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That Imaginary War Room by Hugh Fitzgerald

We have all had fantasies — have we not? — of being President or Chief of Staff, and being present, somewhere in the Pentagon, in a War Room that, we like to think, directs that campaign of self-defense against the hydra-headed Jihad.

And we like to imagine, too, what might go on in that room, what kinds of things we hope are being discussed and planned.

Consider, among the many imagined scenarios, these three:

1) A War Room devoted to the counter-Jihad in the Muslim World itself. In this War Room, the computers bristle with information about the active fighting going on in the Middle East and North Africa (Libya) and Central Asia (Afghanistan), and with news of what war materiel has been requested, and is being sent, and what troops have been sent, too, to Egypt, to Iraq, to Jordan, to Yemen, to a dozen other possible places. And there are solemn debates about how to keep the countries of the Middle East from being “failed states” and succeeding, thanks to our help, with the assumption being that this is the only conceivably correct goal.

2) A War Room devoted to the domestic front — for by now there would be recognition that there is a war inside our countries, too. That would take the form of non-military aid being given to “moderate” Muslims in the United States and Western Europe, who, if only they are given enough access to, and support from, Western leaders and the media, and funds, too (as the French government supplies so generously to what it thinks are “tame because government-subsidised mosques” in France), these “moderates” will be able to sway the local Muslims, now within the West by the millions, to embrace, unswervingly, democratic ideals, and what those ideals imply, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And little is said about what is in the Qur’an and Hadith; for the planners, such a discussion would only complicate matters, would make what they are doing seem even less plausible, would show up the egg on too many faces. So what is in the Qur’an, as glossed by the Sunnah (Hadith and Sira), doesn’t come up. It’s “real people” who are being kept in mind in this particular War Room.

3) Finally, in the third of our imagined War Rooms, everyone is already well-versed in Islam, and disinclined to deny what is contained in the texts; disinclined, too, to find reasons to explain or interpret away those texts. The strategies of denial that were in fashion for so very long, despite all the evidence, have finally been put to rest. And it is the members of this hard-headed group, chastened by more than a decade of experience dealing with Islam and Muslim peoples, in this War Room, on whose computer screens would be displayed the strategies for demoralizing and dividing the Camp of Islam. Not much about soldiers and weapons here, for military intervention in Muslim lands is not regarded as much use. It has only allowed Muslims to blame the interfering Infidels, and not one another, nor themselves. But in this War Room, measures are discussed to limit, in the West, the survival — or still worse, spread — of intellectual bromides about Islam that do not correspond to what the best-prepared students of the subject, which includes the “defectors” from Islam such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wafa Sultan, and Ibn Warraq, tell us that Islam inculcates. The internecine conflicts within the Muslim world would not be deplored, but regarded with grim satisfaction, knowing that such conflicts have no natural end.

Indeed, who thinks the conflict in Syria will come to an end, or that Syria itself can possibly be reconstituted? How exactly would the bitterest of enemies now make peace and live together? It isn’t possible. Instead, in this War Room the discussion would be about how refusing to intervene leads to a better outcome for the West, if not for Muslims.

And in this War Room, a great deal of the planning would be about how best to support and protect  non-Muslim figures, especially those members of the media who, having prepared themselves at length by appropriate reading of Qur’an and Hadith, and a lot else besides, are of great national worth, for everyone who writes in a no-nonsense fashion about Islam has overcome an atmosphere of such nonsense and lies as to deserve a Pulitzer just for that mental persistence. Instead of mockery, they deserve  thanks, support, and dissemination of their message.

The theme of the third imagined War Room is Division and Demoralization — of Muslims. This involves exploiting, often by not moving to mend, the fissures within the Muslim Camp, the main one being that between Sunni and Shi’a, but there are also the ethnic hostilities between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, most obviously between Arab and Kurd in Iraq, but hardly limited to that case. The non-Arabs can be encouraged to note, and resent, the conviction of the Arabs that they are superior in the Muslim hierarchy, that it is right that non-Arabs must forget their own histories and civilization, for as Muslims they must  read the Qur’an in Arabic, turn Arabia-wards five times a day in prayer, emulate the mores of 7th century Arabs, and ideally take Arab names. That resentment surely can be encouraged; the rich pre-Islamic pasts of many Muslim peoples could be written and spoken about, and the consciousness raised about how Islam has razed history the way the Islamic State has razed historical monuments.

Of the three, which do you favor? Do you think constant military intervention, and especially the wars in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, and the overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya, have been a wise use of Western resources? Is Islam weaker as a result? Has the West been made more secure? And is the Muslim presence in the West smaller or larger, and growing? Has the experience of the past 15 years made a sufficient number of people in the West more aware of what they face, or simply anxious and confused, and feeling things are out of their hands, “there is nothing we can do,” for example, when our governments increase the number of Muslim immigrants?

Have the “moderate Muslims” in Europe, other than an occasional showy denunciation of this or that Islamic State outrage as “un-Islamic,” done a single thing to further the right education of non-Muslims, and to come to grips with the need to discuss, in order if possible to modify (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali holds out, just, as a possibility), through interpretation, what is contained in the Qur’an and, especially, the Hadith? They have not, and they cannot. So it is up to the people in that imaginary third War Room to help create demoralization, as well as to do nothing to prevent division within the Camp of Islam.

How many Muslims are capable of interpreting the Qur’an in such a way, and ignoring so much of the Hadith, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali suggests will be necessary if there is to be co-existence, or any sort of harmony? Many? Few? And how might one encourage their numbers to grow, or even to encourage people to do that seemingly impossible thing, leave Islam altogether? One way, as those in that third War Room know, is to make public as much news about the relative performance of Muslim peoples and states as possible. Long ago, the scholar Armand Abel wrote an article that deserves widespread study:  “Underdevelopment, stagnation, and decadence. The study of a psychotype: the case of Islam.” Why is it that Muslim states have not created modern economies? The handful of Croesus-rich oil sheikdoms are not exceptions; they are rentier-economies, dependent on the result of an accident of geology. What Muslim state has succeeded, or put differently, is it not true that those Muslim states that have either had a significant non-Muslim population (as Lebanon and Malaysia) or a long secular history (Kemalist Turkey), have created those economies not dependent on the three mainstays of most Muslim states: oil, Western tourism, Western foreign aid?

This third War Room would conduct a campaign to unsettle and demoralize the enemy, a war of propaganda. It involves holding up, for constant inspection and discussion, all the ways that Islam itself can be considered a retrograde (Churchill’s word) force. Does Islam encourage democracy, or in Islam is the despot to be obeyed as long as he is Muslim? Does Islam encourage economic innovation, or does Islam denounce bida (innovation, new ways of doing things)? Does Islam encourage equality of the sexes and equal treatment of minorities under law? What is the evidence that we see before us, presented in the news every day? Does Islam encourage people to think for themselves, or does it discourage free and skeptical inquiry? Have you heard of anyone being lashed recently, or attacked by a mob, or killed, because that someone dared to question something about Islam? Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, the freethinkers hacked to death in Bangladesh, the endless attacks on those who dare to think for themselves in Pakistan, the endless prison sentences meted out in Iran — what should we make of this, if not that Islam does indeed punish free inquiry? Can’t you feel sympathy for the people living in these places, who think for themselves but can never express it?

The third War Room would offer subventions to publishers, so that works by ex-Muslims, as valuable as that of defectors from the KGB, would appear, in millions of copies, small in format so that they could be easily smuggled in, and of course — most important — there would be websites, well-publicized websites, where such works could be read in full.

Islam itself is the source of the many failures, political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual, of Muslims themselves. How many times have I said this? It is the spelling out of that proposition that requires efforts, at length,  ad nauseam, till it all seems so obvious that no one in his right mind could disagree. That is the task of this ideal War Room. Political failure: the despot is permitted in Islam; the citizen, rather than the subject, protected by civil rights that we take for granted in the West, does not exist. That is not complicated to say, but apparently complicated enough so that many refuse to understand.  Economic failure: inshallah-fatalism, the belief that everything is in the hands of Allah, who can undo our efforts at whim, and to whom we also owe our riches (and the oil of the Gulf might be seen to confirm it), suggests to Muslims that neither hard work, nor entrepreneurial flair, are either sufficient or necessary. And the readiness of the West to supply aid to so many Muslim states has allowed them to think of this, too, as a kind of jizyah, a tribute exacted on the non-Muslims to which they willingly submit, manna that will not stop.

Those in the third War Room should not be swayed by talk of “failed states.” They should stop all American aid to Muslim states, in order to allow the economic failures of Islam to become more apparent to Muslims themselves. Social failures: the War Room will promote discussion of how women are mistreated in Islam, how minorities are treated, and why these reflect the teachings of Islam, clearly misogynistic and clearly uninterested in the position of non-Muslim minorities. Moral failures: vide the Islamic State. Or see how both sides treat the other side in Syria or Libya or Yemen or Iraq. This is what that War Room should be publicizing, talking about, forcing Muslims to talk about.

The Islamic basis for Muslim failure is now much more widely understood among non-Muslims; websites such as this one have had a considerable role in forcing this understanding. But the trick is to force Muslims to understand the sources of their own unhappinesses of so many different kinds. Look at Al-Sisi. Do you not sense in him someone who knows that Islam has to be modified, or re-interpreted, or if nothing else will work, ruthlessly constrained, as he is doing with the True Believers the Muslim Brotherhood? For Al-Sisi is afraid of the effect of too much Islam, taken straight up, on the minds of True Believers. And that is because he has spent decades thinking about Islam, and having studied in the United States, surely noted from afar the very failures that we’ve been discussing.

