02/19/15

The Stuff of Heartbreak

Arlene from Israel

It is just short of two years ago that Adelle Biton, then two years of age, was driving in the Shomron with her mother and two older sisters, when Arabs threw rocks at their car, causing it to spin out of control and collide with an oncoming truck.  Her mother and sisters were moderately injured. Adelle, however, incurred severe brain injury.  She spent a long time in a hospital and then time in a rehab center, before she was brought home, still severely disabled, to continue therapies.

Adva, her mother, was remarkable for her constant devotion and her optimism.

Adva and Adelle Biton

Credit: Yoni Kempinsky

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Today, Adelle Biton succumbed to pneumonia.

On learning the news, I cried.  Such a painful and unnecessary loss of tender young life.  Such anguish for the family.

And so, Baruch Dayan HaEmet.  The Almighty has taken Adelle.  May He grant healing for the hearts of Adva and her husband, Rafi, and other members of the family.

As to those who throw such stones (or firebombs or firecrackers), may He allow them no peace.

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An occurrence such as this brings us upright, and sharpens our perspective.  There are issues that truly, truly matter. And others that are imbued with nonsense and pettiness and self-interest.  And I say honestly today that I have precious little patience for the constant flow of nonsense and pettiness and self-interest that passes for “news” these days.

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Sadly, there is yet one more death I must report: Minister Uri Ohrbach, 54, passed away yesterday after a battle with an unnamed blood disease.  He had worked as a journalist and author for years, before joining a new Habayit Hayehudi and entering the Knesset.

He is being widely saluted as a man of exceptional sincerity, gentleness and wit. What is clear is that this was a man who was greatly loved.

Uri Orbach at the Knesset. 'I feel like making an impact in a different way' (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) .

Credit: Alex Kolomoisky

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So, let us look at some of the news that does matter (if only people would pay attention):
Just a week ago, the IDF and the Shin Bet launched raids in the area southwest of Jenin, uncovering large quantities of firearms, ammunition and knives – sufficient to “strengthen [Hamas’s] grip on the territory.”  Hamas does not intend to stop trying, folks.  Let us not forget this.

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The IDF has warned the government that the PA could collapse at any time.

“In one of the scenarios that the IDF presented, a small localized security incident, like an altercation between settlers and Palestinians, or the throwing of a Molotov cocktail could quickly escalate to rioting in the Galilee and the Triangle area. With the weakened Palestinian Authority a situation like this is liable to lead to terrorist organizations taking control of the West Bank.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/IDF-security-assessment-The-Palestinian-Authority-can-collapse-at-any-moment-390934

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Repeatedly, it has been the case that rumors spread by Palestinian Authority “leaders” regarding alleged Israeli threats to the Al Aqsa Mosque have served as incitement – whipping up the populace to fury and violence.

Now we learn from the Palestinian Media Watch that the PA is renewing this incitement:

For example, on February 5, the PA Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is warned that since January, Israel has made “over a hundred attacks and incidents of desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs)” and that “the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in grave and direct danger and that with every sunrise. this danger grows.”

Similar statements are being made by others.

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=14016

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Defense Minister Bogie Ya’alon, for his part, has leveled another sort of charge at the PA. In a taped address to the annual conference of the INSS – the Institute for National Security Studies, he said:

“We tried after [Operation] Protective Edge, with Egyptian agreement, to facilitate the entry of the PA into the Strip, but they didn’t want it,”

“…it was clear that the only way to allow the more open transfer of goods and people in and out of Gaza to Israel and Egypt would be through the stationing of PA troops at the border crossings.

“We created a three-way mechanism – the [Israeli] Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Palestinian prime minister, and the UN representative Robert Serry. What’s left of that today?  The coordinator and Robert Serry. The Palestinians ran away!  They are good at accusing us at the UN and the Security Council and the ICC. But when it comes time to take responsibility, they are nowhere, and this was not the first time.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.timesofisrael.com/yaalon-lambastes-pa-for-bailing-out-on-plan-to-ease-gaza-blockade/

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In sharing this accusation by Ya’alon, I am not endorsing the idea of PA officers at the Gaza crossing.  My intent, rather, is to point a finger directly at the PA and to be certain that people understand precisely what we are dealing with.  With the focus on Iran, I hadn’t mentioned Abbas or the PA for several days.

Martin Indyk, who consistently works against Israel’s best interests, has just made a statement regarding what’s going to happen after the elections. There will be increased pressure on Israel to go back to negotiations, he warned, including via a Security Council resolution.

And my inclination is to tell him, and all of his ilk, to stuff it. We are supposed to make “peace” with these guys?  They are going to administer a secure and responsible and peaceful state?  Of course neither Martin or others who think as he does believe a peaceful “two-state solution” is really around the corner. But hey, if Israel can be weakened…

The lesson.  We have to be on our guard in all quarters.

