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Chicago: ISNA has Linda Calling for Jihad Against Trump

Title of the conference:54th Annual ISNA Convention

Hope and Guidance Through the Qur’an

Chicago Tribune: “ISNA’s Annual Convention is more than simply a coming together of the Muslim community,” said Azhar Azeez, ISNA President. “Our goal is to unite people across different faiths and backgrounds in the spirit of peace and better understanding. We hope the convention will be used as platform and catalyst for social change”, he added.

ISNA has invited a rich list of speakers, scholars, community leaders and public servants to address Convention attendees. Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the National Women’s March, will be the keynote speaker during the Community Service Recognition Luncheon which will honor Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed for his lifelong dedication to serving the community, building interfaith relationships and social justice advocacy.

Complementing the main ISNA offering of programs, there are conferences being hosted by the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. & Canada (MSA National) and the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).

ISNA is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.

*** So, what did one of these esteemed speakers have to say at this convention?

Do you suppose anyone from CNN, MSNBC or NBC attended and reported this? Nah….but the Huffington Post did publish a report and well, they used the same definition of ‘jihad’ that former CIA Director John Brennan used… just means struggle. Ah sure… Anwar al Awlaki called for peaceful demonstrations too. Maybe HuffPo should check with their counterpart Peter Bergen at CNN on al Awlaki. After the Secret Service visited with Kathy Griffin for an hour, will they too go pay a visit to ISNA or to Linda?

In part:

Conservative news sites are targeting activist Linda Sarsour again, this time for using the word “jihad” in a speech to a mainly Muslim audience. 

Speaking in Chicago at the annual Islamic Society of North America convention over the weekend, Sarsour, an organizer of January’s Women’s March, discussed what it means to be a patriot in the United States.

In her speech, which was posted online Monday, Sarsour discussed leaders like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who helped shift culture by being unapologetically themselves.

A number of conservative outlets zeroed in on a particular section of Sarsour’s speech, in which she used the word “jihad” to describe efforts to resist unjust policies.

The word “jihad” has long been misused and misunderstood by both Muslim extremists and people seeking to spread hatred against Muslims. But for the majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, “jihad” is a word that literally means “to struggle.” It’s a concept within Islam that represents a commitment to serve God, and to be good to yourself and your neighbors. It can be personal, like struggling to get through a rough workday, or overarching, like striving to seek justice for all people.

As Sarsour recounted in her speech, the Prophet Muhammad is said to have described the best form of jihad as “a word of truth in front of a tyrant, ruler or leader.”

FBN: She said that Muslim-Americans’ number one priority should be protecting and defending their communities, not assimilating or pleasing people in power.

“I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reining in the White House,” she said.

Sarsour was a leader behind January’s Women’s March, and she was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama administration in 2012.

Watch her full address above, and see Asra Nomani weigh in on Sarsour and the anti-Trump movement using this link.


New Leader of Gaza?


Photo of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and discharged Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan (File)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Amid an escalating conflict between Hamas and the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority (PA), a leaked and unconfirmed document obtained by Ma’an has noted that discharged Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas’ political rival Muhammad Dahlan could be appointed head of Gaza’s government as a result of talks between Hamas officials and Dahlan in Cairo.

