Exposing physical and intellectual terrorism to awaken the oblivious
It is terrible that incidents like using cars to run over innocent children and other means of terror are still happening in Israel and around the world, and that so many oblivious individuals are not being informed about these events – and even if they get to know about them, they do not care.
They do not understand that once evil is unleashed, ALL people from ALL walks of life, will become its victims.
Unfortunately, terror today is taking two major forms. One is the physical attack, by all kinds of weapons which may include cars, knives, bullets, rockets, bombs, etc. The other one is the verbal attacks which intend to incite, malign, deceive, rewrite history and educate the oblivious to become the perpetrators of malicious action. These actions could be physical terrorism and/or no less aggressive non-violent terrorism, which includes Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
Our fight against evil is relentless but there is too much uncontrolled evil to address with too few people fighting it. Therefore, it is imperative to educate as many people as possible with the correct information. This will help them join the effort to stand up against evil and expose the perpetrators of the deception, even if those perpetrators are members of Congress, University Professors, High School Teachers or any other person in important decision-making or educational positions.
The risks to free society are too high to remain timid or silent and let evil prevail.
Only four years ago, the man whom we rely upon for terror research, Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, discovered and translated the official ordinance of the Palestinian Authority which provides an automatic payment to anyone who murders a Jew, and that includes a payment to his family for life.
This official Palestine Liberation Organization incentive for murder has been incorporated into a series of working papers on the subject of incentifying murder, published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and accessible at http://jcpa.org/the-2018-report-on-palestinian-authority-payments-of-salaries-to-terrorists-in-2018/
How do Jews around the world react to the payment incorporated into the Palestinian Authority rule of law which provides automatic payment to anyone who murders a Jew?
It is hard to tell. So we posed a question to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the largest Jewish denomination – the Union for Reform Judaism
We have asked Rabbi Jacobs , who passionately supports the establishment of a PLO state, for his response to the fact that the PLO, through is PA administrative arm, awards anyone who will murder a Jew.
Rabbi Jacobs will not answer the question, which we have posed to him more than once.
Israel has a responsibility to do everything it can to rid itself of the PLO , which places the murder of any Jew.as the highest value for a Palestinian Arab to strive for. Israel can now define anyone who supports the PLO state as an accessory to murder.
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Trump’s claim triggered a quick uproar from critics who said the president was trading in anti-Semitic stereotypes. It came amid his ongoing feud with Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslim.
Trump has closely aligned himself with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while the Muslim lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and have evoked anti-Semitic tropes to bolster their arguments. Tlaib is a US-born Palestinian American, while Omar was born in Somalia.
The US president, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, replied to Omar’s call to cut the $3 billion in assistance given to Israel annually stating, “I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation.”
“Five years, the concept of even talking about this, even three years ago, of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people, I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” he said.
There’s no question that all decent members of the Democratic party should be unequivocally vomiting them out – especially the Jewish members of Congress. This goes far beyond party and partisan politics.
But we’re not seeing that. We are not seeing them doing the right thing, and certainly the Jewish thing.
We are not seeing the Jewish Democrats unequivocally rejecting these anti-Semites. Instead we see them falling into the petty political traps traps that Tlaib and Omar are putting down.
Trump said a basic truth yesterday – and because, I believe, he honestly likes and respects the Jewish people, he tried speaking to that basic truth – Jews have an obligation to defend and protect their fellow Jews, which includes Israel, from these dangerous haters.
Trump said it from a position of concern. He wasn’t claiming Jews have dual-loyalty as one Jewish writer incredibly claimed. Trump understands basic Jewish history. Trump understands we’re one big Jewish family and people. Trumps sees this unchecked antisemitism, and I believe it concerns him.
Regardless of his motivation, Trump reminded the Jews that have forgotten, they have an obligation to protect their own – and he said it in a nice way.
When Tlaib, Omar and friends get into power – they’ll be reminding the Jews of that same basic truth – but they’ll be doing it the old-fashioned way.
