Sunday, June 25, 2017

25-Jun-17: A voice of lethal, bigoted hatred is silenced... for a while

We're pleased to see that Twitter last night (Saturday) shut down the hateful account of the FBI fugitive who masterminded the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of her many victims.

Our very sincere thanks to all the good people who helped us in publicizing the existence of the account and in bringing it to the attention of Twitter.

The background is here: "23-Jun-17: Murder by social media (is anyone at Twitter reading this?)"

The woman will certainly open up additional Twitter and other social media accounts (if she has not already) in this unpleasant cat-and-mouse game.

That's because, beyond being a confessed, proud and unrepentant murderer, she appears to be deeply committed ideologically to inciting others to emulate what she did and to kill Jews. She has been engaged in this since even before her unwarranted and deeply ill-conceived and regrettable release from an Israeli prison cell in October 2011 as part of the catastrophic Shalit Deal.

And since being released and returning to Jordan where she was born and has lived almost all of her non-prison life, she has operated a very well-funded, self-focused propaganda machine. She uses it to whip up support for more violence, more deaths, more Islamist ideological purity. She has a global following.

And - not so incidentally - in Jordan she enjoys protection from the US Department of Justice and the FBI which, since March, have been anxious to arrest her and put her on trial in a US Federal Court. She has expressed heartfelt gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah II and his family and his law courts for what they have done to keep her safe and far away from her day in court. (Did you know Jordan and the US signed a two-way extradition treaty in 1995? The US says it's fully and completely in effect. The Jordanians have a new and somewhat different view. Read about that here.)

The world is a far better place for however long her messages of savage intolerance are silenced.

25-Jun-17: Addressing Pal Arab society's addiction to terror: Small signs of hope?

Kushner and the US delegation with Abbas in Ramallah three days ago [Image Source]
If you haven't already seen it, may we direct your attention to a fine Ben Cohen analysis in The Algemeiner. dealing with reports from Palestinian Arab sources that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly “fuming” in the wake of a meeting in Ramallah this past Thursday with Jared Kushner in which the US side sharply criticized the notorious PA program of “martyr payments” to terrorists and their families, some $183 million annually in foreign aid funds.

A couple of excerpts in which our views get some airing:
“This is madness,” Arnold Roth — whose 15-year-old daughter, Malki, was murdered along with 14 other people when a suicide bomber struck the Sbarro pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem on August 9, 2001 — told The Algemeiner. “No progress towards peace will ever come if we tolerate the ongoing sanctification of terrorism by the Palestinian Arabs,” Roth said... In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sent out mixed signals regarding its policy on the payments. But after Thursday’s meeting with Kushner, one PA official complained to Haaretz that Kushner and his team “sounded like (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s advisers and not as honest mediators.” ["No Peace Possible While Palestinian Authority ‘Sanctifies’ Terror, Israeli Victim Families Caution Top Trump Aides", Ben Cohen in Algemeiner, June 23, 2017]
And
Roth said that while he didn’t believe the PA would collapse because of pressure on its bureaucracy over the terror payments, that outcome would still be preferable to one where “we accept some ongoing level of deaths-by-murder among Israeli families, so that the PA can preserve what they regard as cultural imperatives.”
Kushner and Greenblatt “must impress on the PA side that overcoming their addiction to terror is an essential prerequisite, and perhaps the only one, to sitting down to horse trade,” Roth concluded. “After that, everything is possible.”
It's an article worth reading in full and sharing.

The tolerance by donor countries of the pathology that has the Palestinian Arabs in its grip is a strange thing, one that has gotten far too little attention over nearly two decades. We have focused a lot of thinking- and writing-time on this over the years this blog has appeared (click Rewards for Terror to see several dozen). And experienced a tremendous amount of frustration and anger at the inability of political leaders in Europe and the US - many of whom we have tackled personally and directly on the subject - to grasp how fundamental the matter is to peace and better lives for all concerned.

If the Trump administration is ready to address it forcefully and to stay the course, that would be a welcome change with positive consequences for the pursuit of peaceful relations in this area.

Friday, June 23, 2017

23-Jun-17: Murder by social media (is anyone at Twitter reading this?)

In January 2015, Tamimi addressed the students at the Al Islah Islamic High School in Tripoli, Lebanon. Bringing her message of hatred and extreme violence to children throughout the Arabic-speaking world has been central to her self-imposed mission since even before she walked free from her Israeli prison cell in October 2011. She is a propaganda machine for Islamist jihad.
Ahlam Tamimi, our daughter Malki's confessed murderer, has a Twitter account.

She has had one for years. Actually more than one. The latest Tamimi Twitter account replaces the one about which we - and many other people responding to a campaign we spearheaded in April 2017 - complained to Twitter. After an intense effort, that Twitter account was shut down. So too was her Facebook page.

As we wrote in a blog post here about ten weeks ago:
We think this means the many requests we and our followers... filed with Twitter were heard. Whatever the case, the world is a better and safer place with Ahlam Tamimi's voice lowered by several notches... ["12-Apr-17: A modest step toward justice: Twitter today suspended the account of our daughter's murderer"]
But now, as we said a moment ago, she has another Twitter account. For now, we're not publicizing its address. We don't want to contribute to her gaining any more followers; not even one more. She created it in May.

We found it just yesterday and within a few minutes we filed a complaint using Twitter's standard forms and on-line procedure. It works in a frustrating way because it doesn't easily allow for any background or explanation or commentary. And once having filed it, we received this ambivalent, somewhat anaemic and entirely unsatisfying response:


If we take further action? And what if you don't?

In the past hour, we filed a fresh complaint. This time, though, we answered one of the questions accurately (of course) but differently. As a result, we were then presented with a form we hadn't seen before. It allowed us to enter some free text instead of just clicking on fixed-option buttons. 

Here's what we wrote:
This is the latest account of Ahlam Tamimi, a convicted Hamas terrorist who was added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list in March 2017, and is currently living in Jordan and on the run from the FBI and from US Federal charges. She is a notorious inciter of violence, a booster of murderous terrorism and the confessed murderer of our fifteen year old daughter and 15 other people.
After complaints from us as well as many others who responded to our Twitter campaign, her previous Twitter account [https://twitter.com/dreamsnnn] was suspended by Twitter in April 2017. By Twitter's own rules, the mere fact of her opening a replacement Twitter account ought to be enough for you to shut the new one down right away.
Her Twitter tweets are replete with expressions of solidarity with other terrorists and with hatred, lethal bigotry and calls for physical attacks against Israel, Zionists and Jews. She favours murder and encourages people - especially school-children - to follow her example and kill certain kinds of people in order to receive blessings from above.
I am puzzled at the slow response to my complaint. Are there any doubts on your part that Twitter needs to steer as far away as possible from this kind of abuse of social media?
I reported this account yesterday - about 18 hours ago - and received a formal acknowledgement. But no action.
The killer's Twitter account is still operating as of 2 minutes ago. It is now 12 noon Friday here in Jerusalem.
There has been no response in the half hour since we sent that off.

