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Sunday, December 03, 2023

The Nazi Roots of Hamas

By On December 03, 2023
On Oct 7, Hamas, a terrorist organization born in part out of a collaboration between Nazis and Islamists, carried out the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

The butchery of men, women and children and the elderly, was not only ‘Nazi-like’, it was in some ways the final act of a Nazi crime nearly eight decades in the making.

In 1946, the Muslim Brotherhood held its founding conference in Gaza at the Samer Cinema. The movie theater which had opened two years earlier and would be shut down, along with much of Gaza’s movie theaters as the Islamist movement strengthened its grip over the area, represented the secular Western culture that the Islamic organization wanted to destroy.

It was a modest beginning for the group that would eventually become known as Hamas.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s expansion into Israel began a year earlier in 1945. The Brotherhood’s foreign backers, the Nazis, had surrendered earlier that year. The thousand pound checks which had helped take the Brotherhood from just another fringe Islamist theocratic movement to a dominant force in Egyptian political culture would no longer be coming. And Nazi Germany’s armies would not be arriving to help them kill all the Jews.

Without the Nazis, the Brotherhood no longer had the money or any protection from the British, who might seek to punish their Nazi collaboration, or the Egyptian monarchy which was worried that the Islamist group was seeking to overthrow it. By 1948, Egypt had banned the Brotherhood and Hassan al-Banna, its charismatic leader, had been shot dead in the street a year later.

Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, had admired Nazi organizations and methods. A British report noted that he had made “a careful study of the Nazi and fascist organizations. Using them as a model, he has formed organizations of specially trained and trusted men who correspond respectively to the Brown Shirts and Black Shirts.”

The Muslim Brotherhood from which Hamas sprang had been built in imitation of the Nazis.

The Nazis and the Brotherhood had fundamental religious and ethnic differences but shared common goals: especially when it came to the Jews. A Nazi agent who helped funnel money to the Brotherhood reported on one of its conferences calling for Jihad in Israel.

Hitler’s Mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, had helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood together with the Nazis. And it was Husseini, who after their defeat, provided the focus for the Brotherhood.

Hajj Amīn al-Husseini had met with Hitler, urged him to exterminate the Jews of Israel, and recruited Muslims to fight for the Nazis. He had hailed the Muslim Brotherhood as “the troops of Allah” while Al-Banna praised Hitler’s Mufti as the “hero who challenged an empire and fought Zionism, with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin Al-Husseini will continue the struggle.”

The Muslim Brotherhood and Husseini’s Jihadis in Israel would carry on Hitler’s work.

The defeat of Nazi Germany marked the end of the hope that the legions of the Third Reich would storm into Egypt and Israel, and that their local allies like the Brotherhood and the Mufti would be able to wipe out the Jews and all their political adversaries across the region.

Instead the Brotherhood would have to replicate the Nazi model, building a political organization with a paramilitary arm that would seize power in Egypt, Gaza and across the Muslim world.

The Muslim Brotherhood set up cells across to Israel beginning in Jerusalem.

Al-Bana turned over this mission to Said Ramadan, his son-in-law and a key Brotherhood figure who would later usher in an alliance with the Saudis that would allow the organization to bring in new wealth and expand worldwide. In Europe. Ramadan would direct the rise of the central Muslim Brotherhood operation in Munich, at a mosque set up by ex-Nazi Muslim soldiers who had defected to the Third Reich during WWII. A CIA report from the 1950s described Ramadan as a “fascist type” who was obsessed with driving the Jews out of Israel.

Setting up Brotherhood organizations across Israel was more than an expansion, it was a mission. With the Nazis gone, invading Israel was a way to allow the Brotherhood to build up its military capabilities without triggering an immediate crackdown by the authorities.

The Brotherhood’s new capabilities were aimed at Israel, but also at Egypt and at shoring up the power of local clans. Its presence in Gaza was part of an alliance with important families, including the Shawwas, who had been close to the Ottoman Empire and were mistrusted by the British. Said al-Shawwa, the Ottoman mayor of Gaza, had served on the Supreme Muslim Council alongside Hajj Amīn al-Husseini. And the Gaza Brotherhood would go on to be headed by Zafer Sahwa whose experience had come out of the Islamic Scouts.

The Scouting movement had struck a different chord in the Muslim world than it did the UK. Islamic scouting was explicitly meant to prepare young boys for Jihad. Some Islamic scouting movements were Nazi inspired. Al-Husseini’s scouting movement in Israel called themselves the ‘Nazi Scouts’ and dressed in Hitler Youth outfits. The Muslim Brotherhood had founded its own scout group “based on the concept of Jihad” and also modeled on the Hitler Youth.

In the months before Israel’s declaration of independence, Hassan al-Bana arrived in Gaza to witness the first wave of assaults by Brotherhood forces against Jewish communities.

Kfar Darom, a beleaguered Jewish village in Gaza, was the first target. After months of siege, the Muslim Brotherhood’s battalion attacked the village of Kfar Darom where dozens of Israeli militia members protected 400 men, women and children. The Brotherhood’s attacks were beaten back with determined resistance until its Jihadists were forced to retreat leaving behind seventy of their dead. Among the Jihadi attackers was an Egyptian named Yasser Arafat.

The Brotherhood had been defeated, but only temporarily. When Israel forcibly removed the Jewish communities of Gaza in 2005 to end the Israeli presence in Gaza, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar entered the Kfar Darom synagogue and laid claim to it in the name of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s first Jihad failed badly, but it succeeded in its true goals. Its role in the invasion of Israel alongside the Egyptian military built an alliance. After Muslim Brotherhood mobs rioted against the British in the streets, Egyptian officers used the prearranged opportunity to seize power. The relationship between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood was rife with tension from the beginning and like so many such relationships in the region, the internal rivalry was redirected into violence against non-Muslims. In this case once again Israel.

The Brotherhood’s mobs had paved the way for a military coup by destroying Egypt’s westernized nightlife, including its theaters. In Gaza, they were once again tasked with doing the military’s dirty work by attacking Israel, but once again the core purpose of the Brotherhood was to ‘Islamize’ Gaza, and eventually Egypt and the whole world, through its terror campaign.

Long before the Six Day War, during which Israel reclaimed Gaza, Muslim terrorists known as ‘Fedayeen’ or ‘those who die for Allah’ struck across the border with the aim of murdering Jews. Terrorist atrocities included the Massacre at Scorpions’ Pass during which the men, women and children on a bus coming back from a beach town were massacred.

The alliance between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood was the first true modern Islamic terrorist operation. Egyptian military officers trained and dispatched terrorists out of Gaza to cross the border and murder ordinary Israelis. The Egyptian government dismissed the atrocities as the work of local Bedouin Arabs over whom it had no control.

The Israelis knew better, but the plausible deniability established by the Egyptian government and the Brotherhood was good enough for the United Nations. When Israel struck back at the terrorists, it was condemned for attacking civilians and when it targeted the Egyptian officers behind the attacks, it was accused of provoking a regional war. Terrorism had transformed a war between nations into a conflict between a state and insurgents posing as civilians.

Seventy years later, this is still the role that Hamas plays for Iran and Qatar among others.

In exchange for waging war on Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood received financing, training and the authority to maintain control over those areas that it used for its operations. Under the umbrella of a Jihad against the Jews, it was able to enforce Islamic law and maintain a ruling class made up of its members and influential families allied with the Brotherhood.

Israel’s defeat of Egypt in the Six Day War and subsequent liberation of Gaza left the Brotherhood and other terrorist groups adrift. Deprived of secure bases in Gaza, a new generation of ‘Palestinian’ terrorist groups was launched under the Soviet umbrella, most famously the PLO, claiming to pursue a ‘Palestinian’ state through international terrorist attacks like airplane hijackings and the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics.