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Of course, there is also the occasional politician on the far left here in Israel who says it’s time for us to withdraw unilaterally from Judea and Samaria since negotiations don’t work.  Great idea!  I believe they have oatmeal between their ears in place of brains.

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Yesterday, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was sworn in as IDF Chief of Staff, replacing Benny Gantz.  Eisenkot is described as “cool and calculated, someone who will strike hard and fast – but only if he has to.”  He served in the vaunted Golani Brigade.

We can only pray for General Eisenkot’s wisdom and bravery and cool head, as he faces incredible challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

Credit: Israel Defense

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The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is meeting here in Jerusalem this week.  I close today by sharing a video of the remarks of Prime Minister Netanyahu to this group.  His focus, of course, was his up-coming speech in the Congress on Iran.  Worth a listen.

http://www.voiceofisrael.com/netanyahu-conference-presidents-sacred-duty-make-israels-case/?utm_source=ZohoCampaigns&utm_campaign=Feb+16%2C+2015_2015-02-16&utm_medium=email

02/4/15

And the Islamists Remained…

By: Frank Salvato

Conjuring images of the dying who had clawed at the dank walls of the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Jordanian Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh grabbed at his head, screaming out in agony as he fell to his knees, his body burning, his brain slowly cooking. His Daesh (Islamic State) captors had abruptly abandoned disingenuous negotiations with the Jordanian government for his release, their hostage having actually been killed many days before. Instead, they decided to record al-Kaseasbeh’s purposeful immolation. Having drenched him in accelerant, the savages lit the liquid fuse that set the young lieutenant ablaze. As he writhed, they filmed, indignant to his agony; his humanity. Barbarity for the purpose of terrorist propaganda had been achieved.

Just a month earlier, tens of thousands had taken to the streets in major Middle Eastern cities in support of Islamofascist assassins who slaughtered the staff at Charlie Hebdo. Turkey’s president, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, publicly intimated that the attacks in Paris were justified due to the magazine staff’s transgressions against Muslim sensibilities. And he went further than that, stating, obtusely, that Muslims have “never taken part in terrorist massacres.” Erdogan made these alarming statements as Boko Haram waded through the blood of the 2,000 people they slaughtered in the Nigerian town of Baga, in the name of Islam. So, violent, intolerant Islam is on the march.

Islamists have always been an aggressive faction. Starting with Muhammad and continuing on through the Byzantine-Arab Wars (634-750), the conquests of Persia and Mesopotamia (633–651), Transoxiana (662–751), Sindh (664–712), Hispania (711–718) and Septimania (719–720), the attempts to conquer the Caucasus (711–750), the conquest of Nubia (700–1606) and Anatolia (1060-1360), the incursions into southern Italy, including the conquest of Rome (831–902) and the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars (1299-1453), Muslims have sought to establish control of any and all lands they set foot on, whether by violence or attrition. However, one chapter of Islamic conquest – or bid for conquest – is seldom mentioned in the history books, and perhaps for good reason: World War II.

It is common knowledge – although today that cannot be assumed, given the Progressive Movement’s penchant for “nuancing history” – that during World War II Germany, Japan and Italy allied to form the Axis Powers in their war efforts. There were other affiliate and co-belligerent states (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Thailand, Finland and Iraq), as well as “client states” (Albania, Burma, China, Croatia, India, Mengjiang, Manchukuo, Philippines, Slovakia and Vietnam), officially considered to be independent countries allied with Germany.

Furthermore, there were key geopolitical players who supported and collaborated with Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and the Axis Powers as a whole throughout the conflict. One such geopolitical player was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem’s Islamic holy places, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The designation of “Grand Mufti” identifies the bearer as the:

“…highest official of religious law in a Sunni or Ibadi Muslim country. The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatwas, on interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence…The collected opinions of the Grand Mufti serve as a valuable source of information on the practical application of Islamic law as opposed to its abstract formulation.”

During World War II the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was Haj Amin al-Husseini, who:

“…collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At war’s end, he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution.”

When al-Husseini first met with Hitler and Ribbentrop in 1941, he assured Hitler that:

“The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies…namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists.”

Al-Husseini’s efforts in recruiting Muslim fighters for the Nazi cause resulted in the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the Handschar Brigade. The Handschar earned a reputation for being particularly brutal in exterminating partisans in north-eastern Bosnia. In fact, many local Muslims who stood witness to Handschar viciousness were driven to align with the Communist partisans.

The Grand Mufti was also integral in the organization of Arab students and North African immigrants to Germany into the Arabische Freiheitkorps, an Arab Legion in the German Army, that hunted down Allied parachutists in the Balkans and fought on the Russian front.

