Tag Archive for: Israel

Syrian Opposition Leader Attends International Counter Terrorism Conference in Israel

President Obama’s eve of 9/11 speech  in which he declared “war” on the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, contained a commitment to arm and support so-called moderate Syrian opposition to assist in “degrading and ultimately destroying” the Salafist Jihadist self-declared Caliphate. He may have been referring to the Free Syrian Army. But which Free Syrian Army (FSA)? One group has been headed by American –Syrian members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have dominated the Syrian National Council like Louay Safi with access to the White House. Moreover, as we have learned tragically, it is this Free Syrian Army, with a Supreme Military Command in Erdogan’s Ankara, that purportedly sold American Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were barbarously murdered by ISIS. Those graphic beheadings deliberately conveyed on videos aroused American public opinion demanding action that prompted Obama’s televized address to the nation. This weekend, ISIS revealed another grisly beheading of British aid worker David Haines. In August 2014, President Obama had dismissed the moderate Syrian opposition as a group of “bankers, doctors and pharmacists.”

Dramatically, one leader of the “moderate” Syrian opposition Dr. Kamal al-Labwani, a veteran Syrian secular opponent of the Assad regime, surfaced in Israel this weekend at the annual International Counter Terrorism  (ICT) Conference in Herzliya. You may watch live feed of the ICT conference, here. According to the Times of Israel , who interviewed him, he is in Israel for 10-days on what Labwani described as “academic” and “exploratory” and stated he was prepared to meet with Israeli policymakers “whenever they want.”

Labwani’s attendance at the ICT conference may reflect the outreach by the other FSA led by the Syrian Opposition Coalition headquartered near embattled Aleppo composed of ex-Assad military including Alawites, Christians and Sunni tribal leaders currently battling ISIS inside Syria. My colleague Ilana Freedman estimates through her sources that there could be as many as 50,000 Syrian opposition fighters in this “other FSA.”

In our September NER, article, Did Assad and Maliki Facilitate the Rise of the Islamic State? An Interview with M. Zuhdi Jasser and Sherkoh Abbas, we noted this exchange with Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser:

Gordon:  Syria lies on Israel’s Golan frontier. What has Israel contributed to the alleviation of the plight of Syrians and has there been any relationship between the democratic opposition in Syria and the Israeli government?

Jasser:  I think that’s such an important question and the Syrian National Council, they are still slowly coming around to that view. I would ask people to look at some of the writings and comments of Dr. Kamal al-Labwani who in the past few months has come out and said we should have visited more closely with Israel and guaranteed them security on the Golan as being a mechanism by which we could actually protect some of the more moderates in Syria. He’s realizing that there was no hope for the Syrian National Council (SNC) because it was being protected by Turkey and Qatar. The Islamists, including many American Syrians including Louay Safi and others who went back to run the SNC from an Islamist Brotherhood perspective. Labwani is awakening to the fact that the West is his friend, Israel is at the head of that coalition and the Golan is part of that.

Dr. Labwani has spent ten years in and out of Assad regime jails for his activism in support of a secular and democratic Syria. Labwani lives in exile in Sweden. Adam Pechter in a Fall 2007, Middle East Quarterly profile noted Labwani’s treatment by the regime of Bashar Assad for his dissidence:

Labwani has long been a thorn in the Syrian regime’s side. He angered officials with his advocacy for human rights and fundamental freedoms and has been a consistent advocate for reform. On August 28, 2002, a Syrian court sentenced him to three years in prison for his activities promoting reform during the “Damascus Spring,” the short period in 2000-01 in which the Syrian regime appeared to tolerate more open political criticism. Rather than cow Labwani, his previous imprisonment emboldened him. Following his September 2004 release from prison he founded the Democratic Liberal Gathering which calls for political and free-market reforms and equality for women.

On May 10, 2007, one week after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Moallem for the highest-level bilateral talks between the two governments in more than two year a Syrian court sentenced Kamal al-Labwani to twelve years imprisonment and hard labor. That the harsh sentence coincides with Washington’s decision to reengage Damascus suggests that Assad believes the White House no longer holds it accountable for its persecution of nonviolent dissidents.

The Times of Israel report discussed Labwani views critical of Obama’s new ISIS strategy at the ICT Counter Terrorism conference, “Syrian opposition leader skeptical of US plan to arm rebels”. Labwani commented:

“Currently, the aid could fall into the wrong hands in the absence of good management and oversight,” Labwani said. “Real authority on the ground requires investment in organization before the aid is even sent.”

“We cannot fight terror with terror or crime with crime,” he said. “We must combat all the criminals, be they the regime or the terrorists from the Islamic State and the other gangs. You can’t have the Syrian people choose between a criminal named Bashar Assad or a terrorist named [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi.”

“We must reconstruct a new leadership connected to the people,” he said. “This would also require a no-fly zone. It would be pointless to create a system inside and have the [Assad] regime destroy it.”

“They [the Americans] have relied on failed regimes. They gave a portfolio to Qatar and a portfolio to Saudi Arabia … but it’s the Syrians who must take responsibility and run their own lives. We could, for instance, form a base in liberated areas in the north and the south and establish good relations with people. But to receive orders from a Saudi sheikh or a Qatari sheikh or from foreign intelligence agencies? That won’t work.”

“How can we turn this chaos into order? We need to build an authority on the ground. This requires a budget, an economy, institutions, reconstruction, and protection. Weapons aren’t enough.”

An op-ed in the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal resonated Dr. Labwani’s comments, Obama Needs the Free Syrian Army to Defeat the Islamic State. The authors are Oubai Shahbandar and Michael Pregent. Mr. Shahbandar, a former Pentagon analyst, is an adviser to the Syrian Opposition Coalition of which Dr. Labwani is a member. Mr. Pregent is an adjunct lecturer at National Defense University and a former U.S. Army intelligence officer. They noted:

Until recently, the U.S. intelligence community had a grim assessment of the prospects of working with the Free Syrian Army opposition forces in an anti-ISIS campaign. Issues with command and control and unclear links to a political framework were often cited as reasons for hesitation to invest in the type of military partnership the U.S. has with Kurdish security forces in Iraq in fighting ISIS.

Nonetheless, the success of President Obama’s strategy in Syria clearly depends on the ability of the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Free Syrian Army to fight ISIS. The good news is the FSA has established a command center outside the village of Marea in the strategically important province of Aleppo to direct and manage the battle against ISIS in northern Syria. And in August the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council, an alliance between FSA and other rebel factions, was formed to increase coordination and unity.

How can these rebel groups help the U.S. assault on ISIS? Even with the world’s most advanced intelligence reconnaissance and surveillance platforms, the U.S. military still needs “eyes on the ground” to round out the intelligence picture of ISIS’s capabilities, locations and vulnerabilities. Establishing an advice and assist relationship with the Free Syrian Army and tribal networks in eastern Syria would pay dividends for military planning. In late July, the Shaitat tribe in eastern Syria rose up against ISIS and drove them from the villages of Abu Hamam, Kashkiyeh and Ghranijup. The Shaitat have in turn faced brutal recriminations, with ISIS fighters capturing and slaughtering some 700 tribal members.

In Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have proved to be the anvil to the hammer of U.S. airstrikes, denying ISIS strategic terrain and recapturing lost territory. ISIS suffered its first strategic setback in Iraq in August with the loss of the Mosul Dam —an important blow to its image among its fracturing Sunni support base. Iraqi Sunni tribes, whose tribal confederation crosses over into eastern Syria, are also joining the fight against ISIS. In Syria, airstrikes should enable the FSA and allied tribes to retake the country’s eastern oil fields, which are vital to sustaining and funding ISIS operations.

Perhaps, Dr. Labwani’s visit to the ICT conference in Israel may also discuss possible mutual interests regarding  covert support of the FSA military command and indigenous Sunni tribes’ opposition to ISIS and the Assad regime.  If the case, one can only hope that might include linking up with Syrian Kurdish resistance forces, despite earlier differences.

Watch this March 31, 2014, MEMRI video interview with Dr. Labwani that may have prompted his current visit to the IDC conference in Herzliya.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image is of  Syrian Opposition Leader, Dr. Kamal Labani on right at ICT Conference Herzliya Israel 9-11-14. Source Moti Kahana,  Times of Israel.

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.

The New York Times Censors anti-ISIS ad

The New York Times will publish the most awful Abu Ghraib photos but will not publish a picture of an ISIS terrorist holding a knife standing alongside an American.

Rabbi Shmuley

Rabbi Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach, “America’s rabbi.”

This World – The Values Network founder Rabbi Shmuley in an email states:

‘America reinforces its values and thus its security by being transparent about even the worst abuses of those values, not by hiding the evidence deep in a file drawer.”

This sentence is from a New York Times editorial of August 30, 2014. The editorial was written in response to a decision by Federal district court Judge Alvin Hellerstein forcing the Obama administration to justify why it will not release approximately 2,000 photos that allegedly document abuse by the American military and investigators in Iraq and Afghanistan, which begs the question of why The New York Times forced us to remove a photograph of a hooded ISIS executioner holding a knife while standing by American journalist James Foley. We were forced to remove the photograph and replace it with one without a knife in order to have the ad appear this Tuesday in the Times.

Why did the Times condemn the American government for trying to suppress images of alleged abuse on the part of the American military, while it seeks to suppress the horrors of the world’s most monstrous terrorist organization, which decapitates Americans? But even that was a lot better than The Los Angeles Times that demanded the removal also of a second image which depicted Hamas terrorists standing alongside hooded “collaborators” which they were about to execute. The Telegraph in London demanded the same in order for the ad to be published.

Even The Wall Street Journal demanded the picture with the knife be replaced.

Here is the ad that the New York Times refused to publish:

SHMU-ISIS-NYT

For a larger view click on the image.

ABOUT RABBI SHMUEL “SHMULEY” BOTEACH

Rabbi Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach, “America’s rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the founder of This World: The Values Network, the world’s leading organization promoting universal Jewish values in politics, culture and the media. The international best-selling author of 30 books, he has recently published Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

Michigan Governor affirms Israel’s right to exist at Hamas-linked ISNA convention

Snyder ISNA conference

Governor Rich Snyder (R-MI) at ISNA Conference

Islamic supremacist academic propagandist Hatem “Hate ‘em” Bazian, a professor of “Islamophobia” at (where else?) the University of California Berkeley, has equated the Boston jihad bombings with “Islamophobia” and, several years ago, called for an “intifada” in the U.S. Tonight he is enraged that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has dared to affirm Israel’s right to exist at the convention of the Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood group the Islamic Society of North America. He posted this on Facebook. Be sure to call Snyder and tell him, “Bravo!”:

Call Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and express that Palestinians have the right to exist, be free on their land and an immediate end to Israeli Occupation. You lost the Muslim-Arab vote in Michigan!

(517) 373-3400

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the opening session of ISNA’s 51st Annual Convention on Friday held in Detroit and made it a point to declare that Israel has the right to exist without making any references to the Palestinians. The statement was completely out of context and seems intended to make a point to his audience as if to each them a lesson considering the recent situation in Gaza.

Being in America, one understands the political leadership taking its marching orders from AIPAC and repeating the same exact words every opportunity they have as if it is part of the US constitution. While the Governor is welcome to his point of view but to come to a Muslim convention and attempt to score points by pushing AIPAC’s agenda is insulting and demonstrate a lack of basic political respect to the community.

What is more glaring is that no one on the stage jumped to make any comments after him to indicate that the implied insult conveyed by the Governor in this speech is not acceptable to the Muslim community and for it to be expressed at this time considering the slaughter campaign unleashed by Israel on Gaza….

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Oxfam and BDS Hypocrisy by Wallace Bruschweiler and Alan Kornman

The definition of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis is when the two can work alongside each other, earning equal wages, benefits, and economically energizing their neighborhoods, in a ‘so called’ peaceful environment.

Peace broke out in Maale Adumim, West Bank at the SodaStream factory 15 minutes west of Jerusalem. 600 West Bank Palestinians, 300 East Jerusalem Arabs, and 300 Israeli Jews entered, without knowing, into a voluntary peace deal at SodaStream. All this achieved without outside interference from the United Nations, United States, and UK.

The SodaStream factory had an on-site synagogue and mosque. Jew and Palestinian break bread everyday sharing the same cafeteria in peace and harmony. The economy of Maale Adumim, West Bank was benefiting from the positive financial benefits as SodaStream’s Palestinian workers were building homes, buying local goods, and saving money for their future.

How Did This Peace Work?

Al Monitor asked SodaStream’s President Daniel Birnbaum to explain how this peace worked between Israeli and Palestinian.

“You know, as far as many of them(Palestinians) are concerned, the only Israelis they know are settlers and the policemen at checkpoints. Most of them had never even been to Israel until I took them on a tour last summer. Then they saw Israelis on the beach and in the street. They saw plain, ordinary people.

On the other hand, it was also an opportunity for us to break through the barriers of hatred and to get to know the other side, so that we could finally recognize that not every Palestinian is a terrorist. I’m proud of that. I want people to finally realize that we’re talking about people and that peace is possible, despite the politicians. If there were another hundred companies like us extending a hand to the other side, we would have a peace agreement, because everybody wants it, including the Palestinians.”

This SodaStream economic peace effort was a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark and bloody tunnel. Then, out of nowhere, Oxfam and BDS Movement came into play with a world wide action which at the end of the day is hurting over 3,500 Palestinians.

900 Palestinians and Arabs Betrayed By Oxfam and BDS’ Nonsense

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is a global campaign to increase economic and political pressure on Israel i.e. branding Israel as an apartheid state. BDS puts public pressure on companies like SodaStream by protesting and intimidating retailers around the world for selling their products.

The BDS movement has evolved into a non-affiliated arm of Palestinian terrorism. Oxfam/BDS are hell bent on Israel’s economic destruction. Sacrificing the economic future of 900 Palestinian workers was a very small matter to the BDS movement.

Oxfam

Oxfam’s mission statement: “Working with thousands of local partner organizations, we work with people living in poverty striving to exercise their human rights, assert their dignity as full citizens and take control of their lives.”

Oxfam International in its zeal to hurt SodaStream violated its own mission statement.

Oxfam went on a personal rampage mission to destroy SodaStream, in January 2014, after their international spokesperson, Ms. Scarlett Johansson, appeared in a SodaStream worldwide TV ad campaign.

