There is just one short day before a game of chicken, which will possibly determine Egypt’s future political direction, will come to an end. This dangerous game pits Cairo’s present regime, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the military of Egypt against each other. Everyone involved is scrambling to secure as much influence and support as possible.
Over the last year President Morsi’s popularity has steadily degraded. At one point, to head off the negative momentum, He tried to take actions that would have meant an end to Egypt’s new democratic state and ushered in a more extreme Islamist system. Executive powers were to be increased and the legislature dissolved. The streets of Egypt filled with protests which resulted in a “backing away” from these provocative moves.
This didn’t set well with the population, and ever since there has been a growing resistance to any plans the Morsi regime has put forth. Just this last week planned peaceful demonstrations were held. As with all such emotions in the Mid-East, the conflict culminated with the demonstrators attacking and looting the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo. This success has led to more people in the streets and the promise for more violence. It appears the protestors’ demands are simple—they want President Morsi gone and new elections.
Through this, Morsi has been staunchly resistant to their demands, threatening violence if the demonstrations don’t end. This only served to increase the numbers in the streets.
On Monday, the most senior general of Egypt’s military delivered an ultimatum to the President’s regime. Peacefully resolve this instability or the military, much like in the days of the previous president, would take over and start a new process that would include presidential elections.
The next day, the President called on the military to withdraw its ultimatum and called for pro-regime supporters to rally at the same time. As these two opposing factions turn into the streets, the probability of a violent collision increases with every passing hour.
The pressure to resign has continued to build since the issuance of the ultimatum. Reportedly as many as six cabinet members have resigned since June 30th, including Foreign Minister Kamel Amr. On July 2, the Egyptian judiciary, no friend of Morsi’s, upheld its ruling removing the Prosecutor General, a Morsi appointee, and reinstated the office’s predecessor.
Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that President Obama has jumped into the middle of this “no win” political situation. The Administration is apparently trying to put pressure on Morsi to step down and call early elections. He has also warned the Egyptian military that any action on their part could have a negative effect on U.S./Egyptian relations going forward, including the suspension of $1.5 billion in aid. The State Department denies it has issued any such threat.
These intrusions into Egypt’s internal conflicts will not be taken well. Time and again the Obama administration has shown a lack of understanding of the Mid-East mindset or has ignored it. These warrior cultures, on both sides, know the rules of such conflicts and they don’t include acquiescing to outsiders. They know they can live on much less, and have done so; consequently, money has little sway.
They also understand that the most committed group wins the war, so threats from those who have shown themselves to be weak are of little effect.
By the time this update is released, the initial 48 hours will have passed and some of the outcome will be apparent and in the headlines. It will be interesting to see who, if any, gives in to avoid the collision.
There are two takeaways from this present situation:
First is the action of our present administration. We continue to get involved in situations that we don’t understand. I say “we” because “we” allowed them to be elected. There are long-term consequences to not respecting or understanding your enemy. There are unavoidable consequences to these immature actions. Clearly, the present administration is progressively putting us at greater and greater risk.
Second, we must remember that the foundation of these conflicts in the Mid East is tribal in nature. They can’t be “solved” in the common understanding. These blood feuds between Shi’ite and Sunni have been going on for centuries. Their differences are no longer resolvable. The only time they cooperate is when they ally against a common enemy. Having had little success against Israel, their loosely held alliances have started to fall back into old habits.
The Mid East is truly on the precipice of all-out conflict in which not only nations will be at odds but families within them as well. Stay alert and informed. The next few days and weeks may be historic. Be sure to follow all the latest from our Twitter feed at: @kiresearch.
November 26, 2011
Yes, that’s the call from a Muslim Brotherhood rally after Friday prayers in Cairo. If anyone thinks the so-called “Arab Spring” hasn’t altered the landscape against Israel in the Middle East, they should start listening to the Islamists in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, Lebanon, and other nations where the Brotherhood, the Salifists, and other radical extremists will be running governments. Throw in an Iran with hegemonistic designs on the region armed with nuclear weapons and you have a recipe for years of tension and perhaps worse.
A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”
Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization.” The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations’ partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state.
