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Hamas is ISIS for dummies

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As you are surely aware, the gruesome murders of American journalists by the Islamic state group in Iraq and Syria have been seized on by demagogues to argue that the US must go to war in the Middle East. Chris Matthews has championed a “nationalistic response” to the killings and faulted Barack Obama for not taking action. “This is a war that I’m afraid we’re not exactly fighting,” he said last night.  Erin Burnett has said much the same on the rival network, CNN– that Obama lacks the “passion and fierceness” people want from a president.

Neoconservatives and Zionists have gone further, arguing that Israel and the United States face the same enemy. ISIS = Hamas, Israel’s prime minister pronounced after the beheading of James Foley was publicized two weeks ago; and that theme has been propagated again by Israel’s supporters in the wake of the killing of Steven Sotloff, publicized two days ago.

Benjamin Netanyahu issued this grim warning at an appearance with two US congressmen yesterday, and tied the killings to… Iran!

We’re fighting not just Israel’s war but I think a common battle against enemies of mankind– Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, ISIS– supported many of them by regimes that propel terrorism to the front, like Iran. I think this is a challenge to all civilized nations. Israel and the United States stand together and your visit reflects that. We have to understand that if we don’t face down these forces, they will advance. And they will advance not only in the Middle East but beyond, to Europe, to the United States and every part of the globe.

As Larry Derfner has written, the equation of a local resistance movement, Hamas, with a radical militant group that is happy to slaughter thousands in the name of a renewed transnational caliphate is “idiotic.” But one of those American congressmen, Eliot Engel, duly echoed the P.M.’s equation:

Now in the west, we’re beginning to see the rise of radical Islam and we’re beginning to see a group like ISIS rear its ugly head. Well, Israel has confronted this kind of thing year in and year out. Because Hamas and ISIS it’s the same. They want to achieve their political goals on the backs of terror. They want to deny the state of Israel’s right to exist.

Steve Israel, the head of the congressional campaign committee for Democrats, linked James Foley’s killing with Hamas — “The truth is we & our allies are opposed by terrorist thugs like ISIS, Hamas, etc” – and he made a sweeping generalization yesterday:

The New York Times published an ad two days ago (above) from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the catspaw of Sheldon (Nuke Iran) Adelson, that equated Hamas with ISIS. The original graphic for the ad was disturbingly graphic; complaining about censorship on his twitter feed, Boteach typically had no idea of why such a thing is offensive.

Shmuley Boteachs image for his ad, which he says the NYT insisted he change

Shmuley Boteach’s image for his ad, which the NYT insisted he change

It’s worth noting that the group that broke the existence of the latest video is a Zionist organization. It is headed by Rita Katz, an Israeli-American who was featured on Erin Burnett’s show the other night. Her group is SITE (Search for International Terrorist Entities) Intelligence Group. Katz was a bit vague about how they turned up the latest video.

SITE is pushing for full-on war. “Fighting the Islamic State: Air Strikes Will Not Be Enough.” And oh yes, SITE lumps Hamas and Palestinian militants as alleged jihadists.

International Business Times reports on SITE’s scoop:

SITE made the decision to publish the video of Sotloff’s beheading when numerous mainstream news outlets in possession of it declined to do so, likely influenced by the overwhelming negative public reaction to the sharing of video and still images of Foley’s beheading, which quickly and inescapably proliferated on social media before YouTube and Twitter removed them.  The authenticity of the video obtained by SITE Intel Group has yet to be explicitly confirmed, but the White House released a statement Tuesday afternoon expressing “deepest condolences” for the “brutal murder of an innocent American journalist.”

