Sunday, November 07, 2010

7-Nov-10: Rockets and responses

A beautiful autumnal Saturday has just ended - mild weather, a light breeze, clear skies. And more rockets fired into Israel by the jihadists of the Gaza Strip. This morning's attack exploded in a field in the Sdot Negev area, near the border with the Hamas-controlled territory, according to Ynet. No one was injured, but the jihadists intend to spread terror and fear and see injuries and damage as a highly desirable but non-essential side-benefit. Around 180 rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip so far since the start of 2010, an IDF spokesperson said in a briefing today.

Israeli air force planes carried out two strikes tonight (Saturday night) on targets in southern Gaza. Strike number one was near Khan Younis; the second was aimed at smuggling tunnels in Rafah, near the Gazan/Egyptian border. AFP, quoting Hamas, says a Palestinian who was in his house during the second attack was injured by shattering glass.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

2-Nov-10: Know the enemy (with sincere thanks to Mr Choudary of Ilford)

We believe many, perhaps most, people are confused about how the jihadist terrorists work, about their goals, about what civil society ought to do in the face of their racism, their hatred and their physical violence. The confusion we cite is to a considerable extent due to the fuzzy thinking and double-talk - in particular from politicians and from the news reporting industry - that comes with much of the public discussion about terrorism, Islamicism and jihad.

Today, we can dip our lids out of gratitude to a native of the United Kingdom, a former medical student (failed first year and promptly changed faculties) and lawyer (chairman of the UK Society of Muslim Lawyers for a time, but then removed from the official register of legal practitioners in 2002) of Pakistani ethnicity, who went on to become a community leader and minor media personality in the UK and now the world. Additional aspects of his otherwise-undistinguished life are here.

Mr Anjem Choudary, who regales in the quasi-religious title 'imam', appeared a week ago in an interview on CNN. The man's cold-blooded message of hatred is despicable, but the interview demonstrates that he is clear and relatively articulate on matters that civil society needs to hear expressed clearly and with articulation.

Choudary was a founder of Islam4UK and al-Muhajiroun, both of them eventually declared illegal under the UK's counter-terrorism laws on 14 January 2010. Yet he remains free, unconvicted and able to express his jihadist views [see this BBC transcript] pretty largely at will. Such views as this one, expressed on one of the BBC's most prominent television programs five years ago:
"Look, at the end of the day innocent people - when we say 'innocent people' we mean Muslims - as far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God." [BBC HardTalk, 8 August 2005]
Speak clearly and articulately is what he does in the CNN clip below. The question is: is anyone listening? They should. We all should.

Given what we know about the devastation that the jihadists seek to bring upon the heads of most of us, it remains a source of painful astonishment that such men continue to thrive unhampered in the free and open societies that have extended welcoming arms to them. This speech, among many others like it, is a wake-up call.

No one should think, or say, that men like this vile practitioner of racism and of world-scale religious intolerance is a mainstream spokesman for Islam. Equally, no one should think that creatures like Choudary are entirely marginal to Islamic society, or that the vast differences between him and us are religious or doctrinal. Like Choudary, they are neither dreamers nor visionaries. Jihadist terrorists have action on their minds. If you look carefully you can see the evidence of their handiwork in the news every single day, with the certainty of much more (and worse) to come.

Monday, November 01, 2010

1-Nov-10: Firing terrorist rockets at Israelis: has Hamas changed its jihadist policy? You decide

Want to know how the terrorist organization Hamas views the firing of missiles into Israel?

Take your pick. Is this their policy?
Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar says Gaza militants who fire rockets at Israel violate an agreement among Palestinian factions not to do so and face possible arrest. Zahar's remarks published Saturday by the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat are among the clearest yet on the policy of Gaza's Hamas rulers toward rocket squads. Source: Associated Press Sunday 31-Oct-10
Or this?
"Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said that anyone who fires rockets from Gaza into Israel is a "rebel." In an interview with the Arabic language daily Al Hayat, quoted by Israel's Channel 10 Saturday, Zahar explained that Hamas vowed to adhere to a cease-fire agreement reached with Israel following Israel's assault on the Strip in late 2008."Did we agree to the truce in order to stick to it, or to violate it?," Zahar said. "Do they expect us to give a round of applause to people who rebel against their organization?" he asked, referring to so-called rebels firing rockets in violation of the truce." Source: Haaretz, Friday 30-Oct-10
Or this?
"Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar has dismissed indication by media reports of a change in the Islamic movement's stance toward anti-Israeli resistance. The London-based al-Hayat daily newspaper published an article, citing the Hamas leader as describing those launching rocket attacks against Israel as “mutineers against their own factions.” "First of all, I have not spoken at all to many newspapers recently. Secondly, during meetings over security arrangements, there has been reference to single cases within some factions," Ma'an news agency quoted Zahar as saying on Sunday. Our official stance is that any Israel incursion in any area will be dealt with as an incursion whether it is in the north, the south or the center," the Hamas official stated." Source: Iranian PressTV news service today
We'll stick with the Iranians. They have a proven, deeply intimate familiarity with the terrorist policies of the Hamas jihadists. We're concerned that people don't take the Iranian regime's threats and rantings seriously enough. Experience shows they should be very, very carefully heard.