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Friday, January 31, 2014

Swing Those Doors of Ijtihad OPEN

General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - Egypt 2
General Abdel-fattah El-Sisi

John R. Houk
© January 31, 2014

General El-Sisi the head of the Egyptian military and current of head state gave a speech recently that is sure to be controversial in the Muslim world. The speech took place at Armed Forces’ Department of Moral Affairs. Here is a translated paragraph from The Clarion Project that should pique your interest:

“Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people, pointing to the need for a new vision and a modern, comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam—rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.” (Egypt's El-Sisi Boldly Calls For Islamic Reformation; By RYAN MAURO; Clarion Project; 1/22/14)

The rest of Mauro’s article looks at the Muslim theological concept of Ijtihad. The theological concept is important because Ijtihad was the method of interpreting Islam’s holy writings and how to implement those interpretations. Apparently it is a process by which Muslim scholars provide a consensus legal interpretation. The problem that Ijtihad presents for Islam is that new Ijtihad interpretations was closed around the 10th century AD. The closed door means Islam stopped updating at about that time in history dooming the religion to a Mohammed-like medievalism, well forever. This is what General El-Sisi proposed to change.

I am not a Muslim scholar, rather I am a devout Christian that looks at Islam (really any religion or ideology) through the glasses of Biblical Christian Faith. I and many Counterjihad writers have come to the view that Islam based directly on the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah is a violent intolerant religion and since those writings are considered sacred – especially the Quran as the direct revelation of Allah – Islam will always inspire Muslims that subscribe to what the West calls radical Islam. It is my belief that Bill Warner of Political Islam provides the simplest explanation as to how Islam regards these considered holy writings:


The Islamic Bible—the Trilogy

Islam is defined by the words of Allah in the Koran, and the words and actions of Mohammed, called the Sunna.

The Sunna is found in two collections of texts—the Sira (Mohammed’s life) and the Hadith. The Koran says 91 times that his words and actions are considered to be the divine pattern for humanity.

A hadith, or tradition, is a brief story about what Mohammed did or said. A collection of hadiths is called a Hadith. There are many collections of hadiths, but the most authoritative are those by Bukhari and Abu Muslim, the ones used in this book.

So the Trilogy is the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith. Most people think that the Koran is the bible of Islam, but it is only about 14% of the total textual doctrine. The Trilogy is the foundation and totality of Islam.

clip_image001

No one text of the Trilogy can stand by itself; it is impossible to understand any one of the texts without the other supporting texts. The Koran, Sira, and Hadith are a seamless whole and speak with one voice. If it is in the Trilogy it is Islam. (A Taste of Islam: The Life of Mohammed, The Sira; By Bill Warner; Center for the Study of Political Islam; © 2010; Page 1)

I suspect General El-Sisi will be labeled a heretic or an apostate by the most Conservative Islamic sects that we Westerner label as radical Islam. It remains to be seen if General El-Sisi suggestions will move forward without some kind Islamic civil war especially among the majority Sunnis (Sunnis roughly make up 90% of Islam and the Shia sects represent about 10%).

Here is something that should place into context the difficulty of reopening this door to Ijtihad. The most influential elements of Islam in America come from what we call the Radical Islam. Primarily these influences are the Wahhabis represented by Saudi money and the Muslim Brotherhood which is now waging a terror campaign in Egypt due to their favored President Morsi being deposed by the Egyptian military after the Egyptian populace began to riot in protest over Morsi’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood initiative to Islamize Egyptian society and government to the strict adherence of the Quran, Hadith and Sira.

Muslim Apologists go out of their way to tell non-Muslim Americans that the core values of Islam is peace and that Radical Islam is an aberration from the “real” Islam. AND yet most of these apologists are often connected to Radical Islamic movements such as Saudi Wahhabis and the Salafist oriented Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Wahhabi control over 80% of the Mosques in America and the Muslim Brotherhood picks up where the Saudis leave off with a direct lineage to the most influential Muslim organization in America (See Also The Muslim Brotherhood in America). As far as I am concerned Islam in America is radicalized regardless of the deception spouted by Muslim Apologists.

For your perusal below is a cross post of Mauro’s report on Egypt’s General El-Sisi and Ijtihad.

JRH 1/31/14
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Egypt's El-Sisi Boldly Calls For Islamic Reformation
Islam, said El-Sisi needs a modern understanding and should not rely on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.

By Ryan Mauro
January 22, 2014

General El-Sisi, the commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces and current head of state, is essentially calling for a reformation in Islam. His bold declaration comes as the Egyptian people approved a constitution in a vote that the Muslim Brotherhood boycotted.