Some may ask why we find it so important to shut down this dangerous and hateful woman's social media output. The question has many answers but for the moment we offer an answer that the Islamist murderer herself wrote. In one of her tweets of the past two weeks, she said
which translates to
"We live at a time when the media are stronger than guns"
Given how jihad-minded killers have been emerging, ready for murderous action, in practically every corner of the world in the past handful of years, how can anyone doubt that this cold-blooded savage is right?

Meanwhile her Twitter account is alive and active.

Is anyone at Twitter paying any attention?

UPDATE Saturday night, June 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm: We have just now gotten notified by Twitter Support, after another round of complaints filed by us and emailed to Twitter's senior management, that the murderer's account has been shut down.  Thank you for all who have been supporting our efforts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

21-Jun-17: An explosion in a Belgian train station: Do the news agencies realize this was not someone trying to kill himself?

Brussels: The attacker (in the background) and Tuesday's
explosion [Image Source]
Belgium, which has more reason than most other parts of Europe to be deeply concerned about terror-minded Islamists, is trying today to make sense of an explosion in its most important train station yesterday (Tuesday).

Here's how the events were depicted by one of the world's most influential news packagers:
Belgian soldiers have shot a man suspected of being a would-be suicide bomber at Brussels Central Station, officials say. He was shot after reportedly setting off a small explosion and no-one else is believed to have been injured. Prosecutors later said the man had died. They are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. According to Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique, quoting prosecutors, the man who was shot was wearing a rucksack and a bomb belt. He detonated a device when he attracted the attention of soldiers in the station, the paper says. ["Suspected suicide bomber shot at Brussels railway station", BBC, June 20, 2017]
They're careful, the BBC people. But careful readers will be left wondering about what isn't stated.
  • If the man was going to commit suicide, why in a public place? Could it be that suicide was not actually his goal? Was he actually a murderer? Or a murder-minded terrorist? If so, why confuse and mislead by saying he was committing suicide? He made himself into a human bomb and that is what we owe to ourselves and victims past and future to call him and those like him. We explain the thinking here: "30-Jun-15: We need to be calling them what they are: human bombs".
  • And by the way, the bomb's effect appears to have been enhanced by nails, making it "similar to the bombs used in the attacks at Brussels airport and on the city's metro that killed 32 people in March 2016." That's from Reuters mid-Wednesday morning (here). Those nails, in our view, are far more relevant and important to characterizing the killer than calling him "suicide bomber", a term we utterly abhor. They are put into bombs so as to cruelly rip apart the flesh of  the innocent victims. Our daughter was murdered by terrorists who attacked the patrons of a pizzeria in Jerusalem with a nail-and-shrapnel-enhanced bomb.
  • The Brussels killer caused a small explosion, and then "later" he died. Did the explosion do him in? Or was it the Belgian soldiers who, at some point in these presumably fast-moving events, opened fire and shot him? The BBC report doesn't say. But clearly once he was shot dead, no one else was going to be hurt by him. That's a very good thing.
  • The word "terrorist" gets into this BBC report only because the BBC was able to quote Belgian "prosecutors" who called it that. Does the BBC lack the discernment to be able to characterize terrorists as terrorists? No, of course not; it's self-imposed "know-nothing"-ness as a careful reading read of the politically-hyper-correct BBC "Editorial Guidelines: Language when Reporting Terrorism" shows. The BBC editors have far less difficulty or reluctance reaching conclusions on how to characterize a million and one other things; that's why we think of them as a news-reporting source.
This morning (Wednesday) there are additional details to ponder.

Numerous sources report that the fast-acting Belgians "neutralized" the attacker; it's a word that when Israel uses it (to mean killing or stopping an attacker in the course of a terror attack) attracts criticism of Israel.

The unnamed attacker, called "a Moroccan national who was not wanted for terror offences" [here] , is reported to have been yelling "Allahu Akbar" as he ran towards a soldier.

Reuters, around day-break today. reported that Belgium's counter-terrorism police are "probing the identity" of the man shot dead yesterday by "troops guarding a Brussels railway station after he set off explosives that failed to injure anyone":
  • "We consider this a terrorist attack," prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt told reporters, declining comment on witness accounts that the man had shouted Islamist slogans before detonating what witnesses said were one or two devices in luggage...
  • The Belgian capital, home to the headquarters of Nato and the European Union, has been on high alert since a Brussels-based Islamic State cell organised the attack that killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015. Four months later, associates of those attackers killed 32 people in their home city. Since then, attacks in France, but also in Germany, Sweden and, most recently, in Britain, have been carried out in the name of the Syria-based Islamist militant group by other young men, many of them locals, raising fears of more violence in a city where almost a quarter of the population of 1.2 million are Muslim...
  • [S]moke pouring through Central Station and a shared awareness of Islamic State attacks in the city last year and more recently in Britain, France and elsewhere, sent evening commuters racing for cover...
  • Witnesses spoke of a man who shouted Islamist slogans, including "Allahu akbar" - God is greater - in Arabic, in an underground area of the station still busy with commuters making their way home and seemed to set off one or two small blasts...
  • Rail worker Nicolas Van Herrewegen told Reuters that he was heading downstairs toward the underground platforms that serve long-distance and suburban lines running under the city center. "There was a man shouting, and shouting and shouting," he said. "He was talking about the jihadists and all that and then at some point he shouted: 'Allahu akbar' and blew up the little suitcase he had next to him. People just took off."
  • ...As Prime Minister Charles Michel consulted his security advisers, the national alert was maintained at its second highest level. Michel, who convened a National Security Council meeting for 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, tweeted his thanks to the security forces and railway staff for their professionalism and courage. Mainline trains were running through the station by the morning rush hour, but not stopping. The adjacent metro station was open as normal, the transport authorities said. ["Belgium investigates station bomber fatally shot by soldiers", Reuters, June 21, 2017]
We agree with Belgium's prime minister: it's good that his country's security personnel opened fire promptly and, acting with "professionalism and courage", killed the man and neutralized the immediate danger.

We hope Israeli diplomats remind Mr Michel of his welcome plain-spokenness the next time Belgium joins with Israel's critics in absurdly - cheaply - accusing the IDF and Israel's other security forces of "extra-judicial execution" and "disproportionate force". The Belgians don't think they engaged in those problematic behaviours yesterday, and they're right. And so is Israel when its security people put the highest immediate priority on stopping an attacker in the shortest time before he achieves his barbaric goal.

Which, to remind ourselves, is never suicide.

The politically-inspired squeamishness of the BBC notwithstanding, everyone with brains in her head understands that attackers like yesterday's in the Brussels train station and Monday's would-be bomber on Paris' Champs-Elysees (killed when he rammed his car, filled with explosive and weapons, into a French police convoy - no innocent people were injured) are motivated by religious doctrine.

