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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.

Florida Mayor takes bold stand against Terrorism!

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Mayor Kent Guinn, Ocala, Florida.

Mayor Kent Guinn took a bold stand against terrorism on Tuesday, when he and the City Council rejected attempts by terrorist sympathizer Manal Fakhoury (pictured above) to marry the city of Ocala, Florida to Ramallah, Palestine via  Sister Cities International, a United Nations driven initiative.

A request to formally align the City of Ocala, which is affectionately known as horse country and the city of Ramallah which is better known for anti-Semitism and  terrorism was submitted by Manal Fakhoury, a Palestinian herself, as well as Karin Dean, Cindy Grimes, and Lola Gonzales in the official capacity of Fakhoury Leadership International.

Ramallah, is the Capitol city of the Palestinian Authority.  The P.A. was birthed out of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),  a federally designated Terrorist Organization which by all appearances changed its name in an effort to distance itself from its violent nature.

The  application which was meet with strong opposition and dated 10/16/2014 was heard by the City Council, on Tuesday 11/18/2014.  Some in support of the initiative to twining the cities of Ocala and Ramallah, showed up wearing Fakhoury Leadership International T-Shirts.  Those who spoke in favor of a formal agreement via Sister Cities International, framed the initiative as an attempt to to promote peace and mutual understanding.

Suggesting Ramallah as a stalwart city in any effort to promote peace and mutual understanding in light its long history of terrorism is a stretch to say the least.  Recent Jihadist attacks on Jewish citizens, attacks the Israeli Prime Minister attributes directly to PLO leader Mamoud Abbas who is headquartered in Ramallah add additional skepticism to Fakhourys’ stated mission.   Comments by Israeli leadership regarding recent attacks give a glimpse at the kind of influence Ocala could expect from such an alliance:

Prime Minister Netanyahu said incitement by Hamas and Abbas motivated attacks on Jews. “This is a direct result of the incitement lead by Hamas and Abu Mazen (Abbas), incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores. We will respond with a firm hand to this brutal murder of Jews who went to pray and were scathed by despicable murder.”   

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said that “Abbas, one of the biggest terrorists to have arisen from the Palestinian people, bears direct responsibility for the Jewish blood spilt on tallit and tefillin while we were busy with delusions about the [peace] process.”   (Haaretz.com, 18 November 2014)

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Manal Fakhoury posing with life size picture of Yasser Arafat, PLO terrorist.

Manal Fakhoury, is a tireless activist whose long history ties her to individuals and groups whose stated mission is to impose Sharia Law around the world, to include the United States.

In addition to membership in several Ocala organizations, Fakhoury is board member of United Voices for America (UVA) a spin-off of CAIR, as well as the Capitol Leadership Academy (CLA).  Co-founder Ahmed  Bedier launched UVA after jumping ship just prior to Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) being designated a Co-conspirator in the largest successfully prosecuted terrorism finance trial in U.S. history.  Members of CAIR have been convicted of terrorism, material support for terrorism, and it’s leadership has openly expressed their desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with sharia law.   This is not a freedom of speech or 1st Amendment issue, but is in fact a direct challenge to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and its supremacy.

Ironically, CAIR was designated a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just this past week along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), both Muslim Brotherhood entities, while at the same time both organizations enjoy unprecedented influence in local, state, and federal politics.

Capitol Leadership and similar Academies have sprung up in over 25 states, following the model set by Manal Fakhoury and Ahmed Bedier.  These Academies were designed to train 12-18 year old “minorities” almost exclusively Muslim to learn the ins and out of legislation, lobbying, and running for political office.

According to “student(s)” we placed inside two of these week long classes.  Ahmed Bedier said “I want clean Muslims in office in the next two years”.  In light of this information, it might be worth considering the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood used similar operations to gain legitimacy, influence, and eventually the Presidency in Egypt during the so called “Arab Spring”.

The Gainville Sun, reported that Mayor Guinn displayed an article detailing these connections titled “Manal Fakhoury: Possibly the Most Dangerous and Influential Woman in Florida Politics“, as well as other pictures of her beaming in front of pictures of Mamoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat.  Mayor Guinn stated:

“These are things I am concerned about, are the ties of Ramallah, Manal, and this group of people like pictured there,” Guinn said.

He added, “I am not going to pursue having a sister cities, twinning relationship, whatever you want to call it, for a lot of reasons, this being one of them.”

Sister Cities International, is a U.N. entity which facilitates the twinning of cities worldwide, providing guidance, formal agreements, and liaison between twinning cites and federal and international bodies.

One of the stated goals; is for the twinning to be mutually beneficial partnerships between peer communities to include exchanges in the fields of culture, arts, education, trade, municipal management, health agriculture and industry to name a few.  In addition, Cities may provide Sister City Organizations with financial support.

Historically, the Palestinian people have been a “refugee” people who have had little to offer in the way of agriculture and industry on a global basis.  Almost certainly any support would be directed towards Ramallah and not the City of Ocala or its residents.  Other than art and culture not much is left in the way of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Manal Fakoury PDF FB GAZA Photo enlarged  hate jewsEven CULTURE is suspect when you consider the following point(s):

Islam is a complete way of life for Muslims; meaning it is all encompassing and there is virtually no separation between the culture, religion, or the personal life of a Muslim.

