The Decline and Fall of the Arab World
For a millennium, the Arab world has been
in a steady tailspin that has led to a culture of victimhood and death fueled by
religious hatred, sectarian violence, massive poverty, repressive governments,
vast illiteracy, medieval laws, centuries of isolation from Western
enlightenment, and an overwhelming almost mystical desire to restore past
glories from its lost Andalusian empire in Moorish Spain. An oft-quoted
statistic from the UN’s Arab Human Development Reports is that the amount of
literature translated into Spanish in a single year exceeds the entire corpus of
what has been translated into Arabic in 1,000 years and according to another
recent UN study, fully one-third of the Arab world (or 99.5 million Arabs) is
These failings have been used by the Arab
world to scapegoat Israel since its birth in 1948. But the truth lies much
closer to home. It begins and ends with the need for an Islamic Reformation and
Renaissance. However, to reinterpret the Qur`an to accommodate 21st
century globalization will be a profoundly difficult task, for much of Islamic
history is rooted in tribalism and an historical evolution totally different
from that of the Western experience. Islam supports authoritarianism by rulers
and submission by followers. Islamic political culture permits no independent
public sphere, and no separation between the spiritual and the temporal. Its
emphasis on divine sovereignty rather than popular sovereignty
(with the former being expressed through the shari`ah and interpreted by
religious scholars) puts many of the most important issues of public policy
outside the realm of public decision-making. Subject to all this, the religion
of Islam must somehow find a way to live in the modern world. That is its
challenge for the future. It cannot compel religious obedience through murder
and expect to emerge from the Dark Ages.
Peace or Jihad?
Abrogation in Islam
The Qur`an is unique among sacred
scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements
of Muhammad declare null and void his earlier ones. This is based on four verses
in the Qu`ran, which justify abrogation.
Why it is so important? The Qur`an
is not organized chronologically, but according to the length of the chapters;
divided between Meccan and Medinan chapters. There is no agreement as to which
were the first and the last chapters revealed, and even worse, many Meccan
chapters include verses from the Medinan period.
Classical Muslim scholars argued that
anyone who studied the Qur`an without having mastered the doctrine of
abrogation is “deficient”. Understanding abrogation is crucially important to
understand the correct application of Allah’s laws and is among the most
important preconditions for interpretation of the Qur`an. It is also
critical to understanding both Jihad (the holy war) and Da`wah
(the propagation of Islam).
These scholars also examined the pattern in
which Muhammad engaged in abrogation during the revelation, because Qur`anic
laws were brief and insufficient for the needs of the Muslim community. He
changed his rules according to the circumstances and the demands of the people.
It was quite common that when a verse was revealed, Muhammad would change it
according to the reaction of his surroundings. Sometimes the revelation used to
descend on the Prophet during the night, and then he forgot it during the day.
This ability to add or delete verses according to questions or contemporary
issues demonstrates a perplexing side of the religion.
All in all, there are four categories of
abrogation: 43 chapters unaffected by abrogation (no abrogating and no
abrogated); six chapters that augmented the concept of abrogation but were
themselves not abrogated; 40 chapters with abrogated wording but without
abrogating; and 25 chapters with both their wording and authority abrogated.
During the lifetime of Muhammad, the
Islamic community passed through three different stages. In the beginning, from
610 until 622, Allah commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated and
established themselves in Medina (623-626), Allah permitted Muslims to fight in
a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad’s life (626-632),
Allah permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war against polytheists and
Statements that there is no compulsion in
religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not
about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls, diplomatic
board rooms and the media, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation
in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university
scholars believe, and what most Muslims believe are totally different things.
Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of Allah, the sword of
Islam never stopped shedding blood, internally and externally.
