Daesh, Hamas, Fatah… if not Hezbollah… What do they have in common? They are all fascists

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and it was the UK parliamentarian Hilary Benn who in December 2015 at last spelt out the moral responsibility to combat fascism in the Middle East. Benn referred to homosexuals being thrown from buildings, the destruction of cultural heritage, mass graves, sex slavery, and murder. He described how our values, tolerance, decency and democracy were held in contempt. Daesh*, he said, are fascists, and fascists must be fought.

While his words gave us focus on Daesh they can equally help us focus on the fascism of the Palestinian leaderships, militant groups, and among large swathes of the general population of the various Palestines (i.e. Hamas-Gaza-Palestine; Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine; and, King-Abdullah-Jordan-Palestine). Indeed, in throwing homosexuals from buildings, Daesh was copying the actions of Hamas in Gaza when they dispatched large numbers of opponents from tall buildings in the entity in the first few days after its election victory there.

The modern State of Israel has been fighting the fascism of Palestinian leaderships for decade after decade.

Fascism lives among elites and among the general population. Their fascism is destructive, and lives in the media, in mosques and in religious study-centres (madrassas). It creates a narrative that refers to the Shoah (the Holocaust) and to how 6,000,000 dead is an exaggeration if not a hoax (the gist of the doctoral thesis written by Mahmoud Abbas in Russia during the Soviet era).

The figure of Adolf Hitler figures large in the modern Palestinian narrative. They boast that they are sorry that Hitler didn’t finish his task, and how they will. All of this is woven into a distorted Palestinian world view and pseudo-historical narrative. In this revised narrative, Jewish presence never existed in the region.

Admiring references to Hitler’s Third Reich can be found in Muslim media, book-shops, and the internet right across the Arab world. Indeed, that Hitler found a key ally in the Holy Land is a historical truth. This ally was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Amin al-Husseini – the man spotlighted by Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year.

The Grand Mufti had been glorified by the German press as ‘the fuhrer of the Middle East’ when he visited Berlin in 1941. Al-Husseini organised a Muslim SS Battalion that slaughtered 90% of Bosnia’s Jews and made broadcasts to the Middle East urging Muslims to honour Allah by implementing their own Final Solution. Yasser Arafat, the founder of the PLO (you know… the great Palestinian… born in Egypt), was the Grand Mufti’s nephew and admirer.

The leaderships of the various ‘Palestines’ of Gaza and the West Bank are locked into a struggle for control over their peoples, and while they agree on very little they each fly the fascist flag, so to speak. As described above, the President in the Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, completed his doctoral dissertation in Russia (at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and published it in 1984 under the title, ‘The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism’. He claimed that 6,000,000 Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis is ‘a gross exaggeration’.

Then there is Hamas…  Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, who modelled his organisation on Mussolini’s bully-boys and Hitler’s brown-shirts. The Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, an admirer of Hitler, was also inspired by Izz al-Din al-Kassam whose followers killed Jews during the 1936-1939 Uprising – during the British period – and then joined the Grand Mufti in providing the Nazi-Germans with Middle Eastern operatives during World War II. Some of today’s militants in Gaza name their rocketry after al-Kassam – the Kassam or Qassam missiles.

Indeed, the Hamas founding charter (1988) relies heavily on the distortions and untruths of the proven hoax called the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. It is a charter that could have been written by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and any number of Austrian, Polish or Russian anti-Semites.

Unfortunately, there is never any real analysis of Palestinian society or its fascist ideologies, or any profiles of armed fascist Palestinian groups, or investigations into the Palestinian government (Mahmoud Abbas is still President in West-Bank-Palestine 6-years after the end of his term, 2005-2009… and since the Hamas election victory in Gaza in 2006 there has been no other election victory celebration there).

One person who has offered analysis of the Hamas leadership in Gaza is Suha Arafat. Last November (2014), on the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death, she expressed dismay at Hamas, and how the terror group had attacked Fatah leaders and buildings after its takeover of the Gaza Strip. Further, she said that Hamas was ruining the futures of Gaza youth, and committing ‘genocide’ upon its own people. The Hamas-generation has grown up with violence, without education, and with emigration as their only hope.

Other analysis has come from Bassem Eid, the founder and former director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). Eid is an advocate for peace with Israel, and a critic of terrorism and is part of the ‘Stop the Boycott’ movement.

Eid also reminds us of the statistics of the suffering brought upon Gaza-Palestine by Hamas and other terror groups and their affiliated Rocket Brigades: how some 5 million tons of rubble remains in Gaza; how 200,000 workers have lost their means of employment; how 80% of the Gazan people are surviving on welfare; how 40% of Gazans are living below poverty lines; and, how 22,000 Gazans are homeless.

