28 October 2015

Incitement means no end in sight

From Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, 29 Oct 2015, by Ari Wenig:


Amidst the recent surge in violence and terror attacks in Israel, Palestinian[-Arab] men, women and children continue to be incited to violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Videos, cartoons, blogs and posts on social media are being used by Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestinian[-Arab] media, as a call-to-action for average Palestinian[-Arabs] ...to sacrifice their lives, and transform themselves into ‘martyrs’ for the cause of ...murder of Jews, and the destruction of the State of Israel.


The incitement is occurring both passively and actively, manifesting itself in direct calls for violence, as well as in the absence of condemnation of violence, as President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is yet to denounce any of the terrorism that has occurred in recent weeks.
Below is a photo posted by the Fatah student arm, calling for a demonstration at Quds University in Bethlehem.
The image below, showing a masked man brandishing a knife and holding up two fingers in a V for "Victory" was posted on the official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement with the text: "We'll be victorious or die."
Another cartoon encouraged more rock throwing, calling Palestinians to "Advance, advance." [Al-Ayyam, Oct. 9, 2015] The cartoon shows a Palestinian throwing a rock, with a Palestinian flag in the background.

Perhaps most frightening however, is the way in which the perpetrators of this terrorism have been glorified, celebrated, and honoured by the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, and even [Arab] civilians.
Below is a translation of what was posted on the Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement on October 26th, 2015, following an incident in which an Arab terrorist stabbed and seriously wounded an IDF soldier at a junction outside the Arab village of Bayt Einun, located just north of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank.
The path of the struggle: Palestinian National Liberation movement Fatah, North Hebron branch, escorts its Martyr (Shahid) son to his wedding. Raed Saket Abd Al-Rahman Jaradat, who carried out the stabbing operation at the Bet Anoun Junction

Another example of this can be seen in the case of terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who stabbed and murdered 2 Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Bennett, and injured Bennett's wife, Adele, and their 2-year-old son in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3rd, 2015.
Not only was Halabi, the Palestinian law student, granted an honourary law degree, but the municipality of Surda-Abu Qash, where he lived, has decided to name a street after him. "This is in order to honor Halabi, who carried out a stabbing and shooting operation against settlers in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem," the independent Palestinian news agency Donia Al-Watan reported on October 14th, 2015,
"This is the least we can do for Martyr Halabi," Mayor Muhammad Hussein explained, insisting that naming the street after him is "intended to emphasize the national role played by municipalities."

Paying tribute to terrorists through naming in their honour has been adopted not only by municipalities, but by parents. The official Fatah Facebook page posted the picture below of a newborn Palestinian baby who has been named "Knife of Jerusalem." The picture is accompanied by the following caption:
 "A [Palestinian] civilian from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip named his daughter 'Knife of Jerusalem.'"

Not only are terrorists being honoured for their actions, but those publicly supporting the terrorism are being rewarded for their participation in the recent uprising. Below is an inciting cartoon drawn by artist Al-Bukhari, who has recently been awarded for his publications.
According to Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official daily newpapaper of the Palestinian National Authority:
The president [Abbas] awarded the Order of Merit for Culture, Sciences and Arts to the creator and artist Al-Bukhari in recognition of his creative path in plastic arts and cartoons, and out of recognition of his life full of giving, actions, struggle, and beauty, in a way that fits Palestine and its resolute and full culture.
Here is an image of Bukhari receiving his award from President Abbas.

