The Egyptian Mosque Attack

A coordinated attack by 4 groups of about 20 terrorists on a mosque during Friday prayers in northern Sinai killed more than 300 people and wounded hundreds more.  This was the first major attack on a mosque in Egypt by a group affiliated with the Islamic State.  There have been many attacks on police stations and army bases as well as Christian churches in Sinai before, but this was the first major attack on a mosque.  The reason this mosque, the al-Rawda Mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed, was targeted is that it is used by a Sufi sect that is considered heretical by the Islamic extremists of IS, and the town is known to support the Army.

The reaction by the Egyptian Government was swift.  Pres. Al-Sisi called it a terrorist attack and said the army will use brute force against them.  He declared three-days of mourning and the Egyptian air force attacked several sites in Sinai.  But, the Egyptian people and many observers are not convinced this will do any good, since such attacks have been mounted before and yet the pace and extent of terrorist attacks have increased.  Sinai seems to be out of the control of the Egyptian Army and Government.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned the “painful terror attack in Egypt.,,,There is no difference between terrorism harming Egypt and terrorism harming other countries. Terror will be beaten more quickly if all countries work against it together,”  the PM’s office said in a statement.  Certainly Israel could teach the Egyptians a lot about controlling terrorism, especially using intelligence gathering to defeat their attacks.

As the IS is defeated in Syria and Iraq, with now more than 90% of its territory recovered and most of its active militants killed, the IS will no doubt expand its attacks elsewhere to try to show that it is still effective.   Sinai is one of its last undefeated strongholds.  Lets hope Egypt gets the support and expertise it needs to destroy this remaining murderous terrorist holdout.

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Terrorism in America

Any country that allows the entry of large numbers of Muslims is going to have acts of Radical Islamic Terrorism (RIT) that will kill large numbers of its civilians.  That is a fact, there is no escaping it.  A certain small proportion of them, from Somalia, from Syria, from Uzbekistan and from wherever, will become radicalized and will act.  Whether from revenge for Western power, from personal discontent, or from religious principles, such as jihad, there will be a mass casualty attack, period.

The fact that it just happened in NYC is no surprise, it will happen elsewhere too.  Until the US and the rest of Europe wizens up and stops the free entry of Muslims this will continue.  In that respect I fully support Pres. Trump, positive vetting must be done, and the easiest way to avoid casualties is to stop the entry of all young Muslim men, period.  I say to all those good liberals who want to help the poor, suffering Muslims, do you want your child, husband, wife, parents to be murdered by one of them?  It’s going to happen.  In the latest incident carried out by an Uzbeki who had been in the US for 9 years, only 8 people were killed and 6 of them were foreigners, but 11 were injured.

To those who say this was a “lone wolf” attack, that he was not part of a larger plot or organization, I say nonsense.  He was radicalized by a portion of the anti-Western RIT movement, he was given instructions by Al Qaeda or IS to carry out this attack.  Using a truck or car to ram people is not a new tactic, it has been used in Jerusalem, Nice, Paris, Berlin and London.  Now NYC has its attack, who will be next.

Also, there is far too little collection of personal data from these Muslim immigrants.  Their right to privacy stops when they enter the US and begin to watch RIT sites on the internet (why are they allowed anyway?) and begin to plan their attack.  Thousands are doing it now.  In the UK they have stated that they are actively watching 8,000 potential Muslim terrorists, and there are more.  In the US they have hardly scratched the surface, that is why they had no clue about this individual.  I hope that eventually, when the cost gets higher and more civilians are killed, that a more restrictive approach will be used to prevent potential RITs from entering the US and other countries.

The Killing Continues

Three Israeli security guards at the settlement of Har Adar on the West Bank north of Jerusalem were shot dead last week and several others injured by a Palestinian terrorist who drew a pistol while approaching them and fired multiple times before being shot dead by other soldiers.  He was a 37-year-old father of four and although supposedly a “lone wolf” attacker, he was praised effusively by Pres. Abbas of the PA and by Hamas in Gaza, who proclaimed a new offensive against “Israeli occupation.”   Note that once again it is the Palestinians who are continuing the reign of terrorism against Israelis and not the other way around.  His family home will likely be destroyed by the IDF.

In continuation of their anti-Israel program the PA applied for and were granted membership in the international police organization Interpol.  This is hypocritical since this organization is supposedly only for sovereign States, that the PA is not, and for States that obey international law, that the PA clearly does not since it continues to support terrorism.  To some extent it undermines PM Netanyahu’s claim that Israel has entered a new era of acceptance among the nations, as a result of his recent trips to Africa and Asia.  There is still plenty of animosity and antagonism against Israel among the countries of the world.  Nevertheless, the majority that the Palestinians used to command has gradually been whittled away and now there are many more abstentions than there used to be.