The international scale of the newly born ‘Palestinian’ movement was made possible by Soviet backing which provided allies and safe houses with Marxist terror groups across Europe. The Muslim Brotherhood lacked that global foothold although under operatives like Ramadan it was working hard to replicate the infrastructure of mosques and religious centers that it had used to gain power in places like Gaza across America and Europe.

The Muslim Brotherhood today dominates Islamic groups in America and Europe because of these efforts, but at the time its terrorism lacked the scope that the Communist alliance provided the ‘Palestinians’. And yet while Arafat became an international star, the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza was busily digging in and building an Islamic infrastructure that would outlast him.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza was less interested in the fictional construct of ‘Palestinianism’ than in controlling the mosques, the educational system and recruiting young men to fight for it. Where the PLO and groups liked it worked from the ‘outside in’, the Brotherhood worked from the ‘inside out’. Instead of fighting on a global stage, it worked on ‘Islamizing’ Gaza.

The Israeli authorities, like the Americans and Europeans, paid little attention to the Brotherhood. Religious violence seemed outmoded in the era of Marxist terrorism.

The Egyptian authorities had understood that the real threat came from mosques and religious schools, but Israeli officials, unfamiliar with Islam and disdainful of it, did not take it seriously. They certainly did not want to give the impression that they were religiously intolerant. During the liberation of Jerusalem, the government had allowed the Muslim religious authorities to retain control over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, to prove their tolerance.

The Israeli tolerance for the Brotherhood led the PLO to accuse it of being an Israeli creation. Hamas and the PLO would later spend years accusing each other of this, the worst thing imaginable, working for the Jews. The PLO’s insults would then be repeated by leftist and fringe right politicians and activists who would claim that Israel had “created” Hamas.

Hamas had technically predated the official rebirth of the State of Israel. It had always been there under various names as part of the Gaza Muslim Brotherhood. Israel had not created it, but much like most Western nations, the Israelis were guilty of tolerating it, providing it with the permission it needed to operate and acceding to what seemed like religious requests.

Instead of suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, the Israelis viewed its mosques and religious schools as a benign alternative to the PLO. They were looking for radical students planting bombs, not men praying in mosques. And the Brotherhood, as it did in America and Europe, and in the two years until the Oct 7 massacres, had a knack for appearing benign.

In the 1970s, Islamic terrorism had not yet become a commonplace concept. Few understood that Islam would become the next great threat after Communism. And while the Israelis chased the PLO, the Gaza Muslim Brotherhood built up its infrastructure that would emerge as Hamas.

A decade later, the Brotherhood’s Mujama al-Islamiya, the Islamic Center, a seeming charitable organization, was reinvented as Hamas or the Islamic Resistance Movement. The mosques, schools and social welfare institutions had been a terrorist organization all along. When Hamas hides missiles under mosques, schools and hospitals, it’s doing what it was doing all along.

Hamas was a charity before it was a terrorist group. And it was a terrorist group before it was a charity. This is typical of Muslim Brotherhood organizations and owes something to the Nazis. Hamas terrorism is theologically Islamic, but it had learned from the Nazis and the Marxists, two movements that had profoundly shaped the modern Arab Muslim world, how to develop and build secret societies in the form of political organizations and how to use them to seize power.

The 1988 Hamas charter freely mixes Koranic antisemitism with Goebbelsian rants about the Jews. There is the classic genocidal Hadith that looks forward to the day “when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees” and “the stones and trees will say ‘O Moslems, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’” and the claim that the Jews are behind “the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs” and “alcoholism” that reads like it came from Der Sturmer.

The Islamic mass murder of Jews goes back to the days of Mohammed. The Muslim Brotherhood’s members did not need the Nazis to tell them to kill Jews.

But the Nazis helped finance the Muslim Brotherhood with the specific aim, among others, of killing Jews. The Nazis helped show the Muslim Brotherhood new ways of organizing, distributing propaganda and waging war. And that changed the history of the world.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood continued to spin off splinter groups, some directed at a domestic power grab, others at Israel, and still others at the rest of the region and the world. Al Qaeda is dominated by such a splinter group. As are most non-Shiite terrorist groups. And Muslim political organizations, like CAIR in the United States, are products of the Brotherhood.

The Nazis were defeated, but they helped build a successor movement that is waging war, political and military, around the world. Hamas is just one of the many organizations birthed by the Brotherhood, but it is one of the few in whose origin story the Nazis had a significant role.

The Nazis had wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to wage war on the Jews in Israel.

On Oct 7, Hamas, an organization born in part out of a collaboration between Nazis and Islamists, carried out the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Those who defend the massacre are not just collaborating with Hamas, but with the Nazis.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, December 01, 2023

Don’t Accept Terrorism as the New Normal

By On December 01, 2023
Shock. Horror. And then acceptance.

“Today, millions of Americans mourned and prayed, and tomorrow we go back to work,” President George W. Bush began his address days after 9/11. “Tomorrow the good people of America go back to their shops, their fields, American factories, and go back to work.”

“We cannot let the terrorists achieve the objective of frightening our nation to the point where we don’t — where we don’t conduct business, where people don’t shop,” he urged in a later press conference.

Defeating the terrorists meant going on with business as usual. And we did.

Life changed. Flying became grueling. There were alerts and terror plots and we stopped paying attention to them. A generation was born and came of age who had never known another life.

It’s not so different in most countries where Islamic Jihadis perform their regular rounds of terror. Israel has been the canary in the coal mine in more ways than one. The scenes we’ve come to accept as normal in Boston, Paris or Manchester, dying flowers on streets, tearful women resting their heads on the shoulders of men while a sad song plays, assertions that we are stronger than the terrorists and will not lose our humanity were all field tested out in Israel.

The peace agreement with the PLO took Israel from a place where occasional terrorist attacks happened to a place where they occurred all the time. And when conservative governments isolated them to end the wave of urban bombings, rocket attacks became normal. And when Israel began to neutralize those, the terrorists broke through for an unprecedented massacre.

At each previous juncture, the horror became the new normal. First it was suicide bombs on buses, body parts scraped off the sidewalks outside pizza stores, and strollers full of broken glass. Parents made sure that their children had cell phones so they could immediately check if they were all right after each terrorist attack. Then residents of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv came to accept running to bomb shelters as the new normal. What will the new normal be now?

Bush may have meant well, but his assertion that, “our nation was horrified, but it’s not going to be terrorized” was wrong. Being terrorized can be expressed just as much through adaptation and numbness as through fear and anger. The failure to fight back and end the state of terror is what being ‘terrorized’ looks like just as much as public outbursts of panic and hysteria.

Getting back to normal without dealing with the problem is not resistance; it’s acceptance.. Living with terror is integrated into everyday routines. What once seemed horrifying slowly becomes the new normal.

What we thought was impossible for the mind to grasp becomes the baseline for life on 9/12 or 10/7 or any of the other dates freighted with horror and meaning until they become history.

Already the atrocities of Oct 7 are being discussed the way 9/11 was: a new reality to adapt to. In America, having terrorists blow things up around us became background noise. It happens sometimes, as it recently did in North Dakota, but we try not to pay too much attention to it.

Israelis will brace for the new normal of having thousands or maybe only hundreds, of murderous savages occasionally invade their communities while out to massacre them.

The talk has already turned to “how do we stop the next one” instead of “how do we make sure this never happens again.” It’s a responsible conversation, but it’s also a sign of acceptance.

Truly resisting terrorism is refusing to accept it as the new normal.

Getting back to normal is not that difficult. It appears initially impossible, but time does its work. We grow numb, too overloaded with stress, worn out by the parade of inconceivable images and thoughts, and then, much like lost travelers trudging through the snow, we go to sleep.

