Archive for June, 2013

Palestinian misogynists admit that they ‘need a new culture’

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Two sisters of Aya Baradiya cry at the well where Aya was murdered

Two sisters of Aya Baradiya cry at the well where Aya was murdered

The following news item appeared on the English-language site of the Palestinian Ma’an News Service in January. There was a flurry of media comment, which has since died out. Nothing has changed since then:

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas has no plans to amend laws that reduce sentences for suspects who claim an “honor” defense for murdering women, his legal adviser says.

“Why change it? This would cause serious problems,” Hassan al-Ouri told Ma’an, adding that such a reform would “not benefit women.”

In May 2011, the president pledged to amend the law to guarantee maximum penalties for “honor killing” in response to protests over the killing of university student Aya Baradiya in Hebron.

Aya Baradiya was murdered in 2010 by her uncle Okab [variously spelled Iqab or Akab], allegedly because “he disapproved of her relationship with her fiance.” Okab and his accomplices dragged her behind their car, beat her and tied her up. Then they threw her, still alive, into a well. In 2011, The Guardian reported,

But the killing went far beyond a family affair. After the discovery of Aya’s body more than a year after the 20-year-old university student went missing, her uncle confessed to Palestinian police, claiming it was an “honour” killing. Widespread protests against such crimes, led by students and women’s organisations, erupted. In response, the Palestinian president last month scrapped historic laws that permitted leniency for the perpetrators of so-called “honour” killings.

It is not so clear that this was a traditional ‘honor’ killing — some think the uncle had other motives — but after all, who cares? Tying women up and throwing them into wells is unacceptable for any reason, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, the Guardian article is incorrect. Abbas did change a law in 2011 — but it was a never-used law that pardons a murderer if he finds his wife in bed with another man. Of course this wouldn’t apply to 99% of honor killings anyway.

It turns out that the relevant law — which allows for a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail (often only 1 or 2 months in practice) if a murder is judged to be committed for the sake of preserving a family’s honor — will not be changed after all.

Al-Ouri says the president will not change the go-to clauses for lawyers seeking leniency for clients who claim they committed murder to defend family “honor.”

Articles 97 to 100 of the Jordanian Penal Code, in force in the West Bank, still offer reduced sentences for any act of battery or murder committed in a “state of rage.”

“The (law) only addresses 1 percent of the problem. What we need is a new culture,” al-Ouri said.

He got that one right.

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Prisoners have great ideological and religious importance

Monday, June 10th, 2013
Arab child is inspired by his 'heroes', imprisoned terrorists (2009)

Arab child is inspired by his ‘heroes’, imprisoned terrorists (2009)

One of today’s PLO preconditions for negotiation with Israel — they change frequently — is for a release of “all Palestinian prisoners.” For example, the Times of Israel reported today that

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year offered to free 50 Palestinian security prisoners who have been held since before the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, in a bid to get Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the peace table, The Times of Israel has learned.

However, Abbas rejected the offer.

Today, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel, the Palestinians might agree to renew talks with Israel if Netanyahu releases all 107 of the pre-Oslo veterans still in jail, most of whom have blood on their hands.

The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the matter.

It’s important to understand that these demands are more than just an attempt by the PLO to get a concession from Israel without giving anything in return (although it is assuredly that).

Although the Arabs and their supporters will refer to these individuals as ‘political prisoners’, they have by and large been convicted of serious violent crimes, especially including murder. They are not imprisoned simply for their politics.

The demand for the release of prisoners is of great ideological and religious significance. In the PLO’s secular/postcolonialist Palestinian narrative, the Jews have no legitimacy in ‘Palestine’, and therefore do not have the right to imprison Arabs, the true ‘owners’ of the land. In addition, violent terrorism is the natural right of an ‘oppressed people’ trying to free themselves from colonialists.

From the standpoint of the Islamist Hamas, the actions of the prisoners constitute defensive jihad against Jews usurping land which is an Islamic waqf. Far from being criminals, they are heroes for doing their Allah-commanded duty.

For both groups the release of the prisoners would also humiliate the Jews, who would not be able to revenge themselves on the killers of their relatives (incidentally, this is another reason Israel should implement a death penalty for terrorist murder).

And both see themselves as fighting to reestablish Arab (as well as tribal and family) honor by recovering the possessions ‘stolen’ from them in the nakba of the founding of the Jewish state.

The release of these prisoners, therefore, would be a great victory and encouragement for the Palestinian cause, even if the prisoners themselves are no longer useful in the struggle. Expect a massive celebration when the ‘heroes’ return home.

As often happens, pragmatic Israelis miss the significance of ideology. The report continues:

It is understood that the Israeli security establishment has no objections on security grounds to the release of the 107 pre-Oslo veterans, particularly in light of the release of 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners to Hamas as part of the deal that saw the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity in Gaza in October 2011.

We can quibble about this, especially since some of those released in the Shalit deal did return to terrorist activity. But even if this is entirely true, the security aspect is only a small part of the significance of releasing Arabs that have murdered Jews.

The correct approach would be to apply the death penalty to murderers, and to imprison the others — and keep them imprisoned — under humiliating conditions.