And whether they are genuine lone wolves or working in packs, the inspiration, incitement and encouragement for acts of terror in the most-public places possible overwhelmingly comes from Islamic preachers.

Whether this means terrorism does or does not have something to do with Islam is a non-trivial question if we seriously want to defeat the savages and the dangers they pose to our children and our societies. We're convinced the answer is obvious for anyone thinking outside the blinkers of political correctness about those threats.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

13-Jun-17: We think we now have a deeper understanding of the human rights industry

The UN official previously known as His Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein
When it comes to politicians, being the parents of a child murdered in the name of a political ideology can make a person, trust us, something of a cynic.

We're more sensitive now to how public figures like to get up on their soap-boxes and preach to others about what they ought to be doing. When they do, our strong inclination is to take a look behind the scenes and see whether the values of the speaker match the high rhetoric of the speechifying.

Take the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein as an example.

Once Jordan's ambassador to the UN and to the United States, he was appointed by acclamation to the HCR role by all 193 members of the UN in June 2014. He happens also to be a member of Jordan's royal family - a prince, in fact - as well as the pretender (an actual title) to the throne of Iraq. (Arab kingdoms tend to be both more complex and less complex than most people realize.)

Mr Ra'ad al-Hussein is busy this month as the notorious United Nations Human Rights Council over which he presides meets for its latest three-week-long gathering in Geneva. The HRC is made up of "47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe".

Sounds worthy, of course. But the reality tends towards the shabby. As one report noted in March 2017:
According to the U.N.'s top human rights body, Israel is the worst human rights violator in the world today. That’s the result of the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council which wrapped up in Geneva on Friday by adopting five times more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country on earth... The Bush administration refused to join the Council when it was created in 2006. On March 31, 2009, President Obama – fully aware of its entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias – made jumping on board one of his very first foreign policy moves. Moreover, in an unscrupulous attempt to control his successor, the former President obtained yet another three-year term for the United States on the Council that began on January 1, 2017... The Council plays a leading role in the demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state by the United Nations. In its history, the Council has condemned Israel more often than any other of the 192 UN states. Comparative totals after this session’s pogrom tell the story:  Israel – 78 resolutions and decisions, Syria – 29, North Korea – 9, and Iran – 6.  As for Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, there’s nothing at all.
Lately, some member states have noticed. The British, for instance:
The UK has put the United Nations Human Rights Council "on notice" over what it called its "disproportionate focus on Israel". On the final day of the council's 34th session the UK mission to the UN said it would vote against all resolutions about Israel's conduct in the occupied Syrian and Palestinian territories if things did not change... [Independent UK, March 25, 2017]
The Americans have too:
Washington has long argued that the Geneva forum unfairly focuses on Israel's alleged violations of human rights, including war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The United States "remains deeply troubled by the Council’s consistent unfair and unbalanced focus on one democratic country, Israel", Erin Barclay, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, told the U.N. Human Rights Council. Barclay said that no other nation had a whole agenda item devoted to it and that "this obsession with Israel" threatened the council's credibility... "In order for this Council to have any credibility, let alone success, it must move away from its unbalanced and unproductive positions," Barclay said. "As we consider our future engagements, my government will be considering the Council's actions with an eye toward reform to more fully achieve the Council's mission to protect and promote human rights." The United States is currently an elected member of the 47-state Geneva forum where its three-year term ends in 2019... ["U.S. seeks end to U.N. rights council's 'obsession' with Israel", Reuters, March 1, 2017]
That was in March. What's changed since then? Not that much. Here's a report from just 6 days ago:
…In a speech opening a three-week session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein observed the 50th anniversary of when he "first heard the sound of war" as a boy in Amman, Jordan. He said Palestinians were now marking "a half-century of deep suffering under an occupation imposed by military force" and marked by "systematic" violations of international law. Israelis also deserve freedom from violence, Zeid said, adding: "Maintain the occupation and for both peoples there will only be a prolongation of immense pain..." ["End of Israeli occupation would benefit both sides: UN right chief", Reuters, June 7, 2017]
And this from yesterday:
“The High Commissioner notes the repeated failure to comply with the calls for accountability made by the entire human rights system and urges Israel to conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations of all alleged violations of international human rights law and all allegations of international crimes,” the report said. Zeid's report also noted “the State of Palestine's non-compliance with the calls for accountability and urges the State of Palestine to conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations of all alleged violations of international human rights law and all allegations of international crimes.” The report looked set to ignite further debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council, where the United States said last week it was reviewing its membership due to what it calls a “chronic anti-Israel bias.” ["Israel, Palestinians have failed to prosecute war crimes: U.N.", Reuters, June 12, 2017]
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein first got our attention in April 2017. It was one of those cases we described above - a public figure lecturing others, in this case the authorities in Jordan where Prince Zeid (his other name) is (as we mentioned a few paragraphs up) a member of the royal Hashemite family.

We emailed a cluster of his senior staff people - this is the unedited full text:
April 4, 2017
Re: Extraditing Ahlam Tamimi 
We were pleased to see the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, speak forthrightly [link] four days ago about how states must (a) honor their treaty obligations, (b) act on legitimate arrest warrants and (c) respect the great importance of the global struggle for justice and against impunity.

Prince Zeid was addressing the failure of his own homeland, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in relation to a notorious fugitive from justice, the president of Sudan, who ought to have been arrested when he came to Jordan. 
We are the parents of Malki Roth who was murdered in 2001 in the horrific Hamas attack on women and children in a pizzeria in the center of Jerusalem. Malki was 15. Fourteen other people were killed and 130 terribly injured. 
The mastermind of the attack is a Jordanian woman. She was eventually arrested and confessed to all the charges. She was convicted on 15 counts of murder and was sentenced to multiple life terms. Her sentence was drastically commuted eight years later in the 2011 deal Israel made with the Hamas terrorist organization to secure the release of an Israeli captive. She has lived free in Jordan since then, proudly taking "credit" for the murders and basking in the status of celebrity. 
Our daughter was a US citizen. Under US law relating to acts of terror, her killer must face justice in the US. The US formally requested some time ago that she be extradited by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But Jordan has refused. The woman, Ahlam Tamimi, is subject to a US arrest warrant and appears on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list
We are respectfully asking that the High Commissioner speak as clearly and forcefully to the King and government of his homeland, Jordan, about Tamimi as he did four days ago in that other matter. We ask him to tell Jordan that, in relation to Tamimi, it must (a) honor its treaty obligations, (b) act on legitimate arrest warrants and (c) respect the great importance of the global struggle for justice and against impunity.

We appreciate you conveying this to the High Commissioner.

