Wednesday 31 August 2011

Revolution in Libya

Alan Pritzlaf sent me the following perceptive article on the situation in Libya.

Another dictator in the Middle East is gone, but what will replace him? In the West we don't value history, but we must look at the history of Libya to see what is probably ahead. From 1843 until 1922, Libya was ruled by a radical Islamic group known as the Sanussi, whose founder studied Wahhabi (radical) theology in Saudi Arabia. The Italians occupied the country from 1922 to 1943, when it was liberated by the Allies. After the war the country was turned over to King Idris, a leader of the Sanussi. He ruled as an autocrat until he was overthrown by Qaddafi in 1969.

Libyans therefore have absolutely no experience with anything approaching democracy, and have had much experience with radical Islam. Back in 1995 a Western journalist concluded that "militant Islamists . . . were the best organized threat to his [Qaddafi's] rule." Throughout the rebellion, which started in March, the news media has occasionally noted the presence of people associated with al-Qaeda among the rebels. Last week, during a news broadcast from Libya, I noticed, but the reporter did not, that one of the rebel fighters was wearing an Afghan hat. Where would a Libyan get such a hat? Most likely, either he or one of his friends was an "Arab Afghan," an Arab that went to Afghanistan in the 1980s to help the radical Muslims fight the Soviets. When the Soviets gave up and went home, these "Arab Afghans" also went home and started radical Islamic revolutions in their home countries.

So, who will replace Qaddafi? After a transitional period of several months to perhaps two years, I suspect that a radical Islamic regime will take power. Sharia law will be declared to be in force. The draft constitution being put together by the National Transitional Council already says "Islam is the religion of the State and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia)."

Sharia law mandates second class status for women and non-Muslims, and death for those who leave Islam. Soon, Libya will take its place alongside Iran, Sudan and Lebanon as a state ruled by radical Islam. This time we (Americans and Europeans, through NATO) will have had a direct hand in helping it to happen.

Seven devils for every one exorcised

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has raised the spectre that the tottering Assad regime in Syria might lose control of its extensive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah terrorists. The Assad government is believed to have killed at least 3,000 of its own people and tortured and injured tens of thousands more in its desperate attempt to cling to power.

The Syrian stockpiles are missile-ready and Hezbollah already has highly accurate D-class Scud missiles capable of striking at any city in Israel. They would simply need to put the two together (a matter of a couple hours of work) and they could launch an attack using deadly Sarin nerve gas, mustard gas, or one of the other illegal chemical weapons Assad is known to possess. As you read the media reports from the Middle East, bear in mind that as one devil is cast out, seven others more evil than the first will come in to take his place.

We saw it in Iran when the Shah was overthrown and in Iraq with the ousting of Sadam Hussein. We will see the same scenario in Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Yet despite this looming threat to Israel and, after it is too late, to the West, the world is hell bent on dividing Jerusalem and forcing Israel to hand over the Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians.

Al Beeb

When I was at school, we were told the BBC was the most impartial news agency in the world.

Well, I was at school a long time ago and things have changed since then.

Compare these two stories of a Palestinian Muslim terrorist who hijacked a taxi in Tel Aviv after stabbing the driver and then headed to a nightclub filled with Israeli high school kids.

The BBC refers to the Palestinian as a “militant”, not a “terrorist”; it twice claims that terror attacks are rare; it makes no reference to the fact that the terrorists targets were school kids; it makes no reference to his Islamic motivation; it talks about Israel “blaming” Palestinian militants for “the series of attacks near the Red Sea ... on 18 August” and feels obliged to mention that “More than two dozen people died in the week of hostilities that followed, including leaders of Palestinian militant groups killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.”

Judge for yourself if the BBC deserves the title given to it by some of its critics: "Al Beeb".

Jerusalem Post:

Eight people were injured in south Tel Aviv early Monday morning, when a terrorist from the West Bank carjacked a taxi and rammed it into a police road block protecting a Tel Aviv nightclub, before going on a stabbing spree.

Police said the terrorist, a 20-year-old Nablus resident, entered a taxi near the beginning of Salameh Street, and hijacked the vehicle, stabbing the driver in the hand. He then drove for approximately a kilometer down Salameh Street towards the Haoman 17 nightclub, which was filled with high school children at an end-of-summer party. At the time of the attack, almost all of the teenagers were inside the club.

Border Police had set up a precautionary road block ahead of time at the entrance to the club on Abarbanel Street, in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood. The terrorist rammed the road block, and struck a number of civilians and a border policeman.

“He then got out of the car, screamed Allah Akbar [God is Great], and went on a knife attack,” a police spokeswoman said.

The suspect was tackled to the ground by Border Police officers and taken into custody. He was taken to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon after being lightly injured. He was later released and was taken in for questioning under heavy security.

The eight people injured in the attack were all Border Police officers and club security guards. One was seriously injured, two were moderately injured and three were lightly injured. The remaining casualties were released from hospital after receiving medical treatment.