The speech, which went unnoticed in the Western media, took place at the Armed Forces’ Department of Moral Affairs. In the speech, El-Sisi said:

“Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people, pointing to the need for a new vision and a modern, comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam—rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.”

Notice what El-Sisi did not say. He did not say Zionism or Western oppression is the greatest threat to Egypt, nor did he point to a specific group like Al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood. He accurately framed the struggle as an ideological one within Islam.

When he refers to the “discourse that has not changed for 800 years,” he’s referring to when the most qualified Islamic scholars of that time ruled that all questions about interpretation had been settled. The “gates” of ijtihad, the independent interpretation of Islam, ended by the year 1258. He wants the “gates” reopened, allowing for the critical examination that an Islamic reformation needs.

Elsewhere in the speech, Sisi “called on all who follow the true Islam to improve the image of this religion in front of the world, after Islam has been for decades convicted of violence and destruction around the world, due to the crimes falsely committed in the name of Islam.”

This is another important declaration. He attributes Islamic extremism to this lack of discourse. He doesn’t blame it on a Jewish conspiracy to defame Islam or describe it as an overreaction to non-Muslim aggression.

He is also pre-empting the Islamists’ inevitable attack that he is an apostate by stating that Muslims are advancing Islam by having this discourse and turning away from violence. He takes away the argument from extremists that they are the model of a devout Muslim.

The next question is whether El-Sisi has the standing in Muslim opinion to be listened to. For now, the answer is yes. The Egyptian military that he leads has a 70% favorability rating, while the Muslim Brotherhood’s rating is at 34%. He is almost certain to run for president and, at this stage, is likely to win.

When the military toppled President Morsi and El-Sisi announced the suspension of the Islamist-written constitution, he was joined by the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University, an institution that is basically the equivalent of the Vatican for Sunni Islam. To date, Al-Azhar has not broken with El-Sisi or condemned his remarks.

Other influential Egyptians may endorse El-Sisi’s view. In January 2011, former Egyptian Islamist Tawfik Hamid reported that 25 Islamic scholars, including teachers from Al-Azhar, said that Ijtihad needed to be resumed. The 10 points they listed for renewed examination included the separation of mosque and state, women’s rights, relations with non-Muslims and jihad.

Calls for reform and ijtihad can be heard beneath the visible surface of the Muslim world. In my own experience, I’ve heard many average Muslims endorse reformation but their views are not reflected in the national leadership.

Some of these reformist Muslims want to reopen the “gates” of ijtihad, while others say they never considered them closed to begin with. For example, Tunisian professor Dr. Muhamd El-Haddad, argues, “Daily life has evolved radically since the last millennium, but there has been no accompanying development in mainstream Muslim legal theory.”

Professor Ziauddin Sadar of London wrote in 2002 that that Islamic doctrine is “frozen in time” and there are three doctrinal pillars that need reform: “The elevation of the Shari’ah to the level of the Divine, with the consequent removal of agency from the believers, and the equation of Islam with the State.”

Those that argue that the “gates” were never closed include Malcolm Jardine, who wrote a thoroughly-researched essay on the topic. In 2006, the U.S.-based Nawawi Foundation published a study by Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah with the premise that Islam “never had a doorkeeper to close it in the first place.”

General El-Sisi and the overall backlash against the Islamists may spark what the world needs most: An Islamic reformation. It is not enough to topple Islamists. Their ideological underpinning must be debated and defeated. The determinations of scholars from 800 years can no longer be treated as eternal truth, but for what they really are—opinions influenced by the times in which they were made.
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Swing Those Doors of Ijtihad OPEN
John R. Houk
© January 31, 2014
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Egypt's El-Sisi Boldly Calls For Islamic Reformation

Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

Copyright © 2013 Clarion Project, Inc. All rights reserved.


There are times that require people to step out of their comfort zone, to step up for justice, tolerance and moderation. We know going in that the repercussions of taking action will draw a rain of accusations and attacks from the forces we are confronting.

We do it anyway. We do it because it must be done.

Founded in 2006, the Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund Inc) is an independently funded, non-profit organization dedicated to exposing the dangers of Islamic extremism while providing a platform for the voices of moderation and promoting grassroots activism.

Clarion’s award-winning movies have been seen by over 50 million people. They grapple with issues such as religious persecution, human rights, women’s rights, the dangers of a nuclear Iran and what the concept of jihad means for the West. Our dynamic website, viewed by over 900,000 unique visitors in 2013, covers breaking news and provides commentary on relevant issues.