Would that in the Pentagon and the White House there were more who have come to the conclusion that Islam itself, with its amazing power over the minds of men, is the problem. Then imagine a thousand articles commissioned by that War Room from authorities in different fields: economists would write about the lack of major innovation in Islamic world, political scientists would write about  the persistence of despotism in the Islamic world, sociologists would study the comparative treatment of women, and the position of minorities; psychologists would write about the moral insensitivity of Muslims to the suffering of their enemies (see those Yazidi women). This would create an atmosphere — call it demoralization —  that could force Muslims to admit that something was wrong, and then to begin to analyze the problem correctly, and not find themselves suppressed. The ability to think would come, albeit slowly. All of this has been said before, and all must be said again and again.

But isn’t this the essential strategy worth trying, not only in that Ideal War Room of our imagination, but in the real one?

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VIDEO: Analysis of the Hamas Mortar Attack on Kibbutz Nirim

In June of 2014 Kibbutz Nirim was hit by a multiple Hamas Mortar attack that killed 2 and seriously injured 4 others. Join Tom Trento and Roni Wexler as we tour Kibbutz Nirim. Adele Raemer a resident of Kibbutz Nirim will deconstruct what happened before, during, and after this deadly mortar attack by Hamas terrorists.

You will get a sense of what life is like living on an Israeli Kibbutz (community) less than 2 miles from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. You will also learn about the Hamas tunnels dug less than 1000 meters from the Kibbutz Nirim fence line.

One person was in serious condition, and three others suffered minor injuries, in the strike on the Eshkol region community. Fifty-five year-old Ze’ev Etzion, the security chief for the kibbutz, was killed on the spot as he worked to fix electricity lines damaged in an earlier mortar attack. Israel Radio reported that he was also a volunteer ambulance driver for Magen David Adom. Nirim resident Shahar Melamed, a 43-year-old father of 3, died on his way to the hospital. Medical care was given to the wounded as rockets and mortars fell around the kibbutz and Code Red sirens wailed.

The two Israelis killed Tuesday raised the civilian death toll in Israel in Operation Protective Edge, which entered its fiftieth day Tuesday, to six. Last week a four-year-old child was killed in an attack in the nearby Kibbutz Nahal Oz. In March of next year you will have the opportunity to join Tom Trento, Roni Wexler, and other notable counter terrorism subject matter experts exploring many places in Israel few tourists ever see.

For more information on this Israeli National Security Tour contact Tom Trento by email Tom@TheUnitedWest.org

The International Media’s Amoral Campaign against Israel

On May 19, 2015, Col. Richard Kemp CBE gave a speech at the Begin Sadat Center of Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. The prior day he was awarded an honorary degree by  Bar Ilan.  Col. Kemp was the former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan who subsequently worked with the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and later the British Cabinet national crisis group on counter terrorism.  He has testified as an expert witness  defending Israel before the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and the UN Human Rights Council on the controversial Goldstone Report.  Col. Kemp has been a much sought after speaker on Israel and the IDF roles in the three Gaza wars with Hamas, the most recent being Operation Defensive Edge in 2014. Those talks have addressed IDF purity of arms military doctrine, false accusations of excessive civilian collateral casualties and Hamas’ use of human shields.  He has frequently appeared as an expert military analyst on media in the U.S. and UK regarding  Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. However, with the exception of FoxNews, he has not been invited to discuss the case for Israel’s operations against terror proxies, most especially Hamas in Gaza.

His talk at the Begin Sadat Center was titled, The Amoral Revolution in Western Values, and its Impact on Israel.  The synopsis prepared by the BESA noted points Kemp made:

To fight for Israel on the international stage is also to fight for the values of democracy, freedom of speech and expression, and civilized social values everywhere. Unfortunately, the morality and values of the West have been transformed and undermined over the past thirty years almost beyond recognition. Judeo-Christian principles of honesty, honor, loyalty, family values, patriotism, religious faith and respect for the state have all been eroded; whereas negative values, such as the acceptance of betrayal, duplicity and deceit, have flourished. The Western media is chiefly culpable in advancing this deleterious values transformation. And this transformation is the basis for the growth of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist perspectives, and anti-Israel narratives.

Watch Col. Kemp’s Begin Sadat Center speech:

Col. Kemp started by drawing attention to his days as an student cadet at Sandhurst , the UK equivalent of West Point . They studied  the Israeli victories in several  wars, notably the June 1967 Six Days of Wars and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. He also drew attention to his youth when the common perceptions in Britain were that the Israelis were David fighting the Arabs, depicted as Goliath. These were  traditional set piece battles and wars, albeit with unconventional, yet successful strategies by the IDF. Hence, the compelling reason why during his Sandhurst years, study of Israeli military campaigns was part of the mandatory curricula. As he noted in his speech that seemed like ages ago. Unfortunately that paradigm has flipped.  Currently, the media has reversed that stance and consider the IDF the new Goliath ‘occupying’ disputed territories fighting Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas and Salafist terrorist groups falsely depicted as the new David.  He chastises the media for creating this amoral inversion of roles compounded by deceit and deception.  Fighting this antagonistic view of Israel  perpetuated  by  victimhood portrayals of Islamist terrorists in the Western media  is the crux of the political warfare.   Kemp believes Israel must defeat this  in the court of world opinion to regain its previously well regarded  moral position.

Note these excerpts from Kemp’s address.

Why the perceptions of Israel versus Arab/Islamist enemies have reversed:

All that has changed about this has been that Israel has made repeated costly concessions, including giving up land, for peace. Concessions which have not been reciprocated by the Palestinians, but instead exploited at the grave expense of Israel. Concessions which have not been acknowledged or remembered by the international community, who, like the Palestinians, simply and uncompromisingly demand more and more and more and more.

Nor have the Arabs fundamentally changed. We have of course peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And the growing threats from Iran and from expanding Sunni jihadism may be leading to some temporary and below the radar mutual cooperation from parts of the Arab world.

But the underlying perspective and agenda, especially among the Palestinians, is the same as it was in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Rejection of Jewish communities in the land of Israel. The destruction of the Jewish State.

In my view if such events as the Gaza conflict last summer were played out in the 1960s and 70s, the support for Israel in the West would have been greater than it was even then. The savage and murderous actions of the Palestinians are far more shocking today.

So I again ask the question, what has changed? And the answer is: The morality and values of the West. They have been transformed almost beyond recognition.

The underpinnings of the reversal are erosion of values:

The 80s ushered in the insidious campaign of political correctness and moral relativity that has over the last 30 years gripped and taken over so much of our society.

Balanced, level-headed, impartial reporting in our media has been replaced by sensationalism as the purpose of mass media has swung from informing, educating and edifying to making money – and only too often to making the news rather than just reporting it. These negative and destructive values are being promoted constantly in the media.

Why the media has painted Israel as the proxy for the U.S.:

Israel has increasingly become a proxy for the United States, for three reasons.

Firstly, the US President and the US Government is at present left wing and liberal and thus harder for left-wing liberals to attack. Second, Israel is smaller and more easily bullied and impacted by corrosive media sniping than is a superpower. Third, Israel can be portrayed as a Western colonial outpost in a rightfully Arab world.

These three things are underpinned by a pervasive and increasing anti-Semitism which intensifies the obsession with Israel and its portrayal as a true evil to be attacked at every possible opportunity.

This contrasts with the post-Colonial guilt …. combined also with a frequent desire to appease violent Islam and promote its cause and values as being superior to our own and certainly to Israel’s.

Any anti-Islam comment or perspective cannot be tolerated, while anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel perspectives are all acceptable and encouraged.

How Hamas and the PA manipulate conflicts for maximum media impact:

Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups don’t use human shields in the hope that Israel will refrain from attacking their rocket launchers, weapons dumps, command centers, terrorist bases or tunnel entrances. They use human shields in the hope that Israel will attack and kill their people

They do this for one purpose: to gain the global condemnation of the State of Israel.

Their particular target is the media, which they know will magnify and intensify their message to the world and force national governments, the UN, human rights groups and other international organizations to bring down unbearable pressure onto Israel.

[…]

Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have a similar strategy. Their violence is of a different nature. Incentivizing terror by paying terrorists and the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned for attacking Israelis. By inciting anti-Israel hatred through speeches, newspapers, broadcast media, school textbooks and school teachers.

[…]

The next stage for the Palestinian leadership of course is to exploit anti-Israel pressure through the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the European Union, the universities, businesses, trade organizations and now even FIFA.

 […]

It is the media, the agents of moral relativism, the tools of the Palestinian leadership that are Israel’s enemies in this conflict today. They can win over not just Western leaders but the public who are imbued with the new morality.

What Kemp thinks should be the offense in the media political war:

The offense in this form of political warfare is in exposing the bias, distortions, and untruth of the media. This is much more difficult but it is vital. As in all forms of war, the best form of defense is attack. Without effective offensive action our defensive work will succeed much less and can never produce decisive results.

Some good and vital work is already being done by a range of groups. But their effects remain limited. This campaign has had much tactical success and needs to continue and if possible to intensify. But so far there has been no real strategic impact. Nothing that has forced major media networks to fundamentally re-think their anti-Israel agenda.

Of course strategic effect requires strategic assets. And by strategic assets I mean the combination of significant funds, concerted and sustained will and large-scale, thoroughly planned and carefully-focused effort. The challenge is of course immense, and as with any battle, there is no guarantee of success.

As for myself I have gone through the transmutation from Infantry officer to fighter in this new form of political warfare.

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

Did Pope Francis call Abu Mazen an ‘Angel of Peace’?