However, most worshippers who prayed at the mosque Friday quickly left it before the Muslim Brotherhood’s rally got underway. A group spokesman urged attendants to remain for the protest, asking them not to create a bad impression for the media by leaving.
Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the “Zionist occupiers” and the “treacherous Jews.” Upon leaving the rally, worshippers were given small flags, with Egypt’s flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other, as well as maps of Jerusalem’s Old City detailing where “Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem’s Muslim character.”
Propaganda material ahead of Egypt’s parliamentary elections was also handed out at the site.
Someone drawing up a worst case scenario for Israel’s interests a year ago could hardly have imagined their version of this nightmare coming true.
October 15, 2011
Traditional Islamic religious authorities regard church construction, or any display of non-Islamic religions as “emasculating” of Muslims. No wonder Egypt’s Copts face such travails.
Because it was excerpted in Bat Ye’or’s pioneering The Dhimmi, I obtained Moshe Perlmann’s (1975) complete translation of a 1739 essay on the Churches of Cairo. Written by Sheikh Damanhuri (1689-1764), a highly esteemed leader of Al Azhar University, the pinnacle of learning in Sunni Islamdom, since 973 A.D., the learned jurist’s tract was a reply to a query in that year when, “…the dhimmis began the construction of a church in Cairo…causing great agitation among Muslims.” The good sheikh notes,
When I learned of the rise of this deplorable affair, and that in this community no longer is the prophetic injunction heeded to deter the infidels, the enemies of the faith, from their goal, I began to write the answer…by explaining the right path
Sheikh Damanhuri entitled his reply — in accord with the conclusion of his learned, Islamically-correct argument, “The presentation of the clear proof for the obligatory destruction of the churches of Old and New Cairo.”
Damanhuri states explicity (on p. 20) that areas “demarcated and settled by Muslims,” including Cairo, Kufa, Basra, Baghdad, Wasit, as well as “any village that was taken by force,” and not returned by a Muslim Caliph to those vanquished and dispossessed,
These are Muslim cities in which the protected people may not display any of their religious symbols, for example, erect churches, bring out wine or pork, or sound the clapper (calling to the church, a counterpart of bells). No new synagogue, church, monk’s cell, prayer assembly of theirs is allowed in these cities, by the consensus of the doctors [of Islamic law]. It has been mentioned above that our city, Cairo, is an Islamic town, started after the conquest of Egypt, under the reign of the Fatimids. Therefore, no church, synagogue, and the rest, may be erected in it.
But what Bat Ye’or excerpted in The Dhimmi that is truly fascinating — pathognomonic as we say in medicine — is how this learned Muslim jurist, in conformity with the prevailing orthodoxy, viewed Church construction by Christians as a form of Muslim emasculation! From (p. 21) of Perlmann’s 1975 translation of Damanhuri’s tract:
The Prophet, peace and blessing upon him, said: “No emasculation [khisa] and no church in Islam.” The word “emasculation,” khisa follows the fial, as the verbal noun of khsy, “to emasculate.” The relation between “emasculation” and “church” is that the erection of a church in Muslim territory denotes the elimination of manliness in the people of the territory, just as emasculation, in reality, is the elimination of virility in an animal. Though the sense of the word in our context is withdrawal from women by attachment to churches. The connection is evident. By “no church” the Prophet meant no construction thereof, a prohibition, that is, that no church in Islamic territory signifies the elimination of virility in the people of that territory, which is not permissible, even as the elimination of man’s virility by castration is not.
I would maintain this perverse, ugly sentiment of perceived “emasculation” remains amongst Egyptian Muslims and accounts for their lethal mass violence directed at The Copts for simply, and peaceably, exercising what modern human beings regard as a basic freedom — freedom of worship.
July 12, 2011
Al-Azhar University in Cairo is the world’s oldest university and Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning. Late in June, Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb issued an 11-clause document declaring the institution’s official position on the prospective political order. The statement envisions a “modern” and “democratic nation-state” based on a constitution that ensures full separation among the different branches of government and guarantees equality for all citizens. The document also calls for respecting freedom of thought and opinion and voices support for human rights, including children’s and women’s rights.
