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Archive for March 21st, 2008

Anti-Defamation League Director Takes on Walt & Mearsheimer in Michigan Daily Op-Ed

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

Anti-Defamation League Director Takes on Walt & Mearsheimer in Michigan Daily Op-Ed: “

Behind a mask, a dangerous theory

By: Abraham H. Foxman
Michigan Daily

Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with racist and extremist groups who engage in conspiracy theories about Jews. Accusing Jews of controlling America is stock-in-trade for groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations and the National Alliance.

We don’t underestimate the dangers from such groups. But as long as these theories remain in the domain of the extremists, we can contend with them because the haters have no credibility with the American people and our exposure of their views and intentions brings widespread condemnation of them.

It is quite another issue when conspiracy views about Jews come from the mainstream. There is a tendency by the public to give them much more of a hearing and, if the presenters are smart in how they go about their work, the whole enterprise can gain legitimacy.

That is why I was seriously concerned about the views of Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Prof. Stephen Walt of Harvard University, when they first published their paper, ‘The Israel Lobby’ in April 2006. Despite their respectability, their bias toward Israel and American Jews was transparent and their assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict over the years was completely flawed. For them, Israel is to blame for every event in the conflict. Far worse, they see control by the Israel lobby as the reason why America supports what they consider a wayward country to the detriment of American interests.

Unfortunately, there was little condemnation. Instead, we continually heard that Mearsheimer and Walt have made an important contribution to the discussion on U.S. Middle East policy, that they had spoken ‘truths’ that others had not said, and that this would be a welcome addition to curricula on campuses around the country.

I ultimately concluded that there was a need to provide students, journalists and the general public a more comprehensive and integrated perspective as to the dangers of their thesis.

I knew their thesis had to be debunked, so I set out to write a book that would do just that. My book, ‘The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control,’ was published in September 2007, the same time that Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, ‘The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,’ an expanded version of their article, appeared. I believe ‘The Deadliest Lies’ is a reasoned, temperate critique of dangerous works that masquerade themselves as legitimate criticism of Israel and American Jews.

While Mearsheimer and Walt toned down some of the more extreme statements from their original article about Jewish lobbying activities and intention – now insisting they never were questioning the right of Jews to lobby for Israel – their efforts to appear more innocuous are for naught. Their conclusion remains the same – Jewish people are responsible for all the ‘bad’ decisions of American Middle East policy.

Their claims include: The war in Iraq? It was American Jews who got us into it for the sake of Israel. Islamic extremism? It is the Jewish insistence on U.S. support for Israel that has brought us to this point. American public support for Israel? It is Jewish control and stifling of debate on campus, in the media and in Congress that misleads the public into support for Israel.

Rather than acknowledging that most Americans support Israel in its struggle against hostile Arab states and terrorist groups, and writing a book in an effort to change that public sentiment to their way of thinking, Mearsheimer and Walt insist that the playing field isn’t fair because of what they claim are the insidious efforts of the Jewish/Israel lobby to undermine the very democratic levers of power that could be used to effect such a change.

‘The Deadliest Lies’ provides the reader with the understanding and the arguments to make sure these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories will not take root in America.

Abraham H. Foxman is the national director of The Anti-Defamation League.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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Billions for terror flowing from South Americas notorious tri-border area

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

Billions for terror flowing from South America's notorious 'tri-border' area: “


The commander of the U.S. Southern Command said last week that there are serious and continuing concerns about illicit funding being generated for Hizbullah terrorist activity from South America.

Adm. James Stavridis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘members, facilitators and sympathizers of Islamic terrorist organizations are indeed present in our hemisphere.’


‘I continue to be concerned about the tri-border area,’ Stavridis said of the area

between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. ‘It is, in my view, principally Hizbullah activity. There is clearly fund-raising, money laundering, drug trafficking. And certainly a portion of the funds that are raised in that are making their way back to the Middle East.’

The Tri-Border Area (TBA), is bounded by Puerto Iguazu, Argentina; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

A U.S. Army report said the region ‘is an ideal breeding ground for terrorist groups.’

‘The TBA is a lawless area of illicit activities that generate billions of dollars annually in money laundering, arms and drug trafficking, counterfeiting, document falsification, and piracy,’ the report said.

‘The TBA offers terrorists potential financing; access to illegal weapons and advanced technologies; easy movement and concealment; and a sympathetic population from which to recruit new members and spread global messages. While the TBA is not currently the center of gravity in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), it has an important place in the strategy for combating terrorism.’

Stavridis said the U.S. military is working with nations in the region to deal with the terrorist threat, including military contacts and law enforcement efforts, including drug enforcement and countering funding raising.

The U.S. Southern Command is responsible for security in Latin America.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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CNN Spin for Obama

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

CNN Spin for Obama: “On Anderson Cooper’s CNN blog, Roland S. Martin spins out of control in an effort to help sweep up the mess left from pastorgate. He claims that Rev. Wright was only quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force. He is particularly claiming that the controversial sermon that the ‘chickens have come home to roost’ was a quote from Peck. He goes on to provide what I guess is supposed to be the quote in question. However, if you watch the very start of the video above, Wright says straight out who this particular quote comes from….Malcom X!

