Tuesday, March 30, 2004

When you read this, try to avoid reacting
against it because you don't want this to be true.
Instead, try to read it and measure it against what
facts you actually know about this Islamic clash
with the west. The result won't make you happy but
it will make you understand what is going on in the
world today.

Professor Moshe Sharon teaches Islamic History
at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

This article appeared December 24, 2003.



THE AGENDA OF ISLAM - A WAR BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS




by Professor Moshe Sharon


There is no Fundamental Islam.


"Fundamentalism" is a word that came from the
heart of the Christian religion. It means faith that
goes by the word of the Bible. Fundamental
Christianity, or going with the Bible, does not mean
going around and killing people. There is no
fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop.
The question is how the Koran is interpreted.


All of a sudden we see that the greatest
interpreters of Islam are politicians in the western
world. They know better than all the speakers in the
mosques, all those who deliver terrible sermons
against anything that is either Christian or Jewish.
These western politicians know that there is good
Islam and bad Islam. They know even how to
differentiate between the two, except that none of
them know how to read a word of Arabic.


The Language of Islam


You see, so much is covered by politically
correct language that, in fact, the truth has been
lost. For example, when we speak about Islam in the
west, we try to use our own language and
terminology. We speak about Islam in terms of
democracy and fundamentalism, in terms of
parliamentarism and all kinds of terms, which we
take from our own dictionary. One of my professors
and one of the greatest orientalists in the world
says that doing this is like a cricket reporter
describing a cricket game in baseball terms. We
cannot use for one culture or civilization the
language of another. For Islam, you've got to use
the language of Islam.


Driving Principles of Islam


Let me explain the principles that are driving
the religion of Islam. Of course, every Moslem has
to acknowledge the fact that there is only one God.
But it's not enough to say that there is only one
God. A Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that there
is one God and Mohammed is his prophet. These are
the fundamentals of the religion that without them,
one cannot be a Moslem. But beyond that, Islam is a
civilization. It is a religion that gave first and
foremost a wide and unique legal system that engulfs
the individual, society and nations with rules of
behaviour. If you are Moslem, you have to behave
according to the rules of Islam which are set down
in the Koran and which are very different than the
teachings of the Bible.


The Bible


Let me explain the difference. The Bible is
the creation of the spirit of a nation over a very,
very long period, if we talk from the point of view
of the scholar, and let me remain scholarly. But
there is one thing that is important in the Bible.
It leads to salvation. It leads to salvation in two
ways.


In Judaism, it leads to national salvation -
not just a nation that wants to have a state, but a
nation that wants to serve God. That's the idea
behind the Hebrew text of the Bible.


The New Testament that took the Hebrew Bible
moves us toward personal salvation. So we have got
these two kinds of salvation, which, from time to
time, meet each other.


But the key word is salvation. Personal
salvation means that each individual is looked after
by God, Himself, who leads a person through His word
to salvation. This is the idea in the Bible, whether
we are talking about the Old or the New Testament.
All of the laws in the Bible, even to the minutest
ones, are, in fact directed toward this fact of
salvation.


Secondly, there is another point in the Bible,
which is highly important. This is the idea that man
was created in the image of God. Therefore, you
don't just walk around and obliterate the image of
God. Many people, of course, used Biblical rules and
turned them upside down. History has seen a lot of
massacres in the name of God and in the name of
Jesus. But as religions, both Judaism and
Christianity in their fundamentals speak about
honouring the image of God and the hope of
salvation. These are the two basic fundamentals.


The Essence of Islam


Now let's move to the essence of Islam. Islam
was born with the idea that it should rule the
world.


Let's look, then, at the difference between
these three religions. Judaism speaks about national
salvation - namely that at the end of the story,
when the world becomes a better place, Israel will
be in its own land, ruled by its own king and
serving God. Christianity speaks about the idea that
every single person in the world can be saved from
his sins, while Islam speaks about ruling the world.
I can quote here in Arabic, but there is no point in
quoting Arabic, so let me quote a verse in English.
"Allah sent Mohammed with the true religion so that
it should rule over all the religions."


The idea, then, is not that the whole world
would become a Moslem world at this time, but that
the whole world would be subdued under the rule of
Islam.


