Monday, June 17, 2013

The "Sushi" is Heating Up

The "Sushi" is Heating Up by Mordechai Kedar
Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:06 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Granddaddy Hand" hisdude2004

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The following article was written in Hebrew by Dr. Mordechai Kedar for
the June 14, 2013 issue of the Makor Rishon newspaper, and translated
to English by Sally Zahav.

The "Sushi" is Heating Up
by Mordechai Kedar

Among scholars of the Middle East, the term "sushi" is used as a
shorthand for the expression, "Sunni-Shi'a". Anyone interested in the
history of Islam knows that the seeds of the Sunni-Shi'a conflict were
planted the moment that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, closed his
eyes forever in the year 632 CE, without leaving a mechanism for
choosing a successor to lead the nation. The conflict that developed
as a result, has become an open, bloody battle over the years, and it
has been a thread in the fabric of Islamic history throughout all of
its 1400 years. This conflict has facets on many levels: personal,
familial, political and religious. The battle between the two factions
of Islam is "for the whole pot", and it continues to this very day.

In modern times, attempts have been made to bridge over the conflict
and to find common ground between the factions of Islam in order to
create a sense of calm between the factions, on the basis of which it
will be possible to manage states such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon,
where the two factions live side by side, Shi'ites and Sunnis, in one
state. Even the Egyptian Sheikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the
Mufti (religious arbiter) of the Emirate of Qatar, has expressed
himself both verbally and in writing about the need to find a way to
"bring the schools of thought closer together", as if Shi'a is another
legitimate school of thought, in addition to the four Sunni schools:
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. In the good old days they used to
call the Shi'a faction the "Jafari school" after one of the fathers of

The Golden Age between the Sunni and Shi'a was the year 2006, as a
result of the Second Lebanon War, when Hizb'Allah managed to create
the impression that it had won a "divine victory" over Israel. After
all, Hasan Nasrallah had survived despite 33 days of heavy Israeli
attacks, some of which were aimed at him personally. Hizb'Allah was
compared with the armies of the Arab countries, which had failed in
all of their attempts to destroy the state of Israel, and were
defeated by Israel's army in only six days in 1967. As a result of the
Second Lebanon War, Hasan Nasrallah declared in every public arena -
especially in his al-Manar ("the beacon") television channel - that
the victory belongs to the whole Arab and Islamic nation, and in this
way, he created for himself the image of being the only leader in the
Middle East who knows what to do and does the right things, ignoring
the objections of the infidel West and its paltry servants, meaning
most of the rulers of the Arab states. Bashar Asad declared that
Hizb'Allah's way is the only way to fight and the only method that can
defeat the Zionist enemy.

During the war in the summer of 2006, great crowds of people of the
Middle East erupted in emotional demonstrations where pictures of
Hasan Nasrallah were held high, and those who wanted to make a point
also carried pictures of Bashar Asad, the great supporter of
Hizb'Allah. It was convenient for everyone - including religious
figures such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi - to ignore the fact that
Hizb'Allah was a Shi'ite group, backed up by Iran, because if the
Sunni Hamas movement ended up in the same boat with Hizb'Allah what
evil could possibly have sprung from the Lebanese "al-Muqawama
wal-mumana'a" ("Resistance and Defense") movement, which supports all
of the "liberation movements" regardless of religious sect? The
al-Jazeera channel, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Sunni Muslim
Brotherhood movement, embraced Hizb'Allah and dedicated many hours of
positive programming to it, and in many Islamic societies - including
Israel's - more than a few people crossed over from the Sunni side of
Islam to the Shi'a. Only a small group of Saudi religious authorities
were not overcome by the waves of sympathy for Hizb'Allah. They always
view the Shi'ite dominance of Lebanon, as well as its influence on the
collective Arab discourse, negatively.