One of the most controversial statements in this sermon was when he mentioned ‘chickens coming home to roost.’ He was actually quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force, who was speaking on FOX News. That’s what he told the congregation.He was quoting Peck as saying that America’s foreign policy has put the nation in peril:‘We took this country by terror away from the Sioux, the Apache, Arikara, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Navajo. Terrorism.‘We took Africans away from their country to build our way of ease and kept them enslaved and living in fear. Terrorism.‘We bombed Grenada and killed innocent civilians, babies, non-military personnel.‘We bombed the black civilian community of Panama with stealth bombers and killed unarmed teenage and toddlers, pregnant mothers and hard working fathers.‘We bombed Qaddafi’s home, and killed his child. Blessed are they who bash your children’s head against the rock.‘We bombed Iraq. We killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed a plant in Sudan to pay back for the attack on our embassy, killed hundreds of hard working people, mothers and fathers who left home to go that day not knowing that they’d never get back home.‘We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye.‘Kids playing in the playground. Mothers picking up children after school. Civilians, not soldiers, people just trying to make it day by day.‘We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff that we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.‘Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y’all, not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people we have wounded don’t have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that.’

It is interesting that I didn’t see any quote at all in the above that says anything about ‘chickens coming home to roost.’Confederate Yankee fills us in on where the quote was more likely to have come from:

The most famous single citation of ‘The Chickens Coming Home to Roost’ was as an alternate title of the Malcolm X speech, God’s Judgement of White America, where X attributed the assassination death of John F. Kennedy to the historical evils of white America at that time.I suspect that is a far more likely source for Wright’s invocation of that particular phrase, especially when we consider the historical contexts of both Wright’s speech after 9/11, and X’s speech after Kennedy was killed.At best, Jeremiah Wright credits here a ‘A white ambassador’ for saying ‘Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism.’There is no support provided by Martin for the claim that Peck said anything about ‘chickens coming home to roost,’ or any of the rest of what he cited.

A small excerpt from Ace’s rant:

So, CNN: He was just quoting Peck, huh? Just putting Peck’s quote into ‘context’?Gee, funny how such a key quote — the one you claim lets Wright off the hook — is entirely absent from your lying article.

More from Confederate Yankee:

Wright does indeed invoke Peck, and in particular, where Peck invokes the specific Malcolm X speech cited above.In short, Martin is being duplicitous when he claims that Wright was citing Peck, he was instead citing Malcom X through Peck.

In the long run it doesn’t really matter who Wright was quoting. He spoke it and believed it. The only reason it matters is another example of dishonesty and bias in the MSM. Its an obvious spin.

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Why is it so hard to respect the intellectualized jihadis?

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

Why is it so hard to respect the intellectualized jihadis?: “

Recently Wafa Sultan was invited to appear on Al Jazzeera, AGAIN. She must be made of more patient stuff than I.

wafa_new_1.jpgShe appeared clearly in opposition to both the ‘neutral’ moderator, and some utter fool named Tal’at Rmeih.
I hope we see this yutz again.

What arguments did this fine intellectual marshall against the hideous west?

‘There is a gang that controls [the West], and you are not allowed to criticize Israel or the Holocaust. Anyone who criticized the Holocaust was placed on trial. Noam Chomsky wrote one line about the Holocaust in a book, and the book was recalled from the market. Bernard Lewis – that great philosopher – said something about the Holocaust and was placed on trial.’

Wafa beatifically replied in that oh so viciously demeaning beauty she has. I love to see her face light up with the inner glow of knowledge that she faces a cerebral BUG with no facts.

Of course, Rmeih must be referring to the Chomsky book dedication to Faurisson’s Holocaust Denial book. The book was certainly NOT recalled. Anyone who criticized….CRITICIZED, as in , ‘too bad he didn’t finish the job’ ? Bernard Lewis was placed on trial?
How can you even begin to have a discussion about reality?

‘How come freedom of expression in the West is sacred only when it comes to degrading the Muslims? Are they allowed to talk about the Holocaust? Are they allowed to talk about Christianity? That is the question. Cinemas were burned down in the West when they talked about Christ.’

I don’t recall any of this, even when Christ was represented in piss, and his mother in feces.

But now, of course, a cartoon….well that’s worth burning down cinemas
And of course we can never ignore the piece de la resistance of all jihadi research…

Moderator: ‘Do you dare to say that the number of people who died in the Jewish Holocaust is even one less [than what they claim]? Do you dare to say that? Why don’t you dare to even touch on Jewish history – let alone on Jewish religion and sanctities?

Wafa Sultan: ‘Why do you want me to deny historical documents that confirm that the Holocaust took place? If there was no proof, I would deny it. But I cannot deny history, knowledge, and documents confirming that the Holocaust indeed took place. Why do you want me to deny the facts?’

Moderator: ‘From what she says, it is clear that she has no problem denying the holy books, but she is adamant about not denying historical documents.’

Wafa Sultan: ‘Can you as a Muslim deny the massacre of the Jews of the Bani Qureyza tribe, by Muhammad and his followers?’

And then, just like we would expect from a true neutral presenter…

Moderator: ‘Have you forgotten that the country in which you live destroyed Iraq in its entirety, killing 1.5 million Iraqis and driving five million out of their homes?’

See it all.
Is there a use to exchanging views when such blatant lies are spewed as facts?

Only today I received this:

Full of propaganda against the islamic republic. The one who is sponsoring terrorism is America US and Israel. Alqaida and Ben LAden are their agents. U guys are trying to corrupt peoples mind??? Iran is a anti-terrorist country!!! What is CIA?? FBI ? Theese are terrorist organistaions!!! The whole 11 september US attacks where planned by them, and now trying to corrupt people’s mind by saying that these are the muslims!!!!! Forget about it!! How stupid u are!!! Some people are worst than the animals and those people are people like you!!! Only because media is in your hand !!

This kind of email is the result of the blatant lies promulgated among children by such men. What hope is there to avoid massive conflict in the result?

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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Obama And La Raza

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

Obama And La Raza: “La Raza is a racist Hispanic organization which preaches that white people are inferior and that the United States government needs to be overthrown. Barack Obama deems such an organization worthy of his big tent.


July 23, 2007 , talking change at Obama at National Council of La Raza.

