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As the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) makes its way across Iraq and Syria, and as the United States and others battle this spread with airstrikes and support for those on the ground, reports continue to surface of young people traveling from elsewhere to fight for the terrorist organization. While some of these fighters have been from the United States, the large majority are European. Tablet’s Lee Smith takes a look at why ISIS has proven to be such a draw for Europe’s young people:
Thousands of young European Muslims have already left the continent for the Middle East to help the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, build an authentic Islamic caliphate. Doubtless thousands more are on their way, to kill and die for an idea they believe in.
It is a striking fact that ISIS appeals not only to young men, but also young European women, many hundreds of whom have gone to Syria and Iraq to marry Islamic State fighters. Sure, some of them, like the 15-year-old French Jewish girl Nora el-Bathy, may have come to regret their decision. But that hardly alters the essential point: The girls sought out IS fighters because the West seems weak and unmanly and they pine for real men who are willing to kill and die for what they believe in.
Why? Europe’s got great health care, welfare, and lots of attractive young men and attractive women who, unlike the vast majority of women in the Middle East outside of Israel, are sexually available. So, why given a choice between a comfortable, if somewhat boring, life as a pharmacist in Hamburg, or fighting and dying in the desert, are thousands of Western Muslims opting for the latter?
Because, for all the awesome social services and consumer goods it can offer, Europe has become incapable of endowing the lives of its citizens, Muslim or not, with meaning …
And it’s precisely the violence of IS that appeals to the Europeans. For the Middle East, after all, despite…Read More » Comments (0) »
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Stand for Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel kept you abreast of Hamas’ network of terror tunnels, as well as the IDF’s work to find and destroy them. Because of the terrorist group’s attempts at gaining the sympathy and support of the international media, their evil actions often seem to go unnoticed by the world. But now, writing for Vanity Fair, Adam Ciralsky provides this fascinating in-depth look at what Hamas had planned and how Israel stopped it:
The threat, indeed, is all too plausible to Israeli intelligence officials, who agreed to share with Vanity Fair the backstory of how earlier this year they may have narrowly averted their nation’s own 9/11. The alleged plan of attack (as pieced together by defense and security professionals through electronic intercepts, informants, interrogations of Hamas operatives, as well as computers and satellite imagery obtained from Hamas compounds during the war) was chilling: a surprise assault in which scores of heavily armed Hamas insurgents were supposedly set to emerge from more than a dozen cross-border tunnels and proceed to kill as many Israelis as possible …
To much of the outside world, it was a battle of the skies, a lethal light show: Hamas relentlessly firing rockets—4,600 in all—and Israel responding with Iron Dome, a futuristic system that literally knocks them out of the sky. By any objective measure, the defense shield worked. In all, five Israeli civilians died and 127 were wounded as a result of rocket fire, and Israel’s leadership was able to buy time to plan a response. (The conflict ultimately claimed the lives of 67 Israeli soldiers.) …
While Israel, a nuclear power, takes pride in having fielded one of the world’s most technologically advanced armies, its adversaries have charted a decidedly different course. For half a century, the Palestinian resistance has proved to be something of an incubator for the tools of unconventional warfare: hijacking, hostage-taking, suicide bombings—all highly visible terror tactics designed to attract the world’s media outlets. As a result, Israel has repeatedly…Read More » Comments (0) »
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 8:12 AM | Stand for Israel
Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s meeting with his American counterpart, Chuck Hagel, where Hamas’ presence in both Gaza and Turkey was discussed. The men also discussed Israel’s concern over Iranian nuclear aspirations. After the meeting, Ya’alon voiced his nation’s worry over the impending nuclear agreement with Iran – and what kind of deal it might be – while still emphasizing the strong U.S.-Israel partnership:
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Israel is concerned about the shape of an international agreement with Iran over its nuclear aspirations, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday night after talks with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel in Washington DC.
“The Iranian issue indeed worries us,” said Ya’alon in a Hebrew audio message released by his office after the meeting with Hagel at the Pentagon. “The question of if there will be an agreement and what kind of agreement worries us. I’m talking about that here and behind closed doors we express our concerns.”