SITE Intelligence Group is an incarnation of the SITE Institute, founded in 2002 by former Investigative Project colleagues Rita Katz and Josh Devon. Katz remains the executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group. Her bio says she is fluent in Arabic and Hebrew, having been born in Iraq and educated in Tel Aviv. She has worked as a government consultant on terrorist operations and is the author of the 2003 book, “Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover To Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in North America.” She is the subject of a 2006 New Yorker profile, which described a visit to SITE’s offices (the location of which, at the time, Katz demanded the magazine leave unnamed):

“Each day, Katz finds about a half-dozen items on the Arabic message boards that are worth distributing. Her researchers, who monitor English-language jihadist websites, often find a few more. Some are propaganda: videos taking responsibility for attacks, statements of intents to attack, announcements of allegiances or splits. … SITE tries to have the items translated and sent to subscribers within an hour and a half of their first appearance online.”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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29 Responses

  1. eljay on September 4, 2014, 12:31 pm

    >> They want to achieve their political goals on the backs of terror.

    Yes, that’s exactly what Zio-supremacists have been doing for over 60 years.

    >> They want to deny the state of Israel’s right to exist.

    Israel should exist as a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees. What should not exist – what has no just or moral right to exist – is Israel:
    – as an oppressive, colonialist and expansionist state;
    – as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • Mooser on September 4, 2014, 5:54 pm

      “Israel should exist as a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees. “

      With a Zionist terrorist underground on hand in case things start getting too democratic.

  2. amigo on September 4, 2014, 1:30 pm

    “A really tiny piece of land”

    “During the later appearance by the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, the committee chairman, Fine Gael’s Pat Breen, asked him about what he described as the “confiscation” of almost 1,000 acres of West Bank land.

    Senator David Norris noted that Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid had “condemned the expropriation of land”, adding that the cabinet minister had said it “harmed the state of Israel”. “Why was it so urgent to create another crisis by acting so blatantly illegally?” Mr Norris asked.

    However, Mr Modai defended the move which he said involved a “really tiny” piece of land in Gush Etzion. He said the land had had a Jewish presence for “thousands of years” before the war of independence, and the area was of “emotional importance for all ” Irish Times-Pamela Duncan reporting from the Irish Senate.

  3. Talkback on September 4, 2014, 2:55 pm

    So is Israel or it’s military wing the face of radical Judaism?

  4. Shmuel on September 4, 2014, 4:15 pm

    The picture on the right reminds me of the pictures taken at Abu Ghraib, or B’tselem’s illustrative photos of Shin Bet torture methods. Are the US and Israel also ISIS?

    • just on September 4, 2014, 11:04 pm

      I heard an interview on ‘Fresh Air’ today with Charlie Savage about ISIS & orange jumpsuits:

      “GROSS: Both of the journalists who were beheaded by ISIS were dressed in orange, like the orange uniforms the prisoners in Gitmo have to wear. What has Gitmo come to symbolize to Islamist groups?

      SAVAGE: Well, it’s less to Islamic groups I think, than to the Muslim world in general, as well as to non-Muslims but who are sort of civil liberties-minded people. I think for a long time Guantanamo has been a symbol of early post-9/11 Bush administration war on terror policies, in which prisoners were held without trial – who are still of course being held without trial today – but were also tortured. And the early photographs out of Guantanamo, which were actually not even taken by reporter or journalist, but were taken by the military and distributed, of those first prisoners arriving at Camp X-ray and lining up, kneeling before the fences in their bright orange prison garb have become sort of iconic images of a very aggressive response in the handling of prisoners taken in the war on terror under the Bush administration. Guantanamo continues to remain open, despite President Obama’s efforts to close it. Most of the prisoners actually don’t wear orange anymore, only those who disobey the rules. But I think the image around the world remains that orange jumpsuits equals Guantanamo. Guantanamo Orange is even a phrase you hear sometimes. You see protesters wearing orange jumpsuits and I think that ISIS was trying to exploit those sentiments when it dressed the two journalists in orange before beheading them.”

      And yes, it looks an awful lot like Abu Ghraib. Haven’t seen all the pictures of prisoners in Bagram, Gitmo, or any of the other black holes that we and our allies have disappeared people to.

  5. Rusty Pipes on September 4, 2014, 4:43 pm

    “stop making suckers of the American taxpayer:” because Zionists’ compassion for Freiers is legendary.