When the Islamic empire was established in 634
AD, within seven years - 640 - the core of the
empire was created. The rules that were taken from
the Koran and from the tradition that was ascribed
to the prophet Mohammed, were translated into a real
legal system. Jews and Christians could live under
Islam provided they paid poll tax and accepted
Islamic superiority. Of course, they had to be
humiliated. And Jews and Christians living under
Islam are humiliated to this very day.


Mohammed Held That All the Biblical Prophets
Were Moslems


Mohammed did accept the existence of all the
Biblical prophets before him. However he also said
that all these prophets were Moslems. Abraham was a
Moslem. In fact, Adam himself was the first Moslem.
Isaac and Jacob and David and Solomon and Moses and
Jesus were all Moslems, and all of them had writings
similar to the Koran. Therefore, world history is
Islamic history because all the heroes of history
were Moslems.


Furthermore, Moslems accept the fact that each
of these prophets brought with him some kind of a
revelation. Moses, brought the Taurat, which is the
Torah, and Jesus brought the Ingeel, which is the
Evangelion or Gospel - namely the New Testament.


The Bible versus the Koran


Why then is the Bible not similar to the
Koran?


Mohammed explains that the Jews and Christians
forged their books. Had they not been changed and
forged, they would have been identical to the Koran.
But because Christians and Jews do have some truth,
Islam concedes that they cannot be completely
destroyed by war [for now].


Nevertheless, the laws are very clear - Jews
and Christians have no rights whatsoever to
independent existence. They can live under Islamic
rule provided they keep to the rules that Islam
promulgates for them.


Islamic Rule and Jihad


What happens if Jews and Christians don't want
to live under the rules of Islam? Then Islam has to
fight them and this fighting is called Jihad. Jihad
means war against those people who don't want to
accept the Islamic superior rule. That's jihad. They
may be Jews; they may be Christians; they may be
Polytheists. But since we don't have too many
Polytheists left, at least not in the Middle East -
their war is against the Jews and Christians.


A few days ago, I received a pamphlet that was
distributed in the world by bin Laden. He calls for
jihad against America as the leader of the Christian
world, not because America is the supporter of
Israel, but because Americans are desecrating Arabia
with their filthy feet. There are Americans in
Arabia where no Christians should be. In this
pamphlet there is not a single word about Israel.
Only that Americans are desecrating the home of the
prophet.


Two Houses


The Koran sees the world as divided into two -
one part which has come under Islamic rule and one
part which is supposed to come under Islamic rule in
the future. There is a division of the world which
is very clear. Every single person who starts
studying Islam knows it. The world is described as
Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) - that's the place
where Islam rules - and the other part which is
called Dar al-Harb - the house of war. Not the
"house of non-Muslims," but the "house of war." It
is this house of war which has to be, at the end of
time, conquered. The world will continue to be in
the house of war until it comes under Islamic rule.
This is the norm. Why? Because Allah says it's so in
the Koran. God has sent Mohammed with the true
religion in order that the truth will overcome all
other religions.


Islamic Law


Within the Islamic vision of this world, there
are rules that govern the lives of the Moslems
themselves, and these rules are very strict. In
fundamentals, there are no differences between
schools of law.


However, there are four streams of factions
within Islam with differences between them
concerning the minutiae of the laws. All over the
Islamic world, countries have favored one or another
of these schools of laws. The strictest school of
law is called Hanbali, mainly coming out of Saudi
Arabia. There are no games there, no playing around
with the meanings of words. If the Koran speaks
about war, then it's war.


There are various perspectives in Islam with
different interpretations over the centuries. There
were good people that were very enlightened in Islam
that tried to understand things differently. They
even brought traditions from the mouth of the
prophet that women and children should not be killed
in war.


These more liberal streams do exist, but there
is one thing that is very important for us to
remember. The Hanbali school of law is extremely
strict, and today this is the school that is behind
most of the terrorist powers. Even if we talk about
the existence of other schools of Islamic law, when
we're talking about fighting against the Jews, or
fighting against the Christian world led by America,
it is the Hanbali school of law that is being
followed.