If Israel would like to end Arab terrorism, the way to do it is by removing the incentives, not by making it pay.

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Egoturk

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

TurkeyThe ‘New Ottoman’, Turkish PM Erdoğan, is forcing what could have been an insignificant incident to become an anti-regime revolution. His immense ego may be his downfall.

Illustration by Judah Rosenthal, who also did the Moty and Udi cartoons. He is currently working on a graphic novel about the conquest of Jerusalem in 1967.

Things to come

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

future city

It’s 2018. Israel is still beleaguered, but not by its traditional foes.

In a short, bloody war in 2015, Israel crushed Hizballah. Shortly thereafter, it launched a series of strikes against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, using new non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) technology against above-ground installations, plus ultra-precise multiple-strike penetrating bombs to open the underground bunkers. Without Hizballah and without an answer to NNEMP weapons, Iran was forced to defer its nuclear ambitions indefinitely.

Syria’s civil war still sputters and flares, with Assad’s Russian-supported forces in control of the coastal areas and Damascus, while various rebel groups hold the rest. An independent Kurdistan has been declared (although it hasn’t been recognized by the UN), including parts of Iraq and Syria.

Insurrections also continue with various levels of violence in Iraq, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, and other states. Jordan, which received a massive amount of military aid from Israel, is still under control of the Hashemite king, although there are insurgents operating there too.

With the destruction of Hizballah and the partial neutralization of Iran, organized terrorism worldwide has declined. But there are still multiple radical Islamist organizations that are challenging their perceived enemies wherever they can.

After the Egyptian economy disintegrated in 2014-15, the Islamist regime was overthrown by the military. Some food aid was received from the US, but nowhere near enough to prevent food riots, widespread malnutrition and some actual starvation. Israel is providing the military government with large amounts of water (from gas-powered desalinization plants) to irrigate parts of the Sinai. Partly in return (and partly to protect its own existence) Egypt has been cooperating with Israel in keeping weapons away from Hamas and fighting radical Islamists in the Sinai.

Although greatly weakened during the years of AKP dominance, the Turkish military has reasserted itself and with much popular support has reined in the excesses of Erdoğan’s regime. Many officers that were imprisoned (with or without trials) have been rehabilitated, and the army has made it clear that it will not stand for further erosion of secular institutions. Relations with Israel have also improved, as the pragmatic officers overrode the AKP’s ideological rigidity.

Meanwhile, Israel’s economy is continuing to do well. Its huge natural gas reserves have enabled it to produce large amounts of electricity at very low cost, which it uses in part to desalinate sea water. For the first time in history, Israel has enough water! Natural gas is also exported to Turkey and Eastern Europe, in accordance with an agreement with Russia to maintain prices.

The PLO still exists and still rules most of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria. It still receives subsidies from Europe and the US, and still tries to engage in ‘popular resistance‘ (murder by means of weapons other than guns and explosives) when possible.

Hamas, cut off from aid from Hizballah and the Muslim Brotherhood, now exists primarily on UN aid, a massive expansion of UNRWA.

So where does the threat that I mentioned above come from?

In two words, Western Europe.

The UK has its first Muslim Prime Minister, elected after the escalating riots of 2014-5. Considered by all a ‘moderate’, he managed to quiet the uprisings by promising to establish shari’a courts with authority over Muslim towns and enclaves throughout the country (very few non-Muslims remain in those areas). British Jews have taken a very low profile since the riots, during which many were targeted by the rampaging mobs. Many of those whose Zionist sympathies were known fled to Australia or Canada, and some went to Israel. Although the PM publicly says that he supports the continued existence of Israel, he favors a right of return for all Arab ‘refugees’ — there are now 10 million claiming refugee status — release of all Arab prisoners, and “an end to apartheid.”

The rest of the EU states are more or less the same, although they do not yet have Muslim heads of state. The French Jewish community has almost entirely left, most going to Israel. Antisemitic acts by Muslims — but also by non-Muslims who blame Israel and Jews for the violence of Muslims and for economic problems — have multiplied. Jews in Holland, the Scandinavian countries, etc. are also fleeing because they feel they cannot depend on their governments to protect them from pervasive Jew-hatred.

Muslim demands have a history of being quickly accommodated, since if they are not the result is often violent. Most such demands relate to local autonomy, shari’a courts in Muslim areas, compliance with Muslim sensibilities about food, animals, alcohol, ‘blasphemy’ and ‘immorality’ in media, school curricula, etc.

But as happened in 2013 with the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, we see more and more violent acts ‘explained’ in terms of foreign policy. The EU has long since removed any military presence from Afghanistan (as did the US; Afghanistan is today ruled by the Taliban); but now demands center on policy toward Israel.

Antisemitism in Europe is taken for granted, even in countries where there are few Jews (most of them, now). In Germany, for example, politicians can safely say that while the Holocaust was a great evil, it is possible to understand how Jewish behavior, if it did not cause it, at least created the conditions that made it possible. Likewise, there is little sympathy for Israel, which is seen as an instigator of violence, not its victim.

As the threats from Israel’s neighbors recede, we find the danger from nuclear-armed, unstable Europe increasing.

