(September 5, 2021 / JNS) The Western concept of “negotiations” is alien to the Muslim world. Westerners talk, hint at things, exchange ideas and try to reach agreements, often by conceding on certain issues in order to obtain others.
Such “give and take” is foreign in the Islamic world, where concessions denote weakness. Islamic states take whatever “concessions” they’re offered as “freebies.” For them, the only purpose of talks is for the victors to impose their will on the vanquished.
When Western representatives condemn the behavior of foreign countries and non-state actors, Middle Eastern leaders interpret this to mean that those issuing the statements are not prepared to act. Experience has taught them that public statements are—as it is said in Persian, Turkish and Arabic—“empty words,” which constitute a license to do what they want with impunity. And history has repeatedly proven them right.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House press secretary Jen Psaki and others serving the Biden administration have been playing right into the hands of America’s enemies. Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories
In his official remarks on Aug. 30 about the situation in Afghanistan, Blinken stated: “The Taliban has made a commitment to prevent terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for external operations that could threaten the United States or our allies, including Al-Qaeda and the Taliban’s sworn enemy, ISIS-K … we will hold them accountable to that commitment. But while we have expectations of the Taliban, that doesn’t mean we will rely on the Taliban. We’ll remain vigilant in monitoring threats ourselves. And we’ll maintain robust counterterrorism capabilities in the region to neutralize those threats, if necessary, as we demonstrated in the past few days by striking ISIS facilitators and imminent threats in Afghanistan—and as we do in places around the world where we do not have military forces on the ground.”
He further said, “The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is: Any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned.”
The Taliban not only mocked him for his “empty words,” but were fully aware of their absurdity. It knows that China, Iran and maybe Russia will come to its aid, and that Moscow and Beijing will block any moves against it at the United Nations.
Moreover, the Taliban now has an endless supply of military equipment, as well as huge amounts of cash, which the Biden administration left behind when it absconded from Afghanistan.
Frustrated young Muslim males throughout the world are thus concluding that the tide of their future is pulling towards joining the Taliban, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups on the march to convert the globe to Islam. If the West, in general, and the United States, in particular, had any understanding of the above mindset, they would know that the only way to put the jihadi genie back into the bottle is to mercilessly attack and destroy the terrorist organizations.
It would be a serious mistake to fall into the Biden administration’s trap of assuring the world that the United States is working with the Taliban against ISIS-K to safeguard Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. How can anyone be sure that the Taliban and ISIS-K didn’t coordinate the suicide attacks there, which left 13 U.S. servicemen dead? After all, this is how such groups normally operate against common enemies.
Furthermore, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist organizations are highly factious: One day, they work together; the next day, they kill one another, as it’s hard for them to resolve things peacefully. Each is like a volcano and that could erupt at any time.
Rather than make excuses for them, then, the United States should encourage and foment discord among them. Instead, however, Washington seems to be proceeding full speed ahead in its efforts to undermine allies dealing with similar Islamic forces—even those not using identical jihadist rhetoric.
Take Israel, for example. At his daily press briefing on Sept. 1, State Department spokesman Ned Price quoted Blinken as having said in May that the U.S. “will be moving forward with the process to reopen our consulate in Jerusalem.”
This is relevant to U.S. policy towards the Taliban. Though from a Western point of view, America is overwhelmingly Christian while Israel is overwhelmingly Jewish—in other words, they are different peoples—in the Muslim mindset, the Koran, which they believe is the word of God, makes clear that all Muslims are one nation and all non-Muslims are another.
As such, from a Muslim standpoint, if America pressures Israel on the Palestinian issue, it is abandoning its brothers and sisters and supporting the Muslim cause. The reason that this applies to the reopening of the consulate is that the Palestinian Authority teaches its children that Israel must be destroyed—that it is Muslim and must be ruled by Muslims.
The P.A. honors and pays stipends to those Palestinians who kill Jews. As the Muslims see it, this is no less jihad than that in which the Taliban, ISIS and Al-Qaeda are engaged. So, when the U.S. announces the reopening of the consulate in Jerusalem, it is, from a Muslim perspective, helping those who want to liquidate Israel. For Muslims, supporting those who want to destroy Israel is the same as helping the Taliban, which has defeated the United States and is killing those who worked with America in Afghanistan.
This seems like convoluted logic to Westerners, who see the issues of Afghanistan the Palestinians as separate and distinct. From an Islamic perspective, however, they are one and the same. Indeed, for the past two weeks, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas has been echoing the Taliban to a tee, acknowledging that they are two peas in a pod.
