Tag Archives: Hamas


BLOG 522

June 21, 2021


Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


Here’s a couple of indicators that real change is occurring in the Middle-East. A new poll released Tuesday finds a dramatic surge in Palestinian support for Hamas following last month’s Gaza conflict, with around three-quarters of the Palestinian population viewing the Islamist terrorists as victors in a battle against Israel to defend Jerusalem and its holy sites.The poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research also found plummeting support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was sidelined by the fighting but is seen internationally as a partner for reviving the long-defunct peace process. The poll found that 53% of Palestinians believe Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” while only 14% prefer Abbas’ secular Fatah party.

Abbas has delayed elections for years and was supposedly set for an immediate election. These numbers do not spell success for him.

On the Israeli side, there is new hope. Israel’s 36th government is a coalition of the courageous. Each leader who has led his or her party into this strange and unwieldy government has taken a risk. Among the leaders of this coalition, none has been more self-sacrificing than Yair Lapid. Though Lapid was the senior politician within the anti-Netanyahu coalition and head of its largest party, he deferred to Benny Gantz, who seemed the more likely to defeat Netanyahu. And now he has deferred to Naftali Bennett, leader of one of the coalition’s smallest factions. In so doing, Lapid has embodied the meaning of leadership and love for Israel, restoring to our politics its lost nobility. 

Two Israels were on display at the Knesset swearing-in ceremony for the new government. There was the Israel of desecration, MKs (Members of Knesset) shouting, faces contorted with hate, trampling on the dignity of the state as they refused to allow the prime minister-designate to speak at his own inauguration. And there was the Israel of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid, speaking with passion and reason and self-control as they presented their coalition of healing.

After years of officially inspired campaigns of hatred and divisiveness, contrived to serve one man’s political needs, we have the most diverse government in the country’s history. After the worst violence between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews since 1948, we have the nation’s first Jewish-Arab coalition.  

If the new coalition achieves nothing more than liberating Israel from those who have tried to unravel the delicate balance between nationalism and democracy, decency and power – dayenu, it is sufficient. If the new coalition achieves nothing more than offering a counter-vision of an Israel that strives to respect and manage its essential differences and place the country above sectarian needs – dayenu.  

Can this coalition last? Given its bare majority and inner contradictions, the odds aren’t brilliant. And yet even if it doesn’t survive its term, it has already won.   

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East


BLOG 519

May 31, 2021


Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


On this Memorial Day weekend, Americans remember those dear ones who have passed on. The same is true in the Middle East, but for their own particular reasons. The Palestinians lost at the least 200 people while Israel death were small. The question for diplomats is where do we go from here.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that in the wake of the recent conflict in Gaza and unrest in Jerusalem, the United States plans to focus on addressing “the underlying causes” that could spark yet another round of violence, Tuesday evening. Blinken indicated that the Biden administration will be actively involved in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, echoing comments he made earlier in the day during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken met with top Israeli officials including Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz  before heading to Ramallah for high-level meetings with Palestinian Authority leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Blinken also stressed the “critical role” played by Egypt in brokering the Gaza ceasefire, and called Jordan “a voice for peace and stability in the region.”

In contrast, Hamas had its own objectives. The terrorist organization was able to hijack protests in Jerusalem and use the last week of Ramadan for their own purposes.  Moreover, Hamas firing rockets into the city on “Jerusalem Day” made them appear to be a credible  resistance force. This action aimed at making PA President Mahoud  Abbas look incompetent.  In fact, Abbas completely failed to  cash in on the tensions that had developed in East Jersualsm over the housing question. Hamas has now placed itself on center stage. To create a ceasefire, Egypt had to talk with Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas stopped short of urging a Palestinian revolt against Abbas for fear of being directly responsible for a Palestinian civil war. Moreover, they would not have done well with the PA soldiers on one front and the Israeli on the other.

It now appears America’s goal is to “give the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, a renewed sense of confidence, of optimism, of real opportunity,” Blinken said. “If we are able to do that together, then Hamas’s foothold in Gaza will slip. We know that, and I think Hamas knows that.”

We don’t need another war in the Middle East. Let’s hope this Memorial Day will be a reminder of the grief that always comes with such a conflict.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East


BLOG 506

February 15, 2021


Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


The last election for a Palestinian Authority President was sixteen years ago when they were supposed to elect in approximately a four year or so period. You might say Mahmoud Abbas is a bit behind. Somehow old Abbas just kept dealing from the bottom of the deck. He has just decreed for the first time that a new election will be held July 31.

