"New York Times Speak" first cousin to "Newspeak", the language created by George Orwell for the nightmarish world of his novel 1984….. NYT Poisoning the Cup of Consolation
By Mordechai Schiller
After being shocked, a journalist is reminded why he religiously avoids reading the "newspaper of record"
I can't search the hills in Hebron for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrach.
All I can do is pray.
That, and obsessively follow news stories.
Which led me to an article in The New York Times: "Missing Israeli Teenagers Revive a Mother's Hard-Earned Intimacy With Loss," by Jodi Rudoren.
The first few paragraphs were so poignant, I let down my guard.
It started out at an egagmement party for Rabbi Seth and Mrs. Sherri Mandell's daughter. In middle of the celebration the groom-to-be put down his toast and said, "I'm sorry, but we have to stop the party. Something terrible has happened."
Mrs. Mandell immediately started searching for information. She Googled "Israeli teenagers kidnapped," but the search results turned up stories about the capture and savage murder of her 13-year-old son, Koby, 14 years ago, near their home in Tekoa.
"She spent much of the next day — what would have been Koby's 27th birthday — in bed, crying. 'It was just too unbearable," Mrs. Mandell said. … For weeks … Mandell did not leave the house. "It was like razor blades cutting my body up," she recalled.
Besides my obsession with Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, I took this story personally. I know Rabbi Seth Mandell since 1978. My brother, Rabbi Nota Schiller, dean of Ohr Somayach College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, gave the eulogy at little Koby's funeral. He told me it was the hardest thing he ever had to do.
Soon, as I read on, I started choking on my tears. I should have known better.
The dateline should have been the first tipoff: "TEKOA, West Bank." There is no such place as "West Bank." It's Judea and Samaria.
Then, as Yisrael Medad wrote in a blog post "The language thieves," on Arutz Sheva news network, Ruderon goes on to write:
"If only these three boys had not hitchhiked in occupied Palestinian territory — if only Koby and his friend, Yosef Ishran, had not ditched school to go hiking in the canyon behind their West Bank homes."
Medad pointed out,
"Actually, the Gush Etzion Bloc was pre-1948 Israel so it cannot be 'occupied Palestinian territory,' well, maybe it could be 'occupied illegally occupied Jordanian territory.' … Always blame the Jews."
Then, in an "et tu, Brute" backstabbing (at least Brutus stabbed Julius Caesar face-to-face), Ruderson writes:
"For all her bereavement work … Mandell has never involved herself in a Palestinian-Israeli group of people who lost loved ones in the conflict — 'that's more political,' she said. But she, too, is political, exploiting the emotion of her trauma to make the case against Israel's prisoner releases as part of peace negotiations."
Frankly, I was shocked that even The New York Times could stoop to poisoning the cup of consolation.
Again, I shoudn't have been surprised. Before Mrs. Jodi Rudoren became N.Y. Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief, she tweeted about a Times review of a new book:
@NYTCohen on new book by @PeterBeinart.
Book is terrific: provocative, readable, full of reporting and reflection.
That book review begins:
"Peter Beinart's The Crisis of Zionism is an important new book that rejects the manipulation of Jewish victimhood in the name of Israel's domination of the Palestinians and asserts that the real issue for Jews today is not the challenge of weakness but the demands of power."
The New York Times is highly professional at what it does. The question is, though, what does The Times do?
A phrase that comes to mind is "social engineering."
In The Art of Deception, Kevin Mitnick, the legendary hacker turned computer security expert (who would know better?), says: "Social Engineering uses influence and persuasion to deceive people by convincing them that the social engineer is someone he is not, or by manipulation. As a result, the social engineer is able to take advantage of people to obtain information with or without the use of technology."
As far as I know, The Times isn't in the business of information mining. But they use similar techniques of deception to spread disinformation. That is a cousin to newspeak, the language created by George Orwell for the nightmarish world of his novel 1984.
Newspeak is "…any corrupt form of English; esp. ambiguous or euphemistic language as used in official pronouncements or political propaganda" (Oxford English Dictionary).
As Orwell put it, "Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought." And The New York Times publishes all the newspeak that's fit to print.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
FEAR IRAN, NOT ISIS …The United States needs to be less worried about ISIS and more about Iran.
( Ideas from Boaz Bismuth and others- 6-30-14)
The Middle East is changing. The concept of the Arab state is crumbling, and something else will rise in its place. The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, which gave birth to the Middle East as we have known it, has come to its final station. Something new will be born out of the churning mayhem.
Terrorism is today an important element of our Middle East, but it (still) does not have the power to fill the vacuum that has been created. Jihadist terrorism can do damage, but it cannot lead.
Jordan is still far from falling into the hands of the extremist Sunni group, comprising 10,000 members, which recent reports have warned could happen. .
Officials in the Hashemite Kingdom are concerned. However, the Jordanians can depend on their small but disciplined and trained army and their effective air force, which can inflict severe damage on the Sunni terrorist group. They can also count on the loyalty of the local population to the kingdom on both sides of the two main border crossings with Iraq..
The United States needs to be less worried about ISIS and more about Iran. The success of the Sunni organization in western Iraq is a direct result of the changes in the region, and of the fact that Iraq and Syria do not have strong leaders like they once had, who could impose order in their domains.
The Iranian nuclear race should still be the US's main concern. However,suddenly some in Washington perceive Sunni terror as being more dangerous than a Shiite nuclear bomb and are loudly advocating that Iran be partnered with as a stabilizing force.
This is precisely the change the West needs to be wary about….. Or the West will enable the Iranians to achieve their major goals: successful completion of their nuclear development/weapons delivery program; domination of the world's petroleum delivery sea channels and political domination of the enter Middle East.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
By Ted Belman 6-28-14 +++ ( CAPITAL LETTERS= POSTERS COMMENTS)
As a result of the ’67 War Israel came into possession of the “territories” which included Judea and Samaria, Sinai including Gaza and the Golan. UNSC Res 242 provided that Israel should withdraw from territories, SPECIFICALLY NOT THE TERRITORIES OR ALL TERRITORIES, AT SUCH TIME AS SHE HAD SECURE AND RECOGNIZED BORDERS.
Israel accepted (ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN THE FORMULATION AND THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE MEANING OF}this resolution because she didn’t want to keep all the land with its Arab inhabitants, preferring to keep only some of the land. The Arab countries rejected the Resolution because they wanted 100% of the land to be returned to them, i.e. Egypt, Jordan and Syria. No one contemplated the creation of another Arab state in Judea and Samaria.
