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PODCAST: The War against the Infidels

LISTEN to this podcast of the January 10, 2016 Lisa Benson Show on KKNT 960 The Patriot.  Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon co-hosted this show with the assistance of Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.

Col. Richard Kemp, (ret.) CBE, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and noted commentator on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, discussed why Israel is the outpost of civilization in the Middle east. He urged Queen Elizabeth to visit Israel in 2017, the 100th Anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Turks to honor ANZAC fallen.  He drew attention to British Prime Minister Cameron who has spoken before Israel’s Knesset and his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.  He suggested that perhaps the Administration might follow suit.

He considers the Muslim Brotherhood as an evil organization seeking to spread Islamist hatred of Israel Europe and the West. Hamas he pointed out had links to the Muslim Brotherhood with objectives similar to that of ISIS.   An ISIS he said was spreading its barbaric Islamic doctrine across the Muslim Ummah from Syria and Iraq to North and sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia.

With regard to the resurgence of the Taliban in a 14 year war in Afghanistan with NATO forces, he said that some of it was attributable to the role of Pakistan intelligence service.  The Pakistanis and Afghans he noted are enemies.  He called attention to the internecine war between the Taliban and ISIS endeavoring to gain power as enemies of the democratic government in Afghanistan. A government plagued with corruption hobbling the country’s security forces.  He called attention to a generational long struggle against Islamist Jihadism in which the West cannot relax. It must stand up and fight.   He noted in passing that the US Administration has taken its eye off the ball with outreach to an enemy, Iran. He attributed some of the present difficulties in the Middle east and South Asia to both the pullout of US forces in Iraq and pull down of ISAF troops in Afghanistan.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka addressed the number one issue in polls taken of Americans, national security and domestic Islamic terrorism.  He suggested that the Administration had to jettison the canard of lone wolf terror acts. The Boston Marathon Bombers, the shooting in Chattanooga, the massacre in San Bernardino and the recent attempted murder of a police officer by a convicted felon and convert to Islam in Philadelphia he said was reflective of the connective tissue of Global Jihad doctrine. That doctrine viewed America and the West as antithetical to Jihadist aims.

He viewed the ability of the US and the EU to vett the millions of migrants and refugees flooding the west as well nigh impossible.  While referencing the intense scrutiny of his parents, refugees from the 1956 Hungarian rebellion against Soviet Communism, he suggested that could only be done under intense and repeated questioning by counterterrorism security echelons using a data base to check documents and bona fides.  He suggested that the US is hobbled by the lack of manpower and a data base to vett, for example, the stream of Syrian Refugees.

Having visited a Syrian refugee camp during the recent Christmas New Year’s holiday, he was struck with two takeaways. He commended the Kingdom of Jordan, without the resources of oil revenues of an incredible job of s country of 6 million handling an influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees. He tasked the oil rich Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to offer financial and resettlement assistance.  He said there was no sense to send Syrians to the EU or the US. Rather it was incumbent on the contending powers, especially the US, to resolve the conflict, hereby enabling the Syrians in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to return home.

Regarding the recent settlement between New York City and Muslim and civil liberties advocacy groups ending  the NYPD Muslim community profiling program, Gorka  said in a recent House Armed  Services Committee testimony  that after 9/11, the NYPD had been let down by Federal law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies. The NYPD he noted undertook to build perhaps the best counterterrorism intelligence and surveillance program to monitor and protect the Muslim community in New York against Islamist inroads. Effectively he commented to the House Committee that politics continued to get in the way of national security.

When asked about the current rising Sunni Shiite divide between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he referred to a comment from Israeli PM Netanyahu, who said it was a Game of Thrones pitting the Saudi Wahabbist Sunni Caliphate against the Mullahs of the Shia Mahdist Caliphate in Nuclear Iran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

“Perversion of Truth” — UN Report on the 2014 Gaza War

Col_ Richard Kemp Source BESA Bar Ilan U (1)

Former British Commander in Afghanistan Col. Richard Kemp (Ret.).

In a mid-May 2015 Jerusalem Report/Jerusalem Post interview by Paul Alster, “The Redoubtable Colonel [Richard] Kemp”, anticipated the findings of the UN Task Force Commission on the 2014 Gaza War. Kemp said: “I think their staff is going to be so heavily biased against Israel that it will be quite a struggle for them to produce a fair report.” Col. Kemp, former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, was present on the battle front last summer at the Israeli /Gaza frontier had presented his independent testimony to the UN Human Rights Commission investigation. It was a furtherance of his remarks to the earlier UN report following IDF Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.  Conclusions, as Col. Kemp indicated,  rejected by Israel.

His predication was reflected in the UN Report by the ‘independent’ investigation released yesterday in Geneva by the Chairperson, former acting New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis. Davis has made a post retirement career after she left the bench in 1998  conducting  independent UN investigations into human rights violations. Justice Davis was member of the team that concluded the IDF had perpetrated war crimes against civilians in Gaza defending Israeli citizens from Hamas rocket terrorism in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. The summation of the latest UN investigation on the 2014 War in Gaza  accused both  Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes, while holding IDF to a “higher standard” of behavior.

The UN report cited the comparative toll of casualties occasioned by heavy fighting amidst the civilian infrastructure in Gaza:

The 2014 hostilities saw a “huge increase” in the firepower used in Gaza with Israeli forces conducting more than 6,000 airstrikes and firing approximately 50,000 tank and artillery shells at targets within the enclave. The explosion of force used by Israel ultimately resulted in 1,462 Palestinian civilian casualties, a third of which were children.

Moreover, the fighting in Gaza also resulted in the massive destruction of civilian infrastructure with some 100,000 residents still homeless, according to recent UN estimates.

Much of the destruction, notes the UN report, could be blamed on Israel’s use of weaponry with a wide kill and injury radius, particularly in the densely populated areas of Gaza where destruction and casualties are very likely.

At the same time, the Commission reported that Palestinian militants had also fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August of last year, killing 6 civilians and injuring at least 1,600 people.

The UN Report played the blame game targeting the IDF actions saying:

That when the safety of an Israeli soldier is at stake, “all the rules seem to be disregarded.”

Israel must break with its lamentable track record in holding wrong doers accountable, the UN Commission of Inquiry’s assessment continued. “And accountability on the Palestinian side is also woefully inadequate.”

In addition, the UN inquiry said it remained “disturbed” by Israel’s decision to close a criminal investigation into the killing of four children on a beach in Gaza on 16 July. The Commission pointed out that international journalists and numerous Palestinian eyewitnesses were not interviewed by the Israeli authorities, raising further doubts about the thoroughness of their investigation.

Ambassador Dr_ Dore Gold

Ambassador Dr. Dore Gold.

Au contraire, say the authors of a  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report , Ambassador Dr. Dore Gold former President of the JCPA and former Editor of the Jerusalem Report Hirsh Goodman in an Arutz Sheva Op-ed: “The bottom line is that the war was fought to stop the rocket fire on Israel’s south and that if not for the Iron Dome, Israeli casualties would have been immense.”  Ambassador Gold went on to point out the UN Report’s “perversion of the truth”:

There is a school of thought that claims Israel wanted this war. The opposite is true. But, though this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war for which it had planned meticulously, thereby denying Hamas its main weapon: victimhood.

The following points are the essential truths of the 2014 Gaza war, truths backed by research, evidence, and accounts of events as they happened. The chapters of JCPA’s full report, a summary of which is below, can leave no doubt as to which party should be in the dock for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

More importantly, however, it rings a bell of warning that if Hamas is allowed to escape its crimes, the seeds of the next conflict will be planted.

Saying that Israel attacked civilian buildings in Gaza “means nothing”, IDF Lt. Col. (res) David Benjamin of the JCPA told Arutz Sheva:

Everything in Gaza is essentially civilian. There’s no military infrastructure in Gaza which actually looks like a military target. Everything is embedded in civilian buildings. So there’s nothing new when you say that Israel attacked civilian buildings, because what you have to know is the reason for the attack and what Israel knew about what was going on in those civilian buildings.

Why those buildings were attacked was compounded by the risk of revealing secret intelligence which makes Israel’s presentation of its case increasingly difficult.

Arutz Sheva reported remarks at a presentation of the Washington, DC-based JINSA defense think-tank’s Gaza Assessment Task Force findings, by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel  (Ret.) Professor Geoffrey S. Corn:

He criticized the UN Human Rights Council committee for not including any current or former military commanders and constructing legal arguments which were totally detached from reality.

In contrast, he noted, the Gaza Assessment Task Force – which found that Israel had taken extraordinary measures, even beyond the letter of the law, to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza – is “a report written by war fighting commanders.”

Ultimately this is the domain of commanders, not necessarily lawyers. Lawyers contribute by guiding commanders through complex legal questions, but ultimately what we’re talking about here is… war, and war is the job of war fighters.

Professor Corn – former Chief of the Law of War Branch, and currently Professor of Law and Presidential Research Professor at the Texas College of Law – further noted that the UNHRC report totally ignored Hamas’s cynical use of civilians as human shields as a political and diplomatic weapon.

Which brings us back to these observations of a recognized “war fighter’, Col. Kemp.   As noted in the Jerusalem Post/ Jerusalem Report:

Does he believe that Israel is right to be wholly skeptical about the UN? “Entirely. The UN, in particular the UN Human Rights Council, seems to me to be an instrument to attack Israel. They seem to devote a disproportionate amount of their efforts into trying to undermine Israel and that is partly as a result of many of the member states being vehemently opposed to Israel. I think Israel is right to be concerned about that.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of former New York Surpreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, Chair of UN Investigation in to 2014 Gasa War.