Shabbir Mansori, founder of the Council on Islamic Education which is responsible for virtually all Islamic content in America’s public school textbooks succinctly illustrates the Islamic inseparability between culture and goals of Islam in regard to his statement regarding  his work America’s Public School system.

“I am waging a “bloodless” revolution, promoting world cultures and faiths in America’s classrooms”.

Gainesville Sister Cities Director Steve Kalishman said 20 percent of Palestinians are Christian and there is no fighting going on in Ramallah. He said Gainesville has a “great Sister City.” as reported in Gainsville Sun.   

This is a standard Muslim Brotherhood talking point which flies in the face of the fact that thousands of Christians have had to flee areas under P.A. control with a steady rise in attacks since the Oslo Peace Accords.  Christian population has dropped from 15% down to only 2% since just the 1960’s.

In her arrogance, Fakhoury said  “I don’t think he knows what he is talking about,” Fakhoury said of the mayor. “If he really had any concern, why wouldn’t he speak to me?” in regard to Mayor Guinn.

She said the Sister Cities program is a positive one and that if any city needed a sister city, Ocala did. she went onto say “I really thought our city was better than this. I think people know me”.

She said she has worked hard for the city of Ocala, a clear reference to her relentless outreach and involvement in dozens of groups.  Statements which on the surface suggest that the backward, redneck City of Ocala obligated to oblige her based on she had done for the community.

 She went on to affirm her commitment to terrorism, saying “There’s a ton of support in the city of Ocala. I just didn’t bother doing it that way. But we will continue our work (with Ramallah) without a relationship,” she said.

Fakhoury called commissioners’ lack of interest “disheartening” and “sad.” She said there is a blog online by ACT Jacksonville that is smearing her reputation.

By now it should be clear to those seriously considering the information provided in this article and links, that Manal Fakhoury is a passionate and driven woman.  Whose drive and support comes with certain expectations which may be diametrically opposed to the health and well being of our local, state, and ultimately national body politic.

Riayd and Manal Fakhoury’s, impact on Florida Politics has been significant on both sides of the isle.  They regularly fund and host fundraiser in their home for various Governors, Senators, House Members and Attorney Generals with Hamas Operative Ahmed Bedier frequently in tow.

It is very refreshing to see elected officials who have the discernment to recognize a clear and present danger, as well as the courage to act in the best interest of the community despite the risk of being labeled a racist?, hatemonger, bigot, or Islamaphobe.

Hat Tip to the City of Ocala, Mayor Kent Guinn, Council President John McLeod, James P. Hilty Sr., Brent Malver, Jay Musley, and Councilwoman Mary S. Rich.

Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders

In the wake of the horrific news of the slaughter at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, we convened an on-air discussion on 1330WEBY in Pensacola. During the broadcast word came of the fifth death, an Israeli Druze Border Policeman. A sixth victim of their barbarous attack is reported to have fallen into a coma. This was as a result of the Islamikaze attack by two cousins from the Jabel Mukaber section of east Jerusalem, Odei Abed Abu Jamal, 22 and Ghassam Mohammed Abu Jamal, 32, equipped with guns, knives, and meat cleavers. They were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine allegedly motivated by Jewish threats to the Haram al Sharaf/ Temple Mount. They were shot dead by the two Israeli police at the blood spattered horrific scene inside the synagogue in Har Nof that took the lives of four rabbis, three dual citizen Americans and a Briton. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, sweets and cookies were distributed in Gaza City while Palestinians there celebrated the grisly murders of the rabbis at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem.

The ‘we” included  WEBY Your Turn host and general manager Mike Bates, this writer  and Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola, host of WEBY program, “In the  Beginning.” This summer we did several programs to update the Gulf Coast listener audience of the threats to Israel during the 50 day IDF Operation Defensive Edge.  The rocket and terror tunnel war was launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the murders of three Jewish Yeshiva students by Hamas operatives masquerading as observant Jews.  They were killed while hitchhiking home near Hebron. That series of radio discussions culminated in the launch of a local Federation sponsored Stand for Israel rally in historic Seville square with hundreds of attendees.

Prior to the segment, Bates and I looked at two disquieting videos of President Obama’s remarks regarding the slaughter at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue.  One was produced by CNBC, while the other was the raw AP news video. Conspicuous by its absence in the former was President Obama’s morally equivalent lines in his statement, “Too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died”.  Breitbart drew attention to Obama’s remarks in the raw AP video, Obama Responds to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: ‘Too Many Palestinians Have Died’. However, as Rabbi  Tokajer observed during the opening moments of our discussion, CNN had an earlier breaking headline of the grisly synagogue attack, “Two Palestinians shot Dead by Israeli Police “. This while sweets and cookies were being handed out and Palestinians celebrated in Gaza.  I drew attention to the deep links between the Obama White House and major media illustrated by Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesperson, Ben Rhodes, whose brother David heads CBS News. As one aspect of that, I referred to the  editing of reportage by former CBS correspondent Sheryl Atkisson over the Benghazi episode that she chronicled in her  new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

Early on in the radio discussion, I drew attention to one of the victims of the synagogue slaughter, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, son of revered Chassidic Rabbi Isadore.  As a native of the Boston area I spoke of the esteem the Twersky rabbinic dynasty was held in, reflected in the naming of the new Harvard Judaic Studies Center after Rabbi Isadore, its founding director. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts commented in a Skype IM exchange, that “Moshe’s father was the Talner Rebbe. A giant.”  The Twerskys were an important Rabbinic dynasty that The Forward pointed out in an article melded both Chassidic and Modern Orthodox Judaism.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky’s grandfather on his mother’s side was Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, a renowned Jewish scholar who founded the Maimonides School from which Rabbi Twersky graduated.

