20180419

al-Jazeera up-ender, Dr. Mordechai Kedar professes how Israel surviving 70-years must be miraculous

On the eve of Israel's 70th Independence Day, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, who teaches Arab Studies at Israel's Bar Ilan University, addressed a gathering in Los Angeles on the theme: "Why Israel's thriving for 70-years must be through miracles."  Dr. Kedar spoke about how Israel, a nation made up of Jews, Christians, and Muslims from many countries, has established a single, national identity despite its tribal affinities and antagonism from the surrounding Muslim countries, which many of its residents have been emigrated from. 


Dr. Mordechai Kedar reveals about how Islam and Muslims regard Christians and Jews. He discusses what moving the American embassy to Jerusalem represents to the Muslim world.


20180405

Who's falling for Saudi prince's "moderating" rhetoric in pursuit of US weapons & nukes?

In Saudi Arabia's quest to obtain US nuclear reactors and military weaponry, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a PR campaign through America in an attempt to overcome justifiable concerns about its Wahabist advocacy and rejection of the Jewish state, US-ally Israel. While NY magazine headlines rush to proclaim Salman's "recognizing Israel," two, distinct Israeli journalists (one based in Amman, Jordan) and an American Arabist-expert offer a more sober perspective on the Saudis' charm-campaign. 
Saudi Prince Mohammed courts Pres. Trump to sell US nuclear reactors and weapons systems amidst concerns could spark a nuclear arms race among Muslim states and nuclear terrorists.  (photo: The Atlantic, 20 March 2018)
"Our Fair-Weathered Saudi Friend" Opinion by Caroline B. Glick in THE JERUSALEM POST April 4, 2018
Have we entered a new period of sweetness and light with our Arab neighbors? On Monday, The Atlantic published an interview which the magazine’s editor Jeffrey Goldberg conducted with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.  
Hours after its publication, the responses began pouring in. The basic line, repeated by all major newspapers, is that the Saudi crown prince recognized Israel’s right to exist. Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt gushed about it on his Twitter feed. 
Referring to the interview as “amazing,” Greenblatt wrote that “all should watch [Muhammad bin Salman]. 
He is far from perfect [and] there is a long road ahead, but in a region long dominated by hateful despots, [the prince] envisions a very different future for Muslims, Jews, Christians and all in the Middle East.”  Other commentators were even more exhilarated.
Are the prince’s fans correct? Is his ascendance to the Saudi crown the harbinger of a reformation of Islam and the beginning of a new era in Islamic relations with the Jews and the world as a whole? Not really. 
Most of the reports on the interview have focused on the prince’s remarks in which he ostensibly recognized Israel’s right to exist. But did he actually recognize Israel’s right to exist? Did he distinguish himself from all the other Arab leaders who to date have recognized that Israel exists but not admitted it has a right to exist? Let’s check the text. 
. . .  As Dr. Harold Rhode, a recently retired adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense explains, during much of his conversation with Goldberg, Muhammad engaged in the Islamic practice of “taqiyya,” or dissimulation for the benefit of Islam. 
According to the Koran, Muslims are permitted to lie about Islam to advance the faith.

This conclusion is easily reached when considering his responses to other questions, which like his answer regarding Israel, were deliberately imprecise. Goldberg asked Muhammad simple direct questions and he responded with answers that were either misleading or open to multiple interpretations. 
Dr. Harold Rhode explains the Muslim rejection of any Jewish sovereignty in Mid-East


Consider their discussion of Wahhabism. Since Saudi Arabia was established 85 years ago, it has been governed under Wahhabist Islam. Wahhabism, a school of Islam founded in the 18th century by the radical Islamic scholar Ibn Abdel el-Wahhab, views itself as the only legitimate version of Islam. Wahhabism calls for the abrogation of all novel interpretations of Islam. It aspires to Islamic global dominion. And upholds jihad.

Since at least 1979, the Saudis have invested billions of petro-dollars in spreading Wahhabist Islam throughout the world.

But when Goldberg asked Muhammad about those petro dollars, the crown prince acted like he didn’t know what Goldberg was talking about.

“This Wahhabism, please define it for us. We’re not familiar with it. We don’t know about it,” Muhammad said innocently. 

Goldberg responded with amazement, “What do you mean you don’t know about it?” Unmoved, he responded, “What is Wahhabism?” Goldberg replied, “You’re the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. You know what Wahhabism is.”

Muhammad countered, “No one can define this Wahhabism.” 
He then proceeded to deny any connection with the creed of Saudi Arabia while boldly and entirely dishonestly presenting the kingdom as a paragon of religious tolerance where all forms of Islam, including Shi’ite Islam, are treated equally.

Another statement from Muhammad that generated significant interest was his claim that there is no Islamic religious duty to propagate Islam in the non-Islamic world today.

In his words, “Today in non-Muslim countries, every human being has the right to choose his or her belief.

Religious books can be bought in every country. The message is delivered. Now it is no longer a duty for us to fight for the propagation of Islam.”

While Muhammad’s statement is refreshingly straightforward, its meaning is less so. He made his statement as a way of arguing that the calls for jihad and the establishment of a caliphate by the Muslim Brotherhood are un-Islamic.

Certainly, it would be significant if the Saudis stopped funding the radical mosques they founded worldwide.

It would be even more significant if he said that his regime is ordering the mosques the Saudis established throughout the world to preach peaceful coexistence with the non-Islamic world and to reject jihad. But he said nothing of the sort.

Moreover, it is hard to take his claims seriously since he then went on to deny any familiarity with Wahhabism, the creed that has ruled his kingdom for four generations.  
Read more:  www.CarolineGlick.com

Does the Saudi Crown Prince’s Rosy Rhetoric Indicate Real Change? by Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz, Apr 4, 2018

Prince Mohammed was not asked, and therefore did not share his thoughts, about what is usually referred to as the “deal of the century” that the Trump administration is cooking up. (Or is it already ready in President Donald Trump’s kitchen?) 
Does the Saudi crown prince still insist on Israel’s full withdrawal from all the territories, as the Arab Initiative demanded? Would Saudi Arabia permit changes to the agreement? Would the prince be willing to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Does he have an opinion about the 1967 borders?
These questions might not have come up in the interview because it was agreed ahead of time not to bring them up.

. . . Will this interest lead Israel to agree to Saudi Arabia’s launching its own nuclear program? Will Israel encourage the U.S. Congress to approve the sale of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to Saudi Arabia, or will it continue to thwart the nuclear reactor deal between Washington and Riyadh?

. . . The crown prince’s vision to diversify the kingdom’s sources of income and reduce its dependence on oil, as called for in the Saudi 2030 plan, is still awaiting proof, while meanwhile he has to deal with a budget deficit caused by plummeting oil prices and heavy expenditures on the war in Yemen. We should wish him success, because Saudi Arabia still carries great weight in shaping pro-Western policies in the Middle East. And if need be, it can wrestle quite a few Arab and Western arms. But anyone who sees Mohammed bin Salman’s statements as a sign that an Israeli flag will soon fly in Riyadh should examine whether Saudi Arabia really has a partner in Israel.
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