Islam – Violence and Terrorism (2)
Muslim fundamentalism is not
a new phenomenon, for its roots have been part and parcel of Islamic
renewal since its early days. Several movements of reform, which have attempted
Islam and modernity together, far from making that breakthrough, have generated
reactionary movements, like the Muslim Brothers, who produced a backlash
reformers, the Arab secular regimes and especially the West who inspired and
The helplessness of the West in
comprehending and then countering this new Muslim activism, has had
far-reaching repercussions not only against Europe itself, the heartland
culture, but especially against
the Jews and Israel who are viewed as the extension of the West in the
East. Israeli “peace groups”, who deluded themselves that by further concessions
they could placate the rage of the fundamentalists, have only produced
more wars and driven Israel into a political and security
Still Facing Existential Threats:
Nuclear War and Genocide in the Middle East
Louis René Beres
Professor Louis René Beres, Chair of
Project Daniel (final report published as ACPR Policy Paper No. 155) begins with
the essential understanding that Iranian nuclearization remains an existential
threat to Israel. Notwithstanding the recent and plainly inaccurate US National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concerning Iran, this threat also remains
authentically genocidal in the legal sense. It follows that Israel’s reliance
upon its own nuclear strategy and nuclear deterrent will now necessarily expand.
To express this reliance successfully, Professor Beres explains,
Israel shall soon have to make a
long-postponed decision on preemption (anticipatory self-defense) against
pertinent Iranian hard targets. If this decision should continue to be
postponed, Israel will likely lose the chance to defend itself conventionally.
With these facts in mind, this article
offers a timely and informed strategic dialectic for Israel. It recommends,
inter alia, that Israel prepare for
improbable but still conceivable prospect of an irrational nuclear enemy in the
enemy that could act rationally, but still decide to strike first with nuclear
In either case, we learn from Professor
Beres that a stable nuclear balance of power/balance of terror in the region
would be out of the question (nuclear proliferation in the Middle East could
never create the same sort of stable equilibrium that was once obtained between
the US and USSR) and that Israel must remain the region’s only nuclear power.
Finally, this nuanced article by Professor
Beres explores sensitive issues of nuclear targeting for Israel (countervalue
vs. counterforce); escalation dominance (which Israel might lose altogether
should Iran be permitted to become nuclear); diverse circumstances that would
likely produce a nuclear outcome; strategic conditions that could yield an
Israeli nuclear preemption (highly unlikely); and the imperative avoidance of
This article is offered here by Professor
Beres in the sincere hope that it will quickly lead to ongoing and further
refinements in Israeli strategic thought and doctrine.
US Rewarding Arab Terrorism
Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
The Bush Administration’s search for
partners to promote “peace” and “democracy” within the Palestinian Authority
(PA) resembles Lord Charles Bowen’s “blind man in a dark room looking for a
black hat – which isn’t there”.
For the first time, the Bush Administration plans
to give $150 million in cash directly to the Palestinian Authority (PA)
Treasury, as part of a $496.5 million “aid” package, including $410 million for
development programs. This added to the $86.5 million for CIA “security
training”, which Congress authorized in April 2007.
The CIA has apparently assumed the Palestinian
terrorist-training role previously held by the former Soviet Union. Since 1994,
the CIA armed and trained thousands of Palestinian “security forces”, who
subsequently joined every Palestinian terrorist organization.
CIA Palestinian training success is best
described by a member of the PA’s Chairman own security unit – Force 17, officer
Abu Yusef: “The operations of the Palestinian resistance would [not] have been
so successful and “would not have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000,
and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without [American military] trainings,” he
boasted in August 2007.
Since the Oslo Accords, the PA received some $14
billion to $20 billion in international aid, according to a 2007 Funding for
Peace Coalition (FPC) report to the British Parliament. Each Palestinian
received $4,000 to $8,000 per year. In comparison, the US Agency for
International Development (USAID), provided $1 billion in humanitarian
aid for 2.5 million Darfur refugees from 2003 to 2006 – only $100 per
person annually. Moreover, of the $7 billion pledged international aid, only $5
billion were spent to assist more than 5 million Tsunami victims in more than 15
countries on two continents.
The PA received “the highest per capita aid
transfer in the history of foreign aid anywhere”, according to former World Bank
country director for Gaza and the West Bank, Nigel Roberts. Not
surprisingly, hundreds of thousands of Gazans spent more than $300 million in
less than two week shopping spree, after Hamas blew up the border with Egypt.
