Addressing our homegrown enemies

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This week we learned that Nazareth is an al-Qaida hub. Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim Sahfe, the Israeli imam of the Shihab al-Din mosque in the city, was indicted on Sunday for promoting and recruiting for global jihad and calling on his followers to harm non-Muslims.


Among the other plots born of Sahfe’s sermons was the murder of cab driver Yefim Weinstein last November. Sahfe’s followers also plotted to assassinate Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Israel last year. They torched Christian tour buses. They abducted and stabbed a pizza delivery man. Two of his disciples were arrested in Kenya en route to joining al-Qaida forces in Somalia.


With his indictment, Sahfe joins a growing list of jihadists born and bred in Israel and in free societies around the world who have rejected their societies and embraced the cause of Islamic global domination. The most prominent member of this group today is the American-born al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki.


US authorities describe Awlaki as the world’s most dangerous man. His jihadist track record is staggering. It seems that there has been no major attack in the US or Britain – including the September 11 attacks and the July 7 attacks in London – in which Awlaki has not played a role.


Sahfe and Awlaki, like nearly all the prominent jihadists in the West, are men of privilege. Their personal histories are a refutation of the popular Western tale that jihad is born of frustration, poverty and ignorance. Both men, like almost every prominent Western jihadist, are university graduates.


So, too, their stories belie the Western fantasy that adherence to the cause of jihad is spawned by poverty. These men and their colleagues are the sons of wealthy or comfortable middle class families. They have never known privation.


Armed with their material comforts, university degrees and native knowledge of the ways of democracy and the habits of freedom, these men chose to become jihadists. They chose submission to Islam over liberal democratic rights because that is what they prefer. They are idealists.


This means that all the standard Western pabulums about the need to expand welfare benefits for Muslims or abstain from enforcing the laws against their communities, or give mosques immunity from surveillance and closure, or seek to co-opt jihadist leaders by treating them like credible Muslim voices, are wrong and counterproductive. These programs do not neutralize their supremacist intentions or actions. They embolden the Western Islamic supremacists by signaling to them that they are winning. Their Western societies are no match for them.


IN RECENT weeks we have seen a number of statements by establishment political leaders in Europe indicating that they are willing to consider abandoning these politically correct bromides. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement last month that “multiculturalism has utterly failed,” for instance, is widely perceived as a watershed event.


And in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, former British prime minister Tony Blair acknowledged that there is a problem with unassimilated Muslims in Britain. As he put it, anti-immigration sentiment is not general but particular. It relates, Blair admitted, to “the failure of one part of the Muslim community to resolve and create an identity that is both British and Muslim.”


Blair acknowledged that it is due to the European establishment’s refusal to recongnize the problem of growing Islamic supremacism in Europe that so many millions of Europeans are today ditching the establishment and its politically correct orthodoxies and voting for anti-establishment politicians who are willing to address the problem. He called for a continent-wide approach to immigration whose goal would be to prevent jihadists from exploiting the system to overthrow it.


Statements like Merkel’s and Blair’s are insufficient. But the very fact that enough Europeans are willing to break the PC barrier to force these leaders to acknowledge and perhaps address the challenges of unassimilated, supremacist Muslim minorities means that Europe is taking the first steps towards addressing the challenges that jihadist Islam poses to its security, culture and civilization. 


Perhaps most emblematic of this change was the Merkel government’s recent move to finally close the mosque in Hamburg where the September 11 plotters met and planned their acts of war against the US.


Disturbingly, the establishments in the two countries most actively targeted by global jihad – the US and Israel – remain in deep denial about the challenges of homegrown jihadist fifth columnists. The US remains in denial even though the majority of recent jihadist attacks and attempted attacks against the US were carried out by American citizens.


The US’s denial of the nature of the jihadist threat was demonstrated in all of its politically correct glory this week with President Barack Obama’s address to Indian students at St. Xavier University in Mumbai. In response to a student’s query about his view of jihad and jihadists, Obama praised Islam as “one of the world’s great religions.” He went on to claim that the overwhelming majority of Muslims view Islam as a religion of “peace, justice, fairness and tolerance.”


Obama’s message was not only deceptive and off point, it was deeply insensitive to his audience. Two years ago this month, Mumbai was the site of a massive jihadist commando attack against targets throughout the city, and Mumbai’s residents are still grappling with the wounds of that attack.