Today we try something a little different as we go back to our “radio-only” days, before we started producing a regular TV show.

So listen as we take some “calls” from our (make-believe) audience and enjoy the ride. Of course, we have to address the nonsensical decision of the Vatican to recognize “Palestine” as a “State,” and just what state may that be?

Tune in and find out.

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Irish Bishop: 11 Christians are murdered every hour

Bishop [John] McAreavey is an exception to the rule. Most of his brother bishops would be scandalized that he even dared to speak of this. But of course he did not identify the perpetrator. The Church is in full denial and appeasement mode. In other words, most bishops are betraying the Christians of the present and the future, and leaving them prey to savages. Apparently most bishops are indeed in the line of apostolic succession. They’re the successors of Judas.

“Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013.

“‘Eleven Christians Killed Every Hour,’ Says Irish Bishop,” by Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, May 19,2015:

According to Bishop John McAreavey, the Chair of the Council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, statistics show that the situation of Christian persecution in the world is far more dire than most people understand.

The bishop called the breadth and scale of the suffering of Christians “unprecedented.”

At least 100,000 Christians are killed every year because of their faith, which amounts to 273 per day, or eleven every hour, McAreavey said, without mentioning those who are “being tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, excluded, attacked and discriminated against on a widespread scale.”

In a sobering presentation before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade this past week, McAreavey said that Christianity is the most oppressed religion in the world, and the followers of Jesus are actively persecuted in some 110 countries.

More striking still, he contended, according to the International Society for Human Rights, a non-religious organization, “80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.”

The bishop recalled how the former Chief Rabbi of Britain, Jonathan Sacks, recently described this suffering of Christians in the Middle East as “one of the crimes against humanity of our time,” comparing it to the Jewish pogroms in Europe and saying he was “appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked.”

The barbaric actions against Christians, particularly in the Middle East, he said, call out for an urgent, coordinated and determined response from the international community. They are “a threat to our common humanity and to the religious and cultural patrimony of the world” as well as putting at risk “the peace and stability of the entire planet.”

The bishop noted with dismay what he called “a reluctance, including on the part of Christian based international aid agencies, to give direct support to minority religious communities, including to the Christian Churches.”

McAreavey also had strong words for the leaders of Western nations that refuse to commit to assisting Christians in the Middle East, or even to acknowledge the gravity of their plight.

“Perhaps because of a fear of being seen as less than aggressively secular in their own country,” he said, “many Governments of majority Christian countries in the west seem reluctant to give direct aid to Churches and religious minorities.”

The West also runs the risk of losing its own understanding of the importance of faith and of religion for a healthy society, he said, which can endanger religious liberty even in democratic nations.

As Catholics, he said, we appeal “to all governments and societies to affirm the vital importance of respecting the right to religious freedom and conscience as a fundamental principle of genuine pluralism in a tolerant society.”…

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Presentation to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade by the Council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference on ‘The ongoing Persecution of Christians’

Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore and chair of the Council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, today presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, on the subject of ‘The ongoing Persecution of Christians’. Bishop McAreavey’s delegation included:

Father Timothy Bartlett, an advisor to the Bishops’ Council for Justice & Peace and a priest of the Diocese of Down & Connor, and,
Mrs Áine O’Reilly, a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic charitable organisation that provides solidarity and financial support to the Christian communities of the Holy Land.
Before its presentation, the Church delegation circulated a letter to the Joint Committee from the Patriarch of Bagdad appealing for greater solidarity and support for Christians being displaced, persecuted and killed in Iraq. Please see full presentation below:

Presentation

Thank you, Chairman.

My name is Bishop John McAreavey. I am here today as Chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. I am joined by Mrs Áine O’Reilly, a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. This is a Catholic charitable organization that provides solidarity and financial support to the Christian communities of the Holy Land. It has over two hundred members in Ireland and more than thirty thousand members worldwide. I am also joined by Father Timothy Bartlett, an advisor to the Council.

I thank the Committee for the invitation to be here this morning with Trócaire, Open Doors and Church in Chains. The ongoing persecution of Christians is an issue that unites all Christians. Pope Francis has called it the ‘ecumenism of suffering’. The breath and scale of this suffering is unprecedented. The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that 100,000 Christians are being killed every year because of their faith. That is eleven every hour. Others are being tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, excluded, attacked and discriminated against on a widespread scale. The Pew Research Centre says that Christianity is now the world’s most oppressed religious group, with persecution against them reported in 110 countries. Many of these countries have significant trade links with Ireland. Persecution is increasing in China. In North Korea a quarter of the country’s Christians live in forced labour camps. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Maldives all feature in the 10 worst places to be Christian. According to the International Society for Human Rights, a non-religious organization, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.

As the other groups will explain in more detail, the situation for Christians in the Middle East is particularly acute and shocking. The rise of ISIS has accelerated a brutal religious genocide against Christians and other religious minorities that has been on-going for well over a decade. The former Chief Rabbi of Britain, Jonathan Sacks, recently described this suffering of Christians in the Middle East as ‘one of the crimes against humanity of our time’. He compared it with Jewish pogroms in Europe and said he was ‘appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked.’ I believe many Christians in Ireland, of all denominations, too are appalled at the relative lack of attention being given in the Irish media, in political discourse and in Irish Government policy and action to the urgent plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East at this time. Children, women and men being beheaded. Young men brutalized and left to die on make-shift crosses in town squares in the part of the world that was once described as the cradle of Christianity and of civilisation itself. Ancient Churches and religious monuments from various traditions being destroyed.

Such barbaric actions call out for an urgent, coordinated and determined response from the international community. They are a threat to our common humanity and to the religious and cultural patrimony of the world for future generations. They put at risk the peace and stability of the entire planet. Any response will require an honest and comprehensive effort to address the sources of violent conflict that converge on this region and have wider political and religious implications across the world. Yet so many remain silent and inactive.

I have spoken to senior representatives of the Christian community in Iraq in recent days, whom I will not name to protect their security. They simply cannot understand why so many in the international community turn a blind eye to their plight. Many governments, including the Irish Government are supplying modest amounts of emergency aid. This is welcome and helps to address some immediate humanitarian needs. However there is a reluctance, including on the part of Christian based international aid agencies, to give direct support to minority religious communities, including to the Christian Churches. Yet if their presence is to remain, if they are to draw strength from one another and continue their own religious, educational and charitable activities in the places where they live and work, where they have contributed for millennia to the shared educational, economic and cultural patrimony of their countries, then they need direct aid. They have a right to be supported in rebuilding their bombed-out Churches, schools, hospitals and halls that are availed of by the whole community. They have a right to receive support in building bomb proof walls and security around these buildings and their own homes. They are also best placed to ensure humanitarian support gets to those who need it most in the villages, towns and refugees camps where the local Church continues to be present. Yet, perhaps because of a fear of being seen as less than aggressively secular in their own country, many Governments of majority Christian countries in the west seem reluctant to give direct aid to Churches and religious minorities.

The starting point for the Catholic response to this issue is our commitment to the inherent dignity and priceless value of every person before God, without distinction. Our concern is for all humanity. We utterly condemn the grotesque targeting and brutal murder of those with same-sex attraction by ISIS. We stand in solidarity and support with the Yazidi and other religious communities who face a similar extermination, displacement and lack of respect for their right to religious freedom and conscience as their Christian neighbours.

We appeal to all governments and societies to affirm the vital importance of respecting the right to religious freedom and conscience as a fundamental principle of genuine pluralism in a tolerant society. As Saint Pope John Paul II never tired of reminding the world, where this pivotal right to freedom of conscience and religion is denied, diluted or culturally suppressed other human rights abuses follow in its wake. The denial of religious freedom can run from subtle cultural exclusion of the religious voice from the public square and refusal to accommodate reasonable differences of conscience to active discrimination, forced displacement, exploitation and loss of life. Denial of religious freedom is a continuum along which many countries that pride themselves on being free, tolerant and diverse have already begun to travel.

I now hand over to Áine, who will conclude our presentation.

In commending the Committee for taking up this theme of the ongoing persecution of Christians, I would like to say that as a proud citizen of this country I believe many Irish citizens, Christian and others would like to see our political representatives and our Government give much greater attention to this issue. In particular, we ask you today:

To provide direct aid to the Christian Churches in the Middle East, and to other persecuted religious groups so that they can rebuild their communities and infrastructure and protect that which has not been destroyed. If they are to survive, they have urgent and particular needs which they alone are best placed to provide. They are also best placed to identify to provide humanitarian assistance in the most difficult to reach areas experiencing immediate violence and oppression;

We also ask you to assist the various Irish aid agencies in providing direct financial support to Christian and other religious communities in the Middle East without fear of being accused at home of being sectarian or giving offence to secularity in a predominantly Christian country. This is a real concern among Christian aid agencies which you can help to address;

We ask you to use your political influence to raise awareness of this issue where possible. In commending your own decision to hold this hearing, we encourage you to recommend a full Dáil debate on the ongoing persecution of Christians and respect for religious freedom and the particular plight of persecuted Christians across the world;

We ask you to encourage the Government and Irish MEPs to use their influence in the European Institutions to give greater political priority to addressing this issue at a European and international level. This includes the need to address the complex of issues in international relations that contribute to the ongoing conflict and instability across the region of the Middle East;

Finally, in keeping with its Christian roots and founding ideals, we appeal to you and through you to Europe to open wide the doors of our nations to the numerous refugees fleeing religious persecution in the Middle East. Many of them wish to return to their homeland at the earliest possible opportunity. Just as we did some decades ago for the Vietnamese boat people, let us open our shores, our homes and our vacant buildings in a welcoming and reassuring embrace to those fleeing the most brutal attacks by introducing special temporary immigrant schemes focused on responding to this issue.