In 1970 the US abandoned this resolution and embraced the Arab demand that Israel retreat from 100% of the territories. This was reflected in the Rogers Plan that Nixon authorized. Nevertheless Israel began to build settlements on these lands for security purposes. One such settlement was Yamit which was set up just south of Gaza in the Sinai. I remember when Yamit was being promoted to potential Olim. I was attracted to the idea and though it would be fun to participate in the development of this town. Other considerations kept me rooted in Toronto.
Pamela Schrieber , was not deterred by other considerations and made aliya from the U.S. and was among the first to sign up. She loved being part of this growing community and felt betrayed when, as part of the Camp David Accords in 1978, PM Begin agreed to vacate every inch of the land including Yamit. She was devastated and, when the time came to evacuate, returned to the U.S.
I just finished reading her book, Love and Betrayal, about her experience and enjoyed it thoroughly.
In it she quotes a speech from PM Begin to the residents of Yamit:
“I believe that the Jewish people have the inalienable right (CERTAINLY THE RIGHT TO “CLOSE SETTLEMENT”)to our land which includes Judea, Samaria and the Sinai. But the leader of the free world believes differently. He is convinced that in order to have peace with Egypt, Israel must return every centimeter of the land gained in 1967 no matter how important it is to our defense and religious beliefs. Since there was no possibility of our returning Judea and Samaria which would usher in negotiations for Jerusalem, the only bargaining chip we had was Sinai.
“My partner in peace, President Sadat, was adamant on the return of the Sinai, including the evacuation of all our settlements. President Carter was in absolute agreement. Since I entered negotiations knowing that Pres. Carter had made the statement that the Palestinian refugees needed a homeland, I was not shocked at the intransigence of the American president.
“[..] Although I cannot prove it, at the time of negotiations, I had the distinct impression that there was collusion between the Americans and Egypt. If not collusion, then a bias towards the Egyptian demands. For though I bared my soul to the American President, Mr Carter was intractable…..This was a man who clearly had his mind made up before he went into negotiations. This was a man who clearly cares nothing about the survival of our state.”
Plus ca change, plus la meme chose. I couldn’t help but see a parallel in President Obama’s position on the current peace process; but more about this below.
I remember thinking at the time, that though Israel giving up all this land and the oil that she had discovered there, that it was worth it as Sadat was breaking the mold of Arab rejectionism and that others would follow. Little did I realize how cold the peace would be.
I remember also that Sadat and Carter pressed Begin to sign a second agreement in which Israel would agree to create a Palestinian State within five years in Judea and Samaria. Begin was adamant in his refusal and would agree only to giving them autonomy. That agreement was never signed. Begin was wrong in his belief that there was no “possibility of our returning Judea and Samaria”. The US thought otherwise.
When the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 and 1995, Israel didn’t commit to creating a Palestinian state or giving over 100% or the land or stopping settlement construction. She felt she could enter these agreements because she was in the driver’s seat and could press her demands. Arafat, on the other hand, accepted these terms because he was not in a strong bargaining position and besides, he and many of his fellow terrorists were to be admitted into Judea and Samaria as part of the deal. What Israel didn’t anticipate was that America and Europe would side with Arafat, strengthening his position as they did with Sadat. In hindsight this was a grave mistake. They also didn’t anticipate that Arafat would never abide by the Accords.
Ever since the oil embargo in the seventies, the Saudis made it clear to successive US administrations that they required that “the political struggle [between Israel and the Arabs] is [be] settled in [a] manner satisfactory to [the] Arabs.” By the time Pres George Bush was inaugurated in 2000, this meant the creation of a Palestinian state.
Prince Bandar told Bush a week or two before 9-11, “Starting today, you go your way and we will go our way. From then on, the Saudis would look out for their own national interests.” It seemed the United States had made a strategic decision to adopt Sharon’s policy as American policy.
Within thirty-six hours, Bandar was on his way to Riyadh with a conciliatory response from Bush.
Because of this pressure, Bush agreed to do it but 9-11 intervened. It wasn’t until 2002 that he made his speech in which he envisaged a Palestinian state. Saudi Arabia announced the Saudi Plan, which I believe the State Department drew up, requiring 100% withdrawal. Bush, in subservience to the Saudis put it into the Roadmap which was being drafted in 2002 and 2003. It was tabled a week after the invasion of Iraq. Sharon objected to its inclusion to no avail.
In 2004, PM Sharon announce his Disengagement Plan from 100% of Gaza. The best he could get out of Bush was a letter which said “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949…”. This was far from a commitment.(THIS WAS HELD UP TO ISRAEL AS AN IRONCLAD COMMITMENT) Even so the Saudis screamed blue murder and Bush backed off.
What makes this cow towing all the more shocking was that Bush knew that Saudis were very much behind the 9-11 attacks due to the report he commissioned. He chose to cover up their culpability and conduct business with them as usual.(ON THIS ENTIRE POINT , I DISAGREE.)
I did not know all this when the Disengagement Plan was being debated. While I liked the idea that Israel was getting rid of the responsibility for 1.4 million Gazans, I was against giving up every inch. It was a continuation of the Camp David Accords precedent. I favoured keeping the northern 5 miles of the strip where the Jewish settlements of Gush Katif were for two reasons, 1) it would set a new precedent and 2) we would not have to uproot 8,000 Israelis. I also favoured staying in the Philadelphi Corridor to prevent smuggling into Gaza. Secretary Rice intervened and forced Israel out of the corridor.
President Obama, on taking office rejected the Bush letter( 1ST, THEY DENIED IT EXISTED AND THEN WHEN TO THEIR PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT IT WAS PRODUCED) saying it was not binding. He particularly wanted to void this commitment contained in it, “The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan” than the Roadmap. He wanted to impose a solution if necessary. Like Carter he supported the Arab position requiring negotiations to be based on ’67 lines plus swaps. Obama also rejected our security demands. Like Carter, he is “a man who clearly cares nothing about the survival of our state.”
After writing this article I wrote to the author about the speech and she said “That was creative license. I used my own research to construct something to what I think he should have said or could have said.” Nevertheless Carter and Obama have much in common and in my opinion, the alleged speech nails it.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Most Westerners, including many Jews, are unaware of four fundamental facts about the Jewish homeland of Israel that would greatly increase their support for the Jewish State. The burden is on us to make these facts more widely known in the West.
#1 – The Jews Never Left: Although most in the West accept that Jewish biblical history happened, most believe that upon vanquishing the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE, the victorious Romans “exiled” Judaea’s surviving Jews – and that Jews did not return to Israel in meaningful numbers until the late 19th century Zionist movement.
