Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saudi Man divorces wife for watching male tv host

A Saudi man divorced his wife for watching alone a television programme presented by a male, an act he deemed immoral, the Al Shams newspaper reported on Saturday. The man, whom the paper did not identify, ended his marriage on the grounds his wife was effectively alone with an unrelated man, which is forbidden under the strict Islamic law enforced in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the paper said.

Men in Saudi Arabia have the authority to divorce their wives without resort to the courts.

Is your University hosting Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses. The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an "Islamophobe." According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are "oppressors."

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to oppose these lies and to rally American students to defend their country.

Why “Islamo-Fascism”?

Robert Spencer and David Horowitz

When President Bush used the term “Islamo-Fascism” to describe the jihadists who have attacked us, many complained that it reflected prejudice against Muslims. The Council on American Islamic Relations, a “civil rights” organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, protested that the term “feeds the perception that the war on terror is actually a war on Islam. In fact, the opposite is the truth. As the Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas explains, the term “Islamo-Fascism” was “initially coined by Algerian people struggling for democracy, against armed fundamentalist forces decimating people in our country, then later operating in Europe, where a number of us had taken refuge.” In other words, the term “Islamo-Fascism” originates with moderate Muslims under attack from Muslim radicals, who murdered more than 150,000 Muslims whom they regarded as infidels in Algeria in the 1990s.
Helie Lucas is the founder of the group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, which resists the oppression of women by these fanatics. The term Islamo-Fascism, as she explains, refers to “political forces working under the cover of religion in order to gain political power and to impose a theocracy (‘The Law’ -- singular -- of God, unchangeable, ahistorical, interpreted by self appointed old men) over democracy (i.e. the laws -- plural -- voted by the people and changeable by the will of the people).”
The term “Islamo-Fascism” does not refer to a generalized “war on Islam,” but to a defensive war against the attacks of radicals who have murdered hundreds of thousands of moderate Muslims, Jews, Christians, gays, women and infidels since the first radical Islamic state was formed in Iran in 1979, and the modern global jihad was launched in earnest.
Moderate Muslims who hold to Islam as a religion but reject its political ambitions are happy to live in pluralistic societies that separate religion from the state. Moderate Muslims are willing to live with non-Muslims as equals. It is these Muslims who are the victims of the Islamo-Fascists and the natural allies of the West, which is also the target of the jihad.
The jihadists, who are waging this war, are exponents of political – rather than religious – Islam. They are indeed fascists, sharing crucial ideological convictions with historical fascist movements.
The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, was an open admirer of Adolf Hitler, as was the principal theorist of the modern jihad, Sayyid Qutb. During World War II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, cousin of Yasir Arafat and spiritual godfather of Palestinian nationalism, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was openly pro-Nazi. In May 1941, he issued a fatwa calling upon the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv, and in November 1941 traveled to Berlin and met with Hitler. Then he went to the Balkans, where he spearheaded the creation of Muslim units of the Waffen SS.
The Islamic jihad launched by the Muslim Brotherhood, and carried on by offshoots such as al-Qaeda and Hamas, is a totalitarian movement seeking the control of every aspect of human life through the powers of the state. The jihadists want to bring all social and family life under the sway of Islamic law, through the creation of a global Islamic empire, with a caliphate in Baghdad. Like the Nazis before them, they believe in the inherent superiority of one group of human beings over all the rest, whom they regard as “infidels” and “unbelievers.” These infidels, according to the passages of the Qur’an that they invoke, are the “vilest of creatures” (Qur’an 98:6).
The term “Islamo-fascism” describes the agendas of the jihadists with perfect accuracy. It supports moderate Muslims who are seeking to defend themselves and distinguish their religious faith from the totalitarian faith of the jihad.
No one who wants to see moderate Muslims succeed in their efforts to resist the oppressive doctrines of the Islamo-fascists should oppose the use of this term. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is an effort to educate the general public about the enemy we face and, in the process, to give moderate Muslims support in their struggle.

Bush to UN World must free itself from tyranny, violence

Speaking before UN's General Assembly, US president calls on world nations to stop slamming Israel for violating human rights, support budding democracies US President George W Bush spoke before the United Nation's General Assembly Tuesday and called on its members to stop treating Israel as if it was the only country where human rights were not fully observed.

Bush's speech before the 62nd assembly revolved mainly around the worldwide abuse of human rights and the world's need to free itself from tyranny and violence.

Naming Myanmar, Darfur, Cuba and Zimbabwe as some of the nations most at fault for abusing human rights, Bush announced new US sanctions against Myanmar's military rulers.

"The United States will tighten economic sanctions on the leaders of the regime and their financial backers," said Bush, adding that Americans were "outraged" by rights abuses in Myanmar.

Bush went on to criticize the UN human rights commission for failing to allocate the resources needed to deal with human rights violations around the world, and opting instead to mostly slam Israel for such violations.

The best way to defeat terror is to beat the terrorists' ideology through realizing a vision of freedom, said Bush, calling on the world's nations to support the moderate forces in the Palestinian Authority.

"The United States must support these moderate leaders, so we may see two nations living side by side in peace," he said, adding the nations must also show their support to the world's budding democracies – Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

The United Nation's General Assembly also saw the two great opponents – George W Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enter the UN Manhattan building, with both parties going out of their way to avoid a chance encounter.

Surprisingly, Bush's speech said nothing about Ahmadinejad or his visit to the US. Sources close to President Bush said he believed the Iranian president's visit was getting too much media attention as it is and that he saw no need to add to that.

In Search Of The "Peace-Loving Muslims" -- Again

By Austin Hill
Sunday, September 30, 2007

What is it with the combination of being a medical doctor and a “Muslim? That’s a very legitimate question to ask, in light of a certain event that unfolded at the end of last week in Virginia. Dr. Esam Omeish, who in addition to being an “M.D.” was, up until last Thursday, a member of the Virginia State Commission on Immigration. He also happens to be president of the Muslim American Society. By all accounts an accomplished professional and a responsible contributor to his community, Dr. Omeish’s world changed, seemingly overnight, when some very damning video was discovered at Youtube Dot Com.
Turns out that back in August of 2006, Dr. Omeish delivered a speech before an Islamic rally in Washington D.C., and made some statements that, by any objective measure, are rather troubling.
First, the part that has people really upset. Dr. Omeish is seen on the video tape saying to his Muslim audience, " have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land."
Is this something that has been taken out of context? Sure it is. I’m only providing a partial quote here. But can we just be very candid and honest here, and admit that hearing a Muslim in America - - or anywhere else- - utter the word “jihad,” is rather unnerving?
Since the discovery of the video, Dr. Omeish has explained that this jihad flap is all a big misunderstanding. Responding to the outcry, Dr. Omeish stated “in Islam, jihad is a broad word that means constant struggle - struggling spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically - in all respects. So my words were in support of people who are resisting occupation and people who are trying to ... remove oppression from their land.”
Okay…so all us “non-Muslims” need to keep an open mind, and think in terms of a broader definition of “jihad.”
But what about some of the other rhetoric that appears on Dr. Omeish’s You Tube debut? Elsewhere on the recording Omeish states that the ‘invasion” of Lebanon and “support of the Israeli war machine” are criminal, and should end now. And that Israel is “illegally occupying Palestine.” And that the United States Congress has an “agenda” to support Israel, and that agenda is ‘controlling” U.S. foreign policy.
Oh, really? And since when has it become socially acceptable in the United States to assert conspiracy theories about the undue influence of Jews (isn‘t this as “old school“ and as offensive as saying that “the Jews control Hollywood?”). And how much further should this kind of rhetoric progress before we are legitimately concerned about “anti-Semitism?”
This incident certainly raises concerns about Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine’s vetting process, for appointing members to his state commission. But it also bares at least some resemblance to a set of circumstances that unfolded earlier this year in Europe.
Recall that on July 1 of this year, authorities in both England and Scottland reported the discovery of a terror plot involving Muslim physicians and their plans to wreak havoc at airports in both London and Glasgow. Fortunately the plot was thwarted. But it was bad enough to raise concerns at 10 Downing Street about the adequacy of background checks that were being conducted on so-called “professional immigrants” into the U.K.
Similarly, the “discovery” of Dr. Omeish’s inflamed rhetoric in front of his Muslim “brothers” should raise concerns here in the United States. It should, once again, cause Americans to question where the true, peace-loving Muslims are. It should cause us to ask why, among the voices of hostility and hatred, we are not hearing from those who call themselves by the name of “Allah,” yet are also able to agreeably disagree with those who do not share their faith tradition, and not wish them harm.
I dared to raise these questions myself, just last Friday in Washington, D.C. While guest hosting a talk show on ABC radio’s 630 WMAL (a station where I frequently “fill-in”), I asked these very same questions, even as the news of Dr. Omeish was breaking. And quite quickly, I was inundated with some very enlightening email and telephone calls, labeling me as a “Nazi,” “a pawn in the big Zionist propaganda machine,” and a “hate monger who is painting with a broad brush every Muslim on the planet.”
I hadn’t asserted anything - - I merely asked a couple of questions. If you’re going to ask the questions, be prepared to be so-labeled.
But the questions are still worth asking.

The finances of lemmingland

As the financial institutions of Britain and the west increasingly — and disturbingly — come under the control of Islamic interests, Daniel Pipes has written an extremely timely and important analysis of this phenomenon. In particular, he makes the devastating observation that, far from the story we are told that Islamic financial precepts are a religious requirement and therefore not to enable Muslims in the west to live by them amounts to religious discrimination, the truth is that Islamic finance is an ‘invented tradition’ that emerged in the 1940s in India. The notion of an economics discipline ‘that is distinctly and self-consciously Islamic is very new.’ Even the most learned Muslims a century ago would have been dumbfounded by the ‘Islamic economics.’