By using the phrase “modern nation-state,” Al-Azhar put itself in opposition to Islamist voices that call for the revival of the pan-Islamic caliphate. In particular, Al-Azhar put itself squarely in opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. Joining Al-Azhar, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party issued a statement welcoming Al-Azhar’s declaration as “an important step” that put the nation on the right track toward “progress.” Also, by affirming that the state should derive legitimacy from a constitution that the people design, Al-Azhar is distancing itself from Islamist political movements which hold Shariah, or Islamic Law, to be the constitutional foundation of any Muslim society.
And what does our POTUS do? Extend a hand to the civil forces in Egypt fighting against the forces allied to the Muslim Brotherhood? That would be too droll for words. Something Bush might do. Our POTUS is too clever for that. In the same month of June that Al-Azhar issued its statement the Obama administration officially recognized the Muslim Brotherhood. Here is what Carl Rove had to say in an interview with Monica Crowley substituting for Sean Hannity
Well, you’re right. We shouldn’t have been surprised in one sense because he made such a big deal about meeting with our enemies in the 2008 campaign. But you would have thought having been in office now for two-and-a-half years, he would have been sobered by events and made another decision, this is frankly inexplicable. Why does the administration go out of its way months before the fall elections, to in essence give legitimacy and credibility to the Muslim Brotherhood by announcing formal contacts? What is to be gained by doing that except to advance the Muslim Brotherhood and make America look weak.
I mean, it looks like we’re the supplicant, please, can we met with you? … And why the president did it now and did it in such a public fashion is inexplicable. If he wanted to have contacts, let him be informal and off the stage. Why make this an act that basically gives legitimacy to the Muslim Brotherhood?
But what the media seems to have missed is that Obama reached out to the MB just when the civil forces in Egypt mounted a front against the MB. By recognizing MB not only did the POTUS legitimize the cause of the MB, he in effect thumbed his nose at Al-Azhar, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the forces for a civil society in Egypt. A civil constitutional society is the hoped for outcome of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt and elsewhere. How does that advance that goal? How about extending a hand to Al-Azhar and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party?
This is the typical inverse logic of the Obama administration. Suck-up to your ideological enemies and stick it to you ideological compatriots.
This man must be too brilliant for me. I plain don’t get it. Maybe if he just put a bust of the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in the Oval Office, where Churchill’s used to be, everything would be fine. Now why didn’t President Roosevelt think of that? If he had just put up a bust of Hitler in the, Hitler would have been so overcome with gratitude that WW2 could have been avoided.
The Muslim Brotherhood has has tried to portray itself as moderate and democratic. But at its core it is anything but. The Brotherhood is a wolf in sheep`s clothing.
Israel National News thanks StandWithUs for helping bring the Muslim Brotherhood to our readers in its own words:
The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto:
“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur`an is our law.
Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”
The Brotherhood`s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries. “It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” -Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna
The Brotherhood wants America to fall. It tells followers to be “patient” because America “is heading towards its demise.” The U.S. is an infidel that “does not champion moral and human values and cannot lead humanity.”-Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
The Brotherhood claims western democracy is “corrupt,””unrealistic” and “false.” -Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef
The Brotherhood calls for jihad against “the Muslim`s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded.” -Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
The Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981 for making peace with the hated “Zionist entity.” It also assassinated Egypt`s prime minister in 1948 and attempted to assassinate President Nasser in 1954.
Hamas is a “wing of the Muslim Brotherhood,”according to the Hamas Charter, Chapter 2. The Charter calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy.
The Brotherhood supports Hezbollah`s war against the Jews. Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef declared he was “prepared to send 10,000 jihad fighters immediately to fight at the side of Hezbollah” during Hezbollah`s war against Israel in 2006.
The Brotherhood glorified Osama bin Laden and mourned his death. Osama is “in all certainty, a mujahid (heroic fighter), and I have no doubt in his sincerity in resisting the occupation, close to Allah on high.” -Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, Nov. 2007
The Brotherhood “sanctioned martyrdom operations in Palestine….They do not have bombs, so they turn themselves into bombs. This is a necessity.” -Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dec. 17, 2010
The Brotherhood advocates violent jihad: The “change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life,” said Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi in a September 2010 sermon.11 Major terrorists came out of the Muslim Brotherhood, including bin Laden`s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of the 9/11 attacks).