The eighty-five-year-old PA President is not in good health. A constant chain smoker with heart disease, he always has a doctor at his side usually disguised as a security team member.  However, that’s only one of his problems. If he survives and should run again, he’s got Hama breathing down his neck. The scramble for election could turn into a real war.

As strange as it seems, 2021 could turn out to be filled with even more uncertainties than 2020 was. With President Joe Biden rejoining the Iranian nuclear agreement, even a small incident could set off a chain of events that would end in disaster. That’s a dark shadow always looming on the horizon.

But here’s the more immediate problem. A recent survey of Palestinians reveals that a majority believe that Hamas or Fatah would not accept the results of an election if they were on the losing end. One half of all Palestinians do not believe that an election would be free or fair. These findings indicate a civil war whether Abbas wins or not. That’s not a good picture.

Let’s say Abbas did have a heart attack or there was a contested election. The Fatah dominated P.A. could find itself in a “smoke’em dead” war with bitter rival Hamas. Hamas could see the clash as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take over the PA. This is exactly what Hamas did in the 2007 coup when they took over Gaza.

Hamas is financed by Iran’s Shi’ite government. Should they prevail in Ramallah, they could destabilize Israeli security. Not much imagination is needed to understand how frightening this could all become.

There’s a long list of possible candidates to replace Abbas.  They range from corrupt officials to terrorists to long time party hacks. Not exactly an admirable potential slate. Sorry, but the pickings are slim.

The question to be answered is whether the next PA president will be another extension  of the Arafat terrorist style or someone like the Gulf state Arab leaders who have come to terms with Israel’s existence. If Hamas should succeed, all hell will break loose.

Keep an eye on Ramallah. There’s surely much more to come.

Please watch and subscribe to my new YouTube channel MIRACLES NEVER CEASE where I host interviews with people sharing their experiences with divine encounters!

Let the miracles begin!

Episode 2 – Rev Joseph Bias

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East


BLOG 408 October 29, 2018

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST ~ Each week Robert L. Wise, PhD, explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

The terrorist organization Hamas knows it has run out of options in Gaza. The city remains a pile of broken cement structures that were never repaired after the last incursion by the Israeli after a season of prolonged rocket attacks coming out of the Gaza area. The leaders of Hamas pocketed the rebuilding money that came in from other Arab sources and left the citizens to live in the rubble.

On the morning of October 17, a morning rocket was fired at the Israeli city of Beersheeba. Such had not happened since early August. Almost immediately Hamas issued a statement saying “we didn’t do it.”  Supposedly, Hamas wanted continued calm. Interesting.

If the rockets were not fired by Hamas, then the situation demonstrates the weakness of Hamas to control the Gaza Strip.  Moreover, it suggests that dangerous weapons are also in the hands of other groups. This picture portrays turmoil on top of chaos.

In contrast to Hamas claims, for the last 7 months there have been repeated clashes at the Gaza border.  During the 30 weeks of struggle, 200 citizens of Gaza were killed and thousands wounded. At the same time the Israel Air Force targeted radicals sending incendiary balloons over the tall petition wall that have burned half of the trees and green areas adjacent to the border. If you are one of those folks who keeps count of deaths in this struggle, the figures aren’t good for the Palestinians.

You haven’t heard much about these current episodes because of the on-going headline stories about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the conflict with Saudi Arabia. Consequently, the Gaza struggle is now seen in a more narrow view. Nevertheless, the October 17 rocket firing could be a prelude to a dangerous response. Israeli politicians are currently pushing for stronger government action. Another such incident could trigger a massive response from Israel.

Keep your eyes open. There’s surely more to come.

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Filed under Bible Lands, Israel, middle east


Blog 343 March 27, 2017

I am often asked if I foresee a military conflict on the horizon for Israel with the militants. Answering that question correctly is like guessing what outlandish “tweet” we will get next from President Trump. Unpredictability seems to be the new order of the day. However, we can discover a few certainties that are probabilities.

Hamas has just appointed Yahya Sinwar as Gaza’s new leader. He succeeds Khaled Mashaal who has his eyes on taking over the PLO and replacing Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian president. With no specific title, Sinwar will become the de facto head of Gaza. As you may know, the city of Gaza is still little more than a heap of rubble. As for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the election of Sinwar is another nail in the coffin. When Trump and Netanyahu met in February, Trump’s statements only added to the Middle-East chaos.

The Jerusalem Report, March 6, 2017, states that Sinwar knows the Islamist Palestinian movement is under full siege by Israel and Egyptian blockades will continue. As the same time, the rift between the PLO and Hamas is predicted to widen. He will have to work within that framework. Before any military action can occur, Sinwar must collaborate with colleagues in a collective and elaborate process. At this point, columnist Yossi Melman does not believe that Hamas wants a military engagement anywhere in the near future.

