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Geert Wilders: “War Has Been Declared against Us”

September 30th, 2014

A Speech in the Netherlands Parliament

Gatestone Institute
by Geert Wilders, September 4, 2014

During the past ten years and two days, the ostrich cabinets did nothing. Every warning was ignored. They lied to the people.

Do not prevent jihadists from leaving our country. Let them leave. I am prepared to go to Schiphol [airport] to wave them goodbye. But let them never come back.

Madam Speaker, war has been declared against us.

 

Geert Wilders

 

Madam Speaker, actually I was expecting flowers from you. I am celebrating an anniversary these days. Exactly ten years and two days ago, I left a party whose name I cannot immediately remember. During these ten years and two days. I have been much criticized. Most importantly for always saying the same thing.

My critics are right. Indeed, my message had been the same during all these years. And today, I will repeat the same message about Islam again. For the umpteenth time. As I have been doing for ten years and two days.

I have been vilified for my film Fitna. And not just vilified, but even prosecuted. Madam Speaker, while not so many years ago, everyone refused to broadcast my film Fitna, we can today watch Fitna 2, 3, 4 and 5 daily on our television screens. It is not a clash of civilizations that is going on, but a clash between barbarism and civilization.

The Netherlands has become the victim of Islam because the political elite looked away. Here, in these room, they are all present, here and also in the Cabinet, all these people who looked away. Every warning was ignored.

As a result, also in our country today, Christians are being told: “We want to murder you all.” Jews receive death threats. Swastika flags at demonstrations, stones go through windows, Molotov cocktails, Hitler salutes are being made, macabre black ISIS flags wave in the wind, we hear cries, such as “F-ck the Talmud,” on the central square in Amsterdam.

Indeed, Madam Speaker, this summer, Islam came to us.

In all naivety, Deputy Prime Minister Asscher states that there is an “urgent demand” from Muslims to “crack down” on this phenomenon. Last Friday, in its letter to Parliament, the Cabinet wrote that jihadists are hardly significant. They are called a “sect”, and a “small” group.

This is what those who look away wish, these deniers of the painful truth for ten years and two days, the ostrich brigade Rutte 2.

But the reality is different. According to a study, 73% of all Moroccans and Turks in the Netherlands are of the opinion that those who go to Syria to fight in the jihad are “heroes.” People whom they admire.

And this is not a new phenomenon. Thirteen years ago, 3,000 people died in the attacks of 9/11. We remember the images of burning people jumping from the twin towers. Then, also, three-quarters of the Muslims in the Netherlands condoned this atrocity. That is not a few Muslims, but hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the Netherlands condoning terrorism and saying jihadists are heroes. I do not make this up. It has been investigated. It is a ticking time bomb.

Madam Speaker, is it a coincidence that for centuries Muslims were involved in all these atrocities? No, it is not a coincidence. They simply act according to their ideology. According to Islam, Allah dictated the truth to Muhammad, “the perfect man.” Hence, whoever denies the Koran, denies Allah. And Allah leaves no ambiguity about what he wants. Here are a few quotes from the Quran:

Surah 8 verse 60: “Prepare to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.”

Surah 47 verse 4: “Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks”. We see it every day in the news.

Another quote from Allah is Surah 4 verse 89: “So take not friends from the ranks of the unbelievers, seize them and kill them wherever ye find them.”

Madam Speaker, the Koran on the table before you is a handbook for terrorists. Blood drips from its pages. It calls for perpetual war against non-believers. That Koran before you is the hunting permit for millions of Muslims. A license to kill. That book is the Constitution of the Islamic State. What ISIS does is what Allah commands.

This bloodthirsty ideology was able to nestle in the Netherlands because our elites looked away. Neighborhoods such as Schilderswijk, Transvaal, Crooswijk, Slotervaart, Kanaleneiland, Huizen, you name it. There, the caliphate is under construction; there, the Islamic State is in preparation.

During the past ten years and two days , the ostrich Cabinets did nothing. It has nothing to do with Islam, they lied to the people. Imagine them having to tell the truth.

But the people have noticed. Two thirds of all Dutch say that the Islamic culture does not belong in the Netherlands. Including the majority of the electorate of the Labour Party, the majority of the voters of the VVD, the majority of the voters of the CDA, and all the voters of the PVV.

The voters demand that, after ten years and two days of slumber, measures are finally taken. The voters demand that something effective happen. No semi-soft palliatives. Allow me to make a few suggestions to the away-with-us mafia. Here are a few things which should happen starting today:

Recognize that Islam is the problem. Start the de-Islamization of the Netherlands. Less Islam.

Close our borders to immigrants from Islamic countries. Immediate border controls. Stop this “cultural enrichment”.

Close every Salafist mosque which receives even a penny from the Gulf countries. Deprive all jihadists of their passports, even if they only have a Dutch passport. Let them take an ISIS passport.

Do not prevent jihadists from leaving our country. Let them leave, with as many friends as possible. If it helps, I am even prepared to go to Schiphol [airport] to wave them goodbye. But let them never come back. That is the condition. Good riddance.

And, as far as I am concerned, anyone who expresses support for terror as a means to overthrow our constitutional democracy has to leave the country at once. If you are waving an ISIS flag you are waving an exit ticket. Leave! Get out of our country!

Madam Speaker, war has been declared against us. We have to strike back hard. Away with these people! Enough is enough!

Click for a video of this speech.

Should Christians Celebrate Rosh Hashanah?