Sincerely
Frimet and Arnold Roth
Jerusalem, Israel
What happened next? Nothing. So we wrote to the same people a second time on April 6, 2017:
In case this slipped by. An acknowledgement of receipt would be appreciated. 
Then again:
Third try - sorry to note that we have no acknowledgement from any of you. In our view, the issue we have raised is a serious one, and the sort that ought to be addressed by the High Commissioner's office. With great respect to your roles and responsibilities, unless we have something from you today, we will assume no response is going to come and proceed accordingly.  
A few days later, this nice reply arrived:
Dear Ms and Mr Roth,
Thank you for your message and sorry for the delay in acknowledgement - I can assure you that all messages received by this office are taken seriously, with only one problem being that there are too many of them from across the world, with many serious crisis and violations still ongoing, and too few people and resources to handle all of them.
Your message is of course well received, including by the Executive Office of the High Commissioner (where I belong) and the MENA section of the Office. It will be given proper attention - I can assure in this - and you will receive a response upon due consideration.
With full understanding and sincere sympathy for your loss.
Kind regards,
Anton Nikiforov
Human Rights Officer
EDM
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
We waited until April 12, 2017 - a month and a half later - and sent this:
Dear Mr Nokiforev,
Consistent with your OHCHR's slogan, we sincerely support the idea of "Stand up for someone’s rights today" [that's the business slogan that appears on the OHCHR's website]. We hope today will be the day the High Commissioner conveys to Jordan the message we outlined in our letter to the Office of the High Commissioner of April 4. As you know, it has still gotten no response.
Sincerely,
Frimet and Arnold Roth
Jerusalem, Israel
(Grieving parents of Malki Roth) 
The kind Human Rights Officer didn't have an actual answer but replied nonetheless, and promptly - in fact the same day:
Dear Ms and Mr Roth,
Thank you for your support to our campaign worldwide. Your message is acknowledged and my response to you still stands. There is really no need to send reminders, all messages are taken seriously but they require proper consideration among many, many tasks and urgencies with inadequate resources to handle them all at the same time.
Sincerely,
Anton Nikiforov 
We felt sorry for the OHCHR whose annual budget for 2017 is US $253 million and which is beset with "many, many tasks and urgencies with inadequate resources to handle them". So we sat patiently and then sent this on May 28, a month and a half later, with copies to the same senior OHCHR people whom we had originally approached on April 4 and who were all otherwise engaged:
Dear Mr Nokiforev,
Six weeks after your last memo assuring us that we are not overlooked or forgotten, we think we are now privileged to have a fuller understanding of what OHCHR means by the word "someone" in your slogan "Stand up for someone’s rights today".
We again express the sincere hope that eventually, the High Commissioner will convey to Jordan the message we outlined in our letter to him of April 4 even though it has gotten no response.
But perhaps you or your colleagues copied on this email will acknowledge that OHCHR's silence until now speaks eloquently for itself.
We see ourselves free to now air this issue in public places.
Sincerely,
Frimet and Arnold Roth
Jerusalem, Israel
(Grieving parents of Malki Roth) 
No response so far from any of them. Those "urgencies" and the "many, many tasks" - which happily did not get in the way of the prince chastising his Jordanian friends over the matter of the Sudanese butcher all the way back on March 31, 2017 - seem to still be keeping the OHCHR team pre-occupied.

The bright side is we think we have a better gasp now of how the human rights industry sorts out its priorities. Bringing the murderers of Israeli children to justice does not rank all that high up, it turns out. We're very surprised by that.

If we're wrong, we hope Prince Zeid (in case he's reading this) or one of his staff people will still get back to us. But to be really frank, we're not holding our breaths.

13-Jun-17: The hunt for our daughter's killer: today's radio interview

Over on the website of J-AIR, an Australian Jewish community internet/radio collective with a wide audience, the weekly "Nothing Left" program focused this morning on the efforts being made by the writers of this blog to bring Ahlam Tamimi, the murderer of our daughter Malki z"l, to justice.

The program which goes to air and via podcast weekly on Tuesday mornings is hosted from Melbourne by Michael Burd and Alan Freedman and provides Israel-centric news and commentary from a non-left-wing perspective.

To hear the show, click the image below (or download it from here). For the interview with Arnold Roth, jump to the 73 minutes mark:



Today's interview was triggered by the events described in our recent blog post "17-May-17: We're asking Australia to help get our daughter's fugitive murderer into a US court".

The quick summary of it:
The self-confessed murderer Tamimi
circulated this photo in March 2017 to
express her thanks to the Jordanian royal
family after a Jordanian court ruled against the
US extradition request [Image Source]
  • Malki, our lovely daughter, was one of fifteen innocent people murdered in the Hamas bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in the center of Jerusalem in 2001. Malki was just fifteen years old. 
  • The mastermind of that atrocity was quickly found and arrested. She was then a 21 year-old Jordanian woman who studied journalism at one of the Palestinian Arab universities and moonlighted as a reporter and news-reader for a Palestinian Arab television station in the Ramallah area. 
  • She confessed to all the charges including having scouted out the site in Jerusalem using her journalist pass, bringing the human bomb into Jerusalem and walking him to the Sbarro location. 
  • She was sentenced to 16 consecutive terms of life imprisonment with an unusual recommendation by the stunned panel of three judges that she never be considered for earlier release - not in any political deal, not for good behaviour, never. She was set free by Israel in the context of the 2011 monumentally-lopsided Gilad Shalit transaction in which an Israeli hostage, held by Hamas (of which Tamimi was a registered agent) for five years, was released to the Israelis in exchange for one thousand and twenty-seven terrorists, the vast majority of them convicted murderers like Ms Tamimi. 
  • She quickly flew to Jordan where she was received at the airport and then in one of the Jordanian government law courts in Amman as a conquering hero. (We have photos.)
  • She and her husband, another murderer - and also her cousin - promptly received a colossal amount of money from the Palestinian Authority's appalling, European-funded Rewards for Terror payments scheme. They live well.
  • She was soon hired by Hamas to present a weekly television program called "Breezes of the Free" which continues to be beamed today throughout the Arabic-speaking world. (She stopped being the host when she was briefly arrested on an Interpol warrant last September. The show continues with a different presenter.) 
  • The Hamas TV show is a tribute to Palestinian Arab prisoners held by Israel for terrorist offences. Tamimi, for the nearly five years she hosted it, encouraged and continues to incite her fellow Arabs to more and more and more acts of Arab-on-Israeli terror. She continues to do that via public speeches, media interviews, the social media.
  • The FBI added her to its Most Wanted Terrorists list in March 2017. The US Department of Justice seeks to arrest her and bring her to trial under US law (Malki had American citizenship) in the United States. 
  • A Jordanian court, evidently acting as the arm of the Hashemite regime that controls Jordan (the vast majority of whose population calls itself Palestinian Arab), ruled just two days after the FBI announcement that Jordanian law prohibits Tamimi's extradition. 
  • From our standpoint, having looked into this with the help of people who know Jordan well, the court's reasoning is nonsense. Jordan has had an extradition treaty with the United States since 1995. One of the plotters in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center was extradited to the US under that same treaty and remains in a US prison cell. Jordan has extradited people to other countries too. 
  • Ms Tamimi lives freely, openly and happily in Jordan today, a fugitive in plain sight. She has made numerous VIP visits to other Arab countries in the past five years as well as many speeches to school and trade groups throughout Jordan. She is a celebrity and a figure of wall-to-wall Jordanian admiration.
(There are no hyper-links in the text above. That's deliberate. If you have questions about any of the factual claims we make - and we stand behind all of them - read our past posts about Tamimi and/or make contact with us.)