It was invented in order to minimize relations with non-Muslims, strengthen the collective sense of Muslim identity, extend Islam into a new area of human activity, and modernize without Westernizing.

In other words, Islamic finance is a political and ideological weapon which was devised as a means of subjugating the west to Islam. It was conceived as a direct threat to the west – and our willingness to embrace this danger to our identity and freedom shows once again just how suicidally ignorant we are.

Islamic Economics What Does It Mean?

Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post

While the outside world hardly noticed, a significant and rapidly growing amount of money is now being managed in accord with Islamic law, the Shari'a. According to one study, "by the end of 2005, more than 300 institutions in over 65 jurisdictions were managing assets worth around US$700 billion to US$1 trillion in a Shari'ah-compatible manner."

Islamic economics increasingly has become force to contend with due to burgeoning portfolios of oil exporters and multiplying Islamic financial instruments (such as interest-free mortgages and sukuk bonds). But what does it all amount to? Can Shari'a-compliant instruments challenge the existing international financial order? Would an Islamic economic regime, as an enthusiast claims, really imply an end to injustice because of "the State's provision for the well-being of all people"?Timur Kuran, professor of economics and political science at Duke University.

To understand this system, the ideal place to start is Islam and Mammon, a brilliant book by Timur Kuran, written when he was (ironically, given heavy Saudi backing for Islamic economics) King Faisal Professor of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California.

Now teaching at Duke University, Kuran finds that Islamic economics does not go back to Muhammad but is an "invented tradition" that emerged in the 1940s in India. The notion of an economics discipline "that is distinctly and self-consciously Islamic is very new." Even the most learned Muslims a century ago would have been dumbfounded by the "Islamic economics."

The idea was primarily the brainchild of an Islamist intellectual, Abul-Ala Mawdudi (1903-79), for whom Islamic economics served as a mechanism to achieve many goals: to minimize relations with non-Muslims, strengthen the collective sense of Muslim identity, extend Islam into a new area of human activity, and modernize without Westernizing.

As an academic discipline, Islamic economics took off during the mid-1960s; it acquired institutional heft during the oil boom of the 1970s, when the Saudis and other Muslim oil exporters, for the first time possessing substantial sums of money, provided the project with "vast assistance."

Proponents of Islamic economics make two basic claims: that the prevailing capitalist order has failed and that Islam offers the remedy. To assess the latter assertion, Kuran devotes intense attention to understand the actual functioning of Islamic economics, focusing on its three main claims: that it has abolished interest on money, achieved economic equality, and established a superior business ethic. On all three counts, he finds it a total failure.

1) "Nowhere has interest been purged from economic transactions, and nowhere does economic Islamization enjoy mass support." Exotic and complex profit-loss sharing techniques such as ijara, mudaraba, murabaha, and musharaka all involve thinly disguised payments of interest. Banks claiming to be Islamic in fact "look more like other modern financial institutions than like anything in Islam's heritage." In brief, there is almost nothing Islamic about Islamic banking – which goes far to explain how Citibank and other Western majors host far larger Islam-compliant deposits than do the specifically Islamic banks.

2) "Nowhere" has the goal of reducing inequality by imposition of the zakat tax succeeded. Indeed, Kuran finds this tax "does not necessarily transfer resources to the poor; it may transfer resources away from them." Worse, in Malaysia, zakat taxation, supposedly intended to help the poor, instead appears to serve as "a convenient pretext for advancing broad Islamic objectives and for lining the pockets of religious officials."

3) "The renewed emphasis on economic morality has had no appreciable effect on economic behavior." That's because, in common with socialism, "certain elements of the Islamic economic agenda conflict with human nature."
Kuran dismisses the whole concept of Islamic economics. "[T]here is no distinctly Islamic way to build a ship, or defend a territory, or cure an epidemic, or forecast the weather," so why money? He concludes that the significance of Islamic economics lies not in the economy but in identity and religion. The scheme "has promoted the spread of antimodern … currents of thought all across the Islamic world. It has also fostered an environment conducive to Islamist militancy."

Indeed, Islamic economics possibly contributes to global economic instability by "hindering institutional social reforms necessary for healthy economic development." In particular, were Muslims truly forbidden not to pay or charge interest, they would be relegated "to the fringes of the international economy."
In short, Islamic economics has trivial economic import but poses a substantial and malign political danger.

From | Original article available at:

Productivity and Self-Discipline in Ramadan

JEDDAH — More than 1,400 years ago, the holy month of Ramadan offered Muslims the chance to strengthen their minds and exercise self-discipline in order to attain higher things. Productivity and Self-Discipline in Ramadan Hassna’a Mokhtar, Arab News —

JEDDAH — More than 1,400 years ago, the holy month of Ramadan offered Muslims the chance to strengthen their minds and exercise self-discipline in order to attain higher things. In Islamic history, Ramadan was a time when major battles were fought and won. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also used to be the most active during the month of fasting.Does Ramadan still hold the same spiritual and ethical values in the 21st century to people living in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman form the GCC.Ahmed M., 45, is saddened to see people of all ages viewing Ramadan in Saudi Arabia as a time for sleep, laziness and decreased productivity. “If you go to an office and ask for someone, you’re often told to come back later or the next day,” he said. “If someone loses his temper, you’re told he is edgy because he is fasting.”As a businessman, Ahmed is unhappy about dealing with people in both the public and private sectors during the month. He stressed that employees should know that this is not a month to delay matters that are important to other people’s lives and interests. “Ramadan is a month of worship and active work. If we adjust our lifestyles properly, we can do both and also be more productive,” he said.Wael Bakor, 29, marketing manager at a major company in Jeddah, expressed regret at the attitude of employees. “Unfortunately, people become more tense and irritated during Ramadan. One can easily notice the bad moods, the tension and the inability to put up with anyone or anything,” he said.Wael believes that even if people have bad habits, they must try hard to convey the spirit of Ramadan by being more forgiving and understanding. In terms of work-related issues, Wael said that the salesmen in his company work two shifts that extend till after midnight. “Salesmen complain about work hours during Ramadan. It’s really difficult for them to function normally when they fast and stay up late,” he said. “Changing work hours, and increasing or decreasing them doesn’t boost efficiency. When a company drains its employees of their physical and mental energy, there will be no room left for productivity,” he added.Alaa Al-Mohammadi, 27, works as a teaching assistant at King Abdul Aziz University, which, during Ramadan, opens between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Al-Mohammadi noticed the low level of productivity during the month of Ramadan, especially among students. “On account of the nature of the month when people stay up all night, absenteeism increases among students,” she said.Usually, students complain about exams and homework during Ramadan saying they neither have the time nor the energy to study. “This year is a bit different since we started the semester a few days prior to the beginning of Ramadan,” said Alaa. “There’s not much work to be done. However, I never start my classes at 10 a.m. sharp. Students are always late because they either get up late or are held up in traffic.”In Bahrain, the law gives people a shorter six-hour working day instead of the normal eight hours. The six hours are worked straight through.Gulf Daily News columnist Les Horton felt sympathy for Muslims who have to work a full day while fasting. In an article published on Sept. 19, he wrote, “Many Bahrainis and other Muslims have demanding jobs and many of them — we have some in our own office — plow on until work is done, regardless of being allowed a shorter shift. But there are others who treat it as a holiday and as a result of staying up for much of the night, are not able to put in the performance they are being paid for.”The law in Dubai allows governmental sectors to change their work hours during Ramadan. Private companies are free to choose when they want to work. According to Mona Al-Kayat, a 30-year-old reporter who has lived and worked in Dubai her entire life, not everyone in the UAE complies with the rules. “Some companies still function according to their regular working hours,” she said.When asked about people’s productivity, Mona said that in some sectors, you notice low levels of productivity. “There is an element of that here but it’s not so bad,” said Mona. “People still produce but their performance is affected. In fact, a lot of employees, even non-Muslims, love Ramadan because they have to work less and are able to spend more time with their families,” she added.Mona expressed her concerns regarding traffic during Ramadan. Accidents are known to happen in Dubai just before iftar, a time when most people are in a rush. “The traffic in this country is so bad that road rage has made people go mad,” said Mona.Hanan Al-Garni, a travel services assistant at Zayed University, feels that the atmosphere in Ramadan in Abu Dhabi is not as spiritual or encouraging as in Jeddah. “I’ve been in Abu Dhabi for the past year and two months. I miss the spirit of Ramadan in Jeddah,” she said. “People there bond in the holy month and encourage each other to do better things. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same here.”Abdalla Al-Khodary, 30, is an IT and business consultant who visited Doha for the first time during the month of Ramadan on a business trip. Working hours in Doha are reduced to six hours a day from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. “Business hours can be a bit frustrating — we finish work at 2 p.m. but no businesses are open until at least 8 p.m. to give people time to pray, have iftar and then start work,” said Abdalla. “This means that banks, clothes shops, mobile phone offices and pretty much all other business hours are open from about 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.”According to Abdalla, the spirit of the holy month can be felt when dealing with citizens and expatriates residing in Doha. “There is a shift in people’s manners and ethics. It’s truly touching to see that Ramadan brings out the best in people,” he said.Sumayyah Meehan, 34, is an American convert to Islam and has lived in Kuwait since 1996. Meehan writes for different publications. She said Ramadan in Kuwait is different. As iftar time approaches, people happily run in the streets trying to gather the last items for the iftar meal such as fresh bread and samboosa. “Even drivers stuck in traffic often have smiles on their faces as they try to get home,” said Meehan. “There is really a sense of universal brotherhood in Kuwait during Ramadan.”Most businesses in Kuwait open around 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. during the holy month. Schools also open for only four hours. “People spend the nights of Ramadan wide awake until dawn. They are losing out on the blessings of the holy month,” said Sumayyah. “Of course they are often too tired to perform their duties properly the following day.”Fasting is not merely about hunger and thirst. It is also definitely not about turning night into day either. The spirit and intent of Ramadan lies in human transformation in a monthlong inner journey of struggle and discovery. It is to do one’s utmost to become a more productive, more generous, more patient, and an overall better, human being.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What happened to the intifada against Hamas?

