Weekly Briefing – August 3 – 8, 2014

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Saturday, August 9th, 2014 @ 3:51PM

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Behind the Veil: The Fundamental Nature of the Jihadist Cause Rachel Ehrenfeld  Click for the PDF or Youtube versions of this presentation.

UNRWA – The Hand that Feeds Palestinian Terrorists (With Our Money)Rachel Ehrenfeld – UNRWA has always denied links to Palestinian terrorism, or downplayed the significance of the relationship. As UNRWA’s former Commissioner, Peter Hansen, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in October 2004, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don’t see that as a crime.” UNRWA began its emergency food and shelter aid programs to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon in May 1950. Over the years, though its official mandate hasn’t been modified, UNRWA has been providing governmental and development services. UNRWA’s former legal advisor and general counsel, James G. Lindsay, published an important study in 2009: “Fixing UNRWA: Repairing the UN’s Troubled System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees.” Mr. Lindsay shows how UNRWA changed its function from “status-based” (treating Palestinians as refugees) to “need-based” (treating Palestinians as dependents). More than six decades later, and despite the establishment of an independent Palestinian governing body, UNRWA continues to operate in parallel with the government, both in the PA-ruled West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza. The world community facilitated Hamas’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian Authority election, when it allowed Hamas to run under the name “List of Change and Reform.” In June 2007, Hamas took over control of the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Since then, despite repeated promises to cut off funds to Hamas, international aid organizations and many countries have continued funneling money to Gaza, purportedly as humanitarian aid, but more recently to fund the “Gaza Administration.” Hamas’s rule over Gaza does not seem to be an obstacle to funding it.…more

Hamas Combat Manual on Benefits of Human ShieldsIsrael Defense Forces Website Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields. IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians. Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned. This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.…more

Hamas Urban Warfare TacticsPlanning Directorate// Israel Defense Forces – Evidence of Hamas’ Violations of International Law through Use of Civilian Facilities and Densely Populated Areas for Terror. The first few pages of the report are summarized below. The entire document is available here. Hamas: Defining the Battlefield in Gaza • Hamas uses UN facilities, schools, childrens’ playgrounds, water towers, mosques and countless other active civilian facilities as launching sites for rockets and attacks. In this operation alone, Hamas has launched above 1,600 rockets from civilian sites. • Additionally, Hamas purposefully engages IDF troops in conflict in urban areas. For example, in Shuja’iya and in Jebaliya, IDF troops have come under intense attack by terrorists from highly populated areas, and have been forced to defend themselves. • Hamas also uses civilian infrastructures for other military purposes, and places weapon caches and C2 centers in civilian places. • Hamas’ tactic serves two purposes. Firstly, because the IDF responds to attacks with acute concern for innocent lives, attacking from these sites gives Hamas a major strategic advantage. Secondly, any civilian casualties that are incurred from these attacks are used to create international pressure against Israel, even though it is ultimately Hamas that is to blame for these deaths. • Such tactics flagrantly violate international law and the most basic of moral precepts.…more

Hamas’s Disregard for Gazan Civilians & Pro-Hamas PropagandaMeir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center 1.   The rebuilding of the Gaza Strip after Operation Protective Edge, once it ends, can be expected to be an important issue on the Arab and international agenda. It is therefore interesting to note remarks made by Khaled Mashaal, chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, about a year after Operation Cast Lead (when the civilian rebuilding of the Gaza Strip was also on the agenda). 2.   On November 12, 2009, Khaled Mashaal met with several senior figures at a meeting of Arab parties in Damascus. One of his main themes was that Hamas would continue the path of “resistance” [i.e., terrorism], and therefore most of Hamas’ money and efforts in the Gaza Strip were invested in military preparations. His main talking points were the following (Paltimes.net): 1) Most of Hamas’ efforts in the Gaza Strip are invested in military preparations: “On the surface, [statements in the Gaza Strip] refer to reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] and rebuilding, however, what is not revealed is that most of Hamas’ funds and efforts are invested in the resistance and military preparations… We are intent on the resistance.”…more

