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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1350 on: June 21, 2011, 11:09:02 AM »

Not Stealing Palestine, but Purchasing Israel
The real history of Israel’s founding, and why it matters

Zionists stole Palestinian land: That’s the mantra both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas teach their children and propagate in their media. This claim has vast importance, as Palestinian Media Watch explains: “Presenting the creation of the [Israeli] state as an act of theft and its continued existence as a historical injustice serves as the basis for the PA’s non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist.” The accusation of theft also undermines Israel’s position internationally.

But is this accusation true?

No, it is not. Ironically, the building of Israel represents almost the most peaceable in-migration and state creation in history. Understanding why requires seeing Zionism in context. Simply put, conquest is the historical norm. Governments everywhere have been established through invasion and nearly all states came into being at someone else’s expense. No one is permanently in charge; everyone’s roots trace back to somewhere else.

Germanic tribes, Central Asian hordes, Russian tsars, and Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors remade the map. Modern Greeks have only a tenuous connection to the Greeks of antiquity. Who can count the number of times Belgium was overrun? The United States came into existence after the defeat of Native Americans. Kings marauded in Africa, Aryans invaded India. In Japan, Yamato-speakers eliminated all but tiny groups such as the Ainu.

The Middle East, due to its centrality and geography, has experienced more than its share of invasions, including the Greek, Roman, Arabian, Crusader, Seljuk, Timurid, Mongolian, and modern European. Within the region, dynastic froth caused the same territory — Egypt for example — to be conquered and re-conquered.

The land that now makes up Israel was no exception. In Jerusalem Besieged: From Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel, Eric H. Cline writes of Jerusalem: “No other city has been more bitterly fought over throughout its history.” He backs up that claim, counting “at least 118 separate conflicts in and for Jerusalem during the past four millennia.” He calculates Jerusalem to have been destroyed completely at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. The PA fantasizes that today’s Palestinians are descended from a tribe of ancient Canaan, the Jebusites; in fact, they are overwhelmingly the offspring of invaders and immigrants seeking economic opportunities.

Against this tableau of unceasing conquest, violence, and overthrow, Zionist efforts to build a presence in the Holy Land until 1948 stand out as astonishingly mild, mercantile rather than military. Two great empires, the Ottomans and the British, ruled Eretz Yisrael. In contrast, Zionists lacked military power. They could not possibly achieve statehood through conquest.

Instead, they purchased land. Acquiring property dunam by dunam, farm by farm, house by house, lay at the heart of the Zionist enterprise until 1948. The Jewish National Fund, founded in 1901 to buy land in Palestine “to assist in the foundation of a new community of free Jews engaged in active and peaceable industry,” was the key institution — and not the Haganah, the clandestine defense organization founded in 1920.

Zionists also focused on the rehabilitation of what was barren and considered unusable. They not only made the desert bloom, but drained swamps, cleared water channels, reclaimed wasteland, forested bare hills, cleared rocks, and removed salt from the soil. Jewish reclamation and sanitation work precipitously reduced the number of disease-related deaths.

Only when the British Mandate of Palestine gave up power in 1948, followed immediately by an all-out attempt by Arab states to crush and expel the Zionists, did the latter take up the sword in self-defense and go on to win land through military conquest. Even then, as the historian Efraim Karsh demonstrates in Palestine Betrayed, most Arabs fled their lands; exceedingly few were forced off.

This history contradicts the Palestinian account that “Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people” which led to a catastrophe “unprecedented in history” (according to a PA twelfth-grade textbook) or that Zionists “plundered the Palestinian land and national interests, and established their state upon the ruins of the Palestinian Arab people” (writes a columnist in the PA’s daily). International organizations, newspaper editorials, and faculty petitions reiterate this falsehood worldwide.

Israelis should hold their heads high and point out that the building of their country was based on the least violent and most civilized movement of any people in history. Gangs did not steal Palestine. Merchants purchased Israel.

— Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270064/not-stealing-palestine-purchasing-israel-daniel-pipes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1351 on: June 30, 2011, 11:34:49 AM »

http://townhall.com/news/world/2011/06/30/gaza_flotilla_organizers_2nd_ship_sabotaged
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1352 on: July 02, 2011, 02:29:03 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/u-s-adds-israel-to-promoter-producer-or-protector-of-terrorists-list/

==============

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/...ry-tends-promo

"As a matter of policy, according to the inspector general’s report, citizens of Israel and other “specially designated countries” are subjected to a special security screening called a “Third Agency Check” (TAC) when they are actually detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the division of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for enforcing the immigration laws. ICE officers are supposed to check all aliens they take into custody against the Terrorist Watchlist, which includes the identities of individuals the U.S. government knows or reasonably suspects to be terrorists. When ICE holds a citizen from a “specially designated country” in its own detention facilities, according to the agency’s standing policy, the individual is also supposed to be run through a TAC. In addition to the Terrorist Watchlist screening, ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs)...The purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien,” says the report."


Israel has a substantial Arab population which is obviously a terrorist threat. The only thing this designation means is that if an Arab Israeli on our terror watchlist gets caught, instead of being handled solely by ICE, other agencies, like State, CIA or FBI, will be notified about the detainee. Why?


“The U.S. does not and never has considered Israel to have links to terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global terrorism,” Christensen said in a written statement. “Countries may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself. The United States maintains close intelligence-sharing relationships with many of these countries in order to address security issues within their own borders and in our mutual pursuit of safety and security around the globe,” said Christensen."


The ultimate purpose is to HELP Israel by insuring that if we snag one of their Arab citizens on a terror watchlist, intelligence will be shared. It does NOT mean that Israelis in general are going to be subjected to heightened scrutiny. Please note the obvious fact that Israel HAS NOT ISSUED ANY FORMAL PROTEST. Bibi was more than willing to bitch-slap Obama when he was here; if this was something Israel didn't want, we would have heard about it by now. The website for the Isreali Ministry of Foreign Affairs, complete with up to the minute press releases, is here;


http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA

==================

Marc:  By this logic Great Britain and its Copmmonwealth should be on the list too.   Why would North Korea be removed?   Seems like somebody is up to something nefarious. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 02:44:02 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #1353 on: July 05, 2011, 09:47:59 AM »

I came across this comment while reading something completely off topic, I was reading about international trade and business, yet the author found Taglit-Birthright interesting and successful so
I checked into it further.  I had never heard of it, but it seems like a great program for many reasons.  See link below.

From the article I read.
"A good model could be Taglit-Birthright Israel, a private organization funded by private and public donors and overseen by a board of directors including many business heavyweights. Taglit-Birthright Israel organizes trips for young Jews to spend 10 days in Israel every summer. The program is open to virtually any non-Israeli Jewish young person at no cost (even airfare is included!). The program is intended to engender solidarity with Israel and surely is also subtly geared toward encouraging participants to settle in Israel and contribute their talents to the economic development of the state."

http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/PageServer?pagename=about_main

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Rachel
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« Reply #1354 on: July 13, 2011, 07:43:11 AM »

Experts call Israel a ‘laboratory’ for eco-innovation
http://www.jpost.com/Sci-Tech/Article.aspx?id=229096
By SHARON UDASIN
13/07/2011   
Statements come at UN Economics Commission conference in TA; "Israel good at doing more with less," says chief economic adviser to PM.
 
Strategists from around the world agreed that “Israel is a laboratory” for eco-innovation and can serve as a platform for larger countries looking to harness sustainable technology during a special conference held by the United Nations Economics Commission in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

The meeting, called “Promoting Eco-Innovation: Policies and Opportunities, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe,” included members of the commission, Israeli contributors and other experts from across the globe, who strategized about how to generate policies and achieve cooperation to further the spread and efficiency of green technology tools.

“Israel is a laboratory of innovative policies and practices in many areas, including technologies, financing and project management,” said Jan Kubis, UN under-secretary general and executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

“Perhaps such a laboratory could serve as a training center that could share its experiences gained here and help other countries.”

Eugene Kandel, head of the Israel Economic Council and chief economic adviser to the prime minister, agreed with Kubis, adding, “We see Israel as a global lab.”

“We’re pretty good at inventing innovative solutions that are applicable and can be put together pretty quickly,” Kandel said.

As a culture of immigrants who have historically tackled difficult issues, said Kandel, Israel is particularly suited to battle global sustainability challenges, such as food, water and energy.

