An Op-Ed by Ianiv Lowy
Ianiv Lowy is an Israeli born Canadian citizen. He has a Masters degree in Government, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security studies from the IDC in Herzliyah Israel. To contact him please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s funny to think that I was planning to write this article two weeks prior to the Boston Marathon bombing. It was something that I had been evaluating, researching and for the most part just simply thinking about for months; and that is why is it that when Muslim children and young adults in the 21st century decide they want to explore their roots they end up flying half way across the world to their home town whether it be it Bahrain, or Saudi Arabia, Chechnya or anywhere else in the Middle East, Gulf region, Caucus region, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. the list goes on where there are large Arab and/or Muslim populations and then they come home all radicalized? Is it supposed to mean that what they are discovering is that Islam at its ancient, historical and modern cores is defined as grassroots evil, violent and destructive? Truth be told, no religion in the world was formed on the basis of evil or violence or murder or death. They were formed as a means to find peace and to live among others in civilized peace. Islam is no exception, however, it definitely has been lost in translation and its followers are all over the place making their own interpretations, and making their own assumptions with no unity but also no one to blame but themselves, a responsibility they have yet to mature up to.
I’m Jewish and I was born in Israel. I lived in Israel the previous 6 years of my life before moving back to North America. A healthy chunk of the reason I moved back was to rediscover my roots. It certainly wasn't the intentional part, in fact when I first decided to move it was because I was simply adventurous and young and felt like Israel would be a great place for many things like partying and having fun, beaches, great weather, warm people, great food, it’s a better gateway than Canada is to travel to other parts of the world, and so forth. Unknowingly, I was discovering my roots, I learned all about my peoples’ history, my country’s history, the culture, improved on my Hebrew, I even ended up with 2 degrees from Israeli universities. When I discovered my roots, I didn't become radicalized. Yes at times I had true anger and rage towards our Arab and Muslim neighbors, towards the Palestinians, etc. but I wasn't ready to sneak into their marketplaces, schools and busy intersections to go blow myself up and cause mass casualty and havoc. Judaism doesn't have one mention of that, and it’s safe to say all Jews know that. I feel it would also be safe to say that although Catholicism led to the Holy Wars, it was still war fought between militaries and armies, they never averted to terrorism based on causing maximum destruction and civilian causalities. I don’t believe Catholic or Christian churches preach that anywhere. Unfortunately I am not attuned with the Koran but it would be my educated guess to say that it doesn't mention killing yourself to inflict maximum causalities on others who aren't Muslim; it doesn't say make bombs and kill people who live differently than you. It does however; seem to be the only religion with such a conflict of interest that it became such a touchy subject for us all. Jihad has 5 pillars, none of which suggest violence and suicide are the solution. These days though, you might go and ask one Somali cab driver who agrees with you, the next one who will want to change the subject, and the third one who might actually have the nerve to argue with you meaning you might be talking to someone who is on the verge of being radicalized. Then they wonder why Islamophobia exists.
Islam in that sense is a very fragile religion. One man interprets it how he wishes based on the mosque he goes to. That mosque is based on the Imam who is then based on his fundraisers; it’s similar to the way government is structured and other religions. Unfortunately for Islam though, when your roots are located in countries with totalitarian dictatorships that prevent practically any and all forms of modern education, then you will go back to where you were born to discover that you do not have just 3 cab drivers with different explanations and beliefs but more like 3 million different views. Typically what we have been seeing is homegrown terrorists are kids and young adults who are for lack of a better word losers, outsiders with little to no friends, probably bullied and made fun of for all we know because of who they are. They seem to have failed to assimilate into the western world, or at least believe they have. At that point when they return home to find their roots, they practically go out looking for the preachers with the radical viewpoints because it brings them a sense of belonging, of family, of honor and of trust that no one else is giving them. They are fragile and a perfect score for the extremists. Does this mean bad parenting? Partially yes, and the other part I would say is due to the fact that there are still mosques even in Canada and USA that have these Imams preaching this madness, and just like all Jews know about what’s going on their communities, and just like all Catholics and Christians know it too, it alarms me how much people of the Muslim communities seem to keep a mum on it.