Khaled Abu Toameh

More than three months after Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, the Islamist movement appears to be tightening its grip on the estimated 1.5 million Palestinians living there. And contrary to many expectations, Hamas still hasn't turned the Strip into an Islamic "emirate" or a Taliban-style Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, Hamas would have loved to establish an Islamic republic in Gaza, but this seems a remote possibility given the fact that there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

Nor has Hamas faced any serious challenge to its rule and, unlike Fatah, the movement has not witnessed internal squabbling.

Attempts by the Fatah faction to ignite an anti-Hamas uprising suffered a major blow over the weekend when the entire Fatah leadership in the Gaza Strip submitted its resignation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The resignations came in protest against the refusal of PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad to pay salaries to thousands of former Fatah policemen and security officials who lost their jobs after the Hamas takeover.

Only a few weeks ago Fatah officials in Ramallah said they could see the first signs of an "intifada" against Hamas in the Strip. Their optimism was based on a series of demonstrations organized by Fatah activists following Friday prayers in Gaza City. The demonstrations, which drew thousands of Palestinians, were held in a public square and often ended in clashes with Hamas's security forces.

"This is the beginning of the end of the Hamas rule," a jubilant Fatah official remarked then. "In the coming weeks we will see more people joining the demonstrations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This is a real intifada."
But the protests have since disappeared. Some Fatah leaders have blamed Hamas's "iron-fist" policy, pointing out that many demonstrators had been brutally beaten or arrested.

Other leaders, however, said ongoing divisions inside Fatah and the lack of a charismatic leadership were the main reason why Hamas had been able to assert its power.

The feeling among many Palestinians is that Abbas and Fatah chose, after the Hamas "coup," to direct all their energies toward preventing a similar scenario in the West Bank.

Hundreds of Hamas supporters and figures in the West Bank have been rounded up in one of the biggest clampdowns on the movement since 1996. In addition, dozens of Hamas-linked institutions have either been closed down or destroyed.
Simultaneously, Hamas's security forces and militias have spent the past three months eliminating what was left of Fatah's bases of power in the Gaza Strip.
Most of the influential Fatah-affiliated clans have been disarmed. The most notorious among them was the Dughmush clan, whose members operated as mercenaries for various armed groups and even for senior Fatah security commanders . Ever since the Hamas takeover, the Dughmushes have been keeping a low profile and many of them have surrendered their weapons without resistance.

One of the leaders of the clan, Mumtaz Dughmush, headed an al-Qaida-style gang called the Army of Islam. The gang was responsible for the kidnapping of several Westerners , including BBC reporter Alan Johnston, and the bombing of more than 50 Internet cafes, restaurants and hair salons.

The kidnappings prompted most foreigners to stay away from the Gaza Strip. In recent weeks, however, many have begun returning - so far without facing real threats.
Fatah once used to boast it had more than 50,000 gunmen in the Strip who were capable of crushing Hamas at any time. Palestinian journalists interviewed by The Jerusalem Post by phone said it's almost impossible these days to find Fatah gunmen on the streets of the Gaza Strip.

"It's as if the earth had swallowed all of them," commented one journalist who writes for a London-based Arab newspaper. "It's even more amazing that Fatah hasn't been able to reorganize itself and to carry out what they call resistance operations against Hamas."

Another journalist said he did not believe there were many people in the Strip who missed the Fatah gunmen.
"To be honest with you, there is a sense of relief among the people here that these guys are no longer roaming the streets," he said. "Many of them were responsible for the state of chaos and lawlessness that prevailed in the Gaza Strip before the Hamas coup."

Yet both journalists agreed that it was only a matter of time before the situation deteriorated again. They noted that although Hamas had been in power for three months, the movement hasn't been able to solve major problems such as the reopening of the border crossings and improving the economy.

The real problem is that many in Gaza still don't regard Fatah as preferable to Hamas.

When Hamas took full control over the Strip, Fatah spokesmen warned that the movement would turn the area into a dangerous and radical Islamic emirate, where adulterers and adulteresses would be stoned to death and thieves would have their arms amputated in public squares.

But Hamas, whose leaders reiterated last week that they were still interested in a dialogue with the West, has been doing its utmost to distance itself from al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The major concern of most Gazans these days is not whether Hamas would impose strict Shari'a (Islamic religious) laws, but whether they would be able to earn a decent living and feed their children.

Hamas's presence in power has only aggravated the economic crisis there and many Palestinians don't even see a light at the end of the tunnel. The continued closure of the borders with Israel and Egypt, as well as financial and political sanctions imposed on the Hamas government, have created an atmosphere of despair and frustration, especially among the youth.

"Fine, Hamas has put an end to the anarchy, but what about the economy?" asked a merchant from Gaza City. "I don't think the situation can continue like this for long."

When a foreign institution recently announced a vacancy for a doorman, its managers were flooded, within hours, with more than 2,500 applications - many from university graduates. After all, the salary was relatively high by local standards: $350 a month.

Almost every Palestinian knows that Hamas will remain in power for as long as Fatah is disunited and unreformed. But Fatah and its leader, Abbas, are still far from drawing the requisite conclusions and offering the Palestinians a better alternative to Hamas.


Professor Louis Rene Beres (Purdue University)
Lt. General (USAF/Ret.) Thomas McInerney
Major-General (USA/Ret.) Paul E. Vallely
Reply to Professor Beres
From the start of our Nuclear Age, the US has drawn precise operational plans from an overarching and codified strategic doctrine. Until early in the 1990s, this doctrine was fashioned almost entirely from the standpoint of countering the Soviet Union. Now, facing a very different and distinctly multipolar set of threats, especially from certain Jihadist or Islamist enemies, President Bush needs to implement far-reaching doctrinal changes.
The President must understand that anti-US threats should no longer be assessed according to antiquated “spectrum of conflict” thinking. We know that dedicated terrorists may now have access to various mass-destruction weapons technologies. Like states, certain sub-national enemies can now imperil us with near-existential harms, including weaponized pathogens as well as nuclear explosives and radioactivity.
This represents a vulnerability we have not experienced before, and it is very different from our Cold War-era vulnerabilities. Can we continue to rely upon the logic of deterrence when the essential assumptions of rationality may no longer be present? Such continued reliance may be problematic even if American planners focus on the assorted state sponsors of these terrorist surrogates and on the related spread of WMDs. These states, like their dependent proxies, could possibly value certain religious or ideological preferences even more highly than their own life and freedom. Obvious examples here would be Iran and Hezbollah or perhaps a new state of “Palestine” and al-Qaeda.
In the beginning, there was “massive retaliation” and “mutual assured destruction” (MAD). Later, at the Pentagon and war colleges, this gave way to “flexible response” and “nuclear utilization theory” (NUT). Interpenetrating these strategic doctrines, first conceived entirely with reference to the USSR, were fierce debates over nuclear targeting options. Today, once again, we will need to examine both “counter value” (counter-city) and “counter force” targeting doctrines, but this time with regard to both state and non-state enemies and to both rational and non-rational ones. To be sure, these sensitive examinations will be divisive and acrimonious, but the issues cannot be swept under the rug. They concern nothing less than the survival of the United States and democracy in general.
A core concern of any new US strategic doctrine will have to be preemption. Although this concept has suffered criticism in response to our current war in Iraq, there are other major threats on the horizon that may respond to nothing less than what international law calls “anticipatory self-defense.” In those circumstances where rationality cannot be assumed, and where the effectiveness of ballistic missile defense would be expectedly low, the only alternative to apt forms of American preemption could be national suicide.
Strategic doctrine is always a complex matter, and a coherent framework for dealing with myriad threats to our national security will have to be meticulous, comprehensive and creative. If, for any reason, we should disavow preemption and allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, our doctrine will have to identify promising new options for geostrategic coexistence with that country. How should we then best deter a nuclear Iran, both from launching direct missile attacks, and from dispersing nuclear assets among its terrorist surrogates?
It is plausible to assume, in such circumstances, that a primary nuclear threat to American cities could come from cars, trucks and ships. Ballistic missile defense would be of no use against ground-based attacks. Could we really make Tehran believe that any proxy act of nuclear terrorism would elicit a massive nuclear retaliation against Iran itself? We must, and operational answers – including the endgame - can emerge only from a new US strategic doctrine.
Until the Nuclear Age, insurgents were substantially limited in the damage they could inflict, and the logic of warfare was based on expectation of victory. Today, certain insurgents could bring greater disasters to the American homeland than most countries. They could even bring us greater pain than was deliverable by our national enemies in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. As to victory, for which there is still no substitute, there are sometimes no longer any clearly identifiable measures. In the essential war against rational and irrational enemies, both state and terrorist, we will just have to adapt to difficult circumstances of protracted uncertainty and ambiguity.
Our new security doctrine must include both a Forward Strategy (offense) and a Homeland Strategy (defense). The Soviet Union is gone, but Putin’s Russia cannot be ignored. Looked at in our presently multi-polar world, Moscow now offers some of the very same perils that were manifest in the earlier era of bipolarity. Most notable here are the Russian president’s recent declarations on the resumption of long-range bomber flights and on associated plans to expand his country’s production of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Should we undertake expanded programs for US ballistic missile defense, or would such a recommendation merely prod Mr. Putin to produce even more destabilizing offensive missiles? This is just one of the main questions that should be addressed from a new doctrinal platform.
Strategic theory is a net. Only those who cast will catch. There is a viable endgame, but it must first be defined and understood within a new and codified US strategic doctrine.
LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Professor of International Law at Purdue University. He is the author of ten major books dealing with counter-terrorism, nuclear strategy and nuclear war.
THOMAS MCINERNEY, Lt. General (USAF/Ret.) is co-author of The Endgame: Winning the War on Terror (with Major-General Paul E. Vallely). General McInerney is retired Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.
PAUL E. VALLELY, MG (Army US Ret.), Author, Military Strategist and Host of the Radio Program, “Stand Up America.”