And who is Yahya Sinwar?

The former director of both the political arm and the military wing of Hamas, he could be compared to a general. For his murderous terrorist’s acts, Israel sentenced him to four life terms. During his time in prison, he rose to prominence among the Palestinian inmates. From his cell, he communicated with Hamas leaders the idea of using prisoners as “bargaining chips” in prisoner swaps with captured Israeli citizens and soldiers. After 22 years in prison, he was released in the controversial exchange for Gilad Schalit.

Once released, Sinwar told a gathering of 200,000 Gazans that he stood for uncompromising military confrontation with Israel. It now appears he will press for better relations with Iran in hopes of collecting more money and arms. Even in Hamas terms, Sinwar is considered an extremist. Of course, he rejects all attempts at compromise with Israel and the PLO. His election reflects the ascendency of the military wing of Hamas.

Shaul Mishal, an expert in Palestinian politics, believes Sinwar will be a new test for Israel’s political and military leaders. They know he remains more than ready to resort to violence.

Stay tuned. More to come.

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Filed under Bible Lands, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, middle east


BLOG 303 May 23, 2016

With the outrageous rhetoric of Donald Trump and the Clinton and Sanders deadlock, the media has lately said little about the continuing struggle in the Holy Land. But we need to know more.

Knife attacks by Palestinians inside Israel have subsided somewhat and Israel has become more competent at stopping lone wolf assaults before they happen. However, more is going on behind the scenes.

Why should you care? Because any settlement (or lack of it) has consequences for Europe, America, and the rest of the Middle East. The festering problem of the Palestinians has infected many other Arab communities. Prospects for genuine peace across the Middle East depend on some form of reconciliation.

Why can’t this problem get solved? Because Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas don’t want it done. Netanyahu rightly says the Palestinians won’t recognize the right of Israel to exist. He fears the creation of another armed Arab country with guns aimed at Israel. An independent Palestine could become another Islamic dictatorship. On the other hand, Abbas’s attempts to achieve statehood through diplomacy and wiggling his way into the United Nations have totally sunk. Because Abbas has continually failed, he has lost credibility at home. What can he achieve now by renewed negotiations with Israel?

Many voices continually speak of the “almost” collapsing Palestinian Authority (PA). While this is probably unlike, it reflects the deterioration in the West Bank. If the PA did implode, Israel would be forced to step in to restore order and take over a virtually bankrupted state. The headaches for Israel would be endless. Abbas understands this and the possibility gives him some leverage.

The big problem for the Palestinians is leadership. Abbas is 80-years old. A decade ago he was elected to a four-year term and there’s been no election since. He is now seen as an authority with no authority. When his leadership has been threatened, Abbas’s response has generally been suppression. Among the names at the top of today’s list to succeed him is Marwan Barghoutin. The big problem is that he is currently serving five life sentences from an Israel Court for leading two uprisings and for murder. He’s a little like electing Al Capone for Attorney General. Not much promise there!

A recent poll by the Ramallah based Arab World for Research and Development indicated that today the Palestinians have little faith in violent resistance and are more concerned about personal income and safety. In the Gaza Strip’s summer war, Hamas lost 2,100 Palestinians while Israel lost only 67 soldiers. The Palestinians are beginning to figure out that violence goes nowhere – but to a cemetery.

So, keep your eye on what Mahmoud Abbas does next (if anything). Hopeful Palestine will not be plunged into period of chaos. At this point, there are no promises.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east, Palestinians, Peace