We know so little of the Senator who shot from obscurity to political stardom with his message of ‘national unity’. Yet, the more we know, the more we recoil at the thought that a man who stands with the fifth column in this country might very well inhabit the White House.
Add to the recent revelations of dangerous liaisons, La Raza.

If it is not clear, let me state the obvious. This man is tied to the darkest, subversive elements in American society. Organizations that not only hate America, but in the case of Las Raza, wish to overthrow American sovereignty.

Exposed over at Creeping Sharia:

Barack Obama denied, again, that he was present last July 22nd when his pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preached hatred of white America, and the Obama campaign claimed he couldn’t have been in Chicago because he made a speech in Miami that same afternoon.

Indeed he did, a speech to La Raza (The Race) – see the meeting agenda here, and video here. ‘La Raza has always represented that kind of change,’ stated Obama.

What kind of change is Obama thinking of?

What kind of change does La Raza represent? Check out the La Raza videos here and all over utube, and a report here. More anti-white, anti-American themes that Obama seems to secretly embrace. La Raza even claims an affinity with Palestine – photo above and La Raza as Palestinians here. Sound like a Mexican CAIR, yeah?

La Raza is a member of MEChA is an Hispanic separatist organization that encourages anti-American activities and civil disobedience whose members romanticize Mexican claims to the ‘lost Territories’ of the Southwestern United States — a Chicano country called Aztlan. In its national constitution, MEChA calls for self-determination by its members to liberate Aztlan.

Go read the rest at Atlas Shrugs.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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HOprah Watch: Daytime Queen is Tough on Christian Polygamy; Muslim Polygamy–Not So Much

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

HOprah Watch: Daytime Queen is Tough on Christian Polygamy; Muslim Polygamy–Not So Much: “

By Debbie Schlussel

Like most normal people, I’m an opponent of polygamy.

But, as I’ve written before, the media in this country, have an incongruous concern and obsession with Christian polygamy (mostly radical offshoots from Mormonism, which long ago outlawed polygamy), while they think Muslim polygamy is just fine–Al-Grrrl Power. We all know about the HBO show ‘Big Love.’ But there’s no show about ‘Big Jihadi Baby Machine Non-Love.’

Today on Oprah, HRHSBotU [Her Royal Highness Supreme Being of the Universe] Oprah and her pro-HAMAS reporterette, Lisa Ling, spent the whole hour on the horrors of Christian polygamy. Ling said, ‘I really felt like we were in Iran.’ But we heard not a peep about Iran or the rest of the Muslim world, where polygamy and temporary marriages to women for the purpose of sex are commonplace.

Islamofascist Oprah by Preston Taylor Holmes/Six Meat Buffet

Nope. Instead, we heard Oprah tell a Christian man who has three wives that people are upset by this because of the allegations of underage marriage, child abuse, and forced marriage.

Um, are these not symptoms of Muslim polygamy (and even Muslim monagamy)? They are, indeed, and I’ve written about all of them.

How many Christians are in polygamous marriages versus millions of Muslims in such relationship, worldwide?

The Oprah episode was deceptively titled, ‘Polygamy in America.’ But there’s plenty of polygamy by Muslims in America, and yet, we didn’t see anything about the multiple wives of men in Dearborn, Minneapolis, etc. Last time I checked those were part of America, er . . . supposed to be part of America.

Why aren’t the latter ridiculed and excoriated by Oprah and Lisa Ling?

We know why: Because, as I’ve documented extensively, Oprah is a vital part of the pan-Islamist propaganda machine.

But this should be instructive to you about Oprah. She holds out this very minor segment of Christianity out to the world (her show airs globally, including in Saudi Arabia) as representative of American Christianity, when we all know that there is only one religion where polygamy is representative.

Hint: It starts with an I, ends with an M, and has an S-L-A in the middle.

When will we see an Oprah show dedicated to the evils of Islamic polygamy?

Oh, yeah . . . NEVER.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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The Myth of Fatah Secularism

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

The Myth of Fatah Secularism: “One of the aspects of Fatah that fools people into believing that it is ‘moderate’ is the belief that, unlike Hamas who wants Islamic law to rule over western society, Fatah only cares about having a ‘little plot of land to build a few little white houses with white picket fences.’ This basic belief about the Abbas ruled group patently false. Blinded by its desire for peace, the US, Europe, and Israel ignore all of the obvious signs that prove that Fatah is a radical, Islamic, terrorist organization:

Fatah’s Embrace of Islamism

by Ido Zelkovitz
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2008, pp. 19-26

Many U.S. and European diplomats contrast Fatah’s Palestinian nationalism with Hamas’s Islamism. At a November 28, 2007 press conference, U.S. national security advisor Stephen Hadley praised Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and cited President George W. Bush’s argument that ‘Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda [are] different faces of the same evil: a radical ideology seeking to impose its world-view throughout the Middle East and beyond.’[1] But, while Fatah, the core of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), may have its roots in the revolutionary, secular-oriented ideologies of the 1960s and 1970s,[2] Islamist discourse is also integral to the movement.[3] Indeed, even as Western diplomats seek to bolster Fatah’s Abbas as an alternative to Hamas, they underestimate the degree to which Palestinian nationalism now intertwines itself with Islam.[4] Since the 2000 Palestinian uprising, Fatah has fused national and religious symbols in order to use Islam as an instrument of mobilization.[5]

Fatah Imagery in the Twentieth Century

In the 1970s, Fatah graphic art promoted the culture of armed struggle which was at the heart of Fatah’s ideology. (See Figure 1.) This enabled Fatah to mobilize the masses in the absence of a solid ideology among the divided and faction-ridden Palestinian society. Its imagery and texts sanctified violent struggle as the miracle cure for Palestinian problems. From the everyday struggle, they believed, would grow the formulas and theories for their ideology in the future.[6]

Figure 1: Armed struggle graphic art in 1970s spirit with the slogan: ‘Victory is ours.’