MaanNews: The document, titled “A National Consensus Document for Trust-Building” details an agreement allegedly made between the Hamas movement, led by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and Dahlan during Egyptian-sponsored talks when Palestinian officials established a political front to challenge the PA in coordination with Dahlan.
Dahlan, being a fierce former opponent of Hamas’ rule in Gaza following its success in the 2006 elections that threw Fatah and Hamas in a protracted internal conflict, seemed like an unlikely political ally for Hamas. Nevertheless, analysts have pointed out that the new relationship between the former enemies represents Dahlan and Hamas’ mutual rejection of the PA, led by Abbas in the occupied West Bank.
The document contains 15 articles focused on ending the issues of Palestinian reconciliation, including articles aiming to resolve issues of revenge or compensation that have arisen during Hamas and Fatah’s more than a decade-long feud.
According to the document, the talks agreed that Dahlan would be head of the government in the Gaza Strip, while Hamas would control Gaza’s Ministry of Interior.
The reports have not been confirmed by Hamas or Dahlan.
Hamas’ newfound relationship with Dahlan also received attention following Egypt’s decision to send millions of liters of fuel to the besieged Gaza Strip, after Israel, which has kept the territory under a crippling blockade for a decade, dramatically cut its power supply to Gaza, at the request of the PA which had decided to cut its funding of Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave.
Despite the PA denying the allegations, it is widely believed among Palestinians and international critics that the PA’s recent policies in Gaza are aimed at putting pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the besieged coastal enclave and hand over the territory to the PA.
Dahlan, who while residing in exile in Abu Dhabi continues to hold political clout in the region, had reportedly persuaded the Egyptian government to send the fuel to the besieged territory in order to avert a full humanitarian collapse.
However, other reports stated that the fuel was provided to Gaza under an agreement that Hamas would work with the Egyptian government to deter militant activities in the Sinai, which Hamas has been accused of exacerbating by harboring militants in its territory. Hamas has consistently denied such allegations.
In the 1990s, Dahlan led a merciless crackdown on Hamas, rounding up thousands of Islamists who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the newly-created PA following the Oslo Accords.
But he fell from grace in June 2007 after the humiliating rout of his forces by Hamas fighters during days of fierce street battles in Gaza, when Hamas expelled Fatah forces from the territory.
Two years later, he returned to the political stage when he was elected to the Fatah central committee in August 2009.
But in December 2010, he was suspended from the committee which said it had set up a commission of inquiry to examine his finances and claimed he tried to set up a personal militia.
In 2015, Dahlan made headlines once again when he called for integrating all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, into the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Dahlan has also called to end the PA’s widely criticized security coordination with Israel, and has said he now considers the Oslo Accords to be invalid.
International media has also reported plans by several Middle Eastern countries to buttress Dahlan as the next Palestinian president to replace his rival Abbas

Kushner in Israel, with ‘Allen Plan’ in Hand?

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hoping for a breakthrough on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. After this session, Kushner goes to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas. This is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war where Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

One of the big issues with the Palestinians is the construction of ‘settlements’ which this site takes extreme exception to that term. The other term used by the Palestinians which should never be accepted is ‘occupation’.

So, as the title of the article includes the ‘Allen Plan’….exactly what is that?

It refers to General Allen and 1967 lines, proposed during Obama’s term as president. Israel is always prepared for these types of meetings and had already formally rejected any re-proposal for The Allen Plan.

Does this look like Israel can defend itself reverting to 1967 lines? Further, that proposal demands Israel to relinquish the most sacred historical territory.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Trump White House is currently reexamining the Allen Plan, an Obama-era proposal that calls for a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with no IDF presence whatsoever. This plan is dangerous. If it is implemented, Israel will have to rely on foreign forces for its security, a situation that has not worked in the past. More than that, it is antithetical to the Israeli ethos of self-defense and self-preservation in the Jewish homeland.

Col. Kris Bauman’s appointment as Israel adviser to the US National Security Council is a noteworthy event. He assisted Gen. John Allen in formulating recommendations for security arrangements for Israel in the context of a permanent settlement, to which then-Secretary of State John Kerry aspired. This set of recommendations came to be known as the Allen Plan.

Gen. Allen’s vision was detailed in a comprehensive document prepared at a US research institute by two Israelis and two Americans: Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni and Nimrod Novik, along with Ilan Goldenberg and Col. Kris Bauman.

The plan envisages a Palestinian state with full sovereignty inside the 1967 borders, its capital in east Jerusalem, with minor modifications for settlement blocs. The plan is based on complete acceptance of the Palestinian demand for full sovereignty. This means no IDF soldiers anywhere in their state, which would extend from the Jordan River to the 1967 line.