Wrong. Solid evidence – Roman-Byzantine era synagogues, the Mishnah and Palestinian Talmud, Roman recognition of the Patriarch as head of the homeland’s Jews, and Jewish military and other aid to the 7th century Persian and then Muslim invaders – establishes that no such “exile” occurred. Archeologists have constructed a map of 9th century Jewish communities of which we have knowledge today. The Crusaders also acknowledged the month-long courageous Jewish defense of Haifa and the fact of Jews defending Jerusalem. We have much evidence of the Jews’ vibrant presence in their four holy cities - Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias, and Hebron – and elsewhere in Israel through the ensuing six centuries of non-Arab Mamluk and Turk foreign rule. According to scholars, this gave the Zionists’ “real title deeds.”
#2 – Who Are The Palestinians? Us: Today’s Palestinian Arabs, whom everyone calls “The Palestinians,” claim descent from the pre-Israelite Canaanites, but if either side has Canaanite blood it’s the Jews. Archeologists trace Israelite presence back to the 12th century BCE, but are divided into “conquest” and “indigenous origin” camps. The latter believe that the Israelites populating the original Judean-Samarian hills were themselves Canaanites who began a new religion and lifestyle, not outside invaders.
The 7th century CE Arab invasion, which came storming out of the Arabian Peninsula, came 18 centuries later. Modern Israel in 1948 became the land’s next native state after the Jews’ ancient Judaea. Without exception, every ruler in between – Romans-Byzantines, briefly Persians, foreign Muslim dynasties that began as Arab but progressively fell under control of the Turks, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks – was a foreign invader, and mostly non-Arab at that. During the post-Ottoman League of Nations’ Mandate, all of the land’s residents – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – were called “Palestinian.”
Indeed, the term “Palestinian” – e.g., the Palestine Electric Company, the Palestine Symphony, the Palestine Post (today’s Jerusalem Post), Jewish institutions all – usually referred to Palestine’s Jews. In fact, Arabs at the time disdained being called “Palestinians” and thought of themselves instead as southern Syrians.The UN in 1947 did not partition Palestine into Jewish and “Palestinian” states, but rather into a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State,” terms that it used over and over. And the partition resolution refers to Palestine’s Jews and Arabs as “the two Palestinian peoples.”
#3 – There are No Such Places as “the West Bank” and “East Jerusalem:” Though the Arab side, the Western media, and even, foolishly, we Jews constantly refer to “the West Bank” and “East Jerusalem,” these are not historic but recently invented terms to disassociate these historic centerpieces of the Jewish homeland from Jews. “Judea and Samaria” are not what the media has called “the biblical names for “the West Bank,” but are the actual Hebrew-origin names by which the homeland’s hill country has been known throughout history into the mid-20th century. In attempting to partition the remaining western Palestine in 1947 (the all-Arab created country named Transjordan, which were the lands of the Palestine Mandate east of the Jordan River, had already been lopped off from the Mandate in 1922), the UN did not refer to “the West Bank,” but to “the hill country of Samaria and Judea.”
Jordan invented the term “West Bank” in 1950 to disassociate it from Jews, after it illegally annexed the West Bank in 1948. In the past 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the capital of three homeland states – Judah, Judaea, and Israel, all of them Jewish. Palestinian Arabs have not ruled Jerusalem for one day in history, and foreign Arab dynasties only for part of the time between the Arab invasion of 638 and Crusader conquest of 1099. Jerusalem’s present day renewed Jewish majority dates not from 1967, or 1948, or the First Zionist Congress of 1897. Jews again became Jerusalem’s plurality population in pre-Zionist mid-19th century times, and its never-relinquished majority well before the 19th century’s end – still during foreign Ottoman rule.
#4 – The Arab-Jewish Conflict Created More Jewish Than Arab Refugees: According to the British themselves,Palestine’s population at the end of the Mandate consisted of 1.2 million Arabs (Jewish sources claim only 1 million Arabs) and 600,000 Jews. Not all of those Arabs lived in the part that became Israel, and not all of them left. Estimates of the Arabs during the 1948 War who were told by their leaders to leave their homes to make way for the invading Arab armies range from less than 472,000 to 650,000. The vast majority never even saw one Israeli soldier. During the 1948 war and its aftermath, some 800,000-850,000 indigenous Middle Eastern Jews, some with roots going back to biblical times, fled vast Arab and other Muslim lands, forced to leave behind property and businesses for which they have never been compensated.
The fledgling Jewish state happily absorbed them. The Arab-Jewish conflict generated a two-sided refugee issue, not a “Palestinian refugee issue.”
If more people in the West understood and appreciated these four largely unknown fundamental facts, there would be much greater appreciation of the bona fides of the Jewish people’s deep homeland claim, and less talk about “Israel’s founding in 1948” and “Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank.” In essence, if we forfeit the language, we forfeit our heritage and our history.
Lee Bender is the co-President, and Jerome Verlin is the co-Vice Present of the Zionist Organization of America-Greater Philadelphia District, and they are the co-authors of the book “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z” (Pavilion Press).
Thursday, June 26, 2014
By Michael Weiss, MOSAIC 6-26-14
There has never been any doubt in my mind that elements within Iran’s security services have facilitated ISIS,” Col. Derek Harvey told Foreign Policy, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a terrorist network-cum-jihadist army that has now taken over territory in Syria and Iraq that, when combined, is roughly the size of Jordan. “When given opportunities to interdict, or have an effect, [the Iranians] have refrained.”
Harvey, a retired Army intelligence officer and senior Central Command advisor, was emphatic that any solution for containing the rising threat of ISIS, an al Qaeda breakaway group, must foreclose on the possibility of U.S.-Iranian collusion. His comments were echoed by two other high-ranking U.S. military officials who served extensively in the Iraq theater in the last decade and believe that Iran was the principal spoiler for American-led reconstruction efforts after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
These reminders from Iraq war veterans come at a time when debate rages in the U.S. policy establishment and commentariat over whether or not the Obama administration should adopt an “enemy of my enemy” logic in Iraq and work with Washington’s 30-year foe in Tehran.
These reminders from Iraq war veterans come at a time when debate rages in the U.S. policy establishment and commentariat over whether or not the Obama administration should adopt an “enemy of my enemy” logic in Iraq and work with Washington’s 30-year foe in Tehran.