The unjustly-released murderer Ahlam Tamimi (in the middle) and her husband/cousin the unjustly-
released murderer Nizar Tamimi are honored guests of the 2014 Amman International Book Fair [Image Source]
We, Frimet and Arnold Roth, the parents of Malki and the couple who write this blog, are working hard with dedicated friends in several countries to bring pressure to bear on the Jordanian regime to hand her murderer over for prosecution, trial and very lengthy imprisonment. We appreciate all offers of help and input. We cannot do this alone.

It's sickeningly scandalous that Jordan, a client of the West and totally dependent on the United States for its defense and security needs, thumbs its royal nose at the FBI and justice for the sake of a sociopathic killer whose bigoted views and horrifying actions she has never denied or retracted.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

03-Jun-17: Watch the chilling joy of a terror-massacre mastermind

Image Source: FBI
If you're already familiar with the details of our daughter Malki's murder in the Sbarro pizzeria massacre of August 9, 2001, this post probably will not add much to your knowledge or state of mind.

We are currently trying to get the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to co-operate with the US Department of Justice and extradite our child's killer and the chief planner of the massacre, Ahlam Tamimi, to the US.

In the course of our efforts, we are referring a number of agencies, governments and specific individuals to video clips that throw light on the woman and the things she has said on video since being released by the Israeli government in the 2011 Shalit prisoner-exchange deal.

We created this post for that purpose (and before we knew of the events in and around London Bridge overnight).

Ahlam Tamimi lives today in complete freedom as a terror-celebrity in Jordan with her husband Nizar Tamimi. They are cousins, and he too is a prematurely-freed murderer. In Jordan, she enjoys extraordinary protection by the king and his regime.

Jordan signed an extradition agreement with the US in 1995. The US has requested that its provisions must and should apply to Tamimi who is a fugitive from the FBI ["Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans"]. She was added to its Most Wanted Terrorists listing on March 14, 2017.

Jordan has refused the request. There is no internal debate about this within the kingdom. It appears to be a supremely popular decision.

The video clip below [the source is here], one of scores we have found online, shows Tamimi, a terrorist in the service of Hamas, interviewed on an Al-Aqsa TV program that first aired on July 12, 2012, some nine months after she was freed in the wake of the conditional commuting of her prison sentence: 16 consecutive terms of life imprisonment. Unlike the usual labels that some kinds of analysts and some news services like to use, this woman shows no sign of being crazed or insane.

The massacre she engineered was not an incident, not an assault, not an attack - it was an act of terror, whose principal purpose was to terrorize. And it won wide applause. Watch. See. She is not seen in her society as an aberration but as a celebrity. A heroic figure. Someone to emulate.

Al-Aqsa is operated by Hamas and beams its programs throughout the Arabic-speaking world.



MEMRI ("The Middle East Media Research Institute") which does invaluable work providing translated documents and videos to English-speaking audiences, published the following Arabic-to-English translated transcript [source here].
July 12, 2012 Clip No. 3539 | Released Hamas Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi on Palestinian Public's Delight at Suicide Bombings 
Following are excerpts from an interview with released Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on July 12, 2012.

Interviewer: "Sixteen Zionists were killed [in the suicide bombing you helped carry out]. Was the sound of the explosion...?"


Ahlam Tamimi: "It was very loud. The mujahid Abdallah Barghouti did a perfect job producing the guitar [containing the bomb], and the results amazed everybody, thanks to Allah...

Afterwards, when I took the bus, the Palestinians around Damascus Gate [in Jerusalem] were all smiling. You could sense that everybody was happy. When I got on the bus, nobody knew that it was me who had led [the suicide bomber to the target]... I was feeling quite strange, because I had left [the bomber] 'Izz Al-Din behind, but inside the bus, they were all congratulating one another. They didn't even know one another, yet they were exchanging greetings...
While I was sitting on the bus, the driver turned on the radio. But first, let me tell you about the gradual rise in the number of casualties. While I was on the bus and everybody was congratulating one another, they said on the radio that there had been a martyrdom attack at the Sbarro restaurant, and that three people were killed. I admit that I was a bit disappointed, because I had hoped for a larger toll. Yet when they said 'three dead,' I said: 'Allah be praised.' 
Interviewer: "Was it an Israeli radio station or a Palestinian one?"

Ahlam Tamimi: "That station was in the Zionist language, and the driver was translating for the passengers... Two minutes later, they said on the radio that the number had increased to five. I wanted to hide my smile, but I just couldn't. Allah be praised, it was great. As the number of dead kept increasing, the passengers were applauding. They didn't even know that I was among them. On the way back [to Ramallah], we passed a Palestinian police checkpoint, and the policemen were laughing. One of them stuck his head in and said: 'Congratulations to us all.' Everybody was happy...
We plan to post additional Tamimi clips in the coming days.

Friday, June 02, 2017

02-Jun-17: Treating Pal Arab terrorists as heroes - and the funding that lets it keep happening

Abbas demonstrating where he stands in relation to peace. The
Rewards for Terror event is captured in a video here
Yosef Kuperwasser used to be in charge of Israel's military intelligence research before moving into a key civilian role as Director General of the Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy. Ending his military career as an IDF Brigadier General, he has authored some influential papers along the way on how to deal with terror and is reputed to be an adviser to various counter-terrorism-minded non-Israelis including some governments. He has contributed opinion pieces to numerous publications and from personal experience he has views worth hearing.

In what seems to us an important contribution to the often-stifled discussion about the Palestinian Authority incitement scheme we have for years called Rewards for Terror, Kuperwasser quantifies the stunning extent of payments made by the perpetually-insolvent Palestinian Authority for the benefit of terrorists and their families - including the families of terrorists killed on the job. His article started out as a speech he gave to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on May 29, 2017.

His essay, "Palestinian Authority Paid Out Over $1 Billion for Terror Over the Past Four Years" was published this Tuesday on the Tablet Magazine website [here]. In it, Kuperwasser estimates that during the past four years, the PA - whose president-for-life since 2005 is the far-from-moderate 'moderate' Mahmoud Abbas - has made Rewards for Terror payments of about NIS 4 billion - about US$1.12 billion. 