And then before we know it, we’re living in a nightmare but we no longer feel horror at it. The world has monsters. We pass them on the way to work and we see them on the evening news. And we no longer react because extraordinary evil has been integrated into our everyday lives.

What’s the alternative? It’s not a constant immersion in the horrors of Islamic terrorism. But neither is it an acceptance of it as the new normal. Nothing changes when we passively go along and treat the unacceptable as the new course of things. The process of adaptation to each atrocity coarsens and lowers our standards. Slowly we lose our sense that this should not be happening and that it’s happening only because our governments are refusing to end it.

Islamic terrorism is not an indestructible monster. It exists for one reason alone. And the reason is that we tolerate it. Given a choice between two alternatives, doing whatever it takes to end the terror threat or tolerating some acceptable level of terrorism, governments always choose the latter. And when we accept terrorism as the new normal, we make the choice for them.

Big choices like these are not defined by absolutes, but by ‘gut’ feelings. They come down to asking politicians which option seems scarier, more disturbing, immoral or outrageous. We have spent generations suffering from Islamic terrorism because each time the answer is that destroying terrorists is the scarier option while letting them kill us is the least scary one.

As long as Gitmo or Muslim travel bans are scarier than the terrorist attacks, this will go on.

Politicians know how to cope with the aftermath of a terrorist attack. It’s become a new normal for them too. There are flags, tearful songs and finally a call to get back to normal. Go shopping. Laugh. Eat out. And those are all good things to do. But the unspoken passenger on these trips is Islamic terrorism. Getting back to normal also normalizes a new level of terror.

Living with Islamic terrorism should never be normalized. The answer to an enemy trying to kill you is not going through the stages of grief, passing from anger to acceptance: it’s resistance.

The only acceptable answer to Islamic terrorism is to utterly destroy it while making the terrorist supporting populations pay the largest share of the price for that destruction. Any other answer normalizes terrorism. The failure to commit and then carry out anything short of total destruction perpetuates terrorism. The refusal to imagine that such a thing is possible makes it impossible to end terrorism. And the idea that there is any alternative to this is either a fantasy or a lie.

Refusing to accept terrorism as the new normal means confronting politicians, even those on our side, with the firm position that we will not accept anything from them short of a plan to win: not incrementally, not to establish deterrence, and not just to “show the terrorists we mean business”. We will live our lives, but we will not treat Islamic terror as business as usual.

Bombs, massacres and assaults are not the new normal: they are the new abnormal.

Our only hope for victory is to treat them as abnormal, to never adapt and accept the idea that being attacked by terrorists is just the price we pay for living in a big city, for our foreign policy, for living in the region, or for a world where madmen can get hold of weapons.

It’s easy to forget what life was like before Islamic terrorism since the abnormal world foisted on us by Islamic terrorism is all around us. The political distortion has made that world seem normal and any proposals to dismantle it appear abnormal. The chattering class rushes to shout down even the most modest proposals for stopping the terrorists because moral inversion in this abnormal world has made terrorists into the victims. And we forget that all of this is abnormal.

Our vital resistance is to define this as abnormal, not normal. It is not normal to adapt to terrorism, what is normal is for terrorists to adapt to running for their lives. A lawless society is a place where citizens are terrified and criminals are emboldened. A lawful society however is one where citizens are emboldened and criminals are terrified. Until the terrorists are terrified, we are the ones who are living in a lawless society at the mercy of monsters. We are not physically weak, but morally weakened by politicians who offer mercy to the monsters and none to us.

Failed politicians have ushered in this abnormal world in which we are afraid and our leaders negotiate with the terrorists and appease them to determine how much they can terrorize us. They worry about what the terrorists and their allies will think more than whether their citizens will live or die when the next terrorist attack rolls around. That is abnormal and unacceptable.

Muslim terrorism is a norm within Islamic societies, but abnormal in ours. If we continue to accept it, we will end up living in an Islamic society and the abnormal will become the norm.

What we are fighting for is the abnormalization of not only Islamic terrorism, but its appeasement, any tolerance for it, any acceptance of it and any concern for its perpetrators.

All of these things must be made abnormal, from last to first, to restore a normal world.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Napoleon Complex

By On November 30, 2023
Before 2020, movie theaters were dominated by superheroes. After the pandemic and the race riots, it’s been biopics. 2023 superhero movies like The Flash, Blue Beetle and The Marvels bombed, but biopics are booming. From Elvis to Oppenheimer to Napoleon, audiences have grown tired of special effects superpowers and are longing for real life larger than life figures.

But Ridley Scott’s Napoleon is every bit as unreal as Batman or Captain America. The lavish but hollow spectacle stretched out at its longest to four hours is not about Napoleon, but about the postmodern idea of him and of all the great men of history as both superhuman and flawed.

The seemingly wide range of biopics actually tell the same story over and over again. The protagonists may be rock stars, race car drivers or dictators, but they succeed without really trying and fail because of their troubled personal lives, not their lack of skill. The dramatic arc makes human beings seem superhuman only to cut them down to size for being all too human.

Napoleon the movie perpetuates many of the myths that Napoleon the man wove around himself. Where a French king might have proclaimed, “l’etat, c’est moi” or “I am the state” by virtue of divine right, Napoleon briefly made himself equivalent to France through heroism. The heroism was part real and part fiction. Napoleon was only the latest heroic figure to bestride the stage of the nation after the Revolution replaced monarchy with cults of personality.

The Renaissance had unleashed a wave of celebrities, artistic and criminal (some like

Benvenuto Cellini, the Florentine sculptor who alternated between stunning works of art and brutal murders which were overlooked because of his talent, managed to do both). Italian cities warred with each to bury great artists the way that they might have once competed to provide a resting place for the bones of saints. Greatness had become holiness and fame was a pagan immortality that could outlast the centuries better than any dream of heaven.

Scott’s Napoleon biopic has a poor understanding of European warfare or French politics, all it knows is fame. It is no coincidence that the dead Corsican stands out among a wave of biopics about rock stars, musicians and other celebrities. In the style of the conclusion of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, it collects as many apocryphal Napoleon legends as it can, then strings them together with grandiosity and insipid dialogue. Want to see Napoleon take a shot at the Sphinx? It never happened, but like so many made up stories, it’s there in the movie.

Ridley Scott, a director who specializes in making movies that look good with nothing more underneath, and David Scarpa, the writer responsible for the equally hollow Man in the High Castle streaming series, have wasted hours of film and countless millions of dollars to distill a major historical figure to the ahistorical cliches that people who don’t know much, know.

Napoleon the movie isn’t in the business of history, but of celebrity, yet it has no actual insight into its real narrative, not about a long dead historical figure, but about the hunger for fame. To Napoleon, the cult of personality he developed was a political tool that allowed him to wield power, but to those who perpetuate the legend, fame becomes an end in and of itself.

The French turned to Napoleon, as the Italians would later turn to Mussolini and the Germans to to Hitler, because he appeared superhuman. Napoleon accomplished many things, including social and educational reforms, which are usually ignored in favor of war stories, and rallied men under impossible conditions on the battlefield, but he could not save France from itself. Nor could he save himself from his own weaknesses and frailties. No man, no matter how accomplished or lucky, which Napoleon also was, can ever live up to a cult of personality.

The cult of personality clashed with the cult of democracy that France had introduced with the Revolution. And it never resolved the question of whether ordinary men were fit to rule. While America ultimately (and perhaps temporarily) came out for the right of the common man to decide his own affairs and to govern: the cult of personality sidestepped that vital question.