Secretary of State John Kerry floated this idea in an interview on June 16 with Katie Couric, saying, “We’re open to discussions if there is something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and ability of the government to reform.” President Barack Obama, in remarks delivered on June 19, seemed to rule out a direct military coordination with the Islamic Republic but nevertheless struck a similar chord of possible future cooperation. “Iran can play a constructive role if it is helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we’re sending, which is that Iraq only holds together if it’s inclusive,” the commander-in-chief said, before adding that Iran’s “hot and heavy” military support for the Assad regime has gravely worsened conditions in Syria — implying that what is transpiring in Iraq now is spillover from that conflict next door.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also seemed amenable to an entente cordiale with the Great Satan. In a televised address on Iranian state media broadcast on June 14, he appeared to invite U.S. military intervention in Iraq to stem the ISIS assault and presented (not for the first time) Iran as a partner in what was once known as the global war on terror: “We all should practically and verbally confront terrorist groups.”
Yet American veterans of the decade-long Iraq war and occupation say that the idea is both preposterous and dangerous. Iran, they maintain, has long played a double game in Mesopotamia and the Levant, both enabling Sunni extremists to infiltrate countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and then swooping in as the only safeguard heralded against the very forces they helped unleash.
Another high-ranking retired U.S. military official, who asked not to be identified by name, told FP: “Ansar al-Islam, the people who eventually became al Qaeda in Iraq [the forerunner organization to ISIS] — where’d they come from? They came from Iran. They traveled from Iran through Iraqi Kurdistan and then through Mosul before moving south through Al Sharqat and then Tikrit.” The official added: “Iran ran a very subversive campaign against Saddam long before we got into that country. And we were dealing with those same lines of communications before we got there. Look what they’ve done to the Levant, to Lebanon a couple times over. They’re even in Gaza.”
Col. Rick Welch spent roughly seven years in Iraq, and worked directly under Gen. David Petraeus during the surge and “Anbar Awakening” period, acting as a chief U.S. military liaison with both the Sunni tribes and Shiite militia groups that were integral to containing what was then a roiling civil war.
“Back when we were getting intel from Iraqis at every level in our reconciliation program, they were telling us that Iran was funding any group that could keep Iraq chaotic,” Welch said. “They did not want to see democracy in Iraq. They were keeping us tied down and were preventing the [post-Saddam] government from functioning in order to create the cover to let them to get their intelligence assets in place, especially in the south, and then influence the government piece by piece. That was not conspiratorial in nature; it was a deeply held conviction and perception throughout Iraq, and throughout the U.S. military.”
Intelligence reporting during this period, Welch added, suggested that Iran was indeed funding “al Qaeda-type elements” in Iraq as well as Shiite militias such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah, both of which are now said to be playing a major role in fortifying central Baghdad and Shiite-predominant cities and towns in southern Iraq. Iranian documents captured by U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 did indeed state that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC) was helping Sunni jihadists along with Shiite militias, although to nowhere near the same extent.
“All of the EFPs [explosively formed penetrators], IEDs [improved explosive devices], rockets, and rocket launchers we were seizing — all of this was coming out of Iran via the Shiite militias,” Welch said. “Asaib Ahl al-Haq was getting $20 million a month or some outrageous figure like that to train their fighters. Their leadership was in Tehran, but their people operated in Iraq.” Another Iranian client was the Mahdi Army, led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has now constituted that militia — once the bane of coalition forces in Najaf and beyond — under the new banner of the “Peace Brigades.” (Though that somewhat anodyne rebranding has not stopped Mahdi militants from marching through Baghdad with mock suicide vests.) According to Welch, the Mahdi Army “was going to Iran and getting training not in guerrilla warfare but in how to stir up sectarian conflict.”
The call to arms by both domestic and Iranian Shiite forces this month follows not only the mass desertion of tens of thousands of Iraqi Security Force soldiers in the wake of ISIS’s invasion and sacking of Mosul earlier this month, but also the diktats being issued by IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani. He reportedly traveled to Baghdad in the last fortnight and is now rumored to be manning most of the Maliki government’s security portfolio — a particularly burdensome task given that he’s already been in charge of Bashar al-Assad’s for well over a year.
Suleimani has overseen the formation and training of various Shiite militia groups in Syria, composed of fighters native to the country but also from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Europe. This operational beef-up of Damascus’s security apparatus is meant to add 150,000 new pro-regime fighters into the Syrian civil war, and was actually named for Suleimani himself, according to Dr. Shimon Shapira, a retired brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces and a regional expert on the IRGC. By one Israeli think tank estimate, there may now even be more Shiite foreign fighters in Syria backing Assad than there are Sunnis agitating for his overthrow.
Phillip Smyth, an expert on Shiite militia groups, has also noted that the Shiite militants recruited and trained for service in Syria have been returning to Iraq since last January, since roughly around the time that ISIS first invaded Anbar province and seized control of Fallujah and much of Ramadi, the provincial capital. Smyth argues that although they have been enlisted under the pretext of “protecting” Shiite holy sites and shrines, this is a mere dog-whistle for rallying sectarians to prop up the Assad and Maliki regimes. Writing for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he noted that in January and again in March, two such militia groups — Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas (LAFA) and its constituent, the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) — “were described as ‘protectors of holy sites in Syria and Iraq,’ including the Hadi al-Askari shrine in Samarra, Iraq. By mid-May, both groups had launched their own recruitment efforts to field fighters in Iraq. And by late May, the RRF had reportedly deployed to Abu Ghraib, an area with no prominent shrines to ‘protect.’”
Colonel Harvey argues that for these reasons, Washington must be wary of even objectively or temporarily aligning itself with the IRGC’s Suleimani, whose strategy thus far has been to retrench along sectarian lines — strengthening militia groups’ holds on Shiite-majority cities such as Karbala, Najaf, and Samarra — rather than taking the fight to ISIS in Sunni-majority areas.
Amplifying remarks made in London last week by Petraeus, whowarned against using U.S. air power as cover for IRGC activities in Iraq, Harvey said: “The Finlandization of Baghdad even more so is a good outcome for Qassem Suleimani and Iran’s ability to increase its influence in Iraq…. They’re shaping that country’s security, government, and intelligence apparatus to be compliant to their wishes.”
The fact that Iran has facilitated or underwritten al Qaeda in the Middle East is only counterintuitive to those with short memories, or who don’t bother to keep up with the U.S. government’s more recent assessments. The 9/11 Commission Report, for instance, found that al Qaeda and Iran formed an “informal agreement” in Sudan in the early 1990s to “cooperate in providing support — even if only training — for actions carried out primarily against Israel and the United States.” The commission also found that “there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers,” although it found no evidence that Tehran was aware of the pending attack on the United States.