Islam and Territory


This civilization created one very important,
fundamental rule about territory. Any territory that
comes under Islamic rule cannot be de-Islamized.
Even if at one time or another, the [non-Moslem]
enemy takes over the territory that was under
Islamic rule, it is considered to be perpetually
Islamic.


This is why whenever you hear about the
Arab/Israeli conflict, you hear - territory,
territory, territory. There are other aspects to the
conflict, but territory is highly important.


The Christian civilization has not only been
seen as a religious opponent, but as a dam stopping
Islam from achieving its final goal for which it was
created.


Islam was created to be the army of God, the
army of Allah. Every single Moslem is a soldier in
this army. Every single Moslem that dies in fighting
for the spread of Islam is a shaheed (martyr) no
matter how he dies, because - and this is very
important - this is an eternal war between the two
civilizations. It's not a war that stops. This war
is there because it was created by Allah. Islam must
be the ruler. This is a war that will not end.


Islam and Peace


Peace in Islam can exist only within the
Islamic world; peace can only be between Moslem and
Moslem.


With the non-Moslem world or non-Moslem
opponents, there can be only one solution - a cease
fire until Moslems can gain more power. It is an
eternal war until the end of days. Peace can only
come if the Islamic side wins. The two civilizations
can only have periods of cease-fires. And this idea
of cease-fire is based on a very important
historical precedent, which, incidentally, Yasser
Arafat referred to when he spoke in Johannesburg
after he signed the Oslo agreement with Israel.


Let me remind you that the document speaks of
peace - you wouldn't believe that you are reading!
You would think that you were reading some science
fiction piece. I mean when you read it, you can't
believe that this was signed by Israelis who are
actually acquainted with Islamic policies and
civilization.


A few weeks after the Oslo agreement was
signed, Arafat went to Johannesburg, and in a mosque
there he made a speech in which he apologized,
saying, "Do you think I signed something with the
Jews which is contrary to the rules of Islam?" (I
have obtained a copy of Arafat's recorded speech so
I heard it from his own mouth.) Arafat continued,
"That's not so. I'm doing exactly what the prophet
Mohammed did."


Whatever the prophet is supposed have done
becomes a precedent. What Arafat was saying was,
"Remember the story of Hodaybiya." The prophet had
made an agreement there with the tribe of Kuraish
for 10 years. But then he trained 10,000 soldiers
and within two years marched on their city of Mecca.
He, of course, found some kind of pretext.


Thus, in Islamic jurisdiction, it became a
legal precedent which states that you are only
allowed to make peace for a maximum of 10 years.
Secondly, at the first instance that you are able,
you must renew the jihad [thus breaking the "peace"
agreement].


In Israel, it has taken over 50 years in this
country for our people to understand that they
cannot speak about [permanent] peace with Moslems.
It will take another 50 years for the western world
to understand that they have got a state of war with
the Islamic civilization that is virile and strong.
This should be understood: When we talk about war
and peace, we are not talking in Belgium, French,
English, or German terms. We are talking about war
and peace in Islamic terms.


Cease-fire as a Tactical Choice


What makes Islam accept cease-fire? Only one
thing - when the enemy is too strong. It is a
tactical choice.


Sometimes, he may have to agree to a
cease-fire in the most humiliating conditions. It's
allowed because Mohammed accepted a cease-fire under
humiliating conditions. That's what Arafat said to
them in Johannesburg. When western policy makers
hear these things, they answer, "What are you
talking about? You are in the Middle Ages. You don't
understand the mechanisms of politics."


Which mechanisms of politics? There are no
mechanisms of politics where power is. And I want to
tell you one thing - we haven't seen the end of it,
because the minute a radical Moslem power has
atomic, chemical or biological weapons, they will
use it. I have no doubt about that.


Now, since we face war and we know that we
cannot get more than an impermanent cease-fire, one
has to ask himself what is the major component of an
Israeli/Arab cease-fire. It is that the Islamic side
is weak and your side is strong. The relations
between Israel and the Arab world in the last 50
years since the establishment of our State has been
based only on this idea, the deterrent power.