Live From New York, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Unreality Show

Dana Milbank

"For hundreds of years, we've lived in friendship and brotherhood with the people of Iraq ," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the National Press Club yesterday.That's true -- as long as you don't count the little unpleasantness of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when a million people died, some by poison gas. And you'd also have to overlook 500 years of fighting during the Ottoman Empire.
But never mind that: Ahmadinejad was on a roll.
"Our people are the freest people in the world," said the man whose government executes dissidents, jails academics and stones people to death.
"The freest women in the world are women in Iran," he continued, neglecting to mention that Iranian law treats a woman as half of a man.
"In our country," judged the man who shuts down newspapers and imprisons journalists, "freedom is flowing at its highest level."
And if you believe that, he has a peaceful civilian nuclear program he wants to sell you.
Much of officialdom spent yesterday condemning Columbia University for hosting the Iranian leader while he visits the United Nations this week. There were similar protests outside the National Press Building in Washington, where reporters gathered to question Ahmadinejad in a videoconference. "Don't give him any press!" shouted one woman.
But that objection misses a crucial point: Without listening to Ahmadinejad, how can the world appreciate how truly nutty he is?
"In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he informed the Columbia audience.
It takes time to come up with profound thoughts such as that, so Ahmadinejad was understandably in a hurry yesterday. His appearance at the press club was delayed 10 minutes when he didn't show up on time at the television studio in New York. Then his delegation informed the press club, mid-rant, that he would have to leave 15 minutes early so that he would have time to pray before his Columbia appearance. The prayer evidently missed the mark, for he was greeted at Columbia with a lengthy condemnation by President Lee Bollinger . He called Ahmadinejad a "petty and cruel dictator" and ended with the thought that "today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for."
The reception was rather friendlier at the press club, where the sole questioner was moderator Jerry Zremski of the Buffalo News. He introduced Ahmadinejad as "one of the most newsworthy heads of state in the world" and chose written questions submitted by the audience such as "Do you plan on running for reelection in two years?"
Ahmadinejad, wearing open collar and glasses, lost his audience at the press club almost immediately. After only one sentence of his speech, the translator stopped translating. " The president is reciting verses from the holy Koran in Arabic," she explained. Completing his verses, he launched into 20 minutes of cheap sentiment.
"I believe we all believe strongly that it is possible to create a better world for humanity, and to realize this sublime and beautiful goal, we need to take a look and revise how we view the world around us," he said, going on to mention the "sublime value of humanity" and a "walk on the sublime path."
The faces on the dais -- Greta Van Susteren, Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page among them -- met the president's statement with expressions of confusion that gradually turned into boredom as Ahmadinejad eschewed talk of uranium enrichment in favor of Hallmark. "Family is the center of love and beauty," he advised.
The man who recently hosted a convention for Holocaust deniers also treated listeners to his thoughts on the truth. "Lies have nothing to do with the divine spirit of mankind," he asserted.
Then the lies began.
Zremski inquired about the Amnesty International report finding flogging and imprisonment of journalists and at least 11 Iranian newspapers closed . "I think people who prepared the report are unaware of the situation in Iran," the president answered. "I think the people who give this information should seek what is the truth and, sort of, disseminate what's correct."
Zremski then raised the specific cases of two Kurdish journalists who have been sentenced to death for enmity toward God.
"This news is fundamentally wrong," Ahmadinejad replied. "What journalist has been sentenced to death?"
Zremski supplied the names of Kurdish journalists Adnan Hassanpour and Hiva Boutimar, sentenced July 16. "I don't know people by that name," the president retorted. " You have to, sort of, rectify the information channel."
A pattern had emerged. Zremski asked about the beating and torture of women's rights leaders. "Can you again tell me where you get this report from?" Ahmadinejad asked innocently.
Zremski asked about Ahmadinejad's assertion, at a news conference last month, that Iran is "prepared to fill the gap" of power in Iraq as U.S. influence declines. "Well, again, this, too, is one of those distortions by the press," he answered.
And those Iranian weapons showing up in Iraq? "No, this doesn't exist," he said.
Who knows? In the wild and wacky mind of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that just might be true.,1,245252.story?coll=la-news-comment&ctrack=3&cset=true
From the Los Angeles Times
Ahmadinejad's crack-up
Iran's president was his own worst enemy during a controversial appearance at Columbia University.

September 25, 2007

That Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a real cutup. The Iranian president had a hostile crowd at Columbia University laughing and applauding Monday during a controversial appearance that prompted an outcry from thousands of protesters and attracted bipartisan criticism from presidential candidates. Of course, Ahmadinejad's audience was mostly laughing at him rather than with him.

New York officials were outraged that the university provided a forum for Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier who has called for the destruction of Israel and is titular head of a country known to sponsor terrorism and aid insurgents in Iraq. They weren't alone. Democratic candidate Barack Obama made the rather contradictory statement that he wouldn't have invited Ahmadinejad to speak if he were president of Columbia, even though he has said he would personally meet with the man if elected president of the United States . Republican candidate Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has started airing a campaign commercial decrying Ahmadinejad's visit. On Capitol Hill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) attacked Columbia for handing Ahmadinejad a microphone.

These critics not only disrespect such core American principles as academic freedom and freedom of speech, they disrespect the intelligence of Ahmadinejad's audience. It isn't likely that many were swayed by his wild-eyed questioning of the facts of the Holocaust or who was really behind the 9/11 attacks. The biggest laugh of the afternoon came when, in response to a question about the Iranian regime's brutal treatment of homosexuals (a crime punishable by death), Ahmadinejad remarked, " In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country." He also declared that "women in Iran have the highest level of freedom" even though they are forbidden from such basic social activities as attending soccer games, and said "we are friends with the Jewish people" while attributing nearly all the world's ills to Jews. It's hard to believe that anyone with a third-grade education would find him convincing.

In 1939, a journalist named Alan Cranston was outraged by a sanitized English-language translation of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," so he edited his own abridged version that bared the German dictator's sinister soul. Cranston, who later became California's longest-serving Democratic senator, understood something that Obama, Romney, McConnell et al do not: The best way to discredit a tyrant is to let him do it himself, in his own poisonous words.


Kindly face of global terror
Sept. 25, 2007 12:00 AM
The terrorist often plays a double game.

That was the lesson on display Monday at Columbia University, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demonstrated the ease in which the terrorist masks his intentions.

The president of Iran showed his American audience an avuncular, peace-loving profile of Iran.

"We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people," said the slight fellow from behind his impenetrable black beard.

Ahmadinejad, of course, was lying. And the evidence is ample. The Iranians are training and supplying terror armies in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Explosive projectiles manufactured in Iran are killing Americans and allied soldiers in those last two nations. And our State Department has long warned that Iran is the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

In the same way Yasser Arafat could sign peace treaties with one hand and order terror strikes with the other, Ahmadinejad can play the pacifist as he briskly strides toward a nuclear Iran and Middle East dominance.

His country is neither expansionist nor belligerent, he said. "Iran will not launch an attack on Israel or any other country."

Such is the new world we live in that a committed foe can promise not to strike even as he has been attacking for a quarter century. Iran has pressed a low-level asymmetric war with the United States since its surrogate Hezbollah bombed the Beirut barracks in 1983 and killed 241 American servicemen.

The terrorist can talk like your friend, kill your countrymen and still enjoy invitations to your most esteemed institutions .

Columbia President Lee Bollinger asked Ahmadinejad if he plans to wipe the United States off the map along with Israel. "I doubt you have the intellectual courage to answer these questions - but your avoidance will be meaningful to us."

Ahmadinejad didn't need to answer. He already has, back home, where he once boasted that the promised hidden imam put him in power to provoke a "clash of civilizations," reports the (London) Telegraph. In this war, the Muslims, led by his nation, would confront the West, led by the United States, and bring it to submission.

Who really rules Israel?

Jewish state controlled by four informal networks, not by government In light of the battle between Olmert, Netanyahu and Barak for the next premiership, the public debate focuses on the question on who of these three politicians is the "strong leader" many Israelis yearn for. At the same time, the failures of all Israeli leaders throughout history and their inability to implement their policies are attributed to a series of elements, including political instability, the plethora of parties, and the low popularity of all government institutions.

However, despite the weakness of leaders and the Knesset, policy is still formulated and decisions are still being taken both on the diplomatic and local level. This gives rise to the following question: Who rules the State of Israel? If we closely examine the state of our political system, and particularly the question of who rules Israel in practice, which is something that is not done often, a disturbing picture emerges:

Four informal "networks," which are unelected and often act surreptitiously, rule Israel, with "strong leaders" associated with them to some extent and even being controlled by them. The membership of these networks is not permanent and their makeup changes. Yet the members of these networks have a joint agenda, common ideological and practical perceptions, joint interests, common ways of acting, and the ability to influence public opinion, and of course influence politicians.

The defense network is made up of senior military officers, both past and present, heads of the secret services and police, and business owners in the security sphere. The members of this network have determined the political and military moves en route to all our wars, and between them. They are both leftist and rightist (as of late, there are more rightist and religious ones) and also took part in important political moves and in the peace process.