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The UK, then and now

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

After the vicious murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim terrorists several weeks ago, there were several instances of vandalism against mosques, as well as a few small demonstrations organized by the English Defense League, which were met with opposition from “anti-fascist” protesters. But the predicted “wave of anti-Muslim sentiment” did not materialize.

Gordon Ross relates British reactions to another perceived ‘outrage’, one that happened in 1947.

By Gordon Ross

There can be no comparison between the 1947 anti-Jewish riots in the UK and the very recent 2013 anti-Muslim demonstrations.

In August 1947, consequent upon retaliatory actions taken by Jewish militants of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (so-called “terrorists”) against the occupying British mandatory authorities in the land of Israel, there was a serious backlash from sections of the indigenous UK population against Jews in the UK in anti-Jewish riots which were at their worst in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. Synagogues, Jewish shops, centres and individuals were attacked, and demonstrators called for violence against Jews. There wasn’t any significant protest against the riots from outside the UK Jewish community.

Daniel Trilling described them thus:

In Birkenhead, near Liverpool, slaughterhouse workers had refused to process any more meat for Jewish consumption until the attacks on British soldiers in Palestine stopped. Around Merseyside, the anger was starting to spill on to the streets as crowds of angry young men gathered in Jewish areas.

On Sunday afternoon the trouble reached Manchester. Small groups of men began breaking the windows of shops in Cheetham Hill, an area just north of the city centre which had been home to a Jewish community since the early 19th century. The pubs closed early that day because there was a shortage of beer, and by the evening the mob’s numbers had swelled to several hundred. Most were on foot but others drove through the area, throwing bricks from moving cars.

Soon the streets were covered in broken glass and stones and the crowd moved on to bigger targets, tearing down the canopy of the Great Synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road and surrounding a Jewish wedding party at the Assembly Hall. They shouted abuse at the terrified guests until one in the morning.

The next day, Lever said, “Cheetham Hill Road looked much as it had looked seven years before, when the German bombers had pounded the city for  12 hours. All premises belonging to Jews for the length of a mile down the street had gaping windows and the pavements were littered with glass.”

By the end of the bank holiday weekend, anti-Jewish riots had also taken place in Glasgow and Liverpool. There were minor disturbances, too, in Bristol, Hull, London and Warrington, as well as scores of attacks on Jewish property across the country. A solicitor in Liverpool and a Glasgow shopkeeper were beaten up. Nobody was killed, but this was the most widespread anti-Jewish violence the UK had ever seen. In Salford, the day after a crowd of several thousand had thrown stones at shop windows, signs appeared that read: “Hold your fire. These premises are British.”

There were no Jewish clerics in the UK preaching hatred, incitement to violence, murder and treason from the pulpit, no young UK born ‘disaffected’ Jews demonstrating against the UK and burning its national flag in the streets, setting explosives here or travelling to the Middle East to join or train with the militants there, as has been the case in recent years with a number of Imams and other UK born Muslims.

In 2005 there were the 7/7 London Islamist bomb outrages, resulting in many dead and injured.  Since then there has been an ongoing Islamist terror campaign, with Islamist demonstrators calling for violence against and murder of non-Muslims, and a continuing barrage of complaints and demands issuing from the Muslim community, including the demand for the introduction of shariah law!  In 2010, a Muslim woman was put on trial for the attempted murder of an MP.  She stabbed him in the stomach because he had supported the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  She would not plead against the charge because she refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the court, and a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ was accordingly entered by the court on her behalf.  Fortunately the jury found her ‘Guilty’. In May this year, Islamist extremists murdered a British soldier on the streets of Woolwich, London, in full view of passers-by.

This latest Islamist outrage has provoked some anti-Muslim demonstrations and attacks, which the authorities here and other appeasers have been quick to condemn, but nothing that can in any way be compared with the anti-Jewish riots of 1947, and there were no significant demonstrations or protests from any section of the ‘indigenous’ UK population against the earlier Islamist extremist attacks and demands.

The only demonstrations staged here before were in support of Islamist terrorist groups like Hezbollah (in August 2006: “We are all Hezbollah now”) and Hamas, and those against the Jewish nation-state of Israel when it dared to defend itself against enemies dedicated to its destruction and the destruction of all Jews everywhere. Such demonstrations have often been led by prominent public and political figures such as former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone (whose inclination is to welcome and embrace known extremist Islamic cleric hate-mongers), gorgeous George Galloway (of ‘Big Brother’ fame) and senile radical left-winger, Tony Benn (complete with Arab keffiyah around his scrawny neck), and have persuaded some people in the UK to the view that ‘Britistan’ is truly on the way!

© Gordon Ross 2013

Gordon Ross is a non-practising (retired) solicitor, currently living in north London.  After practising law in London for almost 30 years, both in employment and on his own account, he immigrated to Israel in 1983 and re-qualified as an attorney at the Israel Bar.  In 1987 he returned to London, solely in order to take up employment as an in-house lawyer in commerce, which position he held until retirement towards the end of 2008.

He is keenly interested in history, both ancient and modern, and in international politics, particularly where Israel and the Middle East are concerned.

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