All not need be lost, though. There is a solution—a serious one that was portrayed humorously in the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” In one scene, the protagonist, Indiana Jones, is confronted by an Arab about to kill him with a huge sword, with a crowd cheering on the attacker.
Watching the man wield his weapon fiercely, Indiana Jones smirks, shrugs, pulls out a revolver and shoots his assailant. At this point, the onlookers cheer for Indiana Jones.
Welcome to the Middle East, where people go with the winner. Unfortunately, America chose defeat in Afghanistan. And from the Biden administration’s stated policy regarding the reopening of the consulate in Jerusalem, it looks to the Muslim world as though it wants Israel to be defeated, as well.
Harold Rhode received in Ph.D. in Islamic history and later served as an adviser on Islamic culture for 28 years in the Office of the U.S. Department of Defense. He is now a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
Newt Gingrich”s comments may be startling to many in the States but it is not surprising for Israelis, especially those of us who have been advocating Israel”s arguments for years. The Palestinians are constantly delegitimizing Israel yet were shocked by a voice from America, who is a leading candidate to be the next US President, saying that the Palestinian Arabs are an invented people. The Palestinians are indeed an invented people.
Even Arabs have said so. Azmi Bashara was an Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset who fled Israel when charged with treason against the State. In 1994 he said “I think there is an Arab nation. I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it”s a colonialist invention. When were they any Palestinians? Until the 19th Century, Palestine was the south of greater Syria.”
In my book ISRAEL – RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE I quote the Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul Hadi who, in 1937, told the United Nations Peel Commission “There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. Palestine is alien to us. Our land was, for hundreds of years, a part of Syria.”
So, there is the link between the Arabs of the 1930s and the Arabs as recently as 1994. Allow me to quote other Arabs voices from my book that resonate in agreement with Newt Gingrich.
In 1946, Philip Hitti, Princeton”s Arab professor of Middle East history, told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, “It”s common knowledge that there is no such thing as Palestine in history.” In his testimony before the same committee, the Arab Professor Juhan Hazam said, “Before 1917, when Balfour made his declaration, there had never been a Palestinian question, and there was no Palestine as a political or geographical unit.”
The founder of the PLO itself, Ahmed Shukari, declared at the podium of the United Nations in 1956 that “such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all.”
In 2011, it was the turn of Mahmoud Abbas to address the United Nations in an effort to have them declare statehood for a country that, fifty five years earlier, the UN members had been told did not exist. When it came to delegitimizing Israel, the Arabs were prepared to denounce Palestine as having any political, nationalistic, relevance.
Now, having lost seven Arab wars to annihilate the Jewish State, it became useful to invent a Palestinian identity beginning in the late 60s.
As proof of that, Walid Shoebatt, who was a former PLO terrorist, acknowledged the lie he had been fighting for when he asked, “Why is it that on June 4th, 1967, I went to bed as a Jordanian and woke up as a Palestinian? We considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then, all of a sudden, we were Palestinians.”
Even Yasser Arafat, the so-called founding father of the Palestinian cause, admitted in 1970 to Italian journalist, Arianna Palazzi, that “The question of borders doesn”t interest us. Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean. Our nation is the Arabic nation. The PLO is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call Jordan is nothing more than Palestine.”
His admission was correct. It was established by the British on 77% of the land promised to the Jewish people by the League of Nations in 1922, to be their National Homeland.
The “Palestinian People” is an anthropological fabrication, an invention. A deception, as described by Feisal Husseni after the 1993 Oslo Accords, as a “Trojan Horse” for conquering the land of Israel.
The object of this propaganda campaign is to blot out and forget the name and identity of the ancient biblical Eretz Israel, and to transform it into the land of “the Palestinian people”, an invention fabricated by Arab propaganda and widely adopted by the international community who have pumped billions of dollars that have succeeded in turning Israel into the victim of the most unprecedented fraud in modern political history.
Palestinian children are taught lies about the history of Jerusalem, leading to hatred and violence against Jews.
Ignoring thousands of years of history and countless artifacts, the Palestinian leadership lies to their own children about the facts regarding Jerusalem and the Jewish People’s profound connection to the Holy City.
The Kingdom of Eretz Yisrael extends Yom Kippur Greetings to all of It’s citizen-subjects.