Great men elevated from more ordinary ranks appeared to overlay meritocracy atop democracy, but the lie at the heart of the cult of personality was that extraordinarily gifted people were like gods who bestrode the earth and could accomplish what no amount of ordinary men could. Much as after the Revolution, Napoleon’s cult of personality once again convinced French military men to abandon reason and pursue grandiose wars that made no strategic sense:

That same destructive notion has a sizable footprint in American life. Superhero movies alternate with biopics for unrealistic depictions of great men who seem to accomplish the impossible because of some intangible gift. This narrative satisfies a belief that greatness is inaccessible to ordinary people (and we shouldn’t even try) but when applied to real figures it also dooms those mortals who possess it. It’s a quintessential belief taken from Ancient Greece with its obsession with hubris and the fickle favor and scorn of their all too human gods.

While it helps to have certain natural gifts, accomplishment in real life is the result of hard work, persistence and a certain amount of luck. Even those geniuses who have incredible inborn talent in a particular area have to struggle to apply it in a way that makes a difference in their chosen profession. In real life, genius is overrated. Like child actors, the 11-year-olds you hear about applying to college and then graduating rarely amount to anything in their adult lives.

But that’s a message few want to hear. In a culture where every other urban high school boy wants to be LeBron James and every other urban high school girl wants to be Kim Kardashian, celebrity, with its magical ability to do anything, is a much more compelling vision whether it is represented on the big screen by Superman or Napoleon.

The roster of narcissistic influencers who have never learned how to do anything except be famous makes celebrity seem empowering, but it’s actually disempowering. Accomplishment is democratized and merit isn’t a magical gift you’re born with: it’s one you work hard for. Potential isn’t entirely universal, but it’s much more so than celebrity culture would have you believe.

Cults of personality urge us not to try. They assure us that if we were going to be successful, we would have done it already. Famous people have innate gifts that we do not. And they succeed without having to work hard. That is the opposite of the actual message of Napoleon’s life. And that of the lives of many successful people, including celebrities, who worked hard to succeed.

But in a culture whose leftist politics have convinced much of the public of the general unfairness of life, cults of personality resonate much as they did in post-revolutionary France. Democracy appears to have failed and hard work seems futile in a social setup that leftists have indoctrinated people to believe is rigged against them. Why even bother trying?

A cult of personality offers the possibility of a savior who can do what we are convinced we cannot. And so many Americans wait for someone special to come along and save them.

But no human being can ultimately do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Biographies of famous historical figures used to offer inspiring and meaningful lessons, but Napoleon the movie is never more its lavish costumes and sets, the strained performances led by Joaquin Phoenix who in every movie is in can’t help playing an actor who’s trying too hard, and the theatrics of what a top-level historical drama should be, but without the content.

Why make a biopic of Napoleon or anyone else? The invariable answer is because they’re enormously famous and controversial enough to be debated, but not canceled. Fame is the only true narrative in Napoleon, not his fame, but the fame of an industry that is addicted to it, which trades in it as the only vital currency and whose obsession with fame has deranged our culture.

Cults of personality are a form of despair masquerading as glory. A people who become obsessed with them have given up. That is in some ways as true of America as it was of Napoleonic France. The real Napoleon complex is not the one he suffered from (he was actually 5’6) but that of nations who stop believing in themselves and embrace cults of personality.

We don’t need strongmen or superheroes to save us, we need to find our own strength.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

After Biden’s Pullout, Al Qaeda Built a Path From Afghanistan to Europe

By On November 28, 2023
After Biden’s withdrawal, the fighting ended in Afghanistan and moved into Europe.

Even before the Taliban takeover, a massive traffic in migrants and drugs flowed over the ‘Balkan Route’ that took Afghans into Iran, Turkey and then Eastern Europe. One of the biggest holes in Europe’s armor was the former Yugoslavia, illegally invaded and partitioned by the Clinton administration, with a large Muslim population in Bosnia and heavy criminal organizations across the former republic that tie together the Russian mob, local gangs, Islamic terrorists, and Turkish, Pakistani and Afghan operations moving weapons and drugs.

All of this comes together at the border between Serbia and Yugoslavia. Parts of Serbia’s border areas have become no-go zones: territories occupied by Muslim gangs. Serbian police raids on “migrants” now look like Israeli military operations with armored vehicles and troops. These raids have rounded up thousands of migrants along with automatic rifles and bombs.

Ever since Hungary began fortifying its border, the Muslim gangs had to work harder to penetrate it in order to continue moving their cargo into the rest of Europe. Faced with a more secure border, the smuggling was taken over by more violent groups. Including Al Qaeda.

Much as drug cartels followed Latin American migrants to America, the Afghan migrants traveling through Iran and Turkey to Eastern Europe were followed by Afghan Jihadis.

In Serbia’s border regions, competition between Afghan smuggling gangs broke out into open warfare with the groups using heavy weaponry against each other. Some of those weapons may have been left behind by the Biden administration when it fled Afghanistan. These gun battles are not just happening in deserted villages or near border fences, but in more populated areas.

The Serbian city of Subotica, with a population of nearly 100,000, has become ground zero for the migrant invasion. In September, Afghan and Moroccan Muslim gangs shot at each other in the parking lot of the multinational Lidl supermarket chain in a suburb of the city. The shooting spree in the crowded parking lot filled with families killed a 16-year-old girl.

The Afghan gangs that prevail in the gun battles that have become common on the route are the ones with the weapons and the training and likely to be linked to the Haqqani Network.

When the Taliban took Kabul, it was actually the Haqqani Network which unlike most of the Taliban had built up professional units that resembled their NATO opposite numbers. The Haqqani Network had carried out some of the most devastating attacks against American forces in Afghanistan. The Haqqanis gained these capabilities through their close ties to Al Qaeda.

The Al Qaeda ties brought Arab Muslim money and training to the Afghan Jihadis. After the fall of Kabul, it was the Haqqanis who took over and decided who was allowed to reach the airport. The Biden administration had turned over passenger lists to the Al Qaeda group. After being put in charge of security in Kabul, Haqqani figures control security for the new Taliban regime.

Unlike the old Taliban leadership, which is reclusive and isolationist, the Haqqanis, true to their Al Qaeda links, have been focused on building up an international network. The Biden administration has decided that the Haqqanis, despite Al Qaeda, are moderates because they are more open to supporting education for girls and are willing to talk to the United States. But that is what makes the Haqqanis more dangerous because they are interested in the world.

The Haqqani interest appears to have taken the Al Qaeda linked Jihadis all the way to Europe.

György Bakondi, Hungary’s national security adviser, has warned that the Haqqanis won the gun battles and are now in charge of the smuggling route into the European Union.

“Smuggling gangs originating from Afghanistan in Serbia have family ties to the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the Haqqani network, which is a terrorist organisation,” he said. “The Taliban secret services are now directly controlling the activities of these Afghan-origin smuggling groups.”

The Hungarian authorities have shown video of aggressive efforts by Afghan migrants to invade their country. Migrants no longer just try to get across the border, they “are organised into military-style formations of 20 and armed with marbles, slingshots and sticks to fight back against Hungarian border guards sent to stop them.” The Afghan smugglers carry assault rifles and open fire, into the air or at border patrol officers, to signal that a crossing is underway.

According to Bakondi, the smugglers have “family ties” to the Haqqanis. The Haqqanis are a large family and they also have extended clan connections. Using those family ties to gain control of the smuggling route into Europe would give them a financial lifeline outside of Afghanistan, whose main current source of income is foreign aid run out of Kabul-based NGOs that are taxed by the Haqqanis, and the ability to move Jihadis into Europe for future attacks.

The United States and European NATO members may have hoped to leave Afghanistan behind, but Afghanistan instead followed NATO. As Islamic terrorists always do. When France left North Africa, an army of North African immigrants followed and transformed France into a terror hub. Pakistanis did the same thing to the United Kingdom and Turks and Kurds to Germany.

