Displaying posts published in

October 2017

The 80th Anniversary of the Two-State Solution In 1937, an official British report first proposed the partition of Mandate Palestine. The story behind it helps to explain why the Arab-Jewish conflict remains unresolved. Rick Richman

In this epochal year of Zionist anniversaries—the 120th of the First Zionist Conference in Basle, the 100th of the Balfour Declaration, the 70th of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution, the 50th of the Six-Day War—there is yet another to be marked: the 80th anniversary of the 1937 British Peel Commission Report, which first proposed a “two-state solution” for Palestine.

The story of the Peel report is largely unknown today, but it is worth retelling for two reasons:

First, it is a historic saga featuring six extraordinary figures, five of whom testified before the commission: on the Zionist side, David Ben-Gurion, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and Chaim Weizmann, the leaders respectively of the left, right, and center of the Zionist movement; on the Arab side, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem; and on the British side, Winston Churchill, who gave crucial testimonyin camera. Louis D. Brandeis, the leading American Zionist, also played a significant role.

Second, and perhaps even more important today, the story helps to explain why, a century after the Balfour Declaration, the Arab-Jewish conflict remains unresolved.

The history and prehistory of the Balfour Declaration has been notably covered in anniversary pieces in Mosaic by Martin Kramer,Nicholas Rostow, Allan Arkush, Colin Shindler, and Douglas J. Feith. In November 1917, as Britain fought the Ottoman Turks in the Middle East during World War I, the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, formally declared British support for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration, as it came to be known, was issued after extensive consideration by the British cabinet and consultation with Britain’s allies, including the United States, whose president, Woodrow Wilson, approved it in October 1917. In 1922, the League of Nations incorporated it into the Mandate for Palestine that the League entrusted to Britain, and the Declaration thereby became an established part of international law.

The Palestinian Arabs rejected both the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate, even after Britain in 1923 severed the larger portion of Palestine, east of the Jordan River, and recognized Emir Abdullah of Transjordan as its new ruler. In 1929, Arabs rioted in Jerusalem, massacred Jews in Hebron and Safed, and attacked Jews elsewhere in the land. In 1936, in a substantial escalation, the Arabs called a general economic strike, sabotaged trains, roads, and telephone lines, engaged in widespread violence against Jews, destroyed their trees and crops, and conducted guerrilla attacks against the British Mandate authorities.

In May 1936, the British announced their intention to establish a commission to “ascertain the underlying causes of the disturbances” and make recommendations for the future. Arab violence continued through October, delaying the arrival in Jerusalem of the commission, led by Lord Peel, until November. While it was on its way, the Arabs declared they would boycott its proceedings.

Recognizing that the future of their national home was at stake, the Jews presented to the commission a major defense of the Zionist cause: a 288-page printed memorandum, together with five appendices, covering the history of Palestine, the legal basis of the Mandate, and the extensive Jewish accomplishments in Palestine in the two decades since the Balfour Declaration. The memorandum emphasized the urgency of the hour—the Nazis had been in power for three years and had stripped German Jews of their civil rights. The memorandum stressed that Jews were “not concerned merely with the assertion of abstract rights” but also with “the pressure of dire practical necessity”:

The conditions now prevailing in Germany are too well known to require lengthy description. . . . But it is not only in Germany that the Jews are living under [such] conditions. . . . About five million Jews . . . are concentrated in certain parts of eastern and southeastern Europe . . . for whom the visible future holds no hope. The avenues of escape are closing. . . . What saves them from despair is the thought [of the Jewish national home].

Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky testified before the commission between November 1936 and February 1937. Taken together, their presentations constituted the most forceful and eloquent defense of Zionism since Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress 40 years earlier. Weizmann’s two-hour presentation was perhaps the finest in his long career as head of the Zionist Organization. The “six million people . . . pent up in places where they are not wanted,” he said, faced a world “divided into places where they cannot live and places into which they cannot enter.” The Jews sought but “one place in the world . . . where we could live and express ourselves in accordance with our character, and make our contribution to civilization in our own way.”