During the segment we discussed the incitement and duplicity in the condemnation by PA President Abbas that was quickly seized upon by the President Obama and the mainstream media.  Abbas, as Bates pointed out was serving in the tenth year of an initial four year term as PA President, had stoked the violence in Jerusalem in the wake of an American born Palestinian youth murdered by three Israeli youths. Bates said that the Jewish perpetrators had been arraigned and doubtless will be prosecuted for their crime.

 Rabbi Tokajer commented that perhaps behind this current wave of violence lay a reality when he pointed out that “according to a recent survey by Near Eastern Consulting 75% of Palestinians do not accept Israel’s right to exist and reject a two state solution.” He noted that Administration had repeatedly accused PM Netanyahu of stoking the Palestinian violence through announcements of new housing construction in Jerusalem. To which Bates replied this criticism was unwarranted as there was a project that set aside nearly half the units for Arabs.

That was exemplified by the contretemps during the October 2014 Netanyahu visit with Obama in the Oval Office. over the announcement of 2,610 units in Givat HaMatos.  White House press spokesman Josh Earnest expressed deep concern with construction of “settlements” in “sensitive” areas of east Jerusalem. Further Earnest said , “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, (and) distance Israel from even its closest allies”, a clear reference to the Administration. Israel PM Netanyahu at a New York press conference later the same day disputed the comment saying, “Arabs in Jerusalem purchase homes freely in the west of the city and nobody says that’s forbidden. I don’t intend to tell Jews that they can’t buy homes in East Jerusalem.” It was left to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat angered by the White House attack who issued this statement:

I say this firmly and clearly: building in Jerusalem is not poisonous and harmful – rather, it is essential, important and will continue with full force. I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel’s capital. Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country.

Our discussion then focused on Abbas and Jordan’s upset at Jewish claims that they are entitled to pray on the temple mount, which is also shared by Muslims as the fourth most revered Mosque in Islam. Turning to the religious conflict over the Temple Mount, Bates, who had his first visit to Israel in March 2014, referred to the sign that Jews were not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, the Noble Sanctuary/Haram Al Sharaf as Muslims refer to it. He mused that the spot is revered by Jews as well as Christians as the Dome of the Rock is the mythic location of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, the Akeda in Hebrew, but had been aborted by Angels carrying instructions from Ha Shem.

We pointed out the contemporary conflict over Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount in the shooting of another American –born Israeli   victim of Palestinian violence, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Faithful that seeks civil rights for Jews to pray there. Glick was assaulted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in late October 2014 and shot three times by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, Mutaz Hijazi, who after fleeing the scene on a motorcycle was tracked down and killed by Israeli Border police.

The continuing denial of Jewish and Christian rights to pray on the Temple Mount under Israeli law can be traced to the key role that the legendary Moshe Dayan played in urging the Knesset to pass legislation ceding control over the Temple Mount to the Waqf or trust appointed by the King of Jordan, hence the role played by King Abdullah in the current contretemps. Meanwhile the Muslim appointees have done everything possible to destroy the heritage of Jewish presence by excavating under the Haram al Sharaf/Temple Mount.

Rabbi Tokajer brought up the issue that the myopic delusion of a peace settlement between Israel and the PA based on the 1949 Armistice Line.  He said that there is no reason for a division of unified Jerusalem given that a Palestinian State already exists, Jordan.

We brought up the matter of the UAE’s designation of a host of terrorist groups that included, Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and two of its US affiliates, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The question was brought up about both the UAE and Saudi Arabia having major financiers underwriting these terrorist groups.  Rabbi Tokajer pointed out that Arab society is based on loyalty to family, clan and tribe; hence, you could have subjects of Arab states  who would view their contributions to  these designated terrorist groups as  simply  Zakat  or Charity  in support of following the way of Allah, jihad. Bates asked how Saudi Arabia and the UAE could control that. I responded by saying  perhaps the US Treasury Undersecretary  for Finance and Terrorism might advise them, as  we apparently know  who are these financiers are.

When the question of what Israel might do, we referred to American –Israeli Vic Rosenthal suggestions in his blog, Abu Yehuda.  Rosenthal’s suggestions included the Knesset passing a Basic Law declaring Israel a Jewish State, Annexing Area C that includes Judea and Samaria, leaving Areas B and D on the West Bank as an autonomous entity with 98 % of the Palestinians in the West Bank. However that still left the matter of dealing with the ironic situation of disloyal Arab Muslim Members in Israel’s Knesset engaging in seditious acts seeking to foster the destruction of the Jewish State. Then there is the ISIS wannabe Israel Arab Muslim Sheik Real Salah of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement inciting violence against Jewish, Christian and Druze citizens seeking to declare a Caliphate to supplant Israel. The Knesset might adopt legal proceedings to be conducted to deprive citizenship and eject such individuals. That is, if the Israeli High Court doesn’t overturn it.