In conclusion, I am reminded that the links between the Christian community in Ireland and the Christian community in the Middle East go back to the early Celtic Church. They continue today in the heroic work of many Irish missionaries who work in solidarity with persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East even at risk to their own lives. This continuing link is perhaps most poignantly symbolized by the new mosaic in the apse of the recently restored chapel of the Irish College in Rome. There in the midst of our national patron Saints Patrick, Brigid, Columcille and others, is the image of a young Iraqi priest. His name is Father Ragheed Ganni. He studied for several years in the Irish College. He worked in the pilgrimage site of Lough Derg and in various parishes around the country during his post-graduate studies. He loved the Irish people and they loved him. He radiated joy, gentleness and a true Christian spirit of service to all who knew him. Yet his heart was set on returning to bring comfort, strength and support to his suffering people in Iraq. The Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul in which he ministering was subject to regular bombings and attack. On the feast of the Holy Trinity in 2007, as he finished the celebration of Mass, Father Ragheed and three subdeacons were brutally murdered. The vehicle in which they had been killed was surrounded by explosives by those who had killed them so that no-one dare approach to offer comfort, prayers or help. Just a week before, Father Ragheed had written:

“In a sectarian and confessional Iraq, will there be any space for Christians? We have no support, no group who fights for our cause; we are abandoned in the midst of the disaster.”

It is with this painful, prophetic cry of a young man who knew, loved and appreciated the Irish people so much that we thank you again for giving time to the plight of persecuted Christians in our world today and appeal to you to consider positively the recommendations we have made.

Thank you for listening.

ENDS

Israeli Druze, News and Hezbollah Blues

WOW, what a full report we have that covers a variety of important developments by our reporters in Israel.

The first part of the show features Mendi Safadi, a Druze leader who explains exactly who the Druze Israelis are and what they do.

Then of course we get reports filed by Arie Egozi on the military build-up of the Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Jerusalem Jane in the Knesset and Michael Ganoe in the middle of an anti-Semitism conference.

You will not believe all the good stuff we pack into this one hour show. Enjoy

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April 14, 2015: ‘Jew-Hate Day’ in the U.S. Congress

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For a larger view click on the image.

On Tuesday April 14, 2015 Muslim Terror leaders with on organization called “American Muslims for Palestine” which specializes in Jew-Hatred and disinformation about Israel are walking around the United States Congress demanding that our elected Representatives change federal law thereby making it harder to investigate Muslim terrorists.

I know, crazy stuff, but it is happening right in broad daylight! Thank Allah that we at The United West are experts at investigating Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and exposing their influence operations for all Americans to understand and properly respond. To accomplish this we are launched a five-part investigative series entitled: “Muslim Terrorists Lobby 114th Congress.”

Our show today, features Clarion Project National Security Analyst, Ryan Mauro, who specifically identifies several Muslim Brotherhood terror leaders who are organizers of this Congressional influence operation. Moreover, Ryan will reveal documentation that links Republican Conservative icon, Grover Norquist to a terror rally that was held in front of the White House in October 2000.

This information reveals how far and wide this Muslim Brotherhood influence operation has been active.

Watch this show as it is FULL of critically important information to help all Americans properly, professionally and legally DEFEAT this Muslim Brotherhood political influence operation.

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Only Fools Trust Obama or the Iranians

Only fools express any trust in Obama these days or the Iranians who have made him look the fool when no one in their neighborhood or the world trusts a thing they say or do.

After more than six years of listening to President Obama’s unremitting lies, when he says of the latest “accord” with Iran, “It’s a good deal” and standing in the Rose Garden declares that the U.S. and Iran have reached “an historic understanding” the only history being made his own ignominy and idiocy.

It would be historic if anyone could extend either President Obama or the Iranians any trust. Indeed, since the U.S. created its first atomic bombs to end World War II, one nation after another has secured their own nuclear weapons, starting with the then-Soviet Union who built theirs with plans stolen from us!

We have been down this road before. On April 1st Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger offered an abridged look at the quarter-century of negotiations with North Korea which agreed to all manner of terms, signed all kinds of agreements, and joined various international organizations to assure everyone of their peaceful intent. He warned that “No agreement is going to stop Iran. Agreements, and a lot of talk, did not stop North Korea.”

“Iran,” said Henninger, “knows it has nuclear negotiators’ immunity: No matter how or when Iran debauches any agreement, the West, abjectly, will request—what else?—more talks. Iran’s nuclear bomb and ballistic missile programs will go forward as North Korea’s obviously did, no matter what.”

All the back-and-forth between the White House and Congress about the “accord” is essentially meaningless. It is mostly a debate about the treaty-making powers the Constitution extends to the executive branch and, at the same time, limits with legislative “advice and consent” of the Senate. For now the Senate can only wait for whatever is decided by June 30, but it is unlikely Obama will send it the text of the agreement.

To influence the outcome, Congress talks of the sanctions it has imposed on Iran and says it will impose again, but Obama has no legal authority to lift those sanctions, only Congress does.

AA - Javad

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

The same day the President made the announcement, Javad Zarif, the Iranian counterpart to Secretary of State John Kerry made his own announcement. The U.S. and Iran, he said, had agreed in principle to let Iran continue running major portions of its nuclear program. “None of those measures”, intended to slow Iran’s progress, “include closing any of our facilities. We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”

This is the result of 18 months of “negotiations” with Iran. In the same way the U.S. caved to North Korea since the 1990s, it has caved to Iran and it has done so with the blessing of the European Union and the other members of the P-5+1, France, Great Britain, Russia, China, and Germany.

For good measure, to show how wonderfully warm the relations between Iran and the U.S. are, within hours after Obama’s announcement, Foreign Minister Zarif accused the U.S. of lying about the details of the tentative framework—“the historic understanding”—saying that the U.S. had promised the immediate termination of sanctions.

The notion that we would know if Iran was continuing its nuclear program because the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be inspecting its facilities is about as credible as similar inspections in North Korea when, in 2002, it cut the IAEA seals on its nuclear factories and withdrew from the non-Proliferation treaty, starting a nuclear reactor. It has pursued its nuclear weapons and missile programs ever since.

In the same fashion as the Soviet Union, China, and Israel, we didn’t know that either Pakistan or India had acquired nuclear capability until after they tested theirs. That’s how we will know when Iran has nuclear weapons. It already has intercontinental missiles with which to deliver them.

As quoted in an April 3 article by Mark Dubowitz, executive director, and Annie Fixler, policy analyst, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, they cite an unnamed “senior State Department official” as saying “The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what everyone agrees is the biggest threat to the region.”

Unless one believes in unicorns and other fantasies, this latest “accord” and what we are being told about it by the President and the State Department is not a great achievement. It is doomed to failure because Iran has had no intention of doing anything other than getting economic and other sanctions removed. Time is on their side as they work to develop their own nuclear weapons.

When Iran tests its first nuclear weapon, Obama should return his Nobel Peace Prize.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

RELATED ARTICLE: Iran Contradicts U.S., Plans to Use Advanced Centrifuges Immediately

Life long Opponent of Israel appointed as Obama’s Senior Assistant

Robert Malley has been a controversial policy insider and opponent of Israel in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations. Malley faulted Israel for the collapse of the 2000 Peace negotiations with former Israeli PM Ehud Barak at Camp David stoking the late Yassir Arafat to opt for the Second Intifada.

Last Friday, the White House announced his new position as Senior Assistant to  the President  coordinating policies of North Africa, the Middle East and Iran nuclear negotiations. He replaces Phillip Gordon (no relation). He was recently involved in meetings with Rice and Israeli National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen in the run up to Israeli PM Netanyahu’s address to the Joint Meeting of Congress on March 3rd.

Look upon Malley’s promotion as a bad omen for worsening relations with Israel unless Netanyahu is not  elected for a third term on March 17th.  He was brought back to the Obama National Security Council in 2013 as a deputy to Gordon who had the MENA portfolio. There had been adverse criticism of his role as foreign policy adviser to President Obama in the 2008 Presidential campaign on Israel issues. He was accused of having held discussions with Iran proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. In the interim before his return to the NSC, he had an equivalent post at the International Crisis Group. His parents, while both Jewish, were leftists who supported pro-Arab anti-Israel activities in both Egypt and Algeria.

The Times of Israel (TOI) reported last weekend on this latest move by the Administration to isolate Israel under the current Netanyahu government, White House names Israel critic to top Mideast post:

The White House named Robert Malley, a U.S. negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks, to lead the Middle East desk at the National Security Council. Malley, whose appointment was announced on Friday afternoon, since last year has handled the Iraq-Iran-Syria-Gulf States desk. In replacing Philip Gordon, who has been Middle East coordinator since 2013, he assumes responsibility for Israel and the Palestinians as well as North Africa and the Persian Gulf.

He also assumes a more senior title, moving from senior director to special assistant. Malley already deals with Israel, and has attended meetings on the Iran-nuclear issue between his boss, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen.

We wrote about Malley’s foreign policy advisor background in a March 2014 Iconoclast post, Saudi-led Gulf Squabble Spells Trouble for Obama?

National Security Advisor Malley was a former Middle East foreign policy aide to President Clinton during the failed 2000 Camp David Israel-Palestinian negotiations between former Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the late Yassir Arafat. Malley had accused Israel of nixing the agreement, when it was evident that Arafat had purposely sabotaged it. Malley went on to become head of the Middle East and North African program of the International Crisis Group and later advised then Senator Obama and was part of the President’s transition team. He holds views that may further complicate Administration Middle East policies. Malley propounded speaking with terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. Malley, was appointed in 2013 to the National Security Council. He had the portfolio for Israel-Palestinian peace talks and the Iran nuclear P5+1 diplomatic initiative.