Wherever You Have Islam, You Will Have War


The reason that we have what we have in
Yugoslavia and other places is because Islam
succeeded into entering these countries. Wherever
you have Islam, you will have war. It grows out of
the attitude of Islamic civilization.


What are the poor people in the Philippines
being killed for? What's happening between Pakistan
and India?


Islamic Infiltration


Furthermore, there is another fact that must
be remembered. The Islamic world has not only the
attitude of open war, but there's also war by
infiltration.


One of the things which the western world is
not paying enough attention to is the tremendous
growth of Islamic power in the western world. What
happened in America and the Twin Towers is not
something that came from the outside. And if America
doesn't wake up, one day the Americans will find
themselves in a chemical war and most likely in an
atomic war - inside the U.S.


End of Days


It is highly important to understand how a
civilization sees the end of days. In Christianity
and in Judaism, we know exactly what is the vision
of the end of days.


In Judaism, it is going to be as in Isaiah -
peace between nations, not just one nation, but
between all nations. People will not have any more
need for weapons and nature will be changed - a
beautiful end of days and the kingdom of God on
earth.


Christianity goes as far as Revelation to see
a day that Satan himself is obliterated. There are
no more powers of evil. That's the vision.


I'm speaking now as a historian. I try to
understand how Islam sees the end of days. In the
end of days, Islam sees a world that is totally
Moslem, completely Moslem under the rule of Islam.
Complete and final victory.


Christians will not exist, because according
to many Islamic traditions, the Moslems who are in
hell will have to be replaced by somebody and
they'll be replaced by the Christians.


The Jews will no longer exist, because before
the coming of the end of days, there is going to be
a war against the Jews where all Jews should be
killed. I'm quoting now from the heart of Islamic
tradition, from the books that are read by every
child in school. The Jews will all be killed.
They'll be running away and they'll be hiding behind
trees and rocks, and on that day Allah will give
mouths to the rocks and trees and they will say, "Oh
Moslem come here, there is a Jew behind me, kill
him." Without this, the end of days cannot come.
This is a fundamental of Islam.


Is There a Possibility to End This Dance of
War?


The question which we in Israel are asking
ourselves is what will happen to our country? Is
there a possibility to end this dance of war?


The answer is, "No. Not in the foreseeable
future." What we can do is reach a situation where
for a few years we may have relative quiet.


But for Islam, the establishment of the state
of Israel was a reverse of Islamic history. First,
Islamic territory was taken away from Islam by Jews.
You know by now that this can never be accepted, not
even one meter. So everyone who thinks Tel Aviv is
safe is making a grave mistake. Territory, which at
one time was dominated by Islamic rule, now has
become non-Moslem. Non-Moslems are independent of
Islamic rule; Jews have created their own
independent state. It is anathema.


And (this is the worst) Israel, a non-Moslem
state, is ruling over Moslems. It is unthinkable
that non-Moslems should rule over Moslems.


I believe that Western civilization should
hold together and support each other. Whether this
will happen or not, I don't know. Israel finds
itself on the front lines of this war. It needs the
help of its sister civilization. It needs the help
of America and Europe. It needs the help of the
Christian world. One thing I am sure about, this
help can be given by individual Christians who see
this as the road to salvation.

· Ousting Saddam Was the Only Option - George P. Shultz
The civilized world has a common stake in defeating the terrorists. We now call this what it is: a War on Terrorism. In war, you have to act on both offense and defense. You have to hit the enemy before the enemy hits you. The diplomacy of incentives, containment, deterrence, and prevention are all made more effective by the demonstrated possibility of forceful pre-emption. Strength and diplomacy go together. They are not alternatives; they are complements. Sept. 11 forced us to comprehend the extent and danger of the challenge. We began to act before our enemy was able to extend and consolidate his network. If we put this in terms of World War II, we are now sometime around 1937. In the 1930s, the world failed to do what it needed to do to head off a world war. Appeasement never works. Today we are in action. We must not flinch. With a powerful interplay of strength and diplomacy, we can win this war. (Wall Street Journal)