On the matter of what the new GOP controlled US Congress might do when the 114th session begins on January 3, 2015, we offered some suggestions. Congress might seriously   consider defunding the Palestinian Authority.  It might deny US funding for reconstruction of war torn Gaza. That might raise the question of depopulating Gaza, allowing voluntary transfer elsewhere in the region. Something that Egypt and other Members of the Arab League had heretofore barred.  Now Egypt has effectively created a buffer zone in the Rafah gap destroying housing and smuggling tunnels, isolating the residents of Gaza. Perhaps, if this fantasy occurred Gaza might serve as a safe haven for persecuted Middle East Christians.

Listen to the 1330 WEBY “Your Turn” discussion, Segment 1Segment 2, Segment 3 and Segment 4.

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

4 Muslim groups responsible for 66% of all 17,958 terror killings in 2013

But, but, but, Tim McVeigh! “4 Sunni Muslim Groups Responsible for 66% of All 17,958 Terror Killings in 2013,” by Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, November 19, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

(CNSNews.com) – The number of people killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013 rose by 60 percent compared to the previous year – from 11,133 to 17,958 – with four Sunni Muslim extremist groups responsible for two-thirds of all fatalities, according to a comprehensive annual study.

Eighty-two percent of fatalities occurred in just five countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, although the number of countries that experienced more than 50 terror-related deaths also rose – to 24, compared with 15 the previous year.

Among the many findings in the new Global Terrorism Index, a project of the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, is one that calls into question claims that poverty is a key driver of terrorism.

“One of the most important findings in this report is that there is not a strong statistical link between poverty and terrorism,” it says. “Many people who join terrorist groups in wealthy countries are well educated and come from middle class families.”

“Other measures which didn’t correlate include life expectancy, mean years of schooling and economic factors such as GDP growth.”

Socio-economic, governance and attitudinal variables that showed the most significant correlation with terrorism were political stability, intergroup cohesion and legitimacy of the state.

The report also found that “religion” as a driving ideology for terrorism has jumped significantly in the last five years, and accounts for most of the terror activity in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

As a driver for terrorist groups, religion far outstrips “politics,” which tends to dominate attacks in the Western Hemisphere and is responsible for about half of them in Europe; and “national separatist” ideology, which accounts for the vast majority of attacks in Russia and former Soviet Union areas, and about half of attacks in Europe and about one-third in the Asia-Pacific….

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Israel Has Found New Allies

Israel Wall with Egypt Sinai

Israeli security fence on Egyptian border.

Let’s just say it up front and avoid tip-toeing around with politically correct language. President Obama and his administration are the most anti-Israel to have held office and likely the most anti-Semitic. Forget about his public declarations of friendship and support for Israel. For six years Obama has demonstrated his antipathy toward the only democratic nation in the Middle East, the Jewish state.

That’s why an anonymous administration official felt free to call Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a “chickenshit” and “a coward” while being interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg for an article in The Atlantic.

He or she had to know the comment would go public. Netanyahu was accused of only being interested in his political survival and afraid to launch an attack on Iran to slow or end its nuclear armament program. In an effort to comply with U.S. demands, Netanyahu actually had put himself at political risk at home. None of Obama’s demands were rewarded or acknowledged and, for now, those days are over.

It is, of course, the Obama administration that has led the most servile negotiations to date with Iran, granting all manner of concessions in order to get an agreement that would put that terror-sponsoring nation within three or four months of having a nuclear warhead for its missiles or bomb for its aircraft.

Speaking to the Israeli Knesset, Netanyahu responded to the insulting name-calling saying, “I am under attack simply because I am defending the State of Israel. If I didn’t stand firm on our national interests, I would not be under attack.” And then, typical of the diplomatic dance, he said, “I respect and cherish the deep connection with the United States.”

If he was speaking in an historic context, he is right, but the six years of Obama’s terms in office have been a succession of insults and demands that would make Israel vulnerable to the constant presence of its enemies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, two terror organizations that are proxies for their sponsor, Iran. During the recent military operations to end months of continued rocketing from Gaza, the U.S. repeatedly called on Israel to stop. When it was over, countless tunnels whose sole purpose was for Palestinian terrorists to attack Israelis were found.

AA - Tunnels Under Our Streets

For a larger view click on the image.

Tunnels have also been a problem for Egypt and they are the ones that run from the Sinai area into Gaza. Following the Camp David Accords in 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Until then no Middle East Arab nation had any intention of acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty. The treaty has held firm since then, but the new Egyptian leadership came to power after the people demanded that the Muslim Brotherhood be removed from office. It was; first by military coup and then by an election. It is the same Muslim Brotherhood some of whose members have been part of the Obama administration.

For Egypt, the Sinai has been the scene of dozens of attacks against its military and security forces since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 during the so-called “Arab spring.” As Oren Kessler, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Deputy Director for Research, recently noted, “Egypt has waged a sustained military campaign against Sinai extremists since August 2012, including air strikes and ground operations, as well as the destruction of at least 1,600 smuggling tunnels to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.”

“Despite the fact that at least 20 attacks have targeted Israel since Mubarak’s ouster, the Jewish state has not engaged in military operations in Egyptian territory” but “the recent Sinai security challenges have prompted the Israelis and Egyptians to cooperate in others ways…”

A response to its own security needs led the Israelis to build a fortified fence along its Egyptian border, its longest frontier, “in a bid to control the flow of asylum seekers and economic migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.” You read that correctly, migrants want to live in Israel, perhaps knowing that, only there, are those who are Christian will not be killed for their faith and those who are Muslim will not be harassed. The fence, of course, has the added benefit of addressing the threat of Sinai terrorism.