In addition, they are also intimately involved in economic, political, and cultural developments that pertain to the defense establishment. It is no secret that most Israeli prime ministers, even if not all of them, were members of this network. There was not always agreement between them and between those serving in the defense establishment during their tenure, but ultimately they acted together – and this can be clearly seen when we examine the evacuation of southern Lebanon, the disengagement from Gaza, the security fence, etc.

The capitalist network is made up of the 12 or 18 wealthiest families in Israel, as well as the large business owners. Its members are interested in the continuation of privatization processes, low taxation levels, low salary levels, etc. The members of this network are connected to senior politicians who enjoy their assistance and are willing to maintain neo-liberal policies, which led to great destruction of the Israeli welfare state and huge gaps between the highest and lowest echelons.

The strictly Orthodox rabbinical network is relatively small, and its members share common interests in all matters pertaining to the relationship between religion and state. They influence, and in fact determine, matters of personal status, yeshiva students' exemption from military service, conversion policy, attitude to foreign workers, and to a growing extent our policy in the territories.

The network of senior bureaucratic officials is particularly important. Its most prominent members include senior Treasury, Bank of Israel, Defense Ministry and Education Ministry officials. On the one hand, they are the ones who determine and formulate most of the important decisions and laws passed by the Knesset, and on the other hand they have the power to torpedo decisions and laws, particularly through inaction.

All Israeli prime ministers and senior ministers in recent decades were connected to or members of these networks. The three candidates for the next premiership are also connected to these networks: Benjamin Netanyahu is affiliated with the capitalist and Orthodox networks. Ehud Olmert is also affiliated with the capitalist and Orthodox networks. Meanwhile, Ehud Barak is associated with the defense and capitalist networks.

The three of them have attempted to, and will continue to attempt to, cultivate their relations with the network of senior bureaucratic officials.

This is one of the major problems of Israeli democracy. Until it gives power to the representatives of the genuine sovereign – the people – Israeli democracy will suffer from these ills, and even talented and inspirational leaders who subscribe to ideology that meets the needs of the people won't be able to function properly.

The writer is a professor at the Hebrew University's political science department and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Institute

The Islamist Trojan Horse is already in place

Youssef M. Ibrahim

"We're fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here" has become a hymn for the American right and an abominable lie to the left. But drowned out by all the noise is the fact that "they" are here already, having landed a long time ago and gotten very busy indeed constructing the American wing of jihad.

Have you watched the Arabic Channel, also known as TAC, which serves the New York region? Probably not, as most New Yorkers neither understand nor speak Arabic. But if you are among the estimated 1 million viewers — legal and illegal, new and old Arabic-speaking immigrants to the tri-state area — who tune in daily to Channel 507 on Time Warner Cable, this is what you can get:
• A daily dose of Islamic jurisprudence from an Egyptian sheik, Amr Khaled, who comes direct from Cairo as TAC's prime advocate of "peaceful jihad," on how the duty of every Arab-American is to become first, second, and only a member of the Muslim Ummah.
• A nightly helping of Syria's CNN-style digest of the world, sent fresh from a Damascus studio where the Iraq war is nothing but an American butchery of Arabs, and the Zionist regime in Jerusalem is just biding its time until it gets what it deserves.
• A sprinkling of Egyptian and Syrian soap operas (though TAC completely avoids footage of "Oriental" dancing and other "infidel" joys of life).

On its Web site, TAC says it is now 14 years old and serves the "Greater New York City Metropolitan area, including Jersey City, Bergen County, N.J., and Mt. Vernon, N.Y." through cable and satellite transmission.

TAC's ownership and funding are, to put it mildly, ambiguous. What is clear is that someone is funding this Islamist Trojan Horse already anchored inside the American fortress.

Another Islamist Trojan vehicle that was once quietly thriving in America — until it was shut down by presidential order in 2001 — is the now infamous Holy Land Foundation, whose recent prosecution by the American government is in its final phase.

At the Holy Land Foundation's trial in U.S. District Court in Dallas, the foundation and its many chapters stand accused of allegedly collecting some $57 million for radical Islamic causes and using the money as direct or indirect donations to the Palestinian Arab terrorist organization Hamas. Among other things, Holy Land is accused of allegedly organizing conferences and festivals with Hamas officials at which anti-Israel skits were performed as small children danced and waved flags. But the process was going on long before the Holy Land termination order and trial. It is naïve to not recognize the fusion between such militant proselytizing and the message spread by TAC.

Seemingly separate but unquestionably part of the same process of spreading militancy among immigrant Arab communities was the Debbie Almontaser episode of the Khalil Gibran School saga, in which what she saw as a benign use of the word "intifada" led to her being forced to quit as the school's principal. Neither Ms. Almontaser's project nor her unstated intention to create a Muslim school in Brooklyn under the guise of multiculturalism took place in a void. The common task among all these organizations and individuals is to instill the notion there are no Arab-Americans, only Muslim Americans.

What follows next, of course, is the "community's" eventual embrace of jihad against the values and policies of the majority infidel. This is what has taken place in Britain among native British subjects of Muslim origin.

For those who do not understand Arabic, of course, there is the new Al-Jazeera in English, whose slick, transplanted British broadcasters and directors are dedicated to expanding the notion that America and Israel are always aggressive and morally wrong.

Al-Jazeera in English is accessible via the Internet and gains greater access every day to satellite dishes and bigger audiences, all of it sponsored by our ally, the government of the tiny emirate Qatar.

While American law enforcement is getting pretty good at spotting violence that emerges in the style of another paramilitary attack, a friend in the national security community in Washington told me that there "are no vehicles nor a body of laws" to stop or monitor that other kind of slow implantation.

Yaroslav Trofimov, a Wall Street Journal correspondent and the author of two impressive books, "Faith at War" and "The Siege of Mecca," travels extensively across the Muslim world and has concluded, among other things: "Often, those with the most bloodthirsty ideas were the well-to-do and the privileged who have had some experience with the West, not the downtrodden and ignorant masses."

Maybe Congress should find a way to legislate asking such well placed outfits as TAC, Holy Land, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations a question: Who, pray tell, are you working for, gentlemen?



Ahmadinejad's overlooked message

Caroline Glick

During his visit to New York this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked every basic assumption upon which Western civilization is predicated. Ahmadinejad offered up his attacks while extolling his vision of Islamic global domination.

Refusing to note his existential challenge to the Free World, the Western media concentrated their coverage of his trip on his statements regarding specific Western policy goals. His rejection of the UN Security Council's authority to take action against Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program; his championing of the Palestinian cause and Israel's destruction; his denials of Iranian support for terrorism, and his attacks against the US were widely reported. So too, his insistence that Iranian women enjoy full rights and that there are no homosexuals in Iran received banner headlines.

Ahmadinejad gave two major addresses this week - at Columbia University and at the UN General Assembly. He devoted both to putting forward his vision for global Islamic domination. And while the Western media sought hidden meanings and signals for peaceful intentions in his words, the fact is that on both occasions, Ahmadinejad made absolutely clear that his vision of Islamic domination cannot coexist in any manner with Western civilization. Consequently, Ahmadinejad's statements were not negotiating stances. They were the direct consequence of the world view he propounds. As such, they are non-negotiable.

At Columbia University, Ahmadinejad devoted the majority of his speech to a discussion of the role of science in human affairs. While most coverage surrounded his refusal to renounce his call to annihilate Israel, his central message, that he rejects the right of people to be free to choose their paths in life, was ignored. His remarks on the issue were dismissed as "weird" or "unintelligible." Yet they were neither.

Speaking as "an academic," Ahmadinejad said that from his perspective, the role of science is to serve Islam and that any science that does not serve Islamic goals is corrupt. As he put it, "Science is the light, and scientists must be pure and pious. If humanity achieves the highest level of physical and spiritual knowledge but its scholars and scientists are not pure, then this knowledge cannot serve the interests of humanity." Elaborating on this notion, he argued that Western scientists serve corrupt governments who reject the pure and pious path of Islam and therefore are used as agents for corruption.

Tellingly, Ahmadinejad moved directly from his assault on non-Islamic scientists and regimes to a defense of Iran's nuclear program. The message was clear: Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is done in the name of Islam and therefore it is inherently legitimate. As far as he is concerned, refusing to allow Iran to pursue nuclear weapons is tantamount to an assault on God.

IN HIS address at the UN, Ahmadinejad laid out his case for Islamic supremacy. He claimed that all of the world's problems are the consequence of two things. First, by his reading of history, after the Second World War, "The victors of the war drew the road map for global domination and formulated their policies not on the basis of justice but for ensuring the interests of the victors over the vanquished nations."
The second cause for the world's woes is the world powers' rejection of Islam. As he put it, "The second and more important factor is some big powers' disregard of morals, divine values, the teachings of prophets and instructions by the Almighty God... Unfortunately, they have put themselves in the position of God!"
Thankfully for Ahmadinejad, this "corrupted" world order will soon be swept away. Either the "corrupted" powers will "return from the path of arrogance and obedience to Satan to the path of faith in God," or "the same calamities that befell the people of the distant past will befall them as well."

Concluding his UN remarks Ahmadinejad pledged, "Without any doubt, the Promised One who is the ultimate Savior… will come. In the company of all believers, justice-seekers and benefactors, he will establish a bright future and fill the world with justice and beauty. This is the promise of God; therefore it will be fulfilled."
IT COULD be argued that since Ahmadinejad's central message failed to register on his Western audiences that his visit to America was a failure. The fact that no media organs felt it necessary to analyze what he was talking about could be seen as a clear sign that no one is interested in buying what he is selling. But this is a dangerous argument, for it misses a basic truth.

