Friday, 30 October 2009
For example, the report claimed that there was no evidence that Hamas fighters hid in civilian areas and used human shields made up of civilians during the conflict. This completely disregards the testimony of witnesses; for example: "Witnesses, including Hanan Abu Khajib, 39, said that Hamas fired just outside the school compound, probably from the secluded courtyard of a house across the street, 25 yards from the school. Israeli return fire, some minutes later, also landed outside the school, along the southwest wall, killing two Hamas fighters. Nearly all the casualties were in the street outside the compound, with only three people wounded from shrapnel inside the walls." It also ignores video footage showing Palestinian fighters planting improvised explosive devices outside houses and then climbing into those houses and hiding among the civilian population:
Finally, the report actually acknowledges that Hamas MP Fathi Hammad admitted in February 2009 that his party used human shields during the conflict, citing the following statement: "...the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death seeking. For the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the mujahideen excel and the children excel. Accordingly, [Hamas] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the mujahideen, against the Zionist bombing machine." But despite this, the report goes on to dismiss this as insufficient evidence that Hamas used human shields.
On several other occasions, statements by Hamas leaders and politicians are declared not to constitute evidence, and yet numerous quotes from Israeli politicians are provided, accompanied by the following statement: "It is in the context of comments such as these that the massive destruction of businesses, agricultural land, chicken farms and residential houses has to be understood." In other words, statements by Palestinian politicians which reflect badly upon them do not count as evidence, but statements from Israeli politicians must be taken as evidence of war crimes and nefarious motivations.
All the Goldstone Report has done is embolden and delight Islamic jihadists not just in Palestine, but everywhere, by lending credibility to the Hamas movement and denigrating Israel at every opportunity. That the report would end up being so biased is not that much of a surprise, given the UN's long record of anti-Israel policies, as well as the known anti-Israel bias of several people directly involved in commissioning the report.
But what makes it now even less surprising is the revelation that the Goldstone Report was actually initiated by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the 57-state Islamic umma which makes up the largest voting bloc in the UN and has for the past several years been attempting to push through worldwide legislation that would make it a criminal offense to criticise Islam.
Israel faces enemies on all fronts, and what makes the situation so alarming is that most of these fronts are not martial in nature, and so constitute an easily overlooked threat to its security which is undermining its defenses without the use of guns or bombs.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Rifqa Bary is the young Muslim girl from Ohio who converted to Christianity and subsequently fled her home after her father allegedly threatened to kill her for apostasy. The legal team representing her made a comprehensive case that Bary would be under threat from the local Muslim community, which is highly radicalised, if she was sent back to Ohio.
But, in the face of all human decency and compassion, it has happened anyway. Bary will initially live in a foster home, but a potential move home is possible. If that happens, we will sooner or later find out how much danger the girl is in.
Also of note is the fact that "Magistrate Mary Goodrich did order Children Services to monitor Rifqa's phone and Internet use after Jim Zorn, a Children Services attorney, asked for the restrictions." This was a tacit acceptance of the entirely unproven allegations by Rifqa's father - which were even taken up by pundits on the "right wing" Fox News shortly after the story first broke - that Rifqa has been "brainwashed" by a shady cult into converting to Christianity, and even into deliberately fabricating the claim that her father threatened to kill her. This spurious charge completely ignores conclusive evidence that Rifqa Bary had clandestinely converted to Christianity long before she had even met the Christian pastors who supposedly "brainwashed" her. It also ignores the evidence of the Islamic radicalism - including open support for the death penalty for apostates - among Muslims in Rifqa's home town. This evidence was provided by Rifqa's legal team, and was corroborated on a national scale in separate research by counter-terrorism investigator Dave Gaubatz.
The authorities are playing a potentially lethal game with Rifqa Bary. I am not a believer in any religion, but I will be praying that this young girl, whose only crime was to have freedom of conscience, is kept safe from harm.