Furthermore, a large proportion of the incitement to violence is coming from a distortion of facts, and at times, blatant lies about the acts of terrorism being committed against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
For example, on October 18th 2015, Muhannad Al-Okabi - a 21-year-old Israeli Bedouin terrorist - entered the Be’er Sheva bus station with a knife and a pistol, murdering 19-year-old Israeli soldier Sgt. Omri Levy, then grabbing his automatic rifle to shoot at people in the station, wounding 11 others. Al-Okabi was shot and killed by Israeli police.
While the forum of Negev Bedouin council leaders strongly condemned the attack, stating that "The terrorist who committed this act does not represent any Bedouin residents, who favor coexistence and living together...", the following was posted on theofficial Facebook page of Advisor to PA Chairman Abbas on NGOs, and Fatah Central Committee member, Sultan Abu Al-Einein:
For a long time the Israeli enemy officials have been boasting about the strength of their army, and they have described it as an 'invincible army,' which has become the fourth strongest army in the world.  Yesterday, we saw the exact truth of this army: A [well-] armed army which was beaten by Martyr Muhannad Al-Okabi (terrorist who shot and killed 1 and wounded 11), and before him Muhannad Halabi (terrorist who stabbed and killed 2 and wounded 2), even though he was defenseless, and was not armed with anything but his right to his homeland and his Palestinian will - the same will which the great armies of the world have not been and will not be able to defeat or harm. How many messages of sacrifice are showing in this scene? Armed soldiers throwing down their weapons out of fear of Muhannad's knife, others seeking a wall or fence out of fear of you, hero that you are. We loved you, Muhannad. We loved you, while you sowed life for all Palestinians. We and the whole world saw soldiers flee, despite being armed with their weapons, the moment Martyr Muhannad [Al-Okabi] fell upon them, when he was 'defenseless' or 'pulling out a knife.' Thus he created another rung on the ladder of Palestinian praise, and has won the medal of honor as a Martyr whose name is engraved on every Palestinian's chest. Note: I advise the enemy to arrest everyone whose name is Muhannad. 

The post paints Al-Okabi as having been ‘defenseless’ and unarmed, with no mention of the soldier he killed, or the 11 people that he wounded.
With the incitement to violence strengthening, spreading, and self-perpetuating, it seems the end to this conflict is far from in-sight.

27 October 2015

ABC’s skewed reporting of Arab attacks on Israelis is sickening

From The Australian, 26 Oct 2015, by Rowan Dean:

I’VE watched kids holding up decapitated heads, starving babies and swollen corpses rotting in the sun. All while I’m having dinner – during the news. 
But I have never seen anything quite as hard to stomach as the ABC’s 7.30 last week. And I’m not talking about the content – which was horrible enough – but, rather, the way in which it was reported.

This was the ABC’s top current affairs program reporting on a terrifying spate of murders taking place in a democratic country not dissimilar to our own. In each case the murderers, many of whom are barely out of their teens, sneak up on the elderly, the vulnerable or the infirm and hack them to death with knives or other weapons.

Sometimes they just run them over.

But that’s not why I had trouble keeping my dinner down. No, what was truly repugnant was the way in which these murderers were portrayed: almost as heroes, engaged in some noble struggle. How could that be?

Well, did I mention the victims are all Jews and the murderers all Palestinian [Arab]s?

Even the segment’s title – “Meet the young generation of Palestinians behind the third intifada” – was a disgrace, sounding like some hip, funky show. 

How would 7.30 have portrayed the Holocaust? “Meet the blond, blue-eyed generation behind Germany’s third and final solution” perhaps?

“So far dozens of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed on buses, at bus stops and at checkpoints. Just hours ago, Israeli security forces shot two more Palestinians after they tried to board a school bus south of Jerusalem,” the presenter said.

To the uninformed viewer, this surely sounds like whatever is happening, the Palestinians are clearly victims and the Israeli soldiers are doing all the killing. Worse, the statement gives the impression that there is a moral equivalence to the actions of the murderers and the security forces protecting lives.

Throughout eight turgid minutes, the show failed to point the finger of blame where it belongs: at those political and religious predators in the West Bank and Gaza who for a generation have tutored and groomed young Palestinians to desire to murder Jews. Muslim clerics in Palestinian mosques have been urging their followers in recent weeks to go out and hack Jews to death in the name of Allah. For the Islamist, the “cause” of “liberating” Palestine is just another facet of jihadist terrorism, the goal being the genocide of all nonbelievers, particularly Jews.

This is cleric Muhammad Salah a fortnight ago in the Al Abrar mosque: “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews. Allah has brought the Jews … the enemies of humanity. Form stabbing squads … Oh young men of the West Bank, attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives. Next time attack in groups of three, four or five. Attack them in groups, cut them into body parts.” Yep, that’s a religious sermon, Palestinian style.

What is occurring in Israel at the moment is the result of decades of official anti-Semitism, including kids’ TV shows that tutor Palestinian children to murder Jews. Now these same kids are being inspired to get themselves killed trying to massacre innocent Israeli citizens. This is planned, incited murder, a modern pogrom.

In reality, 16-year-old Bayan al-Esseili, one of the young Palestinians described glowingly on the ABC as “friendly”, “gifted”, “affectionate” and “talented” was no different to Farhad Jabar, the 15-year-old Islamist who snuck up and killed Curtis Cheng in Parramatta.

