Weekend long read

1) The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has published a compilation of lectures on “The Decline of the Islamic State”.

“The Islamic State had perpetrated egregious crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing from the time it stormed onto the world stage in 2014, but by 2016 the international anti-IS coalition was taking its toll on the terrorist group. As it lost territory, IS lost not only the ability to make money from natural resources but also its massive taxation (extortion) of the local population. As IS faced battlefield defeat at the hands of coalition forces, undermining the group’s self-declared territorial goal of “remaining and expanding,” attacks abroad took on greater significance as a way to remain relevant and demonstrate that the group could still inflict pain on its adversaries—but now in their home countries. A review of IS-related attacks in 2016 includes multiple attacks in Turkey, the Brussels bombings, and attacks and plots in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, United States, and Yemen.”

2) At the Times of Israel David Horovitz discusses “Hamas, the murderous neighbor that demands Israel give it the gun“.

“…Hamas has made life as hellish for Israel as it possibly can — firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately into Israel, digging attack tunnels under the border, killing and wounding soldiers at the border fence, carrying out suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism, and most recently flying arson devices — kites and balloons — across the border to burn our lands.

All the while, in its guiding charter and in the speeches and propaganda of its leaders, it’s told anybody who’ll listen that it is bent on destroying Israel, that the Jews have no right to be here — or anywhere else for that matter — and that, sooner or later, it will wipe us out.

It’s also been complaining to anyone who’ll listen about the blockade that Israel (and Egypt) impose on the territory it controls. If we don’t lift that blockade, it threatens, it’ll keep on attacking us.

If we do lift that blockade, it is patently obvious, Hamas will immediately bring in more of the weaponry it needs in order to pursue its declared goal of destroying us.” 

3) The JCPA reports on Hizballah’s ‘air force’.

“Unmanned drones (“RPAV” is the term today – Remotely Piloted Air Vehicle) are being used throughout the Middle East for surveillance, combat, targeting, platforms for bombs and missiles, and as “suicide” drones (in effect, cruise missiles). RPAVs’ endurance and range can reach many hours and hundreds of kilometers. Iranian-made drones are now flying in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Over the last decade, they have attempted to enter Israeli airspace from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza.”

4) MEMRI takes a look at the record of an Egyptian cleric who visited the UK in July.

“During his visit to the U.K. this month for the first Emerging Peacemakers Forum, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Sheikh of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institution, met with Queen Elizabeth II as well as with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Windsor Castle, on July 12, 2018. Al-Tayyeb reportedly stayed at the archbishop’s Lambeth Palace, one of the forum’s venues, during his U.K. visit. […] During his visit, Al-Tayyeb also met with U.K. Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP.”

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One comment on “Weekend long read

  1. Here is a piece by Caroline Glick at Breitbart entitled “Time to Let Gaza Fail,” which mentions the BBC:
    http://carolineglick.com/time-to-let-gaza-fail/

    “…Hamas’s strategy for governance is fairly straightforward. It depletes and pollutes Gaza’s water supply and fails to pay the electricity bills, bringing about a near total absence of electricity in Gaza. It uses all of Gaza’s resources to build and maintain its terror infrastructure and operations against Israel. And when things become impossible to maintain, it launches a new operation against Israel.

    Israel constrains its response to minimize civilian casualties on both sides. For that, Israel is condemned by the UN, CNN, the BBC, and the rest of the international left. Israel agrees to a humanitarian ceasefire and permits Hamas to receive hundreds of millions in humanitarian aid, which Hamas then diverts to rebuilding and expanding its terror infrastructure, leaving just enough to ensure the population doesn’t starve.

    The notion, then, that humanitarian aid to Gaza will change the situation for the better is based on a misperception of basic strategic choices. The powers-that-be in the West, in the U.S., and in Israel itself have presented the Gaza threat as a binary choice: Israel can invade and reconquer Gaza, or Israel can try to contain the Hamas threat while providing for the needs of the people of Gaza.

    The prospective price in the lives of Israeli soldiers and civilians in pursuing the first option is so high that no one has seriously suggested it. As for the second option, it has no chance of succeeding. Hamas can attack Israel on the cheap. The people of Gaza support it. And Hamas uses war as a means to pay for more wars.

    There is a better option. It is based on a simple insight.

    When you degrade your enemy’s power, he is weaker and can hurt you less. When you empower your enemy, he is stronger and can hurt you more.

    Israel and the U.S. should not worry about what will happen when Hamas is overthrown. Hamas is unlikely to lose power for the foreseeable future.

    Simply put, if the U.S. stops supporting humanitarian aid to Hamas and its loyal supporters, Hamas’s economic model of governance will be destroyed. The economic incentive to attack Israel will be defeated….”

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