Oxfam got hot under the collar when Ms. Johansson’s publicist gave this reason for leaving Oxfam. “Ms. Johansson, respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years… She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

In a January 30, 2014 Oxfam press release the ‘aid’ groups politics become crystal clear, “Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

Oxfam International, with an operating budget of $1.2 Billion US and net assets of $396 Million, decided to exact their pound of flesh from SodaStream. Ms. Scarlett Johansson publicly exposed Oxfam’s political bias against the State of Israel in favor of the BDS Movement. The only one’s who got hurt at the end of the day were the 900 Palestinian and Arab workers who were earning four times more than the average wage in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

Back To Square One

JTA reports, Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO said, “We are committed to continue serving as a bridge and to sowing hope.” The flames of that hope were extinguished because of outside influences from Oxfam International and BDS, both showing their anti-semitism.

“SodaStream’s case, some say, is one example of how boycotting an Israeli company doing business in the West Bank can end up hurting the very goals that boycott proponents say they are trying to achieve: Palestinian rights and Israel-Palestinian peace.”

Conclusion

SodaStream will soon be closing their West Bank plant and moving it to the Be’er Sheva area in the Negev. With an average of 4 people per household approximately 3,600 Palestinians and Arab workers are being directly impacted by the SodaStream West Bank plant closing.

Many of these Palestinian and Arab workers had been earning enough money with SodaStream to apply for mortgages and building homes. When those mortgage payments can’t be paid and the foreclosures start there will be much anger and frustration in these West Bank communities. There is no work in the West Bank for these Palestinians to move into comparable earning jobs and support their families.

Now there are 3,600 additional frustrated and angry Palestinians in the West Bank. Their anger, strangely enough, will not be focused on Oxfam International and the BDS Movement who are responsible for them losing their livelihood.

That anger will be focused like a laser on the Jews and Israel. If I was a Palestinian community organizer I would be channeling this anti Jew/Israel anger by building more violent terrorist cells in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with all these now unemployed SodaStream workers.

Qatar would be smart to give these families a little bit of money and food to tide them over for a short time instead of financing a Gaza weapons buying spree. When the money and food runs out, desperation sets in. Generosity in the Arab world comes with a very high price tag.

The payment will almost certainly be the radicalization of these once proud Palestinian SodaStream workers.

Sadly, there are no profits in peace between the Palestinians and Israelis for groups like Oxfam and the BDS Movement who thrive on poverty and misery.

The Big Picture

The idiocy of Oxfam BDS campaign created a situation where some EU and USA large wholesalers had to cancel orders of Israeli products. The unintended consequence is that Russia is now buying up from Israel what the EU and USA are unfortunately boycotting.

Melanie Phillips: Islamic fanatics ‘play by entirely different rules’

Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips

Video of an HonestReporting event at their headquarters in Jerusalem on August 27, 2014 featuring Melanie Phillips. Phillips states:

“The intractable problem of Gaza has been exacerbated by the meddling incomprehension of a western world that just doesn’t grasp how Islamist fanatics play by entirely different rules.”

For more than three decades, Melanie Phillips has served as Britain’s political conscience. Followed by members of the Royal Family as well as by homemakers, ubiquitous on radio and television as well as in the print media, Melanie Phillips is widely regarded as an indispensable force for good in the battle to restore western civilization.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of YNaija.com

Elisabeth Sabaitsch Wolff coming to Boston to be at Israel Security Summit on September 9, 2014

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. Harrod, who is also a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies, did a column titled “Undaunted: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s Fight for Free Speech.” Harrod wrote:

The self-proclaimed Austrian “anti-jihad”  and “anti-sharia activist” Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff appeared on June 21, 2013 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC, at an event co-sponsored by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).  In introducing the event, CSP’s Christine Brim called people like Sabaditsch-Wolff the “defenders of freedom” in a “struggle…to preserve free speech” and “equality under the law.” Sabaditsch-Wolff’s subsequent presentation of her courageous struggles in no way belied Brim’s introduction.

Sabaditsch-Wolff discussed her own well-publicized ordeals and subsequent activism stemming from criticizing Islam, a faith described by her as a “religion of peace” that “is not really peaceful to those who speak the truth.”

Read more.

Watch my interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff:

Join us on September 9, 2014 for an amazing national security event and meet one of our special guests, Elisabeth Sabaitsch Wolff. Elisabeth is a well-known European counter-jihad and free speech fighter. She is joining our spectacular team of Allen West, Jerry Boykin, Tom McInerney and Gary Berntsen. For details about the Summit go to: www.IsraelSecuritySummit.com See you on Sept 9, 2014.

Israel Security Summit – Boston Area – Sept 9, 2014 features Boykin, McInerney, Berntsen and West

YOU ARE INVITED! Amazing Israel Security Summit on Sept 9, 2014, in Stoughton, MA., just south of Boston. This powerful event features four American heroes who have over 100 years of commitment and dedication to the US Military and Intelligence community.