In  October 2009, we noted his family background and Soros connections in a post Robert Malley and Benny Morris debate One State/Two State Solution at Skidmore College:

Malley is Jewish on both sides. His father was a Mizrahi from Syria who became an Egyptian journalist and was alleged to be an Egyptian Communist party member who fled to France, where young Malley was raised. Malley’s mother was a US Jewish leftist who worked for the Algerian FLN UN delegation. Check out his bio here.  He is a former Middle East adviser to President Clinton on the Camp David 2000 debacle. He alleged that Israel was at fault, rather than the late Yassir Arafat head of the Fatah-PLO, in the failure to achieve a peace accord during the abortive Camp David discussions. That opinion was not shared by former President Clinton and Amb. Dennis Ross, formerly on the Obama NSC staff.  Malley was a mainstay at the International Crisis Group (ICG) supported by George Soros who sits on the ICG board. Malley has been a prominent proponent of ‘engagement’ with Iran proxies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. He was a controversial informal foreign policy advisor during the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign.

Watch this brief You Tube video of Malley in an excerpt from a 2009 documentary discussing outreach to  Hamas:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Robert Malley newly appointed White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region. Image source: YouTube.

Dissociated Press

Associated Press (AP), one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent news gathering, reported “Israeli house strikes killed mostly civilians.” It reported 247 airstrikes (bombings) in Gaza during the summer of 2014, killing 840. Of that number, 508 (60%) were civilians, 96 (11%) were terrorists, and 240 (29%) remained uncharacterized. The failure to seek identification of the “uncharacterized” reveals a scheme to re-engineer the outcome, and a flawed count can only lead to a flawed conclusion.

AP professes a commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism over the past 165 years. It employs the latest technology to collect and distribute news and photos, with a 24-hour update process, and has one of the largest collections of historical and contemporary imagery. Headquartered in New York, it operates in more than 180 locations worldwide, including every US statehouse, and has won 51 Pulitzer Prizes since the prize’s establishment in 1917.

Regrettably, the wire services, which include AP, Reuters, and similar sources of news for broadcast, print media, and on-line news, are responsible for the blatant lies peddled and truths compromised when the original story opposes the Arab Muslim narratives. A recent example was an international wire service report that accused Israel of releasing water to deliberately flood the Gaza Valley, destroying houses and causing hundreds of Gazans to flee. When caught in this lie, Daily Mail apologized and clarified that there are no dams in southern Israel, that the flooding was caused by unusually heavy rain and drainage issues. Al Jazeera retracted its statements and the photos of rushing waters. Similarly, Reuters had been found guilty of switching photos or cropping photo edges, such as when they excluded weapons held by activists aboard the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza flotilla raid. This is serious treachery.

We have now learned that the 240 “uncharacterized” males were indeed terrorists (ages 16-59), changing the total from 96 to 336 terrorists (40%), not an unusual ratio of women and children to terrorists, as these poor victims are customarily used as human shields, whether alongside the rocket sites or within the buildings. Hamas often secretes rockets and explosives in residential homes, which certainly contributes to the civilian casualty count. AP never reports Israel’s warnings to civilians to evacuate residential areas, never cites Israel’s casualties, and never reveals that the strikes are always retaliatory for wars begun by the Arabs.

AP has repeatedly sought to discredit Israel by accusing her armed forces of conducting disproportional warfare against Palestinians, when no war or sport has ever been fought for an equal outcome. From 2001 to July 2014, Palestinians have conducted a war of terror, resulting in psychological trauma (PTSD) to more than 50% of the children and depression and miscarriages to adults, and using more sophisticated rockets (some containing white phosphorous) to reach larger cities. AP did not propose that Israel conduct a comparable rocket attack into Gaza for the sake of proportionality, or suggest Israel bomb Palestinian school buses, or advocate that Israel dig an equivalent number of terror tunnels leading to Palestinian children’s schools and dormitories when Hamas’s were discovered.

In an attempt to further paint Israel as the aggressor, AP incorporates “evidence” to accuse Israel of intentionally targeting civilians. Hence, it presented the fatality figures of 844 against the backdrop of 247 air strikes, an equation of 3.4 people per bombing when, in fact, Israel actually made 20,000 air strikes, thereby achieving a .04 fatality figure per bombing. These percentages verify that AP’s reporters script deceptive, damaging information and that Israel does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties. Israel’s record is in fact, unparalleled.

AP also failed to provide comparative analyses, such as how these numbers match up to other wars and air strikes conducted in urban areas. Withheld information is as dishonest and harmful as erroneous information. In fact, investigative journalist Richard Behar’s studies of conflicts since World War II show that the norm of fatalities is 85 to 90 percent civilian. We might well be reminded of Germans’ killing 28,000 civilians in the London Blitz; Allies’ killing 25,000 civilians when they bombed Dresden and destroyed the Nazi industrial center; our killing 130,000 civilians with our nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which brought about Japan’s unconditional surrender and peace.

The United Nations’ figures cited at least 1,483 Gazan Palestinian civilians killed, with an overall death toll of 2,205, the balance being militants, with the source of information being Hamas-controlled Gazan Health Ministry. AP actually did have access to figures from a trustworthy, private research institute in Israel, Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, but chose not to avail itself of them – although they do sort through their information if they can contribute to a war crimes accusation against Israel.

Oddly, throughout the world, Imams spew hate and incite to kill from their mosque podiums. Muslims murder Jews and Christians because of their religion or, as with Charlie Hebdo, because of cartoons against their prophet. Muslims (Hamas) fire deadly rockets for (Israeli) territory. Muslims (ISIS) chop off people’s heads and burn others alive, and just kidnapped 90 Christians. Muslims (Boko Haram) kidnapped young girls for sexual slavery and buried some alive. Muslims (Chechens) beheaded Russian soldiers and attacked, kidnapped and killed children and school staff. Muslims appear to have reached the percentage at which they are now capable of conquest of the Nordic countries, and the natives are committing cultural suicide without a fight. And we know of this through AP. Yet AP continues its deception as well as its unparalleled accusations not against Muslims, but against Israel primarily.

Not only has Associated Press become known for its sloppy, dishonest and unreliable reporting, but it has also been accused of biased reporting on the Middle East by its own journalists. Indictments included story-lines showing Arabs and Palestinians to be entirely blameless and Israel fully culpable; refusing to print a 2008 Israeli peace proposal when it would have verified Israel’s desire for peace; and killing a story that would have shown Israel appropriately.

It is time these wire services were rewired to overhaul their failed policies, and return to responsible, honest journalism.

Boston Imam with ties to Senior al Qaeda operative is keynote speaker for CAIR-PA banquet

Imam Suhaib Webb is the keynote CAIR-PA speaker.  Wikipedia.com reports in part:  Suhaid Webb was born William Webb in 1973 in Oklahoma to a Christian family.  He lost interest in religion and began engaging in delinquency by joining a local gang and became a local Hip-Hop DJ and producer.  

The Daily Caller reports in part:  Dzhokhar-Tsarnaevs imam shares ties with senior al Qaeda operative.

The Islamic organization that includes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mosque has ties to the al Qaeda operative that reportedly inspired Tsarnaev to carry out the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, according to FBI surveillance documents.

Tsarnaev, 19, was indicted Thursday on 30 criminal counts related to the April 15 bombing at the Boston Marathon, which was allegedly carried out by Tsarnaev and his late brother Tamerlan. The bombing left three people dead and numerous others injured, and resulted in a manhunt during which a Boston-area campus police officer was shot and killed.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly left a note in the boat he hid in during the manhunt claiming that he bombed the Boston Marathon as retribution for U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Tsarnaev wrote.

Prior to the Boston Marathon attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, downloaded radical Islamic propagandafrom the Internet, including materials authored by Anwar al-Awlaki, the senior al Qaeda operative who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011. Tsarnaev also downloaded a summer 2010 edition of the al Qaeda magazine “Inspire,” which included bomb-making instructions and which is thought to have been the work of al-Awlaki.

Al-Awlaki lived in the United States between 1990 and 2002, when he moved to the United Kingdom before eventually relocating to Yemen, where he where worked for al-Qaeda and produced propaganda tapes and other materials urging Muslims to commit terrorist attacks against the United States.

Suhaib Webb, imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, spoke alongside al-Awlaki at a September 9, 2001 fundraiser at the University of California at Irvine, according to FBI surveillance documents. The fundraiser was intended to raise money for the legal defense of H. Rap Brown, an Atlanta-based Islamic radical who shot and killed two Georgia police officers. Webb and al-Awlaki helped raise $100,000 to defend Brown, who was eventually convicted for his crimes.

“Webb and Aulaki may be associated with the Muslim American Society,” according to the surveillance documents, which were prepared to investigate the unconfirmed possibility that al-Awlaki purchased plane tickets for some of the 9/11 hijackers.

An Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center spokesman told The Daily Caller that Webb did not know the full extent of al-Awlaki’s terrorist agenda when Webb was “working with him.”

Counterjihadreport.com reports in part:

FBI documents found that Webb and Awlaki were closely associated through the Muslim American Society, which many believe to be an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.

Webb also served as imam of the sister organization of the mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Before coming to Boston, Webb was the imam of the Islamic Society of Oklahoma City, which was home to Alton Nolen, the man who beheaded an innocent Oklahoma woman in September.