Yet through language, tone, and style the ABC appeared to be somehow glorifying these Palestinian jihadists. We had funky rap music, “cool” interviews, sentimental claptrap about an empty desk at a girl’s school and so on.

Of course the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political and geographical nightmare. But the blame for the lack of any progress rests predominantly on the side of the Palestinian dictatorships of Fatah and Hamas who have spurned four separate peace offers. This is the same murderous ideology that is seeing “kafirs” butchered around the world.

Evil occurs when good men do nothing. Or when good people obfuscate the true reasons behind those evil deeds. Sickening.

19 October 2015

Interview with Ehud Yaari

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 19/10/2015
Reporter: Emma Alberici

Emma Alberici speaks with Ehud Yaari for his assessment of the wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence which has resulted in the deaths of around 50 people.


EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Another terrorist attack in Israel has left at least one soldier dead and 11 people wounded in one of the most serious Palestinian attacks against Israelis during a month of violence.

This is the moment Israeli forces rushed the bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The gunman grabbed a soldier's rifle and went on a shooting rampage, sending bystanders running for their lives.

The attacker was shot dead after a long gun battle and the incident has prompted a swift response from security forces. Israeli troops have begun using concrete barriers to block off roads between Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods.

MICKY ROSENFELD, ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN: One man was severely taken to hospital, received medical treatment, unfortunately confirmed that he passed away a few minutes ago. Heightened security is continuing in the area and our police units are still in and around the central bus station.

EMMA ALBERICI: A spate of attacks this month has heightened tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories and led some to describe it as the start of a new intifada. Around 50 people have died in the recent violence, which has in part been triggered by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The only thing that's changed are Islamist hoodlums, paid by the Islamist movement in Israel and by Hamas, who are entering the mosque and trying to put explosives there, and from there, emerge and attack Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount and Christian visitors. That's the only change in the status quo. Israel will protect the holy sites, we'll guard the status quo. Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount, Israel is the solution.

EMMA ALBERICI: Ehud Yaari is the author of eight books on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He's an international fellow at The Washington Institute and is considered one of the most authoritative Middle East analysts. He's visiting Australia and he joined me in the studio a short time ago.

Ehud Yaari, welcome to Lateline.


EMMA ALBERICI: Now, this latest shooting in Beersheba is part of a wave of violence over the last month or so which has seen something like 40 Palestinians dead and about nine Israelis. Do you fear we're now on the verge of a much bigger, bloodier conflict?

EHUD YAARI: I hope not. What's happening is that there is a spate of violence which has taken the form of stabbings of Israelis on the streets, all over the place, mainly in Jerusalem and the outskirts of Jerusalem. The second thing which is very special about this spate of violence is that very often, it's teenagers, Palestinian teenagers, encouraged, if you want, incited, to take a knife or a potato peeler and try to kill an Israeli. Soldier, not a soldier, a girl, a boy, etc. We had an incident in which a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was stabbing a 15-year-old Israeli, Jewish kid, on a bike in adjoining neighbourhoods. There is no central command for this. This is not what used to be called an intifada. It's mainly an outburst of youngsters who do not remember the lessons of the previous intifada in the early-2000s and were for years educated that to be a martyr is the right path. That's what you want to do, to be a martyr. And the second thing, they have lately had a - for months, a lot of propaganda about claiming, arguing that the Israelis were out to divide control of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount, etc., which has no basis in reality, but it caught like fire in the field. And many, many Palestinians believe that this is the case, so the slogan is: "Let's defend al-Aqsa".

EMMA ALBERICI: US Secretary of State John Kerry says that he'll meet this week with Benjamin Netanyahu and also with Mahmoud Abbas. What is that likely to achieve?

EHUD YAARI: Not much. I think that what is important now are two things, mainly. One, we need to see very strong international condemnation of terrorism. This time it's mainly in the form of stabbings on the street, random stabbings of people. And I think if we have this kind of international condemnation of this phenomenon, then we will see more action by the Palestinian Authority, Mr Abbas, which we have not seen so far. There is a lot that he can do in order to calm down the situation. For example, by letting his people know that he has accepted insurances, and he did, from Prime Minister Netanyahu, that there is no change on the Temple Mount, in the al-Aqsa Mosque. If I may have a word, we have a very basic issue here, and that is, Israel always has accepted Muslim rights and the sacred Muslim places in Jerusalem. Never a question about that. To this day, the Palestinian leadership refuses to accept that there was any Jewish history in Jerusalem, that there was ever a temple in Jerusalem.