Ben-Gurion’s testimony was, if anything, even more forceful. The rights of the Jews in Palestine, he reminded the commission, were derived not from the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration but from the history chronicled in the Bible:

[T]he Bible is our Mandate, the Bible which was written by us, in our own language, in Hebrew, in this very country. . . . Our right is as old as the Jewish people. It was only the recognition of that right which was expressed in the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate. . . . [We are] re-establishing a thing which we had, which we held, and which was our own during the whole history of the Jewish people.

Jabotinsky’s turn came at the commission’s last public hearing, held in London on February 11, 1937. The London newspapers reported that “hundreds of Jews queued up outside the House of Lords” to hear his testimony, and “more people [were] turned away than could be admitted.” Notables in the audience included William Ormsby-Gore (the new secretary of state for the colonies) and Lady Blanche Dugdale (Lord Balfour’s niece). Jabotinsky, the foremost orator among the Zionists, spoke of the urgent imperative of rescue:

We have got to save millions, many millions. I do not know whether it is a question of re-housing one-third of the Jewish race, half of the Jewish race, or a quarter of the Jewish race . . . but it is a question of millions. . . . It is quite understandable that the Arabs of Palestine would prefer Palestine to be the Arab State No. 4, No. 5, or No. 6—that I quite understand—but when the Arab claim is confronted with our Jewish demand to be saved, it is like the claims of appetite versus the claims of starvation.

The Functions of Anti-Semitism Ruth R. Wisse

This summer, Nazi symbols and the slogan “Jews will not replace us” at a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, generated a rare clarifying moment in an otherwise politically scrambled time. Since the United States led the Allies to victory in the Second World War and the Nuremburg Trials condemned the perpetrators of genocide, Nazism has been the most powerful symbol of evil in our culture and Jews its most identifiable victims. Though it may be said in some sense that “both sides” at Charlottesville — the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators — bore some responsibility for the event, President Trump’s failure to single out the Nazi element in his condemnation of the two was perceived by many Americans as a moral offense against his country, let alone against its Jewish citizens. Those who enlist Nazism for the advancement of their political goals deserve harsh, unequivocal censure. The president ought to have led, not followed, in singling them out.

Yet the very clarity of judgment on Nazism threatens to obscure graver threats to our constitutional democracy. Jews in particular are harmed by the exclusive identification of anti-Semitism with Nazism, which is so far the only form of anti-Jewish politics that has gone down to defeat. Just as tuberculosis is no longer our chief medical hazard, so Nazism is no longer the main threat to the Jews and what they represent. The tale of evil enshrined in the Holocaust Memorial Museum has been overtaken by more sinister political forms of grievance and blame.

Before Charlottesville, some politicians, professors, and community leaders had begun to address the escalation of anti-Jewish politics in America. But those initiatives could use a sharper focus on the real character of anti-Semitism. On December 1, 2016, for instance, the United States Senate passed the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act,” or AAA, framed as an extension of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act was originally designed to combat discrimination against African Americans. It sought to cover all its bases in protecting them through its triple targeting of discrimination on the basis of “race, color, or national origin.” Title VI focuses particularly on institutions that receive federal funds, and includes protections against discrimination on college campuses. But over several decades, the prime targets of hostile discrimination on American campuses from Brooklyn College to the University of California, Irvine, ceased to be traditional racial minorities and became instead the most habitual of scapegoats — the Jews — though they are themselves a diverse group of many colors and national origins.

Well before the passage of the AAA, interpretation of the original Civil Rights Act had already been stretched by the Departments of Justice and Education to prohibit “discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other religious groups when the discrimination is based on the group’s actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.” The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) duly investigated hundreds of claims of harassment, threats, and intimidation against Jewish students on college campuses under this interpretation. Yet despite the broadly extended definition and the documented causes for concern, the OCR failed to identify any violations against Jews because anti-Semitism did not comfortably fit the original legislative framework of the Civil Rights Act. The AAA was therefore passed in an attempt to further empower the OCR to protect Jewish students.

