Concrete web-magazine

5Dec/130

Irans nuclear ambitions – Unsafe at any speed

»The enrichment of uranium will proceed as before. [...] The Worlds powers have recognized Irans right to enrich uranium on Iranian soil.«

-Hassan Rohani following the conclusion of the talks with the USA

If the reactions of the European public were anything to go by, the deal with the Iran must have saved the world. There seemed to be a general consensus that ending the sanctions on the Iran is the goal to be achieved and Irans nuclear ambitions are generally ignored despite being at the center of the debate. German media in particular have attributed the new Iranian president Rohani almost saintlike qualities, painting the picture of a fundamental change in Iran.

However, if voices from the region itself are anything to go by, things look wildly different.

Israels opposition to the deal with Iran is well known and, considering Israels role as "jew amongst the nations", it' not too far-fetched to believe that the coverage of Israels opposition to an end of the sanctions is actually used to reinforce the positive image of the deal with the general public. If Netanyahu opposes it, it must be a good thing. To drive this point home, German journalists even resorted to anti-semitic imagery, portraying Netanyahu as the archetypical poisoner, who intends to kill peace itself.

What is commonly ignored is both Israels reasons for its outspoken opposition to the Iranian nuclear programm and the fact that other nations in the region have shown similiar strong opposition to the deal with Iran.

From all available information, we can probably conclude that Iran wants the atom bomb. Many parts of its nuclear developement would make no sense for a civilian, energy-producing goal. Iran is not only enriching uranium to a point only needed for the developement of weapons, it is doing so in underground vaults intended to inoculate the industry against foreign attacks. It furthermore has in the past rejected solutions that would have allowed it to develope a civilian nuclear industry but taken away the possibility of constructing nuclear weapons, for example the Russian offer to take over the task of uranium enrichment for Iran completely.

Israel fears a nuclear Iran because it is a threat to its own existence. The Iranian state doctrine is fundamentally antisemitic and the destruction of Israel remains an ideological and strategic goal of the government. While President Rohani has avoided openly anti-semitic remarks in the recent months, as those would have endangered the talks with the United States and the European Union, there was no fundamental change in Iranian government policy - its brutality evidenced by the more than 300 death sentences carried out since Rohani became President - and Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini continued threats towards Israel which have a long tradition. Worryingly enough, this tradition includes a very specific argument for nuclear war with Israel:

"If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world."

- Chairman of Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani during a Quds-Day speech in 2001

But will the Iran risk its own destruction by the hands of Israeli nuclear bombs in retaliation for such an assault? One can only speculate. Public speeches of course do not reveal the full truth about a governments ambitions and the words may have been meant for the public, not as an actual intention for nuclear war with Israel. Despite the irrational elements of antisemitic ideology, the "all or nothing"-attitude which already had been Nazi Germany's downfall, the Iranian leadership is comparable to other Islamist movements in the sense that it is quick to sacrifice millions of its people for the ideological goals, but also very concerned with preserving its own status and power.

Still, Israels worries are understandable. Even the faintest possibility is still a threat to the millions living in a country so small that, indeed, one or two bombs could lead to the thorough destruction and the death of most its population. One or two bombs, that won't necessarily be fired from Iran itself and could just as easily be handed over to one of the Shiite militias under indirect control of the Iran, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah.

But, as noted before, Israel is not the only country panicking in the face of Irans nuclear ambitions. Saudi-Arabia has publically announced its intention to acquire nuclear bombs of its own from Pakistan, should Iran go nuclear. Pakistan possesses a sizeable nuclear arsenal that had been developen with Saudi-Arabias help.  Egypt and Turkey are likely candidates for developing nuclear bombs in response the Iranian ambitions as well. Furthermore, it was Saudi-Arabia that informed Israel of the talks held between the USA and Iran without consultation of the Israeli government. A remarkable event, considering that Israel had been the United States' most important ally in the region during the past decades.

As a consequence of the deal with Iran, the region will become less safe and the possibility of regional war is increasing - no matter how many times the negotiations with Iran are called "peace talks". Iran has strong hegemonial ambitions and ongoing imperialist designs for the arabic world. Next to Turkey it is the only country with the material base to do so: Israel is too small and too much of a Pariah for the Arabs to exert much influence over regional affairs. Saudi-Arabia and Qatar are both trying to influence political movements in other countries, for example by funding political groups or governments, but they lack the population for grander designs. Egypt, while a large state, is tied down in internal and economic unrest.

Irans national ideology and predominantly shiite religion adds a religious dimension to the hegemonial struggle with the Sunni states. It had been unable to bridge this divide by invoking Israel as common enemy. Iran is fighting covert wars in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq by funding militias and terrorist activity. While it has thusfar shunned open engagements with any regional powers, this may change if the country developes nuclear weapons that would shield it from repercussion for expansionist policies. Bluntly said: which country would want to assault a nuclear Iran, even it were to invade Iraq?

The Obama-administration meanwhile is pursuing a policy of disengagement in the middle east that, from a national perspective, has been long overdue. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been costly and yeilded no practical benefits for the US government while costing it large amounts of legitimacy. Its tightly knit alliance with Israel demonizes the USA in the eyes of anti-semites throughout the world and has jeopardized business opportunities with the Iran.

Likewise, Germany leads Europe into appeasement of Iran for very solid reasons. Much of the Iranian nuclear programm - just like other countries before - has been developed with German technology. While formally sticking to the sanctions of Iran, German industry had reportedly felt encouraged by politics to illegally evade the sanctions long before the talks with Iran started.

Iran is a large market, much larger than Israel and Saudi-Arabia. Furthermore, re-approachment with Iran may spoil relations with these countries, but it will not cause them to turn against their powerful, if unreliable, partners in Europe and America. Business wil proceed undisturbed. Indeed, it may actually improve, if the destabilized situation in the middle east prompts regional partners of the NATO to expand their arms-purchases.

Much of the middle-east has been rendered useless for the global economy. The unemployed and unproductive populations of countries like Syria may die in protracted civil wars and the rest of the world will sit idly, as long as the governments in the region and the many militias participating in the wars compensate the loss of civilian consumer demand with demand for military products and as long as the access to ressources like oil remains secure. Considering its their only source of income, warring factions will likely ensure it does in order to pay the bills of their arms dealers.

14Aug/130

What a Bunch of Nice Guys

Israel and the Palestinian authorities have agreed to renew peace-talks. Criticism towards Israel is abound, because it has recently granted permission for several hundred new homes in existing settlements in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have managed to force the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, who were cheered on as heroes as the first of them arrived in Ramallah. Even in western media, they have been termed "political prisoners".

That's hardly the case. I will not rant on much and just post a list of the released prisoners and the crimes they had been convicted for and leave the judgement to you.

    • Agbariya Hassan Mohammed, Agbariya Mustafa Mohammed Yehieh, Jabarin Mohammed Tawfik Suliman Yosef, Agbariya HassanMahmoud Ibrahim - Infiltrated an army base and murdered three soldiers and seriously injured an additional soldier. In addition, planned to carry out the murders of soldiers and theft of their weapons.
    • Halaf Juma'aMustafa Ahmed - Whilst a minor, stabbeda citizen in his back andalso in a number ofcases set fire to vehiclesand buildings.
    • Younis Abdel Latif Abdel Kader Maher, Younis Younis Fadel Fadel Karim - Together kidnapped a soldier, shot him, stole his gun and left him at the side of the road. (Note – the victim died a few days later)
    • Al-Khatib Abdallah Kaid Bashir - Carried out a murder in order to allow Fatah to make use of the murdered man's body for the purpose of a prisoner exchange deal.
    • Abu Moch Ibrahim, Biadsa Abdel Razak Ahmed Ibrahim, Abu Moch Hamdoun Mohammed Rushdi - Together planned to kidnap a soldier for use as a bargaining chip. In practice, kidnapped a soldier and took part in his murder.
    • Dakah Nimer Assad Walid - Commander of operation to kidnap a soldier for use as a bargaining chip. Ordered the soldier's murder should the transfer process not go as planned. Was not present at the time of the kidnapping and murder.
    • Abu Jaber Ali Hussein Ahmed - Took part in the murder of a soldier. In addition, together with accomplices, shot at the house of another victim, with the aim of dissuading him from taking part in the trial of the prisoner's brother.
    • Shakir Al Afu Musbach Nofel - Took part in the murder of a soldier.
    • Jabarin Otman Ibrahim Mahmoud - Murdered a man suspected of being a collaborator with the security forces.
    • Sarsawi Tsalah Taha Samir - Ordered the throwing ofa grenade at a crowd of civilians which caused injuries to many people. In addition, set fire to parked buses and threw petrol bombs at travelling buses.
    • Abu Hadir Mohammed Yassin - Together with accomplices, stabbed two civilians. In addition, purchased a weapon which was used to murder another civilian and instructed members of the (terror) cell in its use. Also tried to murder another civilian and was in possession of four hand grenades.
    • Abu Hasin Ahmed Yusef Bilal - Whilst serving a sentence for blocking roads and arson of a vehicle, murdered (together with his three cell-mates) a prisoner whom they suspected of collaborating with the authorities.
    • Da'agna Nofel Mohammed Mahmoud - Initiated, planned and encouraged his accomplices to murder a civilian
    • Baroud Ahmed Mohamed Fares - Murdered a civilian by stabbing. Attempted to murder two more civilians, causing grievous bodily harm, and kidnapped an additional civilian. Whilst in detention, also – together with accomplices – caused grievous bodily harm to another prisoner.
    • Jaradat Mohammed Anis Ayman -With the help of his cell, murdered two civilians in order to steal their weapons. Also, kidnapped, interrogated and murdered two additional civilians whom he suspected of collaborating with the authorities. Also murdered a man he suspected of being a collaborator, attempted to murder another person and also killed a man he had kidnapped with the aim of interrogating him. Tried to kidnap - and caused grievous bodily harm to a person suspected of collaboration. Kidnapped, interrogated and assaulted 13 people whom he suspected of collaboration. On a number of occasions fired shots and threw stones at security forces. Also fired shots at civilians.
    • Amer Massoud Issa Rajib - With the help of his cell, murdered a civilian with an axe. Also, kidnapped, interrogated and murdered three civilians suspected of being collaborators. Assaulted three people who, according to him, carried out 'moral crimes'. Also, attacked IDF forces and aided the general activities of the terror organisation with which he identifies
    • Riad Issa Sayid Abed Aziz - Supplied a vehicle to his accomplices which in practice was used in the murder of a civilian. Was not aware that he was aiding the murder.
    • Abdel-Aal Sayid Ouda Yusef - Together with his cell, threw 2 grenades – which did not explode – at Border Police forces. On a different occasion, placed a bomb next to a Border Police facility but the explosion did not cause damage. Also, knew about the intention to harm a civilian and aided the process of his murder by passing information to the perpetrators regarding the absence of soldiers in the area. Also, together with his cell, tortured a local resident suspected of collaboration. After he left the scene, the victim was murdered by his two accomplices. On a separate occasion, intended to murder a local resident suspected of collaboration.
    • Faluji Zcharia Shacher Dia'a - Whilst a minor, beat a civilian to death with a hoe. Has not expressed regret for his actions.
    • Sualha Bad Almajed Mahmed Mahmed, Sualha Fazah Ahmed Husseini - Whilst minors, together  stabbed to death a youth who sat near them on the bus, and also tried to murder three additional (female) youths
    • Sabbag Ahmed Mahmud Mahmed - Whilst a minor, tortured and brutally murdered three local residents suspected of collaborating
    • Turkeman Yusef Suleiman Mahmed - Shot and killed a citizen who got out of his car near a convenience store and also shot and injured the deceased’s wife who got out of her vehicle to help her husband
    • Abu Hanana Zakariya Udia Usama - Served as a guard and accomplice in a murder and in the injury of the deceased’s wife after throwing a grenade at her
    • Abdel-Aziz Said Kassam Ahmed - Planned, initiated and carried out the attack that that led to the victim's murder and his wife's injury
    • Silawi Khaled Kamal Usama - Took part in the violent interrogation of local residents suspected of collaborating with the authorities and responsible for the death of three of them. Also took part in the murder of the deceased and the injury of his wife. In addition, fired at security forces at a number of times.
    • Flana Fauzi Salamah Mahmed - With an accomplice, laid an explosive device on the road leading to the settlement and caused the death of a civilian and the injury of six additional civilians
    • Nasser Salah Abdel Samad Mazlum, Abed Geni Abdallah Hashem Hamida - Criminals: In the course of a robbery, killed the victim by strangling
    • Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal - Took part in the murder of a Jewish hiker, after having stolen the deceased’s knife
    • Baroud Mustafa Ahmed Ibrahim - Together with his accomplice, placed three bombs in separate incidents: At the Holon Interchange, laid a bomb that lightly injured five civilians, in Tel Aviv a bomb exploded but did not cause injuries and at the Erez Crossing a bomb was discovered and detonated in a controlled explosion
    • Damouni Saad Mahmed Ahmed, Nashabat Jaabar Yusef Mahmed - Took part in a lynch of an IDF soldier. After they threw rocks at the soldier, they poured gas on his vehicle and ignited it, when the soldier was inside. It was noted that they did not express regret for their acts.
    • Gandiya Yusef Radoun Nahad, Hamdiya Mahmoud Awed Muhammed - Whilst minors, stabbed to death a Jewish building contractor with whom they were previously acquainted. At the time of their sentencing, they attempted to escape from jail, but were caught before able to.
    • Muhammed Ahmed Abdallah Halbi, Mahmud Ahmed Abdallah Halbi - Brothers; murdered seven people, for unclear motives. One of the female victims was likely killed following a financial dispute between her and the perpetrator. In addition, they were convicted of two murder attempts.
    • Ahmed Mahmed Jameel Shahada - Lured a 13-year-old boy, brutally sodomized him and invited his friend to take part. When the boy tried to flee, the perpetrator beat his body and cranium with an iron bar, causing his death. He then hid the body.
    • Hussein Husseini Said Atallah - Criminal: Together with three accomplices, robbed an acquaintance who had in his possession a weapon as part of his work as a guard for a bank. As a result of the victim’s resistance during the course of the robbery, the perpetrator’s friend shot the victim, killing him. In the course of his imprisonment, he escaped from jail, until he was returned six years later (2000-2006)
    • Abed Alhag Yusef Abed A’Rahman - Stabbed to death a female civilian walking on the street, and attempted to kill three additional civilians
    • Alafandi Mahmed Yusef Adnan - Stabbed two civilians with a kitchen knife with the intention to kill them because they were Jewish. He moderately wounded them.
    • Kour Matwah Hamad Faiz - Established a Fatah cell numbering 20 people which acquired weaponry. In addition, suspected of the murder of a Jewish civilian and the attempted murder of a collaborator.
    • Arsheed A’Hameed Yusef Yusef - Murdered five residents suspected of collaborating with authorities, after he brutally stabbed them. Also indicted for several counts of attempted murder of suspected collaborators.
    • Usama Suliman Fayad Abu Gidan - Criminal: With three relatives, murdered in order to steal a car. Wrapped a cable around the victim's neck in order to strangle him
    • Asor Masbach Khalil Mahmad - Together with two friends, murdered their Jewish taxi driver out of a nationalistic motive. The prisoner shot the victim. While in prison he was involved in the assault and injury of another prisoner.
    • Ahmad Mahmad Ahmad Ulad Mahmed - Criminal: Together with his uncle, murdered the victim who apparently owed the uncle money
    • Said Ahmad Mahmad Ulad D Muhamad - Together with his nephew, murdered a man who apparently owed him money. While in prison, he stabbed to death another prisoner. His appeal to the Supreme Court was accepted and he was convicted of murder of the prisoner.
    • Sha'at Azat Shaban Atat - Took part in the murder of a Jewish female resident of Gush Katif. Drove his accomplices to and from the scene of the crime.
    • Samarin MustafaKalib Asrar - Commanded a Fatah unit that was being trained to kill soldiers. Failed in his first attempt to murder a soldier, but was succesful in his second attempt. In addition, on repeated occasions abducted and interrogated [Arab] residents, set fire to cars and manufactured molotov cocktails.
    • Kra'an Azat Musa Musa - Drove an accomplice who intended on carrying out a terror act. After stealing a car by threatening the driver with a gun, he drove his friend who tried to murder a man and in his secondattempt murdered a soldier
    • Yacoub Muhammed Uda Ramdan, Afana MustafaAhmad Muhammed - As part of a group, they murdered a prostitute using an axe. They lured her to a neglected part of the city of Holon. After she died, one of them placed a letter in one of the cuts in the victim's body in which they claimed responsibility for the murder in the name of their organization
    •  Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad - Was part of a unit that carried out a shooting attack and a murder of a soldier. Also, he was part of a group that abducted, interrogated, tortured and murdered 15 local residents that were suspected to be collaborating with the authorities
    • Abu-Alroub MustafaMahmoud Faisel - Shot and murdered a soldier. Also, beat to death a Palestinian civilian who was suspected of collaborating with authorities. Also killed four other Palestinians who he suspected to be collaborators.
    • Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad - Broke into a hotel in Netanya, hit the guard on his head with a steel rod and killed him. Also stole a television from the hotel.
    • Mahmud Ahmed Abu-Mamer - Criminal: Together with an accomplice, robbed the victim and strangled him to death. While in prison he was convicted of possessing heroine.
    • Salah Ali Hader Razak - Placed two explosives next to a patrol, killing a soldier and injuring two. In addition, he also repeatedly hurled firebombs at Israeli cars
    • Gnimat Amar Mahmad Mustafa, Gnimat Mahmud Mahmad Ziad - Together murdered two Israeli citizens who were sitting in their car in Masua forest
    • Tus Ahmad Abdel Hamid Mahmad - Commanded a terrorist group that carried out five attacks on civilian buses, injuring 16 passengers. In addition, under his command, the group murdered three civilians in two separate incidents. Also, he took part in the murder of two other citizens.
    • Isa Musa Isa Mahmud - Took part in the abduction and killing of a soldier who was on the way from his home to his base. Took part in the running over of two soldiers with the intention of killing them. The attack injured one of the soldiers severely. In another incident he also shot at a police car and killed two policemen that were in the car. In another incident, he took part in the shooting at a police car and seriously injured one of the policemen in the car. While in prison, he was part of Hamas and organized a terrorist cell which aimed to abduct soldiers and carry out terror attacks.
    • Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif - Stabbed to death his employer of 18 years then stole his weapon. He also carried weapons and shot at a military vehicle.
    • Ramahi Salah Abdallah Fraj - Killed a senior citizen from the Sharon region with a hoe. Also, whilst in Israel without a permit, he broke into a car and stole a gun. While in prison, he tried to obtain a weapon for another prisoner in order to kidnap a soldier
    • Nasser Ibrahim Mahmed Mahmed - Was apparently involved in two murder cases - no legal documents
    • Maklad Mahmud Zaid Salah - Stabbed to death his Jewish employer, shot at an army post, tried to murder a local resident.
    • Muamar Atta Mahmud Mahmud - With an accomplice, stabbed to death a Jewish citizen in the Emek Hamatzleva area in Jerusalem. Caused the death of a local resident who threatened his accomplice with informing the military authorities of his whereabouts. He also attempted to kill two Jewish civilians while they were sleeping in their home.
    • Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim - With an accomplice, stabbed to death an elderly Jew in the Emek Hamatzleva area in Jerusalem. Broke into the home of a Jewish civilian, stabbed and strangled him to death. With his accomplice, stabbed to death a local resident whom he suspected to be a collaborator. In two separate cases, he tried to murder Jewish civilians in their homes but backed out fearing discovery.
    • Al-Shalvi Yusef Ahmad Nuaman - Planned, initiated, organized, and carried out three murders on his own.
    • Haga Salim Mahmud Mo'id - As part of a group/unit/team, swam from Jordan to the shores of Eilat armed with numerous weapons in order to harm as many civilians as possible. Upon arriving on the shores of Eilat a civilian guard noticed him and the accused shot him to death.
    • Tzou'afta Sudki Abdal Razak Muhles - As a minor, murdered together with his friend a Jewish civilian whom he knew. The accused and his friend arrived at the victim's apartment where they murdered him by stabbing. They then stole his personal belongings in order to prove their crime. Furthermore, they left a note claiming responsibility for the crime because of nationalistic motives.
    • Gasan Muhamed Barkat Zariki, Nadal Yosef Abed Al-Fatah Zbara - Criminals: together they beat to death their neighbour -an elderly woman with whom they had a dispute. After the murder, they stole items from the elderly woman's home.
    • Abun-Muhsan Halad Ibrahim Jamal - Together with his friend, murdered an elderly man from Kadima by stabbing.
    • Sh'hada Farid Sh'hada Ahmad - Probably took part in a murder. Not enough information for indexing
    • Abdal-Nabi A-Wahab Gamal Jamil - Assisted his friend in a shooting at IDF soldiers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs (was the escape driver). As a result of the shooting one soldier was killed and a second was wounded.
    • Asarka Mahmad Ahmad Haled - Stabbed to death a French tourist who ate at a restaurant he worked in.
    • Kraja Farhud Muhamed Rafa - Murdered a soldier.
    • Abu-Harbish Salam Saliman Mahmud, Adam Abrahim Guma Juma'a - Threw a Molotov cocktail on a passenger bus which resulted in the death of a mother, her three children and a soldier who tried to save them.
    • Abu-Na'ame Abrahim Mahmus Samir - Together with his friend prepared two explosive devices, put them in a bag together with a packet of nails on Bus No. 18 in Jerusalem. As a result of the explosion 6 civilians were killed and 50 were injured. Furthermore, planned an additional attack.
    • Abu-Srur Gamil Hasan Mahmud, Abu Srur Hasan Abed Hamid Naser - Were accomplices in the planning and executing of the murder of a Shin Bet officer who was the handler of one of their partners.
    • Na'anish Na'if Abdal Jafer Samir, Taktuk Lutfi Halma Ibrahim - Took part on the murder of a soldier in Nablus. Part of the group goaded a soldier in order to lure him into an alley, where the rest of the group waited with a stockpile of stones which they threw at the victim, resulting in his death.
    • Yosef Mahmad Haza Haza, Beni-Hasan Abdalla Mahmud Otman - Together murdered two Israeli hikers in a JNF forest in the Gilboa Mountain.
    • Haled A-krim Ismail Shani - Criminal: murdered his Jewish neighbor in Ramallah because she aroused suspicion that he's a collaborator. During incarceration, ran away while on parole until caught after three and a half years (1997-2000). Additionally, stabbed another prisoner while incarcerated, which seriously injured him.
    • Mukbal Mahmad Bedwi Najah - Together with his friend, murdered his employer.
    • Ziwad Muhamed Taher Taher - Together with two of his friends, decided to grab a weapon from a soldier or policeman and if need be, kill him for this (the accused carried a gun). While threatening, they took over a vehicle and looked for a potential victim. When meeting the victim, his friend shot the victim and injured him in all parts of his body. When seeing that he had no weapon, they left him and ran.
    • Daoud Adal Hasan Mahmad - Murdered two civilians (pregnant mother and son)
    • Al-Azrak Daoud Ahmad Khaled - Took part in the planting of a bomb in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem which led to the death of one civilian and injured nine. Additionally, took part in an additional attempted bomb attack in the Mahane Yehuda market, and planned the planting of a bomb in the Carmel market.
    • Ahmad Ragah Mahmud Musa - Criminal: strangled his wife to death, because he suspected she was having sexual relations with other men. Additionally, he used to beat her and even tried to drown her a few hours prior to the murder.
    • Sa'adi Muhamad Sharif Ra'ad - Initiated, organized, took part in and was the dominant figure in the murder of a Jewish civilian.
    • Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa (= Issa Abed Rabbo) - Stole from his workplace an envelope of cash, a knife and a rifle which he used to murder two hikers.
    • Shabir Kassam Taher Hazam, Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia - As an initiation rite into a terror organisation, together murdered a work colleague with an axe.
    • Mansour Omar Abdel Hafiz Asmat - Whilst a minor, found out during his work about the intention of his friends/colleagues to murder a civilian. During the murder helped the murderers to overpower the victim and after his death, placed the body in the boot of his car.
    • Tamimi Rushdi Mohammed Sayid - Together with his accomplice, murdered a civilian by stabbing whilst exploiting the familiarity and trust of the victim. Afterwards, put the body of the victim into his car and set fire to the vehicle.
    • Barbach Faiz Rajab Madhat - Together with accomplices, stabbed his employer to death.
    • Alkraki Fahmi Fahd Alaa Aldin - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death a civilian who was on his way to the Machpelah Cave (Hebron).
    • Abu-Sitta Taleb Mohammed Ayman - Together with accomplices, broke into an apartment in Ramle and murdered two people. Afterwards, mutilated the bodies and cut off their ears as proof of the action.
    • Abu-Sitta Ahmed Sayid Aladin - Together with accomplices, broke into an apartment in Ramle and murdered two people. Afterwards, mutilated the bodies and cut off their ears as proof of the action.
    • Ra'aei Ibrahim Salam Ali - Murdered a pensioner with an axe and afterwards stole the victim's gun.
    • Mortja Hasin Ghanam Samir - Took part in the abduction, interrogation, torture and murder of four local residents suspected of collaboration with the authorities. (His actions were limited to abduction and guarding, but not the murders). Also, abducted local residents suspected of 'moral crimes' for interrogation.
    • Mazeh Hasin Abed Kahlot - Criminal: murdered his friend after 'catching' him trying to kiss his wife.
    • Mutslah Abdallah Salameh (also spelt Muslah) - Together with an accomplice, caused the death of a civilian – the owner of a mini-market in Petah Tikva – after robbing him, beating him up and pressing a towel against his face, left him in the shop.
    • Amawi Hamed Alabad Halmi - Together with an accomplice, lured the victim with a request for help and stabbed him to death.
    • Massalha Awad Mohammed Yusuf - Together with an accomplice, caused the death of a civilian – the owner of a mini-market in Petah Tikva – after robbing him, beating him up and pressing a towel against his face, left him in the shop. In a later incident, together with an accomplice, lured the victim with a request for help and stabbed him to death. During his imprisonment, together with another, caused grevious bodily harm to a prisoner suspected of collaboration with the authorites.
    • Braham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser - Stabbed his employer to death.
    • Shamasna Yusuf Jawad - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death two Israeli youths who hitch-hiked a lift in his car. Also, together with an accomplice, shot to death a taxi driver who was driving them to Abu Gosh. Also, shot to death a soldier who hitched a ride in his car.
    • Shamasna Yusuf Jawad Mohammed - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death two Israeli youths who hitch-hiked a lift in his car. Also, together with an accomplice, shot to death a taxi driver who was driving them to Abu Gosh

 

1Aug/130

“If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”*

Each year, on the last friday of Ramadan, groups affiliated to the Iranian government and opponents of the Israeli state are gathering for Quds Day. For them, it is a display of strength of a global movement against the existence of an Israeli state and Zionism - for us, it shall be an incentive to take a closer look at the Iranian opposition to Israel.

The first Quds Day was called for in 1979, when the Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini was cited by the Iranian newspaper Ettelaat with a call to all muslims and all islamic governments to unite against Israel and "hack off the hands" of the "usurpators" and their supporters. Iranian state doctrine is deeply rooted in antisemitic thought, repeated calls to violence against jews are the more harmless expression of this sentiment, though: Iran funds numerous groups throughout the world who engage in violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens and often, jews in general.

On 18 July 2012, a suicide bomber on a bus in Burgas, Romania, killed six people, five of them Israelis - the bus was carrying forty-two Israelis from the airport, where they arrived in a flight from Tel-Aviv, to their hotels. Early on during the investigations, the Lebanese Hezbollah was implied and the method of assault pointed to an Islamist background. By July 25th of 2013, two Hezbollah operatives had been identified as suspects: Malid Farah (also known as Hussein Hussein), and Hassan al-Haj. The Hezbollah was founded by followers of Ayatollah Khomeini and is, to this day, receiving funds by the Iranian government.

Such deadly attacks on unsuspecting tourists should be evidence enough that not a political opposition to jewish settlement policy or the military occupation of Palestinian territories are motivating Iran and its allies, but an antisemitic hatred on the jewish people themselves. It furthermore unmasks the cynical argumentation brought forward by many of their supporters in the west when asked about the missile attacks on Israel, which are indiscriminately raining down on civilian and military targets alike, that the opponents of Israel merely don't have the money and technology to target the military and government more precisely. The truth is that any jew is regarded as viable target.

If, however, more proof is needed that Iran, Hezbollah and similiar groups are not fighting for the Palestinian people, but for their own ideological goals, that Palestine is a mere front to stage a war against the existence of a jewish state (and the presence of jews on "muslim land" in general) we can take a short look to Syria: last month, Palestinian sources reported of a massacre conducted upon Palestinians by the Syrian army, who reportedly attacked the Al Yarmouk district of Damascus, an area of the city comprised predominantly of Palestinian refugees. Syria is a close ally of Iran and the government forces have been backed up by Hezbollah fighters, whose military wing is said to be stronger than the Lebanese army. Apparently, the lifes of Palestinian refugees count only as a bargaining chip against Israel.

The strength of Irans attacks upon Israel, not just verbally, but even by direct support for acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens worldwide, is not strictly rational. Iran has no border with Israel. Israel is not threatening Irans existence or its citizens, it is not occupying Iranian territories or competing with Iran for ressources or regional influence. In fact, Israel and jews in general tend to appear in only one form in official Iranian ideology: as the great evil. Jews are given the role of powerful manipulators and evil shadow government of the western states, much in the way western antisemites have done it before. This is, of course, a projection and attributing all the damage of capitalism to a jewish conspiracy is a popular ideological explanation precisely because it is so simple - in a world where not even those involved with the financial market understand it anymore.

"If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli." - Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Leader

Iranian state doctrine was, from the beginning, deeply antisemitic because it allowed them to tie older, religiously motivated prejudices, with giving an answer to the question "who is to blame" for all the hardships of modernity, of capitalism and imperialism. Antisemitism was furthermore popular, because it tied so neatly into the national rebirthing mythology the Iranian clericals had developed: they sought to unite the muslim people in a reborn Caliphate, invoking a mystified past not unlike Fascists in Europe had done before. Israel and the jews gave them a common enemy, someone who, in the ideological worldview of the Mullahs, threatened all muslims alike.

Thusfar, it didn't work out so well. Common opposition to Israel failed to bridge the gap between Sunni and Shia Islam. In 2010, a suicide bomber from the Sunni Taliban attacked a Quds Day rally, killing at least 65 people. Meanwhile, domestic support for the Iranian governments anti-Israeli policies waned. A year earlier, in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 elections, protestors used the Quds Day to stage anti-government protests. Amongst the slogans used was "No to Gaza and Lebanon, I will give my life for Iran.” Especially the younger generations are turning out to the Quds Day rallies in ever decreasing numbers, with a growing sentiment that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not related to Iran.

Still, this year again, thousands will protest against the existence of an Israeli nation in neatly gender-seperated protest marches. Amongst them in the west, again, will be a self-proclaimed political left, who believes the Iran a viable partner for the sole reason that they, too, are blaming Israel for all the hardships of the middle east. From the Venezuelan government, who is claiming to build a "Socialism of the 21st century" and deems Iran a strategic ally against the US, to anarchist fringe groups in Europe and the US, who simply don't know better because, really, they don't care much about Arabian politics and just seek allies against their own governments.

Either of them would be well advised to stay away from association with the Quds Day, because all it stands for is a renewed attempt at exterminating jewish existence.

*The title is a direct quote from Hassan Nasrallah, current leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah.

23Nov/120

Free Gaza

There is a broad consensus across the globe that the people of Gaza are victims suffering from a brutal occupation. There is little focus on Gaza, however, as long as Israel is not shooting back. And the ignorance regarding the nature of the Hamas borders on the maliciously intentional. For many, they are "freedom fighters", involved in a justified struggle against Israeli aggressors and, at the very least, the democratically elected government of Gaza.

Founded in 1987 as Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas can trace its roots back to the 1940s, when the Muslim Brotherhood founded their first branch within Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood itself can be described as the pan-Arabic version of fascism, as far as this umbrella term goes to include movements of the far right who espouse a radical, chauvinist and authoritarian ideology rooted in national rebirth mythology. Because it summons the semi-mythological past of the first Caliphate, Arabic fascism is heavily loaded with political religion and a pan-arabic nationalism rather than a particular. It also draws heavily on antisemitism for its political ideology, expressed in pogroms such as those happening in Egypt during 1938.

Similiarily, the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood participated in the Arab revolts between 1936 to 1939. Violence against Jews, such as the murder of sixteen jewish dockworkers on the 19th of April 1936, was an integral part of these years, making it part anti-colonial uprising, part antisemitic pogrom. A fateful symbiosis that should carry on till this day. It also echoed similiar developements within Europe, which should culminate in the murder of at least six million jews during the holocaust. Antisemitism was and remains, a global phenomena which prospers during economic crisis.

Let's note at this point that all this was well before the foundation of Israel. Zionist settlers were targeted as much as jews whose families had lived in the region for centuries - and the jewish migrants who came to Palestine did so because they hoped to escape antisemitic violence in other parts of the world. They were not the collaborateurs of imperialism which Islamists and Stalinists alike painted them to be, because their dream of an idependent jewish homeland was in itself a threat to the British supremacy of the Palestinian lands. In fact, secular Palestinian Nationalists had voiced their support of jewish immigration, hoping to draw in the support of well-educated and well-connected, maybe even wealthy, European jews to support their anticolonial struggle.

Fast forward to the eighties. The Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, their fight against Jews defeated repeatedly by Israeli military forces, had withdrawn largely to caritative and social works, hoping to establish a lasting base amongst the population. Secular nationalists, supported by the Soviet Union, had dominated the political landscape for the longest time in the region. It was the rise of Islamism in Iran and the occurence of the First Intifada which prompted the Brotherhood in Palestine to abandon their political - and military - inactivity. Radical members had left the Brotherhood after the revolution in Iran to take up armed struggle, including a number of murders of Israeli civilians. Similiar groups propagating armed struggle were founded by Fatah. The inner-Palestinian political landscape shifted to the right, notably marked by the violent takeover of the Islamic University in Gaza by Islamist militants.

The Muslim Brotherhood did not wish to be left out on this developement and founded Hamas in 1987 - initially without announcing their political connection to the new group, to avoid a backlash should the project fail. Only in 1988, when Hamas had established itself as political actor in Palestine, they revealed themselves as part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas political strategy has been dominated by its antisemitism, which is integral and undeniable part of its political manifesto and all its publications. It is important to note that Hamas is not fighting a war for a two-state solution or for political or social rights of the Palestinian people, nor and end of jewish settlement or to lift the Gaza blockade. Hamas political doctrine is aimed at the extermination of jewish existence. The denial of the holocaust, as with all holocaust-denial movements, is part of this programme only to enable it to be repeated. Supported by Iran, its ideological brothers and idols, Hamas has turned Gaza into a missile-base, from which in 2012 alone, by the time the recent Israeli airstrikes started, about 800 missiles had been fired into Israel. Terrorbombings and suicide attacks have been part of the Islamistic armed struggle for decades now. Hamas and its ideological brothers do not discriminate between military or civilian targets in Israel. In their antisemitic worldview, all jews are the same, paradise can only come after the last jew took its last breath.

But Hamas violent campaign does not only extend towards jews. In a similiar eliminatory fashion, Hamas roots out all signs of "moral decay" amongst its own population. It's a horribly ironic joke that Judith Butler, that posterwoman of the queer-movement, has decried the achievements of the LGBT-movement in Israel as mere state-controlled "pink-washing", while attributing some sort of progressive momentum to Hamas. Islamists offer only one thing to homosexuals: death. Similiarily, it is a mockery of even bourgeoise democracy when stating that Hamas is a legitimately elected government of Gaza. While it is true that Hamas won a majority in the 2006 elections, that was followed by the violent coup d'etat in 2008, ever since when the Hamas is ruling Gaza with unquestioned authority and by force. Six men had to suffer the consequences of this rule, though they are probably just the tip of the iceberg: they were executed by Hamas gunmen on the day the ceasefire with Israel was declared. One man was chained to a motorcycle and dredged through the streets of Gaza. Supposedly they had been supporting Israel with information from within Gaza. Naturally, there was not even a sham-trial.

The rule of Hamas in Gaza has all signs of a fascist dictatorship. Even kids are raised and trained to become fighters against Israel. It is truly worrying that groups and individuals throughout the world, who believe themself emancipatory, consider Hamas a valid ally. But not only a movement still heavily chained to the old Leninist dogma and Soviet state doctrine of anti-imperialist struggle, which can see Israel only as a tool of western colonialism and not as an independent jewish reaction towards the genocidal antisemitism in Europe, can befriend the Islamist movements of the world. Torn between the fact that the western states themselves are targeted as enemies by the Islamists, and their need for an auxilliary corps in a region that is fundamentally important for the global market, but to whose population said market has little to offer, the western world ends up increasingly supporting the radical right of the Arabic world. Close allies of the NATO states, like Saudi-Arabia or Qatar, funnel money and weapons to a plethora of militant groups in the region. Wherever Islamism is opposed by the west, such as the EU including Hamas on their list of terrorist organizations, this is not expression of a fundamental opposition to their ideology and political actions, but rather rooted in a geopolitical struggle with Iran.

Similiarily, capitalist nationstates have relied on Islamic Fascism in the past to secure continued existence of a capital accumulation from which most of the population had been excluded anyways. Despite mixed experiences in the past - the most popular example here would be Afghanistan, primarily because the United States later had to fight the very same political movement it had helped to seize power - it seems that the core of the capitalist world has little other options. In face of economic crisis and a now longstanding inability to expand the accumulation of value fast enough to allow for broader parts of the population to receive a share, there is but one way to ensure the undisturbed business for those strata still benefiting from it. And Islamism is the only mass-movement in the Arab world which is both powerful and ruthless enough to take on this role.