In August 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to the Jews of Rhode Island which read:
“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support….
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
It is incumbent on our government to prove those words of our founding father before we go out of our way to prove anything.
There is no question; I am profoundly grateful to the United States who took my fleeing family from Soviet Russia in the 1930s, saved our lives, and gave us every opportunity to thrive and succeed. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the magnificently powerful country that does so much to assure safety and equality to its citizens, and though never perfect, the USA is the greatest democracy in the world. I am deeply grateful and value living here, or in the words of the song:
”And I’ll thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today, Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away”
Part of being an equal citizen here is not having the need to prove anything. I don’t need to prove I am loyal and am most likely more loyal to this country than many people living in the Washington DC area. I am tired. We are all tired. American Jews have had a very difficult year. So to my dear fellow Jewish Americans, I say: don’t try and prove anything. Anyone implying we are any less is just proving their own lack of Americanism. Let us focus on community building, raising families, and acts of kindness. Let us focus on what binds us together rather than on what pulls us apart. Let us come together rather than take sides on issues that will just turn us on each other.
May God bless America and “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
Daniel Gordis: Israel is neither Bibi nor the United States
Kotel-gate has now been almost forgotten. Nation-state-law-gate has receded. Now it’s Congress-gate and in a few months, it will be something else. That would be true with Labor at the helm of Israel, or Blue and White. Very little of this will change when Bibi is eventually gone, because Israel faces different challenges and threats than other countries. And it exists for an entirely different purpose.
Yet no relationship can survive this cascade of continuing crises. Were we a couple, we’d be talking about divorce. But few of us want that. What we need to do, just like a couple, is to start talking. About how different we are. About the radically different visions of a Jewish future that lie at the core of all that we do. About how extraordinarily successful we both have been, and about the existential threats that each of us faces.
It is possible to be deeply committed to the Jewish people and to say that “I see nothing in the Israel of today that represents me” only if one views Israel exclusively through a narrow political lens, comparing Israel’s comportment to what we would expect of the United States. That approach will doom us.
Zionism, and then Israel, set out to do one thing: to save the Jewish people. With all its warts and all its flaws, with all the humiliating mistakes its leaders too often make, Israel has done just that. Could we perhaps first acknowledge that, so that even when we are appalled, we remain deeply committed, even reverent, of all that Zionism has wrought? We need to learn to do that, for the alternative is a rupture in our people from which we might never recover.
The head of a predominantly Arab Israeli political party on Wednesday became the first party leader in Israel to condemn Donald Trump after the US president accused Jews who support Democrats of “great disloyalty.”
“I don’t know what is more repugnant, the anti-Semitic statement of US President Donald Trump or the hypocritical silence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh told The Times of Israel’s Hebrew site Zman Yisrael in a phone interview.
Trump’s characterization was roundly condemned by US Jewish groups that accused the US president of employing a dangerous anti-Semitic trope, but faced little backlash in Israel.
In addition to the premier who heads the Likud party, the leaders of Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, United Torah Judaism, Shas, Labor and the Democratic Camp have not responded to The Times of Israel’s request for comment on the matter. The Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Agency for Israel similarly did not respond.
Were Trump’s Comments on Jewish Disloyalty Anti-Semitic?
Trump has been trying to pull Jews over to his side, to vote for the GOP, since his presidency began. This time, he said Jews who vote Democrat “either have a lack of knowledge or are disloyal.” Was this comment anti-Semitic? Newsweek correspondent Marc Schulman and our Ellie Hochenberg analyze.
.@bariweiss you hear what you want to hear, not what @realDonaldTrump said. He said that American Jews who vote Democrat either don’t understand the Dems have turned on the Jews with their Jew hating congress members, or Dem Jews are disloyal to the Jewish people.
But whatever. https://t.co/hdNVc7EMTZ
— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) August 20, 2019
This was my whole point. The people who have spent the last week excusing/defending Omar and Tlaib just don’t have any credibility left on this topic. They can use Trump to distract, but not to legitimately call-out stereotyping and bigotry. This shouldn’t be partisan.