Ahmadinejad is not interested in convincing the US government or even the majority of Americans to convert to Islam. He is interested in convincing adherents of totalitarian Islam and potential converts to the cause that they are on the winning side. He is interested in demoralizing foes of totalitarian Islam within the Islamic world and so causing them to give up any thoughts of struggle. In this goal he is no different from any of his Sunni counterparts in Saudi Arabia, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas or their sister organizations throughout the Islamic world and indeed throughout the West.

Throughout the world, Islamic ideologues are aggressively spreading their message of global domination. In mosques, on the Internet, on television, in schools, hospitals and prisons, Islamic preachers can be found propagating the cause of Islamic domination. And aside from Iran, no regime, including the Saudi regime, is immune from the pressures of the message.

Perhaps the central reason that Ahmadinejad's message, and the hundreds of thousands of voices echoing his call throughout the world, are so dangerous is because the Free World is making precious little effort to assert its own message. Indeed, rather than contend forthrightly with the challenge that men like Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden pose to the West, the West searches for ways to either co-opt their message by seeking out points of agreement or to show that really, the Islamic imperialists have nothing to fear from the West.

THE MAIN issue on which the West seeks to co-opt Islamic totalitarians is the Palestinian issue. The obvious hope is that by supporting the Palestinians, the West (including Israel) will be able to defuse what its elites consider to be the central grudge that Islamic imperialists hold against them. In so doing, they willfully ignore the basic incompatibility of the Islamic world view with human freedom; the jihadist character of Palestinian society; and the instrumental use that Islamic totalitarians make of the Palestinian issue.

Since it was established in 1994, the Palestinian Authority has been a central clearing house for jihadist, anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda. Even after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, Fatah has continued to compete with Hamas for the mantle of jihadist purity. Moreover, while its leaders dazzle Western and Israeli leaders with the talk of peace, Fatah's media organs and terror masters maintain the movement's support for terrorism and adherence to political goals that are incompatible with the continued existence of the State of Israel.
Every day, Fatah media mouthpieces extol PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's adherence to the so-called "right of return" which, if implemented, would destroy Israel as a Jewish state by overwhelming it with millions of hostile Arab immigrants. As Palestinian Media Watch documented, while Abbas was meeting with US President George W. Bush in New York, Fatah's daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jedida, published articles denying all Jewish connection to Jerusalem, and referring to Israeli cities like Sderot, Beit She'an and Safed as "settlements." So too, the newspaper reported that this past summer Fatah sent teenage boys from Judea and Samaria to a "summer camp" in Syria called "Camp Return."

Rather than contend with Fatah's embrace of jihad, as has been its practice with so-called "moderate" regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, the Bush administration ignores it in the hopes that by supporting Palestinian terrorists not overtly identified with jihad it will somehow weaken the attraction of jihad. So it was that in his remarks before the UN General Assembly, Bush extolled Fatah's "moderate leaders, mainstream leaders that are working to build free institutions that fight terror, and enforce the law, and respond to the needs of their people."
Not only are Bush's sentiments not supported by the Palestinians, who overwhelmingly voted Hamas into office last January, they are not even supported by US allies like Britain, which are pushing for a Western engagement of Hamas. And since Hamas is ideologically indistinguishable from other jihadist groups, it should come as no surprise that the West's willingness to support Palestinian jihadists necessarily leads to their willingness to accept jihadists in general.

Britain's Defense Minister Des Browne made this point explicit Monday when he argued for diplomatically engaging the Taliban in Afghanistan. Using the Palestinian issue as a point of departure, Browne said, "In Afghanistan, at some stage, the Taliban will need to be involved in the peace process because they are not going away any more than I suspect Hamas are going away from Palestine."

The Islamic imperialists' response to the new Western willingness to engage the Taliban was given last week by Osama bin Laden. In a new videotape released in Arabic, Urdu and English, bin Laden called for Pakistanis to wage jihad to overthrow the pro-Western, nuclear-armed government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
THE POINT in all of this couldn't be clearer. And Ahmadinejad made it at every opportunity. The Free World today finds itself embroiled in an ideological war for its very survival. Our enemies - whether Shi'ite or Sunni - are followers of a totalitarian ideology based on Islam which tells them that Allah wishes to rule the world through them. Israel is a central front in this war. Given the weakness of Western support for the Jews, jihadists see attacking Israel as a strategic tool for eroding the West's ideological defenses and shoring up their supporters throughout the world.

The thing of it is that aside from blind narcissism, there is a reason that the West ignores the dangers facing it. The Western media ignored Ahmadinejad's message, just as it has insistently ignored the messages of bin Laden and Fatah throughout the years, because Westerners have a hard time believing that anyone would want to abide by the Islamic world view which denies mankind's desire for freedom.

But no matter how ugly an ideology is, in the absence of real competition it gains adherents and power. The only way to ensure that jihadists' demonic views are defeated is by stridently defending and upholding the fundamental principles on which the Free World is based. And the West hasn't even begun to take up this challenge.
As a result, it has handed its enemies two victories already. It has demoralized its potential allies in the Islamic world, and it has failed to rally its own people to defend themselves.

In spite of what the West would like to believe, Ahmadinejad and his allies from Ramallah to Waziristan, from Gaza to Kandahar to Baghdad, are not negotiating. They are fighting. Rather than ignore them or seek to find nonexistent common ground, we must defeat them - first and foremost on the battleground of ideas.

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Accusations from Paris that Iran is building new clandestine military nuclear plant south of Natanz

A statement by President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday, Sept. 27 that he does not believe Iran’s program is peaceful was followed by a press conference at which the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s chairman, Mehdi Abrishamchi, reported Iran was constructing a new site for a secret military project 5 km south of the Natanz nuclear complex Sarkozy’s spokesman David Martinon said: “Ahmadinejad claims his country’s nuclear activities are peaceful. Ultimately, we do not believe him. Everyone knows that the program has military goals. We have a string of clues leading us to that conclusion. The question is not settled.”
DEBKAfile notes that, five years ago, the Americans used the same roundabout technique for making their first disclosures of Iran’s nuclear violations.
They fed the revelation that uranium enrichment was taking place at Natanz to the same resistance group, NCRI (Mujahideen Qalq), which then called a press conference in Washington and laid it before the public.

Surprisingly, this time, Tehran made its own contribution to the disclosures. The local newspaper Kayhan stated on Sept. 25: “The intelligence that the West currently has on Iran’s nuclear program is limited to sites accessible to IAEA inspectors – and more than that they do not know.”

Two days later, the NCRI went before the press in Paris with the little information he had, which nonetheless substantiated Tehran’s admission.
Iran is apparently bracing for a fresh spate of international allegations and disclosures from intelligence sources about its most secret nuclear activities for military purposes.

Abrishamchi’s seeming first installment did not specify what was going on at the new site or the nature of its contribution to Iran’s weapons program.
He located it near the small village of Abbas-Abad 5 km south of Natanz in the Siah mountain. The site, he said, consisted of a sprawling underground area with two tunnels which run under two mountains connected to Natanz. The tunnel entrance is six meters wide. Building began in 2006 and is scheduled to end in March 2008. Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Tabatabi monitors progress of the work every week; it is overseen by his deputy Brig. Gen. Daneshjo.

To preserve the project’s secrecy, the NCRI chairman reported, its various sections were assigned to different agencies and units of the defense ministry and Revolutionary Guards, none of which has the whole picture.

DEBKAfile’s sources believe that just enough data were rationed out to Abrishamchi to let the Iranians know that US and French intelligence has a lot more. How much more is released will depend on Tehran’s reaction. If the clerical rulers continue to maintain like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that their program is purely for peaceful purposes and the issue is closed, more solid information on Iranian illicit undertakings is likely to be laid bare.

Freedom of speech is a messy affair

Kathleen Parker

Among Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Andrew Meyer and Lawrence Summers, the world has been treated recently to a carnival of free expression as our most treasured right was exercised on university campuses. Or wasn't. Depending.
Free speech isn't quite free, as it turns out. Nor is its exercise evenly enjoyed. Here's the breakdown:
In New York Monday, the president of Iran -- a liar who denies the Holocaust, sponsors terror and abuses human rights -- spoke at Columbia University.
Ahmadinejad (A'jad for short) was mocked, booed, jeered and laughed at -- especially when he insisted there are no gays in Iran despite documented public hangings of homosexuals, including teenagers. But he got to speak.

Summers wasn't so lucky. In California, the former president of Harvard University did not get to speak at a University of California Board of Regents meeting after professors petitioned to withdraw his invitation.

Summers didn't hang anybody in public or stone any adulterers, as is still common in Iran. Summers' offense was more nuanced. He was insensitive.

A couple of years ago at a conference, Summers suggested that disparities in accomplishment and college tenure among men and women could be explained (possibly, maybe, but maybe not) by "availability of aptitude at the high end," as well as socialization, patterns of discrimination and, not least, the "high-powered job hypothesis" that more men than women opt for 80-hour workweeks.

It's surprising only that Summers wasn't Tasered on the spot.
Which was, alas, the fate of Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida student who was subdued by campus police during a Q&A with Sen. John Kerry. Meyer, who calls himself The Andrew Meyer on his Web site, was guilty of acute self-importance, as the definite article before his name suggests.

As video of the incident showed, Meyer persisted in asking a string of questions when told to stop, and made a noisy scene when police attempted to escort him from the room. Finally, after he was pinned on the ground by five or six police officers, he was Tasered.