The cabdriver whose taxi was hijacked, Nachman Azi, said that the Palestinian man got in his cab at the start of Salameh Street and asked to be taken to the Central Bus Station, moments later, said Azi “he pulled out a knife and told me to get out of the cab. I grabbed the knife and started to fight him, but it cut my hand very bad and I told him he could take the car.”

Azi, his hand heavily bandaged and his shirt splotched with blood, said that the terrorist let him take some of his personal belongings, and that he believed he only wanted to steal the car.
A police source said that the road block had prevented a far worse outcome.

Israel Radio reported that the attack was coordinated to strike a large youth party being held in the area.

Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino said Monday morning that over 1,000 teenagers were inside the club which was targeted. He said Border Police preparations “were extraordinary and prevented a big disaster.”

The BBC:
A Palestinian man has wounded seven Israelis near a Tel Aviv nightclub, ramming a car into a checkpoint and stabbing five people, police say.

The man drove a stolen taxi into the checkpoint, injuring two guards. He stabbed two other guards, two passers-by, and the taxi driver.

Attacks by Palestinians in Israeli cities have been rare in recent years.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions after attackers killed eight Israelis near Eilat earlier this month.

Israel blames Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip, who crossed from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, for the series of attacks near the Red Sea resort on 18 August.

More than two dozen people died in the week of hostilities that followed, including leaders of Palestinian militant groups killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker in Tel Aviv was a Palestinian in his 20s from the city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank.

He was arrested soon after the early morning attack and taken to hospital with injuries sustained during the arrest. One of his victims was in a serious condition, Ms Samri said.

Attacks by Palestinian militants in Israeli cities were common during the Second Intifada - the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule - that lasted from 2000 to 2005, but have been rare in the years since.

In May, one person was killed when a lorry driven by an Israeli Arab ploughed into traffic and pedestrians shortly after morning rush hour in Tel Aviv.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Clear and present danger for Israel

Even while Jewish families were sitting shiva, seven days of mourning for their dead, after the cowardly attack on Israel citizens that took place on 18 August, a pro-Palestinian rally in Trafalgar Square was accusing Israel of war crimes and calling for the death of the Jewish state.

Then, in America, posters which call for the US to halt the supply of weapons to Israel began to appear on buses in San Francisco.

And while the BBC announced that there was a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, missiles continued to rain down on southern Israel. On the weekend following the attrocity, more than a hundred rockets, mortars and anti-tank missiles were fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and villages along the southern border. At the Israeli-Egyptian border, a suicide bomber blew himself up and on the Jewish Sabbath a rocket hit a home in Beersheva, killing a Jewish civilian and wounding four others. Dozens were hospitalized for treatment of shock.

And in a few weeks, the United Nations looks set to vote for the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state. Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Ron Prossor, estimates that more than 130 of the 193 members of the UN will vote in favour of a Palestinian state, and that most nations that oppose the plan will not have the courage to vote against it but will instead abstain.

Last Friday, President Ahmadinejad of Iran made a public declaration that the creation of a Palestinian state would be “only one step forwards toward the goal of liberating the whole of Palestine.”

Ahmadinejad, who has called repeatedly for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” flatly rejects a two-state solution, saying that the entire land of Israel should be a Palestinian state.

“The Zionist regime”, said Ahmadinejad, is a centre of microbes, a cancer cell, and if it exists in one iota of Palestine, it will mobilize again and hurt everyone. It is not enough for them to have a weak, powerless state in a very small piece of Palestine. They should unite to establish a state, but the ultimate goal is the liberation of the whole of Palestine. I urge the Palestinians never to forget this ideal. Forgetting this ideal is equal to committing suicide. It would be giving an opportunity to an enemy which is on the verge of collapse and disappearance.”

If the vote goes in favour of a Palestinian state, the Arab Spring will become Israeli Winter. Tiny Israel will be surrounded by a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egypt to the south, a Hamas-governed Gaza to the west, a Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon to the north and a beefed up Palestine, Jordan, Syria to the east. Hamas now has weaponry capable of striking at Tel Aviv and the nearby towns where my colleagues in Israel live.

If you think the Palestinians only want "the West Bank", just look at the logo of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

When will world leaders and the media face up to the reality that the Muslim nations really do mean it when they say "Death to Israel".

Have a look at the issues on the 15-minute video Give Peace a Chance.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Terror Rally in London

Just days after Hamas'cowardly attack on Israeli civilians that left six dead and forty injured, a rally was held in Trafalgar Square, London accusing Israel of war crimes and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The Al Quds Day rally was organised by the misnamed Islamic Human Rights Commission and one of the main speakers was Tony Blair's half sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, who addressed the crowd with these words:

"It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds [the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] to be liberated [Does Ms Booth not know that the Temple Mount is under Muslim control and that it is Jews who are not allowed to pray there?]. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!"

Richard Millet has two photo essays - "Lauren Booth: 'Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt must liberate Jerusalem'" and "As Israelis bury their dead, scenes from London..." - on his blog.

View them and be afraid...