So, Egypt ranks high among Israel’s allies in very real ways. The same can be said of Saudi Arabia, the Muslim holy land where Mecca and Medina are located. As Bret Stephens, a Wall Street Journal columnist, noted in late October, “The real problem for the administration is that the Israelis—along with all the other disappointed allies—are learning how little it pays to be on Barack Obama’s good side.”

“Since coming to office in 2009,” noted Stephens, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, against his own inclination and over the objections of his political bases, to (1) recognize the Palestinian state, (2) enforce an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze, (3) release scores of Palestinian prisoners held on murder charges, (4) embark on an ill-starred effort to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians, (5) refrain from taking overt military steps against Iran, and (6) agree to every possible cease-fire during the summer’s war with Hamas.”

That, however, has not been enough for the Obama administration. Not only did it hold up “the delivery of munitions at the height of the Gaza war”, but Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians when history confirms their long resistance and refusal to any peace deal. Kerry even managed to attribute the rise of the Islamic State to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is delusional and deeply offensive.

Largely unreported because the two nations want it that way, Saudi Arabia and Israel have long been in discussions of what to do if the U.S. sells out both of them by concluding a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear arms program. Such a deal would leave both nations and all others in the Middle East and beyond vulnerable to Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Sunni nations also have concerns about the rise of the Sunni Islamic State. If Obama is indifferent to Israel’s security, he gives plenty of evidence he feels the same about the Sunni nations. Both Iran and the Islamic State are Shiites.

If anyone, some years ago, had predicted that two leading Muslim nations would find ample reason to ally with Israel, they would likely have been laughed out of the room, but it is today’s reality. It may make Obama angry, but the Israelis don’t care. Despite the usual diplomatic charades, until Obama is out of office they and their Arab allies will act to protect themselves as he continues to betray them.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Key Charlie Crist Ally Hosted Hamas Fundraiser

BUSTED

For a larger view click on the image. Courtesy of Frontpage Magazine.

Islamic Faith Based Adviser to former Florida Governor Charlie Crist in 2009 is caught funding terrorism via George Galloway, a self-admitted Hamas fundraiser, and Imam Mahdi Bray, a public Hamas supporter.

Patrick Poole, in a September 2010 column “Charlie Crist’s Ally Hosted Hamas Fundraiser” reported:

A key Muslim ally of Florida Governor and US Senate candidate Charlie Crist, Imam Muhammad Musri, hosted a fundraiser in Orlando for the terrorist group Hamas in June 2009, and a camera crew from ACT for America [and The United West] infiltrated the event held at Masjid Al-Rahman, Musri’s mosque, to record the proceedings. Imam Musri, head of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, serves on Crist’s Faith-Based and Community Advisory Council and was appointed by Crist to his 2010 Sunshine Census Committee.

The Orlando Hamas fundraiser featured as its keynote speakers former UK parliamentarian George Galloway and Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society-Freedom, and was intended to raise money for Galloway’s Viva Palestina organization.

That Galloway and Viva Palestina have provided material support for Hamas through the funds they have raised across the U.S. and elsewhere is hardly a secret. In March 2009, Galloway was videotaped by Al-Jazeera giving a duffel bag full of cash to Hamas social minister Ahmad Kurd, who called Galloway “a hero.” Kurd was designated a global terrorist by the U.S. government in August 2007.

Read more.

The Masjid al-Rahman mosque in Orlando, FL is a Muslim Brotherhood owned (NAIT) and operated property.

FBI Evidence shows CAIR leaders tied to HAMAS

We present the FBI “smoking gun” evidence that the Palestine Committee which oversaw and ran the Holy Land Foundation (convicted on 36 counts of providing material support to terrorism, money laundering, conspiracy and tax fraud) organization was founded by Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and Hamas leader Mousa abu Marzook along with senior executives Nihad Awad and senior officer Omar Ahmad, who also both co-founded the largest Muslim advocacy group in the United States, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), for the purpose of raising money for the Hamas and to support a media, public relations, and political campaign to ultimately destroy Israel.

EDITORS NOTE: This video with commentary originally appeared on Breitbart TV.

Obama State Department: “Palestinians” who throw molotov cocktails at Israelis are not terrorists

Of course they’re not terrorists. After all, they’re not “right-wing extremists,” now, are they?

palestinians stones jerusalem

Palestinian youths hurl stones during clashes with Israeli police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, September 7.. (photo credit:AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

“Obama Admin: Palestinians Who Throw Molotov Cocktails at Israelis Are Not Terrorists,” Washington Free Beacon, October 27, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

The Obama administration insisted Monday that a Palestinian killed by an IDF while attempting to throw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli civilians is not a terrorist.

The Palestinian, a teenager with U.S. citizenship, was shot Friday and buried wearing a green Hamas headband. The Obama administration said in a statement on Friday that it “expresses its deepest condolences to the family.”

At a State Department briefing today, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked spokesperson Jen Psaki whether it is appropriate to offer “deepest condolences” to the family of someone killed while attempting to carry out an attack on civilians.

“There are reports … that [the Palestinian teenager] was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway, and I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you still have been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family?” asked Lee. “The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist, and you don’t agree with that, I assume,” Lee continued.