  6. Kay24 on September 4, 2014, 5:29 pm

    The zios do try desperately to make Hamas look like ISIS and other brutal militants, but this last attack on Gaza by Israel did make Hamas look like the resistance. Since Hamas operates only within their territories, I think it is hard to make people think they operate internationally like the others.

  7. just on September 4, 2014, 6:37 pm

    Still not entirely sure how much our actions (indirect and direct) gave rise to ISIS, but I do know that we are not innocent.

    Making an enemy out of Assad was stupid, stupid, stupid. Invading Iraq was s, s, s as well. Afghanistan was s, s, s too.

    Hamas is the only group resisting Occupation and all of the other junk being thrown by Israel, imho.

    There is no comparison between Hamas and ISIS. NONE.

    P. Cockburn has something to say about ISIS, and I have to agree with much he says in the excerpt from his new book. Especially this:

    “How the US Helped ISIS Grow Into a Monster


    “Ignoring the Roles of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

    The key decisions that enabled al-Qa’ida to survive, and later to expand, were made in the hours immediately after 9/11. Almost every significant element in the project to crash planes into the Twin Towers and other iconic American buildings led back to Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden was a member of the Saudi elite, and his father had been a close associate of the Saudi monarch. Citing a CIA report from 2002, the official 9/11 report says that al-Qa’ida relied for its financing on “a variety of donors and fundraisers, primarily in the Gulf countries and particularly in Saudi Arabia.”

    The report’s investigators repeatedly found their access limited or denied when seeking information in Saudi Arabia. Yet President George W. Bush apparently never even considered holding the Saudis responsible for what happened. An exit of senior Saudis, including bin Laden relatives, from the US was facilitated by the US government in the days after 9/11. Most significant, 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report about the relationship between the attackers and Saudi Arabia were cut and never published, despite a promise by President Obama to do so, on the grounds of national security.

    In 2009, eight years after 9/11, a cable from the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, revealed by WikiLeaks, complained that donors in Saudi Arabia constituted the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. But despite this private admission, the US and Western Europeans continued to remain indifferent to Saudi preachers whose message, spread to millions by satellite TV, YouTube, and Twitter, called for the killing of the Shia as heretics. These calls came as al-Qa’ida bombs were slaughtering people in Shia neighborhoods in Iraq. A sub-headline in another State Department cable in the same year reads: “Saudi Arabia: Anti-Shi’ism as Foreign Policy?” Now, five years later, Saudi-supported groups have a record of extreme sectarianism against non-Sunni Muslims.

    Pakistan, or rather Pakistani military intelligence in the shape of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was the other parent of al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, and jihadi movements in general. When the Taliban was disintegrating under the weight of US bombing in 2001, its forces in northern Afghanistan were trapped by anti-Taliban forces. Before they surrendered, hundreds of ISI members, military trainers, and advisers were hastily evacuated by air. Despite the clearest evidence of ISI’s sponsorship of the Taliban and jihadis in general, Washington refused to confront Pakistan, and thereby opened the way for the resurgence of the Taliban after 2003, which neither the US nor NATO has been able to reverse.

    The “war on terror” has failed because it did not target the jihadi movement as a whole and, above all, was not aimed at Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the two countries that fostered jihadism as a creed and a movement. The US did not do so because these countries were important American allies whom it did not want to offend. Saudi Arabia is an enormous market for American arms, and the Saudis have cultivated, and on occasion purchased, influential members of the American political establishment. Pakistan is a nuclear power with a population of 180 million and a military with close links to the Pentagon.”

    Wonder what he has to say about Israel/US relationship wrt the entire mess in his new book.

    • just on September 4, 2014, 8:19 pm

      Making an enemy out of Assad was Hillary’s and McCain & Chumps goal…

      Arming and meeting with “rebels” to Assad is/was insane.

      • ritzl on September 4, 2014, 10:15 pm

        After funding ISIS (for example):


        America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS

        The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.

        the Saudis have done a rapid 180 (for example):


        Saudi Arabia intensifies crackdown on extremist groups

        Eighty eight people are arrested days after imam is jailed for glorifying al-Qaida and Isis

        The Saudis are now also “warning” that ISIS will be in the US in “months.” I guess that’s to get the US to put the worms back in the can they/we opened. ISIS now has it’s eyes on KSA.