Obama’s statement also ignored the US’s contribution to that attack. The suspected mastermind of the Mumbai massacres was a US citizen named David Coleman Headley from Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Moreover, Headley (formerly Daood Sayed Gilani) served for many years as a double agent. A convicted drug dealer, he was sent to Pakistan as a Drug Enforcement Agency agent. While there, he trained at Lashkar-e-Taibe jihadist training camps.


Obama failed to note that perhaps due to his work at the DEA, US law enforcement officials ignored testimonies from two of Headley’s former wives in 2005 and 2007 that he was a member of Lashkar-e-Taibe, the India-focused Pakistani al-Qaida affiliate run by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.


Rather than address these issues, or the fact that the US has refused Indian extradition requests for Headley, Obama vacuously told students that it is the job of young people from all religions to reject extremism and violence.


Headley, of course, is just one of many American jihadists who has enjoined the fruits of America’s politically correct denial of the homegrown Islamic threat. In the months following the September 11 attacks, the US Department of the Army actively courted Awlaki as part of its Muslim outreach program. Awlaki, then George Washington University’s Muslim chaplain, was wooed despite his documented links to three of the September 11 hijackers.


AS ISRAELIS wake up to the reality of al-Qaida in Nazareth, our leftist establishment remains in denial about its role in enabling this reality. Sahfe’s Shihab al-Din mosque was established as a triumphalist mosque adjacent to the Church of the Annunciation in the lead up to the millennium. At the time, the Vatican launched a vocal protest against its construction.


In the hopes of winning over the likes of Sahfe, then-prime minister Ehud Barak and then-foreign minister and public security minister Shlomo Ben-Ami rejected the Vatican’s objections. They even donated the land for the mosque from the Israel Lands Authority.


Safhe returned the favor by interrupting Pope John Paul II’s homily at the Church of the Annunciation during his March 2000 visit with a call to prayer. Months later, the Shihab al-Din mosque was one of the focal points for inciting the anti-Jewish riots in the Arab sector in October 2000.


Today, leftist judges together with leftist politicians and opinion makers block all efforts by politicians and the public to acknowledge and address the growing lawlessness and jihadist bent of Israel’s Muslim minority. Fear of the politically correct Supreme Court has deterred authorities from outlawing the Islamic Movement. Efforts to contend with illegal land seizures and building have been blocked by the leftist media, pressure groups largely sponsored by the New Israel Fund and the courts. Even symbolic measures like the government’s recent bid to require non-Jewish immigrants to pledge loyalty to the state have been viciously attacked by Israel’s leftist establishment as fascist and racist.


But as Europe is belatedly acknowledging, these politically correct commissars must be sidelined if the free world is to withstand the growing threat of homegrown jihad.


What this means for Israel is that the political and legal space has to be found to speedily embark on the law enforcement equivalent of a counterinsurgency operation. Israel must enforce its laws with as much zeal and commitment in the Muslim sector as it does in the Jewish sector. This means that Shihab al-Din and other jihadist mosques have to be closed.


It means that jihadist groups like the Islamic Movement have to be outlawed and its leaders have to be tried for treason and other relevant offenses. The same is true for all Arab leaders, political groupings and social organizations that promote the destruction of Israel.


Building and zoning laws must be enforced. State lands that have been seized must be taken back, if necessary by force, including with the involvement of the IDF.


So, too, Jewish rights have to be protected. Like Muslims, Jews have the right to buy land and homes throughout the country. Jews who wish to live in Muslim-majority communities must enjoy the protection of the law just as Muslims who live in Tel Aviv and Upper Nazareth do.


By the same token, the government must embark on a campaign to win back the loyalty of its Muslim citizens. It must empower leaders who embrace their identity as Israelis and seek the integration of Israeli Muslims into the wider society. Authorities must ensure that Israeli Muslims who wish to integrate are not discriminated against by Jews or intimidated by other Muslims.


Over the past couple of weeks, IDF commanders have spoken at length about the nature of the war to come. Their remarks have concentrated on what is already largely recognized – that Israel’s home front will be targeted by long-range missiles.


Disappointingly, they ignored the most significant new threat facing the home front today: The likelihood that Israel’s external foes will receive active assistance from its Muslim citizens.


Nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, global jihad remains the central threat to the West, and not because of its popularity in western Pakistan. It remains the central threat to the free world because of its popularity among the Muslims in the free world.


To remain free, free societies must shed our politically correct shackles and address this growing menace to everything we hold dear.


Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 
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  • Anonymous 11/13/2010 at 0:25

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for writing that. You certainly are gifted by the Lord to accurately articulate the sad state of affairs. Now if we could only have the political leaders read it, embrace it, and implement your suggestions, then we might see this rising tide of lawlessness repelled.
    I did wonder if Israel had courts of law and prisons – particularly when the criminals caught on camera attempting to murder the boarding party in the Turkish flotilla fiasco were all let to go free and the boat was not impounded and turned into scrap.
    The real issue for Israel and the rest of the world is to trust in the Lord, for human leaders will fail, and ultimately they are powerless to eradicate evil without the Lord’s leading and empowerment. A single angel will be more effective in destroying the wicked who devise the destruction of Israel than all the help any other nation could ever provide. We should remember the lesson from Hezekiah’s day when Sennacherib’s forces were all killed by the Angel of the Lord.
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding;
    In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He shall direct your paths.”
    God bless and protect you all.
    Mike Ayala

  • Anonymous 11/13/2010 at 13:05

    Submitted by: Tuvia
    At the risk of incurring the wrath of our Left-leaning friends, I would suggest that one very good way to consider combating home-grown enemies (Addressing our homegrown enemies, November 12, 2010) is by taking a cue from these homegrown enemies.
    Their tactics are by this time clear: they use the UN, the international stage and the media to attack, attack, attack. They even stage attacks, as we saw with the flotilla fiasco. Their tactics work. Readers believe them. TV viewers believe them. Our own friends believe them. For example, every time the PA (or their friends) use the word, ‘occupied’. they reinforce what for many has become a truth. Why? Because the general public today has, in my opinion, become so illiterate about history and moral values that, for many, the truth seems to be whatever gets repeated the most.
    The thought process seems to be, if it weren’t true, why is it repeated so often?
    This is the strength of our enemies (and our current weakness): the enemy has learned how to control the message the world hears.
    We as Jews can no longer sit back and wait for truth and justice to assert themselves. For that to happen, people have to be firmly grounded in their Jewish and Christian religions; but this doesn’t seem to be true any longer–people are ignorant when it comes to their religion.
    People, it seems, have a new religion–TV news.
    The only truth seems to be–he who controls the message, wins.
    And right now, we do not control the message, which means that we do not control the ‘truth’, which means that we are not winning.
    We are losing.
    So we should learn from our enemies. As they have done, we should announce, declare, demand–and then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.
    We must adjust our game-plan, to account for the tactics of our enemies. When the PA announces that Obamas has 30 days to get Israel to give up this or stop that, we should annouce that Obama has 30 days to get the Arabs to accept Israel as a Jewish State.
    When the Arabs get the UN to take away the Jewish-ness of our religious sites, we should declare that there can be no peace with a neighbor who would rape our religion.
    Then–repeat, repeat, repeat.
    When the PA announces that the peace talks are failing because of Israeli intransigence, we should announce that the PA has destroyed the peace talks by, among other outrages, allowing and even encouraging Arabs to stone Jewish ambulances that come to assist injured Arabs.
    When the Arabs announce that the peace talks cannot continue until a new settlement freeze begins, we should announce that there can be no peace talks unitl the soldier Shalit is released.
    With each announcement, we should repeat, repeat, repeat. We should consume the media news cycle with new, more damning evidence of Arab viciousness, and how the Arabs are daily disqualifying themselves from being honest partners in a peace.
    If the comments about the Koran that were recently made by Tzefat’s Rabbi Eliyahu prove correct–that the Koran itself says that Israel is the Jews’ land–then that should get into the international news cycle.
    Repeat, repeat, repeat.
    If the Koran itself identifies Israel as the Jews’ land, why do Muslim Imams lie to their followers?
    Repeat, repeat, repeat.
    When the Left publishes a series of articles called, ‘the road to hell’, to attack the Right, others should publish a series of articles also called, the ‘road to hell’, to highlight the shallowness and dangers of the Left’s proposals.
    Then, repeat, repeat, repeat.
    Our enemies attack our national sovereignty . They attack our religion. They corner the news cycle with their ‘narrative’; we should sit silent?
    Today, it seems, the truth belongs only to the one whose story gets repeated the most. If we sit on the sidelines, our homegrown enemies (along with the friends everywhere) will create the truths necessary to destroy us.
    At times,we may be stupid. But are we this stupid–to let the enemy ‘eat our lunch’?