In lieu of Israel’s demands regarding defensible borders, which include an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley to ensure the Palestinian state’s demilitarization, the plan proposes a varied and complex security solution. One element would be a US military force that would operate in the Jordan Valley. As the document’s Executive Summary states,

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that well-thought-through security measures in the context of the two-state solution can provide Israelis and Palestinians with a degree of security equal or greater to that provided today by Israel’s deployment into the West Bank…

The basic problem is the notion that Israel will rely for its security on foreign forces. Not only is it difficult to ensure that such forces would fulfill their duty successfully, but it is uncertain whether or not they would stay in place – particularly after they have suffered casualties like those they have suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade.

Recall that during the waiting period before the Six-Day War, the security guarantee given by President Eisenhower to Ben-Gurion after the 1956 Sinai Campaign evaporated. When he demanded that Israel withdraw unconditionally from the Sinai Peninsula, Eisenhower promised that if the Straits of Tiran were ever again closed to Israeli shipping, the US would intervene. Yet when Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban came to Washington in May 1967, President Johnson candidly explained to him that Eisenhower’s promise – however estimable – was no longer a practical proposition. With his army bogged down in Vietnam, Johnson apparently could not have gained the nation’s or Congress’s support for an intervention in the Straits of Tiran even if he had wanted to.

The main concern is that the existence of the Greater Tel Aviv area – indeed, the daily routine of the State of Israel – will come to be dependent on the goodwill of foreign forces. That is the heart of the matter. Do we want Israel to be no more than a haven for persecuted Jews where they can subsist under foreign protection? Or do we want Israel to be a place of freedom, a homeland, in which we alone are responsible for our own security and sovereignty?

The authors of the Allen document emphasize that Israel’s security would continue to be based on the IDF’s power. But it is hard to imagine under what circumstances Israel would attain the international legitimacy to pursue an offensive deep within the Palestinian state, should the need arise. Regarding the conditions that could justify an IDF operation in Palestinian territory, the document says:

The Palestinians will never agree to an Israeli right of re-entry, but there could be a side agreement between Israel and the United States on the conditions under which the United States would support unilateral Israeli action. Ultimately, Israel is a sovereign state that enjoys the right of self-defense. Thus, it can unilaterally violate the sovereignty of another state, but with the attendant risks that would have to be weighed by Israeli leadership.

Should the IDF evacuate the territories completely, as envisaged by this plan, the Palestinians would certainly employ their carefully honed tactical and strategic talent for nonaccountability and ambiguity. They would take care to ensure that the Palestinian state cannot be defined as a hostile entity against which a “just war” can be declared. Whether deliberately or not, they would be able to let “rogue,” non-state forces do their work for them, and avoid taking responsibility. What then?

There is also good reason to doubt whether conditions for demilitarization can be maintained. In an era of global arms proliferation, and of forms of smuggling that elude surveillance (as in the flow of weapons to Hamas in Gaza and to Hezbollah in Lebanon), along with increasingly sophisticated local arms manufacture, there is no way to guarantee real demilitarization without a constant effort to keep the territory fully isolated and to operate within it.

We must also take into account the possibility that war could erupt in more than one arena at at a time. If war were to break out with the state of Palestine in the West Bank, it could happen simultaneously in Lebanon, Gaza, and so on. The IDF would be unable to concentrate its efforts in the West Bank arena – which, because of its geographic proximity to Israel’s population centers, could inflict a heavy blow. Under the new conditions of war, which are fundamentally different from those that prevailed in June 1967, reconquering the territory would be incomparably more difficult.

And what of the document’s validity under changing conditions? The security solution the document proposes must be weighed in terms of the time dimension, and in circumstantial contexts that are subject to change. If a solution is responsible and workable, what time span is envisaged? Who knows under what evolving circumstances the solution will be required to provide protection to a state of Israel that has been trimmed down to the coastal plain? Is there not also a need for responsible risk management regarding contingencies that are still beyond the horizon?

We must ask to what extent we ourselves, with the excessive emphasis we have placed on security concerns in recent decades as a key criterion by which to assess any prospective solution, have laid the groundwork for Gen. Allen’s plan. His security document is, after all, intended expressly to offer a technical solution to all the familiar security issues. It would leave the Israeli leadership without the faintest possibility of invoking a security pretext to ward off the “peace solution.”

