evident in threats plastered on Al-Aqsa mosque. They warned against the installation of cameras. The signs were clear: “The cameras will be broken and the hands that hung them will be cut off.”

It is the very existence of the Jordanian Wakf that keeps the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and subversives from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Movement, Hamas and Hizb al-Tahrir — from turning the Al-Aqsa mosque into a fulcrum for a religious war between Islam and Judaism, on the false claim that the Jews and the government of Israel are supposedly plotting to destroy the mosque.

The truth is that the cameras would finally prove, once and for all, who the genuine provocateurs are that endanger the mosque. The cameras would expose the hypocrisy of the Palestinian Authority, which pretends to care about Al-Aqsa, while actually simply wanting to keep Jews from having access to the Temple Mount.

That is precisely why the PA, Hamas, the Islamic Movement and Hizb al-Tahrir all object so strongly to the project.

Sadly, the Jordanians since abandoned it. The collaboration between Israel and Jordan had left these extremist Islamic groups sitting on the sidelines, strengthened the appearance of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and, more importantly, reaffirmed Jordan’s role in the religious administration of Al-Aqsa.

Even if, as some claim, the project to install cameras was originally motivated by Israel’s desire keep the mosque safe for its own security, polish its image abroad and demonstrate its sovereignty, Israel also clearly wished to maintain calm and to neutralize the propagandists who were inciting violence and making political capital out of the riots there.

Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.

The ability to oversee activities in and around the mosque would also have prevented European governments, such as France and the EU, who meddle in other countries’ business, from escalating the tensions on the Temple Mount in order to promote their own duplicitous political agendas of buying off terrorists. They hope, by attacking Israel, to appease Arabs.

Even if we are not thrilled with the expression “Temple Mount,” referring to the Jews’ Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 90 CE, and over the ruins of which the Al Aqsa Mosque was built, the use of the name is nevertheless well-documented in Islamic historiography. Caliph Umar ibn Khattab conquered Jerusalem in 638 AD, and uncovered the inner sanctuary of the Temple, the Jewish Holy of Holies, which the Romans had covered with garbage. He was helped by Qa’ab al-Akhbar, a rabbi who had converted to Islam. It was called the Temple Mount until UNESCO recently changed the name to “Haram al-Sharif,” another example of the treacherous UN’s bald attempt to rewrite history. Changing the name of the Temple Mount to Haram al Sharif is seen even by us Muslims as nothing but a villainous lie that denies not only the historic Jewish presence in Jerusalem, but the historic Christian presence as well. Do they really think we are that stupid?

The United Nations’ surrender to extremist Islam is sweeping not only the Middle East but also Europe, which is currently busy inviting itself to be raped.

Cameras near the Al Aqsa mosque would therefore be a painful thorn in the side of all the terrorist organizations. The immensely successful collaborations in the area — those with Jordan and Israel and Egypt and Israel — serve the security interests of all three countries, as well as the Palestinians who do not wish to be taken over by Islamic extremists even more brutal than the leaders we have now. And that is precisely why Palestinian elements, from the Palestinian Authority to Hamas, were determined to sabotage the project.

The very fact of installing cameras would have dealt a significant blow to Hamas and all the Islamist organizations, international and local, working non-stop to close ranks around the lie that “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger” because Israel is allegedly planning to destroy it. Installing cameras would have dealt a blow to the followers of the Islamic Movement’s Ra’ed Salah, jailed for incitement, who photoshops pictures of “excavations to destroy the role model” and do their utmost to provoke bloodshed.

Installing cameras would also have dealt a blow to the Palestinian Authority’s demand that east Jerusalem serve as the capital of the future Palestinian state. The fact is that that no city significant to Islam — not Medina, Mecca, Qom, Karbala or Najaf — is the capital of any Muslim country.

If there is ever the genuine wish to have a Palestinian state — and serious doubts exist about that — Ramallah should be our rightful capital. If not, everyone can go home this afternoon; there will not be a solution.

A crucial factor in the equation is the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan. Al-Aqsa mosque is critical for Jordan as part of the religious justification for its kingdom, exactly as the Saudis need religious justification in Mecca and Medina. Jordan’s claim on Al-Aqsa Mosque is also part of its peace agreement with Israel. Hamas’s claim of “extremist Israeli provocation” is even more an attack on Jordan than it is on Israel. The threat to “cut off the hands of whoever installs the cameras” is largely a threat against Jordan, just as it also is a threat against Egypt.

The Egyptians are striking Hamas hard, and the Jordanians did not wait long to close the Muslim Brotherhood’s offices. The vultures are circling; only the Israelis are confused.

