Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will

Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff who is slated to serve as Netanyahu’s minister for strategic threats, dismissed the possibility of a revitalized peace process, telling me that “jihadists” interpret compromise as weakness. He cited the reaction to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza four years ago. “The mistake of disengagement from Gaza was that we thought like Westerners, that compromise would defuse a problem—but it just encouraged the problem,” he said. “The jihadists saw withdrawal as a defeat of the West … Now, what do you signal to them if you are ready to divide Jerusalem, or if you’re ready to withdraw to the 1967 lines? In this kind of conflict, your ability to stand and be determined is more important than your firepower.”

216103127_f48d3d0e14_oAmerican administration sources tell me that President Obama won’t shy from pressuring Netanyahu on the Palestinian issue during his first visit to Washington as prime minister, which is scheduled for early May. But Netanyahu suggested that he and Obama already see eye-to-eye on such crucial issues as the threat posed by Hamas. “The Obama administration has recently said that Hamas has to first recognize Israel and cease the support of terror. That’s a very good definition. It says you have to cease being Hamas.”

When I noted that many in Washington doubt his commitment to curtailing Jewish settlement on the West Bank, he said, in reference to his previous term as prime minister, from 1996 to 1999, “I can only point to what I did as prime minister in the first round. I certainly didn’t build new settlements.”

Netanyahu will manage Israel’s relationship with Washington personally—his foreign minister,Avigdor Lieberman, of the anti-Arab Israel Beiteinu party, is deeply unpopular in Washington—and I asked him if he could foresee agreeing on a “grand bargain” with Obama, in which he would move forward on talks with the Palestinians in exchange for a robust American response to Iran’s nuclear program. He said: “We intend to move on the Palestinian track independent of what happens with Iran, and I hope the U.S. moves to stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons regardless of what happens on the Palestinian track.”

In our conversation, Netanyahu gave his fullest public explication yet of why he believes President Obama must consider Iran’s nuclear ambitions to be his preeminent overseas challenge. “Why is this a hinge of history? Several bad results would emanate from this single development. First, Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella. This raises the stakes of any confrontation that they’d force on Israel. Instead of being a local event, however painful, it becomes a global one. Second, this development would embolden Islamic militants far and wide, on many continents, who would believe that this is a providential sign, that this fanaticism is on the ultimate road to triumph.

“Third, they would be able to pose a real and credible threat to the supply of oil, to the overwhelming part of the world’s oil supply. Fourth, they may threaten to use these weapons or to give them to terrorist proxies of their own, or fabricate terror proxies. Finally, you’d create a great sea change in the balance of power in our area—nearly all the Arab regimes are dead-set opposed to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. They fervently hope, even if they don’t say it, that the U.S. will act to prevent this, that it will use its political, economic, and, if necessary, military power to prevent this from happening.”

If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Netanyahu asserted, Washington’s Arab allies would drift into Iran’s orbit. “The only way I can explain what will happen to such regimes is to give you an example from the past of what happened to one staunch ally of the United States, and a great champion of peace, when another aggressive power loomed large. I’m referring to the late King Hussein [of Jordan] … who was an unequalled champion of peace. The same King Hussein in many ways subordinated his country to Saddam Hussein when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. Saddam seemed all-powerful, unchallenged by the United States, and until the U.S. extracted Kuwait from Saddam’s gullet, King Hussein was very much in Iraq’s orbit. The minute that changed, the minute Saddam was defeated, King Hussein came back to the Western camp.”

One of Iran’s goals, Netanyahu said, is to convince the moderate Arab countries not to enter peace treaties with Israel. Finally, he said, several countries in Iran’s neighborhood might try to develop nuclear weapons of their own. “Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The Middle East is incendiary enough, but with a nuclear arms race it will become a tinderbox,” he said.

Few in Netanyahu’s inner circle believe that Iran has any short-term plans to drop a nuclear weapon on Tel Aviv, should it find a means to deliver it. The first-stage Iranian goal, in the understanding of Netanyahu and his advisers, is to frighten Israel’s most talented citizens into leaving their country.  “The idea is to keep attacking the Israelis on a daily basis, to weaken the willingness of the Jewish people to hold on to their homeland,” Moshe Ya’alon said. “The idea is to make a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for Jews unattractive for them. They are waging a war of attrition.”