Some of the paper's most salient points:
  • At the level of the individual recipients, we're speaking of very significant remuneration. Payments start to flow "from the moment a terrorist is sentenced" and they grow steadilyA terrorist incarcerated by the Israelis for 30 years or more gets NIS 12,000 ($3,360) per month. That's 10 times the average salary of PA employees. As incentives to do more terror go, this is powerful.
  • At the level of Palestinian Arab society, these are large numbers, amounting to 7% of the PA’s annual budget (currently about US $4 billion). 
  • More than 20 percent of the foreign financial aid received annually by the PA from donor governments - mainly in Europe and the United States - "is now dedicated to the salaries of imprisoned terrorists as well as to the salaries of prisoners who are released from prison." 
  • It's often argued for the Palestinian Arab side that this all amounts to a kind of social welfare scheme - something any government is called upon to do to protect the interests of its weak and dis-empowered. But Kuperwasser points out that the Palestinian Arabs’ own budgetary documents contradict the argument, making plain that the payments in question are salaries. They are explicitly not regarded by granter or recipient as welfare payments. It's a point of honour for them. 
  • Six years ago, in an earlier post of ours [see "20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?"], we wrote about this, and noted that
    "There is a powerful symbolism at work here. The PA is chronically short of funds, and is perpetually requesting handouts. Yet it has sufficient disposable cash to make the decision this week to channel funds to the terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons. Evidently Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts have a sound understanding of the message they want to convey to their people, and how best to deliver it."
  • Kuperwasser reminds us that it's not just about payments. He writes: "When terrorists are released, they get a grant and are promised a job at the Palestinian Authority. They also receive a military rank that’s determined according to the number of years they’ve served in jail."
  • The payments continue after Palestinian Arab terrorists are released from prison. They also continue, as a sort of pension, to the families of terrorists who paid the ultimate price in their “struggle against Zionism.” 
  • None of this is off-the-books or under-the-table. Kuperwasser writes: "The PA’s official support of terror is a deliberate and official act of state: It occurs on the basis of PA laws that have been passed since 2004, and provide legal grounds for payments to incarcerated terrorists and the families of Terrorist killed carrying out terror attacks against Israel. These are explicit PA laws, which mandate payments to prisoners of war, or as they call them “al-asra”; a normal prisoner is “sijir” in Arabic.“Prisoners of war and released prisoners of war,” says the second clause of the law,“are an inseparable part from the fighting sector of Palestinian society.” On that basis, the PA has determined that Palestinian terrorists are entitled to “heroic treatment and recognition.
  • It's not only monthly payments and special jobs. Kuperwasser says that a lump sum is paid to the terrorists at the end of their prison terms, "dependent upon the time for which they sat in prison". 
  • Kuperwasser calls the Rewards for Terror "an open scandal" that contravenes the Oslo Accords, and international law. 
  • And to be clear, Israel is part of the scandal, reasoning along with the other donor countries that ceasing these payments would inevitably lead to the collapse of the PA and fear of even greater security chaos ahead. 
  • He argues now that "Israel and the international community must condition any further financial assistance to the PA on the immediate cessation of this terror payments policy, whether by government decree or by legislation... There has been some discussion in Israel about passing legislation to cut tax rebates back to the Palestinian Authority if this Palestinian policy continues. In the U.S. the Taylor Force Act is currently being considered by Congress. But no laws have been changed to date."
We have written recently about how both the British and the Americans have made efforts to rethink their strategies on this open secret. See "08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look" and "27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UK Aid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad". But it keeps rolling along and no one is suggesting the PA are short of the cash needed to ensure it keeps rolling. 

Kuperwasser closes by observing that the Palestinian Arabs accuse Israel - endlessly, in case this is not obvious - of refusing to make peace while Abbas and the PA merrily and openly - and using other people's money - provide rich rewards to terrorists and their families. 

It all amounts to a brazen act of incitement that ensures a constant supply of cannon fodder, weaponized children and cheap ammunition for their ongoing war against us.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

01-Jun-17: Outside Mevo Dotan, another weaponized Pal Arab child/attacker and her victim

Mevo Dotan [Image Source]
Yet another Arab-on-Israeli stabbing this morning, and the attacker is again a child; a girl too young to vote or drive a car and armed with whatever came to hand - in her case, a screwdriver. Her victim has relatively mild injuries. The attacker was fended off by armed soldiers, and was shot.

Today's attack was at the entrance to Mevo Dotan, a community established in 1977 in the northern Samaria district and located about 40 kilometers due east of Hadera.

Much - though not all - of the knife attack and its aftermath was captured on security camera video and has been uploaded for viewing on YouTube.

The attacker is initially reported to be a girl of 16 from Ya'bad, now fighting for her life in an Israeli hospital where her injuries are said to be critical. Ya'bad is where Izz ad-Din al-Qassam - a terrorist whose name is memorialized in a Hamas jihad unit - along with several of his men was killed by British forces in a cave nearby in 1935. (But we see that a different Arab media source [here] describes her as "said to be in her twenties", and does not give her name.)

The girl's victim is a young Israeli of 20, serving his compulsory IDF tour of duty. His injuries are being treated in that same Israeli hospital.

From Times of Israel's report:
Closed circuit video footage from the settlement shows the assailant walking calmly up to the front gate, before she goes out of frame. A few moments later, she can be seen running from the scene with one uniformed soldier and an armed off-duty soldier in pursuit. The moment the assailant was shot does not appear in the footage... The soldier, who is approximately 20 years old, was taken to Hadera’s Hillel Yaffe hospital for treatment, Magen David Adom said. He suffered a stab wound to the upper body, medics said. The assailant received first aid on the scene, before also being taken to Hillel Yaffe for treatment, the medics said.
Haaretz, quoting Palestinian Arab sources, says the attacker is Nof Ikab Abed al-Afar, age 16, from the nearby town of Ya'bad:
Afar arrived at the Mevo Dotan guard post, where she approached a soldier and stabbed him. She was then shot. Local settlers said that the she approached the gate to the settlement, carrying on even after a soldier at the post demanded that she stay away. 
The Arab media outlet Ma'an News Agency, adopting a familiar approach (allegedly), reports on "the alleged assailant" who "allegedly carried out a stabbing" and the security camera footage that "allegedly showed" whatever it showed. Then the editors get to their point:
Activists, and rights groups have denounced what they have termed a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner... [Ma'an News Agency]
For a full-time, lavishly-funded (to a great extent by European governments, meaning in reality unwitting European taxpayers) news-gathering organization, they're rarely sure about anything at Ma'an when it comes to terror attacks on Israelis - except for
being consistently certain that the Israeli reaction - usually while under actual frenzied attack by an armed, murder-minded Arab - was disproportionate and that whatever the Arabs did (allegedly) was no threat to anyone.

As for reporting on the real story here - the way school-age Palestinian Arab children keep appearing in these Arab-on-Israeli attack reports as the perpetrators - Ma'an is totally oblivious along with all of the Arab news organizations that we see and a large part of the mainstream non-Arab news companies. Politely looking the other way as children are groomed to murder and be killed is a very large part of the reason why this horrifying reality keeps happening.