America imported vast numbers of Afghan refugees and those we didn’t airlift are migrating to Europe. The Haqqani Network decided who would get on Biden’s evacuation planes. Now it’s deciding who gets to enter Europe. While the Haqqanis are cashing in, they’re also almost certainly bringing their own “family” members to Europe to set up local criminal operations.

The Taliban’s alleged ban on opium production was widely reported by the media, less widely reported was that the Taliban have switched from opium to meth. Despite the Taliban ban, opium production actually rose by a third, and the Taliban are cashing in on an artificial shortage that their regime temporarily created, but the real story is that Afghanistan has become the fastest growing source of meth in the world. And the Islamists are using Iran as a model.

The Afghan smuggling route is also the transit point for moving meth from Iran to Europe. By controlling the route, the Haqqanis can potentially control both the heroin and the meth market. And human smuggling allows them to also bring in their people so that they control not only the transit of drugs, but also the sale and distribution of them across Europe. Jihadis have already used access to the European criminal class to convert its members to Islam and recruit them.

While NATO may have left behind its ‘nation building’ operation to win ‘hearts and minds’ in Europe, the Jihadis it was fighting have followed NATO to Europe to build their own nation, their ‘ummah’, in the heart of the infidel enemy. And they’re winning ‘hearts and minds’ left and right.

Afghanistan is not just a place, it’s where the Afghans are. The Taliban and Al Qaeda were not left behind in the dust of Kabul, they are making the long trek into Europe. The Hungarians have tried to build a wall, but much as the Chinese learned during the Mongolian invasions or the Israelis learned on Oct 7, it’s not enough to build a wall, you have to vigilantly defend it. And given enough time, the barbarians will find a way around it, under it, over it or through it.

Walls alone do not stop an invasion. Eventually you will have to fight and defeat the invaders.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

How Hamas Became an Environmentalist and Gun Control Cause

By On November 28, 2023
From Queers for Palestine to marchers carrying signs reading, “Palestine is a Reproductive Justice Issue”, the Hamas cause has been vertically integrated throughout the Left. Greta Thunberg was booed after injecting anti-Israel chants into environmental rallies. The BLM movement was a longtime foe of Israel, but Asian Studies departments recently joined in.

The leaders of March for Our Lives and the Sunrise Movement, a gun control group and an environmental protest group, signed a letter to Biden warning that young people wouldn’t vote for him unless he forced Israel to stop attacking Hamas.

How better to promote gun control than by defending mass murderers who used machine guns to kill innocent people and how better to champion the environment than by supporting terrorists who deliberately start fires in Israel. What does Hamas have in common with gun control advocates, environmentalists and abortion activists?

“I think something very bad is happening on the left,” Israel’s Labor leader Merav Michaeli complained. “People who consider themselves to be democratic, progressive, are supporting a totalitarian terror regime that oppresses women, the LGBTQ+ community… The more you go to the left, the more there’s a big mix-up. Something went very wrong on the way.”

The ‘something’ that went wrong is called ‘intersectionality’. That’s why abortion protesters, gay activists, environmentalists, gun control activists and the entire Left have to support Hamas. But intersectionality is also bait and switch. While gay activists have to support Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group doesn’t have to stop throwing them off buildings. Making sure Hamas has enough fuel to fire rockets at Israeli kindergartens may be a reproductive justice issue, but no one expects masked men armed with RPGs to shout, “Allahu Akbar” at a Planned Parenthood rally.

Rather than a daisy chain connecting all the leftist causes together, intersectionality is actually a hierarchy that prioritizes the worst causes. It’s how the entire gay rights movement, to the dismay of some gay men and many lesbians, was drafted into the transgender cause. It’s why the extreme wing of each individual movement, from BLM in civil rights to art vandals in the environmental movement, have come to dominate while the moderates have been shut down.

Intersectionality has sidelined both principles and tactical considerations while making protestations of victimhood into the only consideration that matters. The more violent the rhetoric and the more extreme the cause, the more it takes over the entire Left.

This would make little sense if leftists actually cared about feminism, gay rights or global warming. But then again if they actually cared about those things, wouldn’t the USSR, China and Communist China be utopias where benevolent gay people cleaned up the environment?

The first and foremost thing that Merav Michaeli and most leftists don’t understand about the Left is that causes, whether it’s gun control or men pretending to be women, are just leverage to recruit activists, tear up society and then seize power. And once that happens, the new regime will have as much use for transgenderism or environmentalism as the Soviet Union did.

When you understand that, it becomes quite obvious why the Left supports Hamas, how it can juggle support for Islamic terrorism with the LGBTQ movement, and why it demands that gay rights take a back seat to Jihad. Intersectionality is just a new suit of clothes on the very old leftist idea that all causes are ultimately subordinate to the overriding cause of the revolution.

Under Stalinism, American Jewish leftists were told to support a regime that was massacring Jews and had allied with Nazi Germany. American feminists advocating for reproductive rights were ordered to back Communist China which was forcibly breeding women and aborting their babies. The American Indian movement was expected to support the Sandinista regime which was burning its own Indian population alive. To be a leftist is to be a traitor to your own cause.

These crimes which scarred generations of leftists were whitewashed out of history by leftists and the movement was rebranded as identity politics narcissism. Much as the military tried to appeal to a self-identified generation with the slogan ‘Army of One’, the Left rebranded as a movement centered around the personal identity of each of its members. But just as the army is still a massive hierarchy, not a personal development seminar, the Left is a collectivist movement whose central idea is that it is the group, not the individual, that actually matters.

Intersectionality promised a more individualistic leftist movement, one that was highly attuned to the ‘lived experience’ of its members and the more complex, and less black and white nature of identity politics in a world of many ethnic groups and sexualities, but that was bait and switch. Instead of customizing the movement to its members, intersectionality customized its members to the movement and its overriding objectives of burning down everything and seizing power.

And thus Hamas.

The American Left originally embraced third world liberation movements. When what it thought were secular Arab Socialist movements, including the PLO, turned out to be Islamist, it went along without missing a beat. After 9/11, liberals and Democrats in a fit of schismogenesis countered Bush’s War on Terror with a war for terrorists. Islamists became an oppressed group and a vital part of the leftist coalition not in spite of their destructiveness, but because of it.

If the Left actually cared about the things it claims to care about, it would be natural for it to side with Israel. But if the Left actually cared about those things, it would wave the American flag and condemn the Third World. Instead the Left acts like America is the worst place in the world and that every backward dictatorship is morally superior to us.

The hostility of the Left to the countries it’s in is the best evidence that it doesn’t believe in its causes. The diversity of the causes are a pretext for the true cause of mass destruction.

The inner purpose of any leftist cause is to create division and sow mistrust. The specificity of the cause is only a means of recruiting activists from a particular part of the spectrum. The more causes, the more races, ethnicities, sexualities, classes and belief systems, it can recruit from. Intersectionality is ultimately an academic term for demanding that the outer purpose, the official cause, must be subservient to the inner purpose.

How are abortion rights, gay rights or gun control served by supporting Hamas? The outer purpose of those movements is not served, but the inner purpose is advanced. And the inner purpose is the same as that of Hamas. The gun control advocates, environmentalists and other leftist activists are not here to improve our society, like Hamas they want to destroy it.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Dead Al Qaeda Hippie Who Went Viral on TikTok

By On November 27, 2023
Eight years after he was taken out by a drone strike in Waziristan, Adam Gadahn went viral on TikTok. Had the former Al Qaeda terrorist been alive to see TikTok lefties praising his, “Letter to America”, written in Osama bin Laden’s name, he would have been absolutely thrilled.

Raised by California hippies, Adam Gadahn’s message clicked with TikTok teens because he used to be one of them. After experimenting with heavy metal to rebel against his dad’s terrible folk music (“So tell us what the sign will be/Of the end of the age we know/War and famine everywhere/There’s no place left to go” he went for the ultimate in death metal.

We love nothing more than “slitting the throats of the infidels” he bragged in his videos in a fake Arabic accent right out of ‘Team America World Police’. “You and your people will, Allah willing, experience things, which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11.”

Al Qaeda embraced the previously useless hipster because he promised to teach them how to reach Americans. But the ‘Azzam the American’ experiment never took off. Even after he stopped wearing a burka-like disguise over his square wire rimmed glasses, and wound a tablecloth around his head instead, he never stopped looking like a dork in a costume.

Adam never belonged in Pakistan, he belonged in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ or ‘Napoleon Dynamite’: his blank thousand yard stare had been perfected by getting high, not in Koran study.

Americans did not rush to enlist in Al Qaeda because of his words. Adam had aimed his rhetoric at the Michael Moore demographic that had birthed him, but one it was one thing to jeer Bush in between Starbucks lattes and another to move to a cave on the Pakistani border.

The videos mostly tapered off and he was reduced to translating the speeches of Al Qaeda leaders. After Osama bin Laden’s death, Americans stopped paying attention to Al Qaeda, and Adam’s death in a drone strike took second billing to the deaths of two American hostages.

But Adam or Azzam had been ahead of his time. He had peaked before the age of social media, and he never reached the audience he needed. But that’s changing now.

8 years after he was spattered over parts of Pakistan, Adam is an Al Qaeda influencer now.

The living can catch up to the times, but the dead can only wait for the times to catch up to them. When Adam Gadahn converted to Islam in 1996 and then assaulted his local Imam for not being antisemitic enough, there weren’t a lot of American teenagers like him. But we now live in a world where there are plenty of American teens converting to Islam and going Jihad.

Take Trevor Bickford, a 19-year-old from Wells, Maine, a town of less than 10,000 people, who converted to Islam, and headed down to Times Square to kill non-Muslims. Or Xavier Pelkey, 19, of Waterville, Maine, a city of 15,000, who joined ISIS and planned his own terror attack. Or Jonathan Xie, a 20-year-old from a New Jersey suburb who joined Hamas and threatened to bomb Trump Tower.

When Shannon Maureen Conley, a 19-year-old teenage girl from suburban Colorado converted to Islam and tried to join ISIS in 2014, there were articles and profiles on her. By the 2020s, it’s become common enough that American teens becoming Islamic terrorists has become routine. Hardly anyone bothers with the extended profiles of what is now a social phenomenon.

The handful that actually go all the way, like Adam, Trevor, Xavier, Jonathan or Shannon are the tip of the iceberg. When Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America”, actually written by Adam, went viral on TikTok, it exposed a much larger contingent of American teens friendly to the Jihad. Most Muslims are not actually terrorists, they’re just sympathetic to their positions. The same is true of parts of the non-Muslim world, including Europe, and it’s true of some American teens.

A poll showing that 51% of Americans 18-24 supported the murders, rapes and kidnappings atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct 7 is not just a statement about Israel. How many of them also think Al Qaeda had a point? There’s no meaningful polling on that: only anecdotal.

Adam’s “Letter to America”, stripped of his terrorist cosplay, the costumes and the droning voice, proved to be effective with teens who are like him, bored, dissatisfied and lacking in meaning. The Al Qaeda influencer rebelled against the Christian and Jewish religions of his parents, adopted Islam and then called for the destruction of America. In a counterculture that prizes teenage rebellion as the ultimate form of cultural change, Adam was the ‘it’ Jihadist.

Converting to Islam is a bit of a side road from the one that his Boomer parents took to get to their place in the counterculture. Adam went from his dad’s ‘Beat of the Earth’ and ‘Love Will Find a Way’ to a scorched earth triumph over the infidels, but isn’t this where the Left always ends up? Converting to Islam and joining Al Qaeda is the Zoomer answer to the Boomer side roads of joining Charlie Manson’s race war or drinking Kool-Aid with Jim Jones.

The Age of Aquarius always ends in Altamont and gulags. Why not also Jihad?

Adam Gadahn adapted Osama bin Laden’s message to a generation of teens who grew up believing that America was racist, “freedom and democracy that you call to is for yourselves and for white race only”, destroying the environment, ranting that “you have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gasses… despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement” (Adam had started out as an environmentalist), and oppressing the rest of the world. Starting with the leftist premise that America was evil, Al Qaeda made perfect sense. And to leftists it still does.

The first Al Qaeda influencer is postmortem piggybacking on a culture of radical activism that has made Islamic terrorism into the ultimate counterculture.

The Guardian profiles Americans who reacted to Islamic terrorism by reading the Koran and converting to Islam. The dead-eyed Manson followers and Jim Jones cult members are reading Korans and shouting “ceasefire”, they’re blocking traffic and having hysterics at the Capitol.

The Left has always drawn on fractured souls for its causes. Even more than dynamiting buildings, it set bombs to blow up the culture and its values. The more people it broke, the more recruits it gained. Islamists in America have gone beyond recruiting in prison and are recruiting from this same broken base. Mom and Dad may have protested the war, but Junior is a Jihadist.

Islam, like the Left, promises to destroy a failed world built on oppression and lies, in order to save it. Behind the apocalyptic idealism is the same perversity that led Adam Gadahn to threaten that, “the streets of America shall run red with blood.” Was this rhetoric really all that different from the anarchists, the Black Panthers or the Symbionese Liberation Army?

The radicals have become one great big apocalyptic gestalt, castrating teenagers, burning down pro-life centers, marching through the streets, tearing down statues and looting stores. The spectacle of it matters more than the details of the ideology. Like Mao’s Cultural Revolution, some teens robotically repeat verbose dogma they don’t understand, whether it’s Critical Race Theory or Hadiths, because it lets them run around destroying things and terrorizing people.

The destructive impulses that leftist radicals and Islamic terrorists channel are fairly similar. And not so different from the Hitler Youth. Put on a uniform, shock your parents and wreck things. The more you rage and hate, the stronger you feel and the more you bypass the hard work of adulthood. Radical politics is just another way for teenagers to never grow up.

‘Azzam the American’ was a Jihadist Peter Pan who never had to grow up. He’s dead now. And some of those radicals protesting for Hamas will eventually convert and follow in his footsteps.

Adam Gadahn understood instinctively how to take a foreign ideology and make it palatable to those like him, but we’re now in a world and a country full of Adams. Social decay has been supplemented by educational and pop culture indoctrination. TikTok is happy to spread Osama’s message as long as it weakens America. There is a world of strange bedfellows out there all happy to see us fall. And if we are not careful, some of them will be our children.

The return of ‘Azzam the American’ is a reminder that we’re not just in a war, but a culture war. A broken and divided nation is in no shape to defeat a vast enemy that is already inside our borders. The War on Terror is an extension of the old culture war we’ve been losing until now. Islamic terrorism could not succeed unless it could rely on a fifth column inside our countries.

After 9/11, it was clear that we would have to win an internal war to win an external one. Now as the wars come together and the enemy roams our streets, the need is more urgent than ever.

Either we defeat the enemy within or the war is lost.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Thirty Years Ago Israel Deported Hamas. Clinton Made Israel Take It Back

By On November 26, 2023
“Deporting The Hope For Peace?” Newsweek asked. The hope for peace was Hamas.

The year was 1992. The Clinton administration was trying to get Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and the PLO’s Yasser Arafat to sign on the dotted line of the Oslo Accords to create a terror state inside Israel. In the name of peace. Unfortunately Hamas kept killing Israelis.

15-year-old Helena Rapp had been stabbed to death at a bus stop on the way to school. A few days later, Rabbi Shimon Biran, a father of four, was similarly murdered by an Islamic terrorist.