Whether The Andrew Meyer was obnoxious is not in dispute, but if obnoxiousness were a Tasering offense, America's talk show hosts would be an alternative energy source.
So there you have it: Three individuals trying to exercise freedom of speech in three different university environments with three different results. The one with the greatest credibility was censored. The one whose regime restricts academic freedom and imposes censorship was given a forum. The one whose participation in the free speech experiment arguably counts the most -- the student -- was physically punished.
Unfortunately, Meyer is not a particularly sympathetic character. His record suggests that he is motivated more by fame than principle. Even so, from the other side of the world where freedom of speech is rare -- and where students are brutalized or killed for protesting their government -- the Taser incident must have seemed familiar. It was not our best moment.

What these events tell us is that freedom of expression is a messy business, not so neatly understood or exercised. Even as we want to export freedom, we continue to struggle with it ourselves -- not because we are weak or stupid, but because freedom is a burden. It always has been.

America has toiled more than two centuries now, trying to craft a system of free expression that respects both the individual and the larger community. When should your right to express yourself prevail over my right not to share your expression? That's the trick question and the answer requires more than magic. It requires maturity, responsibility and vigilance.

Summers should have been allowed to talk, because the marketplace of ideas has room for unpopular thoughts. So should The Kid With The Big Mouth, because America has a demonstrable tolerance for big mouths.

Strong arguments can be made both for and against Ahmadinejad's "right" to speak. A president who doesn't tolerate free speech in his own country has no legitimate claim to the pulpit, but an American university president has every right to invite him, to hear and question him, and to expose and laugh at his deceptions.

Most important, allowing all to speak is a reiteration of our hard-won understanding that speaking freely in the public square beats strapping on bombs in the marketplace every time. That's a lesson worth modeling.

We may not always get it right, but at least we get it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Where is the Issue of Education for Peace

Dore Gold

· When former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross sought to understand the failure of the Oslo peace process of the 1990s, in which he was an active participant, he zeroed in on the need to bring about a "transformation" of political attitudes that the Palestinian leadership failed to encourage Ross pointed to the education that Palestinian children received, concluding "that no negotiation is likely to succeed if there is one environment at the negotiating table and another on the street."
· The Roadmap insists in Phase I that "all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel." There are no negotiations whatsoever about Palestinian statehood, according to the Roadmap, until the Palestinians' Phase I obligations are fully met. Only after Phase I obligations are met, the Quartet then convenes an international conference in order to "launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders."
· In the past, the U.S. Congress has taken the firm position that a Palestinian state should not be recognized until the Palestinian Authority takes "effective steps to ensure that its educational and communications systems promote the acceptance of Israel's existence and of peace with Israel and actively discourage anti-Israel incitement."
· The current effort of Secretary of State Rice to facilitate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a November 2007 joint declaration in Washington over the parameters of a future Palestinian state essentially circumvents the Bush administration's own 2003 Roadmap sequence.
· The planned Olmert-Abbas declaration, it will be argued, is only an outline of a "political horizon" for the future. But how can Israel obligate itself on sensitive issues of borders or security already if it is in the dark over what kind of Palestinian neighbor it will have, especially if that neighbor still teaches the toxic hatred that undermined previous efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace?

Why Oslo Failed
The U.S. and Israel are in the midst of intense negotiations to prepare a joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration for the planned Washington peace conference scheduled for November 2007. The intended purpose of the declaration is to provide a "political horizon" for the future Palestinian state that presumably will strengthen politically moderate elements in the Palestinian Authority (PA) who prefer a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel over the Hamas strategy of ongoing "resistance." The underlying assumption of this diplomatic approach is that Palestinian moderation will grow by focusing on the most difficult permanent status issues - and giving the Palestinians a taste of the shape of a final settlement - instead of getting bogged down in other interim goals of peacemaking.
Yet one of the glaring oversights in this strategy is the whole issue of the Palestinians' commitment to undertake programs for their schools to advance education for peace and to halt incitement more generally. Since Yasser Arafat's death in November 2004, incitement has abated in some respects. There are no calls in Palestinian Authority-controlled media on the Palestinian population to enter into active conflict with the Israel Defense Forces as there were at the height of the Second Intifada. Nonetheless, in 2007 there has been an ongoing use of hostile terminology, even in Fatah-dominated news outlets, including references to towns within pre-1967 Israel, like Ashkelon and Sderot, as being "occupied." And virulent anti-Semitism continues in the Hamas media. Worse still, throughout 2007, political cartoons in the official PA daily al-Hayat al-Jadida utilized anti-Semitic motifs which dehumanize Jews as insects or as a sinister worldwide force with blood on its hands.1
When former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross sought to understand the failure of the Oslo peace process of the 1990s, in which he was an active participant, he zeroed in on the need to bring about a "transformation" of political attitudes that the Palestinian leadership failed to encourage. 2 Yasser Arafat, according to Ross, "continued to promote hostility toward Israel."3 Ross pointed to the education that Palestinian children received at summer camps. He concluded "that no negotiation is likely to succeed if there is one environment at the negotiating table and another on the street."4 Given the critical importance that Ross assigns to this issue in his effort to grapple with the lessons of the peace process from nearly a decade of experience, it is striking that in the public discourse concerning the upcoming peace conference, almost nothing has been said about Palestinian incitement or the Palestinian educational system.
Moreover, the need to address the fundamental issue of incitement in the Palestinian education system appears to be growing. During the visit of a delegation of U.S. Congressmen led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) to Ramallah in August 2007, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad frankly admitted that the Palestinian Authority was not promoting a program of education for peace: "You wouldn't call our curriculum a 'peace curriculum.'" This response came after successive questions on the subject by members of Congress, who perceived Fayad's statement as an admission that efforts to stop the incitement had not been successful. Cantor interpreted his response to mean that there wasn't willingness on the part of the PA to insist on a peace curriculum.5
Little Improvement in Palestinian Textbooks
The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, which has prepared five analyses over the years on the content of Palestinian Authority textbooks, is now completing a sixth analysis of PA textbooks for the years 2006 and 2007. Dr. Arnon Groiss, who is heading the project, noted some improvements in eleventh grade Palestinian textbooks during 2005 in which the name "Israel" appeared for the first time in maps in the text. References to ancient Jewish history were also mentioned, as well as the importance of inter-religious tolerance. However, there now seems to be a regression to the use of more hostile language including references in the latest twelfth grade texts to jihad and martyrdom. Emphasis on the need for steadfastness against the enemies of Islam returned to the texts for the twelfth grade as well. "Israel" was removed from all the maps in the text. Moreover, religious education in the West Bank is being handled through the Palestinian Ministry for Religious Endowments (Awqaf) - even under the Fatah-dominated government in the West Bank - which still uses older textbooks. This arrangement allows the Palestinian Authority to circumvent any minimal reforms instituted in the Palestinian Ministry of Education and to maintain hostile propaganda against Israel in Palestinian schools.
Education for Peace was an Oslo Requirement
The idea of halting Palestinian incitement and promoting education for peace has been a legal undertaking that the Palestinian leadership took upon itself throughout the Oslo peace process. In Article XXII of the September 1995 Interim Agreement (Oslo II), Israel and the PLO agreed "to foster mutual understanding and tolerance." They specifically obligated themselves to "abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other." Finally, Israel and the PLO agreed to "ensure that their respective educational systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples."
Abbas personally agreed to defining "preventing incitement and hostile propaganda" as a "Palestinian obligation" in the January 1997 Note for the Record that accompanied the Hebron Protocol. The Note for the Record was signed by Dennis Ross, on behalf of the United States. In the October 1998 Wye River memorandum, the Palestinians undertook to issue a decree which built on the Interim Agreement and the Note for the Record, prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence and terror "and to establish an enforcement mechanism."6
To its credit, on the declarative level the Bush administration has repeatedly spoken up about the problem of incitement. For example, in January 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Arab states to boost the peace process by ending anti-Israel incitement. 7 In March 2007, she revealed that the U.S. was discussing with the Palestinians an end to incitement against Israel in schools, and to print maps that included the State of Israel.8
These statements aside, the primary question is how combating incitement is woven into the legal fabric of the obligations of the parties as the peace process proceeds. What happens if the Arab states or the Palestinians persist to foster racial hatred? Does the international community just move on and expect fresh concessions from Israel in order to keep up forward momentum? What happened to past U.S.-Israel understandings on reciprocity - that Israel does not proceed forward until the Palestinians fulfill their obligations?
The Road Map: End Palestinian Incitement Before Negotiations
The April 2003 Quartet Roadmap, drafted under the auspices of the U.S., the European Union, Russia, and the UN Secretariat, also touched on the issue of incitement, but it is less detailed than the Oslo Agreements. The Roadmap envisions a three-phase diplomatic process toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. At the outset of Phase I, the Roadmap obligates the Palestinian leadership to issue an "unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security." There are no negotiations whatsoever about Palestinian statehood, according to the Roadmap, until the Palestinians' Phase I obligations are fully met.
Besides demanding an "unconditional ceasefire," the Roadmap insists already at this initial phase that "all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel." 9 This language makes only an implicit reference to Palestinian educational institutions. Subsequently in Phase I, the Palestinian Authority is supposed to begin dismantling the military infrastructures of terrorist organizations, while the Arab states must halt all funding to them (e.g., Saudi aid to Hamas).
Bypassing the Roadmap?
Only after Phase I obligations are met, the Quartet then convenes an international conference in order to "launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders." Indeed, in the past, the U.S. Congress has taken the firm position that a Palestinian state should not be recognized until the Palestinian Authority takes "effective steps to ensure that its educational and communications systems promote the acceptance of Israel's existence and of peace with Israel and actively discourage anti-Israel incitement." 10 Up until this time, there has been strong bipartisan backing in Congress which has included Senator Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) embrace of the February 2007 Palestinian Media Watch report on Palestinian textbooks in the U.S. Senate.11
The current effort of Secretary of State Rice to facilitate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a November 2007 joint declaration in Washington over the parameters of a future Palestinian state essentially circumvents the Bush administration's own 2003 Roadmap sequence. Under such conditions, critical Palestinian obligations appearing in the Roadmap tend to be superseded in preparatory discussions by the larger permanent status issues, like borders, Jerusalem, and refugees.
It is in this context that the Palestinian obligations to educate schoolchildren for peace - and not jihad - can fall between the cracks, despite the lessons from the Oslo years of the importance of assuring a transformation of Palestinian attitudes and eradicating incitement. This leaves Israel highly exposed, for while Rice has been working with Abbas and Olmert, according to Ahmed Yusef, political advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Fatah and Hamas have been engaging in secret backchannel negotiations to restore their relationship. 12
The planned Olmert-Abbas declaration, it will be argued, is only an outline of a "political horizon" for the future. But how can Israel obligate itself on sensitive issues of borders or security already if it is in the dark over what kind of Palestinian neighbor it will have, especially if that neighbor still teaches the toxic hatred that undermined previous efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace?
* * *
1 "The Distribution of Virulent Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Hate Propaganda Continues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Although Incitement in the Official Media Has Abated under Abu Mazen," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies ( C.S.S.), December 5, 2005, . See also "PMW Cartoons," Palestinian Media Watch, September 11, 2007,
2 Dennis Ross, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), p. 765.
3 Ross, p. 766.
4 Ross, p. 769.
5 Author's e-mail exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor, September 23, 2007.
6 "The Wye River Memorandum," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 23, 1998. See
7 "Rice Says Syria Risks Long-Term Rift with U.S. Over Iraq Role," Voice of America,, January 18, 2005,
8 "Rice to Palestinians: End Incitement Against Israel,", March 21, 2007,,2506,L-3379571,00.html.
9 "A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Press Statement, Office of the Spokesman, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, April 30, 2003,
10 Aaron D. Pina, "Palestinian Education and the Debate Over Textbooks," Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, April 27, 2005,
11 "Senator Hillary Clinton Introducing PMW Report on Palestinian Schoolbooks," Palestinian Media Watch, February 8, 2007,
12 Khaled Abu Toameh, "Abbas Ready to Settle Tough Issues," Jerusalem Post, September 20, 2007,
* * *
Dr. Dore Gold, Israel's ambassador to the UN in 1997-99, is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (Regnery, 2007).