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) August 20, 2019
My take https://t.co/9if2XMkV4h
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) August 21, 2019
A billboard supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals went up in Baltimore that compares President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to a rat.
The billboard alludes to Trump’s recent comments that Baltimore is a “rat and rodent infected mess,” and features a cartoon rat grasping a piece of cheese with the caption “poor guy just trying to survive” next to a cartoon of Kushner lounging on a stack of money with the caption “rich pest.”
Kushner owns a number of apartments in the city through his real estate firm and has been criticized after reports that they were cited for more than 200 code violations in 2017.
“Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. “PETA encourages building managers to evict unwanted tiny tenants using only effective, nonlethal methods.”
Trump stirred controversy in July and early August when he attacked Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, 68, multiple times over Twitter and said that “no human would want to live” in his Baltimore district.
Billboard in Baltimore sponsored by PETA calls Jared Kushner a “rich pest” https://t.co/VTyKPOokLD
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 20, 2019
The Palestinian Authority is following Tehran in seeking to destroy the Jewish state, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.
“As Tehran openly calls for Israel’s destruction, Ramallah uses other means to undermine the Jewish State’s right to exist,” Danon said.
He referred to a statement made by PLO Ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Khraishi, to the UN in Geneva last week, when he revived the charge that “Zionism is racism.”
“This despicable language exposes the Palestinian Authority’s antisemitism, as it continues to incite hatred among its people against Jews and the Jewish State,” Danon said. “Both Tehran and Ramallah’s extremism are increasingly at odds with the growing sentiment among Arabs that Israel is, and will continue to be, a part of this region.”
He warned that the PA was trying to prevent normalized ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
“Israel is not your enemy,” Danon said, in a message that he repeated in Arabic and which he hoped was heard by Palestinians and “all the Arab people in the region.”
Israel has come together with its Arab neighbors to combat terror and regional treats, including those posed by Iran, which contributes over $7 billion annually to terror groups, Danon explained.
“Just two weeks ago, the Islamic Republic announced that they were increasing their financial backing of Hamas from $6 million dollars to $30 million dollars a month,” Danon said.
Tehran is “exporting” the Iranian revolution to Lebanon and Syria, by destabilizing both countries.
Israel’s envoy is lying about normalized ties with the Arab world, PLO Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, as he explained that the only path to peace and Middle East security was a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines.
His statement followed a speech by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who said that the threat from Iran had created a bridge between Israel and the Arab world that has allowed for normalization of ties.
Mansour launched into a verbal attack against Danon, without ever using his formal name, referring to him either as the ambassador, the speaker or a liar.
Danon is living in a “fantasy land” if he thinks that he is “is opening the door for normalization with Arab countries,” Mansour said.
He noted that all the Arab countries who spoke at the meeting, as well as many other nations and most security council member states, reiterated their commitment to a two-state solution.
“So he can listen to whatever noise there is in his head; he is refusing to listen to the Security Council members,” he said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken a very open stance of seeking better ties to the Jewish people and to Israel. Some call this “normalization.” I call it plain common sense.
Saudi Arabia is strong – financially, politically and militarily. We have the second-largest air force in the Middle East. We operate tactical fighter aircraft like the F-15 that provide air superiority and we have advanced long-range missile systems. Iran knows this.
We see Israel as a logical future partner for us as we have mutual enemies: Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and a handful of reckless rulers who remain in power in our region.
Sadly, the Kingdom of Jordan’s state media and state-controlled writers have been attacking Saudi Arabia ever since the latter began seeking improved relations with Israel. Jordan’s sidekick, the Palestinian Authority, has been doing the same.
Our message, as Saudis, is clear to everyone: We want a fair, just, lasting, and prosperous peace for the region. We want prosperity instead of misery, stability to replace unrest, and love to eradicate radical ideology. This could never be done without extending a peaceful hand to the Israelis.