The Israeli threat to strike Iran militarily if the West fails to stop the nuclear program may, of course, be a tremendous bluff. After all, such threats may just be aimed at motivating President Obama and others to grapple urgently with the problem. But Netanyahu and his advisers seem to believe sincerely that Israel would have difficulty surviving in a Middle East dominated by a nuclear Iran. And they are men predisposed to action; many, like Netanyahu, are former commandos.

As I waited in the Knesset cafeteria to see Netanyahu, I opened a book he edited of his late brother’s letters. Yoni Netanyahu, a commando leader, was killed in 1976 during the Israeli raid on Entebbe, and his family organized his letters in a book they titled Self-Portrait of a Hero. In one letter, Yoni wrote to his teenage brother, then living in America, who had apparently been in a fight after someone directed an anti-Semitic remark at him. “I see … that you had to release the surplus energy you stored up during the summer,” Yoni wrote. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s too bad you sprained a finger in the process. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a good fist fight; on the contrary, if you’re young and you’re not seriously hurt, it won’t do you real harm. Remember what I told you? He who delivers the first blow, wins.”

A Spanish judge was barred from looking into the bombings in Gaza

A number of human rights activists wanted a judge in Madrid to look into the bombings of Gaza in the year 2002. This movement was stopped.

The Israeli air force bombed Gaza in July, 2002 with a one-ton bomb resulting in the deaths of 14 and injuries of 11.

The lawyers against the case stated that since Israel has taken on the responsibility of investigating what happened this case should be closed in Spain.

It is worth mentioning that almost all of the Israeli leaders are accused of committing crimes in this case.

Islam Times

Zionist commanders ordered soldiers to shoot and not worry about the consequences

Reserve soldiers of the Israeli army who participated in the Gaza War said that Israeli commanders ordered the soldiers to shoot and not worry about the consequences.

Amir Marmor, a 33-year-old reserve soldier, said in this regard: “He said in this operation we are not taking any chances. Morality aside, we have to do our job. We will cry about it later.”

A Zionist newspaper published reports of this nature on Thursday. They affirmed that some of their fellow soldiers killed innocent people in the Gaza War, which ended about two months ago. They killed children because they were sure that nobody would legally pursue the matter.

According to one of the reports an Israeli sniper killed a Palestinian woman and two children because he did not understand the command given to him by another soldier.

The Zionist regime responded to these reports by saying that a criminal investigation must be performed in regards to the claims of the soldiers. Ehud Barak said that these exceptional reports would be looked into with precision.

A group of former Israeli soldiers called ‘Breaking the Silence,’ after reporting from 15 soldiers, told the Guardian that there are other reports of killing civilians and destroying houses.

After these reports were published Palestinian groups and human rights groups accused the Zionist regime of disregarding international law in the attack on Gaza.

Islam Times

New crimes committed by the Zionist Army in the Gaza War

New evidence shows the depths of the crimes committed by the Zionist army against the Palestinian people, especially in its latest attack on Gaza.

A team of Israeli doctors accused the Israeli army of attacking medical centers in the Gaza War. The evidence provided for this accusation came from international human rights organizations and confessions of soldiers in the Israeli army who were sent to attack Palestinian civilians.

The organization Physicians for Human Rights-Israel stated: “Not only did the Israeli army surround families not saving the injured, rather it did not even allow Palestinian doctors to enter the attacked areas in order to heal the injured.”

Israel, in some cases, did not even give the permission for the injured to be carried out of the ‘hot areas’ leaving the injured for extended periods of time without food and water.

Zoë Bintwich, a member of the Physicians for Human Rights-Isreal, said: “In my opinion, that which took place in Gaza, was ordered by the highest level of Israeli officials. The soldiers shot at the civilians in Palestine without making any sort of distinctions.”

This organization also announced: “16 doctors were killed by Israeli bullets in the Gaza War and 25 others were wounded while performing their duties.”

Islam Times

The Zionist army attacks the Gaza Strip again

The Zionism army fought against Palestinian soldiers near Khan Youssef in the southern region of Gaza.

A few Israeli army vehicles, supported by three tanks and a bulldozer entered the region and started firing ammunition at Palestinians.

Palestinian warriors reacted to this attack in the region of Farahin by attacking the Zionist force.

Hamas announced that five missiles were fired at the Zionist attackers.

Islam Times

Another dimension of the Zionist crimes committed in Gaza

The Zionist newspaper Haaretz pulled the curtains of the terrible crimes that the Zionist regime committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Haaretz showed proof of the genocide committed against civilians in Gaza. It wrote that Israeli commanders ordered the murder of civilians and the destruction of houses.

This newspaper, quoting a Zionist soldier, wrote that he attacked a Palestinian house during the Gaza War. The mother and two children were imprisoned in one room and the house was transformed into their base. Then, after a few days the Palestinians were permitted to leave their house. They were told to walk on the right side of the road, but when they started moving they were shot by Israeli forces.

The Zionist regime’s army in the 22-Day-War in Gaza martyred at least 1350 Palestinian civilians, including 600 women and children. They caused at least three billion dollars of damage to the infrastructure of this land as well.

Islam Times

The Defeat of Israel’s army was dealt by the resistance; not diplomacy

Muhsin Bilal

Muhsin Bilal

Syria’s information minister clearly stated that the mythical undefeatable Israeli army was defeated by resistance; not diplomacy.

Muhsin Bilal, Syria’s information minister, said that the trifecto of Olmert, the prime minister, Livni, the foreign minister, and Barak, the defense minister of the Zionist regime was defeated not once, but a few times by the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine.

This Syrian politician added in a conference held last night in Damascus that the defeat of the enemy in the 33-Day-War in Lebanon caused some of the Israeli leaders to resign – including the minister of defense, the head of the army, and the commander of the northern forces.

Bilal stated that the Zionist regime is facing problems in its system and government in addition to rebuilding the army.

This Syrian official stated that the Golan Heights must be freed from the grips of the Zionist regime.

Islam Times

The Zionist Regime created a committee to pressurize Hamas

Zionist media outlets reported that a ministerial cabinet has been established with the sole purpose of pressurizing the Islamic resistance movement called Hamas.

The purpose of this cabinet is to force Hamas to change its policy over the prisoner trades with the Zionist regime and over the freeing of Gilad Shalit, the Zionist soldier that was captured by Hamas.

Daniel Freidman, the minister of justice in Israel, is the head of this cabinet. He has proposed pressuring Hamas by changing how the members of Hamas are treated in Zionist prisons.

If the new cabinet does not hear anything new from the prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, they will announce it in a meeting with Ehud Olmert.

Olmert’s office announced the defeat of the talks between Hamas and Cairo in regards to a prisoner swap.

The office of the prime minister of Israel claimed that Hamas made very heavy demands in response to Israel’s mild demands in regards to the freeing of Gilad Shalit.

Usama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Cairo, said that the Zionist regime is the reason behind the failure of these talks. He added that the Israeli representatives did not say anything new in regards to the prisoner swap.

Islam Times

There is no place for defeat against Hamas

Amos Gilad

Amos Gilad

A high security minister of the Zionist regime emphasized that Hamas will never be quiet until Israel is completely destroyed.

Amos Gilad, the coordinator of government operations in the territories, warned this regime about the strategic dangers of Hamas.

Since the resistance organizations in Gaza and Lebanon are continuing their efforts to destroy Israel, he warned the international community of giving them legitimacy by holding talks with them.

He spoke in a security conference in Tel Aviv. He added: “Hamas is working very logically and they are following the notion that Israel does not have the right to exist.”

Gilad said that Hamas is very fanatical and said that there is no place for defeat in front of them – even if we have to use the strongest military advancement that the world has ever seen in Gaza.”