“War of the Casualties” – Hamas Clams UpMeir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – 1.   At 2254 hours on the night of August 5, 2014, the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued an announcement warning the Palestinians not to divulge information about terrorist operatives (“resistance” casualties) killed during Operation Protective Edge. That was because, claimed the announcement, the “occupation” [i.e., Israel] was collecting all the information and reports [about casualties] and would use them as evidence to “justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians.” 2.   The announcement reads as follows: “The ministry of the interior and national security [in Gaza] calls on all our [Palestinian] people and the resistance factions [i.e. the terrorist organizations] to be wary of disseminating information and pictures of fatalities of the resistance, and [about] mentioning details about [the circumstances of] their deaths as martyrs and where they died. That is because the occupation is collecting all the information and reports [about the martyrs] and uses them as evidence to justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians and [to justify] the destruction of buildings and to take advantage [of the information] for security purposes. [We appeal] especially to social network activists and in the media belonging to the resistance factions. During the past few hours we have located many postings with sensitive information detrimental to our people and its resistance.[1] Mention of the acts of heroism of our martyrs and of the men of our resistance should not be a reason for causing greater damage, because our people’s battle against the occupation continues.”…more

Examination of Names of Palestinians Killed in GazaMeir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – The findings of the current examination 1.   This document is the second in a series of publications of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) examining the names of the Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge. The goal is to ascertain the identity of terrorist operatives and non-involved citizens, and to examine the ratio between them. 2.   To date, the ITIC has examined the first 300 names on the Palestinian Health Ministry’s lists. In its second examination, the ITIC examined another group of 150 names of Palestinians killed between July 12 and July 19, 2014, in the order in which the names appear on the Palestinian Health Ministry’s lists (see Appendix C). The present examination also includes Palestinians killed during the first two days of the IDF’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip (which began on July 17, 2014). 3.   Based on our examination of the second group of 150 names on the Palestinian Health Ministry’s list, we reached the following findings:…more

Israel’s Potential New Friends? Norman A. Bailey Israel should build on the common interest it has with its neighbors in confronting the Islamicist threat. [But could it?-R.E.] The time to think about and plan for any post-war period is during the war. Unless all the signs are wrong, it would appear that Operation Protective Edge is drawing to a close, not as a result of any of the various cease-fire proposals but simply because it has achieved its goals: destroying all identified attack tunnels and thousands of other military targets. Last week, I wrote about the most likely alternatives for the post-war Gaza Strip. There is no reason to revise that. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas went to Cairo and very likely made his deal with the Egyptian government: you help us take over Gaza and we will make sure that no further collaboration with the terrorists in Sinai will emanate from there. Israel should welcome such a development and continue regional cooperation with Egypt on the situation following the cessation of hostilities. And this brings up an even more important post-war planning requirement–namely how to play upon and reinforce the nascent Israeli/monarchical/secular Arab informal alliance that has been so much in evidence during the war; most recently in the televised speech by Saudi King Abdullah excoriating Hamas in the strongest terms. To strengthen and deepen this process should be the number one priority of the Israeli government after hostilities cease. It will require great skill and finesse on the part of both Israeli diplomacy and Israeli internal politics (the latter more problematical than the former).…more

The “New” Middle East Sol W. Sanders – As usual, there are more questions than answers about the current Middle East situation. And, for that matter, there is difficulty following the gyrations of Obama Administration policy. But there is growing evidence of a defiant Israel, stoic in the face of Hamas’s ability to exploit the misery of its own making for Gaza’s 1.8 millions, and growing pressure from the Obama Administration for an indecisive ceasefire. Jerusalem appears dedicated to the destruction of the most dynamic terrorist organization in the Middle East. Successful demilitarization of Gaza would not only remake the Israel-Palestine relationship but could be the world’s first conclusive victory in the war on Islamic terrorism. In a rapidly evolving situation, not only changing conditions but loyalties and alliances are breathtaking. Here are some basic considerations:…more