He reminds us too how none of this is Israel’s fault and how the responsibility for the fate of Gaza-Palestine lies with its government – Hamas… not Israel.

We should all be reminded that Daesh, Hamas, Fatah, if not Hezbollah too, all have something in common. They are all fascists. Israel knows this, we should too.

*Daesh…: An acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or ISIS or ISIL. The word ‘Daesh’ is preferred by many because it is similar to the Arabic words ‘Daes’, ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘Dahes’, translated as ‘one who sows discord’.

 

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Bassem Eid… the Palestinian who blasts Hamas and Fatah

Somebody that the SPSC should be listening a lot more to is Bassem Eid, the founder and former director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). Bassem Eid is an advocate for peace with Israel, and a critic of terrorism and is part of the ‘Stop the Boycott’ movement.

Indeed, those posting in social media in the last few days lamenting the loss of lives in Gaza and lack of reconstruction in the wake of the 1st anniversary of Israel’s defensive ‘Operation Protective Edge’ should also pay attention to Bassem Eid.

There is one pure and simple reason why there has been a year-long delay in the reconstruction of the entity, says Eid…: In spite of a so-called Unity Government, both Hamas (Gaza-Palestine) and Mahmoud Abbas (West-Bank-Palestine) want to hold the purse strings of the reconstruction funds for Gaza, which donor nations have pledged at some US $ 5.5 billion.

As far as Hamas is concerned, the top priority is the reconstruction of its military capabilities and terror tunnels. Why ?  Because Egyptians have created a 2-kilometer buffer zone and have removed smuggling tunnels that have made Hamas leaders into billionaires. What is the result of this ? This has meant that new general taxes on Gazans have had to be imposed, and in addition, a new mosque tax in Gaza during the holy month of Ramadan has been conjured up. Each person who wishes to stay in a mosque for Ramadan services must pay 20 shekels from the 19th of Ramadan to the 29th of Ramadan… that’s 200 shekels thank you very much!!

Relying on testimonies submitted by ordinary Gazans, a report by The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), has stated that the taxes imposed on different commodities and services in the Gaza Strip have aggravate the suffering of the people. These are not Israeli taxes (the entity is no longer administered by Israel)…. these are Hamas taxes!!

Bassem Eid also reminds us of the statistics of the suffering brought upon Gaza-Palestine by Hamas and other terror groups and their affiliated Rocket Brigades:

  • 5 million tons of rubble remains in Gaza
  • 200,000 workers have lost their means of employment
  • 80% of the Gazan people are surviving on welfare
  • 40% of Gazans are living below poverty lines
  • 22,000 Gazans are homeless
  • 29 Palestinians were executed by Hamas during the war
  • several terror bombings occurred in the Gaza strip by (internal Gazan) Salafist groups

Eid was in touch with other Gazans in Khan Younis and Shuja’iyya who said that:

  • the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is like throwing us into a pit… if Hamas continues their policies, they will bring more death and destruction to their own people
  • we are living under a dictatorship regime… Hamas kills any opposition… since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, there is an absence of any Palestinian political factions in the Gaza Strip… today it looks as if the next upcoming war bells are ringing
  • the situation in Gaza right now is that hunger, poverty and unemployment reached the highest percentage since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip

According to Eid it is both Hamas and Fatah should be held responsible for the fact that there are no schools, no hospitals, no electricity and no proper drinking water for Gazans.

Get that???… Not Israel’s responsibility or fault… But that of Hamas and Fatah…!!!

BDS, Suha Arafat, and some Jewish history

Small deluded groups of leftist opinion formers in western countries (e.g. the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) continue in their efforts to discredit Israel and to institute boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against the country. Meanwhile, Jordanian-born Suha Arafat (born in Jerusalem under the Jordanian administration, and widow of deceased Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, who was born in Egypt) has instead stated that the time had come for the region’s Arabs to recognise the state of Israel, and that armed struggle to eliminate the Jewish state’s existence was no longer plausible.

Arafat has said that Arabs had to ‘clearly express […] recognition of Israel’. Further, she said that ‘no one can doubt its existence’. What she did not however say was whether or not she thought Israel had a RIGHT to exist… only that it DOES exist. The remarks had come on the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death last November 2014.

She had also expressed dismay at Hamas, and how the terror group had attacked Fatah leaders and buildings after its takeover of the Gaza Strip. Further, she said that Hamas was ruining the futures of Gaza youth, and committing ‘genocide’ upon its own people. The Hamas-generation has grown up with violence, without education, and with emigration as their only hope. She hoped that Hamas would finally understand that it should work towards peace.