“What characterizes [immigrants] is that they can’t do things the way their ancestors did,” he said, noting that even when he came to Israel in 1977, it was an entirely different country.


 But by the 1980s, solar water heaters were a regular on Israeli residences, and today the country has become a major exporter of eco-technologies, he added.

“We are able to not only feed the population but export,” Kandel said. “We are leaders in the world of reusage of water and are probably the leaders in desalination as well. Within three years, Israel won’t be dependent on nature for its water needs.”

In addition to water desalination tools, Kandel mentioned agricultural technology, irrigation and livestock farming as some of Israel’s exportable strengths.

“We are looking to develop these ideas in Israel, try them out here and then globally expand them,” Kandel said.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said that the challenge after inventing such solutions, however, is the responsibility “to translate the success in areas such as information technology, agricultural production and medical breakthroughs into workable ecological and environmental innovations.”

Such solutions are crucial across the globe, Erdan said, stressing that economist Thomas Malthus’s prediction that a population explosion would wipe out the food supply was wrong.

“He could not foresee the technological development of the 20th century,” Erdan said. “Technological development of the 20th century will need to be superseded by eco-innovation of the 21st century, all of this to prevent and minimize environmental contamination and halt natural resource degradation.”

In order to really push forward eco-innovation, citizens everywhere must aim to “reduce environmental impact of any activity,” agreed Salvatore Zecchini, vicechair of UN Economic Commission for Europe Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration and chair of OECD Working Party on Small to Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship. According to Zecchini, environmental advances can rarely occur successfully without the cooperation of neighboring states.

“Eco-innovation is doing more with less,” Kandel added.

“The only reason that Malthus is being proven wrong again and again [is] because people are learning to do much more with much less. And I think Israel is a great example of this.”
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G M
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« Reply #1355 on: July 13, 2011, 07:50:13 AM »

Experts call Israel a ‘laboratory’ for eco-innovation
http://www.jpost.com/Sci-Tech/Article.aspx?id=229096

This is part of Israel's problem. In our post-modern, post-moral world, innovation and accomplishment is to be punished while pathology is rewarded.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1356 on: July 13, 2011, 10:16:35 AM »

GM:

I'd suggest you search "Gilder" here and read his pieces which I have posted on the subject of Israel.  There is quote a story there.
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JDN
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« Reply #1357 on: July 13, 2011, 11:38:40 AM »

Going off on a tangent, I believe one of the main reasons for Israel's success IS it's immigration policy openly accepting/inviting
Jews from all over the world.  They bring vibrancy, creativity, and positive "can do" attitude.  Immigration gets panned on this forum, but
without it, I think countries stagnate. 
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G M
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« Reply #1358 on: July 13, 2011, 11:48:44 AM »

Going off on a tangent, I believe one of the main reasons for Israel's success IS it's immigration policy openly accepting/inviting
Jews from all over the world.  They bring vibrancy, creativity, and positive "can do" attitude.  Immigration gets panned on this forum, but
without it, I think countries stagnate. 

It does? I doubt many here have any problem with LEGAL immigration.
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JDN
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« Reply #1359 on: July 13, 2011, 11:56:48 AM »

We are going off on a immigration tangent here, but Israel's open and successful policy of accepting/inviting anyone (if they are a Jew) is quite a contrast to our immigration policy.  Others on this Forum have suggested not only clamping down on illegal immigration, but also limiting legal immigration.  While I too think illegal immigration is an issue, I think we should vastly open up legal immigration. 

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1360 on: July 13, 2011, 12:38:58 PM »

I think you misapprehend the general view around here.  I, and most here I think, would be delighted to have hard working educated investor entrepeneurial type people who want to learn English and become Americans coming here.
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JDN
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« Reply #1361 on: July 13, 2011, 02:35:59 PM »

Actually, there have been posts saying we should cut back legal immigration.

Further, while it is easy to accept only those who are "educated or the investor" ....... Israel accepts everyone and anyone (who is a Jew) whether they be
educated, rich or poor, young or old.  Israel seems better off for it.  Just a thought. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1362 on: July 13, 2011, 03:52:13 PM »

Well, we've been doing the same thing too; as a matter of fact we've been so strict about it there somewhere between 12,000,000 and 20,000,000 of them.

OTOH, the investor class, the educated, the rules following, the English speaking, seem to have a harder time of it , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #1363 on: July 13, 2011, 04:01:32 PM »

Actually, there have been posts saying we should cut back legal immigration.

Further, while it is easy to accept only those who are "educated or the investor" ....... Israel accepts everyone and anyone (who is a Jew) whether they be
educated, rich or poor, young or old.  Israel seems better off for it.  Just a thought. 

And Israel has had problems as a result. Lots of Russian/eastern european immigrants to Israel had little to no attachment to any Jewish identity, some in fact weren't Jewish in any way, but saw opportunity in claiming an Israeli passport. You have places in Israel where 2nd. generation immigrants speak only Russian and self-identify as Russia. Israeli law enforcement struggles to deal with both the jihadist threat and the eastern european organized crime cartels that have set up shop in Israel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1364 on: July 19, 2011, 06:40:48 PM »

Dispatch: Israel Intercepts Ship Bound for Gaza
July 19, 2011 | 2232 GMT
Click on image below to watch video:



Though a recent interception and boarding of a French-flagged yacht bound for Gaza occured without incident, military analyst Nate Hughes says Israel’s relationships with regimes around the region remain troubled by the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and the potential for a resurgence of pro-Palestinian sentiment.


Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

A single ship associated with the so-called second flotilla bound for Gaza was intercepted and boarded by the Israeli navy, but what’s important about this is not this minor incident — the Israelis regularly intercept ships attempting to breach the blockade into Gaza — but that so far, the incident has failed to achieve any sort of notoriety that was found in 2010 with the Mavi Marmara flotilla.

In this most recent incident, the Israeli navy first intercepted and then boarded a French-flagged yacht attempting to breach the blockade and make a run to Gaza. This is the only ship of the larger flotilla that has been able to leave Greek port. The rest are bound up there for varied administrative and bureaucratic reasons, deliberately so, but have been unable to leave port.

Tactically, this is a much more manageable problem. The problem for the Israelis in 2010, with the big flotilla incident, was that the Mavi Marmara was a large ferry, overloaded and carrying over 1,000 people and there were a number of ships in company with it that the Israelis had to manage, essentially all at once. In that incidence, the Israelis attempted to board and scuffles with the passengers led to a number of injuries among the Israeli commandos and ultimately resulted in nine dead Turkish citizens. That incident sparked an enormous political backlash against the Israelis. The Israelis learned a great deal from that raid and were certainly prepared at this point to deal with whatever the flotilla activists attempted to push through the blockade, but they have obviously made great strides in preventing the flotilla from forming in the first place.

But the important thing about the current time is the context of the so-called Arab Spring. Where as in 2010 the Israelis were in a very strong position. The Arab Spring has changed the context a little bit. Israel has sort of gotten to the point where it was taking for granted its relationship with, for example, the Mubarak regime in Egypt. While that regime is still in place, minus Mubarak, the problem is that Cairo is walking a much finer line with its own people than it has been in the past and it is very focused on containing the unrest. What this means is that if the unrest in Egypt and in the wider region were to take on, not just the current Democratic and disaffected nature, but took on a more pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli line, that would put a number of regimes in the region upon which Israel relies for, if not overt, at least covert and clandestine coordination assistance, in a much more difficult place and could make Israel’s immediate neighborhood a lot more difficult to manage.

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Rachel
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« Reply #1365 on: July 20, 2011, 07:33:53 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Mupoo1At8&feature=youtu.be

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Rachel
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« Reply #1366 on: July 22, 2011, 04:50:55 PM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGYxLWUKwWo&feature=player_embedded#at=129

Uploaded by DannyAyalon on Jul 12, 2011
Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon explains the historical facts relating to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The video explains where the terms "West Bank", "occupied territories" and "67 Borders" originated and how they are incorrectly used and applied. Also follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DannyAyalon and http://facebook.com/DannyAyalon
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JDN
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« Reply #1367 on: July 23, 2011, 10:38:44 AM »

"The truth about The West Bank"?  In the interest of equal time and fairness, let's hear from another Jewish man. The viewpoint of most of the world, including most of our allies, in contrast to Minister Ayalon's opinion.