September 25th, 2014

Shofarhebrew4christians.com
by John J. Parsons

Should “Christians” observe the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah? Surely you know my answer, chaverim, but I thought I’d provide a few reasons why we observe this special time for the sake of our Christian friends who might not understand the importance of the moedim (appointed times). What follows is a “short list” of reasons; for more information, scroll down and read the various entries regarding teshuvah (repentance):

  1. First, the LORD God is indeed the King of all the earth, our Creator and Redeemer. He is Melech Gadol al-kol-ha’aretz, (מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ), a “great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:2). Though Christians should acknowledge His righteous rule and Kingship at all times, Rosh Hashanah is a “sanctified reminder” of God’s creative authority in our lives. Yeshua (Jesus) is called the Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ), a term that denotes His Kingly dignity and royalty (this idea is unfortunately obscured by the Greek word “Christ”). Yeshua is also borei Olam – the Creator and Sustainer of all creation (Col. 1:16). He is coming to rule and reign from Jerusalem (Zion) in the near future. Christians will be judged according to their deeds of service (2 Cor. 5:10) and the world system (and Satan) will be judged during the Great Tribulation period that precedes the Second Coming. Just as the heavenly shofar was sounded from Sinai, so it will be one day sounded from Zion (Isa. 27:13).As the only true King and Judge, God indeed has a Sefer HaChayim (Book of Life) as well as a Sefer Ha-Metim (Book of Death). The Scriptures clearly warn that on the Day of Judgment to come, anyone’s name not found written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). The Kingship of our LORD should be of great interest to those who wish to honor Him…
  2. Second, the month of Elul and the preparation for Rosh Hashanah reminds us to be ready for the soon appearance of King Yeshua our LORD. Though we do not know the exact day or hour of His return to possess His kingdom on earth, we are commanded to watch and be ready for His soon appearance. We ought, therefore, be in a constant state of repentance (teshuvah) as we seek to humble ourselves and walk with our God.The New Testament links teshuvah with salvation (יְשׁוּעָה) itself. Yeshua’s first message was “Repent and believe the gospel (בְּשׂוֹרָה)” (Mark 1:15), and Paul linked teshuvah with confession and trust in the saving work of the Messiah on our behalf (Rom. 10:8-13). Teshuvah implies a response to the Person of Yeshua that is demonstrated through confession that He is none other than YHVH, the LORD of Compassion and grace. The sound of the shofar is meant to awaken our hearts and to prepare for coming judgment.
  3. Third, Rosh Hashanah itself, or rather Yom Teru’ah, has prophetic significance in the life of the Christian. The blowing of the shofar is prophetic of the rapture of the church, where those who are part of the Bride of Mashiach, the “church,” will experience everlasting transformation:
    “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (shofar): for the trumpet (shofar) shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51)

    Note that the Talmud states that on Rosh Hashanah the dead will be raised (Rosh Hashanah 16b). This corresponds to the “last trump” mentioned by the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:52).

  4. Fourth, the Tashlikh (תַּשְׁלִיךְ) ceremony reminds us that our LORD is a God of new beginnings, and even if we have sinned and fallen away from Him, He is faithful to restore us and cast our sins away from us. After all, God sent His only Son Yeshua to be our Sin-Bearer and Kapparah (atonement), so we can take comfort in His forgiveness when we earnestly seek to repent from the harm we have done and begin anew with God.
  5. Book of LifeFifth, we should be grateful to the LORD for writing our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, or Sefer HaChayim (סֵפֶר הַחַיִּים). Of course we don’t believe that we are made acceptable in the LORD’s eyes by means of our own works of righteousness (Titus 3:5-6), but that doesn’t excuse us from being without the “fruit of the Spirit” in our lives. For more information on this, see “Yom Kippur and the Gospel.”
  6. Sixth, the Akedat Yitzchak (“Binding of Isaac”) is a major theme of Rosh Hashanah. As he went to sacrifice his beloved son upon the altar at Moriah, Abraham prophetically said: “God will provide for himself the lamb” (אֱלהִים יִרְאֶה־לּוֹ הַשֶּׂה). After binding Isaac and raising the knife, however, the Angel of the LORD intervened and Abraham was given a ram as substitute. According to Jewish tradition, God told Abraham that the ram’s horn (shofar) should be blown on Rosh Hashanah to remind the people of the substitutionary sacrifice provided by the LORD Himself — an echo of the very First Sacrifice offered in Eden. In light of this, how much more then should we remember the sacrifice of Yeshua the Great Lamb of God during this time? (For more information, see the article, “The Gospel in the Garden.”)
  7. RamFinally, we anticipate the prophetic fulfillment of the LORD’s covenant faithfulness to Israel when we understand that the Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) foreshadow the future repentance of national Israel in the days to come. This pictures the Great Tribulation and Yom Adonai – the great Day of the LORD – that arrives just before national Israel’s ultimate shuvah (return). Yom Kippur is the Holiday that pictures the full restoration of Israel to all her covenant promises with Yeshua as the recognized Kohen Gadol (High Priest) of the New Covenant. The Brit Chadashah will be embraced and Yeshua will be revealed as Israel’s Savior, LORD, and Deliverer. Then “all Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26).

So yes, for these and other reasons a Christian should observe the significance of Rosh Hashanah (and the other Biblical “appointed times”). For more information, please see the Rosh Hashanah pages. Shanah Tovah!

shantov

Rosh Hashanah — a time of remembrance and renewal

September 24th, 2014

Cortez Journal
By Bill Kuik, September 18, 2014

You might have wondered about a day on your calendar called Rosh Hashanah by the Jewish people.