Yet, the Palestinian economy is in ruins, Why?
In March 2007, PA Prime Minister and former World
Bank official Salam Fayyad, told London’s Daily Telegraph: “No one can
give donors that assurance” that funds reach their designated destinations.
“Where is all of the transparency in all of this? It’s gone.” Controlling
Palestinian finances, Fayyad concluded, is “virtually impossible”.
Palestinian violence has escalated since the 1994
PA establishment and PA officials have produced an unbroken record of
unfulfilled promises and outright deception. Yet President George W. Bush in his
January 28 State of the Union Address, reassured the Palestinians that “America
will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve...a Palestinian
state by the end of this year.”
Nevertheless, US-favored PA President Mahmoud
Abbas, who in 1957 with Yasser Arafat co-founded the al Fatah terrorist group,
assumed the role of his predecessor. Like Muslim Brotherhood, Marxist–trained
Jihadist Arafat, neither does Abbas “recognize that confronting terror is
essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace
with Israel,” as President Bush declared.
Abbas remains committed to the organization’s
raison d’etre – destroying Israel and expelling the Jewish people from the
region. Despite public Fatah-Hamas leadership disagreements, branding one
another “murderers and thieves”, Abbas arranged on Jan. 30 to give Hamas $3.1
billion of $7.7 billion that international donor community pledged last December
Abbas’ support for Hamas is not new. In Feb.
2007, He announced, “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle
against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada.” He stated this en
route to Mecca to meet with the Saudi King, and Hamas terror chiefs Khaled
Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh. The Saudis pledged hundreds of millions of dollars
in “humanitarian aid” – which, like previous pledges, they failed to deliver.
Rather than $660 million in annual aid the Saudis
promised in 2002, the kingdom donated only $84 million since then, according to
World Bank reports. Other Arab League members, who in 2002 promised $55 million
monthly to foster PA economic development, gave even less.
Meanwhile, however, the Saudis and the Gulf
states funneled hundreds of millions of petrodollars – some raised in
government-sponsored telethons – to reward Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades,
Hamas and Palestinian Jihad suicide bombers and fuel the anti-Israel Jihad.
Indeed, “Saudi Arabia remains a source of recruits and finances
for...Levant-based militants,” said National Intelligence Director J. Michael
McConnell, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on February 5,
McConnell should have included USAID on his
terror-funding list. A Dec. 2007 USAID audit reported that the mission
administering its funds gave money to groups and institutions affiliated with US
designated terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It
warned: “Without additional controls, the mission could inadvertently provide
support to entities or individuals associated with terrorism.”
USAID “failure” to prevent funds from reaching
Palestinian terrorist is not surprising given US previous Administrations
support for Arafat, and now for Abbas, who repeatedly claims: “We have a
legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation,” while
reiterating his desire for “a political partnership with Hamas”.
It is time for President Bush to remove his
blinders and stop donating US-taxpayer funds to this murderous partnership. It
is also time for Congress to demand a proper monitoring program to oversee the
legitimate use of US aid to the Palestinians.
Land Theft in the Galilee
Irresponsibility Becoming Tradition or
Tradition Becoming Irresponsible?
This article is not scientific research,
but rather an analysis of a dozen scientific publications and official and
semi-official reports regarding land use in the Galilee over the last decade.
The results of this analysis have been “translated” into maps and satellite
photos of the Galilee which visualize some basic facts that remained vague –
intentionally or not – even in statistical reports.
There are masses of illegally constructed
buildings – entire neighborhoods – spread over dozens of square kilometers of
agricultural lands as well as on state- and public-owned lands which are not fit
for settlements. Most of these neighborhoods/buildings lack basic physical and
social infrastructure and endanger the ecological and social stability on a
regional and country-wide scale.
The density of the Muslim population in
these areas is less than in city-like settlements and the structure of the
society helps perpetuate this space-consuming process.