Monday, 26 October 2009
One of the charges that Muslims - whether "moderate" or "Islamist" - and even non-Muslim liberals often like to throw at the West is that it is a place of sexual decadence and immorality. From pornography to the increasing sexualisation of the Western media, the claim is that all this sexual libertinism offends the sensibilities of sprititually-minded, morally pure Muslims, and this causes them to hate us so much that they strap bombs to themselves in order to kill us, or fly planes into buildings, killing themselves along with thousands ofinnocent people, out of pure rage.
This argument is completely silly, of course, but as Daniel Pipes demonstrates this month, Muslims are in no position to be lecturing us Westerners on the subject of sexual morality. Islamic ideals and cultural norms in the Muslim world often lead to bizzarre and often disturbing sexual escapades, which Pipes has diligently documented in the link above. A few highlights are pasted below. I know where I'd rather live.
Sanctioned rape of Iranian virgins before their execution: An unnamed member of Iran's paramilitary Basij, currently married with children, explained to a Jerusalem Post reporter that he joined the Basij at 16 years when his mother took him "to a Basiji station and begged them to take me under their wing because I had no one and nothing foreseeable in my future. My father was martyred during the war in Iraq and she did not want me to get hooked on drugs and become a street thug. I had no choice." Then came a description of his role raping young girls:
He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so "impressed my superiors" that, at 18, "I was given the 'honor' to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death." In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a "wedding" ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard - essentially raped by her "husband."
"I regret that, even though the marriages were legal," he said. Why the regret, if the marriages were "legal?"
"Because," he went on, "I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their 'wedding' night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die. I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over," he said. "I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her."
Afghan president favors law that "legalises rape within marriage": As elections in Afghanistan loom in August, President Hamid Karzai appears to be looking for Islamist votes by supporting a law, article 132 of which states that women must obey their husband's sexual demands and that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least "once every four nights" when traveling, unless she is ill. The final document is not yet published but it also appears to forbid wives from leaving home without their husbands' permission, to grant custody of children to fathers and grandfathers only, and to approve child marriages. According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), "Article 132 legalises the rape of a wife by her husband." (March 22, 2009) Aug. 16, 2009 update: The BBC reports that the bill, only slightly modified from its initial terms, has passed and become law. It also indicates that husbands may withhold food from wives who refuse their sexual favors.
Wet-nursing breaks up marriages: Readers may remember getting a good laugh two years ago when Izzat Atiya of Egypt's Al-Azhar University came up with a hair-brained way for men and women to work together by having the women feed their male colleagues "directly from her breast" at least five times. This act, his fatwa announced, would accord with a hadith and create maternal-child relations between the two, thus precluding any sexual activity between them and permitting them to be alone together at work. "Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage. A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed."
Pleasure-marriage contract with a 9-year-old girl: Rami 'Aleiq, the former head of the Hizbullah Students Union at the American University in Beirut, gave an interview about himself to Rotana Music TV on August 25, 2008, and which MEMRI has today made available...
The interviewer asks: "How did you ever dare to sign a pleasure-marriage contract with a nine-year-old girl?" and 'Aleiq replies: "In our culture, in order to be able to touch a girl or a woman, there must be a contract of pleasure-marriage."
The interviewer notes: "We are talking about a nine-year-old girl ...," prompting 'Aleiq to justify his actions:
Sure. In Islam, and this is what we were taught, a girl is mature from the age of nine. This is true with regard to Sunnis as well as Shiites. You are focusing on Shia Islam, because I am a Shiite, but according to religious jurisprudence, a girl is mature at the age of nine. This is where we got this idea. I was a child, and so was she, so I was not allowed to touch her, if I didn't form with her the kind of relation that permitted this.
Creating female suicide bombers through systematic rape: From Iraq comes news of the televized prison confession of Samira Ahmed Jassim al-Azzawi, a shopkeeper born in 1958 and the mother of four, telling about her alleged role in recruiting more than 80 young Iraqi women as suicide bombers, 28 of whom actually went on to carry out attacks.
Her method of recruitment? Organizing their rape in order to exploit the deep shame associated with rape in Muslim society in order to push the victims to forfeit their lives as suicide bombers, thereby somewhat redeeming their lost honor.
The Daily Mail quotes Jassim: "I was able to persuade them to become martyrs. Many of the women were broken, depressed, especially those who were raped." The paper goes on to explain that "Jassim's role was to manipulate these rape victims - persuading them they would be better off dead. And once the women had volunteered to become suicide bombers, she delivered them back to insurgents ready for death."
Al-Jazeera quotes Jassim telling about one specific victim, Amal, a teacher who had problems with her husband and his family:
I met Amal and we stayed together for more than two weeks. I talked to her until I convinced her she was in a bad situation - as she had been treated badly by her husband and brothers. She was mentally exhausted. I then took her to see my contacts, then received her back from them at the same delivery place. This is where she then blew herself up".
The New York Times focuses on an August 2007 suicide bombing that killed 12:
Jassim recounted the fate of a woman she called only Um Huda, whom she had led to a neighborhood bank that served as her rendezvous point. "When I was talking to her, she was not answering or looking at me," Ms. Jassim said. "She was mumbling verses of the Koran." "I got her to the bank and left her there," she went on, unemotionally. "She detonated herself at a police station in Muqdadiya."
The Times of London provides more details about the modus operandi of Umm al-Mu'minin, "the Mother of the Believers,":
Jassim is heard in the video apparently confessing to training a female bomber who attacked a police station in Diyala. "I was introduced to her, I began talking to her," she said. She had to talk to one elderly woman several times before persuading her to blow herself up at a bus station, she added. … US officials have said that recruiters often pick on vulnerable women whose husbands have been killed in the violence that consumed Iraq since the invasion. Some even marry the woman and then convert her into a suicide bomber.
Jassim's arrest is no small matter, for female suicide bombers have been a major tactic for al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sunnah, and other terrorist groups in Iraq to get through the security forces. Checkpoints are typically run by male guards and social imperatives prevent them from frisking women, permitting the latter to carry out operations, especially as their long black robes offer plenty of space to conceal explosives.
Jassim faces the death penalty if found guilty. (February 6, 2009)
Saturday, 24 October 2009
I also should have included in that incitement to violence. And guess what? I was right.
"In Islam the punishment for the one who insults the Prophet is capital punishment."
Did Geert Wilders the "Islamophobe" say that?
Nope, it was a Muslim, in the linked video above.
In his Risala, Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, writes: "Whoever abuses the Messenger of God - peace and blessing of God be upon him - is to be executed, and his repentance is not accepted."
Was al-Qayrawani an Islamophobe? Nope. He was a renowned jurist of the Maliki school, one of the four major schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He died in the tenth century, but his teachings, and those of others, are clearly not a dead letter today. Not even in Britain.
Friday, 23 October 2009
According to ABC News: "Police in Arizona are hunting for an Iraqi-American father who they say ran over his daughter with his car to punish her for becoming 'too Westernized' and rebuffing the conservative ways he valued."
Note to ABC - "conservatives" generally don't run people over with cars for "rebuffing" their values.
In any case, the article drags out the usual apologist to explain that Islam doesn't teach anything that could remotely justify this and that Muslims are under increasing risk of being victimised. In this case, the apologist happens to be a member a member of the Muslim American Society, which is an arm of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Ibrahim Ramey, human and civil rights director for the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, told ABCNews.com that whenever this type of crime involves a Muslim it can serve to elevate the fears of people who may already harbor misconceptions about Islam.
Mr. Ramey completely ignores the fact that it is Muslims themselves who are the ones with the misconceptions about Islam, since even in America, they keep on committing honour killings, despite the fact that there is supposedly no sanction in Islam for doing so. We've seen this in the cases of Aqsa Parvez, who was murdered for not wearing a hijab, Amina and Sarah Said, who were murdered for dating non-Muslims, Muzzamil Hassan, who set up a TV channel to challenge "misconceptions about Islam" but ended up beheading his wife after she filed for divorce, and others. Why do they all keep doing this? Don't they know that the Qur'an says that there is "no compulsion in religion"? Don't they know that Islam values women's rights?