In his superb September 2013 profile of Qassem Suleimani, the New Yorker‘s Dexter Filkins cited former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, who is otherwise portrayed in that piece as amenable to a U.S.-IRGC alliance, as saying that in 2003 Washington gained intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda agents in Iran were planning attacks against Western targets in Saudi Arabia. Crocker even flew to Geneva to warn the Iranians against such provocations, to no avail. Three residential compounds in Riyadh were subsequently blown up, along with 35 people, including nine Americans.
Suleimani’s promiscuous enlistment of any and all enemies of the West eventually backfired, however, as the Sunni jihadists he insinuated into Iraq began waging terrorist attacks against Shiite targets, such as the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, which the IRGC commander is now intent on ring-fencing from ISIS. “Suleimani wanted to bleed the
Americans, so he invited in the jihadis, and things got out of control,” one Western diplomat in Baghdad told Filkins.
Even so, Iran’s cooptation of al Qaeda and Sunni extremists does not appear to have been severed since the bloodiest heights of Iraq’s civil war. Last February, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctionedOlimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov, an Iranian-based Uzbek affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Union, which is accused of “provid[ing] logistical support and funding to al-Qa’ida’s Iran-based network.” That network, the Treasury designation stated, “facilitated the transfer of funds from Gulf-based donors to al-Qa’ida core and other affiliated elements, including the al-Nusrah Front in Syria [the official al Qaeda franchise there],” as well as helping Kuwaiti donors send money to jihadists in Syria.
Added to this is the widespread allegation, shared by both the Syrianopposition and many defectors from the Assad regime, that Damascus purposefully released jihadists from the notorious Sednaya prison in 2011 as part of an “amnesty” designed to lay the foundation for terrorist structures in Syria. “The regime did not just open the door to the prisons and let these extremists out, it facilitated them in their work, in their creation of armed brigades,” one former member of Syria’s Military Intelligence Directorate told the National newspaper in January. In February of this year, CNN’s Arwa Damon interviewed a defector from ISIS who went by the nom de guerre of Abu Ammara. He claimed that the group wasn’t quite the stalwart enemy of Assad’s regime as it made out, and that suicide bombers are led to believe they would be attacking Syrian military installations only to then discover they were set on a mission to target rival rebel factions instead. “There were a lot of regime locations we could have taken without sustaining losses of our fighters,” Abu Ammara said, “and we would receive orders to retreat.”
It certainly is true that, until recently, Assad — and through him Suleimani — has largely refrained from targeting ISIS positions or its de facto administrative headquarters in eastern Syria with quite the same gusto or fury he has with other rebel groups. Many journalists have reported on this phenomenon. The New York Times‘ Beirut correspondent, Anne Barnard, tweeted on June 12 that a Syrian government advisor flat-out told her that fighting ISIS was not a priority for Damascus because its presence was useful as propaganda “tarring all insurgents” and framing the Syria question as one between Assad and jihad. This is why the group has managed to superimpose its caliphate-in-the-making all across eastern Syria, giving it control of most of the regime’s oil fields.
The Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, Martin Chulov, who traveled to Aleppo last month, observed that the now-abandoned ISIS headquarters in that provincial capital, situated inside a former hospital, remained untouched by barrel bombs or Scud missiles whereas, right next door, the headquarters of a more mainstream Islamist rebel brigade, Liwa al-Tawhid, had been powdered. Chulov also helpfully reported last week that, based on Iraqi security forces’ confiscation of ISIS digital material, the main sources of funding for the organization come from oil sales to the regime and the theft of priceless Syrian artifacts. Assad’s curiously selective “war on terror” has made the most formidable terrorist network in Syria unbelievably rich.
None of the foregoing appears to have had much of an impact on the
thinking of policymakers and analysts who are now advocating that Iran is our single best hope for containing ISIS.
As Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN’s State of the Union on June 15, “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall.” In his most recent Washington Post column, David Ignatius, who ironically relies on Colonel Harvey’s assessment of U.S. military options for Iraq, wrote, “The Saudis are going to have to swallow the reality that ISIS can’t be stopped without some cooperation with Iran.” It goes without saying that this is music to the ears of the mullahs who are now set on a carefully scripted propaganda campaign to end U.S. sanctions and lower the temperature on three decades of geopolitical isolation. Yet it is also deeply strident to those who spent a decade trying to save Iraq and have not quite forgotten or forgiven the one country that made their efforts all but impossible.
Majority of Palestinians now oppose two-state solution, new poll finds Michael Wilner 6-25-14
Sixty percent of those polled, including 55 percent in West Bank and 68 percent in Gaza, reject permanent acceptance of Israel's existence.
WASHINGTON – A clear majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip oppose a two-state solution to end their struggle with Israel, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
Sixty percent of those polled, including 55% in the West Bank and 68% in Gaza, reject permanently accepting Israel’s existence and instead suggest their leaders “work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
Two-thirds of those polled support continued “resistance” against the Jewish state. Consequentially, those who say they support a two-state solution view such a move as “part of a ‘program of stages’ to liberate all of historic Palestine later.”
The survey, conducted throughout the Palestinian territories, was commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and was conducted by a leading Palestinian pollster from June 15 to June 17.
The Washington Institute characterized the poll’s results as a sudden, hardline shift within the Palestinian community. It also presented the pragmatism revealed in the minutia of the survey: 80% of Palestinians would “definitely” or “probably” be in favor of greater job opportunities in Israel, and 70% of Gazans strongly favor Hamas maintaining its cease-fire with the IDF – despite generally favoring resistance.
The institute’s scholars concluded from the report that “US policy should seriously consider abandoning all hope for now of a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace deal,” and instead should “focus on immediate steps to lower tensions” and on improving conditions on the ground.
Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, brokered the United States, broke down in April after nine months of negotiations.
The State Department’s special envoy to that effort was Martin Indyk, founder of the Washington Institute
Saturday, June 21, 2014
THE THREAT IS BLOWBACK
By CAROLINE B. GLICK 6-19-14
It only took the Taliban six months to move from the Bamiyan Buddhas to the World Trade Center. Al-Qaida is stronger now than ever before. And Iran is on the threshold of a nuclear arsenal.
Watching the undoing, in a week, of victories that US forces won in Iraq at great cost over many years, Americans are asking themselves what, if anything, should be done.
What can prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the al-Qaida offshoot that President Barack Obama derided just months ago as a bunch of amateurs – from taking over Iraq? And what is at stake for America – other than national pride – if it does? Muddying the waters is the fact that the main actor that seems interested in fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq is Iran. Following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul and Tikrit last week, the Iranian regime deployed elite troops in Iraq from the Quds Force, its foreign operations division.