Twelve of Webb’s Islamic Society of Boston members “have either been killed, imprisoned, or declared fugitives due to their involvement in terrorist activity,” according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Additionally, some of the reasons why many American’s are concerned about CAIR’s history and agenda are posted below:

  • CAIR chapters demonstrated in the streets across America to show their support for Hamas even declaring that “We are Hamas.” 
  • Omar Ahmad, Chairman and founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, told a Muslim crowd Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.  At the Islamic Association of Palestine’s third annual convention in Chicago in November 1999, Omar Ahmad gave a speech at a youth session praising suicide bombers who kill themselves for Islam.  Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam — that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam, he said.
  • Nihad Awad, CAIR Executive Director, said I am in support of the Hamasmovement.
  • Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch, told a crowd at a Muslim rally in Austin, Texas in 2013 If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.
  • CAIR pressured the FBI in June 2013 to stop their Most Wanted advertising campaign which helped the FBI gain information regarding the whereabouts of dangerous terrorists.  The list of CAIR officials who have made apologetic comments in the public regarding terrorists is quite extensive.
  • The Council on American Islamic Relations is vigorously fighting bills in twenty state legislatures that would prohibit courts from considering provisions of foreign laws including Sharia if they are inconsistent with the United States and state constitutions.  Sharia law is antithetical to the rights and liberties afforded under the United States Constitution.
  • Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, in 2009 received a 65-year prison sentence for funneling over $12 million from the Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation to the jihad terrorist group Hamas, which is responsible for murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians.
  • Mousa Abu Marzook, a former CAIR official, was in 1995 designated by the U.S. government in 1995 as a “terrorist and Hamas leader.” He now is aHamas leader in Syria.
  • Randall Royer, CAIR’s former civil rights coordinator, in 2004 began serving a 20-year prison sentence for aiding al-Qaida and the Taliban against American troops in Afghanistan and recruiting for Lashkar e-Taiba, the jihadist group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai jihad massacres.
  • Bassem Khafagi, CAIR’s former community relations director, was arrested for involvement with the Islamic Assembly of North America, which was linked to al-Qaida. After pleading guilty to visa and bank fraud charges, Khafagi was deported.
  • Rabih Haddad, a former CAIR fundraiser, was deported for his work with the Global Relief Foundation (which he co-founded), a terror-financing organization.
  • CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case–so named by the Justice Department during the HLF trial.

EDITORS NOTE: The Florida Family Association has prepared an email to send to Marriott and Springfield Country Club officials. Readers may click here to send an email to Marriott and Springfield Country Club officials.

If Abbas is a ‘moderate,’ what’s a ‘radical’?

A revealing irony came to light while writing this article. The West is debating whether it is appropriate to publish (or even show) the post-attack issue of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which includes a caricature of Muhammad. At the same time, Muslim leaders from several countries have issued explicit warnings about the consequences of publishing such images. In fact, after Friday prayers on Jan. 16, 2015, Muslims across the Middle Eastern marched and protested against the new Charlie Hebdo cartoon, while several countries issued warnings that the drawing could “fuel hatred.” Meanwhile, this is all happening while Fatah observes its 50th anniversary by posting images and/or issuing statements that are orders-of-magnitude more violent than any Charlie Hebdo cartoon, but without any discernible response from the Western media, let alone the Islamic world.

The ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas

In one form or another, Mahmoud Abbas has been the leader of Fatah, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and/or the PLO since 2003, when the U.S. refused to conduct any further peace negotiations with Yasser Arafat. Often described as a “moderate” alternative, Mr. Abbas has frequently renounced violence and terror, but has nonetheless remained complicit as other members of Fatah and/or the PA maintain an intense campaign of provocation and incitement to violence.

Recognition of Israel

On Nov. 29, 2014, Abbas declared that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while also accusing Israel of “establishing an apartheid government.” In addition, he threatened to terminate all security cooperation between the PA and Israel in the West Bank, unless the stalled peace negotiations were revived. This was not the first time Abbas has made such statements in public. On Dec. 13, 2013, Abbas attended an Arab League meeting in Cairo, where he presented his terms for accepting a U.S.-backed framework agreement with Israel. Among his conditions, Mr. Abbas insisted there would be “no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.”

While attending Fatah’s Sixth General Assembly conference on Aug. 4, 2009, Abbas declared that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and refused to hold any further peace talks with the Israelis until they 1) halted all settlement building in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and 2) recognized the undeniable right of Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homeland. Abbas also threatened “legitimate armed resistance” if Israel refused to meet these pre-conditions to any future peace talks. On April 27, 2009, Abbas also dismissed a demand by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, stating, “I do not accept it. It is not my job to give a description of the state.”

The Fatah-Hamas unity government

On March 15, 2013, Mr. Abbas was asked the following question on Russia TV Today: “It is said that the EU [European Union] plans to remove Hamas from the list of terror organizations. Do you view this as a step toward complete recognition of the legitimacy of the [Hamas] government?” Abbas replied: “As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas. So, why are they labeled as terrorists? In my opinion, [they] can remove Hamas … why not?” On Dec. 17, 2014, an EU court in Luxembourg removed Hamas from its list of terror organizations.

As of Jan. 13, 2015, Hamas remains on the U.S. Treasury list of “Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations,” aka the newly-renamed “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.”

On Sep. 25, 2014, Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement in Cairo to allow the PA government to operate in the Gaza Strip, while also announcing that both parties had been holding “reconciliation talks” in efforts to end their differences. The agreement called for the PA government to “immediately” assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip. At the same meeting, Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official (and Specially Designated Global Terrorist), announced that the PA government would soon manage all the border crossings in the Gaza Strip. However, less than three months later, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh publicly complained that the PA consensus government had failed “to keep its commitments, by not carrying out reconstruction, nor unifying institutions under the Palestinian Authority, nor organizing elections.”

The U.N. & International Criminal Court

On the same day the EU removed Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations (Dec. 17, 2014), Jordan submitted a resolution to the U.N. Security Council to “end the occupation [of the West Bank and East Jerusalem] by 2017.” As expected, this effort failed to garner enough support. On Dec. 31, 2014, Mr. Abbas met with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, where he made his future intentions clear: “We want to complain. There’s aggression against us, against our land. The Security Council disappointed us.” On Jan. 2, 2015, the Palestinians delivered documents to U.N. headquarters to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and on Jan. 7, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon confirmed that the Palestinians will become a formal member of the ICC on April 11, 2015.

Events on the ICC front have already began to unfold. On Thursday, the ICC prosecutor announced that he would launch a preliminary probe that could “clear the way for a full-scale investigation into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories,” thus “plunging the court into the most politically charged conflict it has ever investigated.”

Recent statements and actions by current Fatah leadership

Also Thursday, Fatah posted a PhotoShopped image portraying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a Nazi SS officer. This posting was the latest in Fatah’s long-term program to use provocative imagery from the Holocaust era to defame and delegitimize Israel. On Jan. 4, 2015 (just five days after Abbas signed the Rome Statute of the ICC), Fatah posted a picture of Prime Minister Netanyahu and a noose with a caption that reads “Soon” in both Hebrew and Arabic.

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During a Jan. 2, 2015, interview, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki both condemned and threatened the U.S.: “The whole world should understand that the U.S. is an enemy, pushing Israeli extremists to carry on with their actions, depriving us of our rights, and supporting Israel in everything.” Mr. Zaki also made the following statement on Oct. 2, 2011: “If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall, what will become of Israel? It will come to an end. If we say that we want to wipe Israel out …C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world,” he warned. “Keep it to yourself.”

On Aug. 19, 2014, Yahya Rabah, a member of the Fatah Leadership Committee and a columnist for official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, claimed that Israel invented the murders of three Israeli students (also see Part 1) as a “pretext” for “continued Israeli aggression against our people, its unity, its reconciliation and its national project,” i.e., as an excuse to launch Operations Brother’s Keeper and Protective Edge.

On July 12, 2014, Mr. Rabah posted another column in the PA daily, which said: “We have nothing with which to speak to these Israeli murderers, who go too far with their crimes. … We have nothing with which to open a dialogue but these rockets“.

In the shadow of Charlie Hebdo attack

Part 1 included the following observation: “At this point in time, it is also important to consider that 2015 is being celebrated as Fatah’s 50th anniversary. If the first postings on the Fatah and/or PA official websites provide any indication, we will see a steady stream of violent anti-Israel propaganda in 2015.”

Indeed, during the first two weeks of January 2015, Fatah, the PA and/or Mahmoud Abbas have been predictably true to form. Perhaps I should thank them all; by choosing to post their most important commemorative events in the last 50 years, they’ve made my job a lot easier. The following series of pictures (and captions) were posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page during the first two weeks of January 2015:

On Jan. 11, (the same day that Mahmoud Abbas attended the Charlie Hebdo rally in Paris), Fatah posted the left and middle two pictures (notice the Fatah symbol in the middle picture). The picture on the left was taken at the Paris rally, while the middle picture commemorates an event that occurred in Lebanon in 1982, perhaps during the “Beqaa Valley War,” aka “Operation Mole Cricket 19,” when members of Fatah dragged the body of a downed Israeli pilot through the streets of Sidon.

On the very next day, Fatah posted the right-hand picture (again, notice the Fatah symbol), with the following caption: “Here Dalal [Mughrabi] raised the Palestinian flag at the front of the bus used by the heroes of Shahid (Martyr) Kamal Adwan’s group. They drove with 90 hostages …from Haifa to Tel Aviv, but the Zionist forces refused to negotiate with them. They fought a fierce battle that lasted from afternoon to evening on March 11, 1978.”

What Fatah failed to mention is that the group of 13 Fedayeen (Warriors) had hijacked the bus and killed 38 Israeli civilians (including 13 children) and wounded 71 during the “fierce battle.” The attack became known as the “Coastal Road Massacre” in Israel, while Fatah calls it the “Operation of the Martyr Kamal Adwan.”

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On Dec. 25, 2014, a Palestinian stabbed two Israeli soldiers in the Old City of Jerusalem, causing light injuries. On Jan. 5, 2015, an editorial in Al-Asima, a biweekly supplement to the PA daily (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida), stated: “These kinds of confrontations which frighten the enemy are excellent Palestinian examples of willpower and determination to win. … The [publicly released] video of the Palestinian storming and stabbing of Zionists serves as a school. … Now, every Palestinian raises his hand holding a knife together with this young Palestinian, and stabs the Zionists.:

On the same day, Al-Asima also commemorated Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, two cousins from Jerusalem who attacked worshippers in a synagogue on Nov. 18, 2014, with guns, knives and axes. After killing four ‎people and injuring seven more, both men were ‎killed in a firefight with Israeli Security Forces that had arrived on the scene.‎

What’s next?

If Fatah and Mr. Abbas really are reliable “moderate” partners in the Peace Process, then who among us can hope to define who (or what) is “radical”?

Today, as Abbas finds himself caught between Hamas and a pragmatic Israeli government, he is no closer to defining the borders of a Palestinians state than when he became the PA’s first prime minister more than a decade ago. With no clear successor, Abbas has also been unwilling to fulfill his promise to hold new elections.

As stated in Part 1, it appears that Mr. Abbas is adopting a new tactic, i.e., a calibrated effort to diminish the role America plays in the Peace Process, while appealing to the sympathies of the U.N., EU and ICC to endorse his goals of “Statehood-Through-International-Recognition.”

This “trump card approach,” which Mr. Abbas has tried before, is certain to increase tensions between 1) Israel and the Palestinians, 2) between the Palestinians and the U.S. Congress, and will 3) destabilize the situation for the next few years, at least. All this, while Fatah continues its ongoing campaign of Thawrah Hatteh Al-Naser (Revolution Until Victory).

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on World Net Daily. Read Part 1, “Is Fatah really ‘moderate’?”

Qatar Deports Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal?

Just before year end, on December 30, 2014, we posted on pronouncements from Qatar about abandoning support for the Muslim Brotherhood and opening up dialogue with Egypt’s President El-Sisi. El-Sisi , then Defense Chief ousted President Morsi , a former Muslim Brotherhood leader in a coup on July 2013, Has Qatar turned Away from Islamist Support in the Middle East?  Earlier on December 6, 2014, we reported that the Qatari Ambassador to the US,  H.E. Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari at a presentation before the Pensacola, Florida Tiger Bay Club proclaimed, “We do not support Hamas”.  He astounded some in the audience. In retrospect, given today’s news about Qatar expelling, Hamas Politburo leader, that may have been a scoop.  If confirmed, that would end Meshall’s three year sojourn in the gas rich Gulf state.  However, denials by Senior Hamas leader and the lack of confirmation from Qatar raise questions.  CNN reported:

Senior Hamas official Izzat Risheq denied reports Monday that the group’s political leader Khaled Meshaal has been expelled from Qatar.

Earlier Monday, sources close to Hamas told CNN that Meshaal and members of the Muslim Brotherhood were expelled from Qatar, and were most likely on the way to Turkey.

The Qatari government has not commented.

Saudi Arabia has been working to improve relations between Qatar and Egypt.

Israel’s reaction to this development was what you might expect as reported by AP:

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it “welcomes Qatar’s decision to expel the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, to Turkey.” It said the Qatari decision came after heavy diplomatic pressure from Israel.

“We expect the Turkish government to act responsibly in a similar way,” it added.

Hardly, likely.  Meshaal traveled to Ankara on December 25, 2014 and met with Islamist AKP President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Meshaal then showed up on December 27, 2014 at the annual convention of AKP Party of President Erdogan held at the hometown of AKP Premier Dovutoglu in Konor. Al-Monitor reported his reception and remarks:

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appeared on Dec. 27 with Meshaal in Davutoglu hometown, Konya, for the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) annual assembly. Known for being conservative, Konya residents jubilantly greeted Meshaal, as reported by Islamist news network Takva Haber: “The democratic and secular Hamas leader reminded Konya residents of their protests in the 1980s in solidarity with Jerusalem.”

Turkish mainstream media reported Meshaal’s appearance in Konya as a surprise visit. Meshaal gave a brief but potent speech in which he praised Erdogan and Davutoglu multiple times as the crowd waived Turkish and Palestinian flags, passionately cheering “Allahu akbar” (God is great) and “Down with Israel.” Meshaal said: “A strong Turkey means a strong Jerusalem and a strong Palestine. … Inshallah [God willing], we will liberate Jerusalem together. A strong Turkey is a source of power for all Muslims.”

Erdogan has gone out of his way to support Hamas as fellow Brothers. That included the infamous exiled Egyptian Brotherhood preacher, the anti-American and anti-Semitic Yusuf al Qaradawi, head of the US Global terror financing conduit, Union of Good. In our December 6th post we drew attention to an Interpol Red Tag Warrant issued for the arrest of al-Qaradawi sought for extradition “to serve a sentence” for crimes including “incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder” in El-Sisi’s Egypt.  Al Monitor in a December 12, 2014 report on the Arrest Warrant noted Erdogan saying:

His resentment publicly at the Fifth Religious Council in Ankara Dec. 8, Erdogan said: “Look, a person who came to power through a coup is giving instructions to Interpol. Based on this instruction a step is being taken for the arrest of Youssef al-Qaradawi, president of the [International] Union of Muslim Scholars. What kind of a business is this?”

 The Qatari Ambassador’s  presentation on December 6th in Pensacola was eclipsed by the Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s  appearance at a GCC summit in Doha three days later on December 9th that marked the start of a lowering of Qatar’s profile internationally reflected in  a Wall Street Journal  op by Yaroslav Trofimov’,  Qatar Scales Back Role in Middle East Conflicts.   The Qatari Ambassador to Washington comments about Meshaal at the Pensacola Tiger Bay Club meeting in response to his status may have been cover for what may have happened yesterday when H.E. Ambassador Al-Kuwari said, “Better to have Khaled Meshaal in Qatar than across the Gulf in Iran”.  Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas is said to live in luxury and control funds estimated at over $2.0 billion.

 Now it is likely that Khaled Meshaal, and possibly MB Preacher Al Qaradawi and others in the Hamas Politburo entourage in Doha may have also found new refuge and safe haven for their ill-gotten billions in Turkey. Meanwhile Hamas leaders in Gaza are complaining bitterly that less than $100 million out of the $5.4 billion pledged to rebuild the enclave have been received since the Cairo conference with Arab states following the cease fire that ended the 50 day war with Israel in the summer of 2014.  Trofimov in his WSJ analysis noted the turnabout following the Emir al-Thani appearance at the Doha   Gulf Cooperation Council meeting on December 9th:

Trofimov in his WSJ analysis  noted the turnabout:

After their threats to boycott a summit of Gulf monarchies in Doha this month, Qatar revised its stance on the critical point of disagreement—how to treat the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Egyptian leadership, which ousted the Islamist group from power last year.

Having expelled several Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders ahead of the summit, Qatar sent a senior envoy to Egypt on Dec. 20 to seek a rapprochement with President Abdel Fattah El -Sisi.

Two days later, Qatar shut down the Egyptian channel of its Al Jazeera TV network, an outlet for the Brotherhood and other opponents of Egypt’s current leadership.

“The security of Egypt is important for the security of Qatar,” Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said.

Our conclusion from our December 30th post is worth repeating:

Thus, tiny Qatar has been forced to rein in its support of the Islamist jihadist causes because of geo-political realities, leaving Turkey’s President Erdogan as the lone supporter of Hamas in the region.  That has been fueled by the US energy revolution producing a glut in the weakened demand for oil and gas that precipitated the plummeting oil and gas prices.

We shall see if Qatar makes the transition away from being a Frenemy dropping its support for the Brotherhood in the region and in Gaza. Backing Egypt’s security was likely a show of good faith to be brought back into the fold of the Gulf Cooperation Council. If Qatar can clean up its problems with the construction of the FIFA 2022 World Cup including alleged human rights violations of foreign workers, it may be on the path to rehabilitation in the world community. Still Qatar is not a budding democracy as it tries to portray itself. Rather it an Arab autocracy granting little to no human rights to its 280,000 citizens and nearly 1.8 million foreign workers.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Khaled Meshaal, Hamas Politburo chief, at a Doha 7-23-14 news conference. Source: Reuters.

Qatar Ambassador to U.S.: “We Don’t Support Hamas”

Qatar’s Ambassador to Washington  H.E. Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari is a veteran diplomat with 32 years of service to the small gas rich wealthy Arab state on a peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia.  American educated at the University of Portland, Oregon with graduate work at the University of Madrid in Spain, he speaks several languages including Farsi used during a diplomatic post in Tehran.  He has held a number of diplomatic posts, Foreign Ministry and Cabinet positions. As Qatar’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, he presented his credentials to President Obama in the Oval Office in March 2014. Ambassador Al-Kuwari spoke Friday, December 5th at the monthly meeting of the Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, Florida.