· A Legacy of Pain and Poison - Fouad Ajami
The promise of the peace of Oslo of a decade ago was that the PA would rein in the religious die-hards. This was the bargain that had plucked Arafat from exile in Tunis and bequeathed him a turf in the West Bank and Gaza. But Arafat had not come to Gaza to govern. He had uses for the foot soldiers and leaders of Hamas. They were his alibi for reforms he would never make, and an accommodation with Israel he would never pursue in good faith. In time, Arafat would match Hamas's terrorism with terrorist cells of his own. Thus the fireman turned out to be an arsonist. (U.S. News)



· On Palestinian Intentions and Ethnic Cleansing - Benny Morris
Whereas in the 1990s I was fairly optimistic that the Palestinians had accepted in their hearts the need for a compromise and for a two-state solution, now I'm very doubtful. I don't think the Palestinians really want to agree to a two-state solution. They want a one-state solution, which means Israel's destruction and the turning of all of Palestine into one Arab majority state.
Ethnic cleansing is a sport long and consistently practiced by the Arabs, from Muhammad, who ethnically cleansed Arabia of its Jewish tribes back in the seventh century, down to the Arab world in the 19th and 20th centuries, which systematically cleansed their communities of Jews. Almost no Jews live in the Arab world today, and, for that matter, there are very few Christian communities in the Arab world. The Arabs between the seventh and the twentieth centuries took care to expel them, massacre them, or forcibly convert them to Islam. (Atlantic Monthly)



Terror and Tolerance - Jean-Christophe Mounicq (Washington Times)

I can no longer tolerate the indifference of Muslim leaders and the majority of Muslims to the suffering of non-Muslims.
I can no longer tolerate the double game of Yasser Arafat, the Saudi princes, or Pakistani leaders. I can no longer tolerate watching Muslims dance with joy, in the Palestinian territories or in Paris, following attacks on the World Trade Center or an Israeli bus.
I can no longer tolerate Islamist lack of respect for secularism and equality, between men and women, Muslims and others. I can no longer tolerate their lack of respect for the cultures of the very countries that shelter them.
I can no longer tolerate concealing the massacres of Christians and Jews in Islamic countries. I can no longer tolerate Muslim ethnic cleansing in Kosovo or Palestine. I can no longer tolerate Islamist totalitarianism.
I can no longer tolerate taxes that the EU transforms into subsidies for the Palestinian Authority. I can no longer tolerate paying the maternity bills for women ready to sacrifice their infants as suicide bombers or for teaching children hatred on the West Bank.
The author is a French writer specializing in economics, world politics, and the French political scene

Friday, March 26, 2004

I would also recommend MidEastTruth Cartoons - they're right on target!!! Here's a good example from Corky Trinidad, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Mar-25: Drama unfolds with 14-year-old suicide bomber. Where is the outrage by the world? Israel is condemed for killing a terrorist and the world doesn't condem the Arabs for strapping bombs to their children.

Babes in Jihadland
by Ellen W. Horowitz
March 25, 2004

"We have seen the enemy... and he's in the fourth grade."

Arab fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, university students and professionals - male and female alike - are doing it. So, two days after two eighteen-year old terrorists from Gaza blew themselves and 10 Israelis to death, was anyone really surprised that death can also come in the form of a 10-year-old Arab boy carrying a bomb-laden bag? Luckily, the explosives were discovered in time. The seemingly innocent child was sent back to school and lived to tell about the episode (see more on the story).

What will the enemy think of next - Semtex Pampers?

Come on, this 10-year-old kid isn't even ripe enough to take advantage of the 72 virgin bonus in paradise (talk about purgatory...). Where will all of those maidens come from anyway? Will Hamas recruit multitudes of young school girls to don explosive-packed chastity belts in order to satisfy the glut of martyrs in paradise?

The exploitation of children has been in the picture for a long time and we've all seen the images. The international media has been hard-pressed to present the Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in a humanitarian light. Usually, the only way to achieve this has been by denigrating the Israeli soldiers and settlers, thereby leveling the playing field. But every once in a while a photojournalist neglects to crop his photo before exposing it to the world - and the truth is inadvertently exposed.

Last month http://www.MidEastTruth.com sent a communique with an incriminating photograph - compliments of Reuters - of a terrorist firing from amidst a group of children. Whether the terrorists deliberately set-up shop and fire from areas swarming with children, or whether the children are allowed and encouraged to enter the firing zone makes no difference.