While Arafat’s input was a milestone, Israeli officials speak about the need for Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Doing so would recognise the state’s long-term sovereignty and permanence.

Israelis have a number of reasons for demanding their country be recognised as their national homeland. For the Jews, Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jews means the end of the conflict. They want to be sure that a Palestinian state bordering on Israel is the Palestinians’ final demand and that they accept the fact of Israel’s existence.

In some ways too the deluded European and North American BDS-ers also need to accept that fact of Israel’s existence, and to acknowledge that the State of Israel is simply not going to melt away. Boycotting Israel, whose agencies, institutions, universities, and laboratories have been responsible for so many Nobel Prizes and the creation of stunning advances for the good of us all, will not reduce Israeli academic nor military excellence. In boycotting Israel, the people likely to suffer most will be the thousands of Palestinian breadwinners who currently work in Israel’s factories and fields, both in Israel itself and in the West Bank.

The deluded also have to accept some historical facts, study a bit of Jewish history, and research with a great more depth the origin of the ‘Palestinians’ to whom they offer succour.

Firstly, in spite of the ancient Assyrian, Babylonian, and Roman exiles endured by many Jews of the region, Jews have nevertheless had a continuous presence there for thousands of years (particularly in Jerusalem, Safed and Tiberias). Indeed, Jewish history and Jews themselves have a presence in the Holy Koran as well as in the Old and New Testaments.

Secondly, it was the Romans who first applied the name Palestine (Palestina) to the region around 70AD – around the time that they destroyed the Jewish Temple in the renamed Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) – but it was not at that time a home to the Arabs whose universe at this point was still the Arabian Peninsula. Neither was Palestine a name that the later Ottomans would adopt, as their own imperial system used the ‘vilayet’ and ‘sanjak’ administrative system. They knew the region as composed of the Vilayet of Beirut, the Vilayet of Syria and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem or Sanjak of Jerusalem. European Christians (i.e. the Church of Rome) however would continue to use the Roman name of Palestine… hence our modern attachment to the name.

Thirdly, the Arab ancestors of today’s Moslems in the region only swept in during the 7th century AD and with the imperialist expansion of Islam. Fast forward to the 20th century and to the British presence in ‘Palestine’ (the name of the region applied by the Romans, but ignored by the Ottomans), reference was always made to the Moslem ‘Arabs’ and to the ‘Palestinian’ Jews… the Palestinians were the Jews, the ‘Arabs’ were the Moslems (indeed, the anti-Israeli BDS-er need only refer to English language newspapers of the period to read this for themselves). Then, post-1948, and right through to the Six Day 1967 and the Yom Kippur 1972 and a bit afterwards, references were always to the Jewish-Arab conflict, never to the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.

Fourthly, not all of the diverse Arab populations of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have lived in these areas for the many generations and the many centuries that many voices urge us to believe. Either they came with invading armies, or were imported as cheap labour by the Turks and British, or wanted to profit from the economic advances made by the Jews who had been returning to rebuild their homeland since the 18th century (returning to an empty and barren landscape). Others fled to Palestine from neighbouring Arab countries. While these same voices mock the dual-passport-holding modern Israeli, they ignore the dual-passport-holding Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza many of whom have relatives in Israel, some in Jordan, some in Lebanon, some in Egypt, some in Europe and North America.

Christmas – time of real danger for Israel

As Christmas descends on the western world, the moment of maximum danger for Israel emerges. Why is that? Because, as the Christian world gazes dewy-eyed towards Bethlehem in Judea, the relative calm and the relative prosperity of the West Bank (in comparison to the daily grind for Gazans under fascist Hamas for example) is not the scene that best serves Palestinian leaderships and the Palestinian narrative.

What better way to draw the attention of journalists from civil-war-torn Syria, and from the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon, than to stage aggravation between Palestinians and Israeli troops at Christmas time, and to launch a missile or two on Israeli civilians. Indeed, aggravation on the Gaza-Israel border has already occurred in the last 24-hours. What better way than aggravation to distract attention from the refugee camps of Jordan, always brim full of Syrians displaced by their own government. Moslems in camps do not serve the interests of Palestinians – the ‘only’ displaced people that has ever lived !

At this precious moment in the Christian calendar, Palestinian President-for-Life, Mahmoud Abbas, carrying on the narrative set by Yasser Arafat, will, as always at this time, release a Christmas message calling Jesus a ‘Palestinian messenger’ – no matter that the Roman term ‘Palestine’ would not emerge until some 70 years after the Nazarene’s death. Abbas will imply, as he does every year, that Israel persecutes Christians, but the facts on the ground tell a different story. The Christian population of Israel is the only one which is growing and thriving in the region. In Palestine, especially in Bethlehem, where they used to form a majority, Christian populations have shrunk. Many feel uncomfortable amid growing Moslem majorities that they see as becoming more outwardly and politically Islamist… not to mention intimidating and corrupt. It is Moslem terror organisations that persecute Christians and other minorities right across the Middle East. In Israel they find safe haven.

Regrettably, European and North American Christian groups, and their leading clergy, have accepted the Abbas narrative rather than the Israeli one, thus hastening the inevitable decline and ultimate eradication of a Christian presence in these ancient Christian centres.

As we go into holiday mode here in Scotland – effectively into self-congratulatory lockdown – this blog wishes all Israelis and all supporters of Israel, chag sameach ve l’shanah tovah !

Palestine and the Rome Statute: Israel could indict Palestinians

Why has the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague not received positive confirmation from Riad Malki, the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), to go ahead with a war crimes investigation against Israel? Easy answer: Because the PA knows that war crimes investigation is a two-way street and that there is no statute of limitations against investigations into the actions (contemporary and historical) of Gaza-Palestinians and of West-Bank-Palestinians.

In recent weeks, the PA Justice Minister (contradiction maybe???), Saleem al-Saqqa, and the PA General Prosecutor, Ismaeil Jabr, had formally asked the ICC to investigate Israel for its actions during the Gaza offensive (Operation Protective Edge). In order for any investigation to be launched the ICC required formal approval from the head of state, the head of government and the foreign minister, and so Riad Malki – as Foreign Minister – had gone to the ICC in the Netherlands to discuss the recent offensive against Gaza-Palestine.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the legal procedures required for the so-called ‘State of Palestine’ to join the ICC and to sign the Rome Statute in order to take action against perceived Israeli war crimes.

An earlier attempt by the PA to join the ICC had failed because ‘Palestine’ was not recognised as a country, but in November 2012 it obtained the status of non-member observer of the UN General Assembly (a status never conferred on Tibet, Kashmir, Kurdistan, or Tamil Eelam) and this status allowed it to join the ICC and other international agencies and treaties (and presumably to cripple them forever after with tortuous debate over spurious accusations against Israel).

Anyway… after meeting the ICC Chief Prosecutor, the Gambian Fatou B. Bensouda, Malki claimed that there had been clear evidence of war crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza-Palestine. In her turn, Bensouda said, in a short official statement, that the ICC did not have jurisdiction over the alleged war crimes as the PA had not signed up to the Rome Statute. Nor had her office received any official document from the PA indicating acceptance of ICC jurisdiction or requesting the Prosecutor to open an investigation into alleged crimes following the November 2012 UN recognition.

Now… why was that, one might wonder, after all the bluff and bluster and propaganda about achieving UN recognition? Could it be something to do with the content of the Rome Statute? Of course it did.

The Rome Statute established four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The crimes are not ‘subject to any statute of limitations’, and the ICC can only investigate and prosecute the four core international crimes in situations where states are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.

Why does this make PA Ministers hot and sweaty under the collar ? Because Israel always thoroughly investigates everyone, everything and every action after each conflict, and so the ICC would have no jurisdiction over any Israeli actions. However, if the PA were to sign up to the Rome Statute and to accept the jurisdiction of the Court, a great many Palestinians would be liable to be indicted for war crimes, and Palestinian Ministers could be indicted for the crime of aggression, because there are never any formal investigations of any actions by any of the Palestinian groups. Israel could have a field day!

Signing the Rome Statute could open up a huge can of worms with cases and accusations raised by Israel going right back to the start of the Second Intifada (2000-2005) when suicide bombings of buses and cafes across Israel wrought havoc and murdered hundreds of civilians in major cities. With the PA in charge in most of the places from where the suicide bombers were sent, it would be they who were legally culpable… and Hamas too could be indicted for crimes perpetrated in Gaza-Palestine after they took over the reins there.

Thus far, the ICC has not received any positive confirmation from Malki to go ahead with a war crimes investigation against Israel.

Silence speaks volumes.