The name of the holiday means “The head of the year” from the Hebrew language.

One biblical reference for Rosh Hashanah is found in Leviticus 23:23–25. “In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.”

It is known as the Jewish New Year, but it also has other names. It might be called Yom Teru’ah (“The Day of Blowing”) from the Hebrew or the “Feast of Trumpets.” In a traditional Jewish synagogue the shofar (a ram’s horn trumpet) is blown one hundred times on this day. The blast of the shofar is symbolic of being jolted from our spiritual sleep and to announce that Adonai (God) is King of the Universe. The one hundredth blast is special, known as the “Last Trump.” As I will explain later, this holds special significance to me.

Traditional Judaism teaches that on this day there will be an “Opening of the Books” (Daniel 7:10), in which God will read the account of what every individual has done for the previous year. This begins a period of self-examination and repentance known as the “Ten Days of Awe,” leading to the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah stands alongside Yom Kippur to comprise “the high holy days.” It is traditional during the high holy days to greet one another with “L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!” This unusual greeting means, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year!”

Since I was not raised in a Jewish family, you might wonder why this is significant to me; or to you for that matter. According to the Bible, Israel and the church are distinct entities, with promises made to both. It is equally clear, however, that there is a contiguous relationship between Israel and the church. Every blessing which the church enjoys comes out of covenants and provisions which God made with Israel. As a Messianic follower of Yeshua (Jesus), I choose to honor the Lord and the nation of Israel by walking in His ways to the best of my ability; because of the blessings I enjoy every day.

Yeshua is the perfect sacrificial offering for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). Through His death and resurrection, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 13:8). We are not made acceptable in God’s sight by means of our own works of righteousness (Titus 3:5–6); rather, it is our love for God and deep appreciation for His Salvation through Yeshua that leads us to seek out these works daily through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

The Hebrew word “Teru’ah” means “shouting” or “raising a noise,” and therefore this day is to be marked by making a joyful noise to the Lord (Psalm 81:1-4). The sound of the shofar is meant to awaken our hearts and to prepare for the coming judgment.

It is prophesied that upon the Last Trump Yeshua (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah, will come on Rosh Hashanah; like a bridegroom coming for His bride. Believers in Yeshua look forward to His second coming at the time of the blowing of the shofar (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Yeshua is called the Mashiach (Messiah), a title used to describe His Kingly dignity and royalty. He is coming to rule and reign from Jerusalem in the near future, and the heavenly shofar will sound from Zion (Isaiah 27:13).

Are you ready for that Day? We do not know the day or hour of His return, but we are commanded as His followers to watch and be ready for His soon appearance (Matt. 24:42). Therefore, let us humble ourselves, learn to walk in His ways, and be ready.

In 2014, Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 24, ending at sundown Thursday, Sept. 25.

“May you be inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life!”

Bill Kuik is the Congregational Leader of Etz-Chayim B’Yeshua Messianic Congregation (ECBY) in Cortez.

Three Days in the Holy Land

September 20th, 2014

townhall.com
Harry R. Jackson, Jr., September 3, 2014

Jerusalem
Early in August, I flew from New York to Tel Aviv. I was a part of a faith oriented solidarity trip, with Christians United for Israel, focused on supporting Israel from a prayer and public policy perspective. In my mind this was a humanitarian trip — it was made up of a diverse group of 51 ministers representing all 50 states plus Washington, DC. We prayed earnestly for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel. Of special concern to everyone was the protection of women and children of all faiths and ethnicities.

The three day trip to Israel was worth every moment we invested. We got a chance to talk with Israeli citizens who were practicing Christians, Jews, and Muslims. We were also allowed to view regions targeted by rockets, conflict zones, and selected sacred sites.

The most surprising bit of information we gathered was that nearly one out of every five Israelis is of Arab descent. Nowhere was this diversity more evident to us than in Jerusalem. Arabs and other minorities live with the full rights of citizenship in Israel, unlike Muslim controlled lands surrounding them — where religious freedom is almost non- existent.

Three questions flooded my mind during the eleven hour non-stop flight to the Holy Land of Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

  1. Why has the Palestinian-Israeli conflict grown so violent?
  2. How do we get women and children out of harm’s way?
  3. What role (if any) should the US play?

How we got to this point

The old adage correctly says, “Timing is everything!” In my opinion the best way to trace the origins of the most recent problems in Israel is to look to the pages of our international papers.

Reuter’s news service reported, “The June 12 abduction of Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah, and Naftali Fraenkel triggered an escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.” Unfortunately, this was not just a random act of violence. On July 11 Hussam Qawasmeh, a resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, confessed to serving as the “commander” in the kidnapping. This was proof that Hamas initiated the current conflict.

Protecting innocents

During our visit we got a chance to meet the father of Gilad Shaer and discuss his perspective of the high price of armed conflict. Fathers on our team wept as they identified with the devastating grief and the senseless loss of life.

We learned at other points of our trip that tunnels had been planned and constructed for massive strikes into Israel for years. It is also obvious, to even the most casual observer, that Hamas has committed itself to a strategy of protecting their rockets by endangering innocent people. Further, random rocket attacks on Israel will obviously kill or maim Christians, Jews, and Muslims of all ages.

Therefore, there is nothing that an outsider can do to minimize the senseless loss of human life in that conflict. The decision to spare its own people must come from the Palestinians themselves.

America’s Role

I was greatly encouraged by President Barack Obama’s declaration, during our trip, that Israel has a right to defend herself — despite the United Nation’s concerns about “proportionality” in this war.