Monday, May 29, 2017

29-May-17: In Jordan, lives, deaths and separating truth from politically-correct illusions

Jim Moriarty [Image Source: Houston Chronicle]
Before readers drill down into the extracts below from a very moving Memorial Day feature article in the Houston Chronicle, they might want to get acquainted with the background.

We laid it out a few weeks ago - see "28-Apr-17: Calling the Jordanians to account for the cold-blooded murder of three Green Berets".

In last month's piece we wrote that we are honored to know Jim Moriarty, the father of one of three US Special Forces servicemen whose deaths - while serving the United States on the territory of one its supposed allies in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during November 2016 - have barely been reported. We actually did write about the killings at the time they happened. And - as we noted a month ago - it turns out our predictions at the time were not far from the mark: "18-Nov-16: American service personnel killings in the Mid East get scant reporting and even less comprehension".

Mr Moriarty served his country via three tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, and is today a Houston attorney and a bereaved and angry father.

This week he is the focus of an article by a Houston Chronicle reporter, Mike Glenn, published yesterday (Sunday) under the headline "Houston father searches for the truth about Green Beret son's death in Jordan". Some verbatim extracts:
  • When Jimmy Moriarty brought up the idea of enlisting in the Army to become a member of the elite Special Forces, his father was skeptical. "He's the world sweetest kid, but they're just going to eat him for breakfast," Houston attorney James Moriarty recalled thinking to himself about his son and namesake. "In hindsight, I was such an idiot," Moriarty said. Jimmy Moriarty qualified for the Special Forces and made it though several other demanding training programs during his three years as a Green Beret... 
  • On Nov. 4, his only son, Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, 27, was one of three Special Forces soldiers fatally ambushed by a guard at the front gate of the austere and isolated King Faisal Air Basein Jordan, about 190 miles east of the nation's capital, Amman...
  • Now, the still angry and grieving elder Moriarty is on his own mission - more critical than any he undertook as a combat Marine in Vietnam or later as a high-powered lawyer going up against corporate giants like Shell Chemicals and DuPont. "I want to know who killed my son and why," he said.
  • From the outset, James Moriarty has believed Jordan, an ally of the U.S. in the war against terrorist organizations like ISIS, has not been honest about what happened. "Our 'friends' don't murder our children," he said.
  • In late February, Moriarty went to FBI headquarters in Washington to watch a security video taken at the Jordanian base. It showed what happened, he said, and is proof that his son and the other American soldiers did nothing to instigate the shootout...  "If I have to watch the video 5,000 times, I'll watch it," he said...
  • The Army said Jimmy acted with great valor by placing himself in harm's way. He was awarded several posthumous decorations, including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.
  • Moriarty contends Jordan's government has lied from the beginning about what happened to his son and the others. Moriarty remains angry that almost a dozen Jordanian soldiers were nearby and failed to respond... The U.S. Army said Jordanian military officers at the base also prevented other American soldiers from assisting their fellow Green Berets – ostensibly because they feared for their safety. "They just sat there and watched it happen," Moriarty said.
  • In April, Moriarty's family received a letter from King Abdullah II of Jordan. It formally acknowledged that Jimmy and the other Green Berets did nothing to provoke the attack. "I can assure you that justice will take its full course and the perpetrator of the attack will be held fully accountable," the letter stated. However, Jimmy's father remains dissatisfied. "If these are our friends, we don't need enemies," Moriarty said.
The full text of the Houston Chronicle article provides difficult details of the circumstances in which the three Americans were killed. We urge you to read it all and to share.

As you do, please also think of the boastful, happy murderer of our daughter Malki who, shielded by the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, lives today free as a bird in Jordan's capital, hidden in plain sight as a fugitive from the US Department of Justice and as an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist. 

The murderer's name is Ahlam Tamimi and here are some recent posts we published about her and our struggle to get her extradited from Jordan to face trial in the United States. Jordan is refusing even though it is party to a binding extradition treaty signed with the US during Bill Clinton's presidency:
05-Apr-17: Abdullah in the White House today: Questions need to be asked | 01-Apr-17: Ahlam Tamimi, Most Wanted Terrorist - now in Arabic | 30-Mar-17: Years of pursuing a child's killer: Setbacks, challenges and a roller-coaster ride | 28-Mar-17: Terror, justice and the Hashemite king of Jordan | 23-Mar-17: Looking for justice in Jordan, Jerusalem and Washington | 21-Mar-17: Tamimi extradition: When it's claimed that something is illegal in Jordan... | 20-Mar-17: The Hashemite Kingdom's courts have spoken: The murdering FBI fugitive will not be handed over | 19-Mar-17: A thought about Jordan and its treaty obligations | 15-Mar-17: Sbarro and justice | 14-Mar-17: Will Jordan's lust for dead Jewish children cause problems with the US?

Friday, May 26, 2017

26-May-17: With Ramadan starting tonight, the Indonesians sense where their problems are coming from

Indonesian police spokesman shows materials collected as evidence
from the bombing site, during press conference in Jakarta
on May 25, 2017 [Image Source]
The world's largest Moslem nation is reeling after a pair of human bombs exploded near a bus station in the capital.

Aljazeera says the explosions went off minutes apart this past Wednesday night around 9:00 pm at Jakarta's Kampung Melayu terminal. They killed three police officers and injured at least 10 others - five of them police, five civilians.
"This is the biggest attack in the capital since last year," Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen said, reporting from Jakarta. "Police say they were on high alert after the attack in Manchester and they were expecting something. They only didn't know what was going to happen and where." ...Authorities in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation are increasingly worried about a surge in "radicalism", driven in part by a new generation of fighters inspired by ISIL. Indonesia has long been fighting armed groups but in recent years hundreds have flocked to fight for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq... [A]uthorities believe about 400 Indonesians have gone to join the group in Syria, and could pose a more lethal threat if they come home. [Aljazeera, May 25, 2017]
Reuters adds that an anti-terrorism unit carried out a raid the following day (Thursday) at the home of one of the suspected human bombs. It quotes a statement by President Joko Widodo: "We must continue to keep calm... keep cool...  Muslims are preparing to enter the month of Ramadan for fasting".

Ramadan runs for a month starting tonight (Friday). The Indonesians evidently understand that the passions it arouses have a deeply worrying impact on already feverish Islamist terrorist minds. They probably wonder about the good sense of people like the leader of a Moslem Cultural Center in south-western England who, reflecting on the atrocity in Manchester, is quoted yesterday in a local newspaper saying
“We stand united with Manchester, the British people in general and people all over the world who suffer at the hands of the small yet dangerous minority of murderous extremists and remind people that terrorism has no religion and despite their claim, the terrorists have nothing to do with Islam..." ["Terrorists have nothing to do with Islam", Wiltshire Times UK, May 25, 2017]
Considerably more sense emanated from the Archbishop of Canterbury when he said publicly half a year ago:
Society should no longer say the atrocities of Isis have “nothing to do with Islam” because the approach restricts efforts to fight extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. The Most Rev Justin Welby has called on all religious leaders to “stand up and take responsibility” for the actions of extremists who claim to be following the strictures of their faith... ["Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isis has ‘nothing to do with Islam’", Independent UK, November 19, 2016] 
And a timely alert from a year-old New York Times article:
As the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached, jihadist propagandists told their followers that it was a good time to kill people. The spokesman for the Islamic State said in late May that jihadists should “make it, with God’s permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere.” Another extremist distributed a manual for using poisons, adding, in poor English: “Dont forget Ramadan is close, the month of victories.” A bloody month it has been [remember - 2016], with terrorist attacks killing and wounding hundreds of people in Orlando, Fla.; Istanbul; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and now Baghdad, where a bomb killed more than 140 people early Sunday in a shopping area full of families who had just broken their Ramadan fasts.
For the vast majority of the world’s Muslims, violence is completely dissonant with the holy month, which in addition to fasting is a time for spiritual renewal, prayer and visits with friends and family.
It is widely believed that the rewards earned for noble acts are greater during Ramadan, which culminates in the Eid holiday this week. Jihadists have perverted this belief to serve their own ends, analysts said. In short: If one believes it is good to kill those who are considered infidels, all the better to do so during Ramadan..." Many large attacks occurred during Ramadan last year [2015], too, hitting a Tunisian beach resort, a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, a Kurdish town in northern Syria and African Union troops in Somalia. ["ISIS Uses Ramadan as Calling for New Terrorist Attacks", New York Times, July 3, 2016]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

23-May-17: In the midst of US presidential visit, ISIS plays its hand

Manchester Arena, Monday night [Image Source]
Times of Israel reports today (Tuesday) that
a rocket was fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at southern Israel on Tuesday morning, amid a visit to the country by US President Donald Trump, the army said. No injury or damage was caused by the missile, the army said. Israeli troops launched a search for the impact site in the Eshkol region, which abuts the Sinai Peninsula. In some cases, rockets launched toward Israel do not cross the border and end up landing inside Egyptian territory. No organization took immediate responsibility, but previous such incidents have been claimed by the Islamic State terror group’s Sinai affiliate. The incoming rocket alert was not activated during the attack, as the military calculated the projectile was not heading toward a populated area.
Social media reports indicate the rocket was fired into Israel during the morning peak traffic hour, roughly 7:30 am, when large number of Israeli children in the target area are making their way to school.

Claims were made this afternoon that the Islamic State terrorists are also taking credit for last night's horrifying massacre at Manchester Arena:
The attack, which killed at least 22 people, including an 18-year-old college student, and left around 59 injured, was described by British Prime Minister Theresa May as "the worst attack the city has experienced."
The news comes after outlets reported that ISIS supporters were celebrating the bombing on social media, hailing it as a victory against "the crusaders" of the West and framing it as a response to airstrikes in Iraq. According to the Daily Telegraph, one video showed an English-speaking ISIS supporter holding up a sign reading 'Manchester' with the date of the attack. A statement made via ISIS channels on the messaging app Telegram said that "one of the soldiers of the caliphate placed explosive devices in a gathering of crusaders in the middle of the British city of Manchester," hinting that the terrorist incident was not a suicide attack, as it is believed to have been. It said the bombing was a response to Britain’s “transgressions against the lands of the Muslims.” Pro-ISIS accounts had earlier celebrated the attack on social media, framing it as a response to airstrikes in Iraq. [TIME, today]

23-May-17: Condemning terror is so easy to do, even Jordan can do it - and no news reports will criticize them

Jordan's Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson
Mohammad Momani [Image Source]
We were pretty sure this was going to happen, and it has.

The Jordanian government of King Abdullah II has just issued a condemnation of last night's Manchester Arena massacre, a terror attack that has strong similarities to the one engineered at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in 2001 by a Jordanian woman, Ahlam Tamimi.

Tamimi, who has proudly confessed her role as mastermind of the massacre that took the life of our daughter and 14 other people (mostly children), currently lives in total freedom in Jordan's capital, Amman, despite an Interpol arrest warrant and a United States extradition request that calls on Jordan to send her to the US to face charges.

The Jordanians have treated her as a national treasure since she arrived back there (the country where she was born and lived until shortly before she masterminded the Jerusalem atrocity) in October 2011. Did you ever see that statement in a mainstream news report? It's certainly true.

If the Jordanians, from the king on down, have any sense of irony or of the deep hypocrisy that stains their denunciation of the Manchester savagery, there's no sign of it in the announcement. And if any news analysts have torn into them, we haven't seen it:
Jordan condemns terror blast in Manchester | MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM) |  AMMAN, 23rd May, 2017 (WAM) -- The Jordanian government today denounced the terror attack that took place at the Manchester Arena last night, killing 22 people and injuring more than 50. According to the Petra News Agency, the Jordanian Minister of State for #Media Affairs and Communications, Mohammad Momani, said that this "heinous and inhumane act represents the real face of terrorism and extremism, which is implemented by coward terrorists aim to destabilise nations and intimidate innocent civilians". Mr. Momani, who is also the government's spokesperson, reaffirmed Jordan's firm and constant stance in fighting terrorism, extremism and violence in all shapes and forms, stressing the need for concerted efforts to counter terrorism in a holistic approach wherever it rears its head. He also extended his condolences to the British government and to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The real face of terrorism and extremism? We think Tamimi fits that bill exceedingly well.

23-May-17: Abbas on Manchester and Sbarro

Bethlehem this morning: Trump and Abbas [Image Source]
In 2008, President-for-life of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas announced he was awarding the PA’s highest medal, the Al Quds Mark of Honor, to Ahlam Tamimi, who masterminded the massacre at the Sbarro Jerusalem pizzeria. (Abbas' decision to make the award was widely criticized by outsiders and was eventually overturned.) The blood-drenched act of terror which Abbas was so anxious to honor was, like last night’s Manchester atrocity, an attack directed specifically at children by means of nail-enhanced explosives delivered by a human bomb.

Our daughter Malki, just 15, was one of those murdered in the pizzeria. We're acutely aware of how Abbas thought to honor Tamimi because of Malki's death and the deaths and horrible injuries of the other innocents caught up in the bombing.

This morning, that same President-for-life, Mahmoud Abbas, said in Bethlehem to the US President:
"Allow me… to condemn the horrible terrorist attack that occurred in the British city of Manchester… I do offer my warm condolences to the Prime Minister of Britain, families of victims, and the British people."
It's time for people who understand brazen hypocrisy when they encounter it, and especially members of the news reporting industry, to say openly what should have been said years ago: that in the community of civilized nations and people, condemnations mouthed by those deeply engaged in terror - like Mahmoud Abbas and those who report to him - are illegitimate and should be neither heard nor tolerated.

There are situations where the condemnation of terror is as morally indefensible as the terror itself.