The Brotherhood advocates a deceptive strategy in democracies: appear moderate and use existing institutions to gain power. “The civilizational-jihadist process…is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and `sabotaging` its miserable house…so that it is eliminated and God`s religion is made victorious overall other religions,” reads a US Muslim Brotherhood 1991 document. It believes it can conquer Europe peacefully: “After having been expelled twice, Islam will be victorious and reconquer Europe….I am certain that this time, victory will be won not by the sword but by preaching and [Islamic] ideology.” -Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, “Fatwa,” 2003
The Brotherhood uses democracy, but once in power it will replace democracy with fundamentalist shariah law because it is the “true democracy.” “The final, absolute message from heaven contains all the values which the secular world claims to have invented….Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true democracy.” -Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, Nov. 2007
The Brotherhood`s view of women`s rights is to subjugate and segregate women: The ideal society would include “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behaviour…segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless within the permitted degrees of relationship, to be counted as a crime for which both will be censured…prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes.” -Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, “Five Tracts”
The Brotherhood supports Female Genital Mutilation: “[the Americans] wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the Pharaohs.” -Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2007
The Brotherhood will not treat non-Muslim minorities, such as Coptic Christians, as equals. “Allah`s word will reign supreme and the infidels` word will be inferior.” -Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
The Brotherhood refuses to commit to continuing the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Muslim Brotherhood leaders have said that “as far as the movement is concerned, Israel is a Zionist entity occupying holy Arab and Islamic lands…and we will get rid of it no matter how long it takes.” -Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2005 and 2007
The Brotherhood has anti-Semitic roots. It supported the Nazis, organized mass demonstrations against the Jews with slogans promoting ethnic cleansing like “Down with the Jews!”and “Jews get out of Egypt and Palestine!” in 1936; carried out a violent pogrom against Egypt`s Jews in November 1945; and made sure that Nazi collaborator and Palestinian Mufti al- Husseini was granted asylum in Egypt in 1946.
The Brotherhood remains virulently anti-Semitic.”Today the Jews are not the Israelites praised by Allah, but the descendants of the Israelites who defied His word. Allah was angry with them and turned them into monkeys and pigs….There is no doubt that the battle in which the Muslims overcome the Jews [will come]….In that battle the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them.” -Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradaw
– Prophecy News Watch
The deadly attacks on two Cairo churches over the weekend have highlighted fears that sectarian violence could flare up rather than die down in post-revolution Egypt.
Tensions – sometimes deadly – between Egypt’s Muslim and Christian communities are not a new phenomenon in the world’s largest Arab nation. But Saturday’s clashes between the two communities following the burning of two churches in Cairo’s Imbaba neighbourhood, have raised fears of the growing role of fundamentalist Salafi Muslims in Egypt.
An ultraconservative strain of Islam, Salafism is a salafist theology whose followers believe in emulating the first three generations of Muslims, theoretically rejecting any innovations.
While Salafism does not explicitly advocate violence, experts believe their extreme interpretation of Islam creates an environment where adherents are susceptible to radical ideology, making it “a bridge to extremism”.
A fringe group in Egypt, the Salafis – unlike the Muslim Brotherhood – do not have an organized structure.
From Qena to Cairo, Salafis grab the spotlight
Following the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak – whose secular regime kept a repressive lid on Islamists of all stripes – Salafis have gained visibility in recent months.
On Saturday, they were at the helm of an angry crowd that surrounded Imbaba’s St. Mina church, claiming that a woman forcibly converted to Christianity was being held there.
The Imbaba clashes, which killed at least 11 people, came a day after a group of Salafis gathered in Cairo to protest the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The Salafis – along with the Muslim Brotherhood – are also believed to be responsible for last month’s protests in the southern city of Qena that led to the suspension of a newly appointed Coptic Christian governor.
The protests in Qena were initially sparked by the new governor’s close association to Mubarak, but they gradually developed into strident demonstrations demanding the appointment of a Muslim governor.
According to Egyptian press reports, some of the slogans at the Qena protests chanted, “There is no God but God; the Nazarene [the Christian] is the enemy of God,” and “Salafis and Brotherhood are one hand against the Nazarene governor.”
Under the Mubarak regime, relations between the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood were tense, with Salafis routinely criticising the Brotherhood for taking part in the political game under the secular regime, which according to them contradicted Islamic principles.
A WikiLeaks cable published by the British Daily Telegraph newspaper cites a 2009 US Embassy in Cairo cable as saying, “MB [Muslim Brotherhood] leaders and prominent Salafis routinely denounce each other in the press for being agents of the security services.”
But the events in Qena showed that while the two groups do not share a common platform, they are capable of working together on specific common goals.
In the end Egypt’s caretaker government resolved the Qena dispute by announcing the governor’s suspension for three months.
An ‘iron fist’ against troublemakers
The interim administration’s response to Saturday’s deadly Christian-Muslim clashes following the Imbaba attacks was immediate. More than 200 people were arrested in the wake of the violence while Egyptian Justice Minister Abdel Aziz al-Gindi warned that anyone who threatened the country’s security would face “an iron fist”.
While the caretaker government’s response to the violence was reminiscent of the old regime’s way of treating communal problems as a security issue, Egypt’s new rulers have attempted to address their underlying causes.
On Wednesday, the government said it was formulating a new law that would ease restrictions on building churches while banning protests in front of places of worship.
Under a law dating back to Ottoman times, Egypt’s Christians are required to seek the ruler’s permission before building churches. They also have to obtain permission to renovate or repair them.
Are the Saudi funding the Salafists?
Many Egyptians have voiced discontent over the way police handled the Imbaba clashes. The Egyptian police force, which was discredited during the popular uprisings earlier this year, remains demoralized and not yet fully operational.
Some Egyptians say the security services deliberately failed to immediately intervene in Saturday’s clashes because they are unwilling to confront the Salafis. Others believe there is a sinister plot by elements of the old regime intent on stirring up trouble to discredit the revolution.
Murkier still is the suspicion that Saudi Arabia is funding the Salafis in Egypt. Emad Gad, a researcher at the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, believes Saudi authorities are backing the Salafis in Egypt.
“The primary source of funding of the Salafis is Saudi Arabia, one can assume they are supported by the kingdom, which fears the establishment of a democratic regime in Cairo that would inspire other people, including their own citizens,” Gad to FRANCE 24.
While the allegation is impossible to prove, many Egyptians believe it.
On Wednesday, demonstrators gathered outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo, protesting against Saudi funding of Salafi groups.
Mubarak’s regime did however undertake belated efforts to confront the rising Salafist ideology. As the country prepares for a parliamentary election in September – the first since Mubarak’s ouster – many Egyptians are concerned that the current political and security vacuum would see the Salafis widen their scope of activities.
– Prophecy News Watch
May 15, 2011
The Big Lie Called Nakba DayA prime example of Palestinian brazen malicious deceit against Israel is their so-called “Day of Catastrophe” or Nakba Day. Apparently the first Arab to coin this meretricious concept was Syrian historian Constantine Zureiq in his 1948 book, Ma’na al-Nakba (The Meaning of the Disaster). But official Palestinian national commemoration of the day was not inaugurated until 1998 by Yasser Arafat. Following Arafat’s declaration of recognition for the day, over one million Palestinian Arabs participated in marches and other events.What is the disaster Nakba Day commemorates? Nothing less than the day on which Israel Declared Independence in 1948. And to add insult to injury, the Palestinians commemorate their national disaster day every year to coincide with Israeli Independence Day, around 15 May.Why was Israel’s Declaration of Independence such a disaster for the Palestinians? This harks back to Israel’s 1948 War of independence. The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as Nakba, meaning the “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”, occurred when approximately 725,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes, during this bitter war.If you look up Nakba online, the search returns numerous Palestinian websites claiming to explain this phenomenon in Palestinian history and eliciting sympathy and even financial donations for the numerous Palestinian “refugees” in the Arab countries who are descendants of the original refugees from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. At the time this unfortunate problem developed in the late 1940s, flooding the Arab countries with thousands and even hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, the Arabs refused to accept any solution to the problem but Israel’s accepting all the refugees back into the territory they fled — now the state of Israel. Israel for its part agreed to accept a small percentage back. But for the tyrannical Arabs, the solution was all or nothing.So the Palestinian refugees who fled Israel in 1948 during the War of Independence were stuck in squalid camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. And the Arabs have consistently exploited the problem for political mileage against Israel and on the backs of the Palestinians.A question that is more to the point however, is how exactly did the Palestinians become refugees in the first place in 1948? The first cause was surely the War of Independence itself. The Palestinians who lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and elsewhere in the Jewish yishuv vehemently rejected the UN Partition plan for Palestine, and took arms against the newborn state of Israel. The Palestinians who became refugees weren’t just innocent bystanders in other words. They were active combatants who threw their hats in the ring with the invading Arab countries whose aim was to annihilate the Jewish State at birth.Were there cases in which Palestinians were forcibly removed and deported by Israel and the IDF? Probably, but it seems to me that in a war it is always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with armed adversaries. And the record shows there was never an official Israeli government-signed document ordering the removal and deportation of any Palestinian combatants.The fact is in 1948 Palestinian Arab leaders strongly encouraged their constituents to leave Israel and return to their homes after the war was quickly won by the invading Arab armies. The Arab leaders told the Palestinian Arab population to get out of harm’s way and let the invading Arab armies do their work without interference. This was another reason they fled.This perverted national Palestinian Nakba Day observance therefore, has nothing to do with historical facts, but springs solely and exclusively from their national impulse to express hate and malice against the Jewish people and against Israel. If there was a disaster for the Palestinians stemming from Israel’s War Of Independence they brought it down on their own heads. There is absolutely no truth to the claim that Israel is responsible for their refugee status to begin with or the perpetuation of their being refugees. It was a time of defensive war, and Israel had no alternative but to win the war no holds barred. It seems to me there has never been any war in history that did not cause a refugee problem. However, in the case of the 1948 Palestinian refugee problem, the Arab countries to which they fled and despicable organizations like the United Nations Relief And Works Agency (UNRWA) persistently have taken measures to perpetuate their refugee fate, stick this problem in Israel’s eye unjustifiably, and ensure the problem is never corrected in a just humane manner.In fact, the most just and true manner in which to view the Palestinian refugee problem in the days following Israel’s War of Independence is as a population transfer. While some 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from Palestine during the war, the Arab countries exploited their anger over Israel’s victory to expel an estimated 800,000 Jewish inhabitants from Arab lands. The Jews found their way to new homes and new lives in Israel, despite millions of dollars of confiscated property in their former homes. This injustice has never been rectified. But the fact is the situation rectified itself because the Jews expelled from Arab lands took over places in Israel that the Palestinians abandoned.The corollary to the Nakba is the Palestinian Right of Return, which the Palestinians refuse to abandon, but if undertaken would undermine the state of Israel, and is again part and parcel of Palestinian peace aims. Not peace — but Israel piece by piece. Or Israel, Rest In Peace.
Posted: 01 May 2011 12:34 PM PDT
This article is published in PajamasMedia. The full text is presented here for your convenience.
By Barry Rubin
One of my readers points out that last February I mockingly quoted the New York Times’ assurances that everything would be all right with Egypt’s revolution:
“The New York Times piece…answers Israeli concerns with a `reassuring’ response:
“`Arab analysts counter that new Arab realities and democracies should be welcomed by Israel, because the new Arab generation shares many of the same values as Israel and the West. [That remains to be seen, doesn't it? BR] They argue that there is no support among Egypt’s leaders for the abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty, though it is unpopular with the public, and that the Egyptian Army will not disrupt foreign policy.’”
Note that while in this paragraph the newspaper was quoting “Arab analysts,” this was precisely the line the newspaper was taking. Before Mubarak fell, none of the concerns about the revolution were even reported seriously. After it took place, they still sneered at these warnings.
Now, without a single mass media outlet admitting that they were wrong, the Times runs pieces like this:
“Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to open the blockaded border with Gaza and normalizing relations with two of Israel’s and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran.”
And one has to add to that the attacks on the natural gas pipeline that supplies 40 percent of Israel’s needs and the Pew poll showing hostility to the United States and majority support for throwing away the peace treaty with Israel. Indeed, there was even a protest by social network types urging the peace treaty be ended.
Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post gets it but his comprehension is so rare it is almost jarring to read him while holding a newspaper in one’s hands:
“If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moves forward with the reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement, it will mean he has written off the Obama administration and the peace process it has tried to broker, once and for all.”
One cannot sue the media for malpractice. But most of these same newspapers daily urge Israel to make more unilateral concessions and take risks. They have no awareness of how this situation fits perfectly with the question of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
Here’s what the Times and other media might say as a Palestinian state was being created:
“`Arab analysts counter Israeli concerns that a new Palestinian state should be welcomed by Israel, because now the Palestinians will settle down to developing democracy and their economy.They argue that there is no support among Palestine’s leaders for discontinuing the peace treaty with Israel, though it is unpopular with the public, and that the Palestinian security forces will not disrupt foreign policy.’”
And then two months later:
“Palestine is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to let Palestinian groups cross the border with Israel to launch attacks, stepping up anti-Israel propaganda, and normalizing relations with two of Israel and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran.”
What then would President Barack Obama and the European Union, and the academics, and experts, and media say then, when Israel faced cross-border terrorist raids from the state of Palestine along with no dimunition in Arab and Muslim hatred?:
Sorry about that? Who knew they’d break their word? Why did you listen to us?
No, they wouldn’t even say that.
Don’t worry. Israel has already understood that game very well and won’t listen to them, which won’t stop them from criticizing it for following its interests rather than their advice.
Posted: 28 Apr 2011 10:54 AM PDT
This article is published in PajamasMedia. The full text is provided here for your convenience.
By Barry Rubin
To try to turn American liberals and Democrats–and especially Jews–against Israel on the pretext that they are only opposing Israel’s current government, there’s an attempt to portray Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to make a major speech before Congress as a partisan appeal for Republican support against a Democratic president.
It isn’t. It’s an institutional appeal for congressional support against a partly unfriendly, partly uncomprehending, and partly ideologically stupified president.
While U.S.-Israel relations in terms of military aid and cooperation have remained good, there have been lots of political problems. The truth is that these problems have come amost totally from Washington not Jerusalem. I’ve been documenting this for more than two years.
The truth is also that Israelis across most of the political spectrum know that they cannot trust the Obama administration for help, support, and protection. On many occasions, it has helped Israel’s enemy or to create dangerous situations. Do you really think that Israelis trust Obama to decide the terms of peace with the Palestinians when he and his White House colleagues simply don’t understand the issues involved?
Incidentally, the same applies for most countries in Latin America, Central Europe, the southern Caucasus, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arab states, India, and several Asian countries. And its becoming increasingly true in much of Western Europe, too.
In Congress, there are not only Republicans but a majority of Democrats whose instincts and knowledge of international affairs exceed those of the president. Among those people is the likely source of a Democratic revolt against the administration’s mistaken policies. We’ve already seen that begin, especially on Israel-related issues. Now that’s the bipartisan spirit in action!
So can Israel be blamed for not wanting to put its fate in Obama’s hands? Come to think of it, given so many mistaken foreign policy positions, should the Democratic Party want to leave its fate and the country’s fortunes in Obama’s hands?
Posted: 27 Apr 2011 10:22 AM PDT
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By Barry Rubin
Suddenly, after years of persistent failure, Fatah and Hamas–which means the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas–have signed a detailed reconciliation agreement.
Why now? It’s preparation for the UN and the claim that the PA is sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinians. In exchange for being able to claim it now rules both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Fatah (PA) made huge concessions that it has always refused to give before.
Naturally, the accord will break down. Presumably after the PA gets a lot of support for being an independent country later this year and before projected Palestinian elections in 2012.
Why is Hamas going along with this? Because the deal gives it a lot, including a promise of elections in a year. Hamas won the last elections and presumably is confident–especially as it looks at electoral successes for Hizballah in Lebanon and probably soon for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt–that it will win again.
But there’s also another reason. Hamas is probably quite happy with the idea that many countries–and perhaps the UN–will recognize an independent Palestinian state unconditionally. In other words, there will be a widely, or internationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace with Israel. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will get everything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way by border changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel off the map can continue.
It’s Hamas’s dream come true.