Come meet, LTG Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.), LTG Tom McInerney, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) , LTC Allen West, U.S. Army (Ret.) and former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen as they detail and analyze exactly how the United States and Israel should work together to fight Islamic jihad including the HAMAS and their public relations arm, CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations.

Do not miss this life-changing event. Your hosts are Rabbi Jonathan Hausman and me.

To learn more visit IsraelSecuritySummit.com.

National-Security-Panel-9Sept2014

For a larger view click on the image.

RELATED ARTICLE: Intel believes 300 American’s fighting with Islamic State, posing threat to U.S.

Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross’

ISISWhiteHouse2The Islamic State jihadis think of the U.S. as a Christian nation, and so they think of destroying it as breaking the cross, which language is also reminiscent of this:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Bukhari 3.34.425)

“Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross,’” Reuters, August 19, 2014:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State, the Sunni militant group which seeks to establish a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, released a video on Tuesday that gave the strongest indication yet it might attempt to strike American targets.

The video with the theme “breaking of the American cross” boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over “crusader” America. It follows a video posted on Monday warning of attacks on American targets if Washington struck against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.

The latest footage speaks of a holy war between the al-Qaeda offshoot and the United States, which occupied Iraq for nearly a dacade and faced stiff resistance from al Qaeda.

Islamic State’s sweep through northern Iraq, bringing it close to Baghdad and in control of the second city, Mosul, drew U.S. airstrikes on the country for the first time since the end of the American occupation in 2011.

The video showed footage of President Barack Obama as well as strategic U.S. ally King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and attacks on American soldiers.

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British Member of Parliament: “NO JEWS” – ONLY HAMAS!”

George Galloway, UK Member of Parliament, bans Jews, Jewish goods, and Jewish tourists. Avid anti-Semite Galloway once banned from Canada and the US for raising funds for HAMAS calls for Hitler style cleansing methods and tactics in Bradford England.

Discover the Networks describes George Galloway thusly: Member of British Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010; Admirer of Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mao Zedong, and Joseph Stalin; Illegally received millions of dollars stolen from the United Nations Oil-For-Food Program, in exchange for his public denunciations of the UN sanctions against Iraq. Read more.

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Syrian Kurdish Fighters, not Obama, Rescue Yazidis Stranded on Sinjar Mountain

President Obama may be dismissive of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist army, calling them flippantly in a New Yorker interview the equivalent a “JV team putting Lakers uniforms which doesn’t make them the equivalent of Kobe Bryant”. Anything for this President President to avoid calling  IS, what it is, a powerful international  force of barbarous  Salafist Jihadis. A veritable terrorist Army who now control a Caliphate covering a broad swatch of Syria and northern Iraq equipped with hundreds of millions of US and Russian arms captured from fleeing Assad and Iraqi soldiers. All financed with billions in loot and war booty from their blitz-like rampage. IS is currently engaged in ethnic cleansing of  Nineveh province.

It is conducting a patent Islamic genocide campaign dispossessing and ousting Christians and  Kurdish speaking Yazidis. Yazidis whose ancient Mesopotamian faith preceded Islam.  

Hundreds of thousands have fled into the sanctuary of  Iraqi Kurdistan.  The Kurdish regional Government (KRG) defended by tough peshmerga forces equipped with ancient Russian weapons from the regime of the late Saddam Hussein. As a result of the IS rampage, a combined humanitarian and military crisis occurred in August 2nd with the fall of Sinjar, Iraq and the flight of  tens of thousands of Yazidis. The rapid advance of IS in both Syria and Iraq was evident to most observers; the exception being the National Security Staff in the West Wing of the White House. They were deflected by the turmoil of establishing a new government in Baghdad, opposed by Shiite autocrat and PM,  Nouri al-Maliki who had deprived the Kurdish regional Government of their fair shares in oil revenues and modern US  supplied arms and weapons.  In June the President sent in 300 military coordinators and planners, since ramped up to an estimated 800 contingent.  US diplomats in the ‘green zone’ in Baghdad and some in Erbil have been flow out to Jordan.

The blame game between the U.S. broke out with sudden capture  by IS of Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in mid-June threatening the Iraqi Kurdistan and Peshmerga force. The flimsy excuse offered by President Obama for ordering the limited air assault against advancing IS forces was the threat to US several hundred military coordinators and diplomats in Erbil, the KRG capital.  Add to that  the humanitarian crisis caused by the flight of more than 45,000 Yazidis to Sinjar Mountain cut off from possible sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Watch this WSJ report with Intelligence Journalist Siobhan Gorman on why the US Intelligence community underestimated the sudden rise of IS:

 The Presidential order of August 7th initiating limited air strikes against IS forces only dented their progress  after capturing  the  strategic Mosul Dam astride the Tigris River. The IS blitzkrieg  came within 30 miles of Erbil, the modern capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan.  Humanitarian air drops of water and food by both the US and U.K. to the cowering Yazidi tens of thousands of refugees on the arid 3,000 foot mountain, only provided a brief respite. IS forces seized hundreds of Yazidi women as sex slaves or buried them alive  as  they are considered infidel polytheists and alleged ‘devil worshippers”  under Islamist doctrine.  Iraqi Peshmerga fighters were engaged in pushback of IS forces and recapture of towns along their long frontier with the terrorist Caliphate forces.  It was left to Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga in adjacent Rojava- their homeland – to come to the rescue of the Yazidis.  By August 7th, the same day the President announced  the limited air operations and humanitarian air drops Sinjar Mountain, the Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga successfully opened a secure path for Yazidis to come down off the mountain and enter the adjacent area of Syria to safety an  eventual re-entry into  adjacent KRG.