But there has always been a problem with the logic of this well-intentioned exercise. Anti-Semitism cannot be subsumed into the framework of the Civil Rights Act because anti-Semitism is not discrimination. It may exhibit the key features of prejudice, bias, and bigotry — and therefore result in discrimination. But it is different in kind. Anti-Semitism is a modern political phenomenon — an ideology that anchors or forms part of a political movement and serves a political purpose. It arose alongside other ideologies like liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, anarchism, and (somewhat later) fascism, opposing some of them and merging with others. Anti-Semitism was the most protean of these ideologies and was therefore valuable in forging coalitions even among otherwise competing groups. To take anti-Semitism seriously, let alone to subdue it, requires first recognizing its political nature.

An ideology may be defined as a system of beliefs or ideals, a shaping concept in politics, held by an individual or a group. As a political ideology, anti-Semitism enjoys the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits laws abridging “the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” This provision affords champions of an ideology like communism the right to free speech and assembly even though they aim at the destruction of our liberal democracy, so one can hardly deny the same protection to champions of anti-Semitism ostensibly targeting only the Jews.

The AAA was no sooner passed than protests against abridgment of the right to free speech arose, including from administrators of colleges that had seen some of the worst harassment of Jewish students. They asked, in effect, whether Jews must be protected at the expense of the First Amendment. They deserve an answer. But such an answer would require looking into just what anti-Semitism is.

The #CyberAvengers Playbook; The Non-Technical, No Nonsense Guide For Directors, Officers, and General Counsels (2017 Edition)

The #CyberAvengers are:
Paul Ferrillo
Chuck Brooks
Kenneth Holley
George Platsis
George Thomas
Shawn Tuma
Christophe Veltsos

Cybersecurity, as many organizations practice it today, is broken. Everybody is feeling the pressure as competitors and partners alike dread a breach. Leadership can’t be left in the dark due to technobabble, a lack of resources, or excuses as to why cyber risk cannot be measured.

FireEye is proud to support the new eBook, The #CyberAvengers Playbook: Doing the Little Things (and Some of the Big Things) Well (2017 Edition). This short guide is designed to give you actionable items that could help any organization improve its cybersecurity posture.

Download the eBook and pick up the following tips from the #CyberAvengers:

Oversight duties: Learn to view risk from an enterprise perspective in an era where accountability and fallout costs are surely going to grow.
Cyber risk: Why it matters and how to wisely spend your limited resources.
Communication gaps: Cybersecurity is not an IT-only issue, so do not be afraid to speak your mind. We show you which questions to ask.
Response and continuity: Even the best-tested plans can go out the window during a time of crisis. Learn to minimize the fallout.
What’s happening in 2017 and what to expect in 2018: From the ransomware scare to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect, business is becoming more expensive. We try to help you save wherever you can.

Israel and Embattled Kurdistan Victor Sharpe

In the past I have written several published articles, both regarding the ancient ties between the Kurds and the Jews, as well as the more recent examples of Israeli support for the Kurdish people in their fight against Arab aggression.

The present and immediate moral crisis that surrounds the Kurdish resistance against ISIS in the city of Kobane cries out for Israeli and Jewish assistance to perhaps the only true friend Israel has in the Middle East apart from many in the Druze community.

Let me quote from what has just appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail. It is an account of what horrors Kurdish fighters discovered after liberating parts of Kobane from the ISIS Islamo-Nazis:

“I have seen tens, maybe hundreds, of bodies with their heads cut off. Others with just their hands or legs missing. I have seen faces with their eyes or tongues cut out – I can never forget it for as long as I live,” Amin Fajar, a 38-year-old father of four, told the Daily Mail about the incredible scene in Kobane. “They put the heads on display to scare us all.”

Another resident, 13-year-old Dillyar, watched as his cousin Mohammed, 20, was captured and beheaded by the black-clad jihadis as the pair tried to flee the battle-scarred town.

“They pushed him to the ground and sawed his head off, shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ (Allah is Greater) the boy said. “I see it in my dreams every night and every morning I wake up and remember everything.”

Farmer Ahmed Bakki said his cousin, a father of seven, stayed behind when his terrified family fled.

“We phoned my cousin and [ISIS] answered his phone. They said, ‘We’ve got his head, and we’re taking it,” Mr Bakki said, adding that the most brutal ISIS barbarians were European Muslims.

“They are Chechen, they are English, they are from all over Europe. We know because we can hear their accent,” he told the paper after escaping to a refugee camp in Turkey.”

Let me also quote the words of Jerome Roos, writer, filmmaker and PhD Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, who wrote the following on October 4, 2014 in TeleSUR English.

“As Kurdish forces put up a heroic fight to save the democratic stronghold of Kobane, the US-led coalition seems content to let ISIS commit a massacre.”

Compare how many U.S. aerial sorties Clinton employed against the Serbs in 1999, which averaged 138 daily strikes, compared to the pathetic and estimated five or six sorties against ISIS. As of this weekend, these air attacks have increased and seem, at last, to be making a difference..

Here we have a towering moral crisis affecting what is left of the free world. Will the approximately 12,000 Kurds left in Kobane be allowed to fall under the living horror that is the Islamic State?

Peter Smith Kneel Before Your ‘Progressive’ Masters *****

The US media’s arrogance has once again blinded it to the genius of Donald Trump, whose denunciation of gridiron players ‘taking a knee’ has set the commentariat to another fit of frothing. How out of touch must the pundits be to back myths and spoiled millionaires above patriotism and good manners?

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired! He’s fired!”

Down come the Trump haters from great heights of sanctimony. Trump is a racist and white supremacist, charge the Democrats and their cheerleaders; to wit, the hopelessly-corrupted fake-news media. No other conclusion could be drawn, they intone over and over again.

Repetition of lies makes factoids. Leftists know that and are well practised in mythmaking. ‘The stolen generations’ is an exemplar in Australia. Talk to almost anyone you like and that myth has become a ‘truth’.

As most of the highly paid NFL players are black – they must have some physiological edge but we are probably not allowed to say that –Trump must be a racist. And he is dog whistling to white supremacists. His use of the word ‘bitch’ proves that to those who are prepared to go through any tendentious contortions to arrive at the answer they want.

The never-Trump Republicans get on board, if in a less colourful way. Karl Rove disproves of Trump’s language and his impugning of the parenthood of the NFL players. I was reminded of NSW Premier Robert Askin vocalising his thought “run over the bastards” to Lydon Johnson when anti-Vietnam War protesters were attempting to block his motorcade. Askin was criticised for this in some quarters, but I don’t seem to recall part of that criticism being related to the archaic literal meaning of ‘bastards’.

Memo to leftists and Karl Rove and company: Trump was using a common or garden expression, as was Askin. Moreover, in using the expression “he’s fired” he was parodying himself. The humour of the children’s literature character Amelia Bedelia, who took everything literally, would be entirely lost on today’s adult wallies. We are clearly living through a dumb age in which common sense has become a much rarer commodity.

Mark Steyn says that common sense presupposes a common understanding of the world, which is now absent. He’s right which is why Q&A panels and audiences, for example, appear to me to be mostly populated by aliens; and particularly dumb and nasty ones. Witness, as another example, an elementary school librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, who has just scolded Melania Trump for gifting her library “racist” Dr Seuss books. This lady can spot racist undertones in The Cat in the Hat. Imagine how young children will turn out under this dumb leftist tutelage. It is a growing curse on our children and on mankind.

Back to taking a knee for the flag and anthem. Though it has taken on an anti-Trump complexion, the initial protest by Colin Kaepernick was against (imagined) police brutality towards black men. Disconcertingly, even those who oppose the form of the protest; nevertheless, implicitly accept its premise, if only by their silence about it. The premise being that black men are disproportionately targeted and shot by cops. Quite simply, this is not supported by the evidence.

Amnesty Lessons Europe finds that amnesty for illegal immigrants brings ever more illegals. Heather Mac Donald

The popular will regarding illegal immigration appears to have triumphed over elite sentiment—at least for now. The Senate is close to passing a House measure to build 700 miles of fence along the Mexican border, without demanding amnesty for illegal aliens or a guest-worker program as a quid pro quo. “Comprehensive” immigration reform (a.k.a. amnesty), the pet project of the Bush Administration and its conservative open-borders supporters, has for the moment foundered on political and social reality.