This strategy by the Palestinians, of gradually joining all international organizations, will neither result in peace nor the recognition of a Palestinian State.  Without Israel’s and the US’s approval such a State can never come into existence and the Palestinians know very well that they lack the basic requirements for a State, i.e. that has an effective administrative infrastructure, that operates transparently and that can defend its territory.  Not only that, Pres. Abbas’s term is illegal, he should have allowed elections back in 2006, but he did not.  And at 82 years of age he is not expected to last much longer.  In addition, there is the continuing problem of the schism with Hamas in Gaza. So joining more international organizations is purely superficial wrapping on a very suspicious package.

 

The Peace Process Scam

Pres. Trump has sent his representatives, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, to the region again to see if they can revive the peace process.  Actually they would need to resuscitate it because it has been dead for a long time.  And anyone knowing the details of the situation will realize that, as with resuscitating a dead person, this game is not feasible.  Every time the possibility of a real peace compromise comes close the Palestinians manage to evade it.

This time they are considering dissolving the Palestine Authority (PA) that has been their representative entity that was established by the Oslo Accords in 1994 as a step in the direction of a possible Palestine State.  But, State-building is not their thing, they are more concerned with destroying a State – Israel – than with building one.  In order to do this they have lied and prevaricated.  They have been split into many factions, each trying a different strategy to destroy Israel.  The Fatah faction of the PLO, that runs the PA, has the strategy of pretending to want peace, while at the same time inciting violence against Israelis, sponsoring terrorism and educating their children to hate Jews.  Hamas that controls Gaza has no such reservations, they are at war with Israel and they openly proclaim their intention to destroy Israel with no pretensions.  They fire rockets from Gaza at Israeli population centers and have waged several wars.

The leader of Fatah and the PA is Pres. Mahmud Abbas, who at 82 years old is past his sell-by date, he should have retired years ago, but cannot.  He has no selected successor and cannot allow elections since they will end in violence.  He cannot make any moves towards peace that would be seen as concessions to Israel or the US and he would end up dead, assassinated probably by Hamas.  His regime is illegal, corrupt and incompetent. His people know it, but can’t do anything about it.  His main aim now its to avoid a violent end and to retire with his ample funds stolen from the donations that the EU and US continue to lavish on an intransigent and unrepentant community.

Taylor Force was a former US marine on a course in Israel who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist.  The terrorist was shot dead but his family are being paid a large sum each month, a subsidy that supports terrorism.  The funds for these payments to terrorists and their families comes from the aid that the US and others pay the PA.  At last someone is doing something about this.  The “Taylor Force Act” that is before the Senate would stop all aid payments to the PA until this financial support for terrorism stops.  Not one Democrat has signed on to support this Act, so we see where their interests lie.  Let’s hope it passes and the PA loses all its support, as well as UNRWA that subsidizes terror in Gaza and the so-called refugee camps, and let’s hope the PA collapses.  Then we will see the true reality of the situation, that the US and other western countries are subsidizing the terrorist murders of Israeli Jews.

 

Attacks in Barcelona

The Muslim terrorist attacks in Barcelona and nearby sites this week killed 14 and injured at least 80.  When will they learn?  The Ramblas, with large crowds of tourists strolling along the pedestrian street, was a perfect target for this kind of ramming attack. After the ramming attacks in Jerusalem, where they started in 2008, and in Nice (86 killed), London Bridge (8 killed), and Berlin (12 killed) as well as Paris (altogether 130 killed), you would think that the authorities in the major cities would take some minimal precautions against such attacks.  Wikipedia lists over 30 such ramming attacks around the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle-ramming_attack).  But the Ramblas was not protected at all with any kind of safety guards against this kind of ramming attack.   Now that more people are dead you can be sure they will install some kind of barrier against vehicles entering the Ramblas walkway.  At least install some kind of bollards or railings as they did on London Bridge after the event.  Another case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted!

That is the first major alteration that the Western countries need to make to adapt to the ever-present Muslim terrorism danger.  This time it was claimed by the Islamic State, that practically no longer exists, but has exported its fighters all around the world, often to whence they came from.  The other major adaptation is to obtain better intelligence by interrupting the plans of these Muslim terrorists by profiling them and listening in to all their conversations, especially international ones.  This is war and many lives are at stake, so the most expedient methods must be employed.  Apparently there was a fairly large group of 10 or more Arabs sharing an apartment in a suburb of Barcelona and keeping in close contact with each other and people abroad and they went undetected while they planned several terrorist attacks.  So much for taking elementary precautions.

This is a general warning, people should not go on vacation anywhere where there are crowds where they have not taken elementary precautions against vehicular ramming attacks, and where security personnel are not present with guns in sufficient numbers.   Once again let me remind you this is war against the forces of jihadi Islam and all necessary precautions must be taken.  If they begin to lose tourist dollars the authorities may start to take this terrible threat seriously.

