Monthly Archives: November 2014

An Honest Perspective

Who is the Real Chickenshit? by Bassam Tawil
November 4, 2014 at 5:00 am

288 Comment Judging by their actions, most Arab leaders do not want to create yet another terrorist Islamist state, dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and to toppling their regimes. We do want a Palestinian state, but please, only one that will provide responsible governance.

According to the “Arab street,” it is the Americans and Europeans who are cowards, afraid to take significant steps against Iran, and terrified of the Islamic ghettoes in their cities, which have been exporting terrorists to fight for the Islamic State, and providing housing to the seasoned fighters who return.

To Arabs, the ultimate irony is that America is paying Qatar to have its airbase there, while Qatar is paying terrorists to kill Americans.

When John Kerry claimed it was the unresolved Palestinian issue that caused a ripple effect that crated ISIS, he simply inspired the Palestinians to use Al-Aqsa mosque as a religious trigger for future bloodshed.

There is a civil war currently under way between radical Islam — motivated by imperialist fantasies of restoring the Islamic Caliphate — and the more moderate secular Muslim regimes that are seeking the path to modernization and progress.

At the same time, Sunni Islam is in the midst of an increasingly violent crisis in its dealings with Shi’ite Iran, which looks as if it is about to be granted nuclear weapons capability, and which for decades quietly has been eyeing neighboring Arab oil fields.

Into the middle of this explosive disarray, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his supporters have thrown the accusation that it was actually Israel’s so-called refusal to reach a peace agreement that was responsible for the ripple effect that led to the creation of ISIS. This incorrect diagnosis of the situation merely postpones the West’s efforts to find a real, workable solution for the Palestinian issue.

Does Kerry really blame Israel for ISIS? Above, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 23, 2014. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

It is easy for the leaders of the Arab world to latch onto Kerry’s accusation and use it justify their weakness and unwillingness to enter into a direct battle against terrorism; to let America do the dirty work, and conveniently to relieve the Arab world of having to recognize Israel and establish a Palestinian state.

They would also be able to avoid dealing with Israel’s demand for the Palestinian territories to be disarmed and the Palestinians’ demands for concessions from Israel.

Judging by their actions, most Arab leaders have no desire to see the Palestinian issue resolved. They seem to prefer preserving the status quo. They blame Israel for refusing to make concessions to the Palestinians and hope that this refusal will weaken Israel, even though Israel is their strategic defense against Iran.

Most Arab leaders do not want to create what is bound soon to become yet another terrorist Islamist state, dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and to toppling their regimes. The Arab leaders already have to contend with ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, which are enough for them, to say nothing of Africa from Nigeria to Somalia and everything in between.

But if Israel can be blamed for another of world’s ills, with Kerry’s blessing, why waste the opportunity?

When Jordan’s King Abdullah called the current Islamic civil war a cry of distress, he was not speaking randomly. There is a genuine problem.

No examples are better than Turkey, Qatar and Iran. Turkey, led by its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hosts Hamas’s overseas command center; is supported by Qatar and would apparently like to take control of more Sunni territory by subverting the Sunni Arab monarchies. Such a move would enable Erdogan to realize his outspoken dream of recreating an Ottoman Empire and Caliphate.

Turkey and Qatar, its partner in plotting the return of the Caliphate, have left their fingerprints on most of the terrorist attacks and catastrophes currently visited upon the Middle East, especially in the fields of subversion, incitement to terrorism, and the arming and training of terrorists.

The Middle Eastern Sunni Islamist terrorist organizations, meanwhile, are being incited and indoctrinated by Al-Jazeera TV, a Muslim Brotherhood megaphone that belongs to Qatar’s ruling al-Thani family. It was Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel that created the “Arab Spring” by taking the story of a fruit-seller who merely wanted a permit, and whipping it up, non-stop, until it grew into a revolution that brought down Tunisia’s government.