The Clarion Project draws together Middle East experts, scholars, human rights activists and Muslims to promote tolerance and moderation and challenge extremism.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

BDS, Fox Network, Super Bowl and SodaStream



BDS, Fox Network, Super Bowl and SoundStream
John R. Houk
© January 30, 2014

I’ve been looking at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement recently spurred on by Ari Bussel (Reality Check and Background on PM's European BDS Cabinet Meeting). While I was thinking about how the BDS Movement is disgusting Jew-Hatred by design to award Muslim Arabs that call themselves Palestinians sovereign land of which they have no long standing historical heritage. I noticed a very short news piece on Fox News about a commercial for the Super Bowl marketing a natural soda-like drink from a company called SodaStream. The commercial was initially banned by the Fox Network and then recently Fox decided to show it but in a censored fashion.
 Scarlett Johansson sipping SodaStream Beverage 2
 The Fox News story was very short but it showed the uncensored version of the commercial. SodaStream found a high-value and well known actress in Scarlett Johansson to be the spokesperson in the ad. Fox News claimed the commercial was banned because of Ms. Johansson said at the very end of the ad:

Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”

The ad-spot is only about 30 seconds and when shown on TV I saw nothing provocative that should have been censored. Sure Ms. Johansson was gorgeous in a black dress but it was not flamboyant or revealing. The most controversial portion perhaps was when after she made the natural soda she seductively began to drink the beverage through a straw. I thought I had seen ads at the Super Bowl that were more titillating then this SodaStream commercial. Remember the Go Daddy ads and the scantily clad mud-wrestling babes having it out over beer that is less filling or tastes great?

So I had to wonder if the Fox Network really banned the SodaStream video over the antisemitic movement known as BDS. I don’t know about you but the excuse of offending Coke and Pepsi to ban a marketing ad during the Super Bowl seemed pretty lame. I believe the Fox Network initially banned the entire commercial to avoid the multiculturalist Left Wing pressure of the Muslim Arab developed BDS Movement. Of course I can’t prove it, but I also don’t think it is a stretch to wonder. If you haven’t asked yourself for the reason that the BDS Movement is going nuts about a marketing commercial from SodaStream the reason is simple.

The manufacturing portion for SodaStream is not only in Israel, but it is also close to the part of Jerusalem that is on the Judea-Samaria side of Jerusalem after the city’s conquest by Jordan’s (at that time Transjordan) Arab Legion under the command of British Army Officers in 1949 (particularly Sir John Bagot Glubb). The Arabs claim the belief that Israel reacquired Judea-Samaria (termed West Bank by Jordan) illegally and is occupied land. And the Jewish company SodaStream is in that part of Jerusalem retaken after the 1967 war. In the eyes of Leftists and Palestinian apologists this makes SodaStream an anti-Palestine company.

Scarlett Johansson has been attacked by the BDS Movement via the old pocket book by urging Oxfam to discontinue their eight relationship using her as an ambassador. Oxfam is an anti-poverty NGO that despises Israel for the misguided accusation of being an occupier of Arab land. Ms. Johansson has resigned her tenure with Oxfam. Read this deluded official statement from Oxfam:

"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. Ms. Johansson has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and in 2007 became a Global Ambassador, helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty." (Quoted from: Scarlett Johansson Sides With SodaStream, Oxfam Responds With Candid Attack On 'Illegal Trade'; By REBECCA MERRIMAN; Entertainment Wise; 1/30/14)
To Scarlett Johansson’s credit she disagrees with the pathetic BDS Movement and the likes of Oxfam by releasing her own statement:

"Scarlett Johansson has 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. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam." (Ibid.)

Ms. Johansson further said about the BDS Movement in general:

"[I'm a] supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine." (Ibid.)

In a statement quote from HuffPo Ms. Johansson is quoted as saying:

"SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits, and equal rights”.
"I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them." (Quoted from: Scarlett Johansson's SodaStream Super Bowl Ad Banned by Fox: Watch It Now! By ALLISON TAKEDA; Us Weekly; 1/28/14 1:30 PM)

This was gratifying to read Ms. Johansson’s disagreement with the criticism of the Jewish Israel Company of SodaStream.

I have a particular interest in the Super Bowl. I have been a Seahawk fan since the franchise’s founding in 1976. I am a Christian Zionist which means I believe Israel has a right to whatever Biblically ordained heritage land they can get a hold of. Also it is more of a truth that refugees caused from Arab invasions of 1948 and 1967 are the fault of the Arab nations that have had a burning desire to destroy Israel’s existence. These refugees should have been the problem of the losers of those two wars not the winner Israel. In that way of thinking the nation now known as Jordan was carved away from the British Mandate for Palestine as the Arab Hashemite Kingdom. Those refugees that were forced to remain in camps should have been matriculated into Egypt and especially Jordan. Those invading nations had no intention of creating an independent Palestinian State. Their goal was to divvy up the Jewish Homeland as the spoils of war.  If there is any kind of BDS movement it should be against the perpetrators of permanent war for the selfish refusal for the Jewish people to return to their ancestral home to be free of global Antisemitism. I’m not holding my breath though. Global Antisemitism is simply reemerging and that benefits the Jew-Hating Muslims of the Middle East.