        A 5 year-old child could have seen this coming years ago, but a US President apparently not so much.

        And to top it all off, the “warring parties” in Syria are supposedly starting to get religion and focus on the fact that there won’t be a Syria to fight about if ISIS isn’t defeated (i.e. ceasing hostilities). None of them are good guys, but they might be tired enough of perpetual carnage of Syrians of all stripes to figure out some other way to transition Syria toward some sort of democracy. (Sorry can’t find the link now.)

        What was the point of it all again? To spotlight our little “island of [sadistic] stability” in the otherwise roiling MENA?

  8. ritzl on September 4, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Ask Gilad Shalit if Hamas is like ISIS.

    If he and his family had any conscience whatsoever, they’d be out vocally refuting this latest inflammatory hogwash.

    • just on September 4, 2014, 10:47 pm

      good point.

      And Israel’s kidnap, release , kidnap again program is despicable– a program of “promises”, “negotiations” in bad faith all couched in ginormous lies..

      Everything we touch in the region gets worse, never better. The one good thing we are doing (with Iran)is being undermined by our “ally” every. single. baby. step. of. the. way.

      (PS– tired of the endless eulogy to JR tonight)

      • ritzl on September 5, 2014, 12:07 am

        Who is JR, just?

      • just on September 5, 2014, 12:49 am

        Joan Rivers.

    • Donald on September 4, 2014, 11:44 pm

      Hamas should not be compared to ISIS, but it is absurd to expect Shalit and his family to be making the case for Hamas.

      • ritzl on September 4, 2014, 11:58 pm

        I don’t think it’s absurd at all, Donald. He owes his life to that fact. He has the option and standing be a peacemaker.

        What is absurd though, is to appeal to his and his family’s conscience. That was raw cynicism on my part. I apologize.

      • Mooser on September 7, 2014, 12:06 pm

        “That was raw cynicism on my part. I apologize.”

        I accept, graciously. But in the future, leave the raw cynicism to me.

  9. Peter in SF on September 5, 2014, 6:28 am

    Hamas and ISIS it’s the same. They want to achieve their political goals on the backs of terror. They want to deny the state of Israel’s right to exist.

    When American politicians sound alarms about threats to the U.S. from a group like al-Qaeda, they say that the group aims to kill as many Americans as possible and eventually to take control of the country. But in Rep. Engel’s rhetoric, killing Israelis and taking control of Israel are not as frightening as — get this — denying the state of Israel’s right to exist!

    ISIS is based in Iraq. Does ISIS deny the state of Iraq’s right to exist? There are plenty of other people who wield some amount of power in Iraq (especially in the Kurdish region) and some in the United States who deny the state of Iraq’s right to exist.

  10. flyod on September 6, 2014, 8:28 am

    the back door into syria ……from the studios of rita katz productions

  11. piotr on September 6, 2014, 8:02 pm

    Planting a device in a different state and detonating it when the device is approached seems like a terrorist action. It just happened in Lebanon:

    Another bombing was reported on US soil (but without human fatalities):

    • just on September 6, 2014, 8:38 pm

      It is terrorism and espionage and could be construed as an act of war.

      ho hum.

  12. bilal a on September 6, 2014, 9:29 pm

    ISIS is MOSSAD for dummies

    Israel, U.S. import disputed oil from Iraqi Kurdistan

    ISIS is shipping oil to Kurdistan which is then transferred to Israel
    “ISIS controls smuggling routes and the crude transported by tankers to Jordan via Anbar province, to Iran via Kurdistan, to Turkey via Mosul, to Syria’s local market and to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where most of it gets refined locally.”