Friday 19 August 2011

Israel exacts vengeance on Eilat terrorists

Following yesterday’s deadly terrorist assault near Eilat, Israel responded by wiping out the leadership of the terror group believed responsible.

The cowardly attack on Israeli civilains was reported objectively on TV except for the fact that once again the killers were referred to as "militants" rather than "terrorists". A Reuters executive revealed some years ago that the media eschew the "T word" out of concern for the safety of their staff on the ground in the region.

Once again, I couldn’t help wondering how the incident would have been reported had Israel perpetrated an atrocity on the Palestinians. There would have been widespread condemnation and an outcry from the international community.

Last night, Israeli aircraft targeted and attacked installations belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a group affiliated to Hamas. At least six PRC terrorists were killed, including the group leader Kamal Nirab.

Israeli officials said intelligence had confirmed that Nirab was directly involved in planning and ordering Thursday’s triple terrorist attack, which left eight Israelis dead and dozens wounded, by crossing into the Egyptian Sinai and then infiltrating Israel near its southern tip.

In a televised address on Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the nation that those responsible for the shocking terrorist assault were “no longer living.”

Israel continued its retaliatory action this morning, with an aerial assault on Hamas targets in Gaza. Palestinian sources claimed collateral damage, including civilian casualties.

Hamas responded by firing long-range GRAD missiles at cities in southern Israel. One missile landed in the courtyard of a yeshiva (Jewish seminary) in the port city of Ashdod. Ten Jewish religious students were injured, two seriously.

Other missiles landed in open areas in and near the cities of Askhelon and Beersheva causing no damage or injuries.

Yesterday’s attack began when at least three terrorists riddled a passenger bus with bullets. The bus continued to drive and the terrorists pursued in their own vehicle. Israeli soldiers traveling on the bus reportedly exchanged fire with the terrorists as the two vehicles continued toward Eilat.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of using the Eilat terrorist attacks as a “pretext” to commit what he called “war crimes” against Gaza. Erekat, however, did not consider the Eilat attacks – which targeted innocent, unarmed civilians, many on their way to a summer holiday – to be war crimes.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Has Bob Dylan changed his way of thinking?

In May, I posted a blog about Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday, in which I expressed agnosticism about his spiritual condition.

On 20 June, Dylan played Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv, his first Israel gig for almost 20 years ago. Two decades ago, he upset some in his audience by performing “In the Garden” and other “born-again” period songs.

In June, he opened with another of his born-again songs: “Change my Way of Thinking”. I didn’t post a blog because the lyrics, even though they had been changed were pretty much indecipherable and there was little to comment on. The first verse alone remained unchanged.

Gonna change my way of thinking,
Make myself a different set of rules.
I’m gonna change my way of thinking,
Make myself a different set of rules.
Gonna put my best foot forward,
Stop bein’ influenced by fools.

Thanks to my good friend and Bobphile, Rev Alex MacDonald of Buccleuch Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, I have the lyrics and, as Alex says, they are “interesting”:

Gonna sit at the welcome table,
I’m as hungry as a horse.
Sitting at the welcome table,
I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.
I’m gonna revitalize my thinking,
I’m gonna let the law take its course.

Jesus is calling,
He’s coming back to gather His jewels.
Jesus is coming,
He’s coming back to gather His jewels.
Well, we live by the Golden Rule,
Whoever got the gold, rules.

The sun is shining,
Ain’t but one train on this track.
The sun is shining,
Ain’t but one train on this track.
I’m stepping out of the dark woods,
Trying to jump on a monkey’s back.

Yes, I’m all dressed up,
Goin’ to the country dance.
I said I’m all dressed up,
Goin’ to the country dance.
Every day you got to pray for guidance,
Every day you got to give yourself a chance.

There are storms on the ocean,
Storms out on the mountain too.
Storms on the ocean,
Storms out on the mountain too.
Oh Lord,
You know I have no friend without you.

I’ll tell you something:
Things you never had you’ll never miss.
I’ll tell you something:
Things you never had you’ll never miss.
Tell you something else: a brave man will kill you with a sword,
A coward with a kiss.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Middle East Christians stuck in the Dark Age

In an article published in the Jerusalem Post, Oxford student Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
reveals that anti-Semitism is rife among the churches in the Middle East. As the various Arab revolutions have increasingly taken on an Islamic flair and become discriminatory against their Christian populations, some Israelis have tried to identify more closely with their fellow Bible-believers.

Al-Tamimi, who has family in Baghdad, writes that Arab Christians in general view the turmoil caused by the "Arab Spring" as another chapter in the ongoing Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.

According to Al-Tamimi, Middle East Christians believe that all the deadly attacks on their own communities over the past decade have been perpetrated by "Zionist forces" intent on sowing discord, and not by Muslim fundamentalists, even if all the evidence points to Islamic terror.

These are not fringe accusations, warns Jawad, pointing out that major Christian figures in the Middle East have been repeating ancient blood libels against the Jews.

He concludes that most Middle East Christians simply have not moved beyond the Dark Age of Christianity, when the words of Scripture were twisted to demonize the Jews and turn them into the enemies of God.

Read Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's post here.