JRH 1/30/14


Background on PM's European BDS Cabinet Meeting

Anti-BDS Banner

Ari Bussel sent this press release from NGO Monitor that further explains the nefariousness of the BDS Movement in relation to Israel.


JRH 1/30/14
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Background on PM's European BDS Cabinet Meeting

Sent: 1/29/2014 5:14 PM
Sent by Ari Bussel
For Immediate Release
Contact: Emily Ziedman
NGO Monitor January 29, 2014

Prime Minister calls Cabinet Meeting on European BDS Concerns:
Background Information and Strategic Options

In advance of the Israeli Cabinet meeting about European BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions), being convened today in Jerusalem, NGO Monitor released the following statement:

The boycott campaign, targeting Israeli firms and companies that do business with Israel has been active for more than ten years, and is led by a network of political advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded largely by European governments. In order to successfully blunt and defeat this threat, it is necessary to understand the sources of BDS campaigns, their scope, alliances, primary tactics, and vulnerabilities.

BDS is a form of political warfare against the State of Israel based on the exploitation of human rights and humanitarian principles, double standards, invidious comparisons with South African apartheid, and false allegations of "war crimes" and violations of international law. (The discredited 2009 Goldstone report on Gaza is one of many examples of this process.)

Although often expressed in terms of opposition to the post-1967 Israeli occupation and settlements, the leaders of BDS campaigns repeatedly express their rejection of any Jewish right to self-determination, regardless of borders. The radical BDS movement supports Palestinian refugee demands, promotes the 1948 narrative of Palestinian victimization, and a "single state solution," meaning the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. In addition, the network of church-based NGOs that fund and promote BDS often include antisemitic themes and images. Therefore, the claim that BDS will end if a two-state peace agreement is reached is inconsistent with the evidence.

The most effective and immediate strategy to blunt BDS and other forms of political warfare is to end the massive funding given to radical NGOs that promote these anti-Israel campaigns in the Netherlands and elsewhere. NGO Monitor research has exposed tens of millions of Euros provided annually to NGOs via the EU and European governments. For more than ten years, this highly politicized NGO funding has been allocated for discriminatory anti-Israel warfare through secret processes under frameworks for humanitarian aid, democracy and human rights, and other universal moral principles.

There are at least 80 such NGOs, active in promoting BDS in Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) - the leading Israeli NGO promoting BDS - was funded directly by the European Union, but requests for documents on this funding based on the EU's freedom of information guidelines have been denied. Ali Abunimah and the NGO known as Electronic Intifada - among the most visible participants in BDS campaigns - have been funded indirectly by the Dutch government through the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), which has an annual budget of over €80 million. ICCO was also involved in lobbying the Dutch pension funds to divest from Israeli banks. As seen in the past few days, CWP, Electronic Intifada, and many Palestinian NGOs that receive European government funding are pressing Oxfam International, which receives funding from the UK, EU, Dutch, and other governments, to join the politicized campaign against SodaStream [Editor: Link added by me].

The first step in confronting European governments that provide most of the funds for these organizations is to demand the implementation of democratic transparency principles in Europe. On this basis, Israeli and European officials can negotiate guidelines for funding political advocacy NGOs, which would prevent grants to groups that promote double standards, the discriminatory singling out of Israel, lawfare based on "war crimes" and similar false allegations, and the denial of the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality.

While these measures will not bring an immediate end to BDS and political warfare, they constitute the essential first steps towards a viable counter-strategy.
________________________________

NGO Monitor, an independent research institution, was founded in 2002 in the wake of the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. At this conference, 1,500 NGOs formulated the "Durban Strategy" which aims to isolate Israel through measures such as boycott, divestment and sanctions
(BDS) campaigns, lawfare, delegitimization and demonization.

NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org), is the leading source of expertise on the activities and funding of political advocacy NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor provides detailed and fully sourced information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.
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IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PEACE PROCESS OF 2013-14

I found an article that is placed as a kind of a filler to the online journal Think-Israel. I typically like to link back to any cross posts that I enjoy and wish to share; this essay entitled “SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PEACE PROCESS OF 2013-14” does not seem to have a direct link as it is smack in the middle of Think-Israel summary essays of which you can find a direct link. So here the link that has the essay summaries in which if you scroll down you will discover from whence this very pertinent essay will be found:


I am uncertain how long this link will work or if the essay I am interested will be moved as Think-Israel publishes more essays. Nonetheless and without further ado here is the essay about the idiocy Europe and the USA is forcing upon Israel by forcing them to give up their ancestral to provide an Arab nation for a group of Muslims who CANNOT account for an actual ancestry to the area.