Anyone who thinks this helps the peace process is deluded. Hamas will never accept any peace agreement with Israel and will radicalize Fatah’s negotiating position out of competition between the two rivals to prove their militancy. The race to commit the most bloody terrorist acts would also intensify.
Make no mistake. Whether or not this development has any direct effect on the ground, it’s another step toward the death of any real Israel-Palestinian peace process.
For a detailed account of the deal: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=218098
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is http://www.gloria-center.org. His PajamaMedia columns are mirrored and other articles available at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com/.
May 08, 2011
Ten die in Egypt violence between Muslims and Christians
Unlike some past incidents where Muslims attacked Christian churches as congregants ran away, worshipers at two churches in Cairo didn’t sit around and take it. They met the fanatics in the streets and a riot ensued:
Religious tension continues to seethe in Egypt after a violent clash between Christians and Muslims left ten dead and 190 arrested, heading for military trials.The county’s military rulers reacted swiftly after an attempt to burn down two churches set off a riot in a Cairo slum.
Mobs of ultraconservative Muslims from the Salafi religious trend converged on a church in the slum of Imbaba late Saturday following rumours of an interfaith romance.
Christians barricaded themselves inside and around the church when the demonstrations turned violent. Witnesses said people on rooftops fired into the crowd.
At least six of the dead were Muslims.
The incident follows the bombing of a church on New Year’s day that left 21 dead and sparked clashes between the country’s minority Christians and riot police.
“This is something that’s very much seething underneath,” said CTV’s Martin Seemungal, reporting from Jerusalem, noting that since Egypt’s recent revolution, “people are wondering, and Christians in particular are very concerned, how they are going to be treated in a new Egypt.”
They’ve already gotten an answer to that question.
Posted: 04 May 2011 01:24 PM PDT
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By Barry Rubin
This is the kind of serious development that everyone better pay close attention to if they want to understand what’s going on in the Middle East and how the West doesn’t get it.
The Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, gave an interview to al-Jazira. Al-Azhar is the most important religious center in the Sunni Muslim world. Up until now, its leadership has been controlled by the Egyptian government, which meant the government of President Husni Mubarak until earlier this year.
That regime was a dictatorship. It appointed the head of al-Azhar and the mufti of Egypt. It controlled mosque sermons and which preachers went on television. Consequently, it limited their extremism and, knowing their careers were at stake, the clerics complied. They weren’t real moderate but, for example, wouldn’t think of passionately attacking the United States or calling for the abrogation of the peace treaty with Israel.
Now everything is different. The people are the same as those who radicals once derided as Mubarak’s “parrots,” but to survive they must please different masters. The Muslim Brotherhood has publicly announced that it would seek to replace those deemed to be too pro-Mubarak among clerics and especially in al-Azhar. In future, it proposes that the top clerics be appointed by parliament, where they expect to have a very large number of seats.
So instead of pleasing Mubarak, people like Tayyeb have to please the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, the leadership of al-Azhar just held their first official meeting ever with the Brotherhood in order to make some kind of deal.
Therefore, while it is shocking it isn’t surprising that Tayyeb now sounds like a radical jihadist. Responding to Usama bin Laden’s death, he made the following points:
–The killing of bin Laden by the Americans was an act of “piracy.”
–His burial at sea (supposedly done to please Muslims) was against Islamic law and is a “moral crime,” the “mutilation of a corpse.”
–The main cause of terrorism is Israel’s existence and actions.
–The other big cause of terrorism is that Western countries seek to dominate the Arab world.
Key forces in Egypt no longer consider America as an ally or bin Ladin as an enemy. Moreover, the highest Egyptian establishment and non-Islamist political authorities are now authorizing revenge attacks on America for the “crime” of killing bin Ladin. That’s what the change in Egyptian politics has brought.
Now, consider in contrast a relatively moderate—on such international issues—countries that are still dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A leading Saudi cleric praised the killing of bin Ladin on al-Arabiya, the television network controlled by the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Jazira, praised by American leaders and journalists, hates America. Al-Arabiya, which is ignored by them, is friendlier. What next? The U.S. government calls for the overthrow of al-Arabiya and its replacement by al-Jazira?
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is http://www.gloria-center.org/. His PajamaMedia columns are mirrored and other articles available at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com/.