“Correct, we don’t,” Psaki said. Lee then asked whether the fact that the teenager was buried wearing a Hamas headband was “of concern at all.” Psaki replied, “I just don’t have any more on this particular case.”

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President Obama Hates Israel!

Wake up America! President Obama despises Israel and what it represents. Exemplified by his hostile action towards the Jewish State, his pro-Muslim anti-colonialist world view is exposed for all to see.

Netanyahu: Hamas and ISIS ‘share branches of the same poisonous tree’ [Video]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.N. General Assembly. He said that Hamas and ISIS “share branches of the same poisonous tree” and have similar ambitions of “world domination.”

He was also highly critical of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, calling Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the U.N. the previous week “one of history’s greatest displays of double talk.”

EDITORS NOTE:  The featured image is of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 29, 2014. Photo by Reuters.

Understanding the real Gaza War in 5 Minutes

Colonel Richard Kemp, Britain’s former armed forces commander in Afghanistan, talks to Jerusalem University about the double standards in the treatment of Israel during the recent Gaza conflict.

Why Are Those Jews So Assertive?

The selectivity of the outrage against Israel would be nonsensical if it were really about human rights. But it’s not.

The recent war in Gaza spawned anti-Semitic riots across Europe, demonstrations in the United States, and the publication of malicious blood libels all over the world.  There were civilian casualties to be sure, but the numbers reported by Hamas were inflated and included many terrorists falsely identified as noncombatants. Though the loss of civilian life is regrettable, it occurred in Gaza because of Hamas’s strategy of using human shields and launching rockets from schools, hospitals, mosques and residential neighborhoods.

As usually happens when Israel defends herself, she was falsely accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.  Her detractors were mute, however, when Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and killed its own citizens. They were also silent as hundreds of thousands were being killed in Iraq and Syria, and have been restrained in their response to the wave of bloody jihad being waged across the Mideast by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”).

The selectivity of the outrage against Israel would be nonsensical if it were really about human rights. But it’s not. Israel is maligned instead for having the temerity to defend herself and, in a larger sense, the existential rights of Jews everywhere. Even in the twenty-first century, the world appears to prefer docile Jews who know their place over those who forcefully defend themselves, their values and their homeland.

The international community can accept suffering Jews, subservient Jews, assimilationist Jews, and dead Jews. What it cannot tolerate are confident Jews who protect themselves and their interests without compromise or apology.

It seems that many progressives feel the same way when they denounce Jewish assertiveness as chauvinistic and advocate dialogue with organizations and movements that seek to destroy Israel and her people. Regardless of whether such behavior arises from a ghetto mentality, Stockholm  syndrome, self-loathing or simple ignorance, Jews who reflexively criticize Israel but rationalize Islamist terror and rejectionism are complicit in enabling the anti-Semitism that is sweeping the globe.

Multiple surveys have documented rising anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States, and the data are consistent with law enforcement statistics showing increased violence against Jews and their property. Anti-Semitism is apparent among those who disparage Jewish nationalism, call for boycotts of Israel, and make false accusations of apartheid to delegitimize the Jewish State. It is also common in Arab-Muslim society, where it is taught in schools, heard in sermons, and disseminated in false claims of Israeli atrocities and Jewish conspiracy theories that are reported as fact in newspapers from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and all points in between.

Progressive apologists artificially distinguish between disparagement of Israel and hatred of Jews, but it is a distinction without a difference. The United Nations Human Rights Council spends much of its time accusing Israel of heinous crimes without a scintilla of proof, but ignores actual atrocities that routinely occur everywhere else in the Mideast.

The UNHRC expresses little if any concern regarding the harassment and murder of Copts and other Christians, the repression of women, and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Arab or Muslim countries, and has not addressed the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria and Iraq nearly as much as it has condemned Israel. Though it entertains bogus claims of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, it does not chastise Hamas for starting the conflict in the first place, or for using human shields, executing its own people, and calling for jihad and genocide.

Only Israel is singled out for opprobrium, although she is the only free and open democracy in the Mideast – one in which citizens live where they want, speak and worship freely, vote, and serve in government, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The UNHRC’s anti-Israel agenda can only be explained by institutional Jew-hatred, which is enabled by a parent body that tolerates human rights violations by dictatorial and theocratic regimes and provides a bully pulpit for global anti-Semitism. A cynical observer might suspect the U.N. of actively promoting Jew-hatred based on the disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel for imagined offenses as compared to the organization’s silence regarding real crimes committed by countries that engage in ethnic cleansing and seek Israel’s destruction. The hypocrisy reached a crescendo when Israel was unfairly blamed for acting “disproportionately” in a war that was instigated by Hamas.

Hamas violated international law by using human shields, shooting rockets from residential areas and institutions, and targeting civilian populations.  In contrast, Israel went to unprecedented lengths to minimize the risk to civilians. The IDF gave advanced warnings to Gaza residents via mass leaflets, texts, emails, and mechanized phone calls.  Israel’s conduct was a far cry from that of coalition allies in Afghanistan, where carpet bombing killed or injured many noncombatants. Or of Great Britain, whose bombing of Dresden during World War II inflicted heavy civilian casualties.