The Middle East’s terrorist gangs are now armed and trained with funding from Qatar. Recently, in yet another savored irony, Turkey agreed to help train Syrian rebels and allow the U.S. to use its military bases — but for Turkey, the plan is probably to bring down Syria’s non-Sunni President, Bashar Al-Assad, and not, as the U.S. might imagine, to bring down ISIS.

In the past, Persian Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia joined in training Islamic terrorist cadres, but currently, as the Arab proverb goes, “The magic spell boomeranged,” and Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have to defend themselves from the very groups they helped create.

Terrorist organizations are now generously funded by Qatar and NATO-member Turkey, which inspire them to attack the regimes of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and various regimes in the Persian Gulf and Africa. Of course, they are all also inspired to attack Israel, as Hamas has done.

Turkey and Qatar are also exploiting the naiveté of the Western world, encouraging ISIS operatives to make preparations to attack Europe and the United States. Preachers of “political Islam” incite susceptible Islamic youths in the West and prepare them for a terrorist campaign. They use the West’s political correctness, free speech and support for “pluralism,” all the while insisting they are not preaching terrorism.

Turkey and Qatar, along with Iran — which does its utmost to export the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution throughout both North and South America, as well as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen — are aided by a mechanism known as the da’wah, or “outreach,” Da’wah, technically the preaching of Islam, is used by political Islam for indoctrinating, enlisting and handling Islamist terrorists worldwide. Perfected for terrorist purposes by the Muslim Brotherhood, its mouthpiece is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who, like Hamas’s leader, Khaled Mashaal, is based in Qatar.

While Iran’s rivals, the Sunni states, conduct their civil wars, Iran only becomes stronger. Not only is it turning itself into a nuclear power, it is also strengthening all its outposts in the Middle East and around the world. It supports the Shi’ite regime in Iraq against ISIS; it arms and funds the Houthis in Yemen and the Hezbollah in Lebanon; and it supports the Syrian Alawite regime against its Sunni opponents.

When it comes to terrorism, Iran does not draw partisan lines. It also supports the Sunni groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which seek to destroy Israel and attack the Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula.

In response to the colossal threat of radical Islam, the whimpering voice of the West can barely be heard. The U.S. administration targeted Israel for condemnation. A “senior official,” most likely the current White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, called Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit,” for being afraid to make peace with the Palestinians.

According to the “Arab street,” including the Palestinian street, it is the Americans and Europeans who are cowards, afraid to take significant steps against Iran, and terrified of the Islamic ghettoes in their cities, which have been exporting terrorists to fight for the Islamic State, and providing housing to the seasoned fighters who return.

The Sunni states under Shi’ite threat cannot even reach an agreement among themselves about what is to be done; and the Palestinians, in their folly, have chosen the worst possible moment to ignite violence in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Palestinians seem not to understand that the Arab regimes that might support them are currently busy fighting for their own survival, and have no desire to fall prey to Palestinian provocations about what they realize all too well are fictional threats to Jerusalem.

Given the current situation, Turkey’s regional political actions are dangerous, underhanded and hypocritical. To achieve their ends, Turkey’s leaders seem to have no qualms about sacrificing their minorities, such as Christians and the Kurds (most of whom are Sunni). Turkey’s leaders were the first to cry “humanitarian crisis” when Israel imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip to prevent Iran from sending Hamas arms. Turkey sent the Mavi Marmara flotilla to protect the Gazans, who were never in any danger in the first place. Turkey’s leaders then weakened Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who, at least at that time, showed himself willing to reach a peace agreement with the Israelis. But when Syria’s Kurds are being killed in Kobani on a daily basis, the Turks are silent, perhaps secretly comfortable seeing a group that wants a state of its own apart from Turkey, being attacked.

Thus, when John Kerry claimed that it was the unresolved Palestinian issue that caused a ripple effect that created ISIS, he simply inspired the Palestinians to use Al-Aqsa mosque as a religious trigger for future bloodshed. The idea is not new; it was used in 1929 by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and led to anti-Jewish riots and the massacre of the Jews in Hebron. It was used again by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in 2000, to incite the Palestinians to the second intifada, which killed untold numbers of Jews and Arabs. Today, Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal are doing the same thing to incite a jihad that this time will truly be religious and not based on real estate.