EMMA ALBERICI: Hamas and ISIS have both praised this latest killing of an Israeli soldier. Does Israel have anything to fear, do you think, from the build-up of Iranian ground troops in Syria?

EHUD YAARI: ISIS is now on our border because the terrorist organisation active in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt has joined ISIS and is now the "Sinai Province" of ISIS, so, they are very close now.

EMMA ALBERICI: But you've also got this build-up of Iranian troops in Syria.

EHUD YAARI: Yes. I think, personally, that there is an exaggeration in the number of Iranian troops. There is a very strong, deep Iranian involvement in support of President Assad of Syria. Now, to a certain degree in collaboration with the Russians, who have sent significant forces, mainly Air Force, into Syria. The main argument is what to do first. You go - you remove President Assad, responsible for the massacre of over a quarter of a million people of his own nation, responsible for the displacement of almost 10 million people, Syrians. Many of them now try to go to Europe. Or you first concentrate on ISIS. I think when Mr Netanyahu meets on Wednesday with Secretary Kerry, this is one of the issues, because the Israelis stand, and many Americans feel likewise - I don't know about the position of the Australian Government - that first you get rid of Assad, you delink Iran from its proxies in the Arab world and then you can take care of ISIS. So far, Iran seems to present a bigger threat than ISIS.

EMMA ALBERICI: Yes, this was the question I was about to ask you: whether the greatest threat to the region was Islamic State or the growing Shia Iranian influence?

EHUD YAARI: Well, I think that many people misread the nuclear deal. Many people expected that after - and it's now in - took effect today.

EMMA ALBERICI: It was adopted on the weekend.

EHUD YAARI: Yeah. It's adoption day now. I think many people expected that you will start to see tacit collaboration, cooperation between Iran and its militias, 100,000 militia members, Shiite, in Iraq for example, and United States fighting ISIS. I think the message the Iranians are giving is very clear. The message is: "We, the Iranians, we are now going with the Russians. We prefer Mr Putin. And together with Mr Putin, we are going to save President Assad."

EMMA ALBERICI: Are you saying Iran can't be trusted to keep its end of the bargain?

EHUD YAARI: Oh, I think the Iranians will - are already in some ways stretching what they are allowed in the deal. For example, by having tests of ballistic missiles and developing new ones. I think what the Iranians are saying: "Yes, we are willing to postpone for 10 years, maybe 15, developing a nuclear bomb. But in the meantime, we are going to keep striving for a regional hegemony. And this time we are going to do it together with the Russians." US is absent in the region. US is absent - Arabs will tell you, Israelis will tell you, and with the absence of the United States, a doctrine of retreat by President Obama, you see Putin coming in and you see the Iranians collaborating with him.

EMMA ALBERICI: Well that's precisely what Henry Kissinger wrote today when he said that, "Russia's unilateral military action in Syria is the latest symptom of the disintegration of the American role in stabilising the Middle East."

EHUD YAARI: Kissinger, ah - I used to make the pilgrimage to see Kissinger in New York for years. Kissinger kicked the Russians, the Soviet Union, out of the Middle East in the early-'70s. Mr Obama has invited them back. Invited them back by creating a vacuum, a void in the region, no American presence, no American leadership. He wants to keep away from the quagmire. What you get? You get the Russian Air Force over Syria.

EMMA ALBERICI: US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Russians that, "Propping up the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad would be totally self-defeating to the point of farce." What's the alternative?

EHUD YAARI: I think that there should be an understanding between the Americans and the Russians, the Russians being now underground in Syria, and I don't think that ...

EMMA ALBERICI: In the air. They insist they're not on the ground.

EHUD YAARI: Yeah, but they have a base on the ground and they have troops protecting the base and we can go into that if you want.

EMMA ALBERICI: And the Iranians are on the ground.

EHUD YAARI: And the Iranians are on the ground and they keep losing generals there. But I think basically what we are talking about is the possibility of a transition government in Syria through an understanding between Russia and the United States, endorsed by the Security Council, in which you can bring together different factions of the Australia - of the Syrian opposition and armed groups around the table and start a process. It's not necessary that ISIS will take over if Assad is no longer there. It's not necessary that Nusra, which is the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, will take over. That can be taken care of.