JRH 1/29/14
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SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PEACE PROCESS OF 2013-14

From Think-Israel November-December 2013 issue

With the turbulence in the Middle East and all the slaughter among Muslim groups, and Iran close to having the nuclear muscle to bully the entire region, isn't it odd that the European Union and the Obama Administration focus on the peace process between Israel and the Arab states, the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestinian Authority, Abbas, elected head of the PLO, Abbas, the out-of-office president of the PLO? Does it seem the Administration is thinking about currently important issues?

It reminds me of a cartoon -- by Vargas, I think -- eons ago: two women are seated in a subway car. The car is empty except for a naked woman seated opposite them. One of the women whispers to the other, "Look at her chapped hands." Is the peace process anything but a side show in the tumult of the region?

Isn't it curious that when uncivil war broke out across the Middle East, mighty America was so fearful of Arab violence, it shut down 22 of its embassies.  (sic) Yet it forced Israel to release Arabs who brutally massacred Jews, knowing they will again prey on Jews. Do the clowns who were elected to run our country really have their minds on the essentials? Does the Obama Administration have Israel's back? It acts as if it had a knife aimed at Israel's back. Or a nuclear bomb.

Another image comes to mind. It a photo taken in the late 1930s. England and France thought they had avoided war with Germany by appeasing Hitler's demands. England and France forced the Czechs to cede Sudetenland, the area of Czechoslovakia where the majority of the inhabitants were German speakers, to Germany. In doing so, they disregarded that Hitler had in earlier negotiations demanded autonomy for Germans in Poland and Hungary as well as in Sudetenland. The Munich Agreement was signed on September 30, 1938, with Hitler agreeing to make no further demands. However, by March, 1939, Germany had incorporated Sudetenland and Hitler's soldier moved into what was left of Czechoslovakia. England and France had to fight Germany anyway, a stronger and more confident Germany.

Chamberlain & Munich Agreement 1938 
Photo: Chamberlain holds up Munich Agreement, signed by both Hitler and himself, in 1938. (Wikimedia Commons)

And

Neville 'Kerry' Chamberlain toon 
Photo: Political Cartoon – Neville “Kerry” Chamberlain

Another association comes to mind. While Rome burned, the Emperor Nero sang as he played the lyre. Nowhere have I read that Nero thought that were he to produce the right music, he could solve the problems of the Roman Empire. In contrast, Prez Obama is fixated on the notion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the linchpin of Middle East instability. And he thinks his tinkering will solve everything.

Avi Bell's essay on "The Facts Of Life In The Middle East" (http://www.israpundit.com/archives/56671) has the ring of truth to it. He writes:

If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.

If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.

If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.

If Israel makes no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace.

If the Palestinians make no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see that making offers of peace with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes an offer of peace and the Palestinians reject it, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because Israel is not willing to make the kind of offer the Palestinians would accept.

There are variations on this, e.g.,:

If Arabs make war, but offer to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because the Arabs offered peace. (Thomas Friedman/Arab "peace" initiative)

If Israel makes war, but offers to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in pece (sic), because Israel made war. (Defensive Pillar, Lebanon II, etc.)

If Arabs attack, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel provoked the Arabs to attack.

If Israel attacks, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel attacked.

If Palestinians carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians feel they have no choice but to carry out acts of terrorism.

If Palestinians try to carry out acts of terrorism, but Israel foils them, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because Israel is carrying out anti-terror actions against the Palestinians even while there is no terrorism.

If Palestinians don't try to carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians are good and innocent and Israel uses terrorism as an excuse to mistreat Palestinians.

The peace process is to be carried out by two groups, one of which has sworn to kill off the other. The Arabs have never swerved from their desire to rid the Middle East of Israel. So what's to negotiate? Whether the Arabs will be allowed to kill 50,000 Jews or only 5,000 Jews? Will the sides haggle on whether the land the Arabs take over will be turned into training camps for terrorists and factories for making explosive belts or just manufactories?

Does anyone see it as peculiar that Sec-State Kerry, the American "honest broker", praised the recalcitrant Arabs and was well -- how shall I put this? -- extremely undiplomatic with the Israelis? Even though the Israelis had been so cooperative they released Arab terrorists just to persuade Abbas to come to the table. I wonder what getting them to sit in the chairs will cost Israel?