The more Kerry accuses Israel of having had a hand in creating ISIS, the more the Palestinians will use Al-Aqsa mosque to stir the fire burning under the bubbling cauldron of the Middle East.

The Palestinians’ religious incitement campaign is currently being waged primarily by Mahmoud Abbas, the man who stood in front of the UN and accused Israel of fomenting a religious war. This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who calls on Palestinians to use every means available to fight Israel, while at the same time denying that he is doing so.

Meanwhile, Qatar lurks in the background, instructing Al-Jazeera TV to incite the Palestinians against Israel, Egypt and Jordan, and encouraging terrorist attacks that lead only to justified Israeli reprisals.

Qatar’s royal family hides behind the security of having a major U.S. airbase on its soil, while supporting Hamas, the Islamic Movement in Israel and the terrorist organizations in the Sinai Peninsula. To Arabs, the ultimate irony is that Americans are paying Qatar to have an airbase there, while Qatar is paying terrorists to kill Americans.

Qatar also still finds time nonsensically to accuse the wakf in Jordan, responsible for Al-Aqsa mosque, of collaborating with Israel to eradicate all signs of Muslim presence on the Temple Mount. Qatar’s only plan with that at the moment, however, is to cause riots in Jordan to oust Jordan’s king.

Inspired by Western accusations against Israel and the West’s enthusiastic recognition of a Palestinian state — without requiring the direct negotiations with Israel, as obligated by international treaties — the Palestinian leadership has become more radicalized.

Mahmoud Abbas has gone so far as to abandon his pretense of moderation: if the Israelis can be accused of creating the ISIS with no mention made of the culpability of Hamas, whose ideology is the same as ISIS’s, Mahmoud Abbas has been freed of any commitment to peace and can actively pursue the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

In addition, witnessing Russia’s abrogation of its 1994 Budapest Memorandum with the Ukraine, with virtually no adverse consequences, must have seemed a precedent too tempting to ignore. Thus, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas do truly speak with one voice, but it is the voice of Hamas.

Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, called on all the Palestinians to take up arms to defend Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The mosque, he said, justifies jihad and the sacrificing of shaheeds [martyrs] to liberate it, and, as in the Hamas charter, that “resistance” is the only solution for the problems of the Palestinian people.

Mashaal was echoed by Mahmoud Abbas at the 14th Fatah conference. Abbas said that under no condition were Jews to be allowed into Al-Aqsa mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, because any Jewish presence would defile them. On whose authority did he take possession of the Christian holy sites? A short time earlier, Abbas had even claimed that he had no intention of inciting a third intifada against Israel.

Somehow, John Kerry has managed to link to Israel the Shi’ite-Sunni civil wars, radical Islam’s Muslim Brotherhood-inspired global plot and the creation of ISIS. Then he linked the failure of the Palestinian issue to have been resolved to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The unpopular and inconvenient truth is: if there is to be peace, Hamas has to be disarmed, the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip have to be demilitarized, Mahmoud Abbas has to recognize the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jews, and Netanyahu has to recognize the Palestinians state. Israel will then compensate the Palestinians with land in return for the land on which the three large blocks of settlements stand, as has already been agreed.

It is not Israel but the Palestinians who are trying to avoid negotiating a final agreement. They see themselves, with the backing of the UN and Secretary Kerry — and in a final breakdown of any trust in future international agreements — as able to achieve their desired result without having to make any concessions.

People who repeat infamies, as Kerry has done, not only encourage radicalism, they are just delaying the establishment of a Palestinian state. We do want a Palestinian state, but please only one that will provide responsible governance.

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Reader comments on this item Title By Date brilliant article [18 words]David WoolfNov 4, 2014 16:46Ethics, morals and values. Or the lack of … [72 words]steven LNov 4, 2014 11:17Thank you, Bassam Tawil, for laying out the issues with clarity and insig
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