Before the outbreak of the second intifada, a Palestinian public opinion survey (conducted between November 1997 and March 1999) revealed that 87.6 percent of Fatah supporters believed Islam should play a major role in the future life of Palestinian society, and 80 percent said that any future Palestinian state should be run according to Islamic law.[7]

Fatah was the dominant political movement in the West Bank and Gaza from the Oslo-sanctioned return of PLO leader Yasir Arafat in 1994 until at least 2000. In September 2000, the Palestinians launched an uprising and unleashed a wave of terrorist attacks, which they named the ‘Al-Aqsa’ intifada. Fatah re-branded its armed wing—previously known as the Storm, Al-‘Asifa[8]—calling it Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a name chosen to bolster both Palestinian claims to Jerusalem and Fatah’s religious claims. In one of the brigades’ earliest proclamations, its members said they fought for independence, and national and religious values.[9]

Previously, Palestinian figures embraced the sectarian diversity of Palestinian Arabs, especially for the Western audience. For example, in a London press conference, Yasir Arafat said that ‘according to our religiousness, Christians should be mentioned before the Muslims,’ which was in the context of the suffering of the Palestinian people as a result of the intifada.[10] But today Palestinian society emphasizes Muslim supremacy. Fatah expresses its new Islamist discourse not only in educational and cultural terms but also in its embrace of suicide bombing—’self-martyrdom’ (istishad)—as a tactic.

Fatah infused its icons with religious imagery in support of its fighters and suicide bombers. A proclamation in memory of Suhail ‘Ali Bakr, an Al-Aqsa member responsible for producing and launching rockets and killed in a February 7, 2007 Israeli air strike, combined the traditional colors of the Islamic jihad flag with the black-and-white checkered headscarf (kaffiyeh), long the symbol of the Fatah movement. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2: Proclamation in memory of Suhail ‘Ali Bakr.

Fatah has embraced Islamist discourse for several reasons. First, competition with Hamas led its leaders to invoke Islam as a way to create a system of symbols and images that, combined with the national struggle, would fuse past and present and pave the way to an ideal future.

In the mid-1980s, Fatah established satellite groups with an Islamic appearance in response to the activities of Islamic Jihad.[11] Then, as Hamas became a competitor in the run-up to and after the outbreak of the second intifada, Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades printed a Qur’anic verse on their banner that read, ‘Fight against them! God will chastise them by your hands, and will bring disgrace upon them, and will succor you against them; and He will soothe the bosoms of those who believe.’[12] It is no coincidence that Hamas used the same verse on its proclamations during the first intifada.[13]

Even Arafat embraced religious reference. Arafat often used the language of the Qur’an to mobilize the Palestinians,[14] especially during times of war. For example, on July 22, 1981,[15].’[16] Arafat then cites the Qu’ran to promise the afterlife to those who fight for God and Palestine: in the months before the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Arafat told his followers, ‘Permission (to fight) is granted to those who are being persecuted, since injustice has befallen them, and God is certainly able to support them. They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, ‘Our lord is Allah

God has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of God, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur’an—and who fulfills His pledge better than God? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.[17]

In response to allegations that the Israeli army planned to deport him from the West Bank and Gaza, in 2002, he said, ‘They will not take me captive or prisoner, or expel [me], but as a martyr, martyr, martyr. O God, give me martyrdom.’ He then quoted the Prophet Muhammad:

There still exists a group in my nation that preserves its religion, vanquishes its enemy, and is not harmed by any one who attacks it, and its people are the victors, due to God’s strength. It was said [to the Prophet Muhammad], ‘O Messenger of God, where are they and who are [these people]?’ The Prophet answered: ‘They are in Jerusalem and its surroundings, and they are at the forefront until Judgment Day.’[18]

In many ways, Arafat paved the way for the growth of Islamism within Fatah.

Second, given Israel’s military dominance, Fatah may have embraced Islamism to counterbalance its technological weakness. Faith can be a useful counterweight to science and technology. During the Iran-Iraq war and in subsequent Arab suicide bombing campaigns, Islam provided the motivation for young fighters to confront technologically superior enemies, which conventional forces usually refrain from fighting.

Third, Islam may have provided a useful glue to overcome factionalization within Fatah. The second intifada left Fatah beset by internal divisions and rivalries. The clan and sub-clan nature of Palestinian-Arab society compounded the problem.[19] Arafat empowered the biggest clans and extended families as a counterweight to the rising, young, local leadership from the ‘new middle class.’[20] Bodies which rely on a sub-national identity in the broader framework of a national movement need an additional element to broaden their power base. Islam provided a useful mechanism by which to hold the clans together.

Islam also provided Fatah a much-needed makeover. Implanted as a political entity in the West Bank and Gaza after the 1993 Oslo accords, by 2000, Fatah was associated with corruption in the minds of many Palestinians.[21] An Islamist patina enabled Fatah to create an image of incorruptibility, purity, and devotion to jihad.