Regardless of what the treacherous UN thinks, surrendering to Islamist demands will not win the war against terrorism. Surrendering is, in fact, is the most certain way to encourage terrorism and ensure the fall of Jordan, the rest of the Middle East and the West. Perhaps the next American administration will be wise enough to understand that.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.


[1] The article examined the positive aspects of Hamad’s term of office: rooting out corruption, instituting governmental reforms, and dealing with the rebellion in the southern part of the country, especially around the city of Ma’an. He was a successful minister; his office cooperated well with other governmental offices; he had a positive influence and fought the spread of drugs.

He also, however, met directly and alone with King Abdullah, strengthening his position at the expense of that of the prime minister. Another claim against him, as noted in the article, was that he had prevented the implementation of a well-financed project that would have moved the center of the Saudi Arabia TV channel MBC from Lebanon to Jordan, a relocation necessitated by the Arab states’ designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. His decision caused Jordanian businessmen who had invested in the project to lose millions.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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What to Expect from an Independent Palestinian State

by Fred Maroun
June 15, 2016 at 4:00 am


  • Palestinian leaders have repeatedly shown that their priority is not peace, or a two-state solution, or a Palestinian state, but repression.
  • If a Palestinian state is created without correcting these destructive practices, it is highly likely that the new Palestinian regime will follow the same pattern already established, and be a hatemongering, corrupt, undemocratic, oppressive, belligerent, and ineffective regime. This would not only be a security threat for Israel, it would mean more of the same for the Palestinians.

France, with the support of the United States, is leading a new attempt at peace between Israel and the Palestinians, with the implied goal that an independent Palestinian state would be created — but what should we expect from such a state?

Although past behavior is not a perfect predictor of future behavior, it is a strong indicator of it, especially if no corrective action has been taken.

Violence

When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasdeclared, “The dawn of freedom rises with the evacuation of the last Israeli soldier and settler.” Yet, instead of using that freedom to build a successful economy, Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses that the settlers had left, and terrorists launched rocket attacks against Israel. These attacks forced Israel to institute a naval blockade of Gaza, to limit the supply of weapons to terrorists.

The Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s provided a transition period meant to lead to Palestinian statehood. However, instead of peaceful coexistence with Israel, the Palestinian leadership launched an assault that became known as the Second Intifada.

During the recent stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists, Abbas declared, “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Everyshahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.”

These violent actions and the incitement are not exceptions. They are part of a pattern of Arab denial of the Jews’ right to exist, which started well before Israel declared its independence, and that caused several wars and innumerable terrorist attacks against Israel.

Lack of democracy

Palestinian democracy has so far been a failure. Yasser Arafat was elected in July 1994 as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a four-year term, but he stayed in power, without further elections, for more than 10 years until his death in November 2004. Mahmoud Abbas was elected President in May 2005, and is still in office, without further elections, eleven years later.

Hamas, which won the PA legislative elections of 2006, was never invited to take the PA reins of power, but it took control of the Gaza Strip through a violent overthrow of Fatah, and still controls Gaza — also without further elections — ten years later.

Fatah and Hamas have used elections to create a semblance of democracy, and both have abused their authority to go far beyond their legitimate mandates. Both routinely use control of the media, control of the education system, and violence to maintain their power, as documented extensively by Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (also president of the Palestinian Authority) are pictured voting in the last election for the Palestinian Legislative Council, which took place in 2006.

Corruption

Corruption in the PA and Hamas is widely recognized, by commentators who range from extreme anti-Israel, to somewhat moderate pro-Palestinian, to pro-Israel.

As reported by CBS News in 2003, “Yasser Arafat diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds to insure his political survival, but a lot more is unaccounted for.”

Abbas has continued the tradition. Haaretz reported that the Panama Papers “show that Tareq Abbas, the son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, held shares worth nearly $1 million in a company associated with the PA”.

Khaled Abu Toameh has written that, “$4.5 billion the Americans invested in promoting Palestinian democracy went down the drain or ended up in secret Swiss bank accounts.”

Hamas, which was elected partly in opposition to Fatah corruption, is just as corrupt. Moshe Elad wrote in Tablet Magazine that the Hamas government, “is centralized and corrupt, it lacks effectiveness, bribery plays a very important role in society, and nepotism is prevalent, with just few families or relatives benefiting from state monopolies on basic services and commodities”.

Associated Press reported that 95.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank believe that the PA is corrupt while 82% of Palestinians in Gaza believe that Hamas is corrupt.

Promotion of hatred

As noted previously, promotion of hatred by Palestinian leaders is widespread, and it is the main obstacle to peaceful co-existence with Israel. An example of Palestinian hate propaganda is amade-for-children movie where, as reported by London’s Daily Mail,

“The little girl, dressed in a hijab, is seen pretending to stab two boys dressed as Israeli soldiers, who respond by ‘shooting’ her. Then, amid cheers from the baying crowd, a boy dressed as a masked terrorist massacres the soldiers with a replica semi-automatic weapon.”