Because there are no “Palestinians” but rather Islamic propaganda, “lies” which are easy to dispel, the citizen-subjects of the Kingdom of Eretz Yisrael can rest assured that the Oslo Accords are finished, the “Palestinian” narrative has been “liquidated” and Judeans can rest assured that the Jewish Tribal Territories of Judea and Shomron/Samaria are INDEPENDENT.
As it is written, “And the L-RD said: ‘I have pardoned according to thy word’ ” (B’midbar 14.20).
May all our prayers be answered for good!
Gmar Chatima Tova – May we all be signed and sealed in the Book of Life!
Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had ruled out meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declaring that he is not a ‘partner’ for possible peace talks.
Speaking at the International Institute For Counter-Terrorism’s annual International Conference on Counter-Terrorism Tuesday morning, Shaked decried Abbas’ policy of paying stipends to jailed Arab terrorists and the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis, as well as the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to prosecute Israeli soldiers via the International Criminal Court.
“As far as Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] goes, my opinion is known and hasn’t changed. Abu Mazen pays money to terrorists who murder Jews – the more you murder, the more money you get.”
“And Abu Mazen is suing IDF soldiers and officers in The Hague, so he isn’t a partner. The Prime Minister won’t meet with him and is not planning to meet with him.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the south Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for the first meeting between the two leaders since Bennett took office.
According to a senior political source, the meeting focused on a range of regional security issues, including the Iranian nuclear threat and regional aggression, Turkey’s role in the conflict in Libya, the crisis between Egypt and Ethiopia, and dealing with terrorists in the region.
The two also discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip and efforts to pressure the Hamas terrorist organization through tightened supervision at the Rafah crossing and efforts to return the Israelis held captive by Hamas.
In addition, Bennett and el-Sisi discussed economic ties between Israel and Egypt, including the expansion of the volume of trade between the two countries as well as the volume of tourism.
Prime Minister Bennett said following the meeting: “I have just finished my first visit with the President of Egypt. The meeting was very important and very good. During the meeting, first and foremost, we created an infrastructure for a deep connection to move forward.”
“We discussed a range of issues in the political, security, economic, and ways to deepen the relationship and strengthen the interests of our countries.
“Israel is opening up to the countries of the region, and the basis for this long-awaited recognition is the peace between Israel and Egypt. Therefore, on both sides, we must invest in strengthening this relationship, and we did that today,” Bennett concluded.
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a warning Monday against what he called Jewish attempts to “damage” the Al Aqsa Mosque by blowing the shofar on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, while the Al Aqsa Mosque, which sits at the southern end of the mount, is the third-holiest site in Islam.
In a statement issued Monday, Hussein said the Temple Mount organizations are demanding that the authorities allow them to bring chairs and Torah scrolls to the Temple Mount to conduct Torah study at the Temple Mount and to open all gates to Jews and not just the Mughrabi Gate.
Hussein strongly condemned the protection given by Israeli authorities to members of the “extremist groups that break into the Al Aqsa Mosque every day in large numbers while wearing priestly clothes and blowing the shofar under the pretext of Jewish holidays.”
According to the Mufti, Israel’s policy permitting Jewish visits and prayer requires an immediate Arab-Islamic response, and he appealed to the relevant Muslim and Arab bodies and organizations to intervene in a situation that could degenerate into a religious war, as the goal of “the extremist Zionist groups is to destroy the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque and build the Temple in its place.”
In addition, he accused the “Israeli occupation authorities” of unjustifiably closing the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Islamic name of the Cave of the Patriarchs) because of the Jewish holidays, calling the annual move an “aggression and heinous crime” designed to deprive Muslims of religious freedom.
Otzma Yehudit chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir on Sunday wrote a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in which he called on the Attorney General to investigate Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh over his support of terrorism and incitement.
The letter followed a Facebook post by Odeh in which he wrote, “If six prisoners managed to break through the narrow and crowded prison, then millions of the Palestinian people can stop the occupation – so that the people will be freed and the prisoners will be released.”
In his letter to Mandelblit, Ben Gvir wrote, “Odeh’s remarks, which support terrorism and incitement, are not uttered in a vacuum. Members of his party went out one after another to support the criminal actions of the escaped terrorists.” As examples, he cited MK Ofer Cassif who wrote, “The prisoners of occupation are political prisoners who are judged and imprisoned in a discriminatory and abusive manner only because of their national identity and their goal to free themselves of the occupation. We will always support their goal and the goal of their people for national liberation from the occupation. We will always oppose harming the innocent.”