This brings up another point: are the Arabs so sure of their standing with the American Administration that they don't need even to pretend to wish for peace? Instead, Abbas demanded the return of his heroes, killers of Jews, and Kerry, the toothy fairy, made his wish come true. To me. the ugliest consequence of each plunge by Israel into peace-seeking is that she slowly has become accustomed to sacrificing her children, her pride and her sense of integrity, as Daniel Greenfield says in an essay below, on the "alter of peace." Why can't Israel just say no to Obama? Other countries on the planet, large and small, powerful or with no real resources, have no trouble doing so. Being cooperative on the Peace Process isn't going to make Obama stop Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons. If the Israelis have been caving on concessions to the Palestinian Arabs in the hope that Obama will finally handle Iran effectively, they should by now recognize that it ain't going to happen. Obama will just keep stringing them along.

All in all, the focus on the Peace Process of 2013-14 makes little sense. I suspect it will make even less sense to future historians. Unless Israel makes the mistake of leaving Samaria and Judea to her enemies. Then it will be known as the beginning of the demise of Israel.
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THINK-ISRAEL features essays and commentaries that provide context for current events in Israel. The war Islam is waging against Israel and the West is top priority. We report on global anti-Semitism, Islamism and creeping Sharia. We aim to make sense of what's going on. 

Think-Israel Archive Page that includes a Google custom search.

Reality Check

Omar Barghouti - evil BDS dude 2
Intro to ‘Reality Check’
By Editor John R. Houk
© January 29, 2014

The essay “Reality Check” exposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) as an anti-Semitic movement. The irony of BDS is the amazing amount of Jews and Christians that support it. BDS essentially claims the land more properly called Judea-Samaria (aka West Bank) is to be ignored as part of Jewish heritage and is to be reconstituted as an independent Arab nation called Palestine. Hence Israeli control of the area originally stolen by Jordan in 1948 and recaptured in 1967 is a land of military occupation. The BDS Movement goal is to get nations, corporations, companies, universities, NGOs and individuals to withdraw any investment whether financial or in donation to Israel until Israel complies with the perception that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) end the so-called occupation of Judea-Samaria. Arab Muslims – especially the ones that call themselves Palestinians – not only desires the IDF to leave Judea-Samaria but also for the Jewish State of Israel to end. If you have ever paid attention to Palestinian education and media that means exterminating Jews and turning Israel into a Palestinian State with all Jews exterminated or deported.

The essay focuses on one of the founders of the BDS Movement. This is Omar Barghouti, a Muslim born in Qatar (Wahhabi/Muslim Brotherhood affinity) and an apparent citizen of Egypt who actually earned degrees from Tel Aviv University while simultaneously preaching and teaching hate of Jewish Israelis.

The essay author focuses on responses to Barghouti’s recent speech at UCLA promoting BDS and questioning the right of Jews to exist in Israel. One response is from Roberta Seid, PHD and Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller. Seid is a pro-Zionist supporter of Israel and Seidler-Feller is a volatile BDS promoting Leftist Jew (meaning a self-loather). The responses penned by these are “Omar Barghouti at UCLA: A speaker who brings hate” and “Omar Barghouti at UCLA: No to BDS, no to occupation”. As you will read Seidler-Feller’s title is a bit deceptive.

JRH 1/29/14
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Reality Check

By Ari Bussel
Sent: Jan 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

“I have often wondered what Jews or decent people could have done to push back against the anti-Semitic propaganda of 1930s Germany,” says my friend, Dr. Roberta Seid, the historian and scientific advisor of Stand With Us.

Seid was describing an event at my alma-mater, UCLA, where the speaker, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, was “on the road again with his anti-Israel show and its pack of bigotry and lies.”

I wholeheartedly recommend Seid’s opinion piece, “A Speaker who Brings Hate.”  It is a must reading for anyone who has never attended an anti-Israel event, Barghouti being one of the more poignantly memorable of the pack, albeit not an exception by any measure.

Standing stubbornly against Seid’s piece is UCLA Hillel’s Rabbi, our very own Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller.  I must admit I was misled for a second, as I read the opening sentence:  “BDS is poison and Omar Barghouti is its purveyor.” I should have known, even before reading his piece, that this is the same Rabbi Chaim I have known for years, for a leopard does not change his spots.

Oh, Rabbi Chaim is good, very good indeed.  Mid-way through, he repeats the Chorus line:  “BDS is poison and Omar Barghouti is a classic anti-Semite.”  And then he highlights his own achievements, for there is money to be made, long-time supporters he cannot do without:  “What was genuinely disturbing and compelled my verbal protest and walkout,” said Rabbi Chaim, “was Barghouti’s denial of Jewish peoplehood.”  I have news, Rabbi Chaim, our enemies almost without exception deny our very right to exist.