But the enthusiasm for Hizb'Allah has not survived the storm that has
been buffeting the Middle East ever since December 2010, known
romantically in the media as "the Arab Spring", as if presently in the
Middle East, the birds are chirping, the trees are budding, the
flowers are blooming, the butterflies are fluttering, people are
smiling and there is an air of rising optimism. The vicious war that
has been raging in Syria since March 2011 has cost so far at least one
hundred thousand fatalities and many thousands of wounded, has made
millions of Syrians into displaced persons within their land and into
refugees in neighboring lands, and Hizb'Allah is totally engaged in
fighting this dirty war in support of the Asad regime. Information
about the involvement of Hizb'Allah in the fighting has been leaking
out for more than a year. At first they buried their fallen in
temporary graveyards in the Valley of Lebanon, near the border with
Syria, to avoid holding funerals in residential areas, thereby
disclosing Hizb'Allah's involvement in the events in Syria. Because
of the need for secrecy, the families of the fallen were forbidden to
observe rites of mourning and memorial services when the fighters

With time, the picture has changed, and Hizb'Allah can no longer hide
its involvement in the battles in Syria. In an effort to shore up his
popularity, Nasrallah tried to say that the Hizb'Allah forces were in
Syria only to defend a number of "Lebanese" villages, but some of
those who heard this story understood that Hizb'Allah was actually
defending Shi'ite villages from attacks by the Sunni rebels. This
story crumbled when faced with the reality that was reported by the
media, describing Hizb'Allah as an integral part of the Asad regime's
fighting effort. For the past year, public criticism of Hizb'Allah has
increased in the Arab world because of its involvement in the murder
of Syrians, and matters came to a head about a month ago, with the
attack on the town of al-Qusayr, which is located on the border
between Syria and Lebanon, and serves as a bridge for the transfer of
support, weapons, ammunition and fighters from the Sunni area of
Tripoli in Lebanon to the rebels in Syria. The rebels took control of
al-Qusayr about a year ago, which enabled them to drive a wedge
between the area of Damascus, the capital, and the Alawite area in the
northwest of the country. From the photographs and the reports of the
battle for Qusayr during the past month, it seems that it was
Hizb'Allah and not the Syrian army that was fighting for the town.

This bloody battle was the straw that broke the Sunni camel's back.
Since al-Qusayr fell into Hizb'Allah's hands, all the dams of
criticism have burst, and the religious authorities of Sunni Islam
have been attacking Hizb'Allah with their sharpest arrows of Islamic
rhetoric, tipped with deadly venom. The expression they use as the
name of the organization is "Hizb al-Shitan" - "the party of Satan" -
hinting at the passage from the Qur'an "The party of Satan are the
losers" (Sura 58, Verse 19), which is the opposite of the name "Hizb
'Allah" - "the party of Allah" - which is also based on the Qur'an
(Sura 5, Verse 56). In homilies given in the mosques and in the media,
Yusuf al-Qaradawi calls on all Muslims, male and female, to wage jihad
against Hizb'Allah in Syria, and openly accuses Hizb'Allah and the
Iranians of wanting to devour all of the Muslim countries. He accuses
them of being infidels and of hiding their true identity.

Qaradawi does not restrain his tongue. He speaks with contempt about
the change in the Syrian constitution that allowed Bashar Asad to
succeed his father in 2000 when he was 34 years old, despite the fact
that until then, the president was required to be at least 40 years
old. He even mentions the original name of the Asad family -
"al-wahsh" - which means "wild beast". Qaradawi calls on all the
Islamic sages of the world to gather in Cairo on Thursday of this
week, to discuss how to deal with the Shi'ites in general and Iran and
Hizb'Allah in particular, and to take decisions on the matter. He
views the ascent of Sunni Islam to power in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco
and Yemen as a blessing, in addition to Gaza, which he visited

Qaradawi clearly admits that he erred in 2006 about Hizb'Allah, and
was fooled by its religious appearance. Qaradawi praises the religious
sages of Saudi Arabia who even then, in the days of the Second Lebanon
War, were right about Hizb'Allah and did not fall into the trap that
Nasrallah had set for the Arab and Islamic world. He asked for pardon
and forgiveness from those sages for supporting Hizb'Allah against
their judgment.

But Qaradawi is not alone. When 1200 Kuwaiti jihadists were about to
leave Kuwait and go to Syria to join the jihad against Hizb'Allah, the
Kuwaiti Sheikh Shafi al-'Ajami encouraged them to slaughter their
enemy and asked the jihadists to save ten Hizb'Allah fighters for him
to have the pleasure of beheading personally.

