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Will there be Peace in the Middle East?
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In the News



Gazans Speak Out: Hamas War Crimes

By Mudar Zahran
Gatestone Institute
September 19, 2014

"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.

"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.

"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.

"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student

"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.

FM Liberman to US Secretary Kerry:

just as we cannot negotiate with ISIS, we cannot negotiate with Hamas

Source: IMRA
September 19, 2014

FM Liberman: Ultimately, the aim of all Islamic terror is one and the same: the destruction of Western civilization. Hence, just as we cannot negotiate with ISIS, we cannot negotiate with Hamas. (Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met on Wednesday evening (17 September 2014) in Washington D.C. with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Minister Liberman told Secretary Kerry that Israel deeply appreciates America's support during Operation Protective Edge and that the Israeli leadership and people know that the United States is Israel's greatest friend. FM Liberman asked Secretary Kerry to have the State Department's travel warning to Israel changed in the wake of the end of Operation Protective Edge, so that American citizens will know that there is no reason not to visit Israel, and they will not be in any danger.


By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
September 19, 2014

ImageIf we only pay up, the cat will ably strum jolly tunes on its fiddle [Arthur Rackham’s illustration, 1913]

In her authoritative clipped cadences, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni admonishes those of us who refuse to sweeten Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cohorts with “daring initiatives.” She sternly disapproves of Israelis who “are not willing to pay the price of a diplomatic arrangement.”

We might of course nitpick and wonder whether a diplomatic arrangement is in fact attainable. And if so, we might further press and inquire why such arrangement hadn’t already been attained.

We might point out that the moderation Livni ascribes to Abbas connotes goodwill and that a minimal supply thereof should have facilitated some arrangement long ago – long before the advent on our scene of Hamas’s religious bad-guys. Secular enemies, as per Livni’s idiosyncratic political lexicon, aren’t quite enemies – certainly not extremists or terrorists.

Between Democracy & Anarchy

By Moshe Arens
Jewish Report
September 16, 2014

What would the state of the Palestinians be if the aim of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria and Gaza were to become reality? Less than 100 years after being created by Messrs Sykes and Picot, the Syrian and Iraqi nations are gradually disappearing from the roll of nations. The Palestinians, as a national entity, are a newer creation – their origin dating back to the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964. This was published by one of Israel’s greatest minds, Moshe Arens, on his own website today,

The Arabs who resided in the area of western Palestine, which was mandated by the League of Nations for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, for many years considered themselves, and were considered by the rest of the world as well, as simply belonging to the Arab nation. For the past 50 years they have generally been recognized as members of the Palestinian nation.

Unlike the Syrians and the Iraqis, the Palestinians at the moment are alive and kicking as a nation, demanding the right to establish a state of their own, a Palestinian state, and to a seat at the United Nations, a privilege still accorded to the Syrians and the Iraqis, but possibly not for long.

Why Many Arabs and Muslims Do Not Trust Obama

By Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute
September 15, 2014

Many Arabs and Muslims identify with the terrorists' anti-Western objectives ideology; they are afraid of being dubbed traitors and U.S. agents for joining non-Muslims in a war that would result in the death of many Muslims, and they are afraid their people would rise up against them.

Many Arab and Muslim leaders view the Islamic State as a by-product of failed U.S. policies, especially the current U.S. Administration's weak-kneed support for Iraq's Nuri al-Maliki. Some of these leaders, such as Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, consider the U.S. to be a major ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi and his regime will never forgive Obama for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also, they do not seem to have much confidence in the Obama Administration, which is perceived as weak and incompetent when it comes to combating Islamists.

"This is not our war and we should not be taking part in it."

Mideastern Mirror Mania

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
September 6, 2014

ImageHamastan lustily celebrated the triumph it proclaimed absurdly among Gaza’s ruins

Anyone with pretensions to make sense of what parades as reality in the Mideast must first know mirrors. Nothing in this region is what it seems at first glance and that’s as true for Jews as it is for Arabs. In order to figure anything out, it’s essential to first examine the particular mirror used by each side.

The Israeli mirror is illuminated by ultra-powerful and harsh fluorescent beams from any and all possible directions. Theoretically, the resultant reflection is super-true-to-life. However, the intense brightness is unforgiving and uncomplimentary. It seems to bring out and accentuate apparent flaws whose existence in natural conditions is highly doubtful. It makes us look bad even when we strike quite a fine figure.

Overly analytic and always breast-beating, we Jews can take an ordinary mirror and mercilessly turn it into an instrument for searing our own image in our own eyes. That is something we’ve been uniquely accomplished at for thousands of years throughout our long history, going back to biblical days. We always second-guessed and always pondered where we went wrong.

Latest victim was grandson of two Holocaust survivors who had a deep love for the Islamic world

Sotloff's mother Shirley is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors who moved to Florida
Friends say he developed a deep love for the Islamic world
Reported for Time, World Affairs and the Christian Science Monitor
Was based in Libya before he began reporting from Syria

By Andy Milne and Michael Zennie
September 2, 2014

ImageSteven Sotloff was the grandson of two Holocaust survivors who was fully aware of the risks of reporting from Middle East - and made it his career anyway.

Friends say he spoke fluent Arabic and had a showed a deep love for the Islamic world before he was captured by ISIS militants in Syria in 2013. He was executed by them on Tuesday.

Sotloff, 31, grew up Miami with his mother Shirley - whose parents were both Holocaust survivors - and father Art before attending the Kimball Union Academy boarding school in New Hampshire from which he graduated in 2002

He then studied at the University of Central Florida.