In Judaism the last thing we could afford is to be reigned in on because we didn't pay attention to our own children in our own backyards, schools, and synagogues only to find out they laced a backpack full of C4 & TNT and blew up a public building. It would be a complete shame, completely against the religion. It would then make all the anti-Semites and biased activists point the finger at Israel. Most other religions would agree that it is completely against the book. When it comes to Islam however, somehow they keep getting away with these hall passes. They don’t have to explain much except that they are shocked and appalled like everyone else. No one seems to be demanding that they reign in on their own people, since they know and understand them the most. The Muslim communities of the West have to clamp down on the bullshit (pardon my French) that lurks through their streets. I find it extremely hard to believe they don’t know about it. That they don’t know which mosque is preaching what, to whom and by who is to me a whole load of nonsense and blatant ignorance. Why is it that everyone else is urged to do so but they don’t seem to want to tackle the elephant in their room? It’s because the governments of the West want to believe that affirmative action prevails over logical evaluation. They fear upsetting the Muslim communities, making them feel left out; making them feel like assimilation isn't working. The irony here is that they only fear this because it will lead to radicalism. So they make it a taboo to speak about and leave them be. What they seem to fail to comprehend, most likely on purpose, is that these people came from 3rd world dictatorships that prevented them from proper educations, which feeds them lies and teaches them hate. They ran away as fast as they could from those countries, so they should feel privileged to live in the West. They should be thanking our countries for taking them in and should therefore respect all ways of life and laws within the lands in which they now subside. We shouldn't be paying them lip service and treading on thin water to please them, it should be the complete opposite. Otherwise the policy should always be an open door; if you don’t like it here please feel free to go back to the radical Islamic nation state you came from. Take for example what happened in Denmark when the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed were drawn. What gives you the right to start smashing in windows, lighting stores and streets on fire and chanting death to America and hunting the cartoonist down so you can slaughter him? If you don’t like the freedom of expression and freedom of speech with which Denmark has provided you then please there is the door, go back to Saudi Arabia where no such freedoms exist.
I am not preaching violence nor am I preaching retaliation at the very least. What I am preaching is that the Muslim communities must do a lot more than what they currently are to rid the radical elements that exists within their own people, and that western governments must not only help them to do so but must put extreme pressure on them to do so. They need to recall why they ran away from the tough and usually treacherous life they once had in the Gulf or Middle East or whichever 3rd world dictatorship and be extremely appreciative and ready to help and make change in their new 1st world lifestyle, otherwise they will never truly be a part of the educated world and Al Qaeda will never cease to exist.
The Media Review Network (MRN), known on twitter as @mrn1sa, has appeared on the anti-Israel scene like a fish to water. The self proclaimed exposer of the supposed “Zionist Apartheid” against Palestinians, has taken the lead spouting lies and distortions of half truths about the conflict and so doing serves to perpetuate the libel of Israel's “crimes”. This group who claim to “foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of [South Africa]” continuously prove themselves to be a divisive force, creating an environment of misunderstanding and hatred towards one thing, Israel. While aiming to “dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims”, they serve to reinforce a particular stereotype of the anti-Semitic Muslim who will ignore dictatorships, violence, human rights abuses, poverty and genocide everywhere in the world (especially those committed by fellow Muslims in Arab countries) except when it imagines Israel is the perpetrator!
In interactions with numerous pro Israel twitter accounts, MRN has been caught out blatantly lying about various aspects of Israeli society.
This article will point out some of the most obvious lies.
MRN claimed that Israel does not allow Arabs or any non Jews for that matter into the Israel defense Force (IDF). This vicious lie ignores the many Arab heroes who have faithfully served in the IDF. Most recently, Major Ala Wahib, a general in the army has written about his strong Zionist feelings. Anet Haskia, a Muslim Arab woman, has sent her children to the army and is proud of it and her country, Israel. The Bedouin Arabs are among the most sought after recruits as are the Druze who declare their loyalty to both Israel and the army regularly.
Another lie that MRN claim is that Israel illegally use White Phosphorus against Palestinians. Firstly, according to a Harvard law school document the use of WP is legal as an illuminator and a smoke screen. The Red Cross has stated that Israel's use of WP is legal under international law. This hasn't stopped MRN from making unfounded statements.
MRN recently claimed a member of the South African Zionist Federation said that South Africans are the best people to judge what is and what isn't apartheid. Thus implying he said “If South Africans say Israel is Apartheid it must be true”. What MRN failed to do is state the full quote and its context. Having spoken directly to Mr Avrom Krengel and many people who attended the seminar the truth was discovered. What he actually said was that "a tactic BDS movement people use is to get the South African government to encourage this view of Israel as an Apartheid State, as they “should” know what Apartheid is" he also added that "it is important to educate people the truth about Israel and its value as a democracy". That's a big difference and highlights one of the multiple manipulations MRN uses in promoting their vile smear agenda against Israel.
It would be interesting to know exactly which “Institutionalised regime of domination amounting to Apartheid” MRN is referring to. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to give those Arab refugees from the 1948 war, full citizenship and rights. There is no distinction between an Arab citizen or Jewish citizen of Israel. Indeed many prominent Israeli Arabs have arisen, for examples the Supreme court Judge who sentenced former Israeli President to jail. There are Israeli Arab ministers in Israel’s parliament. Arab doctors treat Jewish patients, next to Jewish doctors who treat Arab patients. Many Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza enter Israel to receive some of the best treatment in the world for free.