BLOG 276 October 26, 2015

Let’s take another look at the current unrest in Jerusalem and the Old City. Israelis fear another intifada could explode – and it might!
The quagmire continues as Israel won’t budge in negotiations and the Palestinians won’t lead. The inability of either side “to give” has created a nightmare. As a result, the frustrated Palestinians attack with knives and stone throwing while the Israeli’s shoot back with bullets. A few Israelis get knifed and a much larger number of Palestinians get killed. How can we understand such extremes?
Israel won’t comment on their secret talks with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. The Palestinians are completely left out of these negotiations which only frustrate them further. While Hamas screams and hollers anti-Semitic threats, it appears they are actually negotiating an acceptance of a 10-year ceasefire with Israel. Their position reflects what the Prophet Muhammad did with a time-limited truce with a powerful Quraysh tribe in 628. Even in 1997, the founder of Hamas offered Israel a 30-year hudna. The facts suggest that Hamas needs time to rebuild their military strength and get their act back together after the drubbing they took in Gaza that a year later is little more than a pile of broken cement.
From the Palestinian point of view, Hamas has no business or authority to make and sign any agreements with Israel. PLO President Mahmoud Abbas is also left out in the cold. Turmoil within the Arab world is increased because Abbas does not trust Hamas leadership. He believes Hamas is out to create a separate independent state in Gaza and that Israel is willing to help them do so. The issues of expanding Jewish settlements, Palestinian refugees, and East Jerusalem would not be touched. Once again, the Palestinians have the door slammed in their faces.
Netanyahu currently has no intention of agreeing to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the l967 lines or granting sovereignty over East Jerusalem and control of the Temple Mount. Such a hard-line position could provide the fuel for a much larger Jewish-Muslim war. The recent violence by Palestinians extremists must strike the match that sets off the explosion.
And what would happen? As the matter now stands, the Israeli’s would kill a multitude of the Palestinians. The Arabs know this, but believe their sacrifice would somehow be worth the effort. Suicide-bombers have come to this conclusion already. When you add all this up, the equation equals disaster for the Arabs, but they don’t seem to get it or be willing to make adjustments for a settlement. They have already blown off everything from the Oslo Accords to the 2008 offer of Prime Minister Ehud Olmer’s offer of a Palestinians state along the l967 lines. Their intransient position sounds like madness.
Such madness is what starts wars.

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Filed under America, Israel, Judaism, middle east, Palestinians


BLOG 275 October 19, 2015

With stabbings and shootings filling the streets of Jerusalem, is another war with the Palestinians underway? The volcano of Palestinian anxiety and anger is certainly rumbling and could erupt explosively. Blood shed in the streets of Jerusalem is a frightening omen for the future.

Why would people armed only with knives risk their lives against people with guns? What is going on?

Last year I was in East Jerusalem and talked with some of the Arab citizens who live there. They complain of prejudicial treatment, check-points in and out of their area, and although some are citizens of Israel, they are treated with prejudice. Equally bad, the PLO offices in Ramallah do nothing to help their citizens who claim East Jerusalem as their capital city.

The issue is personal and profound. The Palestinians Center for Public Opinion found that 61% of Palestinians living in Jerusalem support an armed struggle against Israel. Surprisingly, at the same time 52% would rather be Israelis citizens than part of a Palestinian state. Arabs in East Jerusalem live with this strange contradiction.

On the other hand, with knife attacks in their streets and rockets flying out of Gaza, the Israelis don’t believe anything they hear coming out of the West Bank. This week the mayor of Jerusalem called on citizens to visibly carry guns. Sounds like Jerusalem, the city of peace, is turning into Dodge City in 1880!

However, there is more to this story. In the midst of their despair and frustration, the Palestinians know their attacks have a potential to bring international pressure to bear on Israel. For example, the French have just submitted a proposal to the United Nations to bring international observers to the Temple Mount. Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected the idea as “absurd.” Still, it reflects a strategy beyond the knife attacks.

To complicate matters for the Palestinians, Israel has been in secret talks with Hamas to declare a 10-year truce. The truth is that the Gaza strip is a rumbled mess of broken cement one-year after the war and Hamas is in bad shape militarily. Hamas badly needs a breather. On the other hand, PLO leader Abbas doesn’t trust Hamas and believes they are trying to create a separate state in Gaza. Of course, the weak PLO government is no challenge for the Israeli military.

So who negotiates with who? The quagmire continues to rumble along going nowhere while the citizens suffer. In 2000, US president Bill Clinton had Israel and the PLO were on the verge of an agreement when Yasser Arafat simply walked out. Why? His true ultimate object was the entire destruction of Israel. He actually didn’t want a settlement.

Consequently, today no one really wants to talk with anyone else. The frustration boils over in knife attacks in the streets of Jerusalem. No compromises or settlements are even beyond the horizon.

Let us hope the situation doesn’t continue to deteriorate this week. Death doesn’t need another walk down the streets of Jerusalem once more.


Filed under Arabs, Israel, middle east, Palestinians


BLOG 227 – November 24, 2014

It’s been a tough week in the Middle East. The murder of four Jewish worshippers in a synagogue at the hands of knife swinging, cleaver cutting, pistol packing Palestinians has once again set the region on edge. The Palestinian cousins were shot and their houses in East Jerusalem destroyed, but the matter is not settled. Clergy representing Jews, Muslims, and Christians publically met in unison and called for calm. The Greek Patriarch, Latin Patriarch and an Iman from Acre condemned the assault. However, Muslim authorities and senior Israeli rabbis were not present.

The savage pounding Hamas received in Gaza and their precarious political position has caused them to set off such killings as a symbolic gesture making them appear significant and forceful. Of course, the killings are actually a sign of frustration and failure. But symbolic acts are an important part of what keeps the pot boiling in Israel and Palestinian territories.