Fed up with the latest killings, Prime Minister Rabin put 417 Islamists terrorists on buses and dumped them in Lebanon. The monsters he deported included top Hamas terror leaders.

On the six buses were current Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, who would vow, “by Allah, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine”, Abu Osama, who helped draft the Hamas charter calling for the extermination of the Jews, Hamas co-founders Mohammed Taha, Hammad Al-Hasanat, and Mahmoud Zahar, who threatened “They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people”, Hamad Al-Bitawi, who proclaimed that “Jihad is a collective duty” along with Abdullah al-Shami, the head of Islamic Jihad, and many other present and future Islamic terror leaders deported to Lebanon.

The New York Times headlined its coverage, “Ousted Arabs Shiver and Wait in Lebanese Limbo”. Newsweek also sympathetically described how the Hamas terrorists were “shivering in the cold.” The Washington Post lingered on their handcuff “welts”. The Associated Press provided detailed coverage of their cases of diarrhea turning the bowel movements of Islamist terrorists into an item worthy of international coverage.

In reality the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists had been equipped by Israel with raincoats, blankets, food and $50 each: more than enough to buy whatever they needed in Lebanon.

“We are thirsty, cold and hungry,” said Dr. Abdul-Aziz Rantisi,” is how the Times began its story. It mentioned that Rantisi was planning a hunger strike, not that he was a terrorist leader.

The Los Angeles Times suggested that the “free speech” of the terrorists had been violated. It asked them to “define Hamas’ membership conditions” and ”many answered, ‘To pray and be good Muslims.’” That is how the media explained the Islamic terror group to Americans.

The Red Cross, which after over a month had failed to pay a visit to the Israeli hostages, including children and old women being held by Hamas, was quickly on the scene with “three truckloads of tents, food, blankets and bedding”. The aid organization set up tents for the Hamas terrorists who were apparently too lazy or incompetent to set up their own tents.

The head of UNRWA trekked out from Vienna to visit the expelled Hamas terrorists.

Bernard Pfefferle, the local chief delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, wept, “They won’t survive the winter out there like this.” In fact, they survived just fine.

UN Under Secretary General James O. C. Jonah, Bernard Kouchner, France’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, and many other foreign dignitaries tried to visit the Hamas terrorists.

French Ambassador Daniel Husson asked to meet with the Hamas terrorists to “express France’s sympathy with their cause.”

Amnesty International organized a letter writing campaign whining that the Hamas deportees were “living in tents in freezing conditions” and demanding the “safe return of the deportees to Israel.” B’Tselem, a pro-terror ‘human rights’ group operating inside Israel, denounced the deportations as a “a flagrant violation of human rights”. During the Oct 7 attacks, Vivian Silver, a B’Tselem board member, was killed by the terrorists she had spent her life advocating for.

B’Tselem had been one of the pro-terrorist groups that had originally challenged the deportations in Israel’s leftist Supreme Court in a bid to keep Hamas inside Israel.

The media relentlessly covered the Hamas deportees the way it had failed to cover their victims. By the end, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi had held a record of 1,500 press conferences. Every time the Islamic terrorists sneezed there was a correspondent there to write about it, a photographer there to take a picture of it and a human rights activist there to condemn Israel for it.

Even if it was all a lie.

“EXPELLED PALESTINIANS RUN OUT OF WATER,” a Washington Post headline blared. In that same story the paper mentioned that they were getting their water from a stream. Other stories complained that they were running out of water while surrounded by snow.

One Associated Press story described a deportee eating a breakfast of jam, cheese and bread or beans and chickpeas with lemon sauce, and then a lunch of tuna fish or sardines, and then complaining, “I’m so sick of this food. I eat only to stay alive.”

In reality the Hamas and Islamic terrorists had plenty of food and water. At one point even a New York Times article admitted that “on Thursday, the Palestinians said that they had fasted during the day to preserve food stocks that had dwindled to some vermicelli and potatoes, with drinking water completely gone. Yet today, an Associated Press reporter said that the deported men were cooking rice, chickpeas and canned meat, and that some had eggs.”

A week after they were deported the New York Times claimed that the Hamas terrorists would start “dying from pneumonia” in a few days. None of them died even after seven months.

In reality, they were holding lavish religious feasts with Hezbollah and Iran’s IRGC terrorists. 
The tent city would become an enclave of television sets, fax machines, copy machines, cell phones, a fridge filled with soda and a satellite dish beaming Iranian television shows to them. 

Israel had dumped the Hamas terrorists in Lebanon, but the Hezbollah allied government refused to take them and blocked the road with tanks to keep them from leaving. The Lebanese government wouldn’t allow aid to pass through to the Hamas terrorists, but did allow reporters and camera crews through to document the “shivering” of the Hamas leaders.

In a foreshadowing of Egypt’s policy of blockading Gaza, Lebanon kept the Hamas terrorists from entering Lebanon. And the international community and the media placed the blame on Israel, rather than Lebanon, which was preventing them from entering its territory.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 799 condemning the deportations of Hamas terrorists and demanding that Israel “ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported”.

The first Bush administration voted for the resolution even though it had shrugged when a year earlier, the Kuwaitis had expelled 200,000 ‘Palestinians’ using tanks and troops.

“I think we’re expecting a little much if we’re asking the people in Kuwait to take kindly to those that had spied on their countrymen that were left there, that had brutalized families there, and things of that nature,” President George H. W. Bush had observed.

Israelis however were supposed to take kindly to the Hamas terrorists massacring them. The Bush administration “strongly condemned” the deportations. Bill Clinton was no better.

“I share the anger and the frustration and the outrage of the Israeli people. And I understand how they feel. They have to deal very firmly with this group Hamas, which is apparently bent on terrorist activities of all kinds,” Clinton, who would soon be taking office, said. “On the other hand, I am concerned that this deportation may go too far and imperil the peace talks.”

“We are not sure that President-elect Clinton and his team fully comprehend the danger from Islamic fundamentalism,” Rabin had observed before his meeting with Bill Clinton.

The Clinton administration mostly certainly did not. But neither did Rabin.

Prime Minister Rabin had only temporarily deported the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists for two years to improve his domestic image and buy some quiet time for peace negotiations. His coalition of leftist and far leftist parties was soon divided between him and future Prime Minister Shimon Peres’s far leftist cabinet coalition. “No one is enjoying the suffering of these people,” Peres said. “Israel deported them, but it did not mean to hurt them.”

The leftist coalition Meretz party called deporting Hamas “a gross violation of human rights.”

Under pressure from the Clinton administration, which warned that it would not protect Israel from UN sanctions, and members of his own leftist coalition Rabin offered to allow the Hamas terrorists back if they promised to “desist from terror and violence for the duration of the peace negotiations”. The terrorists refused to promise that. And so he agreed to take in over a hundred of them now and the rest in a year. Hamas began returning to Israel in 1993. 

The Hamas terrorists only agreed to return due to insufficient TV coverage of their antics.

"High among the reasons given by the Palestinian deportees for accepting Israel's effort to let about half of them back into the West Bank and Gaza next month was the deportees lack not of food or shelter, but of coverage by the news media -- meaning television," the New York Times reported.

30 years ago Israel had expelled the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and then took them back in.

Two weeks after Rabin agreed to take back the Hamas terrorists, the World Trade Center was bombed by the Islamic Group which, like Hamas, had come out of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Our struggle against murderous Islamic terror is also meant to awaken the world which is lying in slumber. We call on all nations and all people to devote their attention to the real and serious danger which threatens the peace of the world in the forthcoming years. The danger of death is at our doorstep,” Rabin had warned. But the world went on slumbering .And so did Israel.