Despite the humanity shown by Israel in the face of unprovoked aggression, and although Hamas started the war by firing rockets at Israeli civilians, supporters of Hamas and the Palestinians violently protested and attacked Jews wherever they were found.  After the war began, Jewish men and women were beaten in France, England and Sweden; synagogues and Jewish institutions were attacked and vandalized across Europe; and Great Britain saw an astronomical increase in anti-Jewish agitation.

Moreover, protest rhetoric from Europe, the Mideast and the liberal entertainment industry was anti-Semitic in both tone and content. Although some vacuous celebrities who condemned Israel are now scurrying to deny they are anti-Semitic, the implication of nefarious stereotypes and blood lust imagery betrays the hollowness of their denials. Or their ignorance.

Apologists for Hamas continue to promote the fallacy that demonstrations against Jewish targets are understandable responses to supposed Israeli aggression. But how do violent assaults against Jews constitute political statements?  How could attempts by Muslim mobs to force their way into synagogues in France and Switzerland be considered acceptable forms of protest? And how do cries of “death to the Jews” by hostile protestors or the publication of blood libels by Arab and left-wing media outlets constitute legitimate commentary?

Such acts are acceptable only if the target group is deemed deserving of abuse, and this has certainly been the case for Jews during their long years of exile in Europe and the Arab world.  The Nazis may have mastered the art of genocide, but they did not create anti-Semitism. European hostility to the Jews was constant after the rise of Constantine, manifesting in massacres, canonical abuses, ghetto confinement, bloody crusades, pogroms, social isolation and economic exclusion.

Notwithstanding lip service paid to Jewish suffering after the Holocaust, an undercurrent of hatred persisted that continued to portray Jews as aliens even though many had lived on the continent longer than some of the peoples who came to be known as Europeans. There were pogroms in Poland after the Nazis were defeated and merciless persecution by the Soviets until the end of the Cold War.

Despite the myth of tolerance for “People of the Book,” Jews in Islamic lands have been subjugated, abused, confined and segregated, forcibly converted and massacred, and have seen their synagogues desecrated and property confiscated over the centuries. As a conquered people dispossessed of their birthright, moreover, they were treated derisively and denied the right to sovereignty in their homeland.  A review of Maimonides’ Iggeret Teman (“Letter to the Jews of Yemen”), written in the twelfth century, shows how brutally Jews were treated during the Golden Age of Islam.

As hostile as Europeans have been to Jews historically, many of the recent anti-Semitic incidents in France, England and elsewhere have been linked to the Middle Eastern immigrant communities in those countries, often with approval and support from the radical left. Interestingly, the anti-immigration right-wing parties in Europe – particularly in France – have been more tolerant of Jews, who live by the law of the land, than of immigrants who believe in Sharia and seek to impose it on others.

Though anti-Semitism was never eradicated, its proliferation today is enabled by a mainstream media that demonizes Israel and fails to report war crimes and abuses committed by Hamas and other Islamist groups.  The media employs moral equivalency to present terrorism as an understandable consequence of alleged Israeli crimes and western interventionism.  The massacres of civilians in Syria and Iraq are reported, but not with the same urgency used to slander Israel and impugn her legitimacy. And until the beheading of American journalist James Foley, there was scant acknowledgment of the threat posed by ISIS in the Mideast and beyond. The mainstream press accepted President Obama’s dismissive characterization of ISIS as junior varsity last January, and until recently depicted those who warned of the threat and demanded a strategy for confronting it as alarmists.

Whereas the President certainly had incentive to misstate the nature of the ISIS menace because it undercut his assurances that global terrorism was on the wane, the media was obligated as the watchdog of government to parse and refute such statements. But it failed miserably to do so, which was not surprising given the lack of objectivity with which it covers the Obama administration and events in the Mideast in general. The media shows its partisan stripes whenever it misreports Israeli defensive actions as aggressive, or refuses to retract stories of Israeli attacks on civilian targets later shown to have been bombed by Hamas, or turns a blind eye to Hamas war crimes, or accepts inflated Palestinian casualty statistics without verification.

The media legitimizes Hamas by failing to characterize its actions honestly, and strengthens a cultural mindset that considers attacks on Jews to be understandable reactions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  There is a presumption that Israel is always at fault – regardless of who fires the first shot – and a tendency to sensationalize alleged Israeli transgressions without vetting sources or checking facts.

Mainstream outlets often repeat dubious claims as fact, such as whenTime Magazine recently ran a video report claiming, among other things, that the IDF was harvesting the internal organs of dead Arabs. The offending allegation was retracted and deleted last month after Honest Reporting exposed it, complaining that it constituted a blood libel.

The banalization of anti-Semitism is also facilitated by those who promote BDS efforts, support Hamas and Hezbollah as legitimate political parties, and express hatred for Israel using traditional anti-Jewish buzzwords. The situation is exacerbated by Jews on the left who defend anti-Semitic progressives by artificially distinguishing them as political anti-Zionists.  Such distinctions are disingenuous, however, as both terms reflect the same hatred. To say that the Jews – unlike any other people on earth – have no indigenous right to sovereignty in their homeland is to treat them differently and deny their history. This is surely anti-Semitic.

Unfortunately, the tendency to excuse or ignore anti-Semitism is not limited to the hard left, but can be found among mainstream liberals who validate Palestinian claims that repudiate Jewish history, advocate dialogue with groups that have extremist ties, and continue to vouch for an administration that has been more hostile than any other to the Jewish State. This tendency was already apparent back in 2008, when Jewish Democrats refused to question Mr. Obama’s long-standing associations with anti-Semites and Israel-bashers, and belittled the concern of those Jews who did.