The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have their own governments, the PA and Hamas respectively. These governments decide the day to day living of Palestinians and have been accused of corruption from Yasser Arafat hiding billions of dollars of aid in overseas bank accounts to Abbas who has similar accounts. While supposed to be democratic, Abbas is currently in the 9th year of his 4 year presidency term. Hamas was elected under through rule of might in a bloody civil war with the PA and has not had an election since 2006. With these facts one has to ask, who is really practicing Apartheid. The answer is NOT Israel.
Anyone who is proved to lie and manipulate should be called out. It is one thing to care about the Palestinians but it is quite another to use lies and distortions to promote a hidden agenda, which in the case if MRN, is undeniably the destruction of the State of Israel, rather than the rights of Palestinians.
- An Officer and a Muslim Zionist - http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5727
- Not the Typical IDF Soldier’s Mom - http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4312531,00.html
- Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus Not Illegal: Red Cross - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/13/israels-use-of-white-phos_n_157648.html
- The Use of White Phosphorus and the Law of War - http://www.offiziere.ch/wp-content/uploads/White-Phosphorus-and-the-law-of-war.pdf
- Israel is Not an Apartheid State - http://reclaimingtruth.info/the-truth-2/israel-is-not-an-apartheid-state/
This is a story about a friend of mine's father...
Moshe Kahtan, scion of an old and prominent Baghdad family, was the last Iraqi Jew to escape the country before the 1967 Six-Day War.
Having left Iraq in the 1950s to study in London, Moshe had to make the most difficult decision of his life and went back to Baghdad in 1965, knowing full well that as a Jew, he would be prevented from leaving again.
In this film, made by his son David, Moshe tells us of his “two years of hell” in the city of his birth, and gives an account of his near-capture by the Iraqi navy.
Created by avivvana.com - To celebrate the 64 years of Israel's Independence they filmed the IDF, the Israel Defense forces, and captured our amazing soldiers -creating this piece to instill warmth and pride around the world for the most decent and courageous soldiers.
Alan Dershowitz describes how pro-Israel Jewish college students are facing isolation and how American Jewry must respond to the BDS movement. From a private gathering of the American-Israel Friendship League, thanks to Nitzy Cohen.
Time magazine's cover story suggesting Israel will attack Iran in 2012, and Republican pres. candidates' mention of Israel are discussed by Steven Bayme (AJC), Steve Gutow (JCPA), Julie Schonfeld (RA), and Kenneth Bialkin (AIFL) on this roundtable.
Israeli reaction to the possibility of an IDF attack against Iran's nuclear program, and the question of US approval is discussed by Jerusalem Post Columnist Isi Liebler in conversation from Jerusalem.
By: Mariano Lowy
Mariano Lowy is an Israeli born Canadian citizen. He has a Masters degree in Government, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security studies from the IDC in Herzliyah Israel. To contact him please send emails to email@example.com
Almost a full calendar year since the beginning of the Arab spring which gave hope to a democratic future to many Arab states who were under tyrannical and Islamist rule, we have not yet seen much change. The hysteria of the West about the Arab awakening turning into an Arab Islamist nightmare is reaching full-blown proportions.
The West had it hopes that the people would lean towards a secular, more democratic party and relieve Islam of its guarding post in the heart of their political positions. However, Israel is now facing the dilemma of having to deal with a Muslim Brotherhood majority government as a peace partner. This couldn’t be any more of an oxymoron than it already is.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the same party that believes in the destruction of Israel. It’s the same party that wouldn’t recognize a Jewish State. It’s the same party that vowed to kill Jews. We were hoping that Egypt, a country with a long, extensive history, the longest of the Arab nations, would lead by example in the Arab Spring. Conversely, this has not happened, and it seems that the Arab populous speaks for itself when the Muslim Brotherhood won majority seats in the government. The people don’t care to live alongside Israel, just like the Palestinians who voted for Hamas when they had the opportunity to take a stance and make changes with their new and unilaterally acquired land (Gaza Strip). It’s easier to blame Israel, than have to deal with the domestic issues going on in their country. It’s always easier to point a finger. When Anwar Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel he was condemned by many of his people, and was later assassinated for it. If it wasn’t for Mubarak upholding the treaty and quelling the Muslim Brotherhood’s movements, who knows if we would even be using the term peace and Egypt in the same sentence.
To this day no democratic country has gone to war with one another; instead they have looked to prosper from economic ties. Economic ties lead to restraining violence due to a checks and balances theory which means that one would gain more from not fighting than fighting with one another. The people choose, the people vote for it, and the people elect it. Then why don’t we see this happening in Egypt? Arabs know they don’t care for democracy, they also know they don’t want to be peace partners with Israel. If we still believe that the Arab Spring will bring us democracy and peace to the Middle East region, then perhaps the tooth fairy is real and Santa Claus will come down our chimneys on Christmas.
The Arab world is seeing a sea of change. The Arab people are facing many crucial and important choices that will determine the future the Middle East. New Arab governments will face monumental challenges such as deep poverty, poor industrial infrastructure, broken health systems, and systemic corruption. And if the recent election results are any indication, the Islamists are here to stay.