Honour killing is broadly tolerated in Islamic societies, and I wrote about some of the reasons why here. All the while Muslim groups keep failing to confront these facts, and deal with them, the bodies of young girls will keep piling up.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
If you are not familiar with the case of the "Flying Imams", this article provides the background:
Most Americans remember the Nov. 20, 2006, spectacle of the half-dozen Muslim clerics who were kicked off a US Airways Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight after engaging in behavior that alarmed both passengers and crew before takeoff. Many on board feared the imams – who prayed loudly in Arabic, refused to sit in their assigned seats, fanned out in the cabin in pairs to occupy the front, middle and rear exit rows, ordered seat-belt extenders they didn't need, criticized the Iraq war and President Bush, talked about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden and other disconcerting behaviors – were testing security procedures in a dry run for a future hijacking.
The imams, who insisted they were acting innocently, were booted off the plane, detained for several hours and questioned by airport police, the FBI and Secret Service, and prevented from booking a later flight on US Airways.
As a result, in a high-profile lawsuit championed by CAIR [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and argued by a CAIR-affiliated attorney, the "flying imams" brought suit against not only US Airways and the airport authority, but even the fearful passengers, or "John Does," who had simply reported the suspicious activity.
Outraged at the obvious chilling effect the case had on citizens who had been encouraged post-9/11 to be vigilant about security, Congress passed a law to protect citizens from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement. The passengers were subsequently dropped from the case.
But after Judge Ann Montgomery of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota ruled the "John Doe" law didn't immunize law enforcement officers named in the "flying imam" lawsuit, the case went forward.
Today, both sides announced that an out-of-court settlement involving payment to the imams had been reached, though the amount was undisclosed per mutual agreement.
That such a lawsuit would have a deleterious effect on effective airport security is obvious, but the issues don't stop there. The linked article goes on to further investigate the chilling possibility that the entire event - beginning with the imams getting on the plane and deliberately acting suspiciously - was orchestrated by CAIR in order to drum up sympathy for Muslims and to intimidate non-Muslims into ignoring or downplaying suspicious behaviour by Muslims at airports. The express intent, in other words, was to help make it easier for jihadists to commit terrorist atrocities.
The article, inspired by a recently released book called Muslim Mafia by P.David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, provides some alarming details:
"Rewind to 1999," says "Muslim Mafia." "That year, two Muslim college students were removed from an America West flight to Washington from Phoenix after twice attempting to open the cockpit. The FBI later suspected it was a 'dry run' for the 9/11 hijackings, according the 9/11 Commission Report."...
Representing the two Muslim students was none other than CAIR, which held a news conference condemning "this ugly case of racial profiling" and urging Muslims to boycott America West...
The plot gets thicker.
[Omar] Shahin [one of the Flying Imams] also knew both of the students who were kicked off the America West flight, as documented in "Muslim Mafia," which reports that Shahin ministered to them at his former mosque in Tucson, Arizona, where they had attended college on visas from Saudi Arabia. When they were arrested, Shahin rushed to their defense – along with CAIR.
Incredibly, reveals "Muslim Mafia," "Shahin has admitted to being a former supporter of Osama bin Laden while running the Saudi-backed Islamic Center of Tucson, which functioned as one of al-Qaida’s main hubs in North America."
FBI investigators believe bin Laden operated a cell at that same mosque. Hani Hanjour, the Saudi hijacker who piloted the plane that hit the Pentagon, worshipped there along with bin Laden’s one-time personal secretary, according to the 9/11 report. Bin Laden’s former chief of logistics was president of the mosque before Shahin took over...
Shahin, the spokesman for the six flying imams, is a native of Jordan, and currently leads the North American Imams Federation, or NAIF, a sister organization to CAIR, both controlled by the international Muslim Brotherhood, which federal authorities recognize as the parent organization of both al-Qaida and Hamas. In fact, Shanin was returning from a private NAIF conference in Minneapolis when he was removed from the flight. During the conference he had met with newly elected Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, who had just spoken the previous night at a CAIR event.
So a radical Muslim with connections to CAIR engages in a stunt with remarkable similarities to one that was perpetrated several years earlier by two people he happened to know personally, and then his CAIR associates are the ones who take up his defence, just as they had done in that previous case.
Those who would dismiss all this as mere conspiracy-mongering would do well to examine the radical background and history of CAIR. For more information on that, see here.
Also of concern is the connection of Shahin with Keith Ellison, America's only Muslim Congressman. But Ellison is also connected with CAIR, as well. See here.
These are worrying times indeed.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
During his questioning by the spineless dhimmi journalists, Wilders invokes Winston Churchill's comparison of the Qur'an with Hitler's Mein Kampf. Here is a fuller quote, from Churchill's The Second World War, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm, p.50:
"These months in the Landsburg fortress were however sufficient to enable him [Hitler] to complete in outline Mein Kampf, a treatise on his political philosophy...Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message."
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Some good news at last from the dhimmi state, my home country of the UK:
Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders has won an appeal against a Home Office decision barring his entry to the UK.
Here the BBC is trying to scare you. Wilders is "far-right"...booga-booga! This is simply the left-wing Beeb's way of saying that Wilders' views are beyond the pale of respectability and civilised discourse, with an added implication that he is a white supremacist or something just as bad. In fact, he is not, but you wouldn't know that from reading this article.
The Freedom Party leader, who has been accused of Islamophobia, planned a UK visit next week, his solicitor said.
The Home Office said it was disappointed, and would decide in "due course" whether to fight the ruling.
A spokesman said: "We are disappointed by the court's decision. The government opposes extremism in all its forms.
"The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view."
In fact, all Wilders would have done is what he has done already: hold up a mirror to Islamic societies and demand that they be seen as they really are. Any violence that would have occured would have been committed by Muslims opposed to his presence there, and thus his point would have been proved.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Nobel laureate Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law. The White House adviser made a series of outrageous remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party. The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under Sharia Law across the world.
Before I go into some of the details of this story, it is worth providing a little background on exactly who Dalia Mogahed is. Last year, she coauthored a book entitled Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, with John Esposito, a known apologist for Islam. The book claimed that the vast majority of the world's billion (and counting) Muslims were "moderate", with only 7% being radicals. In order to concoct this information, however, Mogahed and Esposito classified Muslims who hate America, want to impose Sharia law on Western countries, support suicide bombing, and oppose equal rights for women - but do not "completely" justify 9/11 - as "moderates". Details here.
Anyway, back to the story at hand:
Miss Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".
Of course. It's not as if there is gender inequality in Islam or anything like that. Only an Islamophobe would think that. Islamophobes such as the noted Muslim scholar Baydawi, who wrote: “Men are the maintainers over women just as rulers are over their populous...due to the completeness of men’s brains over women’s deficiency, their management skills, and their extra requirement of worship; this is why men were chosen to be prophets, religious leaders, rulers, and enforcers of commandments, legal witnesses in a court of law, fighters in the cause of Allah, receivers of more share of the inheritance and in control of divorce.”
Outside of the cosy padded cell of LaLa Land, Islamic tradition and law do deny the equality of women in numerous ways: a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man (Qur'an 2:282); a son's inheritance is twice the size of a daughter's (4:11); Allah has made men the “protectors” of women because they are superior to them (4:34); and the majority of the people in Hell will be women (Bukhari v.1, b.2, no.28). This is what sharia law really mandates, and I believe Mogahed knows that.
During the 45-minute discussion, on the Islam Channel programme Muslimah Dilemma earlier this week, the two members of the group made repeated attacks on secular "man-made law" and the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism".
"Man-made law" is also known as shirk, or polytheism, which according to the Qur'an is a "most heinous sin indeed", and Allah will never forgive it. (4:48) And notice how Mogahed proclaims sharia to be superior to individual liberty itself, implying that whatever sharia represents, it doesn't represent true liberty or freedom.
They called for Sharia Law to be "the source of legislation" and said that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government".
As I said: bang goes liberty.
Sharia in its broadest sense is a religious code for living, which decrees such matters as fasting and dressing modestly. However, it has also been interpreted as requiring the separation of men and women.
It also includes the controversial "Hadd offences", crimes with specific penalties set by the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Mohammed. These include death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality and the removal of a hand for theft.
Miss Mogahed admitted that even many Muslims associated Sharia with "maximum criminal punishments" and "laws that... to many people seem unequal to women," but added: "Part of the reason that there is this perception of Sharia is because Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood."