    Al Jazeera ridicules beheading of U.S. journalists as ‘Hollywood’ show

  13. Accentitude on September 7, 2014, 2:25 am

    If Palestinians won their freedom and independence and got the nation state that they (we) had always wanted, they would not be sweeping into neighboring Jordan, Syria and Egypt to create a wider Islamic Palestinian state. Hamas is not ISIS or Al Qaeda or Jihadist. We’re not fighting a war for religion against the so-called “infidels” or against westernized democracies. We’re fighting to live freely on our own land which has been stolen from us and when that land is recovered, our fighting is over.

  14. lyn117 on September 7, 2014, 11:42 pm

    Executing collaborators is one thing, executing POWs is another

  15. jon s on September 8, 2014, 6:58 am

    I heard a report today and I wonder whether anyone has any info: the report was that ISIS is selling oil.
    Or put it this way: that the European countries are buying oil from ISIS.
    Could this be true?

    • bilal a on September 9, 2014, 12:56 am

      The political economy of Israel-Palestine is a neglected focus for rights activists at MW and elsewhere.


      ISIS and AQ are Petroleum Companies, selling via Turkey-Iraqi Kurdistan with a major Hungarian buyer who has delivered Kurdish crude into Israel


      Ediboglu said: “$800 million worth of oil that ISIS obtained from regions it occupied this year [the Rumeilan oil fields in northern Syria — and most recently Mosul] is being sold in Turkey. They have laid pipes from villages near the Turkish border at Hatay. Similar pipes exist also at [the Turkish border regions of] Kilis, Urfa and Gaziantep. They transfer the oil to Turkey and parlay it into cash

      ast Aug. 20, Taraf carried a report headlined “Smugglers riding on a billion dollars.” It reported that Turkish soldiers clashed with and repelled hundreds of horse riders and thousands of foot smugglers at the Syrian border on a daily basis. It pointed out that the biggest fight between the [Syrian Kurdish] People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra in Rojava [northern Syria] was over the revenues from the sale of the region’s petroleum products to Turkey.

      Read more:

      But Turks deny this
      Turkey Denies Buying Kurdish Oil from the Islamic State

      Kurdish exports through Turkey to Hungarian firm
      According to Turkey’s energy minister, the KRG has exported 10 million barrels of oil on 13 tankers via Ceyhan. At least one of these tankers has successfully offloaded its crude to a buyer in Israel. Hungarian oil and gas company MOL MOL.BU -0.41% Group said in August it had taken delivery of about 600,000 barrels of Kurdish crude at the Croatian port of Omisalj.

      ISRAEL buys from Kurds
      Iraq’s Kurds Sell Oil To Israel, Move Closer To Independence

      Kurds buy from ISIS (which then sell to Israel)
      Abdul Baban said: “People who buy the oil use paved roads controlled by ISIS militants and take it through the cities of Kifri or Qadir Karam to civil refineries or across the Iranian border or they go through the city of Makhmour to the Kurdistan region in coordination with the checkpoints.

      Kurds are refiners and intermediary, transport routes along Israeli border to Turkey and Jordan
      “ISIS controls smuggling routes and the crude transported by tankers to Jordan via Anbar province, to Iran via Kurdistan, to Turkey via Mosul, to Syria’s local market and to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where most of it gets refined locally,” Al-Khatteeb said in an interview with the CNN.

      ISIS in control of 60 percent of Syrian oil: sources

      MOL the Hungarian buyer and operator in Kurdistan has shipped to Israel

      Two weeks ago, the same 1 million barrel tanker loaded Kurdish oil at Ceyhan before sailing to a point just under 200 km (125 miles) off the Israeli and Egyptian coasts.

      Reuters AIS Live ship tracking showed the ship was fully loaded, based on its draft in the water. After turning its satellite tracking off on Aug. 1, the ship reappeared four days later sitting far higher in the water – indicating it had unloaded its cargo of disputed oil.

      It was not possible to determine which port the oil aboard the Kamari had been delivered to or who the buyer was. In June a cargo of Kurdish oil that sailed from Ceyhan aboard the United Emblem Suezmax tanker was delivered into Israel after being transferred at sea to another ship.

      Israel’s prime minister and several officials openly called for the recognition of an independent Kurdistan this summer, though a Kurdish diplomat later played down coordination between the two countries.

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