"So why are the pro-Israel organizations talking about it? The answer is simple: They are trying to divert attention from the intensifying world opposition to the occupation of the West Bank and to the blockade of the Gaza Strip, both of which, by almost any standard, are illegitimate. They are trying to divert attention from the ever-expanding settlements, which are not only illegitimate but illegal under international law. They are trying to divert attention from the ever-louder calls for Israel to grant Palestinians equal rights."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rosenberg-israel-20110717,0,2484770.story
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G M
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« Reply #1368 on: July 23, 2011, 02:23:04 PM »

"The truth about The West Bank"?  In the interest of equal time and fairness, let's hear from another Jewish man. The viewpoint of most of the world, including most of our allies, in contrast to Minister Ayalon's opinion.

"So why are the pro-Israel organizations talking about it? The answer is simple: They are trying to divert attention from the intensifying world opposition to the occupation of the West Bank and to the blockade of the Gaza Strip, both of which, by almost any standard, are illegitimate. They are trying to divert attention from the ever-expanding settlements, which are not only illegitimate but illegal under international law. They are trying to divert attention from the ever-louder calls for Israel to grant Palestinians equal rights."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rosenberg-israel-20110717,0,2484770.story

Let me do a quick translation of the above:

"As anti-semites spread jew-hatred thinly disguised as a "concern for the arabs with the manufactured "palestinian" identity, they cite imaginary standards that no other country in the region is held to."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1369 on: July 23, 2011, 02:48:59 PM »

GM,  Thank you for the helpful translation.  smiley

I took this: "[illegitimate] by almost any standard" to mean totally illegitimate, except if judged in the context of their silly fascination with survival.

Once again, if others would end their pledge to annihilate them, maybe we talk to Israeli about lightening up on these survival strategies that annoy everyone.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1370 on: July 24, 2011, 12:11:27 AM »

 cheesy
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Rachel
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« Reply #1371 on: July 28, 2011, 10:33:23 AM »

What do ‘Flotilla Folk’ do?
By ROZ ROTHSTEIN AND ROBERTA SEID
07/25/2011 22:21
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=230957
Who are these people whose hatred of Israel makes them blind to reality?

Talkbacks (39)
When news emerged that “Freedom Flotilla 2” was tied up in Greece for weeks and unable to carry out its plan to breach Israel’s blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, a song from Camelot came to mind. Queen Guinevere asks, “What do the simple folk do... when they are blue?” and King Arthur tries to explain.

You have to ask the same question about the Flotilla Folk. Who are they, what do they do and why do they do it? Almost 1,500 of them from around the world planned to fly to Greece, board ships and sail across the Mediterranean to the Gaza Strip in July.

The Flotilla Folk say they are just ordinary folk committed to human rights. But how do ordinary folk have time for the complicated preparations necessary for such an adventure, and for spending weeks in Greece and Gaza? Don’t they have jobs? Or do they get their summers off? And how do ordinary folk have the funds to buy ships, fly to Greece, and spend weeks in hotels waiting to launch the latest publicity stunt they have concocted to smear Israel?

How do they pay for their expensive human rights hobby? Apparently they don’t have to do much preparing. Established radical groups affiliated with Hamas take care of all the details, like the Union of Good (UoG), a coalition of European charities affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The ISM has praised Palestinian suicide bombing as “noble,” spent the last 10 years training international volunteers to sabotage Israel’s security, and received official invitations from Hamas to come to Gaza.

These groups raise the money through their various affiliated “charities,” which sometimes generate funds through mainstream businesses. Or they raise money by misinforming well-meaning people about their purposes, as the US delegation to Gaza did by having the audacity to name its boat after President Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

But why would Flotilla Folk spend their vacations trying to violate Israel’s legal naval blockade of Gaza in order to visit and embrace Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls the territory? Flotilla Folk leaders like UoG and ISM support Hamas and its battle against Israel’s existence. Others, like Medea Benjamin, Col.

Ann Wright and Hedy Epstein have turned activism against Israel into full-time careers. Some Flotilla Folk are well-meaning people who simply accept, uncritically, the distorted facts used to demonize the country. Still others were once on the front lines of the battle for civil rights and against Apartheid.

BUT WHAT do such idealistic folk do when the problems they once fought have been resolved? Many, like Alice Walker, try to recapture those idealistic, heady times and camaraderie by seeing the same injustices even where they don’t exist, and ignoring them where they do exist. They gullibly accept the misinformation propagated by the UoG and ISM, and superimpose the lens of the civil rights or anti-Apartheid movements on the Arab-Israeli conflict. They are entirely unaware that the multicultural Jewish state is among the most progressive in the world and has sought peace with its Arab neighbors since it was reestablished in 1948.

Many are journalists just looking for another great story about Israeli brutality. It always sells.

But Flotilla Folk want to be human rights heroes without really putting themselves in harm’s way. So they don’t go to help the victims of the brutal regimes in Syria, Iran, the Congo or Darfur.

Instead, they choose to fight Israel because they know it strictly follows Western humanitarian standards and the rule of law. They get to pretend they are brave warriors, when in fact, they are only play-acting on a safe stage.


 Whatever they do in their private lives and whatever lens they use, Flotilla Folk share a basic philosophy. They believe that the way to bring peace to the Middle East is through acts of civil disobedience that will get media attention, not through encouraging negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

They aren’t like ordinary people. They think it is okay to ignore terrorism against Israelis, to overlook the 8,000 rockets Hamas has fired from Gaza into Israeli communities over the past five years, turning everyday life into a lethal game of Russian roulette. They think it is okay to ignore the fact that Hamas is an Iranian proxy, and that Hamas’s founding document calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with a fundamentalist theocracy that opposes all the freedoms and social justice values for which the Flotilla Folk claim to stand. And they think it’s okay to embrace Hamas, even though its founding document cites the anti-Semitic Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a racist tract that was once called a “warrant for the genocide” of Jews.

They think it is okay to ignore terrorism from the West Bank – even the murder of the Fogel family, including a three-month-old infant, and the fact that the murderers showed no remorse for their savage act. And they act as though it is okay to ignore the hate-filled incitement that saturates Palestinian society and creates people like the Fogels’ murderers.

The Flotilla Folk are not like other people. They use repressive methods and manipulate information. Dutch journalists who had been part of the flotilla abandoned it in disgust after seeing these methods used. The one small boat that did finally attempt to sail to Gaza didn’t have any humanitarian goods on board – only Israel-haters. These flotilla folk spread hate, not hope. They support repressive forces in the Middle East, like Hamas, not the moderates seeking peaceful coexistence. They abuse and pervert human rights values instead of upholding them. They are enemies, not friends, of Palestinians and Israelis, and of the brave demonstrators in Syria, Iran and elsewhere, whom they ignore.

Fortunately international leaders, especially those in Greece, exposed the hypocrisy of the Flotilla Folk and their false pretenses, and stopped them. But Flotilla Folk don’t give up. With their zealotry, they will try to devise other media ops to destroy Israel’s international image. It is time to denounce these destructive campaigns and get serious about promoting peace. Anyone who truly yearns to see Israelis and Palestinians living in peaceful coexistence should stop indulging in disingenuous stunts and urge Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Roz Rothstein is the co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, and Roberta Seid, PhD, is the director of education and research for StandWithUs.
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G M
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« Reply #1372 on: July 28, 2011, 05:14:40 PM »

Where are the flotillas to Syria? Iran?



Silly me. Flotillas to those places do nothing for jew-haters.
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G M
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« Reply #1373 on: August 01, 2011, 12:37:36 PM »

**Israeli tanks kill 80, world condemns Israel. Oh, Syria, not Israel. Nevermind.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/31/us-syria-idUSTRE76T02020110731

(Reuters) - Syrians began the Muslim Ramadan fast in somber mood on Monday after troops stormed into Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre, in one of the bloodiest days in a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Rights activists said 80 civilians were killed in Sunday's tank-backed assault on the central Syrian city where Assad's father crushed an armed Muslim Brotherhood revolt 29 years ago, razing neighbourhoods and killing many thousands of people.

Security forces had besieged the Sunni Muslim city of 700,000 for nearly a month before the crackdown on the eve of Ramadan, a holy month when Muslims fast in daylight hours.

Many flock to mosque prayers at night, occasions which may provide opportunities for protests to multiply across Syria.

The Syrian state news agency said the military entered Hama to purge armed groups terrorising citizens, an account dismissed as "nonsense" by a U.S. diplomat in Damascus.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was appalled by the Syrian government's "horrifying" violence against its people in Hama and promised to work with others to isolate Assad.

"Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward," Obama said in a statement on Sunday. (G M-Any minute now, right?)

Britain and France condemned the Hama assault. Italy urged a tough statement by the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have previously opposed any condemnation of Syria.

The European Union plans to extend sanctions on Monday by slapping asset freezes and travel bans on five more Syrians. EU sanctions already target Assad and at least two dozen officials, as well as Syrian firms linked to the military. (Wow, the EU will bring Assad to his knees, just like they did to Ka-daffy.)

Turkey, one of Assad's main allies until the uprising, said it and the rest of the Muslim world were "deeply disappointed" by the violence that belied Assad's earlier reform pledges.
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JDN
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« Reply #1374 on: August 08, 2011, 10:19:24 AM »

Public relations and public perception does matter.


"You've said recently that you think Israel's international reputation is at a low point. How do you quantify that?

It's low and will move even lower after September. I can't measure it, but I feel it was never as bad. I remember when we were the underdogs and the world embraced us. Even during the [2005 Gaza Strip] disengagement, the world loved us. Now I have the feeling that we are seen more like South Africa once was. It frustrates and upsets me because I know Israel is different from the way it's perceived. This is a wonderful country. But people don't understand what is going on."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-israel-shalev-qa-20110808,0,2358239.story
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« Reply #1375 on: August 08, 2011, 11:58:10 AM »

Yes, JDN. Just like the anti-semetic propaganda from the nazi party in the 30's affected public perception.
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« Reply #1376 on: August 08, 2011, 01:04:48 PM »

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=115&x_article=522

The more things change.....
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« Reply #1377 on: August 08, 2011, 03:22:26 PM »

It seems legitimate to ask is it really in the US interest to defend Israel to the point of using military force?

Should US men and women be asked to die for Jews in Israel?

That said I don't understand why it seems the entire world is against Israel.

It must be the oil money behind this.

I just don't know.  What is so unreasonable about Jews wanting a secure homeland?

Just look any map at the pittance of the size of Israel to the land mass controlled by Muslims.

Clearly the world is following the lead of Obama who has shifted the US position in the Middle East.

 
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« Reply #1378 on: August 08, 2011, 03:32:54 PM »

"It seems legitimate to ask is it really in the US interest to defend Israel to the point of using military force?"

You are supposed to defend your friends. That means Israel, it means Taiwan, it means Japan, it means the UK, Australia, Canada and so on.

Israel is a tiny speck of freedom and civilization in an ocean of savagery. Slogans mean nothing, it's the things we do or don't do that make us what we are, on both an individual level and on a national level as well. Abandoning Israel either out of some "realpolitik" strategy, or as in Obama's case, a dislike of the west and an alliance with the west's enemies is a disaster for us.
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« Reply #1379 on: August 08, 2011, 05:16:51 PM »

Speaking of realpolitik , , , it is, or can be, our only remaining reliable outpost in the entirety of the mid-east , , ,
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« Reply #1380 on: August 08, 2011, 05:44:04 PM »

Speaking of realpolitik , , , it is, or can be, our only remaining reliable outpost in the entirety of the mid-east , , ,

It is in our interest from a "realpolitik" perspective to defend Israel. Those who insist otherwise use "realpolitik" as a fig leaf for their real motivation.
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JDN
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« Reply #1381 on: August 08, 2011, 09:37:59 PM »

It seems legitimate to ask is it really in the US interest to defend Israel to the point of using military force?

Should US men and women be asked to die for Jews in Israel?

That said I don't understand why it seems the entire world is against Israel.

It must be the oil money behind this.

I just don't know.  What is so unreasonable about Jews wanting a secure homeland?

Just look any map at the pittance of the size of Israel to the land mass controlled by Muslims.

Clearly the world is following the lead of Obama who has shifted the US position in the Middle East.

 

I think you raise good points.

However, I Obama is not leading; he is following the rest of the world.

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« Reply #1382 on: August 08, 2011, 09:43:44 PM »

It seems legitimate to ask is it really in the US interest to defend Israel to the point of using military force?

Should US men and women be asked to die for Jews in Israel?

That said I don't understand why it seems the entire world is against Israel.

It must be the oil money behind this.

I just don't know.  What is so unreasonable about Jews wanting a secure homeland?

Just look any map at the pittance of the size of Israel to the land mass controlled by Muslims.

Clearly the world is following the lead of Obama who has shifted the US position in the Middle East.

 

I think you raise good points.

However, I Obama is not leading; he is following the rest of the world.


Where is the rest of the world on the people being butchered in Syria? Boy, if I didn't know better, I'd think there was some sort of double standard.
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« Reply #1383 on: August 09, 2011, 10:29:57 AM »

Israel seems to be changing; for the better.  Back to it's roots.

___

Israel protests show nation's beating heart

Protests led by the young have rekindled the spirit that built the nation.

Amos Oz

August 9, 2011   L.A. Times


Israel has never been an egalitarian state. But in its heyday, it was more egalitarian than most states in the world. The poverty wasn't acute and the wealth wasn't ostentatious, and social responsibility toward the poor and needy was shown not only on the economic level but on the emotional level too.

In the earlier Israel, those who worked — and almost all the women and men worked very hard — could make a modest but respectable living for themselves and their families. The new immigrants, the refugees, the immigrant camp dwellers all received public education, health services and housing. Young, poor Israel was a master social-entrepreneur.

But all that has been destroyed in the past 30 years, as a succession of Israeli governments encouraged and inflamed the economic jungle laws of grab as grab can.

Many Israelis are now saying they've had enough. Last month, thousands of people took to the streets to protest soaring housing prices, setting up a tent encampment along upscale Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. And their dissatisfaction has proved infectious. Parents have rallied against the high cost of child care; doctors have marched to protest hospital overcrowding.

The protest washing over Israel's streets and squares today has long ceased to be merely a protest over housing distress. The heart of this protest is the affront and outrage over the government's indifference to the people's suffering, the double standard against the working population and the destruction of social solidarity.

The heartwarming sights of the tent cities and demonstrations spreading through Israel's cities are in themselves a delightful revival of the kind of mutual fraternity and commitment that built the nation.

After all, the first thing these demonstrators are saying, even before "social justice" and "down with the government," is: "We are brethren."

The resources required for reestablishing social justice in Israel are located in three places:

First, the billions Israel has invested in the settlements, which are the greatest mistake in the state's history, as well as its greatest injustice.

Second, the mammoth sums channeled into the ultra-Orthodox yeshivas, where generations of ignorant bums are nurtured, filled with contempt toward the state, its people and the 21st century reality.

And third, and perhaps foremost, the passionate support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and its predecessors for the unbridled enrichment of various tycoons and their cronies, at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

Let us not forget where the wealth pouring into the settlements, the yeshivas and the tycoons' accounts comes from. It comes from the labor and creative talents of millions of Israelis who are carrying on their back a unique economic wonder of a state poor in natural gifts (we haven't started counting the natural gas yet), and rich in human resources.

Neither the parties nor the veteran opposition organizations generated this protest. It was born out of the devotion and enthusiasm of hundreds and thousands of young people who swept along in their wake the best people in the country.

It is profoundly moving to see the protest veterans of all generations, who for years were a voice calling in the wilderness, spending time in the tents of the youngsters, who are wisely leading the new protest.

People like me, who have protested for many years against the policy of Israel's governments, embrace this new generation, which surpasses the previous ones, with love and wonderment.

Israeli writer Amos Oz is the author of "Rhyming Life and Death," "A Tale of Love and Darkness," and many other works of fiction and nonfiction.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1384 on: August 10, 2011, 07:58:33 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/did-the-white-house-cleanse-references-to-jerusalem-israel-from-its-web-site/
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« Reply #1385 on: August 10, 2011, 08:00:33 PM »


Wow. Good thing he wore a kippa at AIPAC. Otherwise some might question his commitment to Israel's survival.
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« Reply #1386 on: August 12, 2011, 07:07:21 PM »

IS.REAL is a docu-reality web series which follows the lives of 4 young Israelis.
The project was initiated by students from the Tel Aviv University. The "Is.Real"series will cover the lives of four young Israelis from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds.
Through documenting their daily lives, their exposure will
provide a fresh new insight into the "real Israel" that isn't shown in news stories.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Auo2YCPuO8&feature=player_embedded





 Here is the youtube page http://www.youtube.com/user/IsReal2011TLV    and here is the website http://www.isreal2011.com/
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« Reply #1387 on: August 13, 2011, 12:50:21 PM »

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4107803,00.html

Top Hamas engineer tells all

Nabbed engineer Abu Sisi provides Israel with invaluable information about Hamas' operations, newly released documents reveal; terror group's military academy operated in Gaza mosques, he says

By Ilana Curiel  08.11.11, Israel News

Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, nabbed by Israeli security forces earlier this year, provided interrogators with priceless information on Hamas' modus operandi, the terror group's readiness for a clash with Israel and attempts to improve its rocket range.

According to interrogation excerpts, cleared for publication Thursday by the Beersheba District Court following Ynet's appeal, the Hamas engineer described the terror group as an orderly hierarchical organization that aims to learn from its mistakes and adapt to changing regional realities.

The engineer told interrogators that following Operation Cast Lead Gaza, top Hamas terrorist Mohammed Deif and the group's military wing commander Ahmed Jabari found Hamas' operations to be lacking and decided to make Abu Sisi in charge of establishing the organization's new military academy.

"An analysis of the war with Israel was undertaken. It found that a large number of Hamas activists ran away from their positions. A failure occurred in decision-making coupled with an inability to use arms during the battle – because of fear," he said. "A program of study had to be created, in order to improve the situation."

The new academy was tasked with imparting combat methods and tactics to Hamas terrorists, Abu Sisi said. Hamas men were undertaking their studies at mosques, while passing their final exams in known Gaza universities or in mosques.

"The books and academic materials did not bear the Hamas name or logo," he said. Instructors include university lecturers, education ministry officials, merchants and others.
 
Abu Sisi is believed to be Hamas' rocket expert. He joined the terror group in 2002, despite working for the Palestinian Electric Company, which forbade its employees from joining any group.

"I assisted Hamas in developing their missile capabilities, by identifying and handing over mathematical equations that improve the metal pipe's ability to withstand pressure and heat," he said. "I was present when a missile was test-fired at the sea in Khan Younis."

The terror group was lacking materials that could improve their rocket range and later smuggled it in from Egypt through tunnels, he said.

Abu Sisi's interrogation revealed that he acquired plenty of information on improving rocket range via the Internet, including the YouTube website.

 "I know nothing about explosives. I only calculated the pressure and heat…I downloaded the formula from the Internet," he said, adding that he also downloaded software pertaining to the rocket's structure.

Hamas would send its activists for further instruction overseas, Abu Sisi said. Selected graduates of the academy reached military academies in foreign countries, he said, including Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Iran.

During his interrogation, Abu Sisi expressed his regret for joining Hamas.

"I greatly regret my affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas Movement, my work to develop the missile range, my part in establishing Hamas' military academy, and all the information I handed over to Hamas that can threaten the security of Israel and its citizens," he said.

"I know the missiles are lethal and take the lives of others, without distinguishing between Arabs and Jews," he said.

Abu Sisi was kidnapped in Kiev and brought to Israel in February. His indictment sheet comprises nine counts, including membership in a terror organization, murder, attempted murder and arms production.
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« Reply #1388 on: August 14, 2011, 04:53:58 PM »

http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/08/14/european-based-us-marines-visit-israel-for-training-with-idf/

European-Based US Marines Visit Israel for Training with IDF
Posted on August 14, 2011
Last week, a company of US Marines conquered a module city in Israel’s Negev desert, the final act in a month-long tactical training session with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) infantry instructors. At the IDF Urban Warfare Training Center, the US Marines were instructed to conquer the module city in a methodically selective and surgical manner while minimizing harm to uninvolved civilians.

US Marines Visit Israel for Training with IDF. Photo: Cpl. Florit Shoihet, IDF Spokesperson Unit


The US Marines left their European base and flew to Israel for a joint US-Israeli infantry exercise, receiving training in urban warfare, reconnaissance, and more. In addition to the IDF Urban Warfare Training Center, the US Marines also visited other IDF facilities.
Platoon Sergeant Robert Hattenbach comments on training with Israeli soldiers:
The [Israeli] instructors…took the time to explain to us what’s been going on in Israel and we realized that Israeli people are just like us.

US Marines Visit Israel for Training with IDF. Photo: Cpl. Florit Shoihet, IDF Spokesperson Unit


The IDF Engineer Corps built the module city with a city center, hospital, grand mosque, local shops, paved roads and hundreds of structures, including doorways. Constructed to simulate an urban battle environment, the force-on-force training facility provides Israeli soldiers and visiting armed forces with realistic training that is needed to prepare soldiers for potential urban scenarios.
In the last couple of years, a record number of US troops participated in a series of joint military exercises in Israel, an important component in the close strategic cooperation between the Israeli and US militaries.
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« Reply #1389 on: August 18, 2011, 08:50:22 AM »


http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/18/israel.shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

 

Jerusalem (CNN) -- At least six people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured in southern Israel when attackers fired shots at a bus, assaulted Israeli soldiers, and fired mortars and an anti-tank missile.

 

The assault occurred about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Israeli city of Eilat -- close to the Israeli-Egyptian border. Israeli soldiers exchanged gunfire with the assailants.

 

"This is a serious terrorist attack in a number of locations," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

 

"The event reflects the weakening of Egyptian control over Sinai and the expansion of the activity of terrorist forces. The origin of these acts of terror is in Gaza and we will act against them in our full force and determination."
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« Reply #1390 on: August 19, 2011, 11:53:15 AM »

The  series of armed assaults that took place Aug. 18 in Israel underscores the dilemma Cairo is facing in trying to simultaneously  manage a shaky political transition at home and its increasingly complicated relationship with Israel. Egypt hopes to address this dilemma by bringing Hamas under its direct influence. The Egyptian military-intelligence elite sees such a move — which could be facilitated by the crisis in Syria — as increasingly necessary, but it still carries substantial risk.


Security Concerns Building Again in the Sinai

Israel claimed the Aug. 18 attackers had infiltrated southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, where the Egyptian army on Aug. 12 launched Operation Eagle and deployed around 1,000 troops backed by armored vehicles and commandos to contain a rise in jihadist activity in the region. The Egyptian security and military presence in the Sinai is regulated by the Camp David Accords, and any shift in this presence must be negotiated with Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly approved the latest Egyptian military deployment to the Sinai. Israel’s concern over jihadist activity in the Sinai spreading to Israel currently outweighs its concern over Egypt’s military presence in the Sinai buffer region.

Egypt has faced a jihadist threat in the Sinai region for years, but the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak was largely successful in keeping this threat in check. However, the instability that began in Egypt this past January and led to Mubarak’s ouster created a security vacuum in the Sinai when police forces abruptly withdrew from the area, allowing smugglers and Salafist-jihadist groups to strengthen their foothold in the desert region. Such groups, whose ability to operate in this area depends heavily on cooperation from local Bedouins, have been suspected of responsibility for attacks on police stations and patrols as well as most if not all of five recent successful attacks on the El Arish natural gas pipeline that runs from Egypt to Israel.

Along with this rise in militant activity, a previously unknown al Qaeda franchise calling itself al Qaeda in the North Sinai started promoting itself with fliers posted in mosques in the Egyptian Sinai city of El Arish following the first evening of Ramadan. The group proclaimed a campaign to transform the Sinai into an Islamic Emirate, address the injustices suffered by Bedouins, lift the blockade on Gaza and dissolve the Camp David agreements. The group said it was planning attacks on Egyptian police stations and security forces and notably pitted itself against Hamas in accusing the organization of not respecting Shariah in Gaza.

The main and immediate strategic intent of this group is to create an Egyptian-Israeli crisis that will undermine Cairo’s influence in the Sinai and give militant groups room to expand. This supposed new al Qaeda franchise is most likely another name for Takfir wal-Hijra, a Sinai-based Salafist group that has been able to expand its operations in the current security vacuum. It may be operating independently or following recent calls by new al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for jihadists to get more active in Egypt, or even maintaining sporadic contact with the al Qaeda core.

As Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak articulated Aug. 18 following the attacks, the “incident reflects the weakness of the Egyptian hold on Sinai and the expansion of activity there by terror elements.” The question now is how Egypt plans to address this growing threat.


Egypt’s Islamist Militant Management

Egypt’s military regime is already facing a significant challenge in trying to manage a political transition at home among varied opposition groups. Its strategy so far to contain the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been to allow the emergence of various Islamist actors, including Salafist groups, to broaden competition in the political arena. Sowing divisions among political Islamists can be a tricky process (and one that is extremely worrying for Israel), especially as Egypt also has to worry about preventing coordination between these groups and militant factions in nearby Gaza, such as Hamas. The security vacuum in the Sinai is now compounding these concerns as the Egyptian regime has been struggling to reassert its influence over groups operating in the Sinai-Gaza borderland. As a recent example, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Aug. 15 that the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has refused multiple Egyptian requests to hand over Palestinian militants that were suspected of having participated in a recent attack on a police station in El Arish and who allegedly escaped back into Gaza via tunnels.

Egypt’s growing frustration over Hamas has led some leading members of the Egyptian security establishment to make the case that Cairo needs to do more to bring Hamas under its control. According to a STRATFOR source, the director of the Egyptian intelligence service, Maj. Gen. Murad Mi’rafi, has been trying to convince Supreme Council of the Armed Forces leader Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi to allow Hamas to move its headquarters from Damascus to Cairo. Mi’rafi’s reasoning is that by allowing Hamas to set up its headquarters in Cairo, it will reciprocate by doing more to cooperate with Egyptian authorities to stem the activities of Salafist-jihadists in the Sinai, primarily by denying them sanctuary in Gaza and by sharing information on their operations. After all, the Salafist-jihadists are a direct threat to Hamas’ ability to dominate the Palestinian Islamist landscape.

Talks between Egypt and Hamas over relocating Hamas offices to Cairo have been in the works since at least early May, when rumors first started circulating that the Hamas politburo, led by Khaled Meshaal, might be moving its headquarters from the Syrian capital. Hamas’ relationship with the Syrian regime has deteriorated significantly in recent months as Hamas has found itself in the awkward position of being politically pressured by Damascus to defend the Syrian regime in the face of widespread protests and intensifying crackdowns. Hamas’ refusal to issue statements or organize demonstrations in support of regime of President Bashar al Assad has created a great deal of friction between the Syrian government and Hamas leadership, leading the Syrian army to attack the al-Raml Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia on Aug. 13. The Syrian army offensive in Latakia was perceived by the Hamas politburo in Damascus as a direct attack on the organization and, according to a Hamas source, was one of the main reasons Meshaal decided to visit Cairo on Aug. 17 to discuss the relocation proposal. It should be noted that Hamas official Salah al-Badawil on Aug. 17 denied the talks in Cairo dealt with the politburo relocation issue and instead downplayed the talks as dealing primarily with Hamas’ efforts to improve cooperation with Egypt in managing the  Rafah border crossing into Gaza.

The Egyptian regime seems to still be considering welcoming Hamas. Having the Hamas politburo based in Cairo creates a dependency relationship in which Hamas will be beholden to the Egyptian authorities for the free flow of money and goods to sustain its operations. This level of clout has proved highly useful to Syria and Iran, which are pressuring Hamas to remain in Damascus for fear of losing this leverage in the Palestinian territories to Egypt and its Arab allies.

By hosting the Hamas politburo, Egyptian authorities would also have much deeper insight into the group’s activities to keep Hamas and its proxies contained in Gaza. Egypt could use a tighter relationship with Hamas for intelligence sharing on the jihadist presence in the Sinai and Gaza, as neither Cairo nor Hamas wants to see such groups expanding their influence at the expense of known groups with narrow militant goals like Hamas. Egypt, in turn, could use an intelligence boost with Hamas to further its security relationship with Israel and reassume its position as the primary mediator between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

The Egyptian MB, which has made a conscious effort to cooperate with the ruling military council during Egypt’s political transition, also seems to be in favor of the Hamas politburo move to Cairo. A Hamas political presence in Cairo would theoretically provide the MB with foreign policy leverage once it becomes a domestic political force via elections, as it would be the Egyptian political entity with the closest ties to the Islamist Palestinian organization. Moreover, as the MB tries to navigate the post-Mubarak landscape, it wants to ensure its colleagues in Hamas do not engage in actions that could undermine the Muslim Brotherhood’s political agenda and give the military regime the excuse to crack down. From the MB’s point of view, the more influence the Egyptian security apparatus has over Hamas, the less likely Hamas will become a point of contention in the MB’s delicate negotiations with the military. Notably, Meshaal also met with MB leader Mohammed Badie and other members at the group’s Cairo headquarters during his visit.

Hosting Hamas in Cairo would not come without risks, however. With more influence over the group comes responsibility, and Egypt would have to accept that tighter control over Hamas means Israel will hold Egypt accountable for Hamas’ actions. Egypt would thus be gambling that it will be able to sufficiently influence the group to contain its militant activity and resolve the issue of rival jihadist groups eroding Hamas’ clout in Gaza. It is also unclear whether such a move would exacerbate existing fault lines in the Hamas leadership. The question moving forward is whether Syria’s rapidly deteriorating relationship with Hamas along with a growing threat of jihadist activity spreading from the Sinai will be enough to drive Cairo and Hamas together.

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« Reply #1391 on: August 25, 2011, 09:48:25 AM »

http://unitedwithisrael.org/from-ethiopia-to-the-knesset/

Follow Shlomo’s story as he leaves his home in a little Ethiopian village and eventually makes his way to the Israeli Knesset.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY6uBQppQvc&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #1392 on: August 25, 2011, 11:19:12 AM »

Nice one Rachel.
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« Reply #1393 on: August 26, 2011, 01:15:03 AM »

Deciphering the Public Relations Game in Israeli-Palestinian Politics

Israeli Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai said on Israel Radio Aug. 25 that Israel is “not fighting Hamas, but Islamic Jihad, which is even more radical than Hamas, and is acting like a terrorist organization.” Vilnai called Islamic Jihad trigger happy, adding that Hamas is not responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip. His statement concerned the stream of artillery rocket and mortar fire that emanated from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel over the past week. The rocket fire has significantly increased in frequency since the Aug. 18 attacks in Eilat, where armed groups launched a coordinated assault on civilian and military targets in southern Israel, near the Sinai border. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have responded to these attacks with air strikes on Gaza, first targeting senior members of the Palestinian Resistance Committees (PRC), and more recently targeting senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a group that has claimed responsibility for recent rocket fire into Israel.

“The fundamental question that needs to be answered is what Hamas’ intentions are for the months ahead.”
We find Vilnai’s comments, which seemingly exonerate Hamas of any responsibility in the recent militant activity in Gaza, extremely noteworthy. The jury still appears to be out on who committed last week’s deadly attacks in Eilat. Those attacks coincide with a rise in Salafist-jihadist activity in the Sinai Peninsula over the past several months, raising the possibility that groups like the newly proclaimed al Qaeda in the Northern Sinai carried out the attacks with the possible cooperation of Palestinian militants in Gaza and with the strategic intent of instigating a crisis between Egypt and Israel.

However, a number of IDF assessments of the Eilat attacks, selectively distributed to groups like STRATFOR (with the likely presumption they would then be distributed more widely), did not address the Salafist-jihadist threat in the Sinai Peninsula. The IDF assessments focused the blame on the PRC, with the insinuation that the group was likely acting as a front for Hamas. IDF thus focused its airstrikes on PRC targets, while the Israeli government publicly warned Hamas against breaking a de facto cease-fire. Even as rocket attacks claimed by PIJ have escalated in recent weeks, Israeli officials like Vilnai are going out of their way to distinguish a “trigger happy” PIJ from Hamas, thereby allowing the latter a large degree of plausible deniability.

By no means does Israel believe Hamas is losing its grip in Gaza while groups like PRC and PIJ run rogue and provoke Israel. On the contrary, even as the exact identities of the attackers may not be fully known, Israel likely still considers Hamas the ultimate authority of Gaza, able to influence operations against Israel one way or another. In the past, Hamas has used other groups within Gaza — including PRC and PIJ — to fire on southern Israel when it was politically inconvenient for Hamas to do so directly. Even if Hamas publicly announces its commitment to the cease-fire (and gets other groups to do the same), it could be as part of an attempt to portray Hamas as the victim being provoked by Israeli aggression.

One could be spun in a thousand different directions following the various claims, counterclaims and denials on all sides of this conflict. The fundamental question that needs to be answered is what Hamas’ intentions are for the months ahead.

As we discussed in this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, Hamas likely shares a strategic intent with a number of jihadist and Palestinian militant factions in the region to create a crisis between Egypt and Israel. As the September United Nations General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood approaches, Hamas is searching for a way to distinguish itself in the short term from its secular rivals in Fatah. Hamas regularly accuses Fatah of colluding with Israel against the interests of the Palestinian people, and claims to represent the legitimate resistance. In the longer term, Hamas could be looking for a way to sever the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, and to further a political evolution in Cairo that would result in an Egyptian government friendly to Hamas interests.

These may sound like ambitious goals, but the regional conditions have arguably never been better for Hamas to pursue such an agenda. Egypt is in a state of high political uncertainty. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is preparing to enter the government, the Syrian regime is atrophying, the “Arab Spring” protest sentiment is spreading and Israel, unprepared to deal with these growing foreign policy challenges, is coming under heavy domestic political pressure. Provoking Israel into a military confrontation in Gaza, with the help of militant affiliates like PRC and PIJ, could bolster Hamas’ credibility at home while, more importantly, stripping away the foundation of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty at a time of great political uncertainty in the region.

It is within this context that Vilnai’s comments distinguishing PIJ aggression from Hamas can be understood. Israel does not want to be lured into Operation Cast Lead II, and so is trying to give Hamas room to back down and rein in its affiliates. At the same time, Israel can see a significant threat building to its west. The threat goes beyond Palestinian militancy in Gaza and the inability of the Egyptian government to contain jihadist activity in the Sinai. Israel sees the potential for Egypt to fail to honor the peace treaty. Under the doctrine of pre-emption, an argument is building among some Israeli political and defense circles, pushing for Israel to absorb the risk of international condemnation and extend an Israeli military presence into the Sinai, with or without a treaty with Egypt. The other side of the debate argues that the cost of re-entering the Sinai is simply too high — all efforts must therefore be made to preserve the treaty and hope that the tradition of Egyptian-Israeli cooperation against regional militant threats will endure.

This debate is naturally of great concern to Egypt, which since the Eilat attacks has tried to negotiate with Hamas, while creating incentives for Bedouins to cooperate with the Egyptian state and deny access to militants in the Sinai buffer between Egypt and Israel. If Egypt wants to avoid giving Israel a reason to extend Israeli security into the Sinai, it needs to contain the militant threat itself. But Egypt is already concerned with managing a shaky political transition at home. In addition, an increase in Egyptian troops in the Sinai may lead to Israeli nervousness over a possible remilitarization of the region.

Israel has a number of growing and dynamic threats to game out, but for now is likely to avoid any drastic moves in the Sinai. Instead, Israel can be expected to try to avoid a major ground incursion into Gaza. This entails taking care not to directly blame or provoke Hamas, while applying pressure on Hamas affiliates in hopes that the group will choose to ultimately avoid the cost of inviting IDF troops into its territory. Israel’s ability to avoid such a conflict will depend greatly on Egypt’s ability to rein in Hamas. What no one can be sure of at this point is whether Hamas is quietly creating the conditions for the very conflict that both Israel and Egypt are desperately hoping to avoid.

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« Reply #1394 on: August 26, 2011, 11:19:28 AM »


Stratfor:

The United States will stop providing financial aid to the Palestinian Territories if it attempts to upgrade its position at the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein told Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Aug. 26, DPA reported. The United States would also veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for recognition of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and U.N. membership for the state.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1395 on: August 27, 2011, 11:55:07 AM »

The upcoming vote in the U.N. General Assembly on full recognition of the Palestinian National Authority as a nation state could give Hamas the perfect opportunity to provoke Israel and test Egypt’s support for the present military government, says George Friedman.


Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Colin: The Middle East continues to occupy much of our attention. Gadhafi’s compound may be in rebel hands but fighting continues. In Syria a famous cartoonist is beaten up as President al Assad continues his crackdown, and violence of one kind or another continues in Gaza and Iraq. Soon there will be another political development to throw into the melting pot.

Welcome to Agenda with George Friedman. That development will be the upcoming vote in the United Nations [General] Assembly on whether to admit Palestine as an independent sovereign state. George, given the divisions amongst the Palestinians, how will this impact the region?

George: Well, it is a terrific problem. If the Palestine National Authority is admitted to the United Nations, essentially Fatah dominates that and is being challenged by Hamas. The United Nations vote will basically empower Fatah and will challenge Hamas. Hamas will find this a problem, it will find this strengthening its opposition. It will make its own alliance with Fatah more difficult and Hamas, I suspect, is going to try in some ways to not so much undermine the vote but to change the political realities surrounding the vote, both by placing Fatah on the defensive and from its point of view hopefully placing Israel on the defensive.

Colin: That will create a lot of problems for Israel but also for Egypt.

George: Well there are two things Hamas wants to achieve. First from a strategic point of view, its basic problem is not Israel, it is Egypt. Egypt is the problem because Egypt, so long as it is hostile to Hamas’ interests or only neutral, really prevents Hamas from developing. If Egypt were to become pro-Hamas, it would completely change Hamas’ position vis-a-vis Israel and also change it vis-a-vis Fatah and the Palestine National Authority.

Therefore it would very much like to influence events inside of Egypt to create a government that is favorable, to undermine the military regime that is in place right now and end any sort of interdiction that is going on of Gaza. And so it would be interesting to do something to undermine Egypt. One of the solutions to that is to create a crisis with Israel, a crisis that would compel Israel to act militarily, to re-enter Gaza and carry out as aggressive a policy as could be made. Hamas would actually benefit in this sense. First, it would change the internal Egyptian dialogue away from the dispute between secularists and the Muslim Brotherhood and military, toward the the one thing that they all agree on, which is the dubious nature (I leave the military out of this), the dubious nature of its treaty with Israel. If it could stage round two of the uprising, if you will, then Hamas would be in a position to potentially install a government in Egypt that would be pro-Hamas. That would benefit it tremendously. Secondly, if that were to happen, its relationship with the Palestine National Authority would change dramatically. And thirdly, the vote in the United Nations, if Israel were at that time engaged in combat operations in Gaza, would reshape the meaning of the vote, the vote would still happen but it would be a vote that would be as much about empowering Hamas as about Fatah.

Therefore, Hamas right now seems to have an interest in drawing Israel into conflict. We saw the attacks along the Eilat highway, and in that attack there has been a great deal of dispute as to who carried it out. But very frankly, I think it came out of Gaza, and it is very hard to believe that Hamas’ intelligence organization, which is quite good in Gaza, did not know that it was being planned. It is very hard to do anything like that without it being known and even if it was beyond the borders of Gaza, I suspect they would have known, they could have certainly stopped it. They are also firing a lot of rockets into Israel right now, several hundred have landed there. Again, their claim is that it is not Hamas, it is another group or this group, but it is being fired from Gaza, and Hamas has control over that. But we can understand what it is trying to do. On the one hand, it is trying to entice Israel into combat, on the other hand it wants to be in a position to deny that it was itself responsible for any of those things and thereby paint Israel’s response by attacking Hamas as both overreaction and unjust. Israel is doing everything it can not to be drawn into this, not to blame Hamas for this, to say it is not Hamas, not to create the situation where it has to in the context of the September vote be engaged in combat operations in Gaza. And oddly enough, Israel has an interest in not having this happen, and Hamas has an odd interest in making it happen.

Colin: We will come back to Israel in a moment because it is key of course, but how strong will the current military regime in Egypt be in maintaining the status quo?

George: The military clearly has maintained power and has a great deal of power. The question is: what is the military going to have to do to continue holding that position. So, the opposition is divided, as I said, between two groups, secular and religious, in turn each of these groups are divided among themselves. The opposition to the military is there, but it is very weak and incoherent and is unlikely to change the military’s position. The question from an international point of view is whether or not the military, which clearly wants to maintain the peace treaty with Israel and does not want to get involved in conflicts at this time in any way, will find it necessary in the face of circumstances to either spend or jettison the treaty in order to maintain its position. Right now this is not something that the Egyptian military has to do, but there are those in the opposition and those in Hamas who would like to see that happen and forcing the military to do that is something they want, and that is more important to some people than a shift in the government. In many senses we have very strong military government and we expect that to stay there.

Colin: Another bit player in all this if I can call them that is Hezbollah, now in a tricky position because of what is happening in Syria.

George: Syria’s al Assad is clearly on the ropes, he has a very strong force supporting him otherwise he would have fallen long ago, but there is a possibility that it would fall. Syria is one of Hezbollah’s major supporters. Iran is another supporter, but Syria is much closer and much of the sport flows through Syria. So if Syria were to fold to a Sunni government, and that Sunni government has other people to support in Lebanon aside from Hezbollah. Hezbollah obviously is very concerned about what is happening but not nearly as much as al Assad. And again if we simply speculate here, Hezbollah might find that it is in its interests to engage in any conflict that might occur between Hamas and Israel on the northern frontier, both to re-energize its own position, but also perhaps to draw some of the venom from the opposition that is attacking al Assad. One of the issues is that once there is conflict with Israel, al Assad can make the claim that this is no time for this internal stuff, you have got to really deal with Israel. All of this is speculation, there is no evidence, unlike with Hamas and the firing of rockets, there is no evidence that Hezbollah is preparing for immediate combat in this circumstance, but it is certainly something that just speculatively would be an interesting possibility for them.

Colin: Now coming back to Israel, what are Israel’s options? Because at some point they would be drawn back in if attacked.

There is a certain point at which the level of damage being caused in Israel by rockets, by terrorist acts or something else, simply must be responded to for very rational reasons. And so, the point here is: is Hamas engaged in this preliminary action in order to raise the stakes so high that Israel cannot refuse combat? Is this simply a probe in Israel for reasons that are not altogether clear? And secondly, how much pain can Israel endure before it finds itself eager to respond? It really does not want a repeat of Operation Cast Lead of 2008. That ended very badly politically and with minimal military success although it had some, it really does not want to do that again and it is going to try to do everything it can to avoid it. But at a certain point, the decision for war or not war is not simply Israel’s, it is if the other side gets a vote, and it is very important to watch if Hamas’ rocket fire increases dramatically and becomes more effective. At that point Israel will have to do something.

Colin: Where do rich countries like Saudi Arabia, that have funded the Palestinians, stand on all this?

George: The Saudis really do not want this sort of instability right now. They have just gotten through the Bahrain crisis and other instabilities in their region. On the one hand they do not want to do anything to strengthen Iran and they would not really mind al Assad falling. On the other hand, they really do not want to create a situation where they are forced to come in and support, at least financially and rhetorically, Hamas in a war against Fatah. The Saudis right now are not looking for trouble, that really is pretty much Saudi Arabia’s position prices and other of his disabilities in the region of other one hand they don’t do anything to strengthen Iran and they would not really mind as I saw it falling on the other hand they really do not want to create a situation where they are forced to come in and support me financially rhetorically Hamas in a war against what the Sally’s right now are not looking for trouble that really is pretty much Saudi Arabia’s position, and it frequently gives money in order to avoid trouble.

Colin: Finally, there is not much doubt about the outcome of this vote is there? It is going to happen.

George: That seems to be certainly the case, the only question is by how much, and that is one of the reasons why the Israeli’s really do not want to go to war right now, they do not want to do anything to increase the margin.

Colin: George, thanks. George Friedman there ending Agenda this week. Thanks for being with us. I’m Colin Chapman, have a good weekend.

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ccp
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« Reply #1396 on: August 27, 2011, 12:37:36 PM »

FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU

Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack?
Sources say it would have devastated both Jewish state and Gaza population

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: August 12, 2011
1:00 am Eastern


By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WND

Israeli troops on Gaza border
 
TEL AVIV – Israel stopped what would have been a spectacular border terrorist attack planned from inside the Gaza Strip, according to Egyptian security officials.

The Egyptian officials said there is information the attack Tuesday was aimed at the sole pipeline that supplies Gaza with gas. The pipeline, located at the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, is manned and provided by Israel.

Israeli security officials would not comment on the matter.

In a rare incident, on Tuesday all electricity, phone and Internet service was suspended for about 18 hours in the Gaza Strip.

The blackout was reportedly caused by Israeli military bulldozers operating near the fuel pipeline in the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, which is close to the Gaza Strip.

At about the same time the electricity went out in Gaza, the Egyptian officials said Israel passed a message for Egypt to be on high alert for possible attacks from inside the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian officials said they have information that Israel was actually working to stop a cross border attack aimed at the fuel pipeline. The officials said the downing of communications inside Gaza was central to halting the attack.

The Egyptian officials said members of Jihadiya Salafiya, an al-Qaida-allied group in Gaza, are suspected of attempting the major attack along with elements of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad.

An attack on Gaza's pipelines would be devastating for both Israel and the Gaza population, which relies on the supply lines for its fuel.

Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, similar attacks have been carried out three times now on an Egyptian pipeline located in the Sinai desert that supplies Israel with about 35 percent of its gas needs. All three attacks have been blamed on Jihadiya Salafiya and likeminded Islamist jihad groups.

Hamas telecommunications officials said yesterday an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer damaged a communications cable and cut all phone and Internet networks in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip the day before.

The IDF spokesman's office denied the army was "responsible for the incident" but added it was willing to "help restore communications."

An attack on Gaza's fuel pipelines could have negative implications for Gaza's Hamas rulers.

While both Hamas and al-Qaida are offshoots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the groups often clash over a difference in tactics.

In August 2008, Jihadiya Salafiya announced it established an armed wing, which it called the Damascus Soldiers, brandishing weapons in a public display in Gaza while openly identifying with al-Qaida ideologically.

Unlike other radical Islamic organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have demonstrated some pragmatism in aspects of political life while still holding an Islamist worldview, the new al-Qaida organization believes in a strict interpretation of the Quran and that only the Quran can dictate how to act.

The Islamist group believes violent jihad is the primary way to spread Islam around the world, including jihad against secular Muslim states.

Hamas has worked with the al-Qaida-allied groups in Gaza. It took credit along with Jaish al-Islam for the kidnapping in June 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

But Jihadiya Salifiya has been regularly publishing pamphlets labeling Hamas as "non-Muslim" since the terror group ran in 2006 democratic elections, which the Islamist organizations see as an expression of Western values.

Also, for the past two years, al-Qaida leaders themselves have released audio tapes blasting Hamas for participating in elections and in the democratic process.

Hamas several times has engaged in heavy fire clashes with the Islamist organizations in Gaza, including Jihadiya Salafiya.

Read more: Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=332373#ixzz1WFg9Fhx2
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G M
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« Reply #1397 on: August 27, 2011, 02:25:08 PM »

I'll point out that Aaron Klein is a good reporter with lots of time on the ground in the middle east, and much more a journalist than much of what else is found at World Nut Daily.  wink
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Rachel
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« Reply #1398 on: August 28, 2011, 08:22:37 AM »

Give Two Minutes to Gilad Shalit - Today August 28th, is Gilad's birthday. He is now 25 years old, and spent a quarter of his life in captivity.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQasaWh9Gqc&feature=player_embedded
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1399 on: August 28, 2011, 08:45:27 AM »

Sorry, no citation here but it comes from a reliable source.
=================


A radical Salafi Islamist group affiliated with the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization has taken responsibility for launching Sunday morning's Grad rocket attack at southern Israel.

 

The Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad (JTJ) jihadist organization (Group of Monotheism and Jihad) allegedly issued a statement claiming “credit” for the attack on Be'er Sheva, the largest city in Israel's southern region.

 

The missile was intercepted and neutralized by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system at about 7:15 a.m. local time. Residents were warned by the Color Red air raid alert siren before the missile arrived in Be'er Sheva's air space.

 

Salafi groups have slowly grown to be a major power in Gaza in the past several years, with thousands of Hamas members switching sides to join the more radical Islamic factions, all of which are linked to Al Qaeda and many of which operate in Judea and Samaria as well.
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