Even Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic
movement in Israel, openly speaks against Hizb'Allah, which acts
against "our brothers" in Syria. It is important for us to remember
that "our brothers" to Sheikh Ra'ad Salah might be the Muslim
Brotherhood in Syria, but could also be the Palestinian refugees in
Syria, several hundred of whom were killed and injured in battles
between Asad and his opposition, and many thousands of whom fled to
Jordan and Lebanon.

In Iraq as well

The increasing tension between the Sunni and Shi'a takes its toll in
Iraq as well. In the month of May this year, more than a thousand men,
women and children were killed in Sunni attacks against Shi'ites, and
in revenge attacks of Shi'ites against Sunnis. The increasing tension
between the factions in Iraq has generated mutual declarations, each
side against the other: "You had better get out of Iraq before it is
too late", meaning before our knives separate your heads from your
shoulders. Iran arms and equips the Iraqi army as well as the Shi'ite
militias such as the Mahdi Army, while Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the
Emirates support the Sunni minority with weapons, ammunition and
funds. The "sushi" tension in the Land of the Two Rivers is increasing
and a conflagration resulting in an all-out civil war is apparently
just a matter of time.

And Lebanon

Many Lebanese object to the activity of Hizb'Allah in Syria because
they fear that the civil war will overflow from Syria into Lebanon,
and they will be its victims. This week the Sunnis held a
demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy in Beirut where the
demonstrators called on Iran to bring Hizb'Allah out of Syria. Armed
Hizb'Allah activists attacked the demonstrators with clubs and sticks
and beat one of them to death. The fighting continues in Tripoli in
the north of Lebanon between the Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabana
and Jabal Mohsen, whose residents are Alawite, and this week too,
people were injured there. About two weeks ago Grad rockets fell in a
southern neighborhood of Beirut, a Hizb'Allah stronghold, and all
signs point to a "sushi" heating up in the Land of the Cedars too.

There are reports that Hizb'Allah has demanded the Hamas movement to
take its people out of Lebanon because Hamas no longer supports

The Sunni-Shi'a tension might result in a conflagration in many
countries: Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, the United Arab
Emirates, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and perhaps even Turkey, which also
has a significant Shi'ite minority.

In Israel, we must take into account that in the Middle East the rule
"the enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not always work. Just
because the Sunnis and the Shi'ites relate to each other with
hostility and hatred, that doesn't result in love for Israel. In the
best case, it may lead to a short-term coalition between Israel and
Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, but we cannot
rely on such a coalition, because we are still the "Zionist entity"
which, according to Islam - Sunni and Shi'a alike - has no right to


Dr. Mordechai Kedar ( is an Israeli scholar
of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the
director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam
(under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in
Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab
countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for
the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan
University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Middle East Genocide

Ralph Peters has written an incredibly important, profound, well-documented, and terrifying report on Middle East Genocide (June 2, 2013). While all of us are busy addressing personal issues, and serious matters affecting our lives as citizens in this country, as well as  those affecting our Israeli brothers and sisters, the very nature of the world is changing dramatically. The population shifts due to persecutions and expulsions, many due to Islamic terrorism, must be recognized. They threaten our lives as Christians, Jews, Americans, and Europeans. After reading Peters' article, which appears below, please contact AFSI by email or telephone to help us formulate an action plan. We must work to get Peters' message to  President Obama and the politically correct groups who deny the dangers of Islamic terrorism. If our government continues on its present path, we are all in danger.
Middle East Genocide

We do nothing as Muslims eradicate the last vestiges of Christians 
and Jews from nation after nation


We are witnesses to murder, and our governments are accomplices. The relentless destruction of the last remnants of the Middle East's Judeo-Christian civilization is well under way. And we are silent.
Captives of political correctness, our governments cater to radical immigrant tantrums as our leaders contort the truth to deny the existence of Islamist terrorism. Meanwhile, our Middle Eastern "allies" and foes alike eradicate thousands of years of Jewish and Christian heritage. Our diplomats treat the persecution as a minor embarrassment, best ignored.

Muslims set fire to a Copt  
Christian church in Cairo.