In describing Kerry’s efforts, Thomas Friedman asserted (The New York Times, February 17, 2013) that in light of Gen. Allen’s solution for Israel’s security concerns, the Israeli government had reached a juncture where it would have to choose between peace and ideology.

Perhaps we have forgotten that protecting the national existence, in terms of how the IDF defines national security, does not pertain solely to ensuring the physical existence of the citizens of the country but also to safeguarding national interests. A national interest – such as the sovereignty of the people of Israel in their capital, Jerusalem – can go far beyond the technical contents of a plan for security arrangements, however worthy. Security is only a means, not an end in itself.

From a practical, professional standpoint, Gen. Allen’s plan leaves much to be desired. But on a deeper level, it completely ignores the possibility that the people of Israel, in renewing their life in their homeland, are motivated by something much greater than the need for a technical solution to security concerns.

Hamas and Gaza, the Shame of Qatar, PA and Egypt

Dealing with Hamas in Gaza includes who pays for the supply of electricity there.

Following an Israeli decision to cut down its electricity supply to the besieged coastal enclave by some 40 percent, Egypt has offered to provide more electricity to Gaza, if Hamas cooperates with Egypt in its harsh ‘counterterrorism’ crackdown, reported Alsharq Alawsat newspaper.

Israeli authorities approved the electricity cuts Monday, upon the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.

According to a report Tuesday from the London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat, Egypt has since offered Hamas an increased electricity supply and more freedom at the Rafah border crossing in exchange for a list of security demands.

Egypt has reportedly demanded that Hamas hand over 17 men wanted by Cairo on terrorism charges, more protection by Hamas at the border, the cessation of alleged weapons smuggling into the Sinai Peninsula, and information on the movement of “elements” into Gaza via underground tunnels.

Image result for hamas gaza NBC

Tower: The secretary-general of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates accused the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas on Monday of provoking Israeli forces by firing rockets from a field hospital during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, a war crime under international law, Ynet reported.

According to Secretary-General Mohamed Ateeq Al-Falahi, the Red Crescent’s staff was stationed at a UAE field hospital in Gaza when Hamas fighters began firing rockets from their facilities to provoke an Israeli response.

“This shows (Hamas’s) wicked intentions and how they scarified us,” said Al-Falahi. “They always claim the enemy targets humanitarian envoys, but the betrayal came from them,” he added.

Al-Falahi also accused Hamas of attempting to prevent the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza. “What hurts is that the betrayal came from our own people,” he said. “Muslims fighting Muslims, who were giving humanitarian aid to Muslims,” the secretary-general lamented.

This was not the end of Hamas’s hostility towards the group. When they left, Hamas had the Red Crescent targeted by Sinai jihadists, which shot at them and planted landmines in their path. They “accused us of being spies, undercover foreign intelligences who were escaping,” Al-Falahi explained.

When the Red Crescent left Gaza through Sinai, Hamas had apparently informed “extremist militias in Sinai… that there was a group making their way there, so prepare for jihad against them…,” Al-Falahi said. “As we stopped at a grocery store to buy something to eat, they started shooting at us,” he added.

Image result for hamas gaza tunnels Behind

Hamas has long been accused of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields, in violation of international law, to provoke a response from Israel and thereby increase the civilian toll for its own political advantage.

Bilal Razania, the brother of a senior Hamas official, told Israeli interrogators last year that Hamas used the Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza as a military base during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Hamas leaders similarly used Shifa hospital in Gaza City as “a de facto headquarters” during the conflict, The Washington Post reported. A report compiled by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that Hamas used over 10 hospitals during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 to launch rockets at Israeli towns and attack Israeli troops.

News crews from France 24 and India’s NDTV recorded incidents of Hamas terrorists setting up and firing rockets from positions located near civilians during the 2014 conflict. A year later, a Polish journalist wrote an op-ed describing how Hamas would fire from populated areas.