This is absolute rubbish, of course. Sharia is what sharia is, and I can readily document and demonstrate that any given ruling is indeed genuine sharia, and not some "misunderstood" version of it. But even if it were true that sharia is only nasty when people "misunderstand" it, Mogahed glosses over the implications of the fact that the main ones doing the misunderstanding are Muslims themselves. Stoning for adultery has been implemented in Indonesia, while in Afghanistan apostates from Islam have been put on trial. If they are really misunderstanding sharia, Dalia Mogahed has done absolutely nothing constructive to stop them from doing so, and has in fact only encouraged them by peddling this kind of corrosive nonsense.
During this week's broadcast, she described her White House role as "to convey... to the President and other public officials what it is Muslims want."
Typical: demands that Americans accede to Muslim wishes, with no indication that Mogahed wishes to engage in any actual dialogue, whereby both parties express their concerns to each other in a free, open environment. Instead, Mogahed sees her role, in true Islamic supremacist fashion, as simply telling us ignorant kuffar all about Islam while we listen and nod politely.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Miss Mogahed was “downplaying” Sharia Law.
“There is a reason sharia has got a bad name and it is how it has been exercised. Regrettably in the US there have been acts of injustice perpetrated against women that are driven by the Sharia-type mindset that women are objects not human beings,” she said.
She cited the example of Muzzammil Hassan, a Buffalo man who ran a cable channel aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes and was charged earlier this year with beheading his wife after she filed for divorce.
“Americans understand by example, it’s not as if we are an ignorant mass of people. Just as we don’t broad brush all Muslims, so should Dalia not downplay the serious nature of sharia law.”
Bravo, Ms. Wright.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
This is more Palestinian propaganda and bears no resemblance to reality. The founders of the Zionist movement explicitly rejected the idea of an apartheid system. In 1934, David Ben-Gurion, who later went on to be Prime Minister of Israel, said of a proposed Jewish state: “We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland.”
Today, within Israel, Jews are a majority, but the Arab minority are full citizens who enjoy equal rights. Arabs are represented in the Knesset, and have served in the Cabinet, high-level foreign ministry posts (e.g. Ambassador to Finland) and on the Supreme Court. Israel allows freedom of movement, assembly and speech, as well as the building of mosques. Some of the government's harshest critics are Israeli Arabs who are members of the Knesset.
The situation of Palestinians in the territories is different. Because of security requirements and the violence of the Muslims in the territories, Israel has been forced to impose restrictions on Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that are not necessary inside Israel's pre-1967 borders. But the point is that the principal impediment to Palestinian independence is not Israeli policy; it is the unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to give up jihad and agree to live in peace beside the State of Israel.
There is no doubt that there have been abuses, and that Arabs have legitimately complained of discrimination on various occasions. But no country is perfect when it comes to racial and social problems of this kind, not even the democratic countries of the West. The central point, however, is that Israel prizes freedom and equality above all, and this is often demonstrated in the media. For example, several Israeli TV commercials have essentially spread the message that Arabs on the other side of the "apartheid" security wall in the West Bank are no different to Israelis, and are not all "bad guys". Despite their placement in commercials intended to sell products, it nevertheless remains clear that Israeli popular culture has a tendency to humanise Arab Muslims rather than demonise them.
The issue is also less problematic when viewed in comparison to the treatment of Jews and other religious minorities in most Muslim countries, where non-Muslims suffer severe and very real curtailments of their human rights. In Saudi Arabia, for example, non-Muslims are completely forbidden from entering Mecca, the very definition of apartheid:
If Hamas were allowed to form a Palestinian state in the region, this state would undoubtedly inflict similar discriminations on its Jewish and Christian inhabitants.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
The claim that Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank are illegal is based on faulty premises, as has been definitively demonstrated by Professor Julius Stone, one of the world's foremost experts on international law. Firstly, these lands were not considered the legal territories of any High Contracting Party when Israel won control of them; their occupation after 1948 by Jordan and Egypt was illegal and neither country ever had lawful or recognised sovereignty. The last legal sovereignty over the territories was that of the original Palestine Mandate, which actually encouraged Jewish settlement of the land. Second, since Israel captured these lands in lawful self-defense during the Six-Day War, which was a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian forces massing on the border, settlement on these lands is therefore not illegal under international law.