Why Peace Eludes Israel*

Israel is retreating toward its 1949 Auschwitz lines . Many attribute this retreat to Israel ’s ardent desire for peace . This desire for peace, however, peace has resulted in ceaseless Arab terrorism and Israel ’s emasculation .
This desire for peace, uttered ad nauseum by Israeli policy-makers and opinion-makers, has stupefied Israelis, emboldened Israel ’s enemies; and made Muslims contemptuous of Jews .

Did England ’s or France ’s desire for peace transform Germans into doves? Germany was the home of humanism, of philosophy and science . Are Muslims more humanistic than the nation that produced Kant, Schiller, Heine, and Einstein?

But let me address Israel ’s current political elites: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak—and of course Israel ’s so-called elder statesman President Shimon Peres . These Alice-in-Wonderland politicians would have us believe that withdrawing from Judea and Samaria will pacify Israel’s distraught Arab neighbors—like giving them a daily dose of Prozac .

I ask these peace addicts: “Why should you expect peace from Muslims who despise Israel as an outpost of Western civilization that threatens the autocratic power structure of Islamic states?”

“Why should you expect peace from Arabs who teach their children to hate Jews and exalt suicide bombers? Is it not foolish of you and shameless to negotiate with Palestinians when 85% of these Arabs are committed to Israel ’s destruction? What do you want to negotiate—the mode and date of your destruction?”

I ask you: “Why should you expect peace from Fatah leaders like Mahmoud Abbas who deceive and despoil their own people? What peace will you obtain from a Muslim whose attitude toward infidels is based on the primacy of fraud and force typical of 22 Arab-Islamic tyrannies?”

Here let me pause to address “right-minded” Israeli politicians and intellectuals who, though skeptical about the land-for-peace policy, also intone the mantra of “peace . ” Suppose you declared: “I do not desire peace with Arab despots who luxuriate in splendor while their people are steeped in abject poverty . ” Are you manly enough to proclaim such an attitude? Then let me suggest some other declarations one might make in a world threatened by Islamic Imperialism .

Suppose you said, “I do not want peace with tyrannies, regimes ruled by evil men . I do not want to dignify them and thereby abet their wicked designs . ”

“I do not seek peace with Arab or Muslim despots lest I confuse, disarm, and foster cynicism among my own countrymen . Better to arouse fear in these despots, instead of allowing them to lull unwary Jews with professions of peace . ”

“Do you think such statements will make these despots more bellicose? What have your “politically correct” professions of peace accomplished? Has Israel ’s peace treaty with Egypt made that dictatorship less militant? Then why is Egypt , a regime threatened by no one, engaged in a vast military build-up? Why do Egypt ’s state-controlled media continue to spew anti-Israel and anti-Jewish venom? Why did Egypt facilitate the shipment of arms to Arab terrorists in Gaza ? And please explain why Egypt ’s tourist maps depict Israel as ‘ Palestine . ’”

To Condoleezza Rice I ask: “Leaving aside the killers and killing fields in Algeria , Bangladesh , Bosnia , Chechnya , Indonesia , Iran , Iraq , Lebanon , Sudan , and Syria , why should Palestinian Arabs, who supported Saddam Hussein’s rape of Kuwait , another Muslim country, live in abiding peace with Israel ?”

I ask Secretary Rice: “Why do you cozy up to Palestinians who cheered the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York and the murder of 3,000 innocent people?

To Condi as well as peace-intoxicated politicians of Israel , I ask: “Inasmuch as Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects since the time of Muhammad have not been able to live in peace with each other, why should you expect them to live in abiding peace with Jews?”

Now let me address critics of Israel ’s land-for-peace policy . Many blame that policy on American pressure, or, conversely, on the timidity of Israeli prime ministers . True but superficial . Let me offer two different ways of understanding why peace eludes Israel .

Exodus 15:3 states that “God is the Master of war . ” Hence must also be the Master of peace . Since war and peace are in the hands of God, whether Israel will have peace or war depends on how its ruling elites relate to God . So long as they dismiss God from the domain of statecraft, or so long as Israel ’s government scorns the Torah, the people of Israel will not have peace .

But the God of Israel is not a man that goes to sleep, indifferent to Israel ’s destiny . This infinitely wise God has given the people of Israel the best of enemies—Arabs who will not and cannot be pacified by giving them parts of the land God promised the Jewish people!

God has therefore given His people an enemy that unwittingly compels Jews to face the ultimate reason why peace eludes the so-called Jewish State of Israel!

Notice that Israel ’s political elites are incapable of competing with Muslims at the negotiating table . Since Kissinger’s “shuttle diplomacy” in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, one Israeli government after another has surrendered or compromised Israel ’s retention of the land the IDF regained in the Six-Day War of 1967 . This has been the case whether the government was led by Labor, the Likud, or Kadima .

How is one to explain this territorial retreat given Israel ’s superior military power, to say nothing of Israel ’s legal entitlement to the land it repossessed in the Six-Day War?

I have indicated that whatever the merit of conventional explanations, they do not go to the root of the problem . Israel may need American military aid, but Israel gets this aid because it serves America ’s national interest . Yet this fact, which involves Israel ’s geostrategic importance, does not embolden Israel ’s ruling elites . Why not? Don’t they understand that peace depends on the wise and courageous use of power? Or has their estrangement from God stupefied and cowed them?

I contend, first, that peace eludes Israel because it is a secular state which, by posing as a democracy, induces its ruling elites to make foolish concessions to preserve their democratic reputation in the United States . Second, I contend that the ceaseless terrorist attacks and wars waged by Israel ’s enemies serve the world-historical function of making this secular state with its pseudo-democratic institutions non-viable!

Israel has become a pathological state devoid of an authentic and vibrant national identity . Israel has suffered more than 10,000 casualties since the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993 . That agreement was secretly negotiated by Shimon Peres’ lackeys contrary to the Labor Party’s campaign program in the June 1992 election . The Oslo negotiations also violated the 1985 Anti-Terrorist Ordinance . And Oslo was foisted on the public without serious debate .

Fast forward: Labor’s policy of “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza was rejected by an overwhelming majority of the public in the 2003 election . Nevertheless, Likud leader Ariel Sharon, contrary to his long-standing opposition to the Gaza retreat, adopted Labor’s policy without any public debate . By so doing he nullified the 2003 election and became, in effect, Labor’s surrogate prime minister! This is not only treachery: it’s madness, the kind Isaiah attributes to Jews who abandon God .

As predicted, withdrawing from Gaza has not given Israel peace . Gaza has become Hamastan, from which thousands of missiles have been raining on Sderot . Thanks to Egypt ’s benign neglect or complicity, arms are being smuggled into Judea and Samaria . Every city in Israel may soon become another Sderot . Yes, this is suicidal madness .

Prime Minister Olmert, who once idiotically declared that Israel was tired of being courageous, is anxious to extend the inane or insane policy of disengagement to Judea and Samaria —despite his having a public approval rating of less than 10% . What a charming democracy or democratically elected despotism! Yes, and how self-destructive .

So, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that this secular and pseudo-democratic State of Israel is incapable of securing the safety of its citizens . “Regime change” is absolutely essential . But regime change must pave the way for a Torah-oriented system of governance—an absolutely a necessary precondition of achieving peace . Is anyone with noble ambitions listening?
*Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 24, 2007 .