An AP report, “Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rescuing Stranded Yazidis”, reveals the successful humanitarian corridor created by these Rojava  Kurdish Peshmerga fighters without US and UN assistance.  Note these excerpts:

While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it on themselves to rescue them. The move underlined how they — like Iraqi Kurds — are using the region’s conflicts to establish their own rule.

For the past few days, fighters have been rescuing Yazidis from the mountain, transporting them into Syrian territory to give them first aid, food and water, and returning some to Iraq via a pontoon bridge.

The desperate condition of these stranded Yazidis was described:

“The (Kurdish fighters) opened a path for us. If they had not, we would still be stranded on the mountain,” said Ismail Rashu, 22, in the Newroz camp in the Syrian Kurdish town of Malikiya some 20 miles from the Iraqi border. Families had filled the battered, dusty tents here and new arrivals sat in the shade of rocks, sleeping on blue plastic sheets. Camp officials estimated that at least 2,000 families sought shelter there on Sunday evening.

Nearby, an exhausted woman rocked a baby to sleep. Another sobbed that she abandoned her elderly uncle in their village of Zouraba; he was too weak to walk, too heavy to carry.

Many said they hadn’t eaten for days on the mountain; their lips were cracked from dehydration and heat, their feet swollen and blackened from walking. Some elderly, disabled and young children were left behind. Others were still walking to where Syrian Kurds were rescuing them, they said.

We are thankful, from our heads to the sky, to the last day on earth,” said Naji Hassan, a Yazidi at the Tigris river border crossing, where thousands of rescued Yazidis were heading back into Iraq on Sunday.

The U.N. estimated around 50,000 Yazidis fled to the mountain. But by Sunday, Kurdish officials said at least 45,000 had crossed through the safe passage, leaving thousands more behind and suggesting the number of stranded was higher.

The Syrian Peshmerga swung into action:

Syrian Kurdish officials said soon after Yazidis fled their villages, they began fighting to create a safe passage. They clashed with Islamic State fighters upon entering Iraq, losing at least 9 fighters, but by Aug. 7 had secured a safe valley passage, cramming Yazidis into jeeps, trucks and cars to bring them some 25 miles away. Some of the ill were even rushed to hospital.

“We answered their cries for help. They were in danger and we opened a safe passage for them into safety,” said military official Omar Ali. “We saw that we had to help them and protect them; they are Kurds and part of our nation.”

The AP report noted that autonomy that Syrian Kurds established in Syria that allowed them to undertake this rescue of the Yazidis after the KRG Peshmerga retreated:

In saving Yazidis, Syrian Kurds were also demonstrating their own ambitions for independence as Syria’s civil war rages on.

They announced their autonomous area of Rojava in January, and rule several far northeastern Kurdish areas of Syria. Government forces stationed in the area were redeployed over two years ago to battle rebels seeking Assad’s overthrow, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

But in entering Iraq, the Syrian fighters are also challenging their Iraqi Kurdish rivals. They say they entered after the Iraqi Kurdish fighting force, called the peshmerga, fled Yazidi villages after short battles with Islamic militants. The peshmerga say they were outgunned by the militants.

The gratitude of the Yazidis for the action of the Syrian Kurdish fighters:

For now, with the peshmerga gone and state aid ineffective, the Yazidis who survived the mountaintop ordeal were counting on the Syrian Kurdish fighters. Covered in dust among crowds at the Tigris crossing, Hassan said without the fighters all would have been lost.

“Were it not for them, no Yazidi would be saved,” he said.

If the West is serious about blunting, if not rolling back the IS Jihad blitzkrieg, it must rapidly equip and train both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish peshmerga with basic small arms, mortars and grenades, as well advanced weapons.  The irony is that desperately needed  weaponry would be used to destroy US weapons and munitions abandoned by regular Syrian and  Iraqi Shiite forces that were slaughtered or fled in panic acquired during the IS rampage.  There is an immediate source that could be drawn immediately less than 601 miles away from Kurdistan, the U.S. War Reserve stockpile in Israel. All it takes is for President Obama to authorize the Pentagon to make those draw downs and undertake  emergency airlifts to  equip and train those tough  Peshmerga fighters on the frontlines in both Syria and Iraq.

What did Sir Winston Churchill say about U.S. lend lease efforts prior to our entry into WWII in a radio broadcast on February 9, 1941:  “Give us the tools to finish the Job”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image is of a Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga fighter in Derika, Syria’s Refugee Camp. August 10, 2014 Source: AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed.

White House: U.S. is not at war with the Islamic State

“Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State.” Yes, but they have made it abundantly clear that that is not their only goal, and that they desire ultimately to strike inside the United States. We are not at war with them, but they most assuredly are at war with us.

“Airstrikes in Iraq: What You Need to Know,” by Ben Rhodes, White House Blog, August 11, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

President Obama has authorized the U.S. military to execute targeted airstrikes in Iraq.

The President takes no decision more seriously than the use of military force. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to make sure you understand exactly what is happening in Iraq right now, who is involved, and why we are taking action. Here are a few answers to some key questions Americans may be asking:…

7. Is ISIL more dangerous than al-Qaeda right now?

While both are terrorist forces, they have different ambitions. Al-Qaeda’s principal ambition is to launch attacks against the west and U.S. homeland. That’s the direct threat that we have taken direct action against for many years. Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State. So they’re different organizations with different objectives.

8. Are we at war with ISIL? Will we be sending troops back to Iraq?

No. There is no U.S. military solution to the larger situation in Iraq. The United States’ chief goals are to protect our personnel and facilities, and to prevent a potential act of genocide. That is the scope of these operations. As the President said, we will support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, but no American combat troops will be returning to fight in Iraq.

9. What’s our plan moving forward?

We will protect our citizens, and we will work with Iraqis and the international community to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Yezidi people.

As we carry out that mission, we will pursue a strategy that empowers Iraqi leaders to come together, forge an inclusive government, and build security forces that can fight back against threats like ISIL. The Iraqi people have named a new President, a new Speaker of Parliament, and a new Prime Minister–an important step towards forming a government that can unite communities in Iraq. The U.S. will work with this new government and other countries in the region on a broader counterterrorism strategy moving forward.

[Emphasis added]

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Florida Legislature Unanimously Passes Resolution for Israel

Florida State Representative Mike Hill, Pensacola Stand for Israel Rally. Source: John Blackie, PNJ

The Pensacola Rally for Israel witnessed an outpouring of support in the Northwest Florida community for the Jewish nation exceeding organizers’ expectations. The rally, sponsored by the Pensacola Jewish Federation, was underwritten by anonymous donors from the Jewish community.

The Pensacola Police security detail estimated the crowd in excess of 500 attendees. The large polite crowd was composed of Jews from several denominations, Baptists, Pentecostals and other Christian groups. Mike Bates of Northwest Florida’s AM 1330 WEBY and this writer served as co-hosts for the rally.
A climactic event was the appearance of Florida House Representative Mike Hill. A Pensacola News Journal article on the rally, “Hundreds gather to support Israel,” reported: “He brought the crowd to their feet when he announced a Stand with Israel resolution to be voted on in a special session this week in Tallahassee.”

Hill said:

What is being done to Israel is evil. Israelis are our allies, and they need our support. Let’s show the nation that Florida is leading the way in support for Israel.

Rep. Hill texted both Bates and the author on the afternoon of August 11th that the House unanimously passed a resolution supporting Israel in Operation Protective Edge and condemning Hamas. Hill commented in a text message: “proud of the body, today.” Sen. Alan Hays texted a companion unanimous vote  in the Florida State Senate.

Mike Bates of 1330AM radio WEBY, Pensacola Stand for Israel host at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 2014.

Mike Bates set the agenda for the rally program saying:

We’re here to stand up for the good guys. To stand with the truth, to stand with what is right, to stand with justice. We are here today to stand with Israel.

There were several emotional moments during the rally. Mike Bates periodically would advise the crowd of the minutes since the last rocket was fired from Gaza headed towards Israel. He followed this with a request for a moment of silence to pray for Israelis threatened by terror from the skies. There were also moments of silence praying for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities confronting the barbarism of the Islamic State, formerly ISIS.

ates drew attention to the irony that in the midst of this conflict, Israel continued to supply food, gas, water and electricity to Gazans living under the tyranny of Islamist extremist Hamas. He remarked to the audience he couldn’t conceive of the US doing that during WWII. Several speakers drew attention to Hamas’ launch of rockets near or from UNWRA schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, or residences using civilians as human shields.

This author was also interviewed by the PNJ following opening remarks. As cited in their report, I said:

Americans incorrectly perceive Israel to be the villains in the current fighting because the media doesn’t report the historic context of the conflict. While I hoped a resolution to the fighting could be found, certain conditions would have to be met. The only breakthrough would come if they negotiated a deal to demilitarize Gaza. However I said that the chances of that are really low, unfortunately. One never knows what may happen, but certainly there is a lot of regional sentiment for that.