The Obama administration, along with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, views Iran’s deployment of forces in Iraq as an opportunity for the US. The US, they argue should work with Iran to defeat ISIS.
The idea is that since the US and Iran both oppose al-Qaida, Iranian gains against it will redound to the US’s benefit.
There are two basic, fundamental problems with this idea.
First, there is a mountain of evidence that Iran has no beef with al-Qaida and is happy to work with it.
According to the 9/11 Commission’s report, between eight and 10 of the September 11 hijackers traveled through Iran before going to the US. And this was apparently no coincidence.
According to the report, Iran had been providing military training and logistical support for al-Qaida since at least the early 1990s.
After the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, al-Qaida’s leadership scattered. Many senior commanders – including bin Laden’s son Said, al-Qaida’s chief strategist Saif al-Adel and Suleiman Abu Ghaith – decamped to Iran, where they set up a command center.
From Iran, these men directed the operations of al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Zarqawi entered Iraq from Iran and returned to Iran several times during the years he led al-Qaida operations in Iraq.
Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaida continues today in Syria.
According to The Wall Street Journal, in directing the defense of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran has opted to leave ISIS and its al-Qaida brethren in the Nusra Front alone. That is why they have been able to expand their power in northern Syria.
Iran and its allies have concentrated their attacks against the more moderate Free Syrian Army, which they view as a threat.
Given Iran’s 20-year record of cooperation with al-Qaida, it is reasonable to assume that it is deploying forces into Iraq to tighten its control over Shi’ite areas, not to fight al-Qaida. The record shows that Iran doesn’t believe that its victories and al-Qaida’s victories are mutually exclusive.
The second problem with the idea of subcontracting America’s fight against al-Qaida to Iran is that it assumes that Iranian success in such a war would benefit America. But again, experience tells a different tale.
The US killed Zarqawi in an air strike in 2006.
Reports in the Arab media at the time alleged that Iran had disclosed Zarqawi’s location to the US. While the reports were speculative, shortly after Zarqawi was killed, then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice floated the idea of opening nuclear talks with Iran for the first time.
The Iranians contemptuously rejected her offer. But Rice’s willingness to discuss Iran’s nuclear weapons program with the regime, even as it was actively engaged in killing US forces in Iraq, ended any serious prospect that the Bush administration would develop a coherent plan for dealing with Iran in a strategic and comprehensive way.
Moreover, Zarqawi was immediately replaced by one of his deputies. And the fight went on.
So if Iran did help the US find Zarqawi, the price the US paid for Iran’s assistance was far higher than the benefit it derived from killing Zarqawi.
This brings us to the real threat that the rise of ISIS – and Iran – in Iraq poses to the US. That threat is blowback.
Both Iran and al-Qaida are sworn enemies of the United States, and both have been empowered by events of the past week.
Because they view the US as their mortal foe, their empowerment poses a danger to the US.
But it is hard for people to recognize how events in distant lands can directly impact their lives.
In March 2001, when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas statues in Afghanistan, the world condemned the act. But no one realized that the same destruction would be brought to the US six months later when al-Qaida destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon.
The September 11 attacks were the blowback from the US doing nothing to contain the Taliban and al-Qaida.
North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile tests, as well as North Korean proliferation of both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to rogue regimes, like Iran, that threaten the US, are the beginnings of the blowback from the US decision to reach a nuclear deal with Pyongyang in the 1990s that allowed the regime to keep its nuclear installations.
The blowback from Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power is certain to dwarf what the world has seen from North Korea so far.
Yet rather than act in a manner that would reduce the threat of blowback from Iraq’s disintegration and takeover by America’s worst enemies, the Obama administration gives every indication that it is doubling down on the disastrous policies that led the US to this precarious juncture.
The only strategy that the US can safely adopt today is one of double containment. The aim of double containment is to minimize the capacity of Iran and al-Qaida to harm the US and its interests.
But to contain your enemies, you need to understand them. You need to understand their nature, their aims, their support networks and their capabilities.
Unfortunately, in keeping with what has been the general practice of the US government since the September 11 attacks, the US today continues to ignore or misunderstand all of these critical considerations.
Regarding al-Qaida specifically, the US has failed to understand that al-Qaida is a natural progression from the political/religious milieu of Salafist/Wahabist or Islamist Islam, from whence it sprang. As a consequence, anyone who identifies with Islamist religious and political organizations is a potential supporter and recruit for al-Qaida and its sister organizations.
There were two reasons that George W. Bush refused to base US strategy for combating al-Qaida on any cultural context broader than the Taliban.
Bush didn’t want to sacrifice the US’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, which finances the propagation and spread of Islamism. And he feared being attacked as a bigot by Islamist organizations in the US like the Council on American Islamic Relations and its supporters on the Left.
As for Obama, his speech in Cairo to the Muslim world in June 2009 and his subsequent apology tour through Islamic capitals indicated that, unlike Bush, Obama understands that al-Qaida is not a deviation from otherwise peaceful Islamist culture.
But unlike Bush, Obama blames America for its hostility. Obama’s radical sensibilities tell him that America pushed the Islamists to oppose it. As he sees it, he can appease the Islamists into ending their war against America.
To this end, Obama has prohibited federal employees from conducting any discussion or investigation of Islamist doctrine, terrorism, strategy and methods and the threat all pose to the US.
These prohibitions were directly responsible for the FBI’s failure to question or arrest the Tsarnaev brothers in 2012 despite the fact that Russian intelligence tipped it off to the fact that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers were jihadists.
They were also responsible for the army’s refusal to notice any of the black flags that Maj. Nidal Hassan raised in the months before his massacre of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, or to take any remedial action after the massacre to prevent such atrocities from recurring.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the progenitor of Islamism. It is the organizational, social, political and religious swamp from whence the likes of al-Qaida, Hamas and other terror groups emerged. Whereas Bush pretended the Brotherhood away, Obama embraced it as a strategic partner.
Then there is Iran.
Bush opted to ignore the 9/11 Commission’s revelations regarding Iranian collaboration with al-Qaida. Instead, particularly in the later years of his administration, Bush sought to appease Iran both in Iraq and in relation to its illicit nuclear weapons program.
In large part, Bush did not acknowledge, or act on the sure knowledge, that Iran was the man behind the curtain in Iraq, because he believed that the American people would oppose the expansion of the US operations in the war against terror.