Hamas, in fact, admitted to using human shields following Operation Protective Edge.

Cutting Ties with Qatar, Not so Fast

Several Gulf countries announced isolating Qatar by recalling diplomatic personnel due to the al Thani dynasty funding and harboring terror organizations.

Media preview

Ah, cool right? But the United States has a large footprint in Qatar least of which is the Al Udeid air base in Doha. The location is rather known as the Centcom of the Middle East with a minimum of 9000 U.S. military personnel and it comes with a swimming pool too.

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The al Thani clan was a good friend of the West, well kinda sorta. The very day that Barack Obama swapped 5 Gitmo detainees for Beau Bergdahl, Obama was attending the West Point graduation ceremony where a son of al Thani himself was graduating. You read that right, a Qartari at West Point.

No, it is no secret that Qatar hosts an embassy for the Taliban. It is no secret that Russia provides weapons, intelligence and funding to the Taliban. Qatar also hosts the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. So, exactly why is the United States so tolerant of Qatar? Money.

Oh, Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and is beginning to have results with regard to Qatar. Not so fast.

Qatar has begun to expel Hamas leaders taking refuge within its borders, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen network reported over the weekend.

The report cited “diplomatic sources” as saying that on Saturday, Qatar gave Hamas a list of names of members required to leave the country. Al Mayadeen did not name the individuals forced to leave.

According to the report, a Qatari envoy met with prominent Hamas figures to deliver the list, which, the sources say, includes mainly those responsible for collaborating with the organization’s leadership in the Judea and Samaria region.

You see, Qatar plays a double game all the time, people are expelled while others rotate in.

It was also just a few days ago Qatar officials called Tehran to congratulate them on the recent elections and expressed continued understanding and alliance with Hezbollah and Hamas. As a result of all this, the Qatar New Agency was hacked and oh yeah, Qatar funds al Jazeera.

The region plays an important role for the US military in the fight against Daesh. Bahrain houses the US Navy’s Fifth fleet, which patrols the seas of the Middle East and Central Asia, while Qatar is home to the Al Udeid Airbase, from where the United States carries out airstrikes against militants in the region.

Tillerson urged the Gulf Cooperation Council nations to sort out their differences and said that the United States was willing to play a role in helping the countries address their differences.

Meanwhile, as President Trump attended the ceremony to open the counter-terrorism center in Saudi Arabia, that center is at least years old, the Saudi for the most part have expelled Qatar from participation in the center’s operations. Hummm, is that really smart given the terror operations being hosted in Qatar and being cut off? Messy isn’t it?

In recent years, evidence has mounted that Turkey under the rule of Erdogan is building a larger Islamist new version of the Ottoman Empire and has even aligned more so with Russia and Iran against the West and the efforts in Syria. So, how about that merging relationship with Qatar and Turkey? Here are some more details on that, which shows the relationship order in the Middle East is changing dramatically.

A Turkish military base to be deployed in Qatar will be headquartered in Doha and lead by Qatari-Turkish generals, top official has said after sessions at parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission.

“Within the framework of the agreement, it is envisaged that a joint Turkish-Qatar divisional tactical headquarters should be established, that its place should be in Doha, that the commander of the unit is to be a major general and a Qatari, and that the commander assistant is to be a brigadier and Turkish,” said Defense Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Major Ihsan Bülbül.

Stating that the number of troops to be deployed will be 500 to 600, Bülbül said Qatar also requests the sending of units in Turkey with a flexible structure to allow them to be transferred to Qatar if needed. “We are sending troops to Qatar and setting up bases and Qatar pays for it. What is Turkey’s interest in this business? What is Qatar’s interest in it? We need to further investigate Turkey’s relations with Qatar, which we cannot pinpoint the strategic meaning of,” Salıcı said.

“In the introduction of the agreement, it refers to ‘other duties found appropriate.’ This expression within such an agreement is open-ended, as there is a transfer of soldiers and base development that will be paid for by the host country,” he added.

Salıcı also noted that Qatar’s current army presence is made up of 11,800 individuals. More here.