"Terrorism is a prelude to conquest; Allah thus instills such fear among infidels, and they beg for peace."
— Abu al-Maqqai, Islamic Historian, 1600s
Re-ignition of the decades-old Gaza conflict is a textbook example of Islamic terrorism used as a prelude to conquest, with Gaza as the gambit — the pawn willingly sacrificed to gain advantage, in this case public opinion worldwide.
Since 2006, Hamas (acronym translated for “Arabic Islamic Resistance Movement”) has been the ruling political party in the Gaza Strip, a rectangle of land measuring 139 square miles (about twice the size of the District of Columbia). The Strip, which extends 25 miles along the Mediterranean Sea, has a width that varies from 4 miles to 7.5 miles. Bordered on the north and east by Israel and on the southwest by Egypt, the Gaza Strip has a population of about 1.5 million people who are 99.3 percent Muslim, with the remaining less than 1 percent, Christian.
The Gaza Strip and the larger West Bank are territories (non-nations) separated by Israeli land. They are administered by the Palestinian National Authority (PA) formed in 1994 as part of the Oslo Accords reached by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The West Bank (90 miles long, 30 miles wide) is bordered on the north, west, and south by Israel and on the east by Jordan and the Dead Sea. With a population of approximately 2.4 million (87 percent Arabs, 13 percent Jews), the West Bank is governed by the late Yasser Arafat’s Fatah party, which also was the leading political party in the Gaza Strip prior to the Hamas election victory.
For eight years, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel to terrify the “infidel.” In 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government to negotiate a long-term cease-fire with Israel, whose leaders demurred. At first, the rockets were primitive Hamas-made Qassams, but then more improved Russian Katyushas (World War II vintage) arrived on the scene, and now long-range Russian Grad missiles have been fired.
These bombardments are meant to take life, to wound, to demoralize, in short to terrorize the Israeli people and make them beg for peace. Instead, in December 2008, Israeli troops invaded Gaza in a counterattack on the source of Hamas-fired rockets and missiles — Gaza City.
Hamas declares that its bombardment of Israel is a localized drive to gain nation status for the Gaza Strip, while in the same breath calling for the destruction of Israel.
In response, Israel holds that a new Muslim nation intent on the destruction of its neighbor would only advance al-Qaida’s global campaign for a worldwide Shariah (Islamic law/rule). Thus, statehood for Gaza is hardly in Israel’s best interests.
The Gaza Strip, to achieve nation status for its Islamic socialist territorial government, will need to reverse a troubled existence that dates back to biblical days. In the near past, Gaza’s non-sovereign land status began with its fall to British forces during World War I.
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory for 19 years; then after the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel began its 27-year occupation of Gaza. In 1994, when Israel transferred the Gaza Strip to the PA, Gaza City became the administrative center of the territory — and the storage site of Hamas rockets.
Hamas draws strength from a symbiotic relationship developing on a global scale between Islamic terrorists and radical left/anarchists. Despite different ideologies, they share a hatred of the West and of capitalism and its freedoms, culture, history, and people.
They blame the West and especially the United States for the world’s ills. Islamic terrorists seek a theocratic world caliphate, while radical liberals seek a secular socialist/communist world controlled by billionaire oligarchs — making for an unlikely alliance.
Ironically, American Jewry, which in 1948 urged U.S. support for the formation of Israel, today appears to be backing away from diplomatic or military support. Increasingly, the left-leaning proclivities of many American Jews advance an anti-military, peace-at-any-price mindset, subliminally in support of Palestinians. This about-face leaves most American Jews silent and blindly following the dictates of the Democrat Party, despite a hint of anti-Semitism. A minority of American Jews ascribe to the Republican Party and its advocacy of Israel’s survival in the war on terror.
Despite thousands of pro-Palestinian marchers in big cities and small towns across the United States and the world, the pro-Israel response has been anemic at best. Are Jewish liberals in the United States beginning to conclude that diplomatic and military support for Israel runs counter to their radical left ideals? Islamist Internet Web sites describe the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza as “The Palestine Holocaust,” and the charge goes unchallenged.
Meanwhile, provocative pro-Palestinian shouts and banners — definitely anti-Semitic — fail to evoke any international outrage, let alone any Jewish outrage. “Never again” demonstrations are nowhere to be seen.
Quixotic U.N., European Union, and U.S. peace efforts to resolve the on-again-off-again escalation of the Gaza conflict have had no discernable effect.
For Israel, years of bombardment came to a head in November 2008, when Hamas agents were caught in the act of digging a tunnel to kidnap Israeli soldiers, and seven Islamic terrorists were killed. In response, the missile assault on southern Israel was escalated, in the latest phase of the Hamas commitment to destroy Israel.
The world press fails to mention that tunneling by Hamas terrorists provoked the Israelis. The news media and Islamic apologists report that Hamas is the victim of an unprovoked attack. Again, no discernable voice of protest or even objective reporting is heard.
Yet Islamic terrorists or radicals or fundamentalists or criminals or patriots or freedom fighters, whatever one may call them, are waging guerrilla warfare on non-Muslims, who are de facto infidels. Recent highly publicized terrorist killings are not limited to Israel, as seen in the attacks on Mumbai (formerly Bombay).
Decades of Islamic terror against Israel and the West continue to be downplayed by the leftist press. From the 1968 murder of Robert F. Kennedy by a Palestinian to the terrorist killings of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics to the killing of a U.S. sailor on a hijacked TWA plane to the killing of Daniel Pearl to the 9/11 massacre to the Mumbai killings to current Gaza missile attacks on Israel, Islamic terrorists advance their global jihad.
These unabated killings proceed with no outcries or protests against Islamic terrorism. Demonstrations occur only when Muslim communities or sensibilities are concerned. The new U.S. president must continue to hold Islamic terrorists accountable for these hijackings, bombings, and killings; because many of his supporters not only fail to condemn guerrilla warfare waged by Islamic radicals, they condemn any effort to defeat these terrorists.
The teachings of the Quran and those sayings attributed to Muhammad clearly assert that the world must be converted to Islam. Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) held that Muslims had a duty to convert the whole world either by persuasion or force to achieve a Pax Islamica. Abu Ala Mawdudi, founder of the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami jihad group, recently wrote, “Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world, and Muslim nations are not like normal nations. Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the world.” He explained that Islam must use whatever means necessary to bring about Islamic revolution worldwide.
Jihad Seeks Destruction
Constant verbal attacks by Muslims on Israel and the United States and to a lesser extent on all Western nations hardly sow seeds of negotiation and resolution. The New York Times quotes Muslim cartoonist Omayya Joha, widow of a deceased Hamas fighter, who said, “Israel thinks of me as a radical anti-Semite, but I am not. I simply do not think that we (Palestinians) can ever have peace. No way. Never.”
Those claiming to be moderate Muslims say they cannot close their eyes to the Crusades and to perceived past and present persecution of Muslims and Islamic countries and to broken promises of a Palestinian homeland. Meanwhile, in what is either a clash of cultures or of religions, these same Muslims brush aside decades of killings of non-Muslims.
The Gaza conflict may never be resolved by the political or diplomatic efforts of Western countries. As long as radical Islamists cling to their guns and religion, local conflicts such as the Gaza gambit will be played out across the world. Jihad can only be defused from within Islam, and today’s moderate Muslims do not seem up for the task. Perhaps no mere mortal is.
James H. Walsh is a former federal prosecutor.
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