Obama’s actions toward Iran indicate that he knows that Iran stands behind al-Qaida and that the greatest threat the US faces is Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But here as well, Obama opted to follow a policy of appeasement. Rather than prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or stem its advance in Syria and Iraq, Obama treats Iran as though it poses no threat and is indeed a natural ally. He blames Iran’s belligerence on the supposedly unjust policies of his predecessors and the US’s regional allies.
For a dual-containment strategy to have any chance of working, the US needs to reverse course. No, it needn’t deploy troops to Iraq. But it does need to seal its border to minimize the chance that jihadists will cross over from Mexico.
It doesn’t need to clamp down on Muslims in America. But it needs to investigate and take action where necessary against al-Qaida’s ideological fellow travelers in Islamist mosques, organizations and the US government. To this end, it needs to end the prohibition on discussion of the Islamist threat by federal government employees.
As for Iran, according to The New York Times, Iran is signaling that the price of cooperation with the Americans in Iraq is American acquiescence to Iran’s conditions for signing a nuclear deal. In other words, the Iranians will fight al-Qaida in Iraq in exchange for American facilitation of its nuclear weapons program.
The first step the US must take to minimize the Iranian threat is to walk away from the table and renounce the talks. The next step is to take active measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration appears prepared to do none of these things. To the contrary, its pursuit of an alliance with Iran in Iraq indicates that it is doubling down on the most dangerous aspects of its policy of empowering America’s worst enemies.
It only took the Taliban six months to move from the Bamiyan Buddhas to the World Trade Center. Al-Qaida is stronger now than ever before. And Iran is on the threshold of a nuclear arsenal.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Our Islamic Fundamentalist Adversaries are Inhuman Barbarians
Isi Leibler 6-19-14
Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families. And the nation as a whole is displaying the unity that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish people when confronted with such situations.
However there are a few demented Israelis, exemplified by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Raanan Shaked who blames the tragedy on “these nut jobs [who] take the kids with them to live in the territories.” The Alice in Wonderland nature of our democracy also enables Balad MK Hanin Zoabi to deny that the abductors were terrorists and shamelessly justify the kidnapping as an act of resistance to “Palestinian suffering”. She was supported by Avram Burg who, in Haaretz, attributed the abduction to “the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us”.
But the overwhelming majority of our politicians, whose despicable behavior reached an all-time low during the course of the presidential elections, are united and compassionate in their handling of this ongoing crisis.
Since the creation of the state, we have endured endless terrorist acts targeting innocent Israelis of all ages.
The global media has portrayed the kidnapping as an attack on “settlers.” This is especially ironic given the history of Gush Etzion – from where the teenagers were abducted – a settlement bloc founded by the children and survivors of a community destroyed and razed to the ground during the 1948 War of Independence.
In this context, we must come to terms with the reality that the world is indifferent to what happens to Israel, as exemplified yet again by the EU failing to make a formal statement for five days. When it did, the statement was not signed by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who never misses an opportunity to release immediate statements in her own name condemning Israel for construction in east Jerusalem Jewish suburbs.
Ironically, as this kidnapping saga is unfolding in Israel, in New York there has been furious debate surrounding the Metropolitan Opera production of “Death of Klinghoffer,” a vile drama based on the callous murder of a crippled Jew on a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists which seeks to rationalize and humanize the terrorists and rationalize their motivations.
The major problem today is that the international community denies the barbaric nature of Islamic fundamentalism. Surely the carnage taking place in Syria and now Iraq, which matches the worst examples of medieval butchery, should have served as a wakeup call. The behavior of the Sunni jihadists in the capture of Mosul, in which hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and policemen were decapitated and their heads placed on display, explains why over half a million of the city’s inhabitants fled. Likewise the 185,000 butchered by both sides in the Syrian civil war and the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped and apparently sold as slaves. The jihadists — Sunnis and Shiites alike — are barbaric monsters.
But in relation to Israel and its neighbors, the international community finds it far more convenient to portray the conflict in terms of Palestinians seeking national independence from their Israeli “occupiers.” The fact that the Palestinians were offered 95% of the territories over the Green Line and spurned statehood on numerous occasions, underlines their true aspiration — which is not real estate but the elimination of Jewish sovereignty.
The whole region is a scorpions’ den of barbaric activity. Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the military wing of Fatah, a component of the PA — are birds of a feather, akin to their cruel and murderous Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. The Shiites, whom they seek to exterminate, are equally brutal toward the Sunnis when they are in control. Thus it is impossible to differentiate between the cruel brutality of the Hezbollah Shiites and the Hamas Sunnis. If these barbarians have the capacity to behave so cruelly toward their own kinsmen, one can only shudder at what they would do to Jews if they had the opportunity.
Israel represents an oasis of relative tranquility in this tumultuous region. It is ironic that in recent months Israel has even been treating casualties from the civil war in Syria. We unhesitatingly provide medical services to Palestinians, including two years ago, the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, the Gaza-based head of Hamas who continues calling for the slaughter of Jews. Incredibly, during the same week as the abduction, Mahmoud Abbas had no inhibitions about having his wife treated at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Yet when Israeli civilians are targeted by missiles from Gaza, all that the U.S. and the international community requires of Abbas is his statement that it is not in the interests of the Palestinians at that time to launch rockets against Israel. Only after four days did Abbas respond and condemn the abduction — but it was subsumed with a protest against the Israelis for disrupting of Palestinian life as they searched for the perpetrators.
In the meantime, the Palestinians publicly rejoiced, both in PA areas and in Gaza. Revolting cartoons were published in the official Palestinian Authority daily and Fatah publications celebrating the abduction. This is consistent with the statement made on PA TV earlier this year by leading PA official Jibril Rajoub, stating that “if Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers … we encourage them. When they kidnapped [Gilad] Schalit, we congratulated them.” It is worth noting that there is no distinction between the incitement to hatred by the PA and that promoted by the openly genocidal Hamas.
Yet last month, the Obama administration effectively sanctioned the union of the PA with Hamas, which subsequently publicly reaffirmed its genocidal objectives and calls on its followers to contribute to the destruction of Israel. And our “peace partner” merely shrugs his shoulders when members of his coalition call for our annihilation.
U.S. President Barack Obama may boast that he oversaw the targeted killing of bin Laden, but the reality is that today, Islamic fundamentalism is stronger than ever. In fact, unless firmly repulsed in the coming weeks, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and a number of other potential regional hotspots could well establish caliphates which will emerge as launching pads for exporting terror to all parts of the world. They will of course also be able to utilize as terrorists those returning citizens from Europe and North America who fought with them against Shiites. These will be in addition to Iranian Shiite terrorists like Hezbollah who are already engaged in global terror and who will be enormously empowered if Iran becomes a nuclear power.