UCF spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala said school records show Sotloff was a student majoring in journalism from fall 2002 until fall 2004. However, Sotloff did not complete his degree and graduate.

Genuinely Knocked for a Loop?

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
August 29, 2014

ImageThe heart of any feeling human being must go out to the shaken Brits. They have duly earned our most compassionate commiseration. Out of the blue they were suddenly confronted, most unpleasantly, with the information that American journalist James Foley had been beheaded by a born and bred Londoner. Ouch!

Intelligence analysts at MI5 and MI6 think the decapitator in-the-most-hallowed-name-of-Allah is 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel-Bary, who joined the Islamic State jihad in Syria last year.

The widespread sentiment uttered by the usual politically correct chorus of politicos (whose electoral prospects now to no small measure depend on Muslim votes) was one of utter consternation. It’s a no-no not to chime in with the accepted multicultural babble about the delights of diversity and not to aver that British Muslims are loyal members of British society. It’s jolly de rigueur to claim that they abide by western codes of democracy and decency.

Is the Gaza War Really Over?

By Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute
August 28, 2014

Statements made by Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and spokesmen following the announcement of the long-term cease-fire agreement with Israel this week serve as a reminder of their true intentions and strategy.

Over the past two months, the two groups, together with several armed factions in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly announced that their main goal was to end the “siege” on the Gaza Strip and build their own airport and seaport.

During the cease-fire talks in Cairo, the Palestinian groups repeatedly and stubbornly insisted that complying with these demands, along with opening all the border crossings with the Gaza Strip, was the only way to end the violence and achieve a long-term cease-fire with Israel.

However, it is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

Hamas's "Victory"

By Bassam Tawil
Gatestone Institute
August 27, 2014

What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.

The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.

The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.

An Arab proverb says, "First he hit me, then, before I could accuse him, he complained" -- meaning, "It all started when he hit me back."

Embracing the obvious truth

By Caroline Glick
August 27, 2014

It isn’t hard to understand the truth about Israel and Hamas.

ImageFour-year-old Daniel Tragerman was murdered on Friday afternoon in his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists.

They shot him with a mortar launched from a school in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood. At the time of the launch, the school was filled with civilians who had fled to the school for shelter.
They fled to the school for shelter because they were forced to vacate their homes.

They were forced to vacate their homes because Hamas terrorists were launching mortars and rockets at Israeli civilian sites, like Daniel Tragerman’s home, from their apartment buildings.

'Revenge, Revenge, Revenge!'

Thousands of furious Palestinians turn out for funeral of Hamas leader's baby son and wife who were killed in Israeli airstrikes

        Son and wife died in Israeli air strikes in Gaza that were targeting Hamas's military chief Mohammed Deif
        Bodies of seven-month-old Ali and 27-year-old Widad carried through the streets of Gaza to cemetery
        Deif was 'still alive and leading the military operation', said source close to the Islamist militant group
        Temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has ended despite talks in Egypt between the two sides
        Hamas rockets fired at southern Israel just hours before extended 24-hour ceasefire was due to expire
        Israel immediately ordered a military response, with warplanes striking targets in Gaza strip
        Israeli official confirms negotiators were ordered back from Cairo, where peace talks had been taking place

By Simon Tomlinson and Lucy Crossley
August, 20 2014

ImageThousands of mourners poured on to the streets of Gaza today to bury the wife and baby son of Hamas's military chief Mohammed Deif while angrily demanding revenge against Israel and firing shots into the air.

The bodies of 27-year-old Widad and her seven-month-old son Ali were taken from the wife's family home to a mosque in Jabaliya refugee camp for prayers before being laid to rest in the sand of a cemetery.

Ukraine and Operation Protective Edge: Two Sides to Russia's Foreign Policy Coin

By Zvi Magen and Olena Bagno-Moldavsky
INSS Insight No. 589
August 14, 2014

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Russia, in an unusual display of restraint, barely related to the conflict. Moscow’s few comments were carefully weighed, creating the impression that Russia embarked on a mission to promote its image as an unbiased mediator. At the same time, Russia tried, albeit clandestinely, to offer its services to both sides, publicly as well as in private conversations with Israeli and Hamas representatives. To this extent, President Vladimir Putin spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 23, 2014, while on July 29, 2014, Hamas, via its high rank official Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, appealed to Russia, asking that it assume an active mediating role in the ceasefire negotiations. This was hardly unprecedented, as in recent years Hamas has approached the Moscow leadership on various occasions. To the best of our knowledge, this particular request did not have any effect on the ground, and it seems it was, from Hamas’ perspective, mainly intended as propaganda, challenging the West and in particular the United States. For Russia, which is fighting radical Islam in the North Caucasus, Hamas remains a less promising partner than Fatah and its leader Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, who is regularly received with great respect in Russia (Abbas last visited Russia on June 25, 2014).

ImagePrime Minister Netanyahu and President Putin at the Kremlin, November 20, 2103 (AFP/Getty Images)

The Real 'Siege' of the Gaza Strip

By Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute
August 12, 2014

Recent calls for lifting the “siege” on the Gaza Strip have ignored that Hamas's main demand, even more than for an airport or seaport, is that Egypt reopen the Rafah border crossing, the Palestinians' only gateway to the Arab world.

Hamas wants open borders because it wants to pursue its ultimate goal of “liberating all Palestine, from the river to the sea.” Now that it has lost most of its smuggling tunnels as a result of Egyptian military operations, Hamas is searching for other ways to bring weapons into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas's leaders know that their chances of getting an airport or a seaport are extremely low. In the past, material brought into Gaza has included mainly weapons, cement taken to build attack-tunnels into Israel, and dual-use material.

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