Under the circumstances, it's something of a miracle that more Arab children are not killed in the line of fire. This is obviously due to the scrupulous policies of the IDF. However, this must be frustrating for the terrorist organizations, as they would resort to anything in order to recreate the media extravaganza that produced the poster child of the year 2000. Mohammed Al-Dura was caught in the crossfire and the twelve-year-old's dramatic death was captured on screen. That the fatal shots were likely fired from Arab guns made no difference. Al-Dura's death became an enduring symbol for the international community and an endearing moment of glory for the Arab world. The real tragedy is if al-Dura were alive today, it's very possible that he would be armed, dangerous and an up-and-coming member of one or more of the following "youth groups": Fatah, Tanzim, Force 17, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizballah, DFLP, PFLP or Al-Aska Brigades.

There are no innocents, and subsequently no virgins, in the Arab-occupied portions of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The young generation has been raped and indoctrinated by their parents, clerics, educators, political leaders and society at large, in an orgy of self-induced violence and rage. It is a society that simultaneously thrives on and consumes itself with hatred.

I reject the assumption that a tendency towards evil stems from oppression, occupation or poverty. Rather, I believe that destructive traits are revealed in individuals and groups lacking a heritage that is based on sound ethical and moral foundations. It is this perception that causes me to question the validity of the Palestinian Arab claims to legitimacy.

A good portion of the Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have chosen to answer their challenges and trials with terror and destruction, rather than search for creative and productive solutions.

The Jewish people as well as other nationalities and ethnic groups have managed to adhere to basic ethical principles and moral behavior even when repeatedly confronted with persecution, upheaval and unspeakable anguish. A quest for order and the desire to create when faced with chaos is the miracle of the human spirit, and the ultimate test of humanity.

As human beings, we have every right and are obligated to investigate and question the purpose, goals and origins of a purported people who consistently destroy the life and hopes of its progeny, to the point where their children dream and aspire to death - their own as well as that of others.

We also reserve the very human right to remove those who aim to destroy us from our midst - regardless of their age.

Dear Mr. Radin:

The Palestinian Authority's standards for truthfulness remain nothing short of appalling. Upon examination of the following, one can not help but wonder whether any information provided by them can be accepted without grave suspicion as to its veracity.

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al Hayat Al Jadida consistently twists and distorts news stories in order to portray Israelis as warped monsters and the Palestinians as victims, regardless of the facts. Now, with the world's increased awareness of the role of Palestinian children in suicide terror, the PA has created a libel against Israel that again attempts to turn Palestinians into but hapless victims.

Today’s edition described as a “lie” Israel’s report on yesterday’s suicide terror attempt by a school child. The Israeli report, documented on TV and broadcast around the world, shows a young Palestinian boy wearing an explosive belt. Israeli soldiers guide the boy to safely remove the bomb belt.

Less than ten days ago, Israeli soldiers stopped a 10 year old, who carried a suicide belt planted by Palestinian terrorists without his knowledge. That, too, was called a lie by the PA daily.

But get this. The reason the Palestinian Authority has given for the Israeli "lie” is in order to encourage other Palestinian children to be involved in terror, which in turn helps Israeli PR! How ironic, given the PA's consistent incitement and encouragement of martyrdom by children.

See for instance the clip Born To Be A Shahid or the information passed along at PA sponsored summer camps for children

The following is the PA explanation of "Israel’s lie" as it appeared in Al Hayat Al Jadida:

"The occupation, [Israel] in this situation and with this lie, is playing with its own blood, and it is like they are encouraging children to go from stone throwing to use of explosives, and involvement in actions which are beyond them. Israel’s focusing accusations about children [in suicide terror] is in fact an open invitation to other children to imitate the accusations, because it is characteristic of children to blindly imitate. The occupation's [Israel's] public relations gain through this false accusation may come back as a boomerang, but it is clear in this case that the occupation is striving to plan public relations lies."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida March 18, 2004]


Unbelievably, the PA is misrepresenting itself as victim instead of perpetrator.

This nonsense is echoed by 'respectable' Palestinian journalists: compare the report of the event ten days ago with the story of that event and Wednesday's foiled suicide bombing as reported in the New York Times

and also here.