If global leaders continue burying heads in the sand and refuse to urgently confront the nightmarish reality of Islamic fundamentalism with its messianic global overtones, it will be far more costly to oppose these forces when they have become further entrenched.
Israel is at the frontlines of this battle against global jihad. It must react harshly if those abducted are not released. Failure to do so will further embolden the barbarians and incentivize them to kidnap more Israelis and perpetrate further acts of terror.
Past mistakes must not be repeated. The mass release of 1,027 prisoners in return for the release of Schalit in 2011 was compounded with the government’s abysmal decision last year – under US pressure – to release over 100 murderers in order to induce the PA to come to the negotiating table. The army has already been forced to arrest a number of those released. It is imperative that we review all procedures relating to the incarceration of terrorists and ensure that imprisonment will no longer be regarded by them as a paid vacation with an optional university education — to be employed after release in a hostage exchange.
Finally, despite our fears, we can only continue praying for the safe rescue of the teenagers with whom the entire nation identifies. But we should brace ourselves for tough times ahead and seek to retain the current sense of unity in which the nation and its leaders display compassion and tolerance and avoid reverting to the hostility and extremism that polarizes us.
NEW YORK METROPOLITAN OPERA PROPAGATES HATE SPEECH
Among its other catchy tunes, John Adams' " The Death of Klinghoffer" includes this snappy ditty: "Wherever poor men — Are gathered they can — Find Jews getting fat — You know how to cheat — The simple, exploit — The virgin, pollute — Where you have exploited — Defame those you cheated — And break your own law — With idolatry."
John Adams did not “understand” the emotions and pronouncements of the terrorists. Otherwise, he would have quoted their outrageous statements directly. John Adams created all of the false sympathetic words that he has coming from the terrorists's mouths. Adams represents his manufactured thoughts and emotions to the audience as being the terrorists real thoughts and real emotions--which they have never expressed and which certainly they do not feel. Adams is condoning the terrorists' horrific, cold-blooded actions as being based on “their humanity”
Leon Klinghoffer was an American citizen and a World War II veteran. What Adams is condoning is a cold-blooded murder of all Americans and all of Jews anywhere in the world.
"The Triumph of the Will" was also greeted as a great theatrical masterpiece.CAN THE MET NOT GRASP THAT TO GLORIFY EVIL IS EVIL?
Saturday, June 14, 2014
METROPOLITAN OPERA: THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER …"It will fan the flames of anti-Semitism by providing a prominent venue for the glorification of extreme Islam and sympathy with their goals and for their brutal methods."
Opening night: 20 October 2014 Booking through until: 15 November 2014
In 1985, Leon Klinghoffer was a passenger on board the cruise liner Achille Lauro when terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Front, a faction of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, hijacked the ship, murdered Leon Klinghoffer, a wheel-chair bound American Jew, and dumped his body overboard. The Death of Klinghoffer never details the murder itself, The opera presents a false moral equivalence between Klinghoffer and his murderers. It romanticizes Palestinian terrorists and claims that Palestinian Arabs are driven to such “resistance” because the Jews stole their land. It has been evaluated as anti-Israel and antisemitic by the Simon Wiesenthal Center .Accordiing to the evaluation standards proposed by CAIR, this is definately hate speech.
A response to Peter Gelb and the Staff of the Metropolitan Opera- incorporating materials from Tabitha Korol
The "Jewish Soul" is often described as an energy and essence of virtue and humanity, passion and compassion, and depth of empathy for others. It is Israel's Jewish Soul" that provides quality medical attention even to their enemies, and the same that sends Israeli first responders to countries devastated by natural disasters.
AND IT IS THIS SAME QUALITY THAT APPEARS TO HAVE ELUDED PETER GELB, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA (THE “MET”).
It it is Gelb’s choice of opera for the 2014 fall season that is most disturbing. It will fan the flames of anti-Semitism by providing a prominent venue for the glorification of extreme Islam and sympathy with their goals and for their brutal methods.
The Death of Klinghoffer was cited for being anti-Semitic and pro-Islamic terrorism, and Gelb’s integrity and moral compass are in question. Instead of eliciting compassion and tears for the murder of Mr. Leon Klinghoffer, a defenseless, wheelchair-bound veteran of WW II, a fellow-American and Jew, Gelb’s opera will offer sympathy and apology for the Islamist terrorist murderers – who might just as well have thrown the Jewish-American Gelb overboard, had he vacationed aboard the ill-fated Achille Lauro.
Rather than show concern for the victim and his family, and the other terrified, endangered tourists who were taken hostage, although ultimately spared, the artistes extol the contrived virtues of the cold-blooded killers. They have taken a pro-Islamist, anti-American, anti-Jewish stance in favor of an avowed enemy – Islamists , whose adherents repeatedly warn that they will overtake the West and establish an Islamic caliphate on our soil.
Would the Met sympathize with these cold-blooded killers if the victim were also their own family member or religious compadre? Did they likewise sympathize with the Mahmoud Abbas-financed and -orchestrated Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes? Or the terrorists who commandeered the planes that killed three thousand in the World Trade Center? Or the Boston Marathon jihadists who killed three and injured/crippled 264 racers? Or Major Hassan who fatally shot 13 and injured more than 30 at Fort Hood? Would the Met also consider providing sophisticated entertainment while reproducing the beheading of Jewish-American journalist, Daniel Pearl? Or blowing up a school bus of children in Chechnya or Israel? Perhaps Gelb would consider a choral group of 200 young girls for an opera about the Boko Haram kidnappings in Nigeria? What other inspiration might one select for musical adventures into the exaltation of extreme Islam and its adherents for the pleasure of the unenlightened?
CAN THE MET NOT GRASP THAT TO GLORIFY EVIL IS EVIL?
Just as we must never recreate the atrocities of the concentration camps for our amusement, so must we never recreate any acts of malevolence to minimize their impact on the human psyche. While the author(s) and producer(s) claim to find motivation for these Islamic terrorist acts, they do not seek the truth; Islamic terrorist motivation is hate, envy, resentment, against Jews, Christians, Americans, Western Civilization.
No matter what the adversity or personal history behind acts of evil, never forget that the acts are evil. Motivation is immaterial. Criminals must be held accountable, not excused, for their behavior, and never celebrated, or every felon would be freed and anarchy would reign.
These terrorists did more than take a man’s life. They’ve attacked the humanity of every American who is even peripherally involved with this murder.
OUR OBLIGATION IS MORALITY. THE MET'S OBLIGATION IS MORALITY !