Tsar Vladimir the First Gal Luft Putin Isn’t Trying to Win the Cold War — He’s Refighting the Battles of World War I. World War I was not only one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in history, but arguably the most seminal. The war was a catalyst for the Great Depression, the rise of the brutal ideologies of Nazism, Communism, and Fascism, numerous regional wars over scraps of bygone empires, and, of course, World War II. How Europe’s leaders stumbled into the disastrous war remains one of the great unresolved puzzles in modern history. Mountains of books and articles have tried to explain how an assassin’s bullet fired in Sarajevo ignited the great catastrophe of the 20th century. The answers never seem satisfactory. Crude explanations designed to establish German guilt, popular until the 1990s, have gradually been replaced with a more nuanced picture, where the other belligerents, including Britain and France, share the burden of responsibility more equally for launching a war that killed more than 10 million people. But the focus on what happened in London, Paris, and Berlin has masked the importance of the events in the East. Russia, too, shares responsibility for the catastrophe in Europe. As the world remembers the start of the war 100 years ago this week, understanding Russia’s strategic calculus at the time can help decode Moscow’s recent behavior in Ukraine. Russia’s role in the prewar period is commonly believed to have been in providing imperial backbone to her little Slavic sister, Serbia, in the wake of a diplomatic onslaught by Vienna and Berlin following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But as Russia’s archives gradually open to scholars after a century of censorship, it has become clear that protecting Serbia was not Russia’s main objective. There was much more at stake for Russia than a small ally in the Balkans. What drove Russia’s prewar actions was the desire to control the straits of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles — or at least to ensure they did not fall in the hands of adversaries like Germany.…more

News & Commentary

Yezidi MP in Iraq: ‘We Are Being Slaughtered’Rudaw

Anyone to stop the Islamic State’s terror?Hurriyet

Obama’s Moral and Strategic Failure on ISISDavid Romano

The Media’s Role in Hamas’ War Strategy. Hamas’ PR strategy can only work if international news media follows the script, whether willingly or under coercion. Richard Landes

Egypt Still Trying to Crush HamasWalter Russell Mead 

What Hamas Leaders Think: Neither John Kerry nor the media show any awareness of the group’s stated goals and core beliefs.Doug Feith, Trevor Parkes 

War Crimes in Gaza? By any historical standard, Israel’s air attacks were a model of restraint.Gabriel Schoenfeld   

Palestine and Double Standards: The world is outraged by Israeli self-defense but only ‘concerned’ when Muslims kill Muslims.Bret Stephens

In Paris, Anti-Semitism Is the New Black. Three weeks into its war against Hamas, Israel sits in official French Cold-Shoulderland.John Vinocur 

Camouflaged as Humane Concern, Anti-Semitism Flourishes. Europe is a very long way from 1930s Germany, but now is the time to react forcefully to hatemongering about Jews. Andrew Nagorski

Iranians vs. ‘Hanging Judges’Steve Schwartz

What Was He Thinking? By seeking reconciliation with Iran, Washington alienates its allies and contributes to ever greater mayhem in the Middle East.Michael Doran

Persian Aversion: Review of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita ParsiNathan Thrall 

The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name. An excerpt from ‘Double Bind’ questions the logic of ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’Meredith Tax 

SEC Computer Called CAT Will Peer Into Dark Pools, Track OrdersMatthew Philips and Silla Brush


Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations, Aug. 1, 2014

Since 2001, the American Center for Democracy has exposed and monitored threats to our right to speak freely and our political and economic freedoms. The ACD does more than identify individual, isolated threats; it also analyzes their synergistic effects on the economic security of the nation. The ACD’s projects and publications focus on early warning systems that alert the public and policy makers to prevent and mitigate threats.


Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Al Qaeda, Cyber, Cyber security, Free Speech, Hamas, Hamas/Gaza, Hezbollah, Iran, ISIS/IS, Latest News, Middle East Conflicts, Qatar, Shari'a, Turkey, U.S. Foreign Policy

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