It is clear that without US financial support the famed “Iron Dome” missile defense system would have never been developed by Israel. Although our nation has been Israel’s biggest financial and military ally in these difficult days, we seem to be sending a mixed message.

Unfortunately, the international community has sent aid money to the Palestinians that may have been diverted to military and terrorist purposes. There seems to often be too few controls on the money given to the Palestinians. The world can ill afford to “supply both sides” of such a morally charged conflict.

The US government should attempt to be a voice for peace and for saving the lives of the innocent. Let our money be aligned with our rhetoric. Our US media needs to do a better job of presenting the facts of the conflict in the Middle East, in general, and Israel in particular. Finally, US citizens should push our Congress and Senate to continue to stand with Israel.

Some much needed moral clarity

During the trip, I felt uncomfortable with the fact that our discussions in Israel were consumed with the ugly realties of war and terrorism. Nonetheless, who better than clergy persons to discuss morality of a confusing war.

Theological history tells us that Saint Augustine was the first man of the cloth to develop a clear theory on war and justice. Augustine believed that some wars were necessary to protect the lives of women and children.

Saint Thomas Aquinas revised and enumerated Augustine’s theory creating three criteria for a just war:

  1. War must be waged by a legitimate authority,
  2. The party to conflict must have a just cause,
  3. The party to conflict must have right intentions.

Israel seems to be managing the delicate balance of conducting a just war, thus, my prayers are for Israel’s protection, true freedom for the people caught in the crossfire in Gaza, and our American leadership. If we act justly perhaps future generations will not have the same level of conflict and confusion that we experience today.

 


Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

Michelle Malkin: Deport the Tsarnaev Sisters

September 18th, 2014

Jewish World Review
By Michelle Malkin, September 3, 2014

Ailina Tsarnaev, sister of the Boston Bomber

Ailina Tsarnaev, sister of the Boston Bomber

The Sisters Tsarnaev have been nothing but trouble. Double, bubbling trouble. While their Boston Marathon bomber brother Dzhokhar awaits trial this month for the bloody 2012 attacks that killed three and injured hundreds, his elder Chechen immigrant siblings Ailina and Bella remain on the loose in the U.S. after their own frequent run-ins with the law.

Last week, Ailina was arrested in Harlem after allegedly threatening “to blow up her live-in lover’s baby mama,” as the New York Post reported. Police charged Ailina, 23, with aggravated harassment and released her.

Will the legal system learn? Ailina’s time in America sends one clear message: No consequences. More trouble.

In 2013, she was released without bail in South Boston in connection with a three-year-old counterfeiting case. Prosecutors said she obstructed their investigation. They charged her with willfully lying to police in 2010. She skipped bail in 2011. Upon turning herself in last year after the Boston bombing, she told the court she was indigent, pregnant and a single mother with one other child. The case was dismissed. She has bounced between shelters and shabby apartments shared with sister Bella.

Bella, 25, is a high school dropout and also a single mother. She arrived in the U.S. with jihadi brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan and sister Ailina in 2003. The family received a plethora of immigration and welfare benefits. In December 2012, she was arrested and charged with marijuana possession and distribution. Both of her brothers were also tied to illegal drug activity. Now-dead brother Tamerlan (killed in the post-Boston Marathon bombing shootout) was posthumously implicated in a horrific 2011 triple-murder in Waltham, Mass., that authorities believe was drug-related.
The sisters have visited their jihadi cult celebrity sibling Dzhokhar in jail, where he reportedly “joked” about federal restrictions on the visits. The Tsarnaev clan’s callous attitude and moocher culture run in the family. Mother Zubeidat, who radicalized eldest son Tamerlan in Islam, fled the country after being charged with shoplifting from a Lord and Taylor department store in Natick, Mass., in June 2011. There is still an outstanding bench warrant for her arrest. She has continued to badmouth America from the comfort of her home in Russia, despite accepting years of tax-subsidized housing vouchers and other entitlements.

At least bitter, rabble-rousing Zubeidat and her husband, Anzor, had the minimal decency to remove themselves from our country. Jobless troublemakers Ailina and Bella seem to have no compunction about continuing to burden America, while offering nothing positive or constructive in return. Their parents exploited our fraud-ridden asylum system, thumbed their noses at the law and passed on a culture of entitlement and criminality to their children.

If our public officials still value America, what are these worthless women still doing on our soil? Entry into this country is a privilege, not a right. Nor should this privilege be irrevocable and interminable.

Oh, and last time I checked, Emma Lazarus’ poem did not read: “Give me your grifters, your shoplifters, your bloodthirsty Muslim bombers yearning to abuse freedom in the name of Allah.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Remarks at Counter-Terrorism Conference – 2014, and transcript

September 16th, 2014

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

Here is a video of the remarks that Benjamin Netanyahu made to the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism Conference on September 11, 2014. The complete transcript is printed below the video frame.

Here is the full transcript of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s 14th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism, September 11th, 2014.

Thank you, Professor Reichman, for that introduction.

There’s no meaningful power without responsibility. Well, you could have it but it’s worthless or worse, it could be very dangerous. So all of us entrusted in power, with power, have responsibility and I’ll talk about that later – what our responsibilities entail at this moment.

But I’d like to say a few words before that not only to you, our host, Dr. Ganor, who I remember from our youth, and the many guests here from abroad, but most especially to Ambassador Shapiro of the United States of America. As you know, Ambassador Shapiro speaks perfect Hebrew, but I want to say a few words in English to you and to the people of the United States.

We remember that day thirteen years ago and we mourn with you on this day for the thousands who lost their lives in that horrific attack. All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy. That’s the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents. And then when the US took out Bin-Laden, I speaking for virtually the entire country congratulated President Obama. In Gaza, Hamas condemned the US and called Bin-Laden a “holy warrior”, a holy warrior of Islam. That’s the moral divide. We celebrate; they mourn the death of an arch-terrorist.

Now that moral divide has never been clearer than it is today because Hamas, like al-Qaeda and its affiliates al-Nusra or its new growth ISIS or Boko Haram, al-Shabab, Hezbollah supported by Iran – all are branches of the same poisonous tree. All present a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the world and to our common civilization.

I believe that the battle against these groups is indivisible and it’s important not to let any of these groups succeed anywhere because if they gain ground somewhere, they gain ground everywhere. And their setbacks are also felt everywhere. If they gain ground, if they were to succeed, they would return humanity to a primitive early medievalism. I say early medievalism because my father, my late father was a great historian of the Middle Ages and I’d be giving them too much compliment – early medievalism, primitive early medievalism where women are treated as chattel, as property and gays are stoned and minorities persecuted if they’re left alive at all.

And these groups must be fought, they must be rolled back and they must ultimately be defeated. That’s why Israel fully supports President Obama’s call for united actions against ISIS. All civilized countries should stand together in the fight against radical terrorism that sweeps across the Middle East, sweeps across the world. And we are playing our part in this continued effort. Some of the things are known; some things are less known. We have always viewed it as our common battle for our common future.

Now the fight against Islamist terrorism has created new alliances in the Middle East because many Sunni Arab states recognize that the threat of Iran’s aggression and its radical Shiite proxies pose a fundamental danger to them, as does fundamentalist Sunni terrorism. And as a result of this, these twin threats of radical Shi’ism using terrorist tactics, radical Sunnism using terrorist tactics – as a result of this, they’re reevaluating their relationship with Israel and they understand that Israel is not their enemy but their ally in the fight against this common enemy. And I believe this presents an opportunity for cooperation and perhaps an opportunity for peace.

I think it’s crucial not to let the fight against Sunni extremism make us forget the danger of Shiite extremism. They are two sides of the same coin. We don’t have to strengthen one to weaken the other. My policy is: Weaken both. And most importantly, don’t allow any of them to get weapons of mass destruction. And that’s why the arrangement that was achieved in Syria to disband and take out the chemical weapons and chemical materials was so important. And I think President Obama had a very important achievement there. We understand what it would mean that any of these sides would have weapons of mass destruction because all you have to imagine is what would have happened if on 9/11 al-Qaeda had nuclear weapons. You know they would have used them against New York and against Washington. It’s unassailable.

These groups have absolutely no moral or other impediment to their mad desires. Once they have massive power, they will unleash all their violence, all their ideological zeal, all their hatred, with weapons of mass death. And all you have to imagine is what would have happened if al-Qaeda today had access to chemical weapons in Syria. Well then, project that: What would happen if the terrorist regime in Iran will have weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons? They control themselves today. They’ve put up a good front. But they have tremendous, tremendous ambitions. Not for Iran; for Shi’ism from Iran. And those ambitions would be unleashed once they have nuclear weapons in their capacity. They must not have it.

Now the world powers are now negotiating with Iran and I hope they make a good deal because a bad deal should not be made. I’ll tell you what a good deal is: The one that was made in Syria, because what that deal said was take the chemical weapons and the materials, the chemicals themselves and the means to make the weapons, out of Syria. They didn’t say to Assad, “Keep them, store them and we’ll put an inspector. You know, we’ll lock it with a padlock and we’ll put an inspector next to it”, because at any point Assad could kick out the inspector – I’m not saying that’s Inspector Clouseau… a good inspector. But the whole idea of breakout is you throw away the inspector and you rush, once you unlock the storehouses, you rush to make the weapons. That’s what Iran is seeking. Iran is seeking to keep the enriched nuclear material, to keep the centrifuges, to keep the means to make nuclear weapons in short order – we’ll put a padlock on it and we’ll put an inspector, inspectors there. And then at a certain point when there are international crises that consume our attention, and you know these never happen these days, right? Kick out the inspectors, break the lock, you break out. Within weeks, a few months, they have nuclear weapons. That’s a bad deal.

And if Iran has nuclear weapons, you will see a tremendous pivot in the world. No, not in the Middle East – in the world. You will see things you never imagined could be possible, horrors that you couldn’t even contemplate, come to fruition. The ultimate terror: A terrorist regime with the weapons of the greatest terror of them all. We must not let that happen.

So we have no shortage of threats and they have come about as a result of the collapse of the old order. It collapsed about a hundred years ago. It collapsed rather in a way that has not happened in the last hundred years, the so-called Arab Spring, which has not materialized as some people had thought. I think it’s now clear that the forces of democracy have not come to the fore and if anything, what we’ve seen is old regimes collapse and Islamist forces come to the surface, old hatreds – Shiite against Shiite, but primarily Shiite against Sunni, Sunni against Sunni – all come bursting from subterranean layers of history and frustration. And they all have one common goal. The goal is we establish a new Islamist dominion, first in the Middle East and in their warped thinking, throughout the world. They all agree on that. They are not limited in their scope to a territory. They’re not limited to borders. They are basically… they may be pivoted in a state, they may be anchored in a particular place, but their goal is to take the entire world, to cleanse it of infidels – first their own people, Muslims, and then everyone else. Madness.

They all agree that they have to establish a caliphate. They all disagree who should be the caliph. That’s the nature of their disagreements. And they all use essentially the same tactic and that’s unbridled violence, fear – fear – terror. And the terror is first of all imposed on their own peoples. That’s the number one target before anyone else. If your people want to rise up against you as they did in Iran five years ago, you kill them. You send out your troopers to the streets, besiege and just shoot them on the sidewalks. You steal millions of votes, people protest – you shoot them. But it’s not enough to shoot them one time. You constantly shoot them or to be more precise, in Iran you hang them.

Anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 people are annually executed, executed in Iran. I’m not talking about criminals; I’m not talking about people who have broken the law – people who have the temerity to have a different view, question the regime. And they’re hung in public squares and sometimes they’re hung from cranes. They don’t have enough scaffolds. And you see the same thing, the same thing – it doesn’t receive the same prominence – from ISIS, same technique. You take over a population. The first thing is, yes, you lop heads off in this tragic barbarism that we witness, but you also take people to the burial pits and you shoot them by the hundreds and thousands.

And we’ve just seen the same in Gaza. During the fighting, there was a lull. Gazans went out to look at their surroundings, started protesting at what Hamas did to them and Hamas had a very simple thing in response – they shot them. These aren’t the executions you heard about. These are the executions you didn’t hear about. And then towards the end of the fighting, just to make sure that everybody gets the message, as in Iran, as in Iraq today, so in Gaza – they take out 25 people from the jails, Fatah people who have been there for years, and they accuse them – listen to this – they accuse them that they are the ones who gave Israel real-time intelligence for our military actions. Kind of hard to do. I don’t know. Maybe we dug a tunnel underneath, came to their jail cells, received… That’s not funny. They take them out into the public squares and they put a bullet in their heads for everyone to see.

So the tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people. There’s a larger imperative. We know this. We’ve seen this before. There’s a master race; now there’s a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, but first of all to your own people and then to everyone else. And what do you do to everyone else? For that you use new techniques. And the new techniques involve first of all taking over civilian populations, putting yourself inside civilian areas contravening the laws of war and the Geneva Convention; using your people as human shields, the same people you execute; and then firing indiscriminately at civilians. You hide behind civilians, you fire on civilians. And you fire rockets and missiles. And this creates a whole new set of problems. And these problems are born of the fact that it’s much harder to fight this kind of terror – much harder. It’s much easier to fight an army: tanks, artillery, command centers, open spaces. You destroy that, you destroy the army. End of war.

But these people, because they’re forcing you to face up to the moral limits that democracies obey, are basically forcing you to fight a new war and that new war requires two things. It’s requires the ability to have precision-guided munitions to be able to target the terrorists who are targeting you from inside civilians areas, but to try to limit the damage – what is called collateral damage or the incidental civilians casualties that accompany any war. Here they’re placed right in there, deliberately, by the terrorists. So you need precision weapons. You also need very precise intelligence. But the second thing – and that’s very, very expensive. I’m going to say that in Hebrew in a second. We have defense budget discussions. That’s very expensive. It’s much more expensive than dealing with tanks or artillery or regular armies.

And the second thing you have to do is defend yourself against the missiles that they pour on your own population, what we call the rear but in this case it’s the front because your cities are targeted. Well, we figured out, with the help of the United States for which we’re deeply grateful, we developed a system to protect ourselves against this terror, these terror attacks from the sky. And that too is very, very expensive.

So dealing with this new type of war actually is more difficult than dealing with the old type of war. But that’s the war that we’re facing. That’s the terror war that we now face. We face Islamist terrorists who take entire communities, cities, populations, hostage; who execute dissenters; who hide among civilians; and fire on civilians. That’s the new war. We have to make sure that they don’t have weapons of mass destruction because they have no inhibitions. But we also have to make sure that we have the capability to attack them and to defend against their attacks. And that requires weapons, defensive and offensive, but above all it requires, I believe, clarity and courage – clarity to understand they’re wrong, we’re right; they’re evil, we’re good. No moral relativism there at all. These people who lop off heads, trample human rights into the dust – are evil and they have to be resisted. Evil has to be resisted. And the second, it requires courage and responsibility. It requires courage because all the other qualities that we could bring to bear in the battle against terrorism are meaningless if you don’t have courage.

I think we have reservoirs of both, but I think that we have to also recognize that we are in a great historic juncture. I may surprise you when I tell you that I think militant Islam will be defeated. I think it will be, I think it will ultimately disappear from the stage of history because I think it’s a grand failure – it doesn’t know how to manage economies, it cannot offer the young people to which it appeals any kind of future. It can control their minds for now but ultimately the spread of information technology will obviate that, will give people choices. But this may take a long time. And we’ve been able to predict in the past that radical ideologies – which inflame the minds of millions – set their sights on minorities, usually starts with the Jews, it never ends with the Jews. They ultimately fail too. That happened in the last century. But before they failed, they took down tens of millions with them and a third of our own people. That will never happen again.

Clarity and courage, alliances as broad as we can make them with those who understand that we’re in a common battle, and courage to see this through, to roll back an ultimate victory. I’m confident that militant Islam will perish, but we must not allow anyone to perish with it before it goes down. That’s our task.

Now I’d like to say a few words in Hebrew.

[HEBREW]

I notice there aren’t any translations here so I will add one other thing. I think there’s a potential for a regional and international alliance against the forces of tyranny and terror that threaten all of us, but our experience, the experience of the Jewish people, has said that you always seek alliances because every nation needs alliances. A super-power like the United States of America needs alliances and certainly a small country like Israel needs alliances. But ultimately the only guarantor of our existence and the ability to form alliances depends on our internal strength. Nobody seeks your alliance if you are weak. You have to be able to protect yourself and if there’s one change that has been brought about in the history of the Jewish people since the establishment of the Jewish state, it’s our ability to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any foe. That was and remains the basis of our policy.

Thank you very much.

Music Video: Israel, You’re Not Alone

September 16th, 2014

With the turmoil currently happening in Israel, Zac Waller was recently inspired by the words “Israel, you’re not alone.”

Feeling a challenge to release this song immediately, due to it’s timely theme, Zac recorded a few scratch tracks on his own and then took the song to Nashville, TN. Within just a few days, a fully recorded, mixed, and mastered song was produced by a top quality studio in country music’s capital of the world.

His faithful media team took their cameras to downtown Nashville and rural Franklin, TN, and in less than half a day (and less than 48 hours before Zac and team were scheduled to fly to Israel), filmed a beautiful music video.

Israel raises alarm over Islamist militants on its frontiers

September 13th, 2014

Reuters
By Luke Baker, Jerusalem,  September 2, 2014

U.N. vehicles drive in Syria near the border fence with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights September 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

U.N. vehicles drive in Syria near the border fence with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights September 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

Israel’s frontier with Syria, where militants have kidnapped 45 U.N. peacekeepers, has become a magnet for Islamist activity and Israel itself is now a target, the defense minister and security analysts said on Tuesday.

The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has established a major presence in the region, analysts said, and is poised to carry out attacks across the barren borderlands where Syria, Israel and Jordan converge.

Iran meanwhile is seeking to expand its influence in the region via its support for Assad and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, all of which are allied against the Sunni insurgency confronting Assad, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

“Iran’s fingerprints can be seen in Syria, including in the Golan Heights, in attempts to use terror squads against us,” Yaalon told an economic conference as he set out the combined threat from Islamist groups in Syria.

In their latest assault, Nusra Front fighters seized 45 Fijians serving as U.N. monitors in the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria. It is demanding to be removed from global terrorism lists in exchange for their release.

“We now have Jabhat al-Nusra, which is basically al Qaeda, on the border with Israel, and Israel is a legitimate target for Muslim militants all over,” said Aviv Oreg, a retired Israeli intelligence officer and a specialist on al Qaeda.

Oreg said it was only “a matter of time” before the Islamist groups now engaged in fighting in Syria turn more of their attention towards Israel.

“I cannot tell you exactly when, but it’s very risky. It only needs one suicide bomber to cross the fence and attack an Israeli military patrol or a tractor full of farmers going to work in the fields…”

But while Israel may be growing alarmed, it is not clear that the Jewish state is a strategic priority for Nusra or other radical Sunni Muslim groups.

Their focus since 2011 has been the overthrow of Assad, a campaign that has bogged down from infighting in their ranks and Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah’s intervention on the side of Assad.

If Israel is attacked in any serious way, the retaliation would likely be intense, setting back the insurgency and opening the way for Assad’s forces to further reclaim the initiative.

Israel has bolstered its forces in the Golan Heights, a rugged plateau seized from Syria during the 1967 war, with armored patrols keeping a close eye across the frontier, sometimes passing within 300 meters (yards) of Nusra fighters.

The plateau, scattered with fruit farms, vineyards and rocky peaks, looks down across the plains of southwest Syria, where Nusra and other groups, including the secular, Western-backed rebel Free Syrian Army, can be seen battling Assad’s forces.

After three years of fighting, opposition forces control patches of territory to the west and south of Damascus, including a portion of the 375-km (225-mile) border with Jordan.

That has allowed thousands of foreign fighters from both the Arab world and Europe to cross into Syria, including an estimated 2,000 Jordanians. At least 10 Israeli Arabs have also gone to Syria, five of whom were later detained after returning home, according to Oreg.

RISKY CORNER

The frontier between Israel and Syria has been administered by the United Nations since 1974, a year after the last war between them. It consists of an area of separation, a narrow strip of land running about 70 km (45 miles) from Mount Hermon on the Lebanese border to the Yarmouk River with Jordan.

About 1,200 soldiers are involved in monitoring the separation zone, in what has been for most of the past 40 years one of the world’s quietest peacekeeping missions. That changed with the uprising against Assad, and the area is now precarious.

Stephane Cohen, the former chief liaison between the Israeli army and the U.N. peacekeeping force known as UNDOF, said the U.N.’s mandate was now meaningless.

With the Philippines, Ireland and other contributing nations set to withdraw from the mission, it was questionable whether the United Nations could continue monitoring the area.

“UNDOF is collapsing and the mandate has not been relevant for at least two years,” said Cohen, now a defense analyst with the Israel Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group.

“Eighty percent of the border area is now in the hands of (Syrian) opposition forces,” he said, adding that if more nations withdrew, the militant presence would only rise.

For now, Israel is merely remaining vigilant.

“We have to be very cautious about our retaliation policy,” said Oreg, emphasizing that the priority should be to keep careful tabs on the Nusra Front and other groups’ capabilities, while sharing any intelligence judiciously.

 

Kerry: “The Real Face of Islam is a Peaceful Religion”

September 12th, 2014

CNSNews.com
By Brittany M. Hughes, September 3, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson, Pool)

One day after the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) released a video showing the brutal beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff–the second American journalist ISIS has decapitated on video–Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech saying that Islam is a “peaceful religion based on the dignity of all human beings,” and that ISIS is not “the real face of Islam.”

“I want to take advantage of this podium and of this moment to underscore as powerfully as I know how, that the face of Islam is not the butchers who killed Steven Sotloff. That’s ISIL,” Kerry said at a ceremony honoring Shaarik Zafar, who was just appointed as the State Department’s special representative to Muslim communities.

“The face of Islam is not the nihilists who know only how to destroy, not to build,” he said. “It’s not masked cowards whose actions are an ugly insult to the peaceful religion that they violate every single day with their barbarity and whose fundamental principles they insult with their actions.”

“The real face of Islam is a peaceful religion based on the dignity of all human beings,” Kerry said. “It’s one where Muslim communities are leading the fight against poverty. It’s one where Muslim communities are providing basic healthcare and emergency assistance on the front lines of some of our most devastating humanitarian crises. And it is one where Muslim communities are advocating for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the most basic freedom to practice one’s faith openly and freely.

“America’s faith communities, including American Muslims, are sources of strength for all of us. They’re an essential part of our national fabric, and we are committed to deepening our partnerships with them,” Kerry added.

Kerry condemned Sotloff’s murder, as well as the killing of American journalist James Foley in July. As with Sotloff’s murder, ISIS filmed Foley’s beheading along with the threat to continue killing Americans unless President Barack Obama ceased ordering airstrikes against ISIS.

Shaarik Zafar, the State Department's special representative to Muslim Communiites. (State Dept.)

Shaarik Zafar, the State Department’s special representative to Muslim Communities. (State Dept.)

The United States “used every single military, diplomatic, and intelligence tool” to prevent the murders, Kerry said.

“For so many who worked so long to bring Steven and other Americans home safely, this obviously was not how the story was meant to end. It’s a punch to the gut,” he said.

“And the United States government, I want you to know, has used every single military, diplomatic, and intelligence tool that we have, and we always will,” Kerry said. “Our special operations forces bravely risked a military operation in order to save these lives, and we have reached out diplomatically to everyone and anyone who might be able to help. That effort continues, and our prayers remain as they always are, with the families of all of the hostages who remain trapped in Syria today.”

Kerry also highlighted the State Department’s “mission” to “unite religious communities,” explaining that “it’s a delusion to think that anyone can just retreat to their own safe space.”

“Why now have we made this such a mission at the State Department? Why elevate our engagement at a time when world events to some people seem so hopelessly divided along sectarian lines? And the answer is really very simple: It’s a delusion to think that anyone can just retreat to their own safe space, not when people of all faiths are migrating and mingling as never before in history,” he said.

“The reality is that our faiths and our fates are inextricably linked. And that is profoundly why we must do this now, because they are linked.”

Israel commemorates 9/11 attacks

September 11th, 2014

The Jerusalem Post
By JPOST.COM Staff, September 11, 2014

Ceremonies in Israel and around the world commemorate the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

US ambassador Dan Shapiro speaking at the September 11 memorial in Jerusalem.. (photo credit:KKL-JNF)

US ambassador Dan Shapiro speaking at the September 11 memorial in Jerusalem. (photo credit:KKL-JNF)

People around Israel commemorated on Thursday the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, in which al-Qaida terrorists killed almost 3,000 people in the US.

A memorial ceremony was held by the Jewish National Fund at the site of the 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem. US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke at the ceremony along with other ambassadors from around the world, as well as representatives of the Israeli families who lost their loved ones in the attacks.

During a counter-terrorism conference at the The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya concluding on Thursday in commemoration of the day of the attacks, a minute of silence was held close to the actual time that the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke about Israel’s shared sorrow with the US over the attacks.

“We remember that day thirteen years ago and we mourn with you on this day for the thousands who lost their lives in that horrific attack,” Netanyahu said. “All of Israel mourns on September 11.”

In the US, politicians, dignitaries and victims’ relatives were getting ready for ceremonies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Thursday to commemorate the attacks.

In what has become an annual ritual, the names of the victims will be read aloud at a ceremony in lower Manhattan, punctuated by moments of silence to mark the times when each of the four hijacked airliners crashed and the World Trade Center’s twin towers fell.

President Barack Obama is due to speak at the Pentagon during a private ceremony for relatives of the people killed in the attack on the headquarters of the US Defense Department by the Islamist militant group.

In New York City, it is the first commemoration ceremony since the opening of the museum at the National September 11 Memorial, along with the adjoining repository for unidentified victims’ remains.

The area, by turns a smoldering grave and an off-limits construction site for more than a decade, now is increasingly reconnected with the surrounding streets as rebuilding at the site nears completion.

Larry and Rachel Meltzer arrived an hour before the ceremony’s start, carrying folding chairs and wearing badges that bore a picture of Larry’s brother, Stuart, who was a trader in one of the towers when he was killed.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years,” Meltzer said before heading through the security checkpoint. “As far as the pain, I never forget and it never diminishes.”

Although the reconstruction has been plagued by delays, two of the new skyscrapers built around the site of the fallen twin towers are now open, while 1 World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, is due to open later this year.

While lower Manhattan may look and feel different this year, the external threat to the United States represented by the September 11 attacks remains.

The United States and its allies see Islamic State, a group that began as an offshoot of al-Qaida, as an increasing danger. On Wednesday, Obama said he had ordered an aerial bombing campaign on the group, which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria and released videos of beheadings of two American hostages.

The only ceremony open to the public is at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where one of the four hijacked airliners crashed.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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