The irony is that there IS an illegal settlement program going on...in Israel. In recent years, over 100,000 illegally constructed housing units have been built in Jerusalem by Arabs. When moral idiots such as Obama (whose “non-interventionist” policy in the Middle East is mysteriously repealed in the case of Israel) begin to focus on issues like this, and not just on imaginary Israeli “apartheid” (dealt with in the next instalment), then there can be real progress in this conflict.
Monday, 5 October 2009
This viewpoint is not only wrong, but it's also dangerous. Israel is the only fully functioning pluralistic democracy in the entire Middle East, and as such represents a beacon of civilisation defending Western, Judeo-Christian values against an onslaught designed to eradicate those values. Israel's enemies wish to destroy it utterly - but they wouldn't stop there. The next stage would be to establish a Caliphate in the very heart of Europe and beyond, as Hamas MP and cleric Yunis al-Astal made clear in 2008. As such, Israel represents the last vanguard against a great victory for Islamic jihad, and a sad day for true lovers of freedom.
Anyway, the first myth is debunked below. Enjoy.
"Israel 'stole' land from the Palestinians/is occupying Palestine"
Here's what happened: After the Ottoman Empire collapsed, part of it became the United Nations Mandate for historical Palestine. The British promised to make the Mandate a homeland for the Jews. But in 1922, Winston Churchill gave 80% of Palestine to the Arabs. This 80% made up what is known today as the Muslim state of Jordan. That could have been the Palestinian "homeland", if the Muslims had accepted it.
But they didn't. In their eyes, 20% of the Mandate for the Jews was still too much. So in 1948, the UN divided that 20% into two more parts, one for the Muslims, the other for the Jews. At this stage, the Muslims had 90% of the original Palestinian Mandate in their grasp.
But that still wasn't enough. The Muslim opponents of the creation of a Jewish state rallied behind the call of Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood: “If the Jewish State becomes a fact [the Arabs] will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.”
What was it they objected to in the first place? To answer this question, one needs to understand Islamic law. All of historical Palestine was conquered by Islamic armies in the seventh century. According to the sharia, whenever a Muslim land is usurped by unbelievers, all Muslims must fight to reclaim it. Israel, as an infidel polity on such “Muslim land”, must be eradicated by jihad and reclaimed for Islam. Ibn Taymiyya (d.1328), the famous jurist of the Hanbali school, wrote: “If the enemy enters a Muslim land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory for the closest and then the next closest to repel him, because the Muslim lands are like one land.” The Hamas charter makes clear that this is the primary reason for waging jihad against Israel: “The Islamic Resistance Movement maintains that the land of Palestine is Waqf land given as endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection...This is the legal status of the land of Palestine according to Islamic law. In this respect, it is like any other land that the Muslims have conquered by force, because the Muslims consecrated it at the time of the conquest as religious endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection...There is nothing that speaks more eloquently and more profoundly of nationalism than the following: when the enemy tramples Muslim territory, waging jihad and confronting the enemy become a personal duty of every Muslim man and Muslim woman.” (Articles 11 and 12)
Israel in its current form constitutes less than 1% of the entire Middle East, but Muslims are unable to accept even this little Jewish presence on "their" land. On the day Israel was created in 1948, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq all declared war on it, claiming that Israel had “occupied” their land. And it had, of course, according to traditional Islamic law. But the Muslims have no more “right” to live in Palestine than do the Jews, since the Jews had been living there long before the Muslim armies invaded and captured the land in the first place.
In short, the Arab-Israeli conflict is caused by Islamic jihad, not by “illegal Israeli occupation” of “Arab” land.
I anticipate that some readers may recollect that Israel actually invaded the Gaza strip in 1967, and they may wonder how that doesn't constitute an illegal occupation. It is to this issue that I will be devoting the next instalment of this series, which will also deals with those terrifying Israeli settlements which keep Barack Obama awake at night.