“We’ve said all along that better no agreement than a bad agreement and the question is what are they discussing at the moment, are they talking about how many centrifuges there will be and if so, why should they have centrifuges at all?” Ya’alon said.
“Are they talking about other elements of the Iranian military nuclear project such as missiles ready for nuclear warheads?”
Ya’alon said he and Hagel had also talked about the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the US-Israel defense partnership. Between Israel and the United States, he said, “arguments exist, but we must remember that the US is Israel’s most important strategic ally in every respect.”
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Stand for Israel
Following an earlier terror attack on Monday, The Daily Beast reports that there has been shooting today in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, leaving a soldier dead:
A fundamentally quiet and orderly town, Ottawa was rocked by the shooting of a uniformed Canadian soldier as he stood guard over the National War Memorial, located right across the street from Parliament Hill and the prime minister’s offices at Langevin Block.
It was the second attack inside Canada this week. The shootings come just two days after a 25-year-old man described by police as a “radicalized” Muslim drove his car into two Canadian soldiers in a city outside of Montreal, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Martin Couture-Rouleau, the suspect in that incident, was arrested in July while trying to travel to Turkey. Following his rampage, Courture-Rouleau was shot and killed.
On Wednesday morning, a man arrived by car, with a blanket concealing a rifle, and shot the soldier four times at the memorial, a witness told a Canadian news station.
The situation quickly escalated, with reports that Parliament itself was under attack and dozens of shots had been fired inside the legislature. Members of Parliament were caucusing in the building, and the building was promptly locked down. The Canadian Press reports that a gunman wounded a security guard on Parliament Hill before he was shot by the sergeant-at-arms.
We pray for all those harmed or targeted in this attack, and for God’s protection over His people in Canada and around the world.
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 2:24 PM | Stand for Israel
A Palestinian known to Israeli security forces plowed his car into a crowded Jerusalem train station today in a suspected terror attack. Yediot Achronot reports that an infant was killed and many were injured:
Terror returns to Jerusalem: A 3-month-old baby girl was killed and seven other people were wounded Wednesday evening when a Palestinian plowed his car into a crowd of people waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem’s Light Rail.
The driver – a resident of the village of Silwad with a record of security related offenses – attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was shot by police. He sustained chest wounds and was taken to a Jerusalem hospital in serious condition.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the car struck the train station near the national headquarters of the police force.
He said police were investigating but all signs pointed to an intentional attack. “There is a strong possibility that it was a terror attack,” he said.
Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, who arrived at the scene, also said that, “all signs indicate this is a terror attack.” He further said that the driver had served time in prison before. He praised the police for their quick response.
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 12:21 PM | SFI
While Israel is still wary of Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) and other Islamist terror groups in Syria, The Times of Israel’s Mitch Ginsburg reports that two IDF soldiers were injured today in an attack by gunmen on the Egyptian border:
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Gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula opened fire on an IDF patrol near the Egyptian border on Wednesday afternoon, injuring two soldiers.
The army said that the soldiers were wounded and were taken to hospital.Both the IDF and Egyptian army were sending troops to the area.
The Israeli soldiers reportedly returned fire and there were ongoing exchanges in the area.
Egyptian security sources told Arabic news site Masrawy that the radical Islamist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was behind the attack.
The incident occurred near Mount Harif in the central Negev Desert, about 112 kilometers from Eilat.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that the shooting attack took place near the community of Izuz.
The soldiers came under anti-tank- and gunfire, he said, noting that the wounded soldiers were not in critical condition.
A female company commander in the Caracal Battalion, which patrols the area, was moderately wounded and a second soldier sustained moderate to serious injuries, military sources said.
Residents of the area were instructed to remain in their homes.
Lerner said the army did not know who was behind the attack but that “jihadi elements” were known to operate in the area.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Stand for Israel
Recently we have reported on the spread of anti-Semitism across Europe and the rest of the world. Yet even as we are alarmed, we still wonder why this historical hatred continues to occur. Writing at The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead looks at the economic causes – and effects – of anti-Semitism:
Anti-Semitism appears and flourishes among those who don’t quite get modern life, who jump to simplistic but powerful seeming generalizations about cause and effect in a complex world. The world of the anti-Semite may be dark, with all-powerful, string-pulling Jews controlling everything behind the scenes, but the simplicity and clarity of that picture outweighs the darkness: the anti-Semite thinks he understands the world, and that helps ease the pain of feeling tossed about by incomprehensible forces.