 

The Mosque Fiasco

The Israeli Government caved in to the demands of the Palestinian Muslims to remove all forms of security surveillance from the entrance to the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  It appears that violent demonstrations and murder have once again succeeded against rational compromise.  Israel was prepared to remove the metal detectors in favor of unobtrusive “smart” cameras that could detect concealed weapons. But, the Muslim Wakf (Religious Trust) rejected even this and called upon the Palestinians to resist any change in the so-called status quo.

The Israeli Government may have caved because they did not want to see a long drawn out series of violent demonstrations while the Wakf went to the Israeli Supreme Court and the issue of whether or not non-invasive cameras constitute a change in the “status quo” was slowly deliberated.  As it is there is now a sense of victory in the Palestinian camp, they got away with murder and they can still smuggle weapons, guns and explosives, into the Mosque.  Is that a viable solution?  How many more people, including Israeli border police, must die before resolute action is taken?

The murder of the three members of the Salomon family in Halamish on the West Bank was clearly a case of terrorism.  But, the UN Secty. Gen. Anthonio Guterres, in criticizing this incident, failed to label it as terrorism.  By contrast, in three other recent statements on incidents where civilians were killed by violent actions he did call all of them terrorist incidents (I thank Michael Freund for pointing this out in The Jerusalem Post).  This callous attitude that the killing of Jews is different from the killing of all other civilians, because the Palestinians are felt to have some special justification for killing Jews, is unacceptable.  Israelis do not accept this moral relativism of the international community.  All terrorism is morally unjustifiable.

So now the forces of terrorism within the Palestinian movement, such as Hamas, that are very strong, will take away from this series of incidents the message that terrorism works and they will gain confidence and will strike again.  To exemplify this, it is reported that tonite further violent Muslim demonstrations are continuing on the Temple Mount with 100 injured in clashes with Israeli police.  If they riot with metal detectors, if they riot with cameras and if they riot when they are all removed, might as well keep the cameras.

The Irrational in Mid-East Politics

As I pointed out in previous blog articles, all major religious sites, including Mosques have metal detectors to prevent the smuggling of weapons and explosives.  Also, all Jews and foreign visitors who visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem are subject to metal detectors and security checks.  But, Muslim Arabs have never been subject to such security checks.  After the shooting death of two Israeli border guards by Palestinian Arab terrorists who came from the Mosque, it became clear that such a security check is necessary.

However,  the Palestinians, egged on by their leadership in the PA including Pres. Abbas, have refused to accept the introduction of metal detectors at the entrance to the Mosques.  Their attitude is that this is an example of the imposition of the Israeli occupation, irrespective of the merits of the case.  But, the situation rapidly became more complex when, apart from the rioting in Jerusalem, a 17-year-old Muslim boy helping with the moving of furniture in the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan, stabbed an Israeli guard with a screw-driver.  The guard shot him dead and also a man who came to his aid.  So with the two dead Israeli policemen and the three Salomon family members murdered in Halamish, and the five Palestinian rioters killed and the two Jordanians, that makes 12 dead so far.

But, although the Israeli guard in the Amman Embassy was wounded, he was unable to go to the hospital because the Jordanian authorities wanted to arrest him.  However, under international law, they have no jurisdiction within the Israeli Embassy and were unable to do so.  However, neither were the Israelis in the Embassy able to leave. Overnight a compromise was struck between PM Netanyahu and King Abdullah, supported by the US negotiator, that Israel would remove the metal detectors and replace them with unobtrusive “smart” cameras that would not disrupt the movement of Muslim worshipers, and Jordan would allow the Israeli staff of the Embassy, including the wounded guard, to return to Israel.  In this situation, both sides wanted a quick solution, Netanyahu wanted an excuse to remove the objectionable metal detectors, and Abdullah wanted to quiet the situation because he fears the backlash of his Palestinian community.  He also needs to keep good relations with Israel, since his is a very tenuous situation.

However, the compromise of Israel replacing the metal detectors with smart cameras has not so far been accepted by the Palestinians.  As far as they are concerned any Israeli move, even one that in no way interferes with their movement in the entrance to the Mosques, is unacceptable.  Just as their claim that the Al-Aksa Mosque is where Mohammed ascended to heaven and that it is the third holiest shrine in Islam is all based on irrational belief, so their rejection of any Israeli action to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Mosques is also irrational.

A committee of the Wakf, the Muslim Religious Trust, met to decide if they can accept the cameras.  It should, be remembered that a few years ago, after a serious incident of rioting, the Israelis installed cameras in the area of the Mosque, but they were soon totally destroyed by bricks thrown by Palestinian youths.  So will this time be different?  Israeli will have to ensure some form of protection for the cameras or the whole process will be futile.  So far the Wakf decided that the the Palestinians will not accept a civilized and peaceful solution to this irrational situation.  The rioting and killing will continue.