Qatar with its capital of Doha has fewer subjects than the metropolitan Pensacola area, approximately 300,000. There are also upwards of 1.7 million foreign workers residing in Qatar with some evidence of human rights violations. Human Rights Watch in its 2014 World Report noted:

Migrants continue to experience serious rights violations, including forced labor and arbitrary restrictions on the right to leave Qatar, which expose them to exploitation and abuse by employers.

The soft spoken Qatari diplomatic representative flew in from “wintry DC” the prior evening to be greeted by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, Escambia County Commissioner Michael Underwood and the board of the Tiger Bay Club.  He presented a check for $10,000 to Mayor Hayward and proceeded to unroll a charm campaign on this Gulf Coast community in North West Florida with a heavy military presence.  Located in Northwest Florida are the famed Pensacola Naval Air Station, Navy Training and Information Dominance Commands, the Naval Flight Training Center at Whiting Field, the USAF Air Force Special Operation Command Headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Eglin and Tyndall Air bases.  It is not uncommon to see personnel from the six Arab States, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, undergoing training at these facilities.  One of the Tiger Bay board members who attended the private dinner Thursday evening opined the Ambassador gave a “smooth performance.”

The Qatar Charm Campaign

Tiny Qatar across from Shiite Iran is endeavoring to explain the presence of the leaders from terror groups Hamas and Taliban ensconced in luxury in Doha.   There are also allegations by the US Treasury that some Qatar individuals and charities may have funded these groups, as well as, the self declared Islamic State, formerly ISIS. A bit ironic, as Ambassador Al-Kuwari said ISIS is a threat to them that needs to be addressed through immediate military action.

On the diplomatic side, Qatar is one of two Gulf Arab States, the other being Oman, that have diplomatic relationships with America’s ally in the Middle East, Israel.  He stressed their recognition of the State of Israel which has offices in Doha.  He spoke about the role of Qatar trying to bring about peace between the Jewish State and the Palestinians, what he repeatedly deemed as the principal  root cause of unrest and violence in the region. He spoke about the criticism from fellow Arab League members questioning why Qatar tolerates Israeli presence and Jewish visitors.

Ambassador Al Kuwari propounded the view that the Al Jazeera satellite TV network was founded as the “voice of the Arab Spring”, promoting democratic aspirations.  He pointed out Qatar’s own aspirations to build democratic institutions noting a possible future elected parliament, given the two century rule by the Al-Thani family.

“Qatar doesn’t support Hamas”

He astounded some in the audience when he claimed that Qatar does not support Hamas.  This despite the $1 billion pledge by Qatar made at a Cairo conference to underwrite one quarter of the $4 billion cost to rebuild Gaza after the third Hamas perpetrated war with Israel since 2008. In his Tiger Bay talk he referenced the 2,200 Gazans killed in IDF Operation Protective Edge, not mentioning that the majority were Hamas and Palestinian Islamic jihad operatives who had used civilians as human shields. Nor did he mention that the $400 millions pledged after the 2012 Gaza war may have been used to build the terror tunnels that enabled cross border attacks inside Israel during the recent summer war.   As he put it, “better to have Khaled Meshaal, the leader in Qatar than across the Gulf in Iran”.

As to questions concerning permitting a Taliban office in Qatar, the Ambassador said that was to facilitate discussions with the Afghan government leading to an inclusive democratic government.  He recommended the terror group relinquish its threats of violence and denial of empowerment of women through education.  He noted the role played by Qatar in release of several Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo in exchange for release of captive US Army Sergeant Bergdahl.  However he did not respond to questions as to whether any of the released Taliban commanders in Qatar were rumored to have subsequently joined ISIS.

When asked about the Muslim Brotherhood, he suggested that there could be democratically elected Islamist governments, decrying the imprisonment by Egyptian President el-Sisi of Brothers, liberals and human rights advocates by the newly elected government.  The Ambassador suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood may not have resorted to terrorism, which appears contradicted by Egyptian, Saudi and UAE designations.   He was, however, silent about the long term presence in Qatar of exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Yusuf al-Qaradawi founder of the Union of Good, a US Treasury Global Designated Terror Group supplying Hamas.

As Ambassador Al-Kuwari was finishing his presentation The Investigative Project was reporting:

 Interpol issued a bulletin Friday seeking the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s most influential cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The bulletin was sparse on details but said that Egypt wanted the 88-year-old Qaradawi “to serve a sentence” for crimes including “incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder.” …  According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, Interpol issued a “red notice” which is both its highest level alert, and a move subject to later review by the international police agency.

The Egyptian El-Sisi government had requested extradition by Qatar of al-Qaradawi to stand trial.

Ambassador Al-Kuwari painted a glowing picture of Qatar as the Switzerland of the Middle East with billions of dollars holding hundreds of international academic, business and interfaith conferences akin to Davos. He touted American universities like Cornell, Northwestern, Texas, and Virginia Commonwealth that set up programs in Doha. He said that Qatar wanted to invest in economic enterprises in the region to create jobs for the large number of unemployed university graduates.  In the US Qatar is spending $5 million funding university courses to teach Arabic.

 He emphasized the humanitarian contributions of Qatar reflected in the $100 million given for the rebuilding of New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, the $850 million to rebuild Haiti after the 2012 Earthquake in cooperation with the Clinton Foundation and a major push against Polio in the less developed world in conjunction with the Gates Foundation.  But there were also investments in the US, like the $1.5 billion City Center complex developed with the Hines group in Texas revitalizing a derelict section of Washington, DC.

When asked about the depiction of Islam as being prone to violence reflected in the barbarism of ISIS, he deplored that.  He contended that ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates were a distinct minority that had infiltrated the demonstrated record of tolerance of Islam. His message was that Qatar was following the example of the 800 year Muslim reign in Al Andaluz, southern Spain, where allegedly Jews, Christian and Muslims lived in tolerance. This is not demonstrated by the history of intolerance and barbarism akin to that perpetrated by contemporary ISIS and the Taliban during the successive waves of invasion by extremist Berber-Muslims from North Africa.  He noted Qatar’s approval for building a new Catholic church.

Is Qatar a Frenemy?

Seasoned observers of the Middle East Region say that Qatar under the two century rule by the Al-Thani family “has been punching internationally above its weight class” to use the boxing analogy. Yet Qatar has often been referred to as a Frenemy.  Not exactly a friend, not exactly an enemy.

On the friend side Qatar has assisted in building several major bases including the forward command center at al-Udeid air base for the US Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Base just outside Tampa, Florida. Qatar has supplied air contingents in the US-led coalition of 60 countries seeking to “degrade and destroy” Sunni extremist group, the Islamic State, formerly ISIS. The capital, Doha has been turned into an international education hub for the Middle East with the aid of US academic institutions and think tanks like the Doha Center of the Washington, DC –based Brookings Institution.  Qatar has created jobs here in the US by purchasing $19 billion  of 50 Boeing 777s  for expansion of its Qatar Airways in major hubs  Dallas, Miami , Philadelphia to bolster existing facilities in Houston, Washington, DC, New York and Chicago .  Further, Qatar has signed agreements with the Pentagon to purchase more than $11 billion in Patriot Missiles, Apache helicopters and Javelin anti-tank missiles. Moreover, it acquired the Current TV channel, now Al Jazeera America, from former Vice President Al Gore and investors.

On the other hand, there is a troubling story.  Qatar in a New York Times op-ed by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called Qatar a “Club Med for Terrorists”. He was referring to providing sanctuary for Khaled Meshaal, the billionaire leader of Hamas.  Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies in testimony before the Joint Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs on September 9, 2014 said “that Qatar is currently Hamas’ ATM”:

“If you add up the annual $400 million that we believe has been pledged by the Qataris and perhaps the rumored $300 million provided by the Turks, then you’re looking at $700 million out of a roughly $1 billion budget,” Schanzer told members of Congress. “I’m no math major, but that would be 70 percent.

Earlier this year three Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, briefly withdrew their Ambassadors from Qatar.  They were, among other reasons, objecting to the Qatar funded Al Jazeera satellite TV network broadcasting across the region in Arabic the extremist inflammatory statements of exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi.  In November 2014, the UAE joined Saudi Arabia placing the Muslim Brotherhood on its list of world terrorist organizations, including Hamas and, here in the US, Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, the Council of American Islamic Relations and Muslim American Society.

There are questions about what Qatar is doing concerning wealthy Qataris who have funded Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusrah and the Sunni fundamentalist Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq.

There have been  accusations that some of the $220  billion funds for the infrastructure  in preparation for 2022 FIFA World Cup competition may have involved bribes to FIFA officials and  possible  diversion of contractor payments  to fund the Jihad of the Islamic State.

Some Members of Congress have called for black listing both Qatar and Turkey because of these individuals’ contributions to ISIS, even suggesting that the U.S. move CENTCOMM bases in Qatar elsewhere in the region. Those accusations led the US State Department while calling the current relationship with Qatar “productive”, to also state that “disruption of terrorist financing by Qatari individuals and charitable associations remains inconsistent”.

Conclusion

Qatari Ambassador Al-Kuwari’s Pensacola presentation will doubtless be repeated frequently during his Washington, DC posting. After all the campaign is laced with prospects of American communities and businesses receiving billions in economic rewards.  If Qatar is to succeed it might wisely follow the path of fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Kuwait and rein in terrorist financiers in the tiny state. Qatar might start by honoring the Interpol Red Tag warrant for the arrest and extradition of Muslim Brotherhood preacher Al Qaradawi.  As to fostering peace between Israel and the Palestinians, if Qatar’s track record negotiating cease fire proposals with Turkey on behalf of Hamas in the recent summer Gaza war is any indication, that is an unlikely prospect.

Listen to the Qatar Ambassador’s Pensacola Tiger Bay Club presentation.

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