  • naomir 11/13/2010 at 19:24

    Shavuah Tov Caroline. Are you being accused of Islamophobia yet? I know I am especially by my fellow Jews right here in New York City. You offer unvarnished truths, but I fear political correctness and lack of strong leadership both in the US and Israel might just send us down the path of no return. In your own words and I couldn’t say it better, “To remain free, free societies must shed our politically correct shackles and address this growing menace to everything we hold dear.”

  • DaveP 11/14/2010 at 8:16

    Quote: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement last month that “multiculturalism has utterly failed,” for instance, is widely perceived as a watershed event.
    Not just multiculturalism has failed but the whole project of integration or assimilation has also failed. Failed not because of the West, but a clear desire by Muslims not be integrate, as they are not here to integrate but take over.
    So Angela Merkel and other politicians who have made a half step in the right direction, have yet to understand the implications of Muslim refusal to integrate. The step is that Western society can not continue to accommodate Islam and Muslims without perishing itself. Therefore a separation from Islam and Muslims is the only way forward.
    This is a very difficult step for liberal politicians whose main wellspring is that all cultures are the same. But in the end, that will be the only choice available. The same goes for Israel.
    It may also prove to be the catalyst that starts a reformation of Islam.

  • Marcel 11/15/2010 at 11:26

    We in Washington know how to manipulate Israeli leaders.
    We have become experts at it and make sure only weak and servile Jew’s become Prime Minister of Israel.We have many Olmert’s and Livni’s waiting in the wings to serve our agenda.
    We threw our poodle Nothingyahu a meatless bone and he rolled over because we, the US is the only god he knows.
    You Jews who stand for nothing and always bend under our slightest pressure have made yourselves the easiest target.
    The path of least resistance is the faithless ,secular Jew who always surrender to our demands.
    You’ve made yourselves so easy to push around and we oblige you !
    It’s elementary my dear Jew,
    Why should we pressure a more formidable foe like Islam when we have you ?
    You are putty in our hands.
    Signed, America and her globalist partners in the abolotion of Israel by way of our clever and diabolical fakeppeace Road Map to hell.

  • ejpvanderveen 11/15/2010 at 12:39

    “They chose submission to Islam over liberal democratic rights because that is what they prefer. They are idealists.”
    You are too kind Ms Glick, they are not idealists, rather they are Ideologues.

  • ejpvanderveen 11/16/2010 at 12:49

    Ms Glick, around the world there are many who sympathise with your views, and the ways in which you you eloquently defend your position. In the early days of this new global rise in anti – semitism you stand clarion, however, I sent your piece to several people and each was struck more by a comment than your piece, I had not read the comment, nevertheless I have now :
    “The real issue for Israel and the rest of the world is to trust in the Lord, for human leaders will fail, and ultimately they are powerless to eradicate evil without the Lord’s leading and empowerment. A single angel will be more effective in destroying the wicked who devise the destruction of Israel than all the help any other nation could ever provide. We should remember the lesson from Hezekiah’s day when Sennacherib’s forces were all killed by the Angel of the Lord.”
    Fair enough, if this was Bible Study. You present as a woman concerned with the issues of secular democracy, and as such I find myself compelled by you. My concern is not that you get comments like this, its that you publish them.
    Never mind freedom of speech, I have left a few test comments that you have not published, so I know you select.
    My question is simple: If your defence of Israel is that it is a real (and therefore Secular) democracy, that is threatened by a “stone age” religious ideology that draws its legitimacy from myth and terror which ideology is therefore inferior to Israel, given its democratic nature, then why are you kow towing to religious references to an Angel who is obviously “Death” on your site?
    So those who find substance in your defence of Israel in real factual terms as a secular state find themselves uncomfortable, and it makes us uncomfortable. The ‘we are here because God said so’ argument has no place here, neither do references to the angel of death, the descendants of Easau , Ishmael or the Goyim.
    Otherwise for those of us who are not party to the private religious ideology, it starts to smack of the same insanity as Jihad. If Israel is to survive, and it must for so many reasons, this religious humbuggery must be replaced with at the very least real politic.
    And Ms Glick, there are real reasons, as you amply demonstrate over and over again, why Israel should exist that have nothing to do with religion.
    These comments won’t change my mind, but they present a stumbling block to convincing others that this is not just a fight between two religious factions in the far away middle east.


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