It is also apparent in the reluctance of some to acknowledge the possible influence of anti-Semitism in crimes committed against Jews.  This may have been the case with the murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was shot and killed while walking to Shabbat services last month in Miami, Florida.  Some were hesitant to suggest the murder was a hate crime, and the police were quick to deny any evidence of bias.  However, the investigation is still open and no arrests have been made. It would thus seem peculiar to discount potential motives before all the facts are in, particularly when the synagogue to which Rabbi Raksin was walking had recently been defaced with anti-Jewish graffiti, other acts of targeted vandalism had been reported around that time, and a pro-Hamas rally had been held in the community a few weeks earlier.

If anti-Semitism in fact plays a role in such incidents, the reluctance to assess and identify it will not eliminate the problem. To the contrary, history suggests that timidity only invites further abuse, compromises the Jews’ standing in society, and paves the way for exclusion, dehumanization and genocide.  Jewish survival has never been assured by avoiding confrontations or placating aggressors.

For the phrase “never again” to be more than an empty platitude, Jews need to confront their detractors, defend their values, and protect themselves without shame or embarrassment. Constructive audacity is as important for protecting the Diaspora community as it is for Israel. Lack of fortitude, however, could be disastrous for both.

God help us: Pro-ISIS gathering in Jerusalem

We reported about the New Jersey man who was flying the black ISIS flag whose excuse was he didn’t know what it symbolized. Of course the cultural jihad apologists did their normal “Islamophobe” and alarmist social media attacks. However, I wonder how everyone will respond to this appearance of the ISIS flag – and particularly its location

As reported by the Times of Israel, “Israel’s Channel 10 on Wednesday night broadcast what it said was footage from a recent “Islamic State gathering” on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The report, which is to be broadcast in full next week, said the gathering underlined that Islamic State intends to focus on Israel in the future. Formally, the gathering, attended by thousands, was organized by the Tahrir party, which the report described as being the “Palestine branch” of Islamic State. Speakers were filmed anticipating the liberation of Jerusalem and decrying Jewish pollution of the city. Several black IS flags were seen in the footage.”

If there’s one thing I appreciate about our Islamist enemies – they certainly don’t hide their intent. They make it quite plain that they intend to dominate the world, and will kill anyone who stands in their way to restore a barbaric 7th century ideology. They place the onus squarely upon us, the infidels, the kafirs, to halt their advances — and will continue to advance as their Islamo-fascist ideology commands.

So what’s next for ISIS?

According to the Israel Times, “Channel 10 reporter, Zvi Yehezkeli, said a photograph of a Palestinian youngster holding an ISIS flag that proliferated on social media over the past week was taken next to where he was standing. Yehezkeli said he had expected to be stopped by Israeli Police when he tried to enter the Mount area at a time designated for Muslim prayers, and that it was frightening to be in the plaza while the ISIS gathering was taking place. He claimed that the Islamic State, “now knocking on Jordan’s door, has marked ‘Palestine’ as the next target on its list.”

Consider this scenario for the Jewish State of Israel: Hamas renews its assault against Israel from the south after rearming and restocking its rocket and missile arsenal. Hezbollah decides the time is right to begin an assault from the north with more rockets and missiles. A situation arises where Israel finds its stockpile of Iron Dome weapons is running low and cannot cover a two -ront aerial assault — some of the rockets and missiles find landfall. From Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra has decided to swear allegiance to ISIS and begins a ground assault against Israel from Syria. And in Jordan, where ISIS has been successful, they set their sights on crossing the Jordan River into Judea-Samaria and begin attacking Israeli communities — aided by the Palestinian group Fatah.

Riots and unrest begins in East Jerusalem and a general state of emergency is instituted. Sophisticated surface-to-air missiles begin showing up in the region from Libya supplied by Ansar al-Sharia. Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport is shut down. And U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama states this is a regional problem and that he was elected to end wars.

I know, I’m out of control, and none of this is plausible. Yep, and ISIS is just a JV team, right?

I operate under the premise of being prepared for the enemy’s most dangerous course of action. The Obama administration operates under some misguided premise of “ignore the enemy and it will all go away.” And at worse case, Obama’s narcissistic persona will win the day. But so far, who’s has been right in their assessment?

A global Islamic jihadist movement has been set in motion and denial is not a viable course of action. Furthermore, telling the enemy what you are not willing to do is the dumbest strategy I have ever heard of – well, since Sir Neville Chamberlain.

The Temple Mount has significance in that it was built on top of the historic Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. Flying the black ISIS flag at the Temple Mount signifies the ultimate goal for ISIS — indeed Islam, — the eradication of the Jewish people and the restoration of what they refer to as Al Quds.

I take my enemy for its word and for those who criticize saying we don’t need to do anything – you’re nothing more than surrender monkeys! When America has a leader who understands total warfare and how to destroy an enemy by bringing the full national power of the United Dates– diplomatic, informational, military, and economic — to bear against our enemies; when America has a leader who will identify the enemy; when America has a leader who will not institute restrictive rules of engagement; then we will have victory, peace and domestic and global security.

Until then we are just wasting our time — and sadly wasting lives.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.