The Oslo process enabled the Palestinian Authority to develop a formal armed force. Arafat built ten separate security apparatuses, each headed by loyalists.[22] For example, Amin al-Hindi led General Intelligence, and Faisal Abu Sharkh led Presidential Security.[23]

On September 28, 2000, followers of Marwan Barghouti, a West Bank Fatah leader convicted on May 20, 2004, of five counts of murder, formed the core of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.[24] The brigades’ operations are decentralized, in part because of the tension between the young guard, born in the West Bank and Gaza, and Fatah’s old guard, who spent most of their lives overseas.[25] Islam provided a bond to hold the factions together and, unlike Palestinian nationalism, also allowed the group to establish links to non-Palestinian movements under the banner of Islamic solidarity. Zakaria Zubaydi, the chief commander of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the Jenin area, for example, said that his group receives funds from Hezbollah.[26]

Fatah Factions Discover Islam

The change in the discourse can be seen in the case of the Fatah Hawks who, during the first intifada, both spearheaded the Fatah fight against Israel in the Gaza Strip and fought against Hamas activists. The Hawks, who had earlier represented themselves as a national element fighting against the extreme Islamist movement,[27] today boast that, upon ‘God’s great name,’ they ‘will protect the beautiful Islamic land of Palestine.’[28]

Hawks’ communiqués abound in Islamic discourse. Reference to ‘pure soil’ is also a frequent motif in Hawks’ statements as the group seeks to claim the land of Israel as exclusive Muslim property. Their statements often speak about ‘the Arabic and Islamic people,’ tying Fatah to a struggle greater than just Gaza and the West Bank.[29]

Visual material about the Hawks also testifies to the importance of Islam in their ethos. The profession of faith and the cry of ‘God is Great,’ both of which fighters recite on their way to jihad, appear on their flag. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3: A Fatah gunman in front of a banner including the Hawks’ symbol and the Muslim profession of faith.

On their shield, the Hawks also use visuals, such as the Dome of the Rock, which reflect Palestinian folklore as national symbols. From the dome arises a map of Palestine, incorporating all of Israel and colored green to represent Islam. (See Figure 4.) That the map rises from the dome suggests a reference to Muhammad’s nocturnal ascent to heaven. While the Qur’an does not mention Jerusalem, and the Arabs built Al-Aqsa mosque more than fifty years after Muhammad’s death,[30] Muslims commonly consider it the site of Muhammad’s night journey to heaven. Above the image is a Qur’anic verse, ‘When God’s Succor Comes, and Victory.’[31] The Arabic term nasr, which appears at the pinnacle of the Fatah shield, has two meanings: ‘salvation’ and ‘victory.’ Fatah seeks to intertwine the two even further with its slogan, ‘Revolution until Victory’ (thawra hata’ an-nasr).

Figure 4: The Fatah Hawks’ symbol.

The Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish Brigades, a Fatah faction centered in the Khan Yunis and Rafah areas, also accord Islam a central role. The brigades acknowledge a close relationship with Hamas based both on shared religious principles and on having fought together ‘in the trenches against the enemies of the motherland and religion.’[32] On their Internet site, they call themselves Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), an expression that refers to the companions of Muhammad in Medina.[33]

The Abu’r-Rish Brigades declare their aims to be not only the liberation of Palestine but also exaltation of God and flying the flag of Islam. They explain, ‘We believe that Allah is God, and Islam is our faith, for the Prophet is a model and teacher for us, for our way is the way of the jihad for the sake of Allah.’[34] This slogan, which mirrors one used by the Muslim Brotherhood, is now a staple of Fatah demonstrations in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.[35] They also use the Arabic hijra calendar.

On an earlier home page, the brigades appealed to religious emotion, portraying the Qur’an and the Dome of the Rock on a green background. This page was shut down by the Canadian government in mid-2006 after a Canadian court accused the Abu’r-Rish Brigades of terrorism.[36] Like their mother organization, the Fatah Hawks, they created a motif of a map of undivided Palestine in green above the Dome of the Rock, denoting the whole of Palestine as a waqf, or religious endowment. Crossed Kalashnikov rifles signify fulfillment of the goal of liberating the land through jihad—through armed struggle against the Israeli presence. The Abu’r-Rish Brigades forbid any Western solution involving compromise with Israel. They mix classical Fatah discourse describing Israel as a branch of Western imperialism[37] with Islamic terminology and suggest jihad to be the only solution to the Palestinian question.[38] This policy is reflected in the Qur’anic quotes: ‘O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other.’[39] By this quote they portray themselves as a nationalist-Islamic force that stands against the ‘imperialist-infidel’ conspiracy to divide Palestine.

The Clear Victory Brigades, whose name in Arabic derives from the Qur’an,[40] call for the continuation of the struggle by means of the word and the rifle and seek both moral reckoning and the preservation of social values now in decline.[41] The use of names indicating the Islamic roots of Fatah falls into a pattern reminiscent of the first intifada when the political struggle between Fatah and Hamas was expressed in part through Fatah graffiti bearing a religious complexion: ‘Allah is my Lord; Islam is my faith; the Qur’an is my book; to the Ka‘ba, I turn in prayer; Muhammad is my prophet; Fatah is my movement,’ or ‘There is no god but Allah—thus we have always believed (Fatah, Nablus),’ and ‘Fatah everywhere—even in the Qur’an.’[42]

The Holy Warriors Brigade, active in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, was created from within Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades after the death of Jihad ‘Amarin, one of the founders of the brigades in the Gaza Strip. Abu al-Sheikh, one of its activists, said the name symbolizes ‘those who stand for the Islamic ideal within Fatah, which is a movement with a variety of modes of action (ijtihadat). We have no connection with any other movement, despite our good relations with the other Palestinian organizations.’[43] (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5: Poster of Muhammad Abu Shari‘a, from the Holy Warriors Brigade.

The Pioneers of the Army of the People—The Brigade of the Return—is another clear example of the mixing of religious and national symbols. Its banner also features a green map of repartition Palestine and an image of the Dome of the Rock with crossed rifle-barrels. Accompanying the banner is the Qur’anic verse, ‘Kill those who fight you everywhere.’[44] Its members devote themselves to liberation of land ‘completely under the aegis of God and in the fulfillment of His commandments.’[45]

The picture of an activist of the faction sitting on what appears to be a rostrum reflects the depth of the blending of the symbols (see Figure 6): Behind the activist hangs a Palestinian flag decorated with the Muslim profession of faith, next to which is the logo of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. A Pioneers of the Army of the People flag covers the table. The activist himself chose to be photographed reading the Qur’an with weapons placed beside him.