Ben Gvir also cited remarks by MK Aida Touma-Sliman who said, “The brutal attacks come as revenge for the blow that the arrogance of the occupation suffered – of the IPS, the Shin Bet and the defense establishment, after six prisoners managed to escape from Shita (Gilboa) Prison.”
At the end of his letter, he warned that “the State of Israel is in a constant war against murderous terrorism. Such statements by Knesset members give a tail wind to terrorism and ostensibly constitute a serious offense of supporting terrorism, incitement. Freedom of expression also has a red line. Supporting the enemy is shooting the state in the back. These serious statements may have and even already have practical implications. The various security officials of the State of Israel believe that the escape of the prisoners could inspire a new spirit among the terrorist organizations in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Indeed, in recent days there have been reports of severe riots by security prisoners, including the burning of cells in various prisons.”
He called on the Attorney General to immediately open an investigation into the conduct of MK Ayman Odeh and bring him to justice.
Ben Gvir said that “supporters of terrorists sit in the Israeli Knesset and feel that they have the power to incite and support terrorism and the terrorists receive a boost from them. Ayman Odeh and his friends belong in prison and not in the Israeli Knesset, I will continue to fight for this disgrace to end.”
Palestinians attend Friday prayers in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, August 20, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)
Border Police at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron demanded on Sunday that a group of Jewish worshippers remove an Israeli flag they had brought in at the site, arousing consternation from right wing groups and activists.
Footage emerged on social media of the incident in which Border Police officials were seen telling a group of worshippers at the holy site to remove the flag. The incident happened on Sunday morning during the Slichot prayers of repentance said in the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
The specific area of the Tomb of the Patriarchs where the incident took place was in the hall of the tombs of Isaac and Rebecca which is is generally closed to Jewish worshippers throughout the year but opened during the High Holy day period.
According to the right-wing Btsalmo organization which obtained footage of the incident, the border police officials stopped the prayer service until the flag was removed. Btsalmo also noted that Palestinian worshippers frequently bring in PLO flags into the Cave of the Patriarchs, and strongly criticized the difference in enforcement.
The Jerusalem Post understands that there is no blanket ban on bringing flags into the site, but that “security considerations” and a desire to “avoid provocation” led to the instructions to remove the flag on Sunday morning.
“It is the right of the Jewish people to pray with Israeli flags in any place and certainly at the Tomb of the Patriarchs,” the Btsalmo organization said in a statement to the press following the incident. “It is unthinkable that after hundreds of years during which Jews were completely prevented from entering the site Jews should now be denied the right to fly their national flag.“
“The flying of a flag is not a provocation or an attempt to offend anyone. Every week dozens of Palestinian flags are brought in and no one stops them.”
The Border Police did not issue a formal statement in response to the incident.
Weighing in on the Texas law prohibiting abortions after six weeks’ gestation except in cases of medical necessity, Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1,500 Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, called the law a step in the right direction, better aligned with mainstream Jewish values, Rabbinic texts, and legal codes.
In so doing, it condemned the left-wing National Council of Jewish Women and its “Rabbis for Repro” for what the CJV said was a distortion of Jewish teachings, devaluing the sanctity of life, and causing a “desecration of G-d’s Name”.
“The Texas statute demands that human life be cherished, while recognizing that the mother’s well-being takes precedence in a medical emergency,” said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe Parnes.
“Rabbinic literature is abundantly clear that fetuses with beating hearts are alive, just as the new Texas law mandates. This has been the accepted ruling for millennia and doesn’t change at the whim of the modern pseudo-scholars of ‘Rabbis for Repro’ who try to force their ‘woke’ personal values into timeless Jewish teachings. They make Judaism look repugnant in the eyes of anyone who recognizes that an unborn child is a human being worthy of protection, which is the very definition of desecration of G-d’s name.”
As outlined in CJV’s statement on abortion, the Bible identifies human life as a soul placed (breathed) within a body by G-d himself, with inestimable sanctity and value. Jewish legal codes likewise value a fetus as a clear and identifiable human life. The Talmud and Code of Jewish Law require violation of the Sabbath, which is permitted only to save a life, to open the womb of a deceased woman whose fetus may have survived. Abortion is permitted only in order to save the life of the mother, “because her life precedes his.”
“The simple truth is that Jewish Law prohibits abortion,” said CJV Rabbinic Circle Chairman Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer. “This prohibition may be overridden to save the mother’s life, which is also recognized in the Texas Heartbeat Law. An on-demand approach to abortion, no matter what Jewish advocates may say, violates Judaism’s clear and emphatic declaration of the sanctity of life.”