Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Tag

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But first here’s my take. Once again an ISIS murder leads to fears that it is winning and calls to do more. FOX News’ Bret Baier captured the mood like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Horrific and barbaric, as well as calculating and skilled at high-tech propaganda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: The general feeling is that ISIS is gaining ground with its diabolical methods. But is it really? The video of the pilot’s killing was slickly produced, but it might have been a fancy cover to mask an operation that had gone awry. Remember, it began as a moneymaking scheme to get a ransom for Japanese hostages, then turned into a hostage swap for a forgotten failed suicide bomber, and finally ended with the emulation of the Jordanian pilot.

Certainly ISIS could not have imagined the response its actions have triggered in the Middle East. With Jordanians united against it, clerics across the region loudly and unequivocally condemning the emulation and with Japan ready to provide more aid and support against it. Meanwhile news on the battlefield has not been good for ISIS. Brookings Institution scholar Kenneth Pollock describes this stunning reversal it has faced in Iraq.

“The Washington Post” has reported on the growing discontent within its territories. All this might help explain the brutality of the latest murder video. The group well understands that the primary purpose of terrorism is to induce fear and overreaction. When modern Middle Eastern terrorism first appeared on the scene in the 1960s and ’70s, the historian David Fromkin wrote an essay in “Foreign Affairs” that is perhaps the best guide to understanding this phenomenon.

Fromkin provided two examples of terror tactics that worked and have important lessons. He recounted a meeting in 1945 with the leader of the Irgun, a group of about 1,500 Jewish militants in Palestine, which was then part of the British empire. The Irgun knew that they could not defeat the mighty British Army so they decided to blow up buildings and create the appearance of chaos.

This, the Irgun leader told Fromkin, would lead the British to overreact by garrisoning the country, join forces from across the empire, and that would strain British coffers and eventually London would have to leave Palestine. Fromkin noted that the Irguns, seeing that it was too small to defeat Great Britain, decided as an alternative approach that Britain was big enough to defeat itself.

ISIS’ strategy is surely some version of this. The targeting of America and its allies. The videos, the barbarism are all designed to draw Washington into a ground battle in Syria, in the hope that this complicated, bloody and protracted war would sap the super power’s strength.

Fromkin offered another example, the National Liberation Front, the group of nationalists trying to break Algeria free from France in the 1950s and ’60s. The Paris government argued that Algeria was not a colony but part of France, with all of its citizens treated as French men and women. So the FLN began a campaign of terror in order to provoke an overreaction from the French government, getting them to regard all Muslim and Algerians as suspects.

Quote, “The French thought that when the FLN planted a bomb in a public bus, it was in order to blow up the bus,” Fromkin noted. But the FLN’s true aim was to lure authorities into reacting by arresting all the non-Europeans in the area as suspects.

The many recent acts of terror committed in Europe can’t be said to have a strategy but they could make European governments and people treat all Muslims in Europe as suspicious and dangerous, and then the terrorists will have achieved an important goal.

Now these things do not have to happen. Fromkin concluded his essay by noting that, though terrorism cannot always be prevented, it can always be defeated.

You can always refuse to do what they want you to do.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1502/08/fzgps.01.html

 

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Jon Stewart “Here is something I do not get to say very much at all lately, good news from the Middle East.”

Reporter “A 12 hour humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.”

Reporter “There were no civilians being shelled, there were no rockets in the skies of Tel Aviv.”

Stewart “Finally, a cease-fire that, OK 12 hours. It’s only scheduled to last as long as a decent dose of Sudafed. But still, it is some relief, we can build on this.”

Reporter “Sunday, it took all of 10 minutes for the fragile cease-fire expired at 8am for Hamas to send rockets into Israel.”

Stewart “Bleep! I guess the real question was what was going on during those 10 minutes. ‘Hello, people. Humanitarian cease-fire ended 10 minutes ago. Tick tock. The never ending hatred in this region isn’t going to bomb itself'”.

….

Reporter “The UN Security Council called for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire.”

Stewart “Boom! Unconditional! Not that such resolutions are in any way enforceable or meaningful. But still, when a resolution is issued…”

Reporter “The United Nations Security Council took action with a statement, not a resolution.”

Stewart “Even a resolution was too much? ‘Guys, I don’t know. A resolution seems pretty stern, pretty stern guys. Even a statement, I don’t know. What’s the death toll? A thousand and growing? What about we just jump in with a hmm, hey guys. You know, if that gets push back, we can take it down a notch. I mean, we’re only a collection of the world’s super powers'”.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/w2vuc9/truce-defective

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Pope Francis made the comment in a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Our recent meeting in the Vatican and my presence today in Palestine attest to the good relations existing between the Holy See and the State of Palestine,” the Pope said.

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The mass killing of Jews in the Holocaust was “the most heinous crime” against humanity in the modern era, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Sunday in his strongest remarks yet on the Nazi genocide.

The statement comes at a sensitive time for US-led peace efforts, with Israel having suspended faltering talks last week after Abbas reached an agreement with the Islamist Hamas movement to form a unity government.

In a statement in English and Arabic released just hours before Israel began marking Holocaust remembrance day, the Palestinian leader expressed sympathy with families of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazi regime.

“What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era,” Abbas said.

He also expressed his “sympathy with the families of the victims and many other innocent people who were killed by the Nazis”.

His remarks, made in response to a question during talks last week with an American rabbi promoting Jewish-Muslim understanding, came as Israel and the Palestinians traded blame over the collapse of the peace talks.

“On the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” Abbas said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas says Holocaust ‘most heinous crime’ of modern era

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Stewart speaking about the war between Israel and Gaza “This is such a depressing, cyclical status quo. where the untenable underlying conditions are never addressed.  There are no winners here.  Or, to put that a different way…”

Pundit 1.) “Who was the big winner, do you think, here?”

Pundit 2.) “There are two clear winners.”

Pundit 3.) “Who are the losers and who are the winners?”

Stewart “You really miss the election, don’t you?  Is everything about the winners and losers and the horse race?  Even intractable bloodshed is just another chance to see who’s incrementally up or incrementally down.  And, by the way, winners and losers, in what game?  Sandy Land?  Hungry Hungry Hebrews?  Or, maybe it’s the old family favorite, Monotony (A game of momentary respite from implacable historical hatred), where violence is the day to day norm.  It’s a game where angrily flipping over the board is how you start.  And don’t get them started about where you can put up houses.  You can’t put up a house on Baltic Avenue.  I own Baltic Avenue.  Stop calling it Baltic Avenue, it’s called the dark purple territories and it was given to my people before this game was even invented.  Now, get your thimble off my schnauzer.  So, no winners.”

Pundit 4.) “There’s a military side of this, which Israel clearly won.”

Stewart “Oh, yes, Israel clearly won.  Israel’s in great shape now.  There’s no winners!”

Pundit 5.) “Hamas emerges as a big winner from this conflict.”

Pundit 6.) “Hamas is a winner here.”

Stewart “So, Israel won and Hamas won.  Did I say no winners?  I meant two winners.”

Pundit 6.) “President Obama is a winner here.  Netanyahu is a winner here.  Hillary Clinton is a winner here.”

Pundit 7.) “Egypt has definitely emerged as the winner in all this.”

Stewart “Did anyone lose this bleeping thing?  Did anybody lose?  Did anybody actually lose in this bloody conflict that killed over 150 people?

Pundit 8.) “The loser in all this is Mahmoud Abbas.”

Pundit 9.) “Iran is the main loser in this conflict.”

Stewart “So, the only two losers in the war between Israel and Gaza, are people that don’t live in either of those places.  So, the lesson here is that the next time your region descends into a war, you’ve gotta be in it to win it.”

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Mitt Romney “It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19035134