The following contributing factors were
? The demographic factor;
? Modern building technology;
? Juridical factor and
? Activity of NGOs (e.g. Addala)
as the strongest protectors of the illegal constructors in the Israeli courts.
A comparative analysis of recent
Israeli-Arab settlement activities and the development of Arab settlements in
Samaria (as well as in some regions of the Gaza Strip) shows similarity in the
land-use based on hamula-owned principles, and accordingly, lead to
similar spreading chaos as a result.
Special attention was paid to carrying
capacity (an ecological factor), which plays a critical role in the
destabilization of the situation in the region. Comparative analysis of policies
in land use in Israel and other countries leads to a proposal to implement the
“econet” concept. According to this concept, ecologically stable areas must
remain as a net amongst metropolises and conglomerates of expansive Arabs
settlements, otherwise ecological and social destabilization will bring it to
collapse. Ecological management in the state of New York (where up to 80% of the
total land, including private real estate, is under various ecological
restrictions) is provided as a possible model for emulation.
Background of Christian Zionism
Christians Standing with Israel
Over the years, Christian support of the
State of Israel has been looked upon with a suspicious and vigilant eye. In
fact, history will clearly show that the essence of pure evil, operating under
the guise of “Christianity”, has facilitated a complete and justifiable collapse
in Judeo-Christian relations. Only recently has the relationship between the
Jewish people and Christians become fruitful, and the “mending” process, albeit
positive, continues to evolve. Even so, the question remains: “Why do Christians
support the State of Israel?” Christian Zionism, a theological belief that
identifies the restoration of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland as
the literal fulfillment of biblical prophecies foretold thousands of years ago,
may arguably exist as the most oft-misunderstood “form” of Christianity, today.
Moreover, Christian Zionist dogma has been the recipient of much indignation
from those who would inaccurately and misguidedly opine and define it as
“unbiblical” and/or “extreme”. However, an objective and comprehensive
examination of the theological background of Christian Zionism will reveal
several, relevant misconceptions. Moreover, after reading this analysis, one may
likely discern that Christian Zionism is not a “fundamentalist movement”, as it
were, but a manifestation and implementation of a sound, theological doctrine
predicated upon Scriptural truth. In so doing, one may likely and accurately
generalize that the Christian support of the State of Israel should not be
looked upon as a biblical doctrine “exclusive” to Christian Zionism, but to all
Organized Crime Organizations
as a Threat to the Sovereign State
This article deals with the threat stemming
from organized crime organizations to both national and individual security and
how the damage to personal security, for all intents and purposes, undermines
the sovereignty of the nation state. Displays of weakness on the part of the
state in providing protection for its citizens, can, ultimately, undermine the
trust relationship between the citizen and the state. Through an analysis of the
global, border-transcending nature of organized crime, the article will
demonstrate how the sovereign state along with the traditional institutions of
the international community could lose control of the instruments for
implementation of violence within its borders.
An additional objective of the article will
be to attempt to demonstrate that the organized crime organizations have long
ago transcended “classic” criminal parameters and that they can be characterized
as terrorist organizations, even though a precise, agreed-upon, definition of
what constitutes a terrorist organization does not yet exist. In other words, if
we analyze the variety of definitions attempting to establish what constitutes
terrorism, while at the same time we analyze the actions of organized crime, it
is possible to establish that the border has been completely obfuscated. Today,
we can find terrorist organizations employing organized crime tactics in order
to finance their activities and especially how to launder drug money.
Conversely, organized crime organizations have learned how to more effectively
secure the hierarchical structure of their organization and they adopted combat
tactics learned from terrorist organizations with the objective of more
effectively battling the police forces and other law enforcement authorities
At the article’s conclusion I will test
that contention by discussing Russian organized crime organization.
By analyzing the Russian case, I will point
out the great danger embodied in the actions of organized crime and that they
can be categorized as terrorist organizations. Similarly, the article will
attempt to point out the connection between the organized crime organization and
terrorist organization and how that connection, for all intents and purposes,
exacerbates the threat to world security in the post-Cold War era.