But the clarity is false. The anti-Semite is still baffled, confused and at sea; he or she just doesn’t know it. It’s not surprising that someone laboring under these conceptual handicaps would make foolish life choices and bad investment decisions. Even more alienated and embittered because those poor choices have real consequences, the anti-Semite feels more victimized than ever, and attributes the natural result of his or her poor choices to the scheming Jews who make sure that no gentile will ever get an even break.
The linkage of anti-Semitism with a general distrust of finance could also explain one of the mysteries of our time. Radical jihadi groups boast about their intention to purge the Islamic world of the decadent legacy of Europe, but they’ve made an odd exception. There is one kind of ‘boko’ (western knowledge) that is not ‘haram’: the anti-Semitic filth spewed by European tyrants and demagogues in the last 150 years has found a ready audience among the most radical and anti-western of jihadi groups. It’s an anomaly that we don’t think enough about; why is this piece of western ‘knowledge’ so attractive and compelling while everything else coming from the west is suspect?
The ‘suspicion of finance’ that the…Read More » Comments (8) »
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:29 AM | Stand for Israel
While Operation Protective Edge dealt a heavy blow to Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, the terror group still resides there. Israel Hayom also reports that Israel is all too aware of Hamas’ second base of operations in Turkey:
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In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized Turkey for the support it provides to Hamas.
“Turkey is playing a cynical game,” Ya’alon told Hagel. “Hamas is supported by Turkey and Qatar. Hamas has two terror headquarters — in Gaza and in Istanbul.
“Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, in Turkey, a NATO member, where it is represented by Saleh al-Arouri, who orchestrates terrorist attacks against Israel from there and attempted to instigate a coup against [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon said.
Ya’alon and Hagel discussed a range of topics on Tuesday, including Iran, the Islamic State group, Syria, Operation Protective Edge and Israel-U.S. defense ties. Ya’alon thanked Hagel for U.S. aid in the development of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
“Even if there are disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, they should not be allowed to cloud the deep friendship and warm, intimate ties between the two countries,” Ya’alon said.
A U.S. Defense Department statement said Hagel “reaffirmed the United States’ deep commitment to the security of Israel, and the importance of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.” Hagel and Ya’alon “agreed to continue to work together to maintain the strength of the U.S.-Israel security relationship,” the statement said.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:16 AM | Stand for Israel
Recently there have been rumors (and even online video) that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terrorist group has gotten its hands on Russian-built MiG fighter aircraft. The Daily Beast has spoken with American fighter pilots who say that if these reports are true, these ISIS jets will not stay in the skies for long:
The ISIS terrorist group may have acquired a few old Soviet-built MiG fighters, according to a Syrian opposition group. But even if ISIS does have jet fighters, there is little chance that the group can do any real damage with those antiques beyond their value as propaganda tools, U.S. military pilots say.
“If ISIS is flying, or is thinking about flying, it will not be doing so for very long,” one Air Force official said.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights—an opposition group based in London—ISIS has managed to acquire three Soviet-built Mikoyan MiG-21 Fishbed and MiG-23 Flogger fighters. The aircraft are allegedly being flown by former Iraqi air force pilots, who are also training wannabe ISIS aviators to fly the jets.
Additionally, ISIS appears to have a number of Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross aircraft, traditionally used for advanced training and light attack. The terrorist group has produced at least one propaganda video purported to show the Czech-built jets in the air. But even if ISIS does have a rudimentary air force, it is basically useless in any true military sense, according to U.S. officials and American military pilots.
“I’d sell my first born to engage all three… by myself,” one highly experienced U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot joked. Another Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle pilot said, “Send me in, coach! There’s no way they get those airborne!”
Though both the MiG-21 and MiG-23 are supersonic fighters, they are dated and would likely be easy prey to any modern American fighter.
Additionally, many U.S. officials questioned how well ISIS’s MiGs work. The jets may not have functional on-board systems like radars and weapons—nor does ISIS have…Read More » Comments (0) »
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 4:04 PM | Stand for Israel