Sincerely,

Elihu D. Stone

email@elihustone.com

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dear Sir/madam:

While the elimination of Ahmed Yassin has been called "unjustified" and "extra-judicial" in some quarters, it seems absurd for those who have not (yet) experienced scores of deadly suicide bombings to accuse Israel of violating the standards of propriety or criminal jurisprudence and procedure in the case at hand. Different standards apply during wartime to sovereign nations under attack by those who routinely declare and act upon their intent to eliminate that nation and its citizenry. Thus we have military tribunals, as well as civil courts. Interestingly, not one nation touched by Al Qaeda since its inception in 1989 has suggested that we send a constable to politely detain Bin Laden and his ilk and bring them before The Hague. Not one society dealing with Al Qaeda-sponsored terrorism has suggested that an offer of negotiation is the appropriate response to Bin Laden's demands. Perhaps this is because Bin Laden and his lieutenants declared the most violent of culture wars, murdered thousands of innocents in the name of that cause and continue to trumpet their intention to murder until its opponents are convinced that Al Qaeda's cause is just. Sheikh Yassin and his Hamas are a parallel phenomenon, despite the claim made by some that Hamas' agenda is politically finite.

The 1988 Covenant of Hamas is a chilling declaration of murderous principles that goes way beyond politics. Citing Hadiths which advocate the slaughter of Jews as a religious duty and appealing to the Anti-Semitic forgery 'The Protocols of The Elders of Zion' the Covenant proclaims: "Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised." Hamas is against any Middle East peace process. Again, the Covenant makes clear: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13). We should recall that Hamas' suicide bombing campaign against Israeli civilians was initiated, with Sheikh Yassin's blessing, at the height of Oslo. The purpose of this terrorism, aside from killing and maiming as many Israeli Jews as possible, was to disrupt any possibility of a peace process.

Hamas' declaration on its web-site that:"We shall knock on heaven's doors with the skulls of Jews" was meant neither as an idle threat nor as hyperbole. The unspeakable carnage at scores of sites, including the Dolphinarium, Sbarro's pizzeria, the Hillel Cafe, the cafeteria of Hebrew University and Passover seders in Netanya last year have made Hamas' intentions abundantly clear, within and without the 'Green Line'.

The fact that Sheikh Yassin was aging and wheel chair bound did nothing to prevent him from the instigation and planning of serial murder. Hamas' victims of choice have included schoolchildren, nursing mothers and grandparents. Hamas' webzine for Arab children may be the pinnacle of child abuse, as it encourages schoolchildren to "martyrdom" as well as inciting hatred of Jews with the most insidious invective.

Well, one might say, such a person - as despicable as his ideology and actions might be- should be arrested and stand trial for his actions. Perhaps. Let's leave aside that Sheikh Yassin had already had his day in court. (In 1991, he was tried by a military tribunal in Israel and sentenced to life in prison. He was later released by Israel in a prisoner exchange. Thereupon, Sheikh Yassin immediately resumed instigating and inspiring the murder of innocents.) However, should be clear to anyone who has watched the news of the Middle East for more than the past week that Sheikh Yassin's arrest and detainment for trial a second time was all but impossible. Years of experience have shown that all Israel's current efforts to arrest Palestinian militants in Gaza invariably meet with considerable armed resistance and a cynically coupled with calls from the minarets for all civilians to join the melee, resulting in scores of civilian casualties. Israel made no secret that Yassin would be considered a target as long as he instigated terror. Sheikh Yassin made certain that he would never stand trial, by ensconcing himself and his minions within the civilian population assuring that any attempt at his detention would assuredly result in the injury of hundreds of bystanders.

It is notable that many now crying 'foul' against Israel have been much less vociferous in reacting to the violations of decency perpetrated by, say, Hamas in its murder of Israeli civilians on a regular basis. While the particular wisdom of killing Sheikh Yassin at this particular juncture may be debatable for a number of reasons, any perceived unfairness to Sheikh Yassin and violation of applicable legal standards are assuredly not among them.

Sincerely,

Elihu D. Stone

email@elihustone.com