EMMA ALBERICI: But this is not the Russian strategy. The Russian strategy does not include any efforts to remove Assad.

EHUD YAARI: I think the Russian strategy at this point is to make sure everybody understands that there is no deal in the Levant, in the Fertile Crescent. It's Syria, Iraq, etc., without Russia. That's number one. That's the end of the Kissinger era. And the second thing the Russians are saying: "We are willing to ..." - and they are saying, "We are willing to contemplate a deal over Syria, a transitional process in Syria." And I think that Mr Putin is not married to President Assad. And I believe he is willing to discard him for the right price. There needs to be an indication that President Obama wants to be engaged in Syria at all. And what we are seeing now, this collapse, this huge implosion in the Middle East, is in many ways the result of American inaction.

EMMA ALBERICI: Ehud Yaari, we're out of time. I thank you very much for coming in to speak to Lateline.

EHUD YAARI: Thank you for having me. Thank you.

Michael Sukkar MP - Member for Deakin GETS IT!!

From HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HANSARD PROOF, Monday, 19 October 2015 (emphasis added by the the editor of IIW):

Michael Sukkar
Speaker: Michael Sukkar MP

Israel: Terrorist Attacks

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin) (21:04): I rise this evening with the grim duty of drawing the attention of this House to a disturbing speech recently delivered in the Gaza Strip at the Al-Abrar Mosque.

On 9 October, a Palestinian cleric stood at the pulpit and delivered his sermon following the usual Friday prayers. But this was no ordinary sermon. The cleric, Muhammad Salah, was brandishing a large knife throughout his speech. He was urging his followers to go out and kill Jews at random—men, women and children—not only in the West Bank but also in Israel itself, including Jerusalem.

'Form stabbing squads,' he cried out. 'We don't want just a single stabber. … Attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives. … Cut them into body parts.' 
He listed Israeli cities where they are to strike: Afula, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Almost immediately, the people of Israel felt the full impact of these chilling words. In Afula, a city in the Galilee region, a young woman stabbed a security guard at a bus station. In Jerusalem, ghastly footage has emerged of a Palestinian man driving at full speed, mounting the curb and ramming his car into two traditionally dressed religious Jews standing at a bus stop. The impact is quite horrific. The driver then exits the vehicle armed with a cleaver and proceeds to hack one of the men to death.
Also in Jerusalem, a 13-year-old Jewish boy was filmed by security cameras leaving a convenience store and getting on his bike to return home—a scene that could be depicted in any Australian city or town. Then we see two Palestinian boys, just teenagers themselves, attack the boy and stab him repeatedly until he collapses. The boy remains in hospital in a critical condition.

It would be foolish to pretend that the words of Muhammad Salah can be dismissed as empty rhetoric. For his followers they were commands to be obeyed with merciless and fanatical brutality.

His words are not the only words of incitement that have poisoned the minds of the Palestinian people. Palestinian President Abbas, who supposedly represents the more moderate Palestinian factions, told his people:
Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every shahid [martyr] will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God.
After Abbas uttered these vile statements, a young Jewish couple travelling in a car were ambushed on the road by Palestinian terrorists and shot dead in front of their four terrified children, who were in the back seat. We have seen in our own country the terrible impact of radicalisation and incitement. It poisons the minds of our youth and fills their heads with lurid fantasies and conspiracy theories, which are then backed by calls to commit ghastly crimes.

In times of trauma and crisis such as this, it is imperative that opinion makers, be they journalists or politicians, speak the truth and demonstrate moral clarity. 

Those who seek to justify the deaths of innocent Israelis by blaming them on settlements or events in Gaza should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Muhammad Salah, standing at the pulpit with his knife in Gaza, is a disgrace to men and women of the cloth everywhere, a disgrace to religion and a disgrace to humanity. His motivations are clear. He does not speak of settlements or blockades. No political outcome or policy change or concession by the Israelis will satisfy him. The issue is religious supremacism—the perverse, violent and lethal ideology which men like Salah espouse and boys like Farhad Jabar in Parramatta and the young men in Jerusalem take as their creed.

Given these terrible atrocities, I want to take this opportunity to convey my sincerest condolences to the people of Israel and their grieving families in the Australian Jewish community. They can certainly count on the compassion and understanding of this government at such a difficult time.