 

The recent conflict: reflections on Israel, on the Hamas, and the western media

In the recent conflict between Hamas-led Gaza-Palestine and Israel, the Health Ministry of Gaza-Palestine claimed that there were over 2,000 fatalities, making no distinction between militant and civilian deaths. Israel believes however that between 750 and 1,000 of the Palestinian dead were in fact militant fatalities. Numbers of deaths – especially the low Israeli casualty rate – were the fixation of foreign news correspondents covering the war. While any civilian death during war is tragic, civilians have always died in war, and the statistics ought to be contrasted with those mounting in the neighbouring Syrian inter-communal conflict. Over the past 3-years, the Syrian civil war has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have EVER died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

In spite of this, western news organisations have long decided that the Arab-Israeli conflict is much more important than say the killing of women in Pakistan (more than 1,600 women murdered there last year alone), many raped or burned, or the on-going rubbing out of Tibet by China and of the very idea of a Tamil Eelam by Sri Lanka, carnage in Congo and the Central African Republic, and the over 60,000 deaths in the Mexican drug wars. Nope… for westerners the most important story in the world is Israel, and for many local authorities in Scotland and other parts of the UK it is extremely important to show solidarity with Israel’s fascist opponents by flying their green, red, white and black flag.

What is especially important for the western press in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel itself. There is never any real analysis of Palestinian society or its fascist ideologies, or any profiles of armed fascist Palestinian groups, or investigations into the Palestinian government (Mahmoud Abbas is still President in West-Bank-Palestine 5-years after the end of his term!! When is the next election to be held in Gaza-Palestine? Or, is it ok that the Hamas election victory was the last election victory celebration ever to be held there?). The western press narrative – and the one that we gobble up and support – is that ‘the Palestinians’ exist as passive victims.

While western media focus on the flag-waving jubilant Gazan mobs who actually believe they have won a victory (surely only the sort of victory that the ‘Black Knight’ in the Monty Python sketch might get excited about!!) the reality is very different. Once again, with all the flowery Arab rhetoric stripped away, the real victor is Israel. Fact:… All of the Hamas conditions for a cease-fire were rejected, and the organisation sued for a truce without any of its demands being met.

The way the war was fought by Israel has given pause to Hamas and the heads of the more powerful Hezbollah about engaging soon in another military clash with Israel. As Gaza-Palestinians reflect on the damage to their lives and property resulting from the Hamas decision to launch rockets from the Strip’s most populated areas, they might just think about conveying the message to their government that they want to avoid making any more sacrifices.

The Hamas leadership will certainly be shaken to see their rockets rendered largely impotent by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system (the system that some western observers said that Israel ought to give Gaza too !!! What planet do they live on??). Shaken too they will be by the destruction of the attack tunnels in which they invested massively, and used cement and other materials that would have been better utilised by the civilian population. In addition several of their most senior figures were killed in targeted attacks after Israeli intelligence penetrated their inner sanctum.

Israel’s willingness to carry out a sustained, punishing air and ground war, at great cost in casualties and to the international image of the country, will have underscored to both the Hamas and Hezbollah that when kidnapping and targeting civilian populations is employed, Israel will act.

New Middle East balance: Israel with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan

The Saudi Arabian king joins a growing number of prominent Arab politicians and diplomats who have lined up to condemn the Hamas – the fascist terror group that governs Gaza-Palestine. Last Friday, read out on state television, a statement by the sickly 90-year old King Abdullah said that in their war against Israel the Hamas had ‘distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice and crimes’.

In the decades long conflict between Arabs and ha-yishuv (the Jews of pre-state Israel) and later on the State of Israel itself, no country has been more consistently opposed to the a sovereign Jewish presence in the region than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which had been founded only in 1923 by King Abdullah’s grandfather Ibn Saud. This recent condemnation of the Hamas therefore – a group sworn to destroy that sovereign Jewish state – ought to be regarded as a shift in Middle East politics of seismic proportion. Even more remarkable was the fact that, while condemning the consequences of the war which had been ‘devastating’ to Palestinians, he issued no demands on Israel.

As guardian of Islam’s holy places and the assumed leader of the entire Moslem world (though ISIS/ISIL would probably question that), King Abdullah did not call upon Israel to meet any Hamas demands. He made no calls for opening up the border between Gaza-Palestine and Israel/Egypt which is thought by many to be the primary strategic objective of this new war started by the Hamas.

King Abdullah’s statement is widely regarded across the Middle East and Arab states as a complete repudiation of the Hamas; an open disavowal of any common cause with the terror group. A day after the Saudi statement, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said that a unique link had been forged with the states of the region which would be ‘a very important asset for the State of Israel. With the cessation of the fighting and the conclusion of the campaign, this will open new possibilities for us’.

Manipulated by the Hamas propaganda machinery, and slavering over the body count in Gaza-Palestine however, the Western media has largely overlooked the King’s condemnation and seems to be still committed to telling the decades-old narrative about Israel being the enemy of a united Arab world.

The BBC and others like to tell us how hugely Israel benefits from US arms sales. But then, these sales pale into insignificance when compared to US sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Together, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will create a significant challenge to Iranian-inspired instability in the region.