Incitement Enables Terror in Israel, in Turkey, and Elsewhere

While Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party do not organize suicide bombings or aim rockets at Israeli civilians, they engage in and abet hate-filled rhetoric and calls to shed Jewish blood that have real and dire consequences. Many Israelis understand that peace is impossible without curbing such incitement, which is endemic throughout the region. Michael Rubin explains why those concerned with terrorism elsewhere must be equally attentive:

Increasingly, as Turkey’s recent string of terrorist attacks show, [such incitement] is becoming a cancer within Turkish society. Consider the New Year’s attack on the Reina nightclub. The Friday prayer sermon read by imams across the country on December 30 condemned New Year’s celebrations as illegitimate and suggested no truly believing Muslim would mark the occasion. There may not be direct causality between the sermon and the attack . . . but the bombardment of society with anti-secular and anti-tolerant attitudes made Reina a legitimate target in some Islamist circles. . . .

Turkey is not alone. Incitement is a staple of [official Iranian] rhetoric—be it weekly state-sanctioned “Death to America” chants or the entreaties to genocide against Israel and Jews more broadly. Incitement, too, explains ordinary Egyptian intolerance toward Israel decades after the two countries signed a peace agreement.

It is one thing for diplomats and counterterror practitioners to wring their hands at online terror recruitment by al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and like-minded groups, but U.S. policy continues to fall flat when it comes to incitement promoted by authorities or states like the Palestinian Authority, Iran, Egypt, or Turkey. Turkey is perhaps the most tragic case because the country’s transformation has been entirely preventable had the Bush and Obama administrations not chosen to hide their heads in the sand.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Mahmoud Abbas, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam, Terrorism, Turkey


Israel Has Survived Eight Years of Barack Obama’s False Friendship

Jan. 20 2017

In his speech justifying America’s decision to allow passage of the UN Security Council resolution declaring it a violation of international law for Jews to live in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.” John Podhoretz comments:

The decision in December by President Obama to abstain on the UN Security Council vote . . . marked the moment he crossed the finish line in the course he had charted from 2008 onward. The turn against Israel was complete. And, as he had when he began it, in farewell interview after farewell interview he characterized his assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land as an act of tough love. . . .

Which raises the key question: why [only] abstain [from the resolution]? If “hard truths” define friendship, then by all means they should have made the truths as hard as possible. If Barack Obama and John Kerry truly believe the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem is illicit, then they should have voted for the resolution. Instead, they took the coward’s way out. They opened the vault to the criminals and placed the jewels in their hands while wearing white gloves so there would be no residual trace of their fingerprints. The abstention was in some weird sense the mark of their bad conscience. They wanted something to happen while maintaining some historical deniability about their involvement in it.

In the eight years of the Obama presidency, war broke out twice between the Palestinians and the Israelis and nearly broke out a third time. In each case, the issue was not the West Bank, or east Jerusalem, or anything near. . . . The idea that the settlements and the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem are the main barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was proved to be a lie right before Obama’s eyes in 2009, and 2012, and 2014. And he didn’t care to see it, because he is blinded by an antipathy he wishes to ascribe to Israeli action when honesty would compel him to find it in his own misguided leftist ideology—or within his own soul.

Israel has survived the horrendous blessing of Barack Obama’s false friendship.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Israel & Zionism, John Kerry, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations