November 12/14

Bible Quotation For Today/Submission to Governing Authorities
Romans 13/01-07: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

Latest analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 11-12/14
Elias Bejjani/Open Letter To Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury/November 11/14
A Sunni Hezbollah/Jonathan Spyer/The Jerusalem Post/November 11/14
A Palestinian intifada In Israel with an Islamic State influence/Ron Ben-Yishai/Ynetnews/November 11/14
Does Israel have reason to target Syrian nuclear experts/YOSSI MELMAN/Jerusalm Post/ November 11/14
West doesn’t understand reality of Islamic ideology, says pastor/By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON/Jerusalem Post/November 11-12/14
Can Islamic State Survive without Baghdadi/by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi/Nocember 11/14
Israel prefers Assad to ISIS/Diana Moukalled /Asharq Al Awsat/November 11/14
Turkey's Rules for Safety/By Burak Bekdil/The Gatestone Institute/November 11/14

Lebanese Related News published on November 11-12/14
'Aramaics' In Israel recognized as separate ethnic group
Is Hezbollah smuggling weapons to Brazil?
Hezbollah member detained by Peruvian police
Elite Hezbollah forces denote party’s readiness
Lebanon, Egypt to cooperate in fighting terrorism
Jumblatt urges Syrian Druze to join rebels
Agriculture Ministry revives reforestation plan

Mina coastal vendors evicted, but why?
In Hamra, an all-new blast from the past
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan Visits Qabalan, Calls for Swift Presidential Polls and Unity
FPM to Appeal Extension of Parliament's Term before Constitutional Council
Abu Faour Unveils Names of Restaurants and Firms Violating Food Safety Standards

Miscellaneous Reports And News published on November 11-12/14
Families of U.S. troops sue 5 European banks over Iran dealings
Canadian FM, John Baird Condemns Brazen Attacks in Israel
U.S., Iran nuclear deal in the balance
Lacking breakthrough, sides weigh next moves in Iran nuclear drama
Assad says U.N. truce plan worth studying
Steffan de Mistura- Assad: Unwitting accomplice
Stabbings put Israelis on knife-edge
IDF soldier stabbed at Tel Aviv train station
One dead in Gush Etzion stabbing attack
West doesn’t understand reality of Islamic ideology, says pastor
'Temple Mount violence endangers the lives of Jews everywhere'
West doesn’t understand reality of Islamic ideology, says pastor
Netanyahu orders defense chiefs to push forward plans to demolish Palestinian terrorists' houses
UN announces head of Gaza war inquiry
Syria Kurds ‘recapture’ areas of Kobane from ISIS
EU top diplomat ‘sad and worried’ over Mideast violence
Abbas Accuses Hamas of Trying 'to Destroy' Palestinian Unity
Iraq military: Troops take center of refinery town
Sinai terrorists pledge loyalty to Islamic State
Amid strains, Obama upbeat about China ties
Saudi Crown Prince heads to Australia for G20 meeting
Yemen: US slaps sanctions on ex-president Saleh, two Houthi commanders
Tunisia, France to cooperate on stopping jihadists

Below Jihad Watch Posts For Monday
Robert Spencer in PJ Media: 10 New Signs of Britain’s Impending Demise

National Cathedral to host Muslim prayer co-sponsored by Hamas-linked CAIR and ISNA
Israel: Islamic jihadist stabs woman to death, injures two other people after trying to run them over at a bus stop
Nigeria: Jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murders 48 at high school assembly
Danish FM: Good relations with Turkey more important than their release of would-be jihad murderer of counter-jihadist Hedegaard
Pakistan Christian leader asks Obama to condition US aid on blasphemy law repeal 

Open Letter To Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury
Elias Bejjani
November 11/14
Mr. Chagoury, Apparently you are one of the most rich and highly respected Lebanese Christian Maronites in Africa. God Bless, genuinely we are very happy for you, and at the same time very proud as Lebanese Maronite activists of your great business achievements.
Meanwhile, we learned after researching your activities on the net, that you are a very successful and well respected figure in numerous domains besides business. In this respect we are again very pleased and extremely flattered that a fellow Lebanese Maronite is doing so good in Diaspora and at the same time providing well paid and secure jobs for many Lebanese families who are unable to find work opportunities in the Iranian occupied and oppressed mother land, Lebanon. All what we can say, is God Bless and He may shower on you more and more of his gracious graces.
But sadly, your name, riches and questionable political agenda were media wise widely linked in last September/14, to the extremely controversial Christian and deplored US IDC Conference (DEFENSE OF CHRISTIANS).
As we comprehended from the interview that LBC, Journalist, Marcel Kaniem conducted with you during the conference, that you personally financially carried the mere conference’s expenses from A to Z with an estimated 3-5 million US dollars as many media facilities reported. With no doubt that was very generous of you.
As you well know by now, the conference turned to be a notorious mouthpiece for the Syrian butcher and dictator President Bachar Al Assad and the Iranian Mullahs’ terrorist regime. In this context His Beatitude Patriarch Laham was vey open,, loud, proud, adamant and stubborn in his Assad’s advocacy even in the White House. There is no need to list the countless damages that the conference has inflicted on us the Maronites and on all the Christians in the Middle East in numerous domains.
Definitely you will ask yourself what is the aim of this open letter and we personally never met and do not know each other?
Sir, we learned during the last few days that on November 15/14 The Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association will host you as their 2014 Heritage Ball featuring IDC’s Honorary Chairman, and that the theme of the event will be “Protecting and Preserving Christianity, Where it All Began.” .
God Bless you again and Bless all those who are concerned about the Christians’ fate in the Middle East.
From the depth of our hearts we wish that all your endeavors shall be successful and victorious, but would like to remind you of the following solid and well known and documented facts:
1- The Syrian Baathiest Regime and its head, the butcher President Bachar Al Assad are not by any means protecting Syrian or Lebanese Christians, but on the contrary he and his bloody regime are brutally massacring them as well as all other Syrian and Lebanese people from all religions and denomination.
2- Iran, The denominational, fundamental and terrorist Mullahs’ regime fully occupies our beloved Lebanon and is working around the clock since 1982 through its occupational army, the terrorist armed Hezbollah via intimidation, petro dollar, murder, terrorism, and all kinds of covert and overt evil schemes to destroy Lebanon’s entity as a distinguishable identity, model for common living, freedoms, democracy and multi culturalism. The Lebanese Christians and Maronites in particular are the main target of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.
3- ISIS, Nusra, Fateh El Eslam, and all the so called Sunni Jihadist organizations were found, adopted, financed, armed and cultivated by both Syrian and Iranian regimes.
In conclusion, we, as Diaspora Maronite activists are very proud of a fellow rich and well respected Maronite Diaspora figure like you, and sincerely hope that your advocacy, support, endorsement, and connections be righteously and wisely utilizes to help the Christian presence and fate in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East countries while fully aware who are the Christians’, civilization, freedom and democracy enemies are, corrupted politicians countries and organization.
Yours Truly
Elias Bejjani


FPM to Appeal Extension of Parliament's Term before Constitutional Council
Naharnet/The Free Patriotic Movement reiterated on Tuesday its condemnation of the extension of parliament's term, saying that it is a violation of democratic practices in Lebanon. MP Ibrahim Kanaan said after the Change and Reform bloc's weekly meeting: “The FPM will appeal before the constitutional council the decision to extend parliament's term.” “The appeal is the only way to ensure that the parliamentary elections will be held,” he explained. “The extension of parliament's term will only lead to the extension of Lebanon's crises,” remarked the MP. “We urge the constitutional council to perform its duties regardless of pressure it may come under,” demanded Kanaan. “We, along with the civil society, must protect the council in order to change what has been imposed on the Lebanese people in complete disregard to their will,” he said. Furthermore, he criticized officials who are fearful of vacuum in the presidency and parliament, saying that the extension of parliament's term will not solve problems. “Vacuum can only be filled through turning to the people and holding the elections,” he stressed. “Polls will introduce a new reality in Lebanon,” he stated. Last week, 95 lawmakers out of 128 voted to extend their term in office until 2017 in a move that was met with huge popular dismay. The extension session was boycotted by Aoun's lawmakers and the Kataeb party, which is affiliated with the March 14 alliance. The lawmakers who voted in favor of the draft-law claimed they needed to extend their own term because the security situation is too dire to allow holding elections amid Syria's civil war and in order to avoid a power vacuum. Commenting on the presidential elections, Kanaan said: “The election of a president is more than a pressing issue.” He repeated the proposal of FPM chief MP Michel Aoun to amend the constitution in order to allow for the election of a president through the people. “We seek the election, not the appointment, of a president,” he declared. In June, Aoun proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow the people to elect their head of state. His proposal lies in allowing only Christians to vote for their candidates in the first round. The system then allows the polls to be held at the level of the entire nation to pave the way for both Muslims and Christians to choose the two candidates who received the majority of votes in the first round. Lebanon has been without a president since May when the term of Michel Suleiman ended. Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the elections.

Is Hezbollah smuggling weapons to Brazil?
By JPOST.COM STAFF /11/10/2014
Hezbollah is being investigated in Brazil for the illegal trade of firearms, Brazil's influential O Globo newspaper reported on Sunday. According to the report in the Rio de Janeiro-based paper, Federal investigators in Brazil have been probing possible ties between Lebanon and criminal gangs in Brazil for the past eight years. Hezbollah-linked groups allegedly began smuggling arms into Brazil back in 2006, according to federal documents obtained by O Globo, which suggest that Lebanon's lucrative drug trade played a key role in funding the illegal trade. The intelligence community said they had a mountain of evidence to support these claims. The Brazil-bound weapons ultimately reached jails, from which the criminal gangs operated, in exchange for "protection of any foreigners [already] detained in prisons," as well as a slice of the profit. Beyond smuggling arms, Hezbollah reportedly helped negotiate deals to attain explosive devices for terror schemes. The report first surfaced after US officials looked into Lebanon's illegal drug trade and found links between Brazilian criminals financing Hezbollah.

Elite Hezbollah forces denote party’s readiness
Nov. 11, 2014
Kareem Shaheen/The Daily Star
BEIRUT: The black-clad fighters toting machine guns deployed in the southern suburbs of the capital, watching over the procession. It was the 10th day of Ashoura, the commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, and fears were rife that the Shiite processions around the country last week would become the targets of terrorist attacks. The masked, ninja-like fighters, with ominous-looking visors and red armbands, were there to help make sure that did not happen. “The aim of their presence during Ashoura was to provide additional assistance in securing the procession,” a source with knowledge of the deployment told The Daily Star. “They have received high-level of training and are equipped very well and have good combat skills,” the source said. “It is one of the elite units, that is correct.” News of the deployment of Hezbollah’s Special Forces went viral, with social media users circulating pictures of individual soldiers, whose faces were hidden behind the masks, apparently taken surreptitiously by curious onlookers.
The images were soon reposted on the Facebook page of Al-Ahed, a website with links to the party, and photographs of the soldiers were incorporated into its Ashoura campaign, titled “Labbayk” (I answer the call).
Numerous media reports later touted a series of extraordinary claims about the fighters; some compared them to American SWAT units, others said their visors could detect explosives.  The result, as it often the case with Hezbollah’s military capability, was a mix of fact and mythology. “It is a unit of the resistance, and all the information circulated in the newspapers is inaccurate and incorrect. They mix rumors and doubts,” the source said.
The source denied that the equipment and suits worn by the fighters had been obtained through a deal with Russia, a claim that featured in an online report on the elite unit. He acknowledged the “natural comparison” with American SWAT teams, given the deployment on a sensitive occasion like Ashoura, but said the comparison was “meaningless” to Hezbollah. The source mocked claims that the fighters’ visors were equipped to detect explosives, a claim made repeatedly in numerous reports on the unit.
“If that was true we wouldn’t have needed all those checkpoints and car searches and would have just mounted one of those scanners at the street entrances, and it would have prevented all the traffic,” the source said, referring to checkpoints set up at the entrances to the majority-Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut, which have been targeted repeatedly by suicide bombers. “There is some exaggeration,” the source added. Qassem Qassir, an expert on Islamist movements, said the military gear was itself not new, but was a fresh “show of strength” by Hezbollah, meant to reassure its supporters that the party was ready to handle unconventional attacks, including the use of chemical agents, against civilian areas where it enjoys broad support. “These groups and units are not new, they are special units within Hezbollah that have been there for years,” he said. Qassir said the party had trained special operations units to deal with attacks involving chemical weapons as part of their preparations for battle with Israel, and was deliberately showcasing these teams now in the face of anticipated security threats during Ashoura. “The presence of these units creates a sense of relief. It is a show of strength and a protective measure,” he said. He added that groups that carried out bombings against Hezbollah and areas where it enjoys broad support in the past may seek new methods to target the group. “There were concerns that there would be unconventional attacks that require unconventional security measures,” Qassir said. “The presence of these units is a way of saying: ‘We are ready for any development.’”

Hezbollah member detained by Peruvian police
Nov. 11, 2014/Reuters/LIMA: Peruvian police said Monday they would press charges against a foreign man arrested in Lima last month, after he was found with traces of explosives and confessed to being a member of Hezbollah. Authorities have not said what they are charging the man with, nor why they initially investigated him. Police found traces of explosives on the man’s hands and in the house where he was staying at the time of his arrest on Oct. 28, said Peru’s police director Jorge Flores. “He has accepted being a member of Hezbollah,” Flores told reporters. “The investigation has concluded and corresponding paperwork will be processed. “Today he is going to be made available to the attorney’s general office as a detainee.”The man had initially presented falsified documents that identified him as being from Sierra Leone, Flores added. The United States has designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, and U.S. officials have sought to limit the group’s operations in South America. They have expressed concern in particular about Iran’s supporting Hezbollah activities around the triple border area of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan Visits Qabalan, Calls for Swift Presidential Polls and Unity
Naharnet/Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan warned on Tuesday against the consequences of the vacuum at Baabda Palace and reiterated that terrorism has no religion. “After the extension of parliament's term, it is time to swiftly hold the presidential elections,” Daryan said following a visit to the deputy head of the Higher Shiite Islamic Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan. “Everyone should know that we can't remain without a president because this nation will be open to all possibilities and consequences if the elections were not held with the appropriate speed,” he said. Lebanon has been without a head of state since May when President Michel Suleiman's term ended amid the failure of the rival MPs to find a successor. Last week, 95 lawmakers voted to extend the legislature's term by another two years and seven months, skipping scheduled elections for the second consecutive time. The vote gave the 128-member parliament eight full years in power— double its allowed mandate — to June 2017.  The parliamentarians, who voted for the extension, claimed they needed to stay in office because Lebanon's security situation is too dire to allow holding elections amid neighboring Syria's civil war. They also said extending parliament's mandate will prevent another power vacuum from forming in the country, which is already divided along sectarian and regional lines. Clashes tied to Syria's war have broken out with increasing regularity. The latest threat comes from extremists that have engaged in gunbattles with the Lebanese army in areas near the border with Syria and in northern Lebanon.
Daryan warned that “terrorism does not represent any religion. It is the responsibility of Muslims and Christians to fight it because its danger affects not just Shiites, Christians or Sunnis but all of us.”“We will confront terrorism through unity and we will prove together that we are moderates, and enjoy tolerance and forgiveness,” he said. “This country can only be built on love and can only become stable and flourish through the respect between its citizens,” the Mufti added. Qabalan expressed similar remarks, describing Muslims as “brethren.”“They should work together to consolidate national unity and preserve Lebanon,” he said. Qabalan also urged Muslims and Christians to be united against strife and to exert efforts to keep Lebanon stable.

Abu Faour Unveils Names of Restaurants and Firms Violating Food Safety Standards
Naharnet/Health Minister Wael Abu Faour raised the alarm on Tuesday over food safety in the country, warning that “the food that the Lebanese are eating is full of diseases.”“A large number of foodstuffs firms are operating without licenses and without meeting the proper health conditions,” the minister announced at a press conference. “Some of the food that is being consumed by the Lebanese contains remains of human feces and this is something intolerable,” Abo Faour revealed, lamenting the dire situation.
The minister noted that warnings will be addressed to the violating restaurants and fines will be imposed over practices that pose a health risk to consumers. “I will ask the interior minister to close the sections that do not meet the proper health and hygiene conditions in all the aforementioned firms until they rectify their situations,” Abou Faour added, stressing that the ministry's campaign “is not temporary” and vowing to “disclose more names.” The minister noted that 1,005 firms were inspected across Lebanon and that 3,600 samples were sent to the laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture. Revealing the names of these firms “is not aimed at defamation or at harming their business,” Abu Faour noted, emphasizing that he is only shouldering his responsibility as health minister.
“Some of the owners are my personal friends and some of them support our political party,” Abu Faour added. In addition to contamination with bacteria and other inedible substances, the minister mentioned other violations involving “the presence of flies on the refrigerators of dairy products, the presence of open garbage bins in kitchens, workers not wearing gloves … and frying oil that was not changed for months.”Listed below are some of the firms and products mentioned by Abu Faour:
- Hamburger meat at Fahed Supermarket, Jounieh
- Chicken breast at Hawa Chicken, Jbeil, Aley and Khalde
- Meat products at Spinneys Supermarket, Jbeil
- Meat products at Jbeil Supermarket, Jbeil
- Meat, shawarma, minced meat and sausage at Bou Khalil Supermarket, Damour
- Soujouk (hot sausage) at Bedo snack, Bourj Hammoud
- Chicken at Metro Superstore, Baabda
- Chicken at Rammal Supermarket, Baabda
- Meat at El Khawli Supermarket, Bauchrieh
- Some products at Brummana Market and al-Sultan Butchery in Metn
- Qashta (Arabic cream) at Abdul Rahman Hallab & Sons Sweets, Tripoli
- Chicken and mayonnaise at Crepina Restaurant, Tripoli
- Various products at the Dar al-Qamar, Shay w Asal and Baitna restaurants in Tripoli
- Beef, hamburger, minced meat and shish taouk at TSC Supermarket, Metn
- Meat products at al-Natour Company for Meat and Food Products, Beirut
(According to the minister, the full list of violating businesses in Beirut will be released in the next few days)

Aoun burns all bridges with Future

Nov. 11, 2014
Hussein Dakroub/The Daily Star
BEIRUT: A war of words flared up Monday between MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and the Future Movement over the presidential deadlock, threatening to raise political tension in the volatile country and further complicate already stalled attempts to elect a new president. Coupled with mounting security threats linked to the war in Syria, the political escalation, a norm in Lebanon’s turbulent history, reflected the state of disarray and divisions in the country following the rival parties’ failure to elect a president or hold parliamentary elections on time.
A number of Future lawmakers lashed out at Aoun, accusing him of losing his temper after the FPM leader charged that the Future Movement took orders from Riyadh and accused Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of vetoing his candidacy for the presidency.
In remarks published by As-Safir newspaper Monday, Aoun said presidential election talks with the Future Movement came to a halt after Riyadh ruled him out as a candidate. “Dialogue with [former] Prime Minister Saad Hariri on the presidency has stopped because Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal put a veto on my name,” Aoun said.  In a clear allusion to Hariri, who has been living abroad for more than three years for security reasons, Aoun said: “In the face of imminent dangers, we notice that some are living outside Lebanon and others can take a plane and leave whenever they feel they are threatened. But we are deep rooted in this land and are staying here. We have no choice but to defend our existence. This is what unites us with Hezbollah.”
Future MP Ahmad Fatfat hit back at Aoun, reminding him of when he fled Baabda Palace to the French Embassy in 1990, leaving behind his wife and three daughters. Syrian warplanes bombed Baabda Palace on Oct. 13, 1990, to evict Aoun, the then-Army commander, who opposed the 1989 Taif Accord.
“If Aoun meant the one who is living abroad is [former] Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Hariri is living in the country. But the one who ran away is Michel Aoun when he left his wife and daughters behind and left the Army [soldiers] to get killed in Araya on Oct. 13 [1990] and ran away,” Fatfat said in an interview with MTV station. “Aoun won the marathon race between the French Embassy and Baabda.”
Future MP Atif Majdalani said Aoun’s remarks reflected “tension and fears” that Hezbollah’s nomination of the FPM leader for the presidency might be a maneuver.  “We were not surprised by Gen. Aoun’s statement in which he put the blame on others. It’s very clear that Gen. Aoun is in a state of confusion and has lost his merit to be a consensus candidate for the presidency,” Majdalani told The Daily Star. “As soon as Hezbollah Secretary-General [Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah] named Gen. Aoun [last week] as the March 8 candidate for the presidency, Aoun was no longer a consensus candidate but a provocative one.”During several rounds of talks held between senior Future and FPM officials in the past months, including meetings with Hariri in France, Aoun sought to promote himself as a consensus or compromise candidate for the country’s top Christian post, arguing that he heads the largest Christian bloc in Parliament.
“From the very beginning, Hariri told Aoun: ‘If you are presenting yourself as a consensus candidate for the presidency, you have to get approval for this from the Christian side in the March 14 coalition in order for us to support you,’” Majdalani said.
The March 14 coalition, which opposes Aoun’s candidacy, has backed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea as its candidate for the presidency, while MP Walid Jumblatt has nominated Aley MP Henri Helou as a candidate of his parliamentary bloc.
In another interview, Fatfat said Aoun was too irritable to serve as a president.“Aoun attacked the Future Movement because he cannot attack his ally Hezbollah, which has let him down on two major occasions,” Fatfat told the Central News Agency.
“The first occasion was concerning Parliament’s mandate extension, and the second was when Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah embraced him as the March 8 candidate and thus stripped the ‘consensus candidate’ label from him,” he said.
Fatfat said Aoun had clearly “lost his nerve,” and thus began to throw random accusations. “Most importantly, it has become clear that whoever opposed Aoun’s election was right, because someone who [becomes agitated] so quickly cannot be a president,” he said.
MP Ibrahim Kanaan from Aoun’s parliamentary Change and Reform bloc refused to comment on the Future MPs’ verbal attacks on Aoun. “We will respond after the bloc’s meeting Tuesday,” he told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai kept up his harsh rhetoric against Lebanese lawmakers for failing to elect a president and accused them of deliberately seeking vacuums in state institutions to serve personal interests.
“The political leadership loses its raison d’etre if it fails its commitments to the people, and in Lebanon the ruling class is disabled,” Rai said in Bkirki at the opening of the eighth conference of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon.
Rai, who had recently returned from a two-week pastoral visit to Australia, said Lebanese expatriates were distressed by the state of decadence and dissolution that Lebanon has reached as a result of the politicians’ lousy performance. “They [expatriates] condemned politicians, particularly Lebanese parliamentarians, who betray their national responsibilities by fomenting a vacuum in the presidency post in Lebanon by failing to elect a president to serve personal objectives,” he said.
“They also condemned the Lebanese parliamentarians who fomented a vacuum in the legislative authority by extending their mandate, again violating the Constitution in cold blood,” Rai added.

Jumblatt urges Syria’s Druze to join anti-Assad rebels
Nov. 11, 2014 /The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Syria’s Druze must relinquish all links with President Bashar Assad’s regime and join the “revolution,” Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said Monday. “It is time to make the bold decision of moving from under the umbrella of this regime, which is destined to fall sooner or later,” Jumblatt said in his weekly comments published in PSP’s Al-Anbaa online magazine Monday. “[It is time to] join the revolution that has from the beginning raised the slogans of freedom, dignity and change, which are rightful and legitimate slogans for the Syrian people,” Jumblatt added. The most powerful leader of Lebanon’s Druze community and a staunch supporter of the Syrian opposition, Jumblatt had made several calls on Syrian Druze to join the Syrian opposition since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011. He even encouraged Druze officers to defect from the Syrian army. However, he has acknowledged that his calls were not heeded. Members of the sect in Syria are split between regime supporters, those that back the opposition and those that are neutral. Jumblatt’s comments came after fierce clashes broke out last week in Druze villages on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon between rebels and pro-government forces. The battles killed at least 31 pro-regime fighters and around 14 insurgents, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-regime monitoring group. Many of the dead pro-regime fighters hailed from Druze villages. There were no reports of clashes in the area Monday.
“They [such events] do not exclusively affect this or that sect, but all the components of the Syrian society, including, maybe in the forefront, the Alawite sect that the Syrian regime has implicated [in the conflict] just like other sects with the aim of implementing its policies and achieving its goals,” Jumblatt said. In his editorial, the Druze leader said the recent “tragic events” on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon had once again revealed Assad’s plan to create war between different religious groups. “The purpose is to sustain the fiery crisis and keep the regime in power, even at the cost of dead Syrians and at the expense of the millions of Syrians who were displaced inside or outside Syria, besides putting tens of thousands of people in prisons,” Jumblatt said.
“Members of the Arab Druze sect have no option but to take all this into consideration, sever their remaining ties with the regime and engage in comprehensive reconciliation with rebels, particularly in Houran, Deraa and Qunaitra,” he added.
Jumblatt stressed that Syrian Druze should not fall in the traps set by the Syrian regime and should behave in line with their modern history, which is characterized by opposition to oppression. He pointed to late Sultan Basha al-Atrash, a Syrian Druze leader who launched a rebellion in Swaida against French troops in Syria in 1925 when the country was under French Mandate. Jumblatt said that he had warned of the dangers of such events during his September tour of Arqoub and Rashaya, towns which fall on the Lebanese side of Mount Hermon and are home to Lebanese Druze. Jumblatt’s tour came one month after Druze residents in the Rashaya village of Ain Ata opened fire on a bus carrying Syrians when it failed to stop at an Army checkpoint. Local officials said one Syrian was killed and two others wounded. Villagers thought the bus was transporting Syrian Islamists. During his visit, Jumblatt asked his community to leave the task of preserving security to the state.

Canadian FM, John Baird Condemns Brazen Attacks in Israel
November 10, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today released the following statement:
“Canada condemns today’s brazen attacks that have claimed the lives of an Israeli woman and a member of the Israel Defense Forces.
“These terrorist attacks come after last week’s deplorable violence where vehicles were intentionally driven into innocent bystanders.
“Perpetrators of these acts of violence are responsible for further aggravating an already volatile situation.
“Any statements of incitement are irresponsible. Those leaders who regularly issue them cannot plead ignorance when terrorist attacks like today’s occur.
“On behalf of all Canadians, we stand with the people of Israel and offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama

Canadian Muslims Launch
For Immediate Release: Contact:
November 10, 2014 Kashif Ahmad - Spokesperson (416) 710 6110
National Campaign With a Press Conference
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at to launch nationwide campaign that addresses youth radicalization, ISIS, Caliphate, de-radicalization and the solution moving forward
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada is launching a nationwide campaign to take a stand and fight youth radicalization and the extremist influence that ISIS can have on our youth. This campaign, called
will have events in nearly every major Canadian city, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Brampton, Mississauga, Calgary, Saskatoon and Vancouver just to name a few. Already, over 35 events are booked, with more on the way, the event will be launched with the event being held at York University. The STOPTHECRISIS
events will consist of a keynote address, a multi-media presentation, and an in-depth Q/A session with a panel of Islamic Scholars. This feature presentation will engage the audience, and provide methods to avoid radicalization and de-radicalization.
When: November 12, 2014, at Tahir Hall - 10610 Jane Street, Vaughan, ON
Media Opportunity: Media is invited to attend the press conference and learn more about the campaign, ask questions, conduct interviews with campaign managers and a chance to interview the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at, and the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, arguably the largest single Muslim youth group in Canada, spread over 70 local branches across dozens of cities.
About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans over 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace.

A Sunni Hezbollah?
by Jonathan Spyer/The Jerusalem Post
November 9, 2014
Muhammad al-Jowlani's Jabhat al-Nusra is more pragmatic than the Islamic State group, but equally extreme.
Jabhat al-Nusra, like the Lebanse Shi'ite organization, is emerging as a movement that combines uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility. Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamist group which constitutes al-Qaida's "official franchise" in Syria, this week carried out a successful offensive against Western-backed rebel militias in northern Syria. Key areas were captured.
Islamic State and its activities further east continue to dominate Western media reporting on the war in Syria. But in northwest Syria, Lebanon and the area immediately east of the Golan, it is Nusra which is becoming the main Sunni jihadi force on the ground.
There are significant differences in the praxis of these two movements, despite their near-identical ideological stances. Islamic State prefers to rule by straightforward terror – see its slaughter of 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe north of Ramadi this week.
Nusra is no less brutal when it deems it necessary, but follows a different, more sophisticated trajectory.
Islamic State prefers to rule by straightforward terror ... Nusra is no less brutal when it deems it necessary, but follows a different, more sophisticated trajectory.
This requires Nusra to at times cooperate with other Sunni groups (including Islamic State), and at other times fight them.
The assault against rival rebel groups began on Saturday and was mainly focused against the Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), led by former construction worker Jamal Ma'arouf. Ma'arouf, who hails from the Jebel Zawiya region of Idlib province, emerged as a successful warlord in one of the heartlands of the Syrian Sunni rebellion.
According to sources in northern Syria, however, Ma'arouf is seen by many as a corrupt figure who has personally enriched himself in the course of the Syrian war.
The tensions between Nusra and SRF in the north are of long standing, and have claimed lives on both sides.
They are concerned with power, and the control of populations, land and resources.
Nusra's forces made rapid progress into Jebel Zawiya, capturing Ma'arouf's home village of Deir Sunbul; the smaller Harakat Hazm militia also abandoned a number of villages in the wake of the group's advance. Nusra is now just a few miles from the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey.
Ma'arouf was known to have been in contact with Western officials, though the extent of aid to his movement is not clear. Hazm, however – which numbers only around 5,000 fighters – was the recipient of direct Western help, including a number of BGM-71 TO W anti-tank systems delivered this past spring.
These systems may well now be in the hands of the al-Qaida- associated Nusra, following Hazm's abandonment of areas of northern Idlib province in the wake of Nusra's advance against the SRF.
The future of Hazm and SRF in the rebel heartland of northwest Syria now looks uncertain. Nusra appears uninterested in proclaiming an "Islamic state" of its own any time soon, but it is clearly deeply interested in capturing and holding ground in this area – and is doing so.
Oddly, in other areas, Nusra cooperates with the very forces it fights in the north. In western Syria and the Lebanese Beka'a, for example, Nusra and Islamic State work together in the Qalamun mountains area, and in frequent forays into Lebanon.
There, they seek to secure a link between pro-rebel Sunni towns in the Beka'a and the jihadi fighters in the mountains, so as to ensure a supply route throughout the winter.
Nusra recently killed around 10 Hezbollah fighters in a hitand- run raid on a position near Britel. It also took part, together with Islamic State, in a large-scale raid on the town of Arsal in August, capturing a number of Lebanese soldiers.
Nusra leader Muhammad al-Jowlani issued a statement on Tuesday, promising further incursions into Lebanon.
Addressing Hezbollah directly, Jowlani said, "The real war in Lebanon is yet to begin, and what is coming is so bitter that [leader] Hassan Nasrallah will bite his fingers in remorse for what he has done to Sunnis."
Further south, Nusra is a key element in the rebel forces that have been enjoying considerable success against the regime in recent weeks. The organization played a major role in the capture of the Quneitra crossing at the end of August.
Some reports have since suggested the organization has ceded control of areas bordering Israel to other rebel forces. But if this is so, it has taken place not by coercion, but because Nusra appears to be aware of the general rebel desire for Western support, and is willing to adjust its own positions accordingly.
The movement also continues to enjoy contact and probably also support from the Emirate of Qatar, a key backer following Nusra's emergence in 2012. Certainly, the Qatari role in paying ransoms for the release of 45 Fijian soldiers captured by Nusra in the taking of Quneitra would seem to attest to, at the very least, ongoing contact between Doha and the jihadis.
In three key fronts – Idlib province, Qalamun and Quneitra/Deraa – Nusra is playing a pivotal role, challenging both Syrian President Bashar Assad's army and other rebels.
So in three key fronts – Idlib province, Qalamun and Quneitra/Deraa – Nusra is playing a pivotal role, challenging both Syrian President Bashar Assad's army and other rebels where it deems it profitable.
By avoiding targeting Westerners, the group has largely managed to avoid the hostile attention of the West.
By adjusting its activities to local realities and power structures rather than immediately challenging them head-on, it has also avoided the fear and hostility which Islamic State engenders among many Sunnis in both Syria and Lebanon.
So what happens next? Jowlani clearly has his eye on Lebanon, where 1.5 million Sunni refugees from Syria may provide willing recruits to the movement, particularly if that group begins to find itself needing some kind of sectarian defense against local Shi'ite hostility. Nusra is becoming the controller of rebel northwest Syria – yet it is likely to continue its more cautious path in the south, where its rivals are stronger.
It is also by no means impossible that Nusra could, at a certain point, turn its attention to Israel. Certainly, the current attempt by Palestinian organizations to refocus attention on their struggle through the prism of Pan-Islamic concerns for the Aksa Mosque makes such an outcome more likely.
Jabhat al-Nusra seems determined to emerge as a kind of mirror image of the Shi'ite Hezbollah – combining an uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility and an ability to work with its own public (Sunnis), rather than simply terrorize them into submission.
Israeli and Western governments should be watching the organization very carefully.
**Jonathan Spyer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 Steffan de Mistura- Assad: Unwitting accomplice
Nov. 11, 2014/The Daily Star/Monday’s announcement that President Bashar Assad will study a proposal by the U.N. envoy to Syria to “freeze” fighting in Aleppo should generate skepticism rather than optimism. Steffan de Mistura originally made his proposal at the U.N. earlier this month, and ever since, he and his plan have been dismissed by Syria’s official media. With de Mistura now in Damascus, perhaps the regime decided that the most diplomatic thing to do would be to welcome the “freeze” idea as worthy of discussion. But there are few indications that the regime will agree to any let-up in the “war on terror” it is waging against its own people. Under such conditions, it is difficult to envision U.N. peacemaking efforts with both sides seriously committed to the process. Last year, the Syrian regime felt itself embattled at times – it was forced to commit to attending the Geneva peace talks that were being prepared, and it agreed to hand over its chemical weapons and stockpiles in order to avoid a likely round of U.S. airstrikes after hundreds of people were killed in the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. This year, with the failure of Geneva and the world’s attention focused on ISIS and other Al-Qaeda splinter groups, and not the regime’s actions, Assad can only feel himself in a stronger position and less likely to make compromises. The U.N. is now on its third envoy – de Mistura – after the missions of his two predecessors failed to achieve anything. If the U.N. truly believes in the possibility of ending the war, its initiatives should exploit this – but if Assad’s “study” period leads to only more death and destruction, the U.N. will only be a partner in prolonging the conflict.

A Palestinian intifada In Israel with an Islamic State influence
Ron Ben-Yishai/Published: 11.11.14/Israel Opinion/Ynetnews
The entire Muslim world is currently in violent religious frenzy, and even more so in our neighborhood; and while Israeli security forces have learned hard lessons from the previous intifadas, will it be enough? The third intifada is gaining momentum, and is also following an all-too-familiar path: Jerusalem, Israel's Arab sector, Judea and Samaria and now Tel Aviv. The inferno leaps from place to place, and each new spot feeds and fuels the ones that came before. This is how it was during the first intifada, the intifada of stones, and this is how it was during second intifada, the intifada of suicide bombers.But nonetheless, there are differences. The first and second intifadas each broke out almost solely due to one isolated incident. The third intifada erupted in March this year and has in fact escalated until it reached the current situation; it is actually underway in earnest in Jerusalem, the Arab sector and to a lesser extent the West Bank.
In Judea and Samaria, Mahmoud Abbas is working hard to ensure that his security forces prevent any large flare-ups. These would harm the image the Palestinian Authority is presenting to the world, and could undermine the political achievements it aspires to, such as a Security Council resolution that would recognize the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders.
Therefore, the Palestinian security forces operate in quite a determined fashion to prevent mass disturbances and the use of firearms in Judea and Samaria, but throwing stones, petrol bombs and Molotov cocktails does happen and becoming more common. The question now is how long Abbas can "occupy" the third intifada in the West Bank, unlike the permission and inspiration he gives to the riots in Jerusalem.
Events in Judea and Samaria are not yet out of control for another reason: Hamas and other Palestinian organizations cannot act in Jerusalem and the West Bank. This is simply because the Islamist groups have been crushed, following the kidnapping and murder of the three boys from Gush Etzion. Hamas can incite, but cannot produce explosive belts or recruit suicide bombers. This is true for the meantime, but it might well be that we will sooner or later see an organized armed struggle against us within the framework of the third intifada.
The knife attack Monday in Tel Aviv is a natural continuation of the ongoing escalation of the third intifada. This escalation is mainly due to inflamed religious sensibilities, the deaths of Jews and Arabs, the intolerable ease with which illegal aliens enter Israel, and the inflammatory provocations on the part of Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli Arab politicians. One should especially pay attention to the religious background of the riots in Jerusalem, the Palestinian territories and among Israeli Arabs.
Violent religious frenzy
The reason is the Islamic State – which has driven not only the Middle East but the entire Muslim world into a violent religious frenzy, disorganized but deadly, which was reflected not only on the Temple Mount, but also in Canada, Brussels and Germany. There is no place on the globe where there are Muslims that right now is not in religious turmoil, although it is all the greater here. There is a direct connection between the stabbing at the train station in Tel Aviv and the footage of Islamic State beheadings.
But in our case, political and nationalistic reasons unite with the worldwide combination of Islam and violent escalation.
One can take comfort in one fact: Unlike nationalist and religious politicians on both sides, who inflame the passions and make a considerable contribution to the violence, Israeli security forces have actually learned the lessons of the First Intifada. Police reinforcements are visible both in Jerusalem and population centers in the Arab sector, and the army is doing what it takes in Judea and Samaria. But the security blanket is small, the police cannot be everywhere, and if they go in too hard they will only feed the flames - as happened during the first and second intifadas - instead of smothering them.
Every Palestinian death will further inflame passions, especially if the circumstances of any death are not completely clear, or the Arab population believes that person to have been a victim of abuse by the Israeli security forces. Unfortunately, only if a terrorist is killed after he has murdered some Jews, is the death accepted on the Arab street. In this case, he is immediately branded a martyr and made into a symbol and servers to pour more fuel on the fire. In this way, the Third Intifada of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and on both sides of the Green Line escalates and grows.
In order to halt this intifada, public awareness is key, as this has proven itself to be effective during the previous intifadas. Beyond that, one must recognize that this is a pan-Palestinian phenomenon that draws inspiration from the Islamic religious flare-up unfolding in the Middle East and indeed in many other parts of the globe.
Another way of coping with this phenomenon is to flood the streets of Israel, including Jerusalem and the West Bank, with security forces. If necessary, one could introduce IDF patrols in Israeli territory, should the situation justify it as it did in the days of the other intifadas. The police alone cannot do the job, and we need to recognize that. After things calm down a little, it might be possible to remove the army.
Furthermore, there should also be strict rules for IDF soldiers and police on opening fire, restricting the use of firearms only to when there is an obvious and tangible threat to life. Care must also be taken that security forces are rotated and work in teams of at least five or six, in order to prevent a situation in which they are exposed to real life-threatening violence or trouble, such as in the West Bank or the Arab sector.
Elsewhere, measures from the second intifada should be taken to block the entry of illegal aliens into Israel, including tightening inspections at the crossings between Israel and the West Bank.
One more method is to tell the politicians to stop the incitement, and then take all necessary measures against them to make sure that they show restraint. All of these steps, if taken concurrently, can lead to quiet, and even if total calm is not restored, they would deter those attacks that are fueled by the hot air of incitement and religious motivation.

Does Israel have reason to target Syrian nuclear experts?
By YOSSI MELMAN/Jerusalm Post
According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, more than 200,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war since its outset in March 2011. But what has grabbed the media’s attention and headlines in the past three days is the unconfirmed report that five nuclear experts were killed in an ambush while riding a bus to their workplace a few days ago in Damascus. The story immediately fueled the conspiratorial theories that maybe Israeli intelligence, namely the Mossad, had been behind it.
It started with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported that the attack was carried out on Sunday near the Barzeh neighborhood of Damascus. Barzeh is the site of a small nuclear laboratory. It has a Chinese-built miniature neutron source reactor, a small and compact research reactor copied from a Canadian design. This reactor, from its inception, has been under the supervision of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors have visited the site many times.
Yet the reactor, which is fueled by highly enriched uranium supplied in small amounts by China and a few other nuclear facilities, served as a decoy to divert attention from the secret construction of the much bigger nuclear reactor in eastern Syria built by North Korea and bombed by the Israel Air Force in 2007. The Syrian government has not yet reacted to the reports. The Iranian media also ignored it, now Iran’s Press TV has published a short factual item about the incident, although it fails to mention that probably one of the five dead experts was an Iranian engineer. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in an area controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. Still, the possibility that Israel was behind it is very unlikely. After destroying the nuclear reactor in 2007, when it was on the verge of being operational and capable of producing plutonium as fissile material for nuclear bombs, the threat of Syria becoming a nuclear power was removed. According to foreign news reports, Israel has occasionally – at least times – interfered in the civil war by sending its air force to bomb convoys of Syrian trucks heading with sophisticated weapons bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel perceives any ground, sea and air missiles supplied to Hezbollah as a threat to its military posture. But not when it comes to the now-negligible and practically non-existent Syrian nuclear program. Thus, there is no incentive for Israel to risk its intelligence-gathering operatives and military forces by being involved in such an operation. In simple words, Syria no longer poses a serious military – not to mention nuclear – threat to Israel. So why bother? Furthermore, it is not the first time that Syrian nuclear scientists were targeted during the civil war. In a similar incident in July of last year, six people working at the same center were killed in a mortar attack carried out by anti-government militants. It seems more likely that it was another act of violence by one of the rival groups fighting the Assad regime. Or, one should not rule out that it was an act of revenge – an inside job by the regime itself, for whatever reason.

West doesn’t understand reality of Islamic ideology, says pastor
Jerusalem Post/11.11.14.
Ugandan pastor Umar Mulinde, a Christian convert from Islam, said growing up, he constantly heard “Jews are the most hated people by God.”He had no relationship with Jews, and “did not even know where Israel was on a map,” but he was taught to hate it. Muslim hate is mainly religiously based and when he became a Christian, all of the sudden the preachers were “talking about love, and a lot about Israel,” Mulinde said, in an interview in his most recent visit for treatment after an acid attack threatened his life and severely damaged his face.“It is part of the Islamic mind, and the Western mind refuses to accept the reality of Islamic ideology,” he said. On December 24, 2011, Muslims in Uganda threw acid on him and severely burned his face, neck and back. He was transported to Sheba Medical Center for treatment with the help of Israeli friends, and has been returning for treatment. At the hospital, Mulinde has met Arab patients from countries that are enemies of Israel.
Israeli Arab hospital workers, after discovering his name was Umar – an Islamic name – approach him talking bad about the country. However, he said, they soon realize that he is not going to have any of it, and they stop their comments.
Asked if he thought about changing his name, he responded no, “but maybe I should add a third Jewish name!” “After my conversion my perspective changed completely – I changed my heart.” Only about 12 percent of Ugandans are Muslims, but they are radical, he said, pointing out that Muslim clerics from Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan radicalized Muslims in his country. The foreign clerics are busy spreading their interpretation of Islam throughout Uganda, using dawa – institutions of social welfare services and religious education. In the 1960s and ‘70s the Muslim community was much more moderate, but in the 1990s they started to become radicalized, he said. Mulinde, 40, was born a Muslim and is now the head of the Gospel Life Church International in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. He is married and has seven children. Since he converted to Christianity in 1993, his life changed. His family disowned him, saying he was dead, and they and other Muslims tried to kill him. He gave his bodyguards the day off, thinking there would be no attack on Christmas Eve. “They [the Ugandan state] know where the attackers are,” the pastor said, adding that they are in the country and being protected by corrupt leaders who have been paid off by the Muslim community. “When someone leaves Islam,” Muslims must kill him “in the service of Islam,” he said One who kills an apostate “gets honors” and will go “directly to heaven,” he said.

Can Islamic State Survive without Baghdadi?
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
BBC/November 10, 2014
There has been no official comment from Islamic State about the rumours of al-Baghdadi's death.
In the wake of US-led air strikes on an Islamic State (IS) convoy near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, media have been awash with rumours that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed or injured.
The apparent silence of IS sources on the issue could be evidence that something has happened to al-Baghdadi. But there was a similar lack of official IS denial of rumours that the group's spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, had been killed in air strikes earlier this year - something that later turned out to be unfounded.
A Twitter account purportedly belonging to Adnani has claimed Baghdadi should be on his way to a speedy recovery, but the account is almost certainly fake, as it refers to Adnani in the third person at one point. Were it real, Twitter would have deleted it some time ago, having cracked down on all traces of an official IS presence on its platform.
Regardless of the veracity of the present reports, it is of interest to assess what impact Baghdadi's death would have on the fortunes of IS.
Baghdadi is credited with turning IS into a formidable force.
IS is heavily invested in the image of Baghdadi, who had projected himself as a caliph for a year before a caliphate was declared in June 2014.
One of the signs of this was Baghdadi's original declaration rebranding the group as ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - in April 2013, an evolution from the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).
ISIS implied an Islamic state entity whose presence in Iraq and Syria was a mere geographic accident, and subject to future expansion.
ISI, on the other hand, had implied an independent emirate that could perhaps be subsumed into the long-term global project of al-Qaeda.
Who else?
The shift from ISI to ISIS was marked with slogans such as "the promised project of the caliphate" and songs like "Close ranks and pledge allegiance to Baghdadi".
Thus, IS's basis for claiming to be a state and caliphate is closely tied to Baghdadi's persona, which initially thrived on hiding behind audio messages.
Key also to Baghdadi's legitimacy in the eyes of IS supporters is his claimed lineage from the Prophet Muhammad's family and tribe, as well as his scholarly knowledge of religious jurisprudence.
No other figure in IS is publicly cultivated to claim the position of caliph, with credentials of education in Islamic law.
The problem for IS is to find a viable successor to Baghdadi in the event of his death. No other figure in IS is publicly cultivated to claim the position of caliph, with credentials of education in Islamic law.
In addition, the persona of Baghdadi is credited with ISI's rise to a transnational entity that controls contiguous territory and has all the trappings of a state.
Senior figures within IS - such as members of the Shura Council, which supposedly gave legitimacy to the caliphate declaration - remain otherwise unknown.
Nothing suggests that other high-ranking IS figures, such as Adnani and field commanders Omar Shishani and Shaker Abu Waheeb, are being projected as potential successors to Baghdadi.
'Winning horse'
Therefore, IS could find itself in disarray in the event of Baghdadi's death if it cannot immediately achieve consensus on a successor who can live up to his legacy and command allegiance from the world's Muslims.
Indeed, the group's rank-and-file is by no means monolithic. Many members - particularly from likeminded jihadi groups such as Jamaat Ansar al-Islam - have pledged allegiance on the notion that IS is a "winning horse" that can project itself as a caliphate.
If that credibility disappears, the pledges of allegiance, which it should be noted are made to Baghdadi as "caliph of the Muslims", could well vanish. Members would then revert to their original group identities, reducing Islamic State's ranks.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Pakistan Christian leader asks Obama to condition US aid on blasphemy law repeal
Robert Spencer/Jihd Watch
Nov 10, 2014
christians-in-pakistan-Nazir-Bhatti-SpeaksObama should have gotten this idea on his own. It should have been done long ago. Indeed, I have long recommended that there be no U.S. aid for any country that oppresses women and non-Muslims, denies the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, etc. But even now, Obama will pay no attention to Nazir Bhatti, and the persecution of Christians and Ahmadis by means of the blasphemy law will continue.
“Nazir Bhatti writes letter to President Obama to condition US Aid to Pakistan on repeal of blasphemy law,” Pakistan Christian Post, November 10, 2014 (spelling and grammar as in the original):
Philadelphia: November 9, 2014. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC expressed his surprise in a letter to US President Barak Obama that US Administration which is custodian of Human Rights, Liberty and freedom of speech and expression around world not bothered to condemn horrific murder of Christian couple by Islamic extremists in Islamic Republic of Pakistan nor US State department uttered any comments on Christian persecution and genocide of Christians.
Nazir Bhatti wrote that Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama Bibi were burnt alive by Muslim mob on November 4, 2014, in furnace of brick kiln factory where they were detained as bonded labor by one Mohammad Yousaf Gujjar near Kot Rada Kishan in district Kasur of Punjab province.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti urged US Administration to condemn burning alive of Christian couple, press upon Islamic Republic of Pakistan to repeal blasphemy laws and to condition aid to Pakistan on human rights.
Here are contents of letter of Dr. Nazir S Bhatti to US President;
President of USA,
Mr. Barak Obama,
Christian couple burnt alive by Muslim on accusation of blasphemy in Pakistan
As your honor is custodian of freedom, liberty and human rights around world, I wish to invite you kind attention towards a sad incident in which a Christian couple is tortured and burnt alive in furnace of brick kiln factory on false and fabricate accusations of blasphemy by Muslim mob near Kot Rada Kishan in district Kasur of Punjab province of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
On November 4, 2014, Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama Bibi who were bonded laborer of Brick Kiln Factory owner Mohammad Gujjar were locked up and to teach them lesson on fleeing away he accused them of burning pages of Quran and send his Muslim employees to nearby villages to announce from loudspeakers of mosques that come and punish blasphemer Christian couple.
It is surprising that neither US Administration under your honor nor US State Department even bothered to condemn this horrific crime of burning live of Christian couple by a mob living in country named Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is receiving billions of aid of US taxpayers.
I would appeal your honor to put pressure on government of Pakistan to end misuse of blasphemy laws against Christian, Ahamadiyyia and other religious minorities and condition US Aid to Pakistan on human rights and repeal of blasphemy laws.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti
President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC
Editor, Pakistan Christian Post
Dated; November 9, 2014.

National Cathedral to host Muslim prayer co-sponsored by Hamas-linked CAIR and ISNA
Robert Spencer/Jihad Watch
Nov 10, 2014
Washington-National-Cathedral-in-Washington-DC-USALegend has it that when the Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the year 637, Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, invited the caliph Umar to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Umar declined, explaining that if he did, the Muslims would convert the church into a mosque, as Muslim prayers had been uttered there.
Former FBI agent John Guandolo reported this in 2012 about two of the co-sponsors:
The ADAMS Center is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It was founded by some of the most senior Muslim Brothers in the United States, to include Ahmed Totanji, who still resides in Herndon, Virginia. Its website proclaims “[ADAMS] is a membership organization registered in the State of Virginia as a non-profit, tax exempt corporation and is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).”
Imam Magid is the Executive Director of the ADAMS Center. He is also the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim Brotherhood organization in the U.S. which was found to be a financial support entity for Hamas in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in U.S. history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas, 2008)..
And while CAIR is quite mainstream these days, this self-styled “civil rights group” was actually named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI. CAIR has opposed every anti-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented.
Meanwhile, when are the Christian prayer services scheduled at the ADAMS Center mosque?
“In a first, Washington National Cathedral to host regular Friday Muslim prayer,” by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, November 10, 2014 (thanks to Mac):
Washington National Cathedral, known for hosting presidential funerals and other major spiritual services, will for the first time host weekly Muslim prayer services this coming Friday.
The Cathedral, part of the Episcopal Church, has long held high-profile interfaith events, and some mosques hold services in synagogues or churches if they need overflow space. But organizers said Monday that they are seeking to make a statement by having Muslim leaders come and hold their own midday services in such a visible Christian church.
“We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries,” said Rizwan Jaka, a spokesman with the prominent ADAMS mosque in Sterling, one of the co-sponsors of Friday’s prayers. “Let this be a lesson to the world.”
The services, which begin around 12:20 and are for invited guests only, came out of a relationship between the Cathedral’s director of liturgy and the South African ambassador to the U.S., who is Muslim. The Rev. Gina Campbell and Ambassadaor Ebrahim Rasool worked together on a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela, Jaka said.
“This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations,” Rasool said in a prepared statement. “This needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Cathedral, Rasool and several Muslim spiritual and advocacy groups: ADAMS – whose full name is the All Dulles Area Muslim Society – the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Rasool will deliver the khutbah, or sermon, at the service, which will be held in a part of the massive Cathedral “with arches and limited iconography.. almost mosque-like,” said a statement from the Cathedral….

Israel prefers Assad to ISIS
Diana Moukalled /Asharq Al Awsat
Tuesday, 11 Nov, 2014
In the last few years, the news that has been reaching us about the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad has periodically veered all the way from the abominable to the absurd, arousing feelings of horror and complete shock, and sometimes even hysterical laughter deriving from sheer disbelief. So it is with some of the latest news coming out of the country, informing us that the official news agency SANA is launching a number of new foreign-language services, including ones in Farsi and Hebrew.
Over the past years, we have become accustomed to the standard comment by the Syrian regime—“We will respond at the appropriate time”—whenever faced with Israeli attacks on its territory. So, do we now have at last, with this new SANA Hebrew service, the long-awaited, elusive response? The Syrian regime says it is launching this service, and its other foreign-language counterparts, in order to “confront the media war that has been launched against Syria.” Most media outlets from the Arab world have dismissed news of these foreign-language services, contending they will have absolutely nothing to offer from a journalistic point of view—considering the low-quality of the flagship Arab-language service, its apparent obsession with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and its continual announcements of “victories” by the Syrian army against “terrorists.”
So, yes, these services will be totally worthless, even considering their raison d’être—they will offer nothing newsworthy, or any analysis, to sway those against the regime, or even those on the fence, not to mention those who regard this regime as an enemy. Why, then, does whoever it was that came up with this idea think it is a necessary step to take at this particular point in time?
Officially, Syria remains in a state of war with Israel, so, naturally, Israeli citizens will now all be falling over each other to access SANA and get their daily fix of accurate news reports on the country, ones which will now no doubt sway public opinion in Israel regarding this longtime enemy.
SANA says it is nonetheless determined to launch the service in order to bring the “truth” of its point of view to “our people” in the occupied Golan Heights, Israeli Arabs living in Israel, and Israeli public opinion in general.
Well, regarding the latter, public opinion in the Jewish state has not been at all tardy in its response to this announcement. One look at the Jerusalem Post or any other Israeli publications with an Arabic-language arm will give you a pretty accurate idea of this response—and most of it is not necessarily about Syria per se, but more specifically about Bashar Al-Assad and his regime. Yes, there is a very large slice of Israeli public opinion that is supportive of Assad remaining in power. It includes some of the country’s most prominent politicians, who have said this quite explicitly, whether in public or private. Here is but a sample of what they have been saying about Syria: “I prefer to support Assad than the Syrian revolutionaries. He may be a tyrant, but things have been more stable with him around;” “Syria is all that stands between Israel and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria;” “Israel stands hand-in-hand with Assad.”
The new foreign-language service comes as part of Assad’s delusional contention that he and his regime are part of the international War on Terror—and the need to publicize and spread this view as widely as possible. This has become a boring, hackneyed political lie, one which has been completely exposed, especially in regard to another lie expounded by the “steadfast” regime in Damascus: that the main cause for which it fights is the Palestinian cause, and that its main enemy is the Zionist enemy.
This lie was completely punctured when prominent Syrian businessman and Assad aide Rami Makhlouf said, at the very beginning of protests against the regime back in 2011, that Israel’s stability was directly tied to Syria’s, and that there would not be one without the other.
Throughout the events of the last few years, the regime has repeated lies like this again and again: Either me or the storm, “Après moi, le deluge”—and that is exactly what we have right now.

Families of U.S. troops sue 5 European banks over Iran dealings
AFP, New York
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and soldiers wounded there in attacks linked to Iran sued five European banks Monday, alleging their business with Iran helped finance the attacks.
HSBC, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Bank were sued in the federal district court in Brooklyn, New York, over their already admitted banking business with Iran in violation of US sanctions.
RBS was accused over activities of ABN Amro, the Dutch bank taken over by RBS in 2008.
The plaintiffs, including the families of dozens of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq, allege that by tapping into the global financial system via those banks, Iran was able to finance “hundreds” of attacks in Iraq via the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and its own Revolutionary Guards between 2003 and 2011.
“Iran used and continues to use the global banking system to purposefully circumvent U.S. and other sanctions regimes to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Osen LLC, the law firm working for the plaintiffs.
“In order to evade detection, Iranian banks enlisted many of the world’s largest financial institutions to help Iran cover up its web of transactions in support of its terrorist activities.”
The suit is based on a 1992 U.S. law that makes it possible for people injured in terror attacks, or the families of those killed, to sue anyone culpable in the attacks for financial damages.
All five of the banks have been heavily fined by U.S. banking regulators for handling international financial transactions for Iranian entities in violation of the sanctions, and trying to hide the transactions.
But the suit goes a step farther.
It alleges that the banks knowingly took part in Iran’s “conspiracy” to evade financial sanctions.
In addition, it alleges that they “also committed further acts of international terrorism... by knowingly (or with reason to know) facilitating financial transactions with Iran, which each such defendant knew was a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

Netanyahu to Israeli Arabs: You are equal citizens - don't get dragged into incitement
By Barak Ravid/Haaretz/Nov. 11, 2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israeli security forces would take a number of steps to "uproot the terror from inside the country," and urged Israeli Arab citizens "not to get dragged into incitement."
"I call on the Arab citizens of Israel – do not let yourself get dragged into incitement. You are citizens with equal rights and equal duties, and the first duty of every citizen is to respect the law," Netanyahu said, in a press conference, following a three-hour security cabinet meeting.  The prime minister said that the cabinet had decided to take a number of steps to curb the incitement, including increasing troops on the ground across the country, demolishing the homes of terrorists and taking harsh action against those who throw firebombs, firecrackers and stones - including fining the parents of minors who do so. Netanyahu added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was not a partner to the fight against terror – but rather a force fanning the flames and the lies.
"Unfortunately, Abu Mazen [Abbas] is not a partner to the fight on terror. He has proven how irresponsile he is. Instead of calming the unrest, he is enflaming it and spreading lies," Netanyahu said
The cabinet met Tuesday after the recent spate of terror attacks and and growing unrest, to discuss escalation in the West Bank, tensions in Jerusalem and protests in the Israeli-Arab sector.
The cabinet meeting was scheduled in relatively short notice, a day after Netanyahu held an urgent consultation regarding recent events. At Monday's meeting, Netanyahu ordered a number of steps to be taken, including augmenting the number of security forces on the ground and demolishing the homes of perpetrators of terror attacks, particularly in East Jerusalem. The defense establishment is preparing for the possibility of further escalation, lasting for several days. At the same time, a senior official said there is a possibility that Gaza would initiate "symbolic" rocket fire at Israel, in solidarity with the events in the West Bank. The IDF has also decided to deploy more troops in the West Bank. The plan is to add two battalions of reinforcements; a third battalion may also be added later. The troops will be put on operational duty instead of engaging in their scheduled training, and their main mission will be to help protect those traveling on roads in the West Bank.

Turkey's Rules for Safety
By Burak Bekdil/The Gatestone Institute
November 11, 2014
Eighteen workers were trapped in a flooded mine in central Turkey late last month.
"And they die an equal death — the idler and the man of mighty deeds," wrote the ancient Greek epic poet Homer in "Iliad." Nearly three millennia later, in Turkey "they do not quite die an equal death."
After 30 coal miners died in a May 2010 accident in Karadon, northern Turkey, then Prime Minister (now president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan resorted to Islamist fatalism to wave off criticism of what was an obvious administrative negligence: "Death is in the nature of mining."
Earlier this week, the main opposition party leader, Social Democrat Kemal Kilicdaroglu asked Erdogan a legitimate question: "Why is death not in the nature of French, British and Spanish mining but only in Turkish mining?" — a question not likely to be answered by any government politician.
"Death is in the nature of mining."
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
"Why is death not in the nature of French, British or Spanish mining but only in Turkish mining?"
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Social Democrat Party
Last March, Kilicdaroglu's party submitted a parliamentary motion to investigate alleged failings of safety standards at a coal mine in Soma in western Turkey. Erdogan's men voted to reject it. In May, the same coal mine exploded, killing more than 300 miners -- and putting the death toll from mining accidents in Turkey at around 3,000 since the Republic was established in 1923. By then Turkish mines were six times more dangerous than even the Chinese.
Smaller accidents after Soma at mines and construction sites have killed dozens more workers. In one particular case, revealing governmental protection for the potentially guilty, twelve Labor Ministry inspectors, who had given a "perfect score" to the Soma mine shortly before the accident, were preliminarily indicted, but the ministry refused to give permission for legal proceedings. (In Turkey, a government official cannot be prosecuted for negligence of duty without ministerial approval.)
On Oct. 28, 2014, about six months after the Soma tragedy, 18 miners were trapped underground in a coal mine in Karaman, central Anatolia. They were trapped about 300 meters underground by flooding caused by a broken pipe; under 11,000 tons of water, according to officials. Rescue workers, who pumped water out for days, failed to reach them, alive or dead, as of Nov. 5. The miners, according to coworkers' testimonies, were caught by underground floods during their lunchtime, as the mine owner did not allow them to eat outside the mine. As usual, before the accident, several irregularities about the mine had been reported. "Why did you (miners) not complain to us," Erdogan said after the accident. He said that only a day after information surfaced that the workers had sent 124 letters of complaint to the Labor Ministry about the family that owned that mine and several others. The workers had complained about poor safety and "inhuman" working conditions.
"Whenever we attempt to close a mine the employer brings 50 well-connected people to lobby against the closure."
Faruk Celik, Labor Minister
Unwittingly, Labor Minister Faruk Celik confessed what really was wrong about the Turkish mines: "Whenever we attempt to close a mine, the employer brings in 50 well-connected people to lobby against the closure." In plain language, the minister was admitting shady relations with business cronies and nepotism, as a result of which scores of workers kept on dying.
As the Turkish rescue teams were trying to reach the trapped miners in Karaman, other rescue teams found the bodies of two Chinese miners in Bartin, northern Turkey, in another accident. The same day, a Turkish worker died at yet another mine in Kilimli, also in northern Turkey. And news bulletins reported that a woman had been killed under a cement-mixer truck; a train had run into a car, injuring seven; two minibuses had crashed, injuring seven workers; and four others had died in road accidents. News agencies did not report the more than 50 traffic accidents in one day in Istanbul only because, fortunately, no one had died. In Turkey, accidents are a part of daily life; they are perceived as "normal." Elsewhere, in more decent parts of the world, if a city reports 50 accidents in one day -- when there is no snow or rain -- it is news, Not in Turkey.
But on Oct. 31, a day before all that made the country stink of death, 18 people had been killed and 27 had been injured after a minibus rolled over into a ditch in Isparta, southwest of Turkey. The bus was carrying agricultural laborers, mostly women, working in a grove of apple tress in a town 50 miles away from their home. The bus had a capacity to carry 24 passengers, but when the accident happened it carried 46 people — 1,200 kg more than its capacity.
The bus driver had been fined more than $2,400 in just the previous two months for overloading, but was allowed to continue driving. And the laborers were hoping to reach the apple grove to earn their wage of $14 a day.
As Turkey mourned the trapped miners in Karaman and prayed for them — in vain, apparently — the Turkish government, which the minister confessed failed to close mines with poor safety records, did something generous for the families of the victims. It announced that the families would now get one ton of firewood for free! Not only that. Each family will get about $900 worth of social benefits from the government. And... A ton of coal, also free! The same coal their beloved ones lost their lives for.
**Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a columnist for the Turkish daily Hürriyet and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Abbas Accuses Hamas of Trying 'to Destroy' Palestinian Unity
Naharnet/Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused the Islamist movement Hamas of trying "to destroy" efforts to broker national unity through a series of bomb blasts in Gaza last week. Hamas quickly hit back, describing the allegations as "lies". In a speech marking the 10th anniversary of the death of veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas said Hamas was behind the Gaza explosions which targeted leaders of his Fatah movement. The blasts prompted the cancellation of a rare memorial service in Gaza for Arafat, the Fatah founder who died in mysterious circumstances in a hospital near Paris. "Those who caused the explosions in Gaza are the leaders of Hamas -- they are responsible," Abbas said in the West Bank city of Ramallah, accusing the rival faction of trying "to sabotage and destroy the Palestinian national project."Earlier this year, the two nationalist movements signed a reconciliation agreement aimed at ending seven years of bitter and sometimes bloody rivalry which saw the West Bank and Gaza ruled by separate administrations.
The deal led to the creation of a government of national consensus which took office in Ramallah but has yet to fully exert its powers in Gaza, Hamas's stronghold. Following his speech, Hamas denounced Abbas as "sectarian and partisan." "Abbas's speech is web of lies, insults and disinformation," said Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza. "What the Palestinian people need is a courageous president."
Abbas also addressed the clashes which have gripped annexed east Jerusalem for the past four months and spoke about unrest at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound triggered by the demands of far-right Jewish fringe groups for the right to pray there.
The Palestinians "will defend Al-Aqsa and the churches against the settlers and extremists," he pledged. Abbas also reaffirmed his plans to submit a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council later this month calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories by November 2016. He promised that the Palestinians, who won the U.N. rank of observer state in 2012, would apply to join a host of international organisations if the resolution was blocked by a U.S. veto. "We will not tolerate any pressure," he said, referring to U.S. efforts to dissuade the Palestinians from approaching the Security Council. Source/Agence France Presse