Yishai Fleisher, the spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron and a Daily Wire contributor who helped promote the letter, provided this exclusive comment: “The pro-Israel community has a big opportunity to move away from the Oslo two-state paradigm which has brought nothing but bloodshed for Jews and suppression for the Arabs under the Palestinian Authority (PA). Things on the ground have changed and so has the political reality. It’s time to reexamine the failed thinking of the past and to move away from the empowerment of a corrupt and Jihadist PA. Israel’s friends in Congress need to know that there are better other options, in which Israel will remain the sovereign in Judea, and which will lead to coexistence and security.”
Indeed, it is not as if alternative solutions do not exist. They assuredly do exist.
There ought to be no mollycoddling of the kleptocratic Jew-haters of the Palestinian Authority. To the extent the House’s recent anti-BDS resolution engaged in such unfortunate shenanigans, it ought to be condemned — and the 21 brave Knesset members should be praised for their doing exactly that.
South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday declared the conclusion of their two countries’ joint negotiations on a free trade agreement.
Due to scheduling constraints, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not able to attend the signing ceremony but will meet later today with Minister Yoo.
Israel agreed that products from the settlements in Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights will not enjoy various benefits such as customs exemptions under the Free Trade Zone Agreement with South Korea. The Koreans conditioned the entire deal on the settlements exclusion (See: Israel Agreed to Exclude Settlement Products from South Korea Trade Agreement).
South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world, and it is anticipated that the agreement will provide a competitive advantage and ease activity for Israeli exporters in the South Korean market, thus strengthening Israeli exports and increasing economic growth. The annual benefit to the economy will facilitate a better jumping-off point for Israeli exports.
A 17-year-old Palestinian was indicted by an Israeli court on Tuesday for attempting to lynch a Jewish man in eastern Jerusalem.
The incident occurred on the night of the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av on Aug.11, Israeli news site Mako reported. The defendant, along with several other young men, attacked the victim in his car, causing minor injuries and severe damage to the vehicle.
The indictment stated that the victim was caught in a traffic jam on Saladin Street near the Old City of Jerusalem. The defendant was among a group of young men who, having realized that the victim was wearing a kippa, attacked the vehicle.
They kicked the car and threw stones, glass bottles, and an iron rod, shattering the windows. They then attacked the victim directly, beating him and spraying him with pepper spray. They attempted to drag him from the car but did not succeed.
Police officer Ephraim Kahani, who came upon the scene in his private vehicle, left his car and fired three shots in the air to disperse the attackers.
Five other suspects have been arrested in connection with the case, though they have yet to be indicted.
The Gazans Who Cross into Israel Through the Crossing Point
Every day, Gazans are crossing legally into Israel for medical help, work or other reasons. Who are they? Our Jonathan Regev has the story.
On August 19, 2019, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas ordered all his advisors fired, their contracts cancelled, and all benefits that went with their posts revoked. He also ordered all members of the previous PA government to pay back the PA treasury for illegal funds they had received in the form of salary supplements, grants, or reimbursement for housing expenses.
‘Abbas’s actions appears to be a response to the resentment in the Palestinian street about how the PA is operating, in light of its deep economic crisis and political paralysis. This resentment has also been expressed in articles in PA establishment dailies criticizing the PA’s economic inefficiency, the absence of democracy in it, and the absence of a political strategy and failure to follow through on political decisions – such as the PA leadership’s decision to “stop acting in accordance with the agreements signed with Israel.”
Particularly scathing criticism was expressed by former PA prisoners’ affairs minister Ashraf Al-Ajrami, who, on August 7, 2019, wrote in the Al-Ayyam daily that there is a rift and mistrust between the Palestinian public and the Palestinian leadership, and that Palestinian officials have evolved into a separate class with extra rights and privileges that has distanced itself from the people and is no longer responsive to their needs.
In his article, Al-Ajrami criticized the failure to hold elections and the lack of democratic processes, and stated that ordinary citizens feel that they have no path to replacing failed or corrupt leaders. The Palestinian public, he added, is increasingly frustrated at the stagnated political process, and the Palestinian leadership constantly reiterates slogans about major national goals but fails to either keep its promises or implement its decisions.
The death of a prominent political and social activist who fled from the Gaza Strip to Bosnia and Herzegovina has shocked many people in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Tamer Fathi al-Sultan, 38, was a staunch critic of Hamas. Sources in Gaza said he was affiliated with Fatah. His friends said he was one of tens of thousands of Palestinians who emigrated from the Gaza Strip in recent years to escape Hamas “oppression.”
“He fled Hamas oppression and died away from his homeland,” said Maher Sulieman, a friend of the activist. “This is a real tragedy, not only for Tamer, but for thousands and thousands of young people in the Gaza Strip who are fed up with the corruption and dictatorship of Hamas. Hamas is the main reason why people like Tamer are prepared to do everything, including leaving their families, to immigrate to another country in search of work and freedom.”
In the past few years, Hamas security forces repeatedly summoned al-Sultan for interrogation or detained him over his activities.
The last time he was summoned for interrogation was earlier this year, when Hamas ordered a crackdown on Palestinians protesting economic hardship in the Gaza Strip. The protests were part of a youth-engineered campaign called “We want to live!”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at Jalazone Refugee Camp: We Will Enter Jerusalem as Millions of Fighters
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an address at the Jalazone Refugee Camp near Ramallah that the Palestinians cannot be removed from their homeland and that every building built by the Zionist occupation will be destroyed and thrown in the garbage bin of history. He claimed that the Palestinians are the Canaanites who have lived in Palestine for 5,000 years, and he rejected the conferences in Warsaw and Manama as unacceptable to the Palestinian people. He said that Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians, and the audience began to chant: “The Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions!” Abbas continued, saying that the entire Palestinian nation will enter Jerusalem as millions of fighters, along with the Arab, Islamic, and Christian nations, and he said that he rejects the designation of Palestinian martyrs as terrorists. He added that the families of Palestinian martyrs, injured people, and prisoners will continue to receive salaries from the PA because they are the most sacred thing the Palestinians have. The video was uploaded to Abbas’ Facebook page on August 10, 2019.
I thought they were under occupation/Apartheid? https://t.co/9WLDmOFZql
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) August 21, 2019
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) August 21, 2019
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) August 20, 2019
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah: Western War against Iran Would Set the Region Aflame
Hizbullah Secretary-General said in an August 16, 2019 speech that aired on Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) that if Israel attacks Lebanon, Hizbullah will destroy its military units and its tanks, and he threatened this will be broadcasted live for the entire world to see. He said that the resistance axis is thriving and increasing in power and size, and he said that it enjoys support from the Bahraini, Tunisian, Algerian, and other nations. Nasrallah went on to say that reliance on the resistance axis will prevent terrorism from re-emerging in Syria and Iraq from falling into American “hegemony.” He also said that it will bring about the end of the “aggression” against Yemen and the return of Jerusalem, and that it will fill the hearts of the Palestinians with hope. In addition, Nasrallah reiterated that a Western war against Iran would “set the entire region aflame.” The audience chanted: “We respond to your call, oh Nasrallah!”
Pro-Hizbullah Motorcycle Procession in Lebanon: We Are Ready to Enter Israel Underground or Above Ground pic.twitter.com/zdwVzMUJWf
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 21, 2019
Despite the president’s declaration last year that American troops would soon begin leaving Syria, about 1,000 remain. Charles Lister argues that their presence in the country serves vital U.S. interests:
What happens in Syria does not stay in Syria. We ought to have learned that lesson by now. The first three years of the Syrian conflict brought us Islamic State (IS), the most powerful and wealthy terrorist organization the world has ever seen, along with its now-global network of “provinces.” It also catalyzed a massive refugee flow that has crippled Syria’s neighbors and destabilized European politics, fueling populist and far-right movements. War crimes were, and continue to be, a daily affair, committed with total impunity. The global norm against the use of chemical weapons has been demonstrably eroded. In more recent years, Iran has expanded regionally like never before, and Russia has emerged as a genuine competitor to U.S. influence in the Middle East. Although Syria in 2019 may look different from Syria in 2014, none of these issues has been resolved; most are likely to sustain themselves into the future, and many may yet worsen.
While certainly not a solution [to these problems], our presence affords us more influence over Iran’s ambitions in eastern Syria than we’d have if we left, and it has a reassuring effect on our ally Israel, amid its more kinetic campaign against Iran and its proxies. More broadly, by remaining in Syria, . . . the United States is a more credible actor than it would be if it promptly left—an act that would destroy our influence in Syria for good.
IS now maintains thousands of sleeper cells across Syria and Iraq, which are collectively sustaining a “resurgent” insurgency, to use the term the Department of Defense employed in a deeply negative August 2019 assessment. . . . A premature departure from Syria now would inflame existing problems and guarantee future threats that the U.S. would have to confront, but without any future means of doing so.
Why Would Syria Bomb a Turkish Military Convoy?
Syrian forces attacked a Turkish convoy in northern Syria, after Turkey has threatened numerous times lately to execute an operation in Syrian territory. Why would Syria do this though? Our Emily Rose analyzes.
What Would Israel’s Interest Be in Striking Iraq Targets?
It still remains unclear over who struck the weapons storage cache in Iraq’s capital, but many suspect Israel is behind it. What would be in it for Israel to execute these strikes? Retired IDF Brigadier General Hanan Gefen analyzes.
Is Israel Behind Recent Number of Strikes on Iraq?
A fourth explosion resulting from a strike inside Iraq has many asking who is behind them. Could Israel be behind them? Our Emily Rose and Daniel Tsemach analyze.
Islamic authority [“Hujjat al-Islam”] Mehdi Taeb, is head of “Amar’s Headquarters,” an ultra-conservative research institute close to Iran’s Supreme Leader. Taeb declared on August 8, 2019, “Iran has reached the final stretch in its fight against the ‘Zionist enemy.’” He proclaimed, “The first step was to approach the borders of Israel, and the second step will be to reach Jerusalem (Quds).”
Taeb compared Iran’s situation today to the battle of Siffin in 657 CE (near today’s Raqqa in Syria) between Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, and the Syrian Governor Mu’awiya bin Abu Safyan. Shia Muslims considered Ali ibn Abi Talib as the rightful successor of Muhammed.
Malik Al-Ashtar, one of the Shi’a heroes, was the leader of Ali’s military at Islam’s inception. In the battle of Siffin, Malik Al-Ashtar was only two tents away from Mu’awiya’s tent, and he could have killed Mu’awiya if not for a famous ruse that Mu’awiya employed. Heeding his advisers, Mu’awiya ordered his soldiers to impale pages of the Koran on their lances. This brought about the end of the battle and ultimately, the loss of Ali’s caliphate and the founding of Shi’a Islam.
It should be noted that the Shiite resistance movement in Bahrain is named after Al-Ashtar: “Saria Al-Ashtar.” This resistance movement is supported by Iran, and its name and symbol are in the spirit of “Hizbullah” Lebanon – the Iranian role model for Shi’ite liberation movements around the world.1
Iraqi Shiite Group Tightens Bond with Iran
The commander of the Iraqi movement al-Nujaba, Nasr al-Shammari, stated in his August 4, 2019, meeting with Saeed Jalili, former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, that any government in Iraq that acts against Iran would fall within weeks. Al-Shammari added, “Iraq would never take part in the sanctions against Iran, and the Americans themselves are well aware of the fact that any Baghdad administration that acted against Iran would meet its end within several weeks.”3
The spokesman added that al-Nujaba “is closely following all U.S. targets in Iraq, which are 11 in total, including around 11,000 troops.” Al-Shammari continued: “Iran is a symbol of resistance for us because the Iranian government believes in the values of Imam Khamenei, and as he has said, America is the great Satan.”