It would be right to conclude then that al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, home to one of Islam’s holiest shrines, was a willing collaborator with the Nazis and Adolf Hitler; someone who willingly facilitated the Nazi SS and their “Final Solution”; the genocide of the Jews. Yet, in the end, al-Husseini, perhaps the principle Muslim leader throughout that period, walked away from the conflict paying no price for his murderous deeds.

From Hitler’s Foreign Executioners; Europe’s Dirty Secret by Christopher Hale, pages 373-374:

“By the Winter of 1944, Berlin was no longer a safe haven for men like the Grand Mufti. He had never been a brave man and was often found cowering under tables as the great armadas of Allied bombers pounded the capital of the Reich. His allies in the foreign office, like Erwin Ettel, did what they could to protect their esteemed Muslim guest and tried to coax him to escape Germany to whatever safe haven he chose by U-Boat. The Mufti was simply too timid to contemplate such a journey and held on in Berlin to the very end. At the end of May 1945, the Grand Mufti and his entourage at last picked up and fled. He knew that once the British reached Berlin they would waste little time tracking him down. After many tribulations, they managed to reach Constance in the French zone of occupation. Recalling how well he had been treated after his flight from Palestine, when he escaped to French Beirut from British Palestine, the Grand Mufti surrendered to the French authorities. He was soon relaxing in an opulent villa near Paris…

“The Mufti had little time to enjoy French hospitality. His protectors discovered that an ‘Irgun’ assassination squad had arrived in France. On 28 May 1945, el-Husseini bolted to Italy, then secretly boarded a British ship, the SS Devonshire, bound for the Egyptian port of Alexandria.

“The return of the Grand Mufti electrified the Arab world. At a rally at Heliopolis in Cairo exultant crowds swamped his convoy – and King Farouk offered him appropriately sumptuous accommodations in his ‘Inshas Palace.’ The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, breathlessly declared: ‘The hearts of the Arabs palpitated with joy at hearing that the Grand Mufti had succeeded in reaching at Arab country…The lion is free at last and will roam the Arabian jungle to clear it of wolves. The great leader is back.’”

Today, as we witness the barbarous immolation of a warrior who dared to confront a culture of death, the Islamists remain. In the aftermath of the assassination of those who engage in free speech, as Daesh executes conquest after conquest leaving myriad atrocities in their wake, the Islamists remain. And as leaders of Islamic countries (read: Turkey) advance excuses for the barbarity of Islamist executioners; ideological operatives who slaughter ruthlessly in the name of Islam, the Islamists remain. Little has changed in the violent Islamist world from the days of the Handschar. Indeed, in a time when the president of the United States refuses to consider his country at war with Islamist extremists and the massive movement they represent – and as he maintains a refusal to even speak the phrase “Islamic terrorism,” one can argue that violent Islamists are in a better position today than they were under Hitler.

At the end of World War II, the Allied Powers insisted on attaining unconditional surrender from each of the Axis Powers. Germany, Italy and Japan signed and agreed to unconditional surrender, their satellite nations in tow. Suspiciously absent from the list of Axis power aggressors agreeing to unconditional surrender is Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem; the Muslim facilitator of the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the Handschar. Why was this allowed to happen? Who was responsible for allowing this to happen?

I can’t help but feel that had the Allied Powers exacted an unconditional surrender from the Grand Mufti of all forces under his influence; had the Grand Mufti been brought to his knees in capitulation, perhaps – just perhaps – we would not be facing the “emboldened swords” of Daesh on the streets of the Western World and in Islamofascist occupied territories throughout the Middle East. I cannot help but feel that somehow, for some reason, the job of winning World War II was left unfinished…and the rise of violent Islamist terrorism is the price we are paying.

The world – much like in the nascent days of World War II – must once again strive to put aside the geopolitics of the day to come together in a definitive effort to confront the inglorious barbarity of Islamofascism. The peoples of the world must attack Islamofascism militarily, economically, historically and ideologically. Just as we must physically vanquish jihadists who would behead the innocent and set ablaze those who fight against them, so too must we starve them of operating capital globally, even as we correct the fictionalized history of “the religion of peace,” and especially as we deny them the ability to replenish their ranks; especially as we win – unconditionally – the war of ideas for all generations to come.

Today, the smoldering ashes of Jordanian Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a warrior who came to the aid of those being slaughtered by Daesh, lay denigrated underneath a pile of rubble, an excruciatingly painful death his reward for humanity’s service. And the Islamists remained. I can’t help but feel that the free world has unfinished business…until no Islamist remains.

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization, and a division of The Archangel Organization, LLC, His writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com: Because Our Republic Is Worth It. Mr. Salvato sits on the board of directors for Founders Alliance USA, a solutions-oriented non-profit organization. He also serves as the managing editor for NewMediaJournal.us. Mr. Salvato is the author of six books including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio across the country. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at fra[email protected].