In 2023, Israel and the world have the opportunity to undo or repeat the mistakes of 1993.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, November 24, 2023

There Are No Innocent Civilians in Gaza

By On November 24, 2023
Ever since Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, along with ordinary Arab Muslims from Gaza, invaded Israel, murdered, raped and kidnapped women and children, the debate has been about how innocent they are. And how easy Israel should be willing to go on them.

In the weeks since, Israel has been lectured about a “disproportionate” response and the urgent need to avoid civilian casualties. That’s a little tricky when fighting an Islamic terrorist group whose only real defensive strategy is hiding behind civilians. Fighting Islamic terrorists without killing civilians is like trying to invade Russia while avoiding cold weather. It’s impossible.

But ever since the Bush administration decided that the real problem in Afghanistan and Iraq was not a cult and a culture of death, but a lack of democracy, our elites have been busy pretending that over a thousand years of terror was due to a lack of free and fair elections.

The Bush administration got its elections in the West Bank and Gaza. And Hamas won. Then Obama got his elections in Egypt and across North Africa, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas and Al Qaeda, won. We’re still dealing with the fallout from that.

‘Democracy’ handed over Iraq and Gaza to Iran. And as a result ISIS emerged.

As Hamas uses ICU patients and babies in NICUs as human shields for its bases, what do the “ordinary Palestinians”, the ones liberals are convinced are innocent parties in all this, think?

A recent poll of Arab Muslim residents of the West Bank and Gaza, known as ‘Palestinians’ circa 1967, conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) asked them.

74% supported the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7. Of these 59% “extremely” support them and another 15% only “somewhat”. Only 7% were “extremely against” and 5% somewhat against.

That’s 74% in favor of murdering, raping and kidnapping Jews and only 12% against.

Only 7% were ‘extremely’ against murdering and abducting children.

Is this a moral or a tactical objection? Let’s look at the breakdown by region.

83% of those in the West Bank, ruled by the Palestinian Authority, said that they supported the Hamas atrocities. Only 7% were opposed. In Gaza, there was notably less enthusiasm at 63%. But after weeks of bombings and raids, only 20% seem to have decided it was a bad idea.

Why were only 7% of those in the West Bank, but 20% of those in Gaza opposed?

Do those extra 13% of Gazans reflect a people (slightly) more likely to value human life or terrorist supporters who, like their comrades in the West Bank, like it better when someone else is doing the fighting? If the attack had come from the West Bank, would 83% (instead of just 63%) of those in Gaza be enthusiastic about the massacre and beheading of Israelis?

The survey asked a few more questions that got to the heart of it.

A majority believed that the Hamas atrocities were an Islamic response to the “defilement of Al Aqsa” by allowing Jews to set foot on the former site of the Holy Temple.

98% in Gaza and the West Bank said that they felt ‘pride’ as ‘Palestinians’ over the war.

74% expect the fighting to end with the defeat of Israeli forces in Gaza.

Only 17% support a two-state solution while 77.7% want to destroy Israel and replace it with a ‘Palestinian’ state.

Are there innocent civilians in Gaza? Probably a lot fewer than in Berlin or Tokyo in 1944.

The Germans supported Hitler and the Japanese backed the Imperial war machine. Those dissidents and opponents who disagreed not just on tactical grounds, but on moral ones, were a small minority. They’re a far tinier minority among the so-called Palestinians.

The ‘Palestinian’ majority wants a war to destroy Israel fought by Islamic terrorists.

They’re not complaining and crying for a ceasefire because they don’t want a war, but because they’re losing the war that they wanted. They still want the war, they just want to be winning it.

When you spend all of your time dreaming of invading and destroying another country, you may be a civilian, but you’re no more innocent than your average Nazi Party member.

Currently Hamas is a good deal more popular in the West Bank (88% approval rating) than it is in Gaza (59% approval rating), but the Al Aqsa Brigade, the military part of Hamas, scores big in the West Bank (86% approval) and at (69%) in Gaza. Those are numbers Biden would kill for.

And don’t mistake even the nearly 9 out of 10 in the West Bank and 7 out of 10 in Gaza as a lack of enthusiasm for Islamic terrorism.

The Al Qassam Brigades, the direct terrorist arm of Hamas, is at 95% approval in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza.

Islamic Jihad scores 93% in the West Bank and 72% in Gaza.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is at 88% in the West Bank and at 70% in Gaza.

But let’s go back to democracy. Whom do they want running the place?

75% of those in the West Bank and 68% of those in Gaza want a national unity government of the various Islamic terrorist groups that would naturally include Hamas.

Isn’t democracy a beautiful thing? The ‘Palestinian’ people want to be ruled by terrorists. They want a war. And then they cry to the cameras when the war they demanded actually happens.

That’s what ‘Palestinians’ want and whom they like. Whom don’t they like? Everyone.

98% of the Arab Muslim settlers in the West Bank hate America as do 96.8% of those in Gaza. That’s still better than the UK which is hated by 100% of Arab Muslim colonists in the West Bank and Gaza. They actually hate America and the UK more than Israel which is only at 97.3%.

But don’t feel too bad, Americans, Israelis and Brits, because they hate everyone.

Not a single country, and that includes Iran, gets even a 5% ‘very positive’ rating. 63% don’t like Iran, 27% like it, and only 4% really like it even though it bled itself dry financing their terrorism.

64% don’t like Turkey even though Erdogan, its Islamic dictator, pulled out all the stops for them.

85% don’t like Egypt, 86% don’t like Jordan, 95% don’t like Saudi Arabia, and 95% don’t like the UAE even though these are the fellow Arab Muslim countries that provide aid to them.

Proving that ingratitude is the one consistent ‘Palestinian’ characteristic: 92% don’t like the EU, 88% don’t like the UN, and 69% manage to be against the Red Cross.

Russia, which created the entire ‘Palestinian’ cause and continues to back them, gets some of the best numbers. Only 57% don’t like Russia and 60% don’t like China.

Even more ungratefully, 85% don’t like Western media.

The ‘Palestinians’ have their own dedicated UN agency (UNRWA) and have billions of dollars lavished on them. Their needs are taken care of by the people they hate, America, Israel, Egypt and the UAE, not to mention the UN and the Red Cross, whom they repay by hating them.

If you give them free food, they will really hate you, and if you give them free rockets, they will hate you a little less. The only things they want to do are kill people and then kill some more.

This isn’t a culture or a country: it’s a xenophobic death cult that hates the entire world.

You don’t want them as neighbors or as refugees. Israel is stuck with them. The rest of the world doesn’t have to be. Stop giving them money, stop listening to their propaganda and stop caring.

Our faith in democracy convinced us to waste blood trying to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. And then we handed Afghanistan to the Taliban on the understanding that they’d run for public office. The State Department is still asking the Taliban to open up elections.

What’s behind this insanity? We refuse to come to terms with the fact that some people are bad. No matter what horrors they commit, we’re certain that it’s only a “tiny minority of extremists” who have “misunderstood Islam” and are surely not representative of the vast majority of peace loving people who want the same things we want and just haven’t been given the opportunity.

The troubling question they don’t like to think about is what if none of that is actually true?

In the Book of Genesis, Abraham pleads with G-d to spare Sodom. The Lord agrees if some righteous people can be found in the infamous city. The patriarch bargains with G-d for increasingly smaller numbers of righteous people until it turns out there is only one. And he has to run for his life before Sodom is destroyed. Modern people are uncomfortable with the story.

We don’t really believe in evil. Even when we come face to face with it we make excuses for it. And evil is then able to manipulate us, to play on our sympathies when it has none for us.

You see there is one piece of good news from that poll.

90% of ‘Palestinians’ would like a ceasefire from the war that 77.7% of them would like to see conclude with the destruction of Israel.

How stupid would anyone have to be to give it to them?

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


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