The newspaper added that the video was filmed at a “festival of hate,” which was partly funded by a UK charity supported by British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and some other Labor MPs.

Oppression of the Palestinian people

Both Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza run their governments as dictatorships, where freedom of speech is denied and where dissent is punished by jail, beatings, torture, or death. This retribution is widely recognized, even by organizations that are often considered biased against Israel, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI).

In 2011, in a 35-page report, HRW documented “cases in which security forces tortured, beat, and arbitrarily detained journalists, confiscated their equipment, and barred them from leaving the West Bank and Gaza.”

In their 2015/16 report, Amnesty International wrote,

“The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip both restricted freedom of expression, including by arresting and detaining critics and political opponents. They also restricted the right to peaceful assembly and used excessive force to disperse some protests. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained common in both Gaza and the West Bank.”

Lack of economic drive

Palestinian leaders have concentrated all their efforts on waging war against Israel and increasing their own personal wealth. The best economic opportunities presented to average West Bank Palestinians are in working on settlement construction or commuting daily to jobs in Israel.

The lack of Palestinian economic development in the West Bank is often blamed on Israel, yet when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, Palestinian leaders did not seize that opportunity to build the economy of Gaza. They chose instead to spend their resources on rockets, terror tunnels, and enriching the leaders of Hamas.

Bad behavior is rewarded

Those who provide funding to the Palestinians are aware of this behavior, yet they have not used their influence to curb it. In fact, they reward it.

The Palestinian leadership in Gaza is rewarded for every war it initiates with Israel in two ways. During the war, it is rewarded by the international media, which provides wide coverage of Palestinian casualties while ignoring the terrorist actions that led to those casualties (thus playing into Hamas’s “dead baby strategy“). After the war, Gaza’s leadership is rewarded when more funding is provided for reconstruction, despite the knowledge that a large portion of it is used to rebuild the terrorist arsenal.

The Fatah/Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank is rewarded by international donors who provide ongoing funding to President Mahmoud Abbas while knowing the extent of thecorruption of his regime and its lack of democracy.

Realism

Palestinian leaders have repeatedly shown that their priority is not peace, or a two-state solution, or a Palestinian state, but repression. If a Palestinian state is created without correcting these destructive practices, it is highly likely that the new Palestinian regime will follow the same pattern already established, and be a hatemongering, corrupt, undemocratic, oppressive, belligerent, and ineffective regime. This would not only be a security threat for Israel, it would mean more of the same for the Palestinians.

Current talk by Western leaders of peace, a two-state solution, and a Palestinian state makes no mention of these dangers. If those leaders wish to achieve a lasting peace that is beneficial to Israel and the Palestinians, rather than to create an unstable situation and could cause irreparable damage to both sides, peace discussions must account for the Palestinian reality.

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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Who Is Threatening Israeli Journalists and Why?

by Khaled Abu Toameh
June 10, 2016 at 6:00 am


  • Palestinian journalists are spearheading a campaign against Israeli reporters. They have been taught that any journalist daring to criticize the Palestinian Authority (PA) or Hamas is a “traitor.” They expect Israeli and Western journalists to report bad things only about Israel.
  • “It is very sad when you see that your colleagues on the other side are inciting against you and doing their best to prevent you from carrying out your work. This is harmful to the Palestinians themselves because they will no longer be able to relay their opinions to the Israeli public.” — Israeli reporter who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly a decade.
  • For Palestinian journalists, to be seen in public with an Israeli colleague is treasonous.
  • Many Western journalists turn a blind eye to assaults on freedom of the media under the PA and Hamas. They know they will be unwelcome in these places if they write any story that reflects negatively on Palestinians. Besides, the campaign against Israeli journalists is being waged by Palestinians, and not Israelis. To them, this fact alone makes it a story not worth reporting.

Nearly every Israeli media outlet has a journalist whose task is to report on what is happening on the Palestinian side. Until recently, these journalists would travel to Ramallah and other Palestinian cities in the West Bank to interview ordinary Palestinians, representatives of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and various Palestinian factions.

Things have changed. It is hard now to spot an Israeli journalist in the field. And it is equally difficult to find a PA official willing to talk to an Israeli journalist. Every now and then, President Mahmoud Abbas does invite Israeli journalists for a briefing — hand-picked journalists, that is.

As well, a handful of veteran Fatah officials such as Jibril Rajoub and Kadoura Fares, who are both fluent in Hebrew, grant interviews to select Israeli radio and TV stations. Like Abbas, they do so when, and only when, they have an interest in relaying a message to the Israeli public.

Otherwise, Israeli journalists covering Palestinian affairs are no longer free (or safe) to show up at press conferences or other public events in Ramallah and most Palestinian cities. In fact, they are no longer being invited to such events.

Yet we do not hear much from the banned Israeli journalists. Why? Perhaps, like battered spouses, they keep their secret under wraps because they know that they need to go back there, and would prefer not to get killed in the process. Also, as with the abused spouses, the situation is rather embarrassing.

One might think that the holiday season would be prime time to allow some uplifting coverage. That may have been what Israeli journalists were thinking when they arrived in Bethlehem late last year to report on preparations for Christmas.

Alas, seeking holiday spirit, they found hate. Threatened by “anti-normalization activists” and some Palestinian journalists, who alerted Palestinian Authority security officers to the presence of the unwanted guests, the journalists found it in their best interests to leave fast. One of the Israeli journalists was from Ha’aretz, an Israeli newspaper that has long been renowned for its sympathetic coverage of the Palestinians.

Or take, for example, the experience of a journalist from Israel’s Channel 2. Last year, he and his crew were expelled from central Ramallah. They were there to cover a rally in support of President Abbas.

According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli TV crew members were threatened by “activists” belonging to the Palestinian “anti-normalization” movement.

Yet it is now Palestinian journalists who are spearheading a campaign against Israeli reporters. These journalists believe that it is their role and duty to defend their leaders and people against negative reporting in the media. They have been taught that a journalist who dares to criticize the Palestinian Authority or Hamas is a “traitor.” They expect Israeli and Western journalists to report bad things only about Israel.

This year, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) issued a statement calling on Palestinians to boycott the Israeli media. Upping the ante, the PJS also threatened to boycott any Palestinian official who talks to Israeli reporters or deals in any way with the Israeli media. Choosing wording that could endanger the lives of Israeli reporters, the PJS claimed that Israeli journalists were “part of the occupation system who should be boycotted and no one should deal with them or facilitate their work.” The PJS went on to accuse the Israeli journalists of serving as a “mouthpiece for the occupation and justifying its crimes against the Palestinian people.”

So, thanks to such PJS statements and similar intimidation, Israeli reporters are unable to carry out their jobs in the West Bank.

“When I see my Palestinian colleagues in the field, I hide. I am afraid they will see me and incite people against me,” confided an Israeli reporter who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly a decade.

“It’s very sad when you see that your colleagues on the other side are inciting against you and doing their best to prevent you from carrying out your work. This is harmful to the Palestinians themselves because they will no longer be able to relay their opinions to the Israeli public.”

Not surprisingly, leaving the region does not lift the PA ban on Israeli journalists. Palestinian journalists who in the past did meet with Israeli colleagues in Norway and elsewhere have come under attack for promoting “normalization with Israel.” For Palestinian journalists, to be seen in public with an Israeli colleague is treasonous.

The Palestinian Authority campaign of intimidation against Israeli journalists has very practical consequences. Afraid to go out to the field and talk to Palestinians, these Israeli journalists are forced to rely on social media and other Palestinian media websites for their information. Others gather information from phone conversations with the few Palestinians who are still willing to talk to them. And, even those interviews are given on condition of anonymity. More creative ruses have been tried as well: Israeli journalists have presented themselves as Western nationals or representatives of foreign media outlets to get Palestinians to talk to them.

Gone are the days when Israeli and Palestinian journalists would collaborate daily, sometimes going out into the field together. This collaboration was at its best in the 80s and early 90s — before the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO. Back then, both sides benefited from this cooperation. Many Palestinians refer to those years as the “good old days before peace.”

How ironic that the “peace process” that began in 1993 has witnessed the utter collapse of relations among Palestinian and Israeli journalists. And how predictable: the very radicalization that the Palestinian Authority has foisted upon its people, poisoning their minds with lies and inciting young and old against Israel, has penetrated the journalistic ranks.

Yesterday, it was happening to Palestinian journalists who refused to serve as mouthpieces for their rulers and radicalized peers. Today, it is happening also to Israeli journalists, who are, as always in journalism, worried about “losing access.” Tomorrow, this could be happening to Western journalists who attempt to gain some sense of clarity concerning the facts by doing their work as journalists properly, on the ground in the Middle East.

Many Western journalists turn a blind eye to assaults on freedom of the media under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Possibly they are worried they too would no longer be able to enter Ramallah or the Gaza Strip. They know they will be unwelcome in these places if they write any story that reflects negatively on Palestinians. Besides, why should Western media outlets care? The campaign against Israeli journalists is being waged by Palestinians, and not Israelis. To them, this fact alone makes it a story not worth reporting.

Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.

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Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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