Anyone who still questions the wisdom of the enforcement-first strategy embraced by House Republicans (and a few staunch GOP senators such as Alabama’s Jeff Sessions) need only look at Madrid, where a conference on the European illegal immigration crisis has thrown the folly of amnesty into sharp relief. Spain is leading an appeal to other European Union members to beef up their support for a new EU border control agency. The agency, Frontex, tries to apprehend illegal immigrants as they sail from Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands. Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos argued on Friday that the African influx threatened Europe’s entire border, not just Spain’s.

But Spain’s appeal for aid has so far fallen on deaf ears. The reason: Spain is largely responsible for exacerbating the illegal immigration problem by having granted amnesty to its illegal aliens last year, according to leading EU representatives. Nicholas Sarkozy, France’s interior minister, says that Spain’s 2005 amnesty to 600,000 illegals lies behind the explosion of illegal migration this year. Officials have caught more than five times the number of Africans trying to reach the Spanish islands in the first 8 months of 2006—24,000—than they caught in all of 2005. France experienced an identical surge in would-be “refugees” after its own amnesty in 1997, says Sarkozy. Austria’s justice minister Karin Gastinger has charged that amnesties create a “pull factor [to] the people in Africa [and] give the wrong signal.” Even Senegal, the source of most immigrants to Spain, has criticized the Spanish amnesty for encouraging illegal immigration, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Needless to say, the European experience with amnesty repeats the U.S. one. Following the 1986 American amnesty, illegal Mexican immigration surged several fold. By now, we have enough shared experience with misguided immigration policy not to keep making the same mistake. France’s Sarkozy proposes a Europe-wide ban on mass amnesties. This is one French idea that the U.S. would be wise to embrace.

Betsy DeVos vs. the Mindless Mob at Harvard Suffering the predictable campus outrage against the existence of conservatives, she gave her best speech to date. By Frederick M. Hess & Grant Addison

Shouts. Interruptions. Orchestrated chanting. The predictable convulsions of the contemporary university when a conservative comes to town. This time it was U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, speaking to students, faculty, and others gathered at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government last Thursday night. She joined former FBI director James Comey and current attorney general Jeff Sessions as the third cabinet-level official in the span of a week whose visit to a college campus was met with protests, caterwauling, and the now-rote charges of “white supremacism.”

Against this increasingly threadbare backdrop, DeVos delivered what is probably her best speech to date. It was a constructive, serious address from someone whose remarks have not always met that standard. DeVos spoke thoughtfully — at times, even eloquently — about how school choice empowers families, creates room for a healthful diversity, and is wholly consistent with the historic aims of public education.

DeVos rejected the false dichotomy that insists that the case for school choice rests on jeremiads against traditional public schools. She observed: “Education is not a binary choice. Being for equal access and opportunity — being for choice — is not being against anything.” She emphasized the stakes that can be obscured by abstraction: “It’s important for all of us to remember that we’re not just talking about abstract theory or some wild social experiment here. This is about putting people — putting parents and students — above policies and politics.”

She spoke measuredly about American educational performance: “We’re in the middle of the pack, at best, compared to other nations.” She argued that neither students nor the cause of public education are well served by squabbling over the particulars of anachronistic delivery systems. by broadening our vision of public education:

We can rethink school. And, I posit, we do that by embracing the future of education as one that fully integrates “choice” into every decision we make. Not choice translated as vouchers, or charter schools, or private schools, or any other specified delivery mechanism. No. Choice translated as giving every parent in this great land more control, more of a say in their child’s future. More choices. The future of choice lies in trusting and empowering parents — all parents, not just those who have the power, prestige, or financial wherewithal to make choices.

And she adeptly used her Harvard setting to challenge narrow, doctrinaire notions of what constitutes “public” education. As she put it:

The definition of public education should be to educate the public. That’s why we should fight less about the word that comes before “school.” I suspect all of you here at Harvard, a private school, will take your education and contribute to the public good. When you chose to attend Harvard, did anyone suggest you were against public universities? No, you and your family sat down and figured out which education environment would be the best fit for you. . . . Instead of dividing the public when it comes to education, the focus should be on the ends, not the means.

Israel Takes On the Shia Crescent How Obama enabled the rise of Iran in Syria and why Israel is taking action. Joseph Klein

Despite Israel’s repeated warnings, Barack Obama’s reckless appeasement of the Iranian regime has enabled its rise as a hegemonic threat in the Middle East region as well as a threat to international peace and security. In 2009, Obama turned his back on millions of dissidents in the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, who were peacefully protesting the rigged election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. In 2011, Obama precipitously removed the remaining U.S. combat troops from Iraq, giving rise to ISIS’s re-emergence in Iraq from its bases in Syria. The radical Shiite Iranian regime purported to come to the “rescue” of both countries from the Sunni terrorists, turning Iraq into a virtual vassal state of the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the process. Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran legitimized Iran’s path to eventually becoming a nuclear-armed state, while immediately filling its coffers with billions of dollars to fund its aggression.

Meanwhile, Syria has become ground zero for Iran’s execution of its regional ambitions, which is to establish its Shiite Crescent connecting with its allies, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This plan has included the establishment of a land route that Iranian-backed militias secured in June, beginning on Iran’s border with Iraq and running across Iraq and Syria all the way to Syria’s Mediterranean coast. This road makes Iran’s job easier in supplying arms by land, as well as by air and sea, to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and to equip Iran’s own forces fighting inside of Syria in support of Assad. This helps explain why Iran has placed so much importance on helping the Syrian regime establish control over the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border.

“Everything depends now on the Americans’ willingness to stop this,” said an Iraqi Kurdish official who was quoted in a New Yorker article. However, U.S.-led coalition forces apparently have done next to nothing to stop this major advance in Iran’s Shiite Crescent expansion. “Obama ran down our options in Syria so thoroughly, by the time this administration took over,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The Iranian influence is spreading because they are so heavily involved in regime activities,” Tabler added. “It’s a new monster.”

Furthermore, Iran has funded and armed its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which has sent its militia from its home base of Lebanon to fight alongside Assad’s forces. And Iran has used Syria as a transit point for shipment of sophisticated rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon for future use against Israeli population centers. Despite the fact that Hezbollah has American blood on its hands, the U.S.-led coalition has chosen not to do anything about Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, bought and paid for by Iran.

While Israel chose not to take sides in Syria’s civil war with military intervention of its own, it has bombed weapons storage facilities and convoys inside Syria for its own protection. Just recently, on September 7th, Israeli jets struck a Syrian weapons facility near Masyaf, which was reported to have been used for the production of chemical weapons and the storage of missiles. Israel will also do what is necessary to repel Iranian-backed forces if they edge too close to areas near the Golan Heights, shrinking the buffer between Israel and Iranian controlled territories.

The Big Middle East Lie by Bassam Tawil

Jamal wanted to murder Jews because he believed this was a noble deed that would earn him the status of shaheed (martyr) and hero among his family, friends and society. In Palestinian culture in particular, and Arab culture in general, murderers of Jews are glorified on a daily basis.

The Trump administration and Jason Greenblatt seem to have bought the lie that “It’s about money, stupid.”

No. The conflict is about Israel’s existence in the Middle East. It’s about the abiding interest in the Arab and Islamic world to destroy Israel and murder Jews.

Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel.

His family and friends say he also had a good life and was considered lucky to have been employed by Jews because he received a higher salary and was protected by Israeli labor laws. The night before Jamal set out in his murderous mission, he spent a few hours at the fitness gym in his village, located only a few miles away from Har Adar.

So, Jamal, the murderer of the three Israelis (two of the victims were Arab Israelis), was not poor. He was not unemployed. In fact, according his friends, Jamal earned much more than what a senior police officer or school teacher working for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas brings home every month.

What was it, then, that drove Jamal to his murderous scheme, gunning down three young men who were supposed to be facilitating his entry into Israel? Was it because he could not provide for his children? No. Was it because his landlord was pressuring him about the rent? No: Jamal lived in a nice place of his own, complete with furniture, appliances and bedrooms that any family in the West would be proud to own.

Left: Nimer Mahmoud Jamal. Right: Har Adar. (Images source: Social media, Josh Evnin/Wikimedia Commons)

Jamal wanted to murder Jews because he believed this was a noble deed that would earn him the status of shaheed (martyr) and hero among his family, friends and society. In Palestinian culture in particular, and Arab culture in general, murderers of Jews are glorified on a daily basis.

They are touted as the lucky ones who are now in the company of Prophet Mohammed and the angels in Paradise. Male terrorists are also busy with the 72 virgins they were awarded as a prize for murdering Jews. The murderers — as Muslim clerics and leaders hammer into the heads of Palestinians — are also given access to rivers of honey and fine drinks once they set foot in their imaginary Paradise.

Jamal’s friends and family are now convinced that he has been rewarded by Allah and Prophet Mohammed in Paradise for murdering three Israelis. They do not care about his children, whom he left behind, and certainly not about the families of the three Israelis he murdered.

In his village and on social media, Jamal is being hailed as a hero and martyr. Not a single Palestinian has come out against the cowardly terror attack by a man who took advantage of a permit from the Israeli authorities to commit a terror attack.

Islam and Feminism by Maryam Assaf

By claiming that Islam is “feminist,” these self-appointed advocates seem to be trying to convince others that Islam is keeping up with modernity, human rights, and democratic values. This, sadly is a lie, and one that unfortunately seems told to facilitate the assimilation of Islam into Western countries and to improve its image.

Furthermore, both men and women from their earliest age are indoctrinated by a male-dominated society to think that staying subjugated is part of a woman’s fulfillment of her duty toward both her husband and her religion.

Many women like the idea of being supported by a husband and not having to find an outside job. Nowadays, a large number of young women do not even finish their studies, but instead stay home to wait for their “prince charming” to get married. That they would apparently prefer to be their husband’s “slave” and “concubine” to working to support themselves is probably often the main reason they reject Western values such as feminism and gender equality.

Lately, western Muslim “feminists” such as Linda Sarsour or Yasmin Abdel-Magied claim that Islam is a “feminist religion” that respects women’s rights. “Islam to me,” says Abdel-Magied, a Sudanese-Australian author, “is the most feminist religion”.

By claiming that Islam is “feminist,” these self-appointed advocates seem to be trying to convince others that Islam is keeping up with modernity, human rights, and democratic values. This, sadly is a lie, and one that unfortunately seems told to facilitate the assimilation of Islam into Western countries and to improve its image.

The religion of Islam is supported by Sharia, a set of religious laws that organize the lives of all Muslims. Sharia — originally, in Arabic, “The Path,” but in modern times meaning Allah’s laws and recommendations — is based on the Quran and the hadiths, which are sayings and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, regarded by many Muslims as the perfect man.

Under Sharia, however, Muslim women enjoy fewer rights than men. In inheritance for instance, “The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females”(Quran 4:11). This law is applied even in countries such as Tunisia or Algeria, in which the legal system is not based on Sharia. As a result, Muslim women habitually inherit far less money than men, an injustice that virtually forces them, economically, to stay submissive to men. It is also a situation that has built into it the reason this law is never repealed by any parliament.

Another “tradition” perpetuated by Sharia is polygamy: allowing Muslim men to have up to four wives:

“And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four…” Quran (4:3).

Countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, under the pretext of “practicing Sharia,” have thereby legalized — and thereby even further cemented — the submission of women.

In addition, both men and women from their earliest age, are indoctrinated by a male-dominated society to think that staying subjugated is part of a woman’s fulfillment of her duty toward both her husband and her religion.

Women in Islam are often regarded as men’s possessions — here to satisfy and please them whenever their men wish:

“Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves.” (Quran 2:223).

The concept of women as objects of desire has often led to complicated outcomes:

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire — of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.” (Quran 3:14).

From it, “Jihad al-Nikah”, sexual Jihad, has arisen. “Nikah”, in Arabic, actually has multiple meanings, which include temporary marriage as well as offering oneself as a “comfort” to Muslim fighters on the battlefield. Young women recruited by ISIS for “Jihad al-Nikah” are basically “sex toys,” concubines, pleasuring terrorists for a few hours.