Figure 6: Image from the group Pioneers of the Army of the People, The Brigade of the Return.

Despite their internecine struggles for prestige, all of these Fatah factions duplicate certain symbols: the Dome of the Rock and a green map of Palestine. Quotations from the Qur’an cement the link between religion and Palestinian nationalism. Yunus Karim, a senior Fatah member imprisoned in Israel for twenty-five years for the murder of an Israeli soldier, complained that the new generation of Fatah fighters know about jihad but only learn about Fatah’s philosophy when in prison.[46]


Fatah imagery chronicles the Islamization of the movement. In the 1970s, Fatah graphic art dedicated itself to promoting the culture of armed struggle, which, at the time, was the heart of the movement’s ideology.

Today, the gap between Fatah and Hamas in terms of the role of Islam has narrowed. Fatah is more likely to see Islam as one component of national identity while Hamas preaches the primacy of Islamic identity,[47] but both agree that Palestinian society should be Islamist. Fatah leaders may try to keep their movement distinct, not by reversion to its secular past, but rather by arguing that its version of Islam is less extreme than that of Hamas.[48] It is not a coincidence that Fatah organized mass prayers in public areas in the Gaza Strip to protest against Hamas policies.[49]

Fatah’s loss to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary elections, though, forced it to externalize its Islamism. This may further a trend within the West Bank and Gaza—as well as, perhaps, in Jordan—toward Islamist radicalism.

It is no surprise that Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently attended Friday prayers at his Muqata‘a mosque, accompanied by the political leadership of Hamas in the West Bank.[50] To preserve his legitimacy, as well as national unity among Palestinians, Abbas must strengthen the Islamic elements in his political behavior. Fatah has deepened its own Islamic terminology and now preaches on the importance of prayer and faith in God during training and indoctrination of its new members.[51] Fatah has also started a propaganda campaign accusing Hamas of being a servant of Iranian interests and Shi‘i supporters,[52] thereby using Islam to criticize its rival.

Fatah’s new religiosity cannot easily be undone. It is ironic that while many Western diplomats now turn to Fatah as an alternative to Hamas’s Islamism, the real Fatah is much closer to Hamas while the secular Fatah now appears to be a relic of the past.

Ido Zelkovitz is a Ph.D. candidate in Middle Eastern History at Haifa University.