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) has just declared they will change the name of the Temple Mount to the Al Aqsa Mosque or the Noble Sanctuary.  The new declaration was the result of rioting and unrest around the Temple Mount area. Apparently, the PLO believes a name change will support their cause.

The problem is that the issue is not semantics, but sovereignty.

The Muslims and Jews have two different interpretations of what this important religious area is about. Muslims say a Jewish temple never stood there, but Mohammed and his horse leaped into heaven from where the Dome of the Rock stands. The Jews say two Temples existed there centuries before Mohammed was born. Part of the problem for the Muslims is that the earliest claims for Mohammed’s ascent to heaven were prompted by his recognition of the holiness of the two temples that once stood there. Today, Muslims would attempt to deny and suppress that story. These two symbolic viewpoints are at the heart of the recent violence.

Muslims are fearful that the Jews will claim the sacred area, tear down the Dome of the Rock, and rebuild the Temple. Probably, the motivation for the two Palestinian killers attack arose from this fear.

While the Netanyahu government will never contemplate or condone such an attack, there are Jewish leaders who favor such an idea. It is now claimed that some members of the Israeli Parliament are prepared to sponsor legislation to rebuild the Third Temple on the site of the Dome of the Rock. Muslims believe the Jews are counting the days until this occurs.

America went through an apocalyptic mindset in the 80’s anticipating the world would enter its final days by the year 2,000. When the clock kept ticking and nothing happened, that viewpoint virtually disappeared. In these blogs, we have never pandered an apocalyptic perspective because it is speculative. However, significant elements in the Jewish world are now embracing such a viewpoint. They believe the reconstruction of the Temple will bring in the Messianic age and the world will embrace their viewpoint. This segment of Judaism is willing to push the issue because they believe it will bring the Messiah.

Behind the semantics and clashing viewpoints is a battle over sovereignty. Who rules? The battle is far from over.

Stay tuned.

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Filed under Israel, middle east, Muslims, Palestinians


Recently, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations made startling statements about what lies behind much of the terrorism in the Middle East. Ambassador Ron Prosor charged that the aggressive behavior of Hamas was backed and financed by the country of Qatar. Oil-rich Qatar has been spreading its influence by purchasing six American universities, Harrods department store in England, and Paris’ Saint-Germain football team. Prosor said Qatar will buy, bride, or bully its way to whatever it wants, including the 2022 World Cup. Second only to Iran, Qatar is becoming the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism.

The ambassador’s charges throw light on why terrorism continues to be so deadly in the Middle East. For example, during the war in Gaza, the Palestinians Authority confirmed that Hamas activists shot PA Arab supporters in the legs. Hamas imposed house arrest on the PA supporters (who knows for what reason) and then shot them in the legs or arms for failure to comply. In addition, it was charged Hamas had been planning a coup against the PA in the West Bank.  The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested 90 Hamas activists to stop the attempt.

The bottom line is that Hamas will use their own people as human shields, kill indiscriminately, use schools and hospitals to launch rockets while applying the millions they receive from Qatar to built rockets and tunnels for sneak attacks on Israel. Terrorism is a specter of hate, violence, and murder now being financed by the nation of Qatar.

Among the victims of this line of thinking are the Christians in Iraq. For 2,000 years Christianity has maintained a heartland in the Iraqi town of Mosul. The apostles Thomas and Thaddeus are believed to have worked and preached in Iraq that was then known as Assyria. Their ministry preceded the birth of Muhammad by 600 years. As ISIS swept in, the Sunni terrorist group expelled Christians from towns in the surrounding area. Terrorist marked their homes with the Arabic letters nun meaning Nazarene or Christian. Then, the invaders declared the residences “Property of the Islamic State.” In 2013, Baghdad’s Monsignor Pios Cacha predicted religious cleansing would affect the Christians as it had the Jewish community a half century earlier. Iraq had been the homeland of 150,000 Jews. Today, less that ten Jews are in the country.

Westerners find it difficult to grasp how religious faith could be at the heart of a Middle Eastern war. Diversity has been a cornerstone of American society from the beginning where today even bizarre sects are tolerated. Not so in the world of deadly battles between Sunnis and Shi’ites continuing daily. The West must wake up to the fact that countries like Qatar spend their billions to underwrite the conflicts. Whether we like it or not, want to avoid the conflicts like a plague, or are forced to see what we don’t want to recognize, countries like Qatar have pulled us into the struggle. Saudi Arabi and Iran each finance different sides in the conflict. The war goes on.

It’s time to pay attention.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east, Muslims