Seidler-Feller then reached the crescendo, showing his magnificent colors, like the feathers of an expanded peacock’s tail:  “We who love Israel and care about her survival have spoken out neither forcefully enough nor lovingly against the occupation” (sic – should have been with a capital “O”) … “we, the Jews, cannot rule over another people.”  And he ends:  “Indeed, BDS is poison, but so is the occupation.  Wisdom, morality, and loyalty to Israel and Judaism demand that we say no to both.”

Rabbi Chaim so easily neglects the wisdom of our Bible, teaching that words have meaning and can transform things into being, as God Himself did when He named all creatures during Genesis.  Using the word “Occupation” is both misleading and hazardous, yet Rabbi Chaim uses it so freely, carelessly, and advocates we stand up in protest to fight for its eradication.

Our real obligation is altogether different, because the Jewish people who live in Israel look at Israel and see a society composed of many diverse elements, but definitely not a homogeneous society.  Among these is a substantial number of Muslim Arabs.  Israelis have lived by the credo that they are equal citizens, with all rights except the obligation of military service.

What we must ensure, as Jews and people who were created in the image of God, is to behave unto others, the foreigner in our midst, the widow and the orphan, the same way we want to be treated ourselves.

Redefine “Occupation” as “living in Israel as part of Israeli society,” and suddenly the BDS-Seidler-Feller worldview collapses.  No more fantasies of a “Palestine” with “Al-Quds its eternal capital.”  No more “Right of Return” of non-Jews to the area between the River and the Sea.  No more wishful thinking of exterminating the Jews and eliminating their presence in their homeland.

It is Seidler-Feller’s frame of reference and vocabulary that are flawed.  So used to self-blame is he, using the word “Occupation,” that he cannot even see how that very approach is racist.  He wants a country with all the Arabs gone, for they, too, like him, hate the Occupation.  In this respect, Seidler-Feller is no different than those who call themselves “Palestinians.”  They want to throw the Jews to the Sea (an independent country where Israel is today, with no Jews), and he wants a country with no non-Jews.  A perfect partnership indeed.

I, an Israeli, a Jew and an American, take offense to your statement of paramount purpose (“Say No to Israel’s Occupation”).  But more so, I lament your position, for it is no different from that of the Jews some eighty years ago. 

Dr. Seid, analyze Rabbi Chaim, and you may begin to understand how the Jews of Europe accepted what was evolving before their very eyes, for “Never Again” apparently has not taken hold within our own community deep enough to withstand the test of time. Or perhaps the promise has been sadly forgotten, buried under a sea of Jewish self-hate.

To Rabbi Chaim, Omar Barghouti is a poison because he disturbs the good Rabbi’s make-belief world.  But Barghouti represents the world as it truly is and the true intentions of those who call themselves “Palestinians.” 

I direct Seidler-Feller to a non-profit organization called PMW (Palestinian Media Watch).  If he were to follow PMW’s output long enough, after the initial shock and waves of nausea have subsided, Rabbi Chaim may see that “Barghouti’s Poison” is nothing but the mainstream approach of those who call themselves “Palestinians.” There are many of them, those of ’67 and those of ’48, and many others who are along for the ride. I used to get confused but no more:  They are all “under Occupation.”

Lest “the ‘Palestinians’ in their own words” be dismissed as “right wing propaganda,” the following is taken from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (January, 2014) highlighting the Palestinian’s “Culture of Hatred:”

Incitement and hatred toward Israel, and often Jews as well, is spread by Palestinian Authority controlled television and radio stations, public schools, summer camps, official ceremonies, official speeches and Internet outlets. It is often aimed at children and young people.

Several types of incitement contribute to this problem and severely undermine prospects for peace. These include:

1. The glorification of terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians. The resulting hero-worship of terrorists justifies past and current attacks, while encouraging future attacks.

2. The denial of Israel's existence and the delegitimization of a Jewish state in any borders, in part by denying the existence of a Jewish people and its historic, religious and cultural ties to the land of Israel.

3. The demonization of Jews and Israelis, including by the use of anti-Semitic motifs.

4. The inflammatory language of struggle against Israel and "resistance" (often employed as the Palestinian codeword for terrorism) is being widely used by the PA, despite the renewal of negotiations with Israel. The idea that Palestinians must continue the struggle until Israel is replaced by a Palestinian state is a consistent theme. [Editor: Bold print is mine]

For Rabbi Chaim, “The Occupation” likely refers to the West Bank (and possibly, but less likely, to Gaza).  But for the Arabs in Israel, the four million in Judea and Samaria and Gaza and another two million or so who are full-fledged Israeli citizens, the whole area is Occupied, nothing there belongs to the Jews.