The genesis for the rally had been sparked in early July with onset of Hamas’ rocket and terror tunnel war against Israel and Israel’s response in Operation Protective Edge. That led to a series of weekly one hour updates and discussions on WEBY‘s talk radio program, “Your Turn,” hosted by Bates. Public service announcements (PSA) followed in earnest after a city public park site was secured by the local Jewish Federation for a Stand for Israel rally. This was preceded by a series of pro-Gaza rallies by Palestinian activists in downtown Pensacola. The radio discussions and PSA’s at WEBY were materially assisted by distribution of flyers, announcements from synagogue, temple and church pulpits. Event and news releases were sent to media outlets in the combined Northwest Florida and adjacent Eastern Alabama.

The rally occurred on a hot and sultry day with a heat index in the high 90’s and a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms forecast. Ha Shem must have looked with favor on the event as thunderstorms held off. A minor miracle, not quite those cited by several speakers at the rally who drew attention to several that spared both Tel Aviv and IDF forces in combat from death and destruction. There was a Hamas rocket that failed to be intercepted by three Iron Dome missiles headed for Tel Aviv. Suddenly, a wind arose from the east blowing it to fall harmlessly into the Mediterranean. There was a contingent of IDF soldiers about to go on a daytime mission into Gaza that was cloaked in a fog. They successfully completed their mission without a casualty. There was a bird that alighted on a trip wire in a Hamas terror tunnel during a clearance operation by IDF troops, triggering an explosion of booby traps, sparing Israeli casualties.

Rabbi Joel Fleekop Temple Beth El Penscola, FL. Source: John Blackie, PNJ.

The rally organizers had lined up a broad array of local, regional, national and international speakers. Rabbi Joel Fleekop from Temple Beth El in Pensacola gave a thoughtful and spiritually uplifting invocation. Rabbi Steven Silberman, of Mobile Synagogue Ahavas Chesed, spoke of his eyewitness to Hamas’ rocket war in Israel noting it was his first exposure to the chilling red alert wailing sirens. He also had a chance meeting with two Polish Catholic women, surprised to find an American rabbi at their hotel during the conflict. Fred Zimmerman, a member of the National Jewish Federation campaign cabinet from Nashville, spoke via phone to the rally attendees about his experience in Israel during Operation Protective Edge and the Federation’s  Stop the Sirens campaign.

Jerry Barnett of Volunteers for Israel told of the group’s mission to enlist civilian volunteers to assist in the maintenance of IDF bases. He read an email requesting volunteers of all ages to sign and assist Tzahal at this time of need. Kenneth E. Lamb, a member of a local Pentecostal church spoke of the covenant relationship between Ha Shem and the Children of Abraham, the Jews and Israel. The international speaker at the rally was Dan Diker from Israel who called while on vacation with his family in northern California. Diker is a former secretary general of the World Jewish Council and a noted Middle East Affairs expert with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Diker has been on several AM 1330 WEBY International Middle East Round Table discussions. Diker spoke of Hamas and its intentions to obliterate the Jewish people and Israel and the difficulty of obtaining a truce in the face of implacable demands. He noted the dramatic turn of events of Israel receiving tacit support from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and especially Egypt that has cooperated with Israel in closing off the Gaza frontier.

In the midst of Diker’s call there was a sudden outburst of calls of “Israel, Israel, Israel” endeavoring to call out a small contingent of pro-Gaza protesters waving a large Palestinian flag carrying placards accusing Israel of murdering civilians in Gaza.

Pro-Israel Supporters listen to Rabbi Steven Silberman of Cong. Ahavas Chesed, Mobile.

At the conclusion of the rally, Mike Bates quoted these verses from Psalm 122:

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper that love thee.
7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say: ‘Peace be within thee.’
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

My final comment used  the Hebrew words Goy Tzedek or righteous Gentiles to characterize the Christians who attended the rally; followed Am Yisrael Chai, “the people Israel live.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured photo is of Linda Wolfe praying for Israel at Pensacola, FL Rally. Source : John Blackie, PNJ.

Geert Wilders’ “Warning to Israel”

We interview the ever controversial Mr. Geert Wilders, MP, Netherlands who, unlike many politicians, stands proudly with Israel and boldly against HAMAS and Islamic jihad worldwide.

Mr. Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PPV), analyzes both the immediate problem that Israel has with the HAMAS and the long-term problem that the West has with the global advance of the Islamic Caliphate. Moreover, Wilders provides solutions that are essential for Western countries to defeat supremacist Islam.

WARNING: Some of these solutions are absolutely NOT politically correct!

ABOUT THE UNITED WEST AND THE CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY

The United West and Center for Security Policy present Operation Protective Edge An Inside Look: Destroy HAMAS. This is a special series providing analysis, commentary, opinion and activism designed to assist Israel in its’ effort to destroy HAMAS. We feature leading subject-matter experts with live reporting from the war front in Israel.

Follow The United West on Twitter: @TheUnitedWest.