[1] Stephen Hadley, remarks at Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C., Nov. 28, 2007.
[2] Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), p. 91.
[3] Rafiq Shakir an-Natsha, Al-Islam wa-Filastin (Beirut: Manshurat Filastin al-Muhtalla, 1981), p. 17.
[4] Nels Johnson, Islam and the Politics of Meaning in Palestinian Nationalism (London: Kegan Paul International, 1982), pp. 65-6, 77-86; Saqr Abu Fakhr, Al-Haraka al-Wataniya al-Filastiniya: Min an-Nidal al-Musallah ila Dawlat Manzu’at as-Silah (Beirut: Mu’assasa al-‘Arabiya li’d-Dirasat wa’n-Nashr, 2003), pp. 26-9.
[5] Emanuel Sivan, Hitnagshut be-Tokh ha-Islam (Tel Aviv: ‘Am ‘Oved, 2005), pp. 190-2 .
[6] Fawaz Turki, Soul in Exile: Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1988), p. 53.
[7] ‘Political Beliefs and Preferences of People Who Trust Fatah and People Who Trust Leftist Factions,’ Analysis of Palestinian Public Opinion on Politics, Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, Sept. 2000, p. 35.
[8] Kata’ib Shuhada’ al-Aqsa,Kilmat alKata’ib—Min Al-‘Asifa ila Kata’ib Shuhada’ al-Aqsa,’ accessed Nov. 21, 2007.
[9] Kata’ib Shuhada’ al-Aqsa, ‘‘An al-Kata’ib,’ Sept. 21, 2005.
[10] Tony Blair and Yasir Arafat, news conference, Prime Minister’s Office, Oct. 15, 2001.
[11] Ronni Shaked and Avivah Shabi, Hamas: Me-emunah be-Allah le-derekh ha teror), pp. 204-6; Meir Hatina, Islam and Salvation in Palestine (Tel Aviv: Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University, 2001), p. 69.
[12] Qur. 9:14.
[13] See Hamas proclamations, nos. 3, 5, and 7, in Shaul Mishal and Reuven Aharoni, eds., Avanim zeh lo ha-kol: ha-Intifadah ṿe-nesheḳ ha-keruzim (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuhad and Avivim, 1989), pp. 202-13.
[14] Hillel Frish, ‘Nationalizing a Universal Text: The Quran in Arafat’s Rhetoric,’ Middle Eastern Studies, May 2005, pp. 322-5.
[15] Munazzamat at-Tahrir al-Filastiniyya, Rasail al-Akh Abu A’mmar Ra’is al-Lijna at-Tanfidhia li-Munazzamat at-Tahrir al-Filastini—Al-Qa’id al-‘Amm li-Quwwat ath-Thawra al-Filastinyya ila Abtal al-Quwwat al-Mushtarika wa-Jamahir ash-Sha‘bayn al-Lubnani wa’l Filastini fi’l-Harb as-Sadisa, Wathiqa 1-2-3-4-5 (n.p., n.d.), pp. 23-40.
[16] Qur. 22:39-40.
[17] Qur. 60:111.
[18] Al-Hayat (London), Oct. 5, 2002, in Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch Series, no. 428, Oct. 11, 2002.
[19] Ephraim Lavi, ‘Zehoyot Kibotziot Mitharot be-He’ader Medina Leomit,’ paper delivered at ‘The Solidarity of the Arab State—Is It in Decline?’ conference, Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University, Mar. 21, 2006.
[20] Michael Milstein, Fatah ve-Hareshot Hafalastinit Bein Mahapekha le-Medine (Tel Aviv: Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University, 2004), p. 57.
[21] Fabio Forgione, ‘The Chaos of the Corruption: The Challenges for the Improvement of the Palestinian Society,’ The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group Report, Jerusalem, Oct. 2004.
[22] Gal Luft, ‘The Palestinian Security Services: Between Police and Army,’ Middle East Review of International Affairs, June 1999.
[23] Nigel Parsons, The Politics of the Palestinian Authority: From Oslo to Al-Aqsa (New York: Routledge, 2005), p. 154.
[24] Medinat Israel Neged Maerwan Iben Hatib Barghuthi (The state of Israel vs. Maerwan Iben Hatib Barghuthi), file no 1158/02, Beit Ha-Mishpat Ha-Mehozi Be-Tel Aviv, May 20, 2004.
[25] Anat N. Kurtz, Fatah and the Politics of Violence: The Institutionalization of a Popular Struggle (Eastbourne, U.K.: Sussex Academic Press, 2005), p. 140.
[26] Ar-Ra’y al-‘Amm (Kuwait), Mar. 6, 2004.
[27] Rema Hammami, ‘From Immodesty to Collaboration: Hamas, the Women’s Movement, and National Identity in the Intifada,’ in Joel Beinin and Joe Stork, eds., Political Islam: Essays from Middle East Report (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 204-6.
[28] Sukur al-Fatah, ‘Ashat Dhikra al-Marid al-Fathawa’i, Jan. 1, 2005.
[29] Hatina, Islam and Salvation in Palestine, p. 66.
[30] Daniel Pipes, ‘The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem,’ Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2001, pp. 49-66.
[31] Qur. 110:1.
[32] Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish, Hawla Mushkilat Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish ma‘a Hamas (n.p.: Rabi’a al-Thani 4, 1426 A.H., May, 13, 2005).
[33] Sivan, Hitnagshut be-tokh Ha-Islam, pp. 190-2.
[34] Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish, ‘Min Nahnu-Nibadha Muhtasara,’ accessed Nov. 15, 2007.
[35]Masirat Fatah fi Mukhaym al-Bureij,’ Sept. 20, 2007.
[36] Yusuf Sadik, ‘Kanada Taharib Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish,’ accessed Nov 28, 2007; Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish, ‘Iftitah al-Maktab al- I‘alami li- Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish Ba‘d Ighlaqahu mi qabal Jihat Sahyuniya-Kanadiya,’ Mar. 13, 2007.
[37] Fatah, ‘An-Nizam al-Assasi,’ Fatah Basic Order, first part, articles 7-8, accessed Nov. 12, 2007.
[38] Kata’ib ash-Shahid Ahmad Abu’r-Rish, ‘Min Nahnu-Nibadha Muhtasara,’ accessed Nov. 15, 2007.
[39] Qur. 5:51-52.
[40] Qur. 48:2.
[41] ‘Kata’ib Fatah al-Mubin,’ n.p., 2005.
[42] Tariq Ibrahim and Muhammad Ibrahim, Sha‘rat al-Intifada (London: Filastin al-Muslima, 1994), pp. 265, 367-6.
[43] ‘Abu ash-Shaykh: ‘Afkhar inani Ibn li-hadha al‘A’ila wa-Fakdan ithnayn min ashiqqa’i la Yuharabuni’,’ accessed Mar. 12, 2006.
[44] Qur. 2:192.
[45] Kata’ib Shuhada’ al-Aqsa, ‘Bayan Na‘i min Kata’ib Shuhada’ al-Aqsa wa- Talai‘ al-Jaysh ash-Sha‘bi- Kata’ib al-A‘wda: Al-Ab al-Qa’id Yasir A‘rafat fi Dhimmat Allah,’ Nov. 11, 2004.
[46] Yunus Karim, interview on Israeli Channel One, May 18, 2005.
[47] Lavi, ‘Zehoyot Kibotziot Mitharot be-He’ader Medina Leomit.’
[48] Bakr Abu Bakr, Harakat Fath wa’t-Tanzim Allathi Nurid (Ramallah: ‘Anah li’t-Taba‘a wa’n-Nashr, 2003), p. 165.
[49] Al-Ta’amim (Fatah periodical, Ramallah), Aug. 2007.
[50] Al-Ayyam (Ramallah), Nov. 3, 2007.
[51] Bakr abu-Bakr, ‘Qiyam as-Sala wa-ikhtirak al-Gudur,’ accessed July 11, 2007.
[52] Fatah- al-I’alam al-Markazi, ‘M’ashal: Hamas al-ibn ar-ruhi lil-Imam Khumayni‘ (M’ashal: Hamas is the spiritual son of Imam Khomeini), accessed Aug. 21, 2007.
(Jerusalem: Keter, 1994

(Via YID With LID.)

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FBI Agents Being Trained By…CAIR?

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

FBI Agents Being Trained By…CAIR?: ”


An American Muslim group identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal terrorism case is being used by the FBI to train its agents about Islam.

The FBI declined to respond to Insight’s questions about this seeming disconnect, as one of the pre-eminent anti-terrorist research centers in America is set to release an extensive report on the same prominent U.S. Muslim group, accusing the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of being a foe, rather than an ally, in the war on terror.

The 10-part report on CAIR from The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), led by Steven Emerson, debuts March 24. It tells the story of a group formed in the early 1990s to push an agenda of radical Islamists in the Middle East by portraying the war on terror as a war on Islam, and by defending those arrested on terror charges.