Nasr al-Shammari also repeated these comments at a meeting on August 4, 2019, with Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei and former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.4, 5
Australia will join the United States and the UK in an international maritime coalition protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from threats posed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.
A series of attacks on merchant vessels in the past few months has disrupted shipping through the area, which the United States has blamed on Iran. Tehran has denied the accusations.
Australia’s effort will aid the U.S.-launched the campaign, dubbed Operation Sentinel, which seeks to ensure ships can exercise freedom of navigation through the strategic strait without restraint by hostile forces, a point touched on by Mr. Morrison.
“This destabilising behaviour is a threat to Australia’s interests in the region,” he told a news conference in the national capital Canberra.
“The government has decided that it is in Australia’s national interest to work with our international partners to contribute. Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time-bound,” he said.
Mr. Morrison said Australia will send a RAAF P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane to the Middle East for one month before the end of 2019. It will be followed by an Australian patrol frigate will be deployed in January 2020 for six months.
NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt traveled to Tehran this week in order to interview top Iranian officials and give them the chance to paint Iran as the victim of U.S. aggression.
Holt allowed Ali Shamkhani, military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said it was a mistake for Iran to sign the Obama administration’s 2015 deal since the U.S. pulled out under President Donald Trump.
Holt also allowed Shamkhani to claim that Iran was a stabilizing force in the Middle East, rather than a source of terrorism. The U.S. State Department still lists Iran as one of the leading state-sponsors of terrorism.
Shamkhani, according to a press email sent by the State Department’s communications office, “accidentally” admitted to relying “on the assistance of proxy groups to spread violence in the region.” In his interview with Holt, Shamkhani said Iran had “multiple instruments at hand, including the proxy war.” While Shamkhani did not say who would help fight on Iran’s behalf, NBC acknowledged the country has been “a long-time supporter of Hezbollah, Hamas and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.”
Israel’s surprising survival after declaring statehood in 1948, followed by its lightning victory in 1967, shocked the Arab and Muslim worlds in particular, and the world at large, which had grown accustomed to seeing Jews – collectively and individually – as their host societies’ whipping boy, officially “protected” but effectively at the mercy of authorities willing to subject them to mob violence when times got tough. A Jewish entity no longer subject to non-Jewish potentates has proved difficult for the the Muslim world to assimilate, a world with sensibilities predicated on dominance of Jewish and Christian underclasses.
Adding insult to further insult, the ensuing decades saw the emergence in Israel of a booming, innovative economy that dwarfs that of its neighbors, along with a flourishing, vibrant democracy that allows freedoms unavailable in the wider region. The realization that the Jews of the Middle East – most of whom now live in Israel after expulsion from most Muslim-majority countries decades earlier – may forever occupy a higher social stratum than they do has plunged the collective Arab Muslim psyche into crisis, as it now must navigate the unfamiliar psychic territory of seeing Jews not as downtrodden victims unable – and in many cases forbidden – to defend themselves, but as sovereign, potent, and even dominant, a situation for which the traditional paradigm cannot account.
“I can disdain black Africans, but it’s not the same,” lamented Abdullah, an elderly Bedouin from southern Jordan. “We don’t get the same visceral sense of pleasure and dominance referring to them as ‘slave’ in common parlance as one gets from kicking a defenseless Jew. It’s hard to explain. As Bedouin we rank pretty low in Arab society so for a long time it was a relief to have a set population that we, in turn, could look down on as inferior. Now we don’t, but still feel we should, and it makes us feel angry, betrayed, and more than a little ashamed that the lowly Jews took that away from us. In earlier times we’d channel that rage into abusing and killing some Jews, but it’s not as easy at is used to be, and that’s a damn shame. It makes me want to kick a Jew in the…”
Abdullah shook his head upon realizing that completing the sentence would be as futile as acting upon it.
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