The cat is finally out of the bag, and Rabbi Chaim does not like what he hears.  He conveniently casts aside any internal bickering in “Palestine” (who is the real leader – Hamas or PA, Iran or maybe some other factions, terrorists or tribes) and wants to believe that they (our enemies) want peace.  His soft and most sensitive soul cannot bear the severe burn by Barghouti’s revelations.  Undoubtedly, the truth hurts.

Our enemies systematically deny our right to exist.  They erase and contest any connection we may have to the Land of Israel:  The Bible describes events that were never in this geographic area.  The Temple Mount, an invention.  The land, stolen from its true inhabitants.  Those sneaky Jews created, imagined and fabricated what they call “The Holocaust” as a ruse to steal a land that never belonged to them.

Why did you walk out of Barghouti’s presentation?  I actually sat through the whole ordeal several years ago when it was at Loyola Marymount Law School (a campus headed by a Jew).  You must not miss a word and commit it all to memory (as they prohibit any recording devices), or jot it down on paper.  Regrettably, nothing has changed, if anything, the substance has only intensified and became more brazened.

Listen carefully.  Study.  The words are like those branding irons with numbers that will be etched onto your skin for all your days on this earth.  But you chose to leave.  How convenient.  And then you blame us, you put the responsibility on us, and you cast Barghouti as a fanatic, a liar and an anti-Semite. 

Barghouti’s efforts must be applauded.  He is a genius at what he does, and the BDS movement is one of the most successful in modern times, in a most sinister manner of course.  He studies for his doctorate at the “Apartheid [Tel Aviv] university in Occupied Palestine” and then spews his venom from within Israel proper.

He could be stopped, even in a democratic country like Israel.  After all, neo-Nazis are not allowed to spew their venom in Germany today.

But he is not much different in so many ways, from many Israelis in the Israeli Academia.  Some of them are called “Post Zionists,” but whatever the label, they are some of Israel’s worse detractors.

If Rabbi Chaim were true to his people and our history, he would have done everything in his power to stop Barghouti’s appearance at UCLA.  He does have power, this Rabbi Chaim, and alongside him stand the Jewish supporters who pour millions into his activities.  He could have mobilized the Jewish students and every person who stands for truth and justice to protest the University and its Regents from allowing such hate speech, against permitting Bargouti from entering the pathways of civilization and hallmarks of education.

But he chose otherwise.  Rabbi Chaim stood and strengthened Barghouti, for they both sang the same song:  The “Occupation” corrupts.  End the “Occupation.” 

What is the difference between them and the extent to which they interpret their positions?  Barghouti goes all out, whereas Rabbi Chaim limits his interpretation to the West Bank (and possibly Gaza).

Barghouti calls for BDS, whereas Rabbi Chaim likely would boycott Jewish presence and activities (theater, wineries, etc.) beyond the Green Line.  If not him personally, then many others who claim it is legitimate to boycott wines from Judea and Samaria, but add under the same breath, that BDS is “wrong, horrible, deplorable and must be fought.”

I know several supporters of the New Israel Fund (more correctly the Fund for the New Israel), Americans for Peace Now and J Street who think along these very lines.

I applaud Barghouti’s success, for it is the flip side of our miserable failure.  He fights, and we stand and strengthen his efforts.  Now he can say:  Here, even a leading figure in the Los Angeles Jewry like Rabbi Seidler-Feller supports our just call to end the Occupation!  Jews return to Europe and America, for you have no place in – and no connection to – our land!

Confused?  Do not be.  Next time Barghouti is in town, go listen to his very polished presentation.  Sit and weep, for you will understand how the good, gentle, sophisticated, learned Jews of Europe in the 1930s did nothing.  You will witness how the intelligent and respected leadership of American Jewry in this second decade of the 21st Century is following in these same footsteps.

As my European ancestors walked later to the crematoriums, their lives likely flashed in front of their eyes.  Did they realize what we do not, that they were instrumental in what befell them, for they did not stand with conviction and possess the inner strength to shout:  WE WILL NOT PERMIT OUR ENEMIES TO PREVAIL! [Editor: Bold print mine]
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Editor: As you will notice in the about paragraphs sent with the email, Ari Bussel may not have written this awesome essay. Norma Zager is brought front and center in the first paragraph which to me seems to indicate she wrote the essay rather than Ari. Maybe if I was more cognizant of which of the two attended UCLA in their past I could pin point the author better.

Norma Zager is an award-winning investigative journalist and author.  Her passion for Israel has driven her to dedicate the past decade writing and having a radio show about Israel.

This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.

Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related.  Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.

© Israel Monitor, January 2014
First Published January 25, 2014