‘After a careful review of the history, activities, statements, and causes of and by CAIR, it seems that its primary goals are to silence and de-legitimize its critics and redefine what it means to be a moderate Muslim,’ says the IPT report, a copy of which was obtained by Insight. ‘And when it comes to U.S. efforts to crack down on terrorists and their financiers, CAIR takes an almost visceral stand in opposition.’

‘CAIR consistently deceives the American public, law enforcement and politicians, portraying itself as a moderate and independent organization,’ Emerson said to Insight. ‘But its own records, statements and other documents tell a different story which the public deserves to know.’

CAIR vigorously rebuts IPT’s allegations, which include the charge that it is a front for Hamas, a Palestinian militia designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government.

‘Steven Emerson’s allegations are utterly false,’ CAIR spokesman Ahmed Rehab told Insight. ‘CAIR is not a front for Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other foreign group, nor has it ever been. CAIR is an independent American institution, established by Americans for the purpose of defending the civil rights of American Muslims and advocating fair and square on their legitimate concerns and interests. CAIR is committed to non-violent advocacy for justice and equality. CAIR unequivocally condemns all acts of violence against civilians by any individual, group or state.’

Rehab called Emerson part of a group of ‘Islamophobic pundits.’

The assessment of IPT, and other critics, comes as CAIR has grown to become the most influential Muslim organization in America, with over 30 chapters and offices nationwide and in Canada. It has waged an aggressive public relations campaign to depict itself as a civil rights champion. Its representatives make regular media appearances, commenting on the war on terror. At the same time, CAIR has formed alliances with private and government organizations to teach them about Islam.

CAIR’s website states it is a ‘Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. CAIR’s vision is to promote justice and mutual understanding.’

But the IPT, government documents and people interviewed by Insight paint a different picture. Rather than being strictly a civil rights group, CAIR is a staunch defender of alleged terrorists nabbed in the U.S., a persistent critic of the war on terror and an unindicted co-conspirator with a foundation the government says funds terrorism.

‘CAIR was designed to give a political cover and political front for Hamas in the United States and then it branched out to do other things,’ said Emerson. ‘Its raison d’etre is really to influence policy on the Middle East and lobby for Hamas. They are the political lobbying arm for Hamas.’

Critics point to how CAIR was born. Its primary founders in 1994, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, held senior positions in a group called the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The U.S. government has branded that group as a front for Hamas. It has documented IAP meetings in which speakers urged the killing of Jews. IAP provided seed money to CAIR.

Hamas vows to destroy Israel and claim its territory. Hamas, an acronym for The Islamic Resistance Movement, has been involved in countless clashes with Israel, killing innocent Israeli civilians in the process. The group won last year’s legislative elections in the Palestinian territories. It then claimed the Gaza Strip in a bloody civil war and began launching scores of rockets at various Israeli targets. It dispatched a gunman to kill Israeli religious students in Jerusalem earlier this month.

‘A long history of suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets has earned Hamas a well-deserved reputation as a murderous terrorist organization,’ says the left-leaning Center for Defense Information in Washington.

When the State Department created its first list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1995, Hamas was in the report, and has remained in each update.

The most damaging charges against CAIR have emerged in recent months in the federal government’s criminal case against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation. The Justice Department says Holy Land is a front for raising money for Islamic radicals–and that CAIR is a conspirator. The first criminal trial last summer ended in a mistrial. A new trial is scheduled for August.

Critics say the Holy Land prosecution confirmed their concerns about CAIR, as prosecutors unveiled documents that showed Holy Land’s ties to Hamas–and to CAIR. Prosecutors also produced the fruits of FBI surveillance of various American Muslims in an overall government effort to stop the financing of terrorist cells abroad.

Read the full article at Insight here.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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Rev. Wright on the “State” of Israel

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

More of my post on Obama  

Rev. Wright on the “State” of Israel: “Hmmm…why put the word STATE in quotation marks? Click on the letter to enlarge:

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The Death of Western Civilization

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

I think Islam is the gun and progressives are the trigger. I believe in classical liberalism but I think the artist was thinking of the new progressive liberalism.

The Death of Western Civilization: “


(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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Iran Gives Syria $1 Billion For Missiles To Strike Israel

Posted by avideditor on March 21, 2008

Iran Gives Syria $1 Billion For Missiles To Strike Israel: “



Haaretz has meanwhile learned that Iran has provided Syria with more than $1 billion for arms purchases, reflecting Syria’s drive to build up its military power in the last year, as well as the strengthening of ties between the two countries.

The $1 billion that Iran has recently provided Syria has been used to buy surface-to-surface missiles, rockets, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft systems.

Israel has learned that Syria is buying more missiles than tanks, on the assumption that attacking the Israeli home front would deter Israel on the one hand, and help to determine the war on the other.

A government official said this week that Iran was making huge efforts to upgrade the Syrian army. He said the close relations between Iran and Syria could make it difficult for Syria to sever its strategic alliance with Iran.

The London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported in July 2007, during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Damascus, that he promised his counterpart Bashar Assad that Iran would finance Russian and North Korean weapon deals for $1 billion. In exchange, Syria reportedly undertook not to proceed with the peace process with Israel.

Intelligence officials presented different opinions on the Syrian-Iranian alliance at the annual intelligence evaluation presented to the cabinet some two weeks ago.

Mossad head Meir Dagan said Syria would be unlikely to break its ties with Iran, even if talks with Israel resumed and it repaired relations with Washington.

Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin disagreed, and said it was possible Syria could sever these ties in exchange for a reversal of American policy and an Israeli agreement to talk about the Golan Heights.

Israel is concerned over Iran’s continuing weapon deliveries to Hezbollah via Syria. Recently, it has become known that Iran sent Hezbollah a number of deliveries, including a large amount of explosives.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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