International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Two Anniversaries, But No Democracies

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

We told you about Israel’s big anniversary – 67 years since the Jewish state’s first election. Well, former national security adviser Elliott Abrams writes that January 25 is also the anniversary of two groups’ – the nation of Egypt and the terror group Hamas – moves away from freedom:

…it is worth noting what the Egyptian picture has in common with Palestine: the lack of strong democratic political parties. The MB won in good part because it had weak competition, and it had weak competition because Mubarak for three decades made sure centrist or moderate (including moderate Islamist) parties could not be organized. Similarly, Hamas won in 2006 in good part because of the absence of alternatives.

The ruling party, Fatah, was rejected by the voters (the popular vote went 44%-41% to Hamas) for a mix of reasons: it was secular rather than religious, it was corrupt, it was organized not as a party but as a personal vehicle for Arafat, and it argued against violence and for coexistence with Israel. It is impossible to know what part each of these played in the Hamas victory. President Bush hoped the defeat would be a wake-up call that would lead to reforms in Fatah to turn it into a modern democratic political party.

Ten years later, there are no reforms. Mahmoud Abbas still rules, without a presidential election since 2005 and without a parliamentary election since 2006. Fatah remains an old boys’ club more than a party, with a reputation among Palestinians for incompetence and corruption. Hamas is a movement and a terrorist group, not a democratic political party…

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Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 3:14 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Tour Bus Fired at in Egypt

(Photo: flickr/upyernoz)

(Photo: flickr/upyernoz)

This morning a tour bus carrying Israelis was the target of an attack in Egypt. Yediot Achronot’s Roi Kais and Itamar Eichner report on the attack:

The ministry said that protesters aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood opened fire at and shot fireworks towards a tour bus and the hotel. MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) posted on his Facebook page that the tour group consisted of 45 Arab-Israelis from Umm al-Fahm, Jaffa and Kfar Qassem and that none of them had been injured. They are due to return to Israel today via the Sinai.

One of the tourists, who was apparently on the tour bus at the time of the attack, said that they had originally thought the shots were in celebration of a holiday. Only after they saw that police were chasing after suspects did they realize the incident was actually an attack and started to go inside the hotel.

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Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 7:54 AM  | Stand for Israel

First Time Ever: Egypt Votes for Israel at the UN

(Photo: UNOOSA)

(Photo: UNOOSA)

While so much of what we who stand for Israel hear is often bad news – from the current rash of terror facing Israeli citizens to the ever-present bias against the Jewish state by the international community – today we have a bit of good news. Arutz Sheva’s Ari Soffer reports that, for the first time ever, Egypt has voted in favor of Israel at the United Nations:

For the first time since Israel’s establishment in 1948, Egypt has voted in the Jewish state’s favor in the United Nations.

The vote came during elections for membership in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) late last week.

The vote for Israel triggered angry criticism among Arab social media users, with some even creating a hashtag “Egypt votes for Israel” to criticize the vote.

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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 at 11:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

No Outcry over Egypt Demolishing Homes – Because It’s Not Israel

(Photo: flickr/Marius Arnesen)

(Photo: flickr/Marius Arnesen)

The media continuously attacks Israel over any actions the Jewish state takes to defend her people and her land. But there has been no international outcry when Ma’an News reported that Egypt demolished over 1,000 homes along the Gaza Border – because Egypt isn’t Israel:

The Egyptian army demolished 1,020 houses in the border city of Rafah as part of the second stage of the establishment of a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian security officials told a Ma’an reporter in El-Arish city on Tuesday that 200 more houses would be demolished to create a no-go zone extending 500 meters from the border fence …

After a bombing killed more than 30 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai in October 2014, the military stepped up the campaign to build the buffer zone amid accusations of Hamas support for the group that carried out the attack, which Hamas has strenuously denied.

Both sides of the border are densely populated as the city of Rafah originally extended in both directions, a growth that was the result of the Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula for more than a decade following the 1967 war.

In the early 2000s Israeli authorities demolished thousands of homes in Palestinian Rafah in order to create a 300-meter buffer zone on the Egypt border, but after the pull-out in 2005, many moved back into the area.

The Egyptian government, which has actively destroyed smuggling tunnels underneath the border and directly targeted Hamas since the 2013 military coup, has now promised to uproot as many as possible to ensure the creation of a buffer zone on its side.

The border area used to be host to hundreds of tunnels which Gazans used to import goods to get around the seven-year-old Israeli siege of the territory.

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Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

The World’s Double Standards and Egypt’s War on Terrorism

(Photo: flickr/Zoriah)

(Photo: flickr/Zoriah)

During Operation Protective – and before and since – the world has lambasted and persecuted Israel for defending herself against Hamas’ terrorist actions. Now Egypt has also realized that Hamas-controlled Gaza’s main export is terrorism, and has begun battling the terror group in Sinai. Khaled Abu Toameh writes that the Egyptian war on terror has exposed the world’s double standards when it comes to Israel, but has also increased the chances of another conflict between Israel and Hamas:

Three months after the military conformation between Hamas and Israel, the Egyptians are also waging their own war on terrorism in north Sinai.

But Egypt’s war, which began after Islamist terrorists butchered 33 Egyptian soldiers, does not seem to worry the international community and human rights organizations, at least not as much as Israel’s operation to stop rockets and missiles from being fired into it from the Gaza Strip …

Egypt’s goal is to establish a security buffer zone along its shared border with the Gaza Strip in order to prevent terrorists from using smuggling tunnels to launch attacks on Egyptian soldiers and civilians. In other words, the Egyptians are tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip and collectively punishing the Palestinians living there, not only Hamas.