The banishments and butchery aren't new, but the breakdown of the last rotting order in the wake of the "Arab Spring" has empowered psychotic fanatics who do not even value the lives of the faithful, let alone the lives of unbelievers. This is the end-game, the final persecution of Christians clinging to lands they've called home for 2,000 years. Except for Israel and the rarest exceptions elsewhere, Jews are already gone from the realms that nurtured them since the early years of their faith.

A thousand years ago, there were more Christians in the Middle East than in Europe, and Jewish communities prospered from the Nile to the Tigris. Even a century ago, more than 20% of the region's population was Christian, and Jews still adorned Arab cities with their talents.
Today, estimates put the Christian population of the region at under 5% and sinking rapidly - and only that high because of the 9 million Copts who remain, for now, in Egypt.
The birthplace of Christianity, Bethlehem, now has a Muslim majority of as much as 80% - a reversal that coincided with the West's decision to embrace Palestinian terrorists as "partners for peace." A few decades ago, Lebanon had a Christian majority. Now, with Christian numbers fading, it's tugged between Shia Hezbollah and Sunni fanatics.
Slighted by the US occupation - as our government pandered to Muslim hardliners - the Christian population of Iraq has fallen by two-thirds over 10 years. And the most ferocious elements in the Syrian insurgency see no place for Christians in Syria's future. Even Jordan, struggling to appease its own Islamists, has cracked down on Christian activities.
The Jews, of course, are already long gone.
But the stones of ruined churches cry out, and vanished synagogues haunt decayed Arab neighborhoods.
If you read the New Testament or study the formative centuries of Christianity, there are few references to western cities other than Rome. The names that dot the Epistles of St. Paul and histories of the church are now in Muslim hands: Alexandria, Damascus, Tarsus, Carthage, Ephesus, Nicaea, Constantinople and so many others. Even Mecca and Medina had thriving Christian and Jewish quarters before the first jihads.

But all they possess does not suffice for Islamist fanatics. Israel must be blotted from the earth, and the last Christians must be driven out.
This is an old, old story, nearing its end. We shroud it in lies to excuse ourselves from taking a stand, even accepting the preposterous Arab claim that Muslim failures today are the fault of the Crusades, a brief interlude when Christians occupied a coastal strip hardly larger than Israel. In fact, it was the Mongols, then the Muslim Turks, who shattered Arab civilization. And as for conquests, Muslims occupied Spain in all or part for 800 years - and brutalized the Balkans for half a millennium. The Crusades were hardly a burp.
We also accept extravagant claims that "civilized" Arabs rescued the classical texts that formed our civilization. That's utter nonsense. The Arab hordes that burst out of barren Arabia in the 7th century were composed of illiterates. Conquering at a time when the warring Byzantine and Persian empires had exhausted themselves, the new rulers found that tribal practices didn't suffice to run provinces. So they took over the existing bureaucracies, staffed by Greek-speaking Christians and Jews. It was those officials who saved the Greek classics for Europe's future Renaissance - and their descendants designed Islam's greatest monuments.
Yes, some Arab rulers came to value learning - but the Arab world never produced a Homer, Plato, Sophocles or Thucydides whose appeal transcended their culture.
Islam was a religion spread by war. It was only a "religion of peace" where it had conquered. True, Islam sometimes proved more tolerant of minorities than Europeans, but that was at the zenith of the faith's power.
There's yet another illusion of ours - that Islam is gaining strength. Islam is on the ropes. What we've seen in the pogroms and outright genocides over the last 150 years has been the spleen of a once-triumphant faith whose practices and values can't compete in the modern age.
Consider today's Middle East, apart from Israel. Despite the massive influx of oil wealth, there isn't one world-class university. Nothing of quality or technological complexity is manufactured between Morocco and Pakistan. Not even Saudi Arabia has first-rate health-care. Research is nil. Patent applications are statistically zero. Women are regarded as lesser beings, wasting half of the region's human capital. Not one Arab society's a meritocracy. And corruption cripples all.
A handful of glitzy hotels and shopping centers do not make a civilization (especially when the merchandise is all imported). Should Islamist fanatics succeed in driving all minorities from the region, they'd be left with a human wasteland of comprehensive failure, seething with hatred and uncontainable violence. The self-segregation of the Islamic heartlands would be a tragedy for humanity - but, above all, for Muslims.
Birth rates are a red herring. More mouths to feed are not magic sources of strength in lands of scarcity and poverty. The Middle East is self-destructive, morally brittle and falling ever further behind a world that's charging ahead. Islamists can't even get terrorism right - today, we're terrorizing the terrorists. So they turn on the weak in their midst, the last minorities.
The initial wave of destruction and slaughter began almost a millennium ago, when the Muslim world first felt itself under threat. But, more recently, as the West shot to power (thanks to science, learning, hard work, religious tolerance and organization), the creaking Ottoman Empire could not shake off its centuries-old stupor to keep up.
Enraged by failure, the Ottomans turned on their most-productive minorities - whose successes outraged yesteryear's fanatics. Beginning in the 1880s and accelerating in the 1890s, pogroms against Armenian Christians stunned Western witnesses. But European leaders turned a blind eye, just as we do today. So during the First World War, the Young Turks who had seized power decided to finish the job.
It was genocide. At least a million Armenians - perhaps twice that number - were systematically exterminated . . . although not without being tortured, raped, starved and death-marched first. The scale of the butchery was such that it obscured other, concurrent genocides, most notably that of Assyrian Christians at the hands of Turks and other Muslims. Estimates of Assyrian deaths run from just under 300,000 to one million.
Nor did the slaughters stop there. In British-created Iraq, massacres of Christians recurred from 1933 to 1961.
City names we know from our recent wars, such as Mosul, Basra or Tikrit (Saddam's home town), once were centers of Christian culture, with bishops, cathedrals and monasteries famous for learning.
Gone. And the last pale ghosts, those Christians holding on to homes their blood knew for 20 centuries, are soon to go. Meanwhile, our president assures us that "Islam's a religion of peace."
Mr. President, go to Iraq and speak those words in the bomb-torn churches amid desecrated graves.
Mr. President, go to Egypt and explain to the brutalized Copts why your embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood government's good for them.
Then go to Israel, Mr. President, where Christians worship freely, and tell the Israelis they should "return Palestinian land" after Muslims seized the homes that sheltered Jews for 3,000 years.
Explain to Jews why their temples were profaned and obliterated by the adherents of that "religion of peace."
Of course, the real tragedy for the Arabs in the last century wasn't the Naqba, Israel's close-run struggle to survive attacks by an arc of Arab armies. The tragedy was that the most-backward, intolerant and indolent Arabs, primitive tribesmen, got most of the oil wealth and used it to spread their Wahhabi cult throughout the Islamic world. The intellectuals in the great Arab cities never had a chance.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon on a long bus trip through Turkey, a country for which I have great, if frustrated, affection. All went fine amid splendid hospitality . . . until we reached the east. Along the roadsides in what had been Armenia (the first Christian kingdom, by the way) desolate villages, razed to their foundations, scarred the landscape between drab modern towns. When asked what those ruins were, a Turk would avert his eyes and mutter, "Abandoned."
Those villages weren't abandoned. They were the site of the last century's first great genocide. No one stood up for those inconvenient Christians.
And no one's standing up for the Middle East's tormented Christians now, or for the last handful of Jews left beyond Israel.
Even the dust cries for justice, and we look away.
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of the new Civil War novel, "Hell or Richmond."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Origin of the word 'Hoax'

Michelango and Jewish symbols
Tue May 28, 2013 10:53 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Salomon L Vaz Dias" Well Judith, in the Vatican they just adore magic. Is their way though a hoax?

Origin of the word 'Hoax'
The word hoax first came into popular use sometime in the middle to late eighteenth century. It is thought to have been a contraction of the word hocus from the conjuror's term hocus pocus. The term hocus pocus itself first appeared in the early seventeenth century. It might have derived from the assumed name of a conjuror in the time of King James who called himself 'The Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus' because with the performance of every trick he used to call out the nonsense phrase, "Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo" (later magicians were known to use the phrase "Hax pax max deus adimax"). This phrase was itself probably an imitation (or mockery) of the phrase used by priests of the Church of Rome when they performed the act of transubstantiation, "hoc est corpus."

We all believe whatever we believe or?