He confessed to the power of Hamas and claimed: “When Hamas sees Israeli weakness they will break the peace and will be prepared to fight in a Gazan War.”

This security agent emphasized that Hamas is not after peace with Israel, rather they are using the political talks as a deceptive strategy obtaining time.”

Lately, Europe has been whispering the notion of holding talks with Hamas, which Gilad says would only give them international credibility. Recently a European group traveled to Damascus and held talks with Khaled Mashal, the political leader of Hamas.

Islam Times

Rachel Corrie: A Modern Day Hero

Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie

A couple days ago marked the sixth anniversary of American Rachel Corrie’s death. She was run over in Palestine by an Israeli run Caterpillar d9r armored bulldozer. Rachel was a simple activist involved with the honorable International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was in Palestine trying to aid some of the most oppressed people in the world. Here is an email that she sent to her mother a little over a month before she was killed:

“I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me – Ali – or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me, “Kaif Sharon?” “Kaif Bush?” and they laugh when I say, “Bush Majnoon”, “Sharon Majnoon” back in my limited arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn’t quite what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: “Bush mish Majnoon” … Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say, “Bush is a tool”, but I don’t think it translated quite right. But anyway, there are eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago.” Full email as well as other emails.

Because of her views on Palestine and Israel (watch the interview of her on YouTube) and because of the ISM’s great activities in the occupied lands, the Israeli government was forced to claim that her death was only an accident. But, there were eyewitnesses who claimed different:

Eyewitness account by Joe Carr: “Still wearing her fluorescent jacket, she knelt down at least 15 meters in front of the bulldozer, and began waving her arms and shouting, just as activists had successfully done dozens of times that day… When it got so close that it was moving the earth beneath her, she climbed onto the pile of rubble being pushed by the bulldozer… Her head and upper torso were above the bulldozer’s blade, and the bulldozer driver and co-operator could clearly see her. Despite this, the driver continued forward, which caused her to fall back, out of view of the diver.[sic] He continued forward, and she tried to scoot back, but was quickly pulled underneath the bulldozer. We ran towards him, and waved our arms and shouted; one activist with the megaphone. But the bulldozer driver continued forward, until Rachel was all the way underneath the central section of the bulldozer.”

Eyewitness account by Richard Purssell: “As the bulldozer reached the place where Rachel was standing, she began as many of us did on the day to climb the pile of earth. She reached the top and at this point she must have been clearly visible to the driver, especially as she was still wearing the high visibility [fluorescent orange with reflective strips] jacket. She turned and faced in my direction and began to come back down the pile. The bulldozer continued to move forward at [5-6 mph]. As her feet hit the ground I saw a panicked expression on her face… The pile of earth engulfed her and she was hidden from my view.”

Amnesty International also condemned her murder in this statement: Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today condemned the killing of Rachel Corrie and called for an independent investigation of her death. The organization also renewed a call for a suspension of US transfers to Israel of military equipment, including bulldozers, which have been used to commit human rights abuses.  Full statement

The thing that is amazing for me is that this woman was not even a Muslim, but she was willing to put herself into harms way to defend oppressed people of the world who happened to by Muslims. How many of us Muslims are willing to do anything like that? How many of us even speak out about oppression of our own people, let alone non-Muslims, throughout the world?

As Muslims we are ordained to stand up for the oppressed wherever they are and whoever they are. When our fellow Muslims are being oppressed in Palestine or Parachanar we must stand up and fight against this oppression by educating the masses. I bet if the regular individual in the west knew the facts about the Israeli-Palestinian issue they would take the side of the Palestinians and try to change their government’s actions. But, they do not know and therefore do not take any action.

If we are living in the west we must try to educate our neighbors, our schoolmates, our coworkers, everyone about what is really happening. We can make a difference if we are proactive. But, if we just sit back and do nothing, what will happen? What will be accomplished? How will we be passing the test that Allah is giving us?

In short, I want to use the great Rachel Corrie to motivate the Muslim youth in western countries to start an education campaign. Muslims you must know the facts yourselves and then you must educate the masses – one by one – in order to change the situation.

Comments are appreciated.

Islam Times

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