All this is happening before eyes of the international community and media. Nonetheless, the UN Security Council has not been asked to hold an emergency meeting to condemn what some Egyptian human rights activists describe as the “transfer” and “displacement” of hundreds of families in Sinai …

But what is perhaps more worrying is the fear that the unprecedented security clampdown in Egypt will drive Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip to resume their attacks on Israel.

The Egyptians, of course, are entitled to wage a ruthless war on the various terror groups that have long been operating in Sinai. However, by tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Egyptians are also giving Hamas and Islamic Jihad an excuse to resume their attacks on Israel.

The two Palestinian terror groups…

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Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand For Israel

Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Defeat Hamas

(Photo: flickr/ mahmoudgamaldin)

(Photo: flickr/ mahmoudgamaldin)

While Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal put forth by Egypt today, Hamas rejected the terms as being unacceptable. At the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh writes that there is no love lost between Egyptians and their new leadership and Hamas, realizing that the terror organization’s actions hurt not only Israel, but the rest of the Middle East:

… over the past week, there are also different voices coming out of Egypt and some other Arab countries — voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

This is perhaps because a growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims …

What is also remarkable is Egyptian criticism of Hamas for launching rockets at the nuclear facility in Dimona in southern Israel. Ahmed Qandeel, head of the Energy Studies Program at the Al-Ahram Strategic Studies think-tank, denounced the targeting of Dimona as “idiotic.” He warned that this would have a negative impact on the entire region and endanger the lives of many Egyptians and Arabs. “Egypt must take precautionary measures,” he advised

Echoing the widespread sentiment among Egyptians, journalist Mustafa Shardi said: “No Arab country has done for the Palestinians as Egypt did … The Egyptian people are asking: Where are our people who were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip? Hamas should apologize for the 1000 tunnels that were used to smuggle the resources of Egypt. They all have their own planes and accounts in Swiss banks.”

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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 8:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Will the World Protest the Egyptian Fence? Unlikely.

(Photo: wikicommons/ Justin McIntosh)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Justin McIntosh)

Egypt has decided to build a security fence around the northern Sinai city of El Arish. The fence will totally encircle the city – which is located on the Mediterranean coast about 30 miles from the Rafah border crossing – and will include 10 access points for traffic in and out of the city.

In the past few months, El Arish has become a hub for terrorist activity in Sinai and a staging area for goods and weapons being smuggled from Rafah into Hamas-controlled Gaza. The fence is intended to curb that activity.

Will the Red Cross call the fence a violation of the Geneva Conventions, as it called the Israeli security fence?

Will the U.N. Security Council consider a resolution calling the El Arish fence illegal as it did with the Israeli fence?

Will the European Union declare the El Arish fence illegal as it did the Israeli one?

Will the Organization of the Islamic Conference call the El Arish fence an example of Apartheid as they did with the Israeli one?

Will Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam protest the El Arish barrier as they did the Israeli one?

When considering these questions, it’s worth noting that Egypt is trying to stop smuggling (a move that we wholeheartedly approve), while Israel is trying to keep suicide bombers from blowing up buses filled with innocent civilians. But, when it comes to the Middle East, there is no excuse good enough for Israel to act in its own defense. And, when it comes to curtailing the rights of Arabs in the name of legitimate security concerns, all that matters is who is doing the curtailing. If Arabs are doing it, the world doesn’t seem to have a problem. But if it’s Jews, that’s a violation of human rights. Which is why Israel is right to take reasonable measures it feels it must to protect its citizens – regardless of what the world thinks.

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 8:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Mirage of Egyptian Stability

(Photo: Flickr/ Jonathan Rashad)

(Photo: Flickr/ Jonathan Rashad)

We have discussed the ongoing chaos in Egypt as the military rulers continue to battle Muslim Brotherhood extremists and other terror organizations while imposing their rule on the population. Former National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams looks at Egypt and sees not a stable, authoritarian Egypt, but an Egypt that has all the dictatorship and none of the calm:

The usual argument for supporting the new military regime in Egypt is the same as the argument that was used for supporting the Mubarak regime (right up until it fell): Egypt needs stability.

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Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Taba Bombing Shows Sinai Terrorists Won’t Go Quietly

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi)

Times of Israel correspondent Avi Issacharoff, one of the best journalists in the world covering Gaza and Sinai, says that the attack on the tourist bus in Taba, Egypt indicates something we’ve written about before — the pro-Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in Egypt are smart enough to go after Egypt’s two biggest money-makers:

The attack on the tourist bus is the latest in a series of dozens of strikes from extremist Muslim groups meant to damage one of the two most important income sources in Egypt — tourism. In Cairo, it’s clear that the terrorists would not stop at just tourism, but are already gunning for the primary income source, the Suez Canal. This is what is generating the sense of urgency in military operations in the Sinai.

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 8:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Future of Egypt’s Copts

Coptic Christian Icon (Photo: wikicommons/ Testus)

Coptic Christian Icon (Photo: wikicommons/ Testus)

The small sect of Christians known as the Copts have inhabited Egypt since, essentially, the dawn of Christendom. To be sure, it hasn’t always been easy. But now, writes Samuel Tadros at the Hoover Institution blog, this ancient community is threatened as never before — which leaves us to wonder and worry whether or not there will be any Christians left in Egypt:

The Islamists’ goal is not the annihilation of Copts. Copts are not likely to face a holocaust in the future, though local pogroms are all but guaranteed. The Islamists’ goal is to subjugate Copts to their notions of their proper place as dhimmis under benevolent Islamic rule. It is for Copts to accept dhimmitude, live by it, and embrace it. Copts will be allowed to live in Egypt, tolerated as second-class citizens recognizing and accepting their second-class status. Any attempt by Copts to break those chains of dhimmitude and act as equals is frowned upon as an affront to the supremacy and primacy of Islam in its own land.

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Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel