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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, December 31, 2011.

Chanukah Sameach

"I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting."
- Harry Callahan


I've always loved travelling to new places and setting out on foot, directionless, with only my curiosity to guide my steps. Walking will always be the slowest means of moving about and always the best way to slow one's pace and observe. There is great adventure in photography, and it's not just the chance that you'll take a satisfying picture, but that you might just notice something you haven't seen before or maybe see things in a new light.

The Rova, the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, where these two photos were taken, is at its glowing best on Chanukah. The exotic living spaces built of ancient and modern stones make wandering the alleyways an ever-rewarding adventure. The mitzvah of "pirsumei nes," publicizing the miracle, makes every menorah easily visible and accessible to the photographer. Some families have resorted to elaborate structures to keep the oil burning in cramped conditions. Others have modified their homes to accommodate the burning lights. Take a stroll. Take a picture or two if you desire. Or simply bask in the glow of a big miracle that is happening here.

Technical Data:

Upper photo: Nikon D700, 28-105 zoom at 105mm, f14 @ 0.4 sec., ISO 400.
Lower photo: Nikon D700, 50mm prime lens, f5 @ 1/125 sec., ISO 1600.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at and visit his website: Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at

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Posted by Robin Ticker, December 31, 2011.

Settlers keep rebuilding the Oz Zion outpost (Photo: Reuters)

These big bullies come with their clubs and riot gear, fully protected and terrorize Jewish families who love the land with their heart and soul in the middle of the night, usually around 3:00AM and throw out the families from their homes and demolish the homes with bulldozers. Or they come to someone's home at 3:00am and bangs on the door really loudly and wakes everyone up and demands to interrogate and then arrests the 15 year old Yeshiva kid for his acts of "terror" against the Arabs, without substance, or even worse alerts him/her for alerting others as per the police who are on their way to destroy their homes. The police have free rein to act forcefully against these "right wing activists". Surely this is an effective way to intimidate any would be demonstrators that might be so bold as to puncture the tires of the "well meaning" messenger of the Government of Israel (GOI) doing their job, following orders, to demolish Jewish homes.

These young boys and girls are considered to be "terrorists" by influential high ranking officials in the military. Everyone is falling over their feet to be the first ones to condemn their "acts of violence" against a "merciful" army. The soldiers in the army who are demolishing the homes of these youths are considered honorable loyal soldiers to the State of Israel following orders and worthy of promotion. The soldiers who refuse to demolish Jewish homes are reprimanded and perhaps discharged as dishonorable or court martialed for disobeying orders. Feh!

And how will these youngsters be treated in jail? Do they have any rights? After all the police have the green light to act forcefully against these "dangerous" teenagers, who dare to try their hardest to defend their rights to their Biblical homeland.

Where is the voice and action of Rabbanim? The Rabbanim refuse to say what is Emes and True. They choose Silence. How come?

Perhaps Rabbanim themselves are afraid of being intimidated, blackmailed and or targeted by evil forces.

Perhaps it is because the Rabbanim have been bribed and it is merely a matter of greed and lust of power that blinds them and forces them to act against their better judgment to sit by passively and not testify to the world as per who the Land of Israel truly belongs to. This passivity allows the UN to "educate" the world as it wishes, to broadcast lies, distortions and rumors that go unrefuted.

Or perhaps these Rabbanim really believe that since Moshiach hasn't yet revealed himself, these Fatah/Hamas, Hitler loving Arabs should rule in Judea and Samaria and have their own Palestinian State. We must subjugate ourselves to the Goyim and not in any way provoke them or act in a way that will enrage them. Nothing more enrages them than putting a claim on Har Habayit, Hebron and Kever Yosef.

These proud young teenagers, kids see a Chillul Hashem and they refuse to be still even at the risk of danger of their very lives and reputation. Here is what is going through their mind: "You want to call me a terrorist???? Call me what you want. But there is a G-d in Heaven that knows what is in my heart and He knows the truth. Arrest me? I have Mesirat Nefesh? I am willing to do whatever it takes to counter this Chillul Hashem! Rabbanim, at least you taught me well! Unfortunately you don't have the guts to fight for the ideals you have instilled in me. I don't have weapons, but I will fight with my body if necessary and with my prayers. Money and Power? That doesn't stop me. I don't have any that I can lose!"

Shame on the Rabbanim for letting the young children, boys and girls, fight this battle alone, as a result of DEAFENING silence.

Dear Rav shlita,

Look deep into your heart and soul. Are you silent because you are no longer naive and are terrified. You know what the evil forces are capable of doing. Perhaps it is greed or lust for power? Is it just laziness and inertia? Is your silence bought in return for tuition subsidies or wonderful government programs or does it pay for your salary. Will it pay for the electric bill or the electric bill for your institution? Just remember that I am paying for it. My home, my livelihood my shalom bayis, my hilltop community in Judea and Samaria is paying for all of this. It is blood money. Will any good come from it for you or for anyone else? Ultimately, if I fall, it empowers our enemies and will weaken you as well. Your lives will then be in the front line and not mine. But for you to see this you must be far sighted.

What other explanation do you have for this DEAFENING SILENCE?????? Did I miss anything?

Let me encourage you. Think out of the box. You do realize that if you unite, your are a force that the government of Israel can not reckon with. If Rabbanei Har Hebron unites with Rabbanei Eizor Shchem and all the Hesder Yeshivot unite with Nachal Chareidi and instruct their soldiers to disobey immoral orders to demolish Jewish homes, the government will not be able to implement these evil decrees. The best and finest are in Hesder Yeshivot and Nachal Chareidi! Stand strong and you won't lose your Parnassa. G-d will provide and there will be plenty to eat. If Rav Eliashiv gives testimony as per the Covenant between G-d and the Nation of Israel and delineates the boundaries specified in Parshat Masei as well as a psak against demolition of Jewish Homes that would add hundreds of thousands of Jews to support our entitlement to Judea and Samaria. Rabbanei Yesha, please instruct all the National camp to do Panim el Panim with Rav Eliashiv and his communities and ask him to testify on behalf of your properties and homes. If one is asked to testify and one refuses aren't they chayav bidei Shamayim? The world testifies against Jewish rights to the Land and that Jews are occupiers in Judea and Samaria. What is the Torah position?

Please, think, how can we correct this grievous sin to our Creator, to our Youth and to your fellow Jew?

In fact, protest all unchecked bullying of kids.

When bullies who call themselves Torah Jews harass and intimidate 8 year old girls day in and day out in Beit Shemesh and the Police allow them to do so unchecked, it makes one wonder what the Police is doing to protect these young girls from a bunch of scary looking men who are spitting at them and calling them names. Surely the only explanation is that the Police are afraid of confronting these bullies. So these little girls and their parents have to deal with them in the best way they can.

Being merciful to the cruel translates in being cruel to the merciful. I haven't heard much disgust from Rabbanim for such imposters of Torah.

Another example of misplaced compassion. Publicize your Torah position as per how to deal with Arab terror who are convicted mass murderers:

Arab terrorists murder and decapitate members of a Jewish family. The perpetrators are caught. they are given many life sentences but remain in jail. Now further kidnappings of soldiers are planned so as to be able to negotiate the release the terrorists. Sometimes terrorists, via negotiation go free only to pledge continued attacks against Jews.

Maybe if these terrorists get the death sentence they deserve, there would be no need for the Arabs to kidnap more Israeli soldiers in order to be able to negotiate the release of these terrorists. The released terrorists live near Jewish settlements and their very presence strikes fear in the hearts of settlers not knowing when they will strike and who their target will be. Surely we'd be better off if they were dead and we were not threatened.

But who do we and the gov't of Israel condemn and practically label as terrorists????? The Jewish Youth of Judea and Samaria who love the Land of Israel who have the guts to break the Silence of Truth with their actions.

Please speak out against the Chillul Hashem on Har Habayit where the Waqf is in charge and football games desecrate the site of our Holy Temple and a Jewish mother of 5 children gets arrested for saying Hallel. Even if a Rav holds that that Jews should refrain from going on Har Habayit because they might err and go where it is forbidden to go, surely the Rav will recognize that there are other halachic opinions regarding this matter and Eilu, VeEilu Divrei Elikim Chayim. Should an Arab be in charge and see to it that this mother gets arrested?

Contact Robin Ticker at

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Posted by Teresinka Pereira, December 31, 2011.


To happy people
the year seems to go fast

To people in prison or refugee camps
time goes slowly

To us who wait for a miracle
Time has stopped.

Contact Teresinka Pereira at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 31, 2011.

Ben-Gurion University has so betrayed scholarship and country, that an international committee of scholars appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education suggested closing the Department of Politics and Government. The department emphasizes political activism and poor research. It indoctrinates students in falsehood.

That day, the department's founder, Prof. David Newman, who now oversees several social studies departments, wrote an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post likening Israel to Nazi Germany. He alleged that Israel denies Palestinian Arabs sovereign rights, discriminates against Arab citizens, expelled refugees, and denies their other human rights. He is deluded [not merely expressing legitimate opinions and criticism of Israel.]

On Arab sovereignty, PM Ben-Gurion had accepted the old UN partition proposal that suggested an Arab state. Successors of his were willing to negotiate a final status agreement that would lead to Arab sovereignty. Palestinian Arabs rejected any Jewish sovereignty, sought to purge the Jewish population, and denies Jews equal rights [not that Arab leaders leave their own people many rights].

The Nazis excluded, segregated, persecuted, and slaughtered European Jewry. Israel has done nothing remotely comparable. In Israel, Arab citizens have equal rights, their language is an official one, and their religious holy days are legally recognized for their communities. Arabs in Israel have more prerogatives [not only than minorities in Arab countries but more] than ethnic minorities in democratic countries.

The Nazis murdered six million Jews, whereas Israel Arab population increased 1000%! Couldn't be less comparable! The Arab sector's economic and social advances have been so swift that they are catching up to the Jewish population. Realizing this, many Arabs, including those in eastern Jerusalem, prefer Israeli citizenship to citizenship in a new Arab state. Tens of thousands of African Muslims sneak into Israel for jobs.

Israel is trying to prevent [or at least get disclosed] foreign government financing of Israeli NGOs striving to de-legitimize Israel. Prof. Newman equates that to Nazi repression of political opponents [who were not enemies of the state]. But the Nazis didn't just get foreign funds reported or banned, they executed political activists. Israel does not. Ben-Gurion University professors should know that.

Problem is, Prof. Newman has the view, now common among Israeli and Western academics, that Zionism is not legitimate national self-determination, but is an expansionist, colonialist movement.

A university should allow differing viewpoints. Ben-Gurion U. does not (Efraim Karsh, Hudson New York, 12/22/11 ben-gurion-university )

The article addressed the political science and related departments, not the science and technical departments, which usually are not political.

Steven Plaut, an economic professor at Haifa University, who monitors Israeli academia, states that Ben-Gurion University hires in the social science departments only anti-Zionists and leftists, and fired its lone dissenter for having incorrect political opinions. He views the propagandistic professors as collaborators with the enemy (12/20/11, email).

Yes, an international war on Israel employs not only military means but lawfare, propaganda, boycott, all in an effort to make people think they should not support Israel and even dissolve it.

The University denies historical facts and uses teachers' authority to impose an anti-Israel and sometimes even a pro-Islamo-fascist view upon students. It accuses any criticism of that as being the offense. The teachers may lie about Israel's leaders, but they call it McCarthyism for critics of the teachers to relate the truth about teachers' contentions. Hypocrisy!

Arabs are in Israel as a result of Islam's expansionist colonial movement. The Arab colonialist movement repressed minorities and still attempts to ethnically cleanse the region of Jews and Christians, just as Muslims do to Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and even India, while Prof. Newman and colleagues pretend that Israel ethnically cleanses Arabs.

Jewish people have returned to their homeland that was internationally recognized as such. Israel does not mistreat Arabs the way European colonists mistreated non-Europeans. Zionists had a philosophy of cooperation with the Arabs — the Jews, now painted as vicious, were idealists about the Arabs, though naïve. The Jews tried to make peace with the Arabs, but the Arabs would not have it.

Zionism expansionist? Please tell Prof. Newman about the first partition of Palestine that let Arabs have most of it, in what now is Jordan. Inform him that Israel relinquished the Sinai, Gaza, and control over most of Judea-Samaria. Any territory that Israel gained from war resulted from Arab aggression. Under international law, inconvenient for anti-Zionists to acknowledge now, a country has a right to territory used for invading it.

Arabs from Judea-Samaria outside Jerusalem have been trying to get a foothold in Jerusalem, so that they don't get stuck in a repressive and stultifying Arab state. This makes one wonder about claims about Arab "aspirations" for their own state in that tiny area. Their leaders' aspirations are to expel non-believers.

In some respects, Israeli Arabs have more rights than Jews. They are exempt from military and civilian national service. Instead they can go right to college, often on discriminatory scholarships and preferential admission. They also have preferences for entering the civil service. Laws hardly are enforced against their extensive illegal seizure of land, illegal building, rioting, and tax evasion. Their municipalities are notorious for running up big debts that the national government then assumes.

In countering Prof. Newman's claim that Israel refuses to let Palestinian Arabs have another state, Mr. Karsh is correct about Israeli willingness to negotiate the issue. However, I think Mr. Karsh's rebuttal is not complete. I believe that the land belongs to the Jewish people. Surely the Arabs have forfeited their originally weaker claim to the land by virtue of their subsequent attempts at genocide. Statehood would reward and reinforce terrorism. The Arabs may some day make an agreement that sounds neighborly on paper, but they retain their jihadist ideology for eventual war. The slogan may be "land for peace," but the reality is land for war.

The function of a university was not defined clearly. Yes, the professors should be scholars and not propagandists. Yes, they should not seek to indoctrinate students. But they also should give students access to a body of knowledge, whereas they now give them access to assertions contrary to fact. Parents don't send their youth to a university to be indoctrinated in wanton hatred against their country and in sympathy for people who want to conquer the world. University support for terrorism is support for war crimes, not legitimate points of view.

I think that totalitarian, imperialist, violent, antisemitic, and deceitful ideologies, whether Nazi, Communist, or Islamic, have no place in the universities of democratic countries. Certainly, a tiny country under siege has a right and duty to bar the kind of subversion that would get its people expelled and even murdered. That is not a matter of a difference of legitimate viewpoints. It is a matter of barbarism versus civilization. It is a matter of survival. There is plenty of room for clashing viewpoints within a civilized arena. Ancient Rome let masses of barbarians in, and fell to them, though there were other reasons too. A country such as Israel has a right and duty to prevent that ill fate.

Israelis are starting to realize the sense of national self-defense in civilian life. They may be floundering over which innovative legislation makes the proper reform. But abusers who need to be reformed seize upon legislative stumbling to claim they are being treated unfairly — they want to resume treating the rest of the country unfairly and with slander. Let us try to help Israel find ways to protect civil liberties from legislative excess while it fashions legislation that protects civil liberties from subversives.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Kaufman, December 30, 2011.

This Shabbat's Haftorah for the Torah Portion VAYIGASH — Ezekiel 37:15-28)


37.15 Then God's word came to me, saying:

16 "And And you, son of man, take a (piece of) wood and write on it, For Yehudah and his fellow Israelites,' and take another stick and write on it, 'For Yosef — a stick for (his son) Efrayim and (the other tribes) the whole house of Israel with him."

17 "Bring them close to one another, so they (resemble) one stick and they will (miraculously) join in your hands to be one."

18 "When your people say to you, 'Tell us what these mean to you."

19 "Say to them, 'Almighty God says, "Observe! I am taking the stick of Yosef which is in Efrayim's hand, and the tribes of Israel with him; and I am placing the stick of Yehudah on it. I will make them one stick, and they will join in My hand."

20 "The sticks on which you have written should be (in your hands) before their eyes."

21 "(While you are holding the sticks) tell them, 'This is what Almighty God said: "I will take the Jews from among the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from (all) around and bring them to their Land."

22 "I will make them one nation in the Land, in the hills of Israel, and. all of them will have one king. They will no longer be two nations (of Yehudah and the other tribes), and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms."

23 They will no longer be defiled by their idols, their abominations and all their sins. I will save them (from where they are lost) in all the communities where they sinned, and I will purify them (from their sins). They will be My people (who believe in Me and observe My mitzvos), and I will be their God (to save them and help them)."

24 "My servant (Mashiach, a descendant of) David, will be king over them and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow My laws and guard My statutes (in their hearts), and fulfill them."

25 "They will settle in the Land that I gave to My servant Ya'akov, the Land where their ancestors lived. They and their children and their grandchildren will live there forever, and David my servant will be their leader forever."

26 "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it will be an eternal covenant with them. I will establish them (there forever) and cause them to multiply, and I will place My Sanctuary among them (so it stands) forever."

27 "My Divine Presence will be among them. I will be their God (to help them and save them), and they will be My people (to believe in Me and keep My mitzvos)."

28 "The nations will know that I am God, Who sanctifies Israel, since My Sanctuary will be among them forever."

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website ( This essay is archived at

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, December 30, 2011.

Why Sri Lanka, but not Samaria?

Why not Rhodesia, but the "West Bank?"

It's admirable (don't you think?) when a people throws off the legacy of imperial oppression to embrace their new freedom. The very renaming of nations themselves has often been a reflection of this wonderful development.

Admirable, indeed — unless those people happen to be Jews.

Among the examples of this which have occurred over the last half century are people who lived in Great Britain's former imperial possessions of Ceylon, Rhodesia, and Burma. Those nations are now known as Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.

While I've thought about this for decades, what brought this issue onto my own front burner was an article I read recently about Myanmar's pro-democracy hero and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi. Too often foreign imperialism gets supplanted by home-grown despotism, as the latter knows only too well.

Here's the problem, and admittedly, the Jews pose a unique case related to this discussion due to their forced exile in the wake of taking on the imperial conqueror of much of the known world not just once, but in two major (and other lesser) revolts recorded in depth by the Romans themselves. Before we proceed, please contemplate this thought for a moment...

Is a victim any less a victim because his victimization has been historically the longest enduring?

While the so-called "Progressives" of the world are adamant that the previous imperialist names of conquered lands be dismissed, why is it that when it comes to dealing with the oft-conquered land of the Jews, the opposite is the case?

Such sources of ethical enlightenment frequently insist instead that the millennia-old names of the land — Israel, Judea, and Samaria — be abandoned for the sake of the names Roman, British, and Arab imperialism and conquest gave to them instead..."Palestine" and the "West Bank."

Everyone else is entitled to national liberation...but not Jews. The latter must agree to their scapegoat, victim, and preferred whipping post par excellence existence for eternity. Or just disappear.

With Christmas 2011 still very much of recent memory, a good portion of the world once again became familiar with the story of Jesus' birth. During this season, it has also become common for Arabs to declare the alleged "Palestinian"(non-Jewish) identity of Jesus.

Since I've answered this with both barrels elsewhere, I won't bother with the deliberate Arab attempt to hijack another people's identity in this essay.

But, since the subject is directly related to the overall issue of whose nation truly needs to be liberated in the land, please read whatever version you prefer on your favorite search engine of my earlier analysis, Arafat's Jesus. Here's the moderate Muslim print newspaper, Pakistan Today's, version from early 2004 and a recent update from this year in Virtual Jerusalem...

Returning to the account of Jesus' birth, among other places, this appears briefly in Matthew 2:1 in which Bethlehem of Judea is declared his birth place. Bethlehem ("House of Bread" in Hebrew) was also the birth place of King David, over a thousand years earlier, the site of the beautiful story of Ruth and Naomi (even earlier), and so forth. And if the Arabs (whoops — excuse me, "Palestinians") can claim Jesus, then Ruth, Naomi, and David were theirs too.and I'm the Passover Bunny.

Note, please, that this is the same Judaea (Hebrew:Yehudah; Greek: Ioudaia; Latin: of the Judeans — Jews) which the ancient Roman and Roman-sponsored historians — Pliny, Tacitus, Josephus, Dio Cassius, and others — wrote about themselves; the same Judea which Rome placed on its Judea Capta coins after defeating the first major revolt of the Jews for their freedom and independence after 70 C.E., constructed the towering, still standing Arch of Titus for in Rome, etc. and so forth.

And "Palestine"?

Shame on the "Progressives," for sure.

While the geographical coastal region near Gaza and such had sometimes earlier been loosely designated as such by the Greeks, the name itself referred to no separate country nor nation. Indeed, there never, ever, ever was such a separate country, language, nation, or culture by that name.

The cold, cruel fact — so willingly ignored by the "Progressive" Left — is that "Palestine" became associated with Israel/Judea by one of the most blatant acts of imperial cruelty ever to be recorded in history.

After the Jews' costly second revolt for freedom in the second century C.E., the Emperor, Hadrian, decided to try to squash the Jews' hopes once and for all by renaming the land itself after their historic enemies, the Philistines — a non-Semitic (let alone non-Arab) invading "Sea People" from the islands near Crete.

Below are two of my oft-quoted favorite excerpts from contemporary Roman historians once again.

After the first revolt...

It inflamed Vespasian's (the Emperor) ire that the Jews were the only nation which had not yet submitted.Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea. he commanded three legions in Judaea itself. To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria. amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations. Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus.

Please note: the Arabs mentioned in the above account were foreigners to the land, acting virtually as vultures, looking to grab a share of the main Roman kill. They were not "native Palestinians."

And, after the second revolt...

580,000 men were slain, nearly the whole of Judaea made desolate. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war (the Bar Kochba Revolt). Therefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, ' I and the legions are in health'. Dio's Roman History.

The Emperor was so enraged at the Jews' struggle for liberation from their imperial oppressors that, in the words of the esteemed modern historian, Bernard Lewis.

Hadrian made a determined attempt to stamp out the embers not only of the revolt but also of Jewish nationhood and statehood. obliterating its Jewish identity.

To reiterate this important point, wishing to end, once and for all, Judean/"Jewish" (as in Danish, Irish, Swedish, English, etc.) hopes for independence from their imperial conqueror, Hadrian renamed the land itself from Judaea to "Syria Palaestina" — Palestine — after the Jews' historic enemies, the Philistines, a non-Semitic "Sea People" from the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

Yet, one is hard pressed to discover any of the above these days.

Again, no people — besides Jews — had ever established an enduring, separate identity in the land.

After the fall of Judea, only one imperial conqueror after another (including that of the Arabs during the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, ruled from Damascus and Baghdad respectively) grabbed hold of the land — ruling it from afar and colonizing it with their own invading armies. Before the modern era, the Ottoman Turks were the latest to do this, ruling the land for about four centuries until after World War I.

Arabs who both earlier and later came to settle on the land were part of a greater Arab — not "Palestinian" — identity. They spoke Arabic, their culture was Arab, their loyalties were to family, clan, and tribe, and later — in the 20th century age of nationalism in the region (and largely to oppose the resurrection of Israel) — those who were politically active gave their loyalty primarily to a Greater Syria or Pan Arab identity.not to "Palestine."And that's what Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, was also referring to in his recent comments on the subject

As with Palestine, the story evolved in a similar way regarding the imperial renaming of Judea and Samaria to the "West Bank" as well.

In one account after another about Bethlehem, Hebron, East Jerusalem, and other places in historical Judea and Samaria, those towns have been designated by statesmen, journalists, academics, and others the "West Bank" instead — or, "the occupied" West Bank, to add insult to injury. Judeans/Jews living in those areas are now the alleged "imperialist occupiers" of the land.

And those who beg to differ are more often than not simply dismissed as reactionary Zionist fanatics.

With few exceptions, however, it's easy to discover that almost all the towns on the "West Bank" were re-named from their original Hebrew sites.

Check out these excerpts from this source ("What's In A Town's name?") for starters. After the Arab imperial conquests of the 7th century C.E.,

as with Dor and Tantura, the original name-changers in Palestine were the Arabs, who Arabized hundreds of Hebrew place names when they replaced the Jewish population of the country after the Muslim conquest.

In the great majority of cases, Arabization took place by adjusting old Hebrew names to Arabic phonetic patterns. Sometimes these changes were minor, leaving the old names recognizable.

Biblical Anatot near Jerusalem, the birthplace of the prophet Jeremiah, became the Muslim village of Anata; Modi'in, where the revolt of the Maccabees broke out, turned into Midia; Bet-She'an, in the Jordan Valley south of Tiberias, was called Beisan.

Often, however, the changes were great enough to obscure the original name. One might never guess from the sound of it that Jenin, the West Bank town that was so controversially in the news a while ago, was once the Hebrew Ein-Gannim; that the Palestinian village of Jib was the biblical Giv'on, where the sun stood still so that Joshua could finish routing the Amorite kings; or that Bet-El, "the House of God," the name given according to the Bible by Jacob to the site on which he dreamed of a ladder to heaven, is now the Palestinian Beitin.

Add to the above the Minutes of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations and other solid documentation which show that the vast majority of Arabs were indeed newcomers into the land themselves (i.e., Arab settlers setting up Arab settlements), and the picture becomes even clearer.

Judea and Samaria — the names the disputed territories now constantly making news were known as for thousands of years — became designated the "West Bank" in the wake of World War I and the official break-up of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

After Great Britain's handing over some 78% of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine's territory to Arab nationalism in 1922 with the creation of Transjordan, a quarter century later the latter's British-led army then grabbed the non-apportioned part of the Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River upon its invasion of a minuscule, reborn Israel in 1948. Holding both banks of the river, it soon changed its name to Jordan.

And to distinguish the east bank from the newly-conquered territory across the river acquired as a result of the newest imperial shenanigans in the land, the name "West Bank" was thus born.

Jews had owned land and lived in Judea and Samaria until they were massacred by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. Upon the establishment of the first Arab state in Palestine in 1922, its whole area was declared off limits to Jews. When it illegally seized Judea and Samaria in 1948, it did likewise there as well.

Keep in mind that when those above Arabs then also bulldozed dozens of ancient synagogues, used ancient Jewish tombstones to pave roads and build latrines, and took other measures to erase the Jews' millennial connections to the land as well, barely a word was spoken in protest, besides those of the Jews themselves.

And today, the only thing that "Progressives" do about all of this is turn truth on its head. Jews and others who dare call the land by its historic names and insist that Jews should also have the right to once again live in their historic lands (displacing no one in the process on the still non-apportioned — not "purely Arab" — lands of the original 1920 Mandate) are branded the colonialists and imperialists instead.

Here's another thought, while we're at it.

If Judea must become, as many insist and, as the Nazis liked to say, Judenrein (free of Jews), then why should the one fifth of Israel who are Arabs (the freest Arabs living anywhere in the region) not also get the boot out of Israel? Many of such folks indeed compose a very dangerous, treasonous fifth column.

Despite the tragedy of the Roman Wars and the expulsions and Great Diaspora which followed, Jews remained in the land, in varying numbers, clear up to the rebirth of Israel in 1948.

While this does not give Jews exclusive rights to the land since others have conquered and come to settle it over the centuries, it does mean that Jews are anything but strangers there. Indeed, the historic names of the land itself are named for one of the Patriarchs of the Jewish people — Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, and Judah, one of Jacob's sons. On the other hand, Arabs claim exclusive rights to virtually the entire region, calling it "purely Arab patrimony" due to their own former imperial conquests and despite scores of millions of subjugated, non-Arab peoples still living there.

As just one of many examples which could be cited of this continuous Jewish presence, clear up to the dawn of the Arab conquest in the 7th century, Euthychius, the 10th century Patriarch of Alexandria, wrote in his book of history (Annals of Euthychius I, 216) about tens of thousands of Jewish warriors who aided the invading Persians against the hated Byzantine successors to the Romans in the area.

Regardless of the hypocrisy of the Progressive Left and others who should know better, in Judea and Samaria — as in Israel — the Jews are, at long last, home.

The Judean Hills and the Judean Wilderness will not be renamed the West Bank Hills nor the West Bank Wilderness for the sake of the Jimmy Carters, Michael Moores, Reverend Wrights, and the Noam Chomskys...nor for the Nicholas Sarkozys, Barack Hussein Obamas, or Hillary Rodham Clintons either (let alone the Arabs and their assorted other rah rah squads).

Furthermore, despite the hostility towards Israel practiced by many of the mainline Christian churches today, the birthplace of Jesus will remain in Bethlehem of Judea...not the West Bank.

Matthew 2:1 will not be edited.

Unless folks like black Africans in Zimbabwe and Asians in Myanmar (who, despite other problems, were not largely massacred and expelled by their own imperial conquerors who gave their lands other names — as were the Jews) are expected to call themselves Rhodesians and Burmese and not be allowed to live on their own historic lands, then the duplicity routinely practiced towards Jews in Israel, Judea, and Samaria on these same issues must come to an end as well. And, if not, then the Jews must do what they must do to thrive — not just survive — anyway.

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at or go to his website:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 30, 2011.


The U.S. is letting Boeing sell $30 billion for 84 F-15SA's — the latest warplanes and training for them — and upgrades to Saudi Arabia's air force. The new jets "are among the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world." The U.S. government has offered Saudi Arabia strike helicopters.

The explanations accompanying the announcement describes the deal as bolstering U.S.-Saudi relations, promoting an ally's counter-balance to Iran, not dulling Israel's "qualitative edge," and providing 50,000 U.S. jobs (IMRA, 12/31/11 from 3/131564/us%2C-saudi-sign-%2430 and NY Times, 12/31/11).

When they estimate the number of jobs, they do not indicate how long those jobs will exist. Perhaps it's 50,000 for three years, then 5,000 for maintenance for another decade.

Saudi Arabia sponsors jihad against the West. We could make even more money selling to other enemies of the U.S.. Another such enemy is Egypt, also mistakenly called an ally. The Mubarak regime oversaw the increasing radicalization of Islamic thought in the country. Now the Muslim Brotherhood is about to take over the country. Nevertheless, the U.S. still ships modern arms to Egypt. (At least Israel has the sense to curb new arms sales to Turkey. Worse in the case of Egypt is that those arms are paid for by the U.S.. The U.S. government ties up funds that investors could use, so probably U.S. policy toward Egypt reduces employment. If the government ceased its overbearing and useless regulations and excessive spending and taxes, and let foreign engineering graduates from U.S. universities work here, the U.S. would have ample employment.

Yes, we don't want Iran to take over Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia has other interests, besides Iran. A previous sale to the Saudis was pre-conditions on their not moving them near Israel and not attaching auxiliary fuel tanks. Saudi Arabia violated those conditions, but was not held to account. Thus it has proved itself unreliable.

Dozens of "the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world," on top of tens of billions of dollars of earlier sales, but no matter how many dozens of billions of dollars the U.S. uses to arm Israel's enemies, nothing dulls Israel's qualitative edge? If Congress had any appetite for serious investigation, it would investigate that claim.

Much U.S. policy is hypocritical and counter-productive.


Masses of Egyptians burned down Institut d'Egypte on December 17.

The institution had 200,000 books on Egypt, but barbarians destroyed it. Destruction of pre-Islamic culture is a feature of Islamic rule.

In the medieval era, religious zealots defaced the Sphinx. In 1952, more arson in Cairo.

Muslims destroyed Hindu temples in India. Turkey destroyed churches in northern Cyprus. Palestinian Arabs sacked the Tomb of Joseph [and attacked other Jewish sites, including artifacts on the Temple Mount]. The Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha. Iraqis pillaged museums, libraries, and archives. Saudis destroyed antiquities in Mecca. Malaysia destroyed an historic Hindu temple. Apparently many Muslims hate anything non-Islamic, even their own pre-Islamic heritage. Barbaric, aren't they?

Zahi Hawass, the former minister of state for antiquities strove to get foreign museums to return their Egypt collections to Egypt. Daniel Pipes believes that such artifacts are safer in the West, especially now that Egypt's mufti has denounced the private display of statues. He worries that the Egyptian Museum may be the next target (Daniel Pipes, 12/26/11, Cross-posted from National Review Online 12/linstitut-degypte-in-memorium).

I don't think that ancient artifacts would attract people away from Islam. But Islamic intolerance is not rational. An exception to that irrationality is the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) regarding its area and Israel, where evidence of the ancient Jewish presence is pervasive and growing, while Muslims deny and destroy it. The Zionist return of the aboriginal Jewish people is opposed by the Muslims, who intended and still intend to displace them. In order to make up its own claim to the area, the Arabs deny the Jewish claim and try to destroy the evidence of the Jewish claim. Like the Egyptian government, the P.A. demanded the "return" to its area of ancient Jewish artifacts, though the P.A. has no sovereignty and those are not the artifacts of its people. There are not many Arab artifacts in Israel and in the Territories. How tenderly would they care for Jewish artifacts? The P.A. not only is a Holocaust denier, it is a Jewish history denier, a Jewish artifact destroyer, and a fabricator of Palestinian nationalism.

The question to ask is why supposedly right-wing Israeli governments allow Muslim destruction of Jewish artifacts.


President Obama condemned the Muslim massacre of 39 Christians at three Nigerian churches on Christmas, but did not mention Muslims as perpetrators and Christians as victims.

President Obama noted the anniversaries of Hizbullah's 1983 murder of 242 GIs in Lebanon in 1983 and the Iranian seizure of the U.S. embassy in 1979 also failed to mention the Islamic motivation. The U.S. report about an Islamist murder of 13 GIs at Fort Hood did not mention Nidal Hassan's jihadist doctrine nor even his Muslim identity.

Obama officials usually describe terrorist attacks as done by isolated extremists. Actually, some of the attackers had contacts and inspiration from al-Qaida. The Administration does not refer to "Islamism," "radical Islam," or "jihad," not even when those doctrines evidently inspired the attacks. Nor does the Administration's "Strategic Implementation Plan For Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the U.S." mention Radical Islam.

John O. Brennan, U.S. chief national security adviser for counter-terrorism, said that jihad just means to purify oneself. He claims that mentioning jihad would bolster al-Qaida's lie that the U.S. is at war with Islam.

That claim makes no sense. Not when one blames Radical Islam rather than Islam as a whole. Let Obama identify the terrorist groups and specify that he believes that only those groups are at war with the West.

Instead, by refusing to identify Islamic terrorists as such, Obama protects them. He keeps them out of the news enough so that many Americans do not know that jihad is at war with us (Zionist Organization of America, press release, 12/27/11). It is the major international menace of our time.

As I've noticed, every major step by Pres. Obama strengthens Radical Islam or weakens our defense against it. Minor steps, such as slaying some particular terrorist leader, serve to confuse people into thinking that he is a major defender of the U.S.. So he kills the titular head of al-Qaida, an expendable, but defeats our purpose in Iraq by premature withdrawal. Don't be taken in by his use of drones against individuals, when he refuses to oppose their ideological underpinning.


The New York Times presented Israeli Channel 10's struggle for survival as part of "a Wider Political War." Is it? You will see that most of the story is not covered, and that what is covered is miscast.

Israel has two private and one government-owned TV channel. Channel 10 is private. It is known for investigative journalism. One investigation described PM Netanyahu as having traveled abroad in great luxury on "friends'" expense accounts when he was a public official but not Prime Minister. He resented that expose. He is not said to have disputed or explained it.

The article suggests that traveling at others' expense may be illegal. May be? One can guess that if the subsidy is in return for government favors, it is illegal. If illegal, why no prosecution? If no prosecution, is Netanyahu being defamed? Not explained.

The station owes $11 million, mostly to regulators, the rest in taxes. Prompt payment is demanded by the government. The sum seems greater than the station's resources. The newspaper assumes that the Prime Minister is using the station's weak finances to repress media criticism of him. Evidence of that motive? None given. Accuse without evidence?

How did the station come to owe regulators millions? Does the regulation accomplish anything? Most regulations don't. Does the station owe other business and employees money? Not explained. The station's tax problem is important background, but that newspaper omits background that does not bolsters its ideological position. The paper does quote associates of PM Netanyahu who filed a libel suit against the station — why associates, and how justified their suit? They say that the issue is not one of free press, because the station's debts were forgiven numerous times. I think that argument is deficient, because this time the Prime Minister is the butt of the station's expose.

The report might have filled in the fact that a few years ago, prosecutors put PM Netanyahu through grilling and false accusations about petty larceny that he did not commit. Some predecessors who did commit them but were not prosecuted. Prosecution in Israel seems serous only about perceived right-wingers.

The wider political war to which the Times refers is "between the left and the right involving efforts to control the judiciary, the reporting of news, and public discourse." (Ethan Bronner, 12/27/11, A1.)

The problem with political labels is that the NY Times uses labels mistakenly and as pejoratives to diminish the stature of people who oppose its ideology. For example, the newspaper calls PM Netanyahu and former PM Sharon and their parties "right wing." Both those Prime Ministers withdrew Israeli forces from parts of the Territories. That was left-wing appeasement, which facilitated terrorism. Both regimes sided with Arabs against Jews on land disputes. I have elaborated on that elsewhere.

Whereas the U.S. has some constitutional restraints on the judiciary, Israel has none. The Israeli judiciary is self-perpetuating by a Far Left clique. It intrudes on any legislation it wishes. It rewrites or nullifies laws to suit its pro-Arab bias, without regard to legality and precedent. This is a serious defect in democratic rule that some Israelis want to correct. But the Times does not explain that, it only cites false leftist claims that the attempt is to control the views of the judiciary — which the Left now controls. Apparently, control over the judiciary is all right if not by the Right.

Israel was set up as statist, whereby government and labor owned industries, government over-regulated business to the point of making them inefficient, and government controlled broadcasting licenses. It was a supposedly right-wing Likud Prime Minister who closed down a Jewish nationalist radio station, Arutz-7, which broadcast, it claimed, from beyond Israeli territorial waters. When the ship docked for repairs, the government seized its equipment and put it out of business for operating without a license. The government refused to allow a Jewish nationalist station to broadcast on national issues. That is an abuse of licensing powers. PM Netanyahu did not reform that abuse, although Army Radio, most of the newspapers, the universities, and the arts were leftist and biased about it. Let us not call Likud and Netanyahu right wing or ignore the Left's treasonous efforts.

A new newspaper on the scene has injected some balance. A reaction is setting in to university social studies departments being anti-Israel and giving comfort to terrorists. Another reaction is setting in to hostile foreign governments subsidizing otherwise unpopular anti-Zionist NGOs so as to impose foreigners' policy upon little Israel.

The NY Times emphasizes the Left's complaint that the reaction is censorship. Actually, the Left cries "censorship" or "McCarthyism" whenever anyone criticizes Leftist falsifiers of history and of using the universities to indoctrinate students. The Left censors the Right, as by universities not hiring right-wingers and demanding that students adopt the leftist line and the government arresting rabbis, etc.. The newspaper does not offer objective facts or a fair discussion of these problems of scholarship, national security, and independence.


Calls are going out from leaders of the two Islamist parties that received a combined 60% of Egypt's recent vote to restore the Jizya, a special and onerous religious tax on Christians and Jews. In line with those calls, mobs of Muslims have been demanding that tax and have been attacking Christians in behalf of it.

Koran 9:29 exhorts, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid that which Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], from the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued."

Salafi leader Abu Shadi "announced that Egypt's Christians must either convert to Islam, pay jizya and assume inferior status, or die." (Raymond Ibrahim, Jihad Watch, 12/15/11,

Islamist parties all over first reassure people that they will not impose Islamic law, but then they move to impose it. The reassurance is meant to ally resistance to their attaining power. It succeeds. My NY City newspapers get taken in by it.

In country after country, Muslim mobs attack innocent non-believers. The Muslims describe Islamic law as protecting non-believers, at least Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. Protect from what, Muslim mobs? Why should people need protection? But what they call protection is humiliation and exploitation. In many countries, the Muslims seem to relish feeling superior to others. They like to add insult to injury.

Shouldn't they have the grace to thank Pres. Obama for easing their path to power?

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Robert Hand, December 30, 2011.

This was written by Caroline B. Glick and it appeared in Jewish World Review (


In recent months, a curious argument has surfaced in favor of US President Barack Obama. His supporters argue that Obama's foreign policy has been a massive success. If he had as much freedom of action on domestic affairs as he has on foreign affairs, they argue, his achievements in all areas would be without peer.

Expressing this view, Karen Finney a former Democratic spokeswoman who often defends the party in the US media told the Huffington Post, "Look at the progress the president can make when he doesn't have Republicans obstructing him."

According to a Gallup poll from early November, the US public also believes that Obama's foreign policy has been successful. Whereas 67 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy and the federal budget deficit, 63 percent of Americans approved of his terrorism strategy. So too, 52 percent approved of his decision to remove US forces from Iraq. In general 49 percent of Americans approved of Obama's handling of foreign affairs while 44 percent disapproved.

These support levels tell us a great deal about the insularity of the American public. For when one assesses the impact to date of Obama's foreign policy it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that if the US public was more aware of the actual consequences of his policies, his approval rating in foreign affairs would be even lower than his approval rating in domestic policy. Indeed, a cursory examination of the impact so far of Obama's foreign policies in country after country and region after region indicates that his policies have been more damaging to US national interests than those of any president since Jimmy Carter. And unlike Obama, Americans widely recognized that Carter's foreign policies were failed and dangerous.

The failure of Obama's foreign policies to date has been nowhere more evident than in the Middle East.

Take Iraq for instance. Obama and his supporters claim that the withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq is one of his great accomplishments. By pulling out, Obama kept his promise to voters to end the war in "a responsible manner." And as the polling data indicate, most Americans are willing to give him credit for the move. But the situation on the ground is dangerous and getting worse every day. Earlier this month, just ahead of the departure of the last US forces from Iraq, Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited with Obama at the White House. Immediately after he returned home, the Shiite premier began a ruthless campaign against his Sunni coalition partners in a no-holds barred bid to transform the Iraqi government and armed forces into partisan institutions controlled by his Dawa Party.

Forces commanded by Maliki's son arrested and allegedly tortured several of the Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashimi's bodyguards. They forced the guards to implicate Hashimi in terror plots. Maliki subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi. So too, he issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq and fired him without permission from the Iraqi parliament.

Hashimi and Mutlaq are now in hiding in Erbil. Maliki is demanding that the Kurdish regional government extradite them to Baghdad for trial. Maliki's actions have driven Sunni leaders in the Sunni provinces of Diyala, Anbar and Salahadin to demand autonomy under Iraq's federal system. He has responded by deploying loyal forces to the provinces to fight the local militias.

The situation is so explosive that three prominent Sunni leaders, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the Iraqiya party, Parliament

Speaker Osama Nujaifi, and Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi published an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday begging Obama to rein in Maliki in order to prevent Iraq from plunging into civil war.

Then there is Egypt. Obama's decision in February to abandon then president Hosni Mubarak, the US's most dependable ally in the Arab world in favor of the protesters in Tahrir Square was hailed by his supporters as a victory for democracy and freedom against tyranny. By supporting the protesters against the US ally, Obama argued that he was advancing US interests by showing the Muslim world the US favored the people over their leaders.

Ten months later, the Egyptian people have responded to this populist policy by giving jihadist parties a two-thirds majority in Egypt's parliamentary elections. For the first time in thirty years, the strategic anchor of US power in the Arab world — the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty — is in danger. Indeed, there is no reason to believe it will survive.

According to the Gallup poll, 48 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan and 44 percent disapprove. Here too, it is far from clear what there is to approve of. Against the public entreaties of the US commanders on the ground, Obama is carrying through on his pledge to withdraw all US surge troops from Afghanistan by the US presidential elections in November. In the meantime, the US is engaged in negotiations with the Taliban. The purpose of these negotiations is to reach a political agreement that would set the conditions for the Taliban to return to power after a US pullout. That is, the purpose of the talks is to set the conditions for a US defeat in Afghanistan. The administration hails its success in overthrowing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi without sacrificing a single US soldier. And certainly, this was a success. However, Qaddafi's opponents, who are now taking charge of the country, are arguably worse for the US than Qaddafi was. They include a significant number of al Qaida terrorists and are dominated by jihadist forces. Attempts by the NATO-backed provisional government to convince them to disarm have failed completely.

Since Qaddafi was overthrown, large quantities of advanced weapons from his arsenal — allegedly including stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction — have gone missing. Significant quantities of Libyan shoulder-to-air missiles have made their way to Gaza since Qaddafi's overthrow.

In Syria, while the administration insists that dictator Bashar Assad's days in power are numbered, it is doing essentially nothing to support the Syrian opposition. Fearing the instability that would ensue if a civil war were to break out in Iran's Arab protectorate, the US has chosen to effectively sit on its hands and so cancel any leverage it ought to wield over the shape of things to come.

As to Iran, Obama's policies have brought about a situation where the regime in Teheran does not fear a US military strike on its nuclear installations. Obama's open opposition to the prospect of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear installations has similarly convinced the regime that it can proceed without fear in its nuclear project. Iran's threat this week to close the Straits of Hormuz in the event that the US imposes an embargo on Iranian oil exports is being widely characterized by the US media as a sign of desperation on the part of the regime. But it is hard to see how this characterization aligns with reality. It is far more appropriate to view Iran's easy threats as a sign of contempt for Obama and for US power projection under his leadership.

If Iran's ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons are thwarted, it will be despite Obama, not because of him.

Then there is the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Due to Obama's unbridled hostility towards Israel, there is no chance whatsoever that Israel and the PLO will reach a peace deal for the foreseeable future. Instead, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their forces. The only thing standing in the way of a Hamas takeover of the PLO is the US Congress's threat to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority. For his part, Obama has gone out of his way to discredit the Congressional threat by serving as an indefatigable lobbyist for maintaining US financial support for the PA.

Of course, the Middle East is not the only region where the deleterious consequences of Obama's foreign policy are being felt. From Europe, to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, Obama's determination to embrace US adversaries like Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez has weakened pro-US forces and strengthened US foes.

So how is that that while Carter was perceived by the majority of the American public as a foreign policy failure, a large plurality of Americans views Obama's foreign policy as a success?

Obama's success in hiding his failures from the American public owes to two related factors. First, to date the US has not been forced to contend directly with the consequences of his failures.

Carter's failures were impossible to ignore because the blowback from his failures was immediate, unmistakable and harsh. His betrayal of the Shah of Iran led directly to the takeover of the US Embassy in Teheran and the hostage crisis. Carter could not spin to his advantage the daily stories about the hostages. He could not influence CBS evening news anchor Walter Cronkite's decision to end every broadcast by reminding viewers how many days the hostages had been in captivity.

So too, the consequences of Carter's weakness in confronting the Soviet Union were impossible to ignore or minimize with images of Soviet tank columns invading Afghanistan dominating the news.

To date, Obama's foreign policy failures have yet to explode in a manner that can make the average American aware of them.

Then too, Obama and his advisors have been extremely adept in presenting his tactical achievements as strategic victories. So it is that the administration has successfully cast the killing of Osama bin Laden as a strategic victory in the war on terror. Obama has upheld the mission, as well as the killing of al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki as proof of his competence in securing US interests. And to a large degree, the US public has accepted his claims.

Because it is impossible to know when Obama's failures will begin to directly impact the America people, it is possible that he will not pay a political price for them in the 2012 elections. Be that as it may, the Republican presidential contenders would provide an invaluable service to both themselves and the American public as a whole if they make exposing Obama's disastrous stewardship of US foreign policy a central plank of their campaigns.

At a minimum, forewarned is forearmed. And the dimensions of Obama's failures are so enormous, that it is clear that the American people will suffer their consequences for years to come.

Contact Robert Hand by email at

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, December 30, 2011.

The 2012 stormy Arab Street is not heading towards a solution; it is heading towards exacerbated problems of state-sponsored terrorism, uncertainty and shifty regimes, policies and alliances. The 2012 Arab Street will not highlight the Arab Ghandis, Mandelas and MLKs; it will be dominated by the trans-national Muslim Brotherhood, which embraces Muhammad-style Islam as the sole-tolerated religious, political, social, military and moral compass. The Muslim Brotherhood aims to dominate the Abode of Islam, as a prelude to the physical subjugation of the morally-inferior Abode of the Infidel.

On December 29, 2011, Adel Al Toraifi, the Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Arab affairs magazine, Al Majalla accurately analyzed the Muslim Brotherhood's political sophistication. He quoted the former Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, Mahda Akef: "for us, democracy is like a pair of slippers that we wear until we reach the bathroom, and then we take them off." Al Toraifi maintains that "The Muslim Brotherhood is skilled at political planning and tactics.... Those who expect — or hope — that the Muslim Brotherhood will...resemble the Islamist experience in Turkey, have no concrete evidence for this whatsoever, rather this is merely wishful thinking."

The deterioration of the Arab Street is, primarily, a derivative of the 1,400 year suppressive, intolerant monopoly of Islam over the religious, educational, cultural and, sometimes, the political and military sectors of Arab societies. Egypt was considered a relatively moderate Muslim country, but 2011 ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood in full force, awaiting the opportunity to assert itself, politically, between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2012 Arab Street will be further fueled by the American evacuation of Iraq. The evacuation could produce a volcanic eruption, in Iraq, consuming the pro-US regime in Baghdad, playing into the hands of Iran, which aspires to dominate the Persian Gulf and promotes anti-US regimes in the Mid-East and beyond (e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador). The US departure from Iraq could, also, wreak havoc in Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.

While the US' strategic arm in the Mid-East is getting shorter, the Russian and Chinese Mid-East profile is growing stronger, providing a tailwind to anti-US regimes.

The 2012 Arab Street could dwarf the seismic events of 2011, impacting national and regional security and the resulting security requirements. The lower the stability and life-expectancy of Mid-East regimes, the shiftier are their ideology, policies and commitments (e.g., Egypt's and Jordan's peace accords with Israel). The higher the volatility of the Arab Street, the higher is the security threshold and requirements in the face of that volatility. Moreover, the shorter the US' strategic arm, the less effective is its posture of deterrence, the more adrenalized are rogue regimes, the more acute is the threat of war and the higher are the security requirements in the face of the stormy Arab Street.

The threshold of Israel's security requirements is rising as the threats are mounting.

According to Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War, "I cannot defend this land (Israel) without that terrain (West Bank)... Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible." General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps stated that "missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don't negate the strategic significance of territorial depth.... To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Israel.... It remains true in the era of modern missiles."

The Judea and Samaria mountain ridges — the cradle of Jewish history — constitute the most effective tank obstacle (a 2,000ft-3,000ft slope over-towering the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel's infrastructure). It is a dream platform of invasion to the 8-15 miles wide pre-1967 Israel, in the most conflict-ridden, unpredictable and treacherous neighborhood in the world, where there has never been an intra-Arab comprehensive peace, or intra-Arab compliance with most intra-Arab agreements. The Judea and Samaria mountain ridges are indispensable to Israel's survival in the raging Mid-East.

An insecure Israel would be a liability, rather than an asset, to the US. An insecure Israel would not be able to deter an Arab invasion of Jordan — which could have spilled over into Saudi Arabia — as Israel did in September 1970, when the US was bogged down in Vietnam. An insecure Israel would not be able to perform as "the largest US aircraft carrier which does not require a single US soldier, saving the US $20 billion annually (the late General Alexander Haig)."

Shabbat Shalom and may 2012 be top heavy on health, challenge and rewards,

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at This appeared December 30, 2011 in the "Israel Hayom" newsletter, newsletter_opinion.php?id=1105

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Posted by Yoram Fisher, December 30, 2011.

A fascinating read on what would have happened if we had not had and used the atomic bombs on Japan.


Declassified plans for WW II invasion of Japan

Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped "Top Secret". These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II.

Only a few Americans in 1945 were aware of the elaborate plans that had been prepared for the Allied Invasion of the Japanese home islands. Even fewer today are aware of the defenses the Japanese had prepared to counter the invasion had it been launched. Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945. It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire.

In the first invasion — code named "Operation Olympic" — American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 — 61 years ago. Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment.

The second invasion on March 1, 1946 — code named "Operation Coronet" — would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain. Its goal: the unconditional surrender of Japan.

With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Downfall was to be a strictly American operation. It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8 Air Force (recently redeployed from Europe), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force. More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 — would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.

Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate.

During the summer of 1945, America had little time to prepare for such an endeavor, but top military leaders were in almost unanimous agreement that an invasion was necessary.

While naval blockade and strategic bombing of Japan was considered to be useful, General MacArthur, for instance, did not believe a blockade would bring about an unconditional surrender. The advocates for invasion agreed that while a naval blockade chokes, it does not kill; and though strategic bombing might destroy cities, it leaves whole armies intact.

So on May 25, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extensive deliberation, issued to General MacArthur, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Army Air Force General Henry Arnold, the top secret directive to proceed with the invasion of Kyushu. The target date was after the typhoon season.

President Truman approved the plans for the invasions July 24. Two days later, the United Nations issued the Potsdam Proclamation, which called upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or face total destruction. Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender.

During this same period it was learned — via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts — that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its school children, was arming its civilian population and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses.

Operation Olympic called for a four pronged assault on Kyushu. Its purpose was to seize and control the southern one-third of that island and establish naval and air bases, to tighten the naval blockade of the home islands, to destroy units of the main Japanese army and to support the later invasion of the Tokyo Plain.

The preliminary invasion would begin October 27 when the 40th Infantry Division would land on a series of small islands west and southwest of Kyushu. At the same time, the 158th Regimental Combat Team would invade and occupy a small island 28 miles south of Kyushu. On these islands, seaplane bases would be established and radar would be set up to provide advance air warning for the invasion fleet, to serve as fighter direction centers for the carrier-based aircraft and to provide an emergency anchorage for the invasion fleet, should things not go well on the day of the invasion.

As the invasion grew imminent, the massive firepower of the Navy — the Third and Fifth Fleets — would approach Japan. The Third Fleet, under Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, with its big guns and naval aircraft, would provide strategic support for the operation against Honshu and Hokkaido. Halsey's fleet would be composed of battleships, heavy cruisers, destroyers, dozens of support ships and three fast carrier task groups. From these carriers, hundreds of Navy fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes would hit targets all over the island of Honshu. The 3,000 ship Fifth Fleet, under Admiral Raymond Spruance, would carry the invasion troops.

Several days before the invasion, the battleships, heavy cruisers and destroyers would pour thousands of tons of high explosives into the target areas. They would not cease the bombardment until after the land forces had been launched. During the early morning hours of November 1, the invasion would begin. Thousands of soldiers and Marines would pour ashore on beaches all along the eastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of Kyushu. Waves of Helldivers, Dauntless dive bombers, Avengers, Corsairs, and Hellcats from 66 aircraft carriers would bomb, rocket and strafe enemy defenses, gun emplacements and troop concentrations along the beaches.

The Eastern Assault Force consisting of the 25th, 33rd, and 41st Infantry Divisions, would land near Miyaski, at beaches called Austin, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Ford, and move inland to attempt to capture the city and its nearby airfield. The Southern Assault Force, consisting of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 43rd Division and Americal Division would land inside Ariake Bay at beaches labeled DeSoto, Dusenberg, Essex, Ford, and Franklin and attempt to capture Shibushi and the city of Kanoya and its airfield.

On the western shore of Kyushu, at beaches Pontiac, Reo, Rolls Royce, Saxon, Star, Studebaker, Stutz, Winston and Zephyr, the V Amphibious Corps would land the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Marine Divisions, sending half of its force inland to Sendai and the other half to the port city of Kagoshima.

On November 4, the Reserve Force, consisting of the 81st and 98th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division, after feigning an attack on the island of Shikoku, would be landed — if not needed elsewhere — near Kaimondake, near the southernmost tip of Kagoshima Bay, at the beaches designated Locomobile, Lincoln, LaSalle, Hupmobile, Moon, Mercedes, Maxwell, Overland, Oldsmobile, Packard, and Plymouth.

Olympic was not just a plan for invasion, but for conquest and occupation as well. It was expected to take four months to achieve its objective, with the three fresh American divisions per month to be landed in support of that operation if needed. If all went well with Olympic, Coronet would be launched March 1, 1946. Coronet would be twice the size of Olympic, with as many as 28 divisions landing on Honshu.

All along the coast east of Tokyo, the American 1st Army would land the 5th, 7th, 27th, 44th, 86th, and 96th Infantry Divisions, along with the 4th and 6th Marine Divisions.

At Sagami Bay, just south of Tokyo, the entire 8th and 10th Armies would strike north and east to clear the long western shore of Tokyo Bay and attempt to go as far as Yokohama. The assault troops landing south of Tokyo would be the 4th, 6th, 8th, 24th, 31st, 37th, 38th, and 8th Infantry Divisions, along with the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions.

Following the initial assault, eight more divisions — the 2nd, 28th, 35th, 91st, 95th, 97th, and 104th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division — would be landed. If additional troops were needed, as expected, other divisions redeployed from Europe and undergoing training in the United States would be shipped to Japan in what was hoped to be the final push.

Captured Japanese documents and post war interrogations of Japanese military leaders disclose that information concerning the number of Japanese planes available for the defense of the home islands was dangerously in error.

During the sea battle at Okinawa alone, Japanese Kamikaze aircraft sank 32 Allied ships and damaged more than 400 others. But during the summer of 1945, American top brass concluded that the Japanese had spent their air force since American bombers and fighters daily flew unmolested over Japan.

What the military leaders did not know was that by the end of July the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland.

As part of Ketsu-Go, the name for the plan to defend Japan — the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases.

On the night before the expected invasion, 50 Japanese seaplane bombers, 100 former carrier aircraft and 50 land based army planes were to be launched in a suicide attack on the fleet.

The Japanese had 58 more airfields in Korea, western Honshu and Shikoku, which also were to be used for massive suicide attacks.

Allied intelligence had established that the Japanese had no more than 2,500 aircraft of which they guessed 300 would be deployed in suicide attacks. In August 1945, however, unknown to Allied intelligence, the Japanese still had 5,651 army and 7,074 navy aircraft, for a total of 12,725 planes of all types. Every village had some type of aircraft manufacturing activity. Hidden in mines, railway tunnels, under viaducts and in basements of department stores, work was being done to construct new planes.

Additionally, the Japanese were building newer and more effective models of the Okka, a rocket-propelled bomb much like the German V-1, but flown by a suicide pilot.

When the invasion became imminent, Ketsu-Go called for a fourfold aerial plan of attack to destroy up to 800 Allied ships.

While Allied ships were approaching Japan, but still in the open seas, an initial force of 2,000 army and navy fighters were to fight to the death to control the skies over Kyushu. A second force of 330 navy combat pilots was to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports. While these two forces were engaged, a third force of 825 suicide planes was to hit the American transports.

As the invasion convoys approached their anchorages, another 2,000 suicide planes were to be launched in waves of 200 to 300, to be used in hour by hour attacks.

By mid-morning of the first day of the invasion, most of the American land-based aircraft would be forced to return to their bases, leaving the defense against the suicide planes to the carrier pilots and the shipboard gunners.

Carrier pilots crippled by fatigue would have to land time and time again to rearm and refuel. Guns would malfunction from the heat of continuous firing and ammunition would become scarce. Gun crews would be exhausted by nightfall, but still the waves of kamikaze would continue. With the fleet hovering off the beaches, all remaining Japanese aircraft would be committed to nonstop suicide attacks, which the Japanese hoped could be sustained for 10 days. The Japanese planned to coordinate their air strikes with attacks from the 40 remaining submarines from the Imperial Navy — some armed with Long Lance torpedoes with a range of 20 miles — when the invasion fleet was 180 miles off Kyushu.

The Imperial Navy had 23 destroyers and two cruisers which were operational. These ships were to be used to counterattack the American invasion. A number of the destroyers were to be beached at the last minute to be used as anti-invasion gun platforms.

Once offshore, the invasion fleet would be forced to defend not only against the attacks from the air, but would also be confronted with suicide attacks from sea. Japan had established a suicide naval attack unit of midget submarines, human torpedoes and exploding motorboats.

The goal of the Japanese was to shatter the invasion before the landing. The Japanese were convinced the Americans would back off or become so demoralized that they would then accept a less-than-unconditional surrender and a more honorable and face-saving end for the Japanese.

But as horrible as the battle of Japan would be off the beaches, it would be on Japanese soil that the American forces would face the most rugged and fanatical defense encountered during the war.

Throughout the island-hopping Pacific campaign, Allied troops had always out numbered the Japanese by 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to 1. In Japan it would be different. By virtue of a combination of cunning, guesswork, and brilliant military reasoning, a number of Japan's top military leaders were able to deduce, not only when, but where, the United States would land its first invasion forces.

Facing the 14 American divisions landing at Kyushu would be 14 Japanese divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 tank brigades and thousands of naval troops. On Kyushu the odds would be 3 to 2 in favor of the Japanese, with 790,000 enemy defenders against 550,000 Americans. This time the bulk of the Japanese defenders would not be the poorly trained and ill-equipped labor battalions that the Americans had faced in the earlier campaigns.

The Japanese defenders would be the hard core of the home army. These troops were well-fed and well equipped. They were familiar with the terrain, had stockpiles of arms and ammunition, and had developed an effective system of transportation and supply almost invisible from the air. Many of these Japanese troops were the elite of the army, and they were swollen with a fanatical fighting spirit.

Japan's network of beach defenses consisted of offshore mines, thousands of suicide scuba divers attacking landing craft, and mines planted on the beaches. Coming ashore, the American Eastern amphibious assault forces at Miyazaki would face three Japanese divisions, and two others poised for counterattack. Awaiting the Southeastern attack force at Ariake Bay was an entire division and at least one mixed infantry brigade.

On the western shores of Kyushu, the Marines would face the most brutal opposition. Along the invasion beaches would be the three Japanese divisions, a tank brigade, a mixed infantry brigade and an artillery command. Components of two divisions would also be poised to launch counterattacks.

If not needed to reinforce the primary landing beaches, the American Reserve Force would be landed at the base of Kagoshima Bay November 4, where they would be confronted by two mixed infantry brigades, parts of two infantry divisions and thousands of naval troops.

All along the invasion beaches, American troops would face coastal batteries, anti-landing obstacles and a network of heavily fortified pillboxes, bunkers, and underground fortresses. As Americans waded ashore, they would face intense artillery and mortar fire as they worked their way through concrete rubble and barbed-wire entanglements arranged to funnel them into the muzzles of these Japanese guns.

On the beaches and beyond would be hundreds of Japanese machine gun positions, beach mines, booby traps, trip-wire mines and sniper units. Suicide units concealed in "spider holes" would engage the troops as they passed nearby. In the heat of battle, Japanese infiltration units would be sent to reap havoc in the American lines by cutting phone and communication lines. Some of the Japanese troops would be in American uniform; English-speaking Japanese officers were assigned to break in on American radio traffic to call off artillery fire, to order retreats and to further confuse troops. Other infiltration with demolition charges strapped on their chests or backs would attempt to blow up American tanks, artillery pieces and ammunition stores as they were unloaded ashore.

Beyond the beaches were large artillery pieces situated to bring down a curtain of fire on the beach. Some of these large guns were mounted on railroad tracks running in and out of caves protected by concrete and steel.

The battle for Japan would be won by what Simon Bolivar Buckner, a lieutenant general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, had called "Prairie Dog Warfare." This type of fighting was almost unknown to the ground troops in Europe and the Mediterranean. It was peculiar only to the soldiers and Marines who fought the Japanese on islands all over the Pacific — at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

Prairie Dog Warfare was a battle for yards, feet and sometimes inches. It was brutal, deadly and dangerous form of combat aimed at an underground, heavily fortified, non-retreating enemy.

In the mountains behind the Japanese beaches were underground networks of caves, bunkers, command posts and hospitals connected by miles of tunnels with dozens of entrances and exits. Some of these complexes could hold up to 1,000 troops.

In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry.

Had Olympic come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan — "One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation" — were prepared to fight to the death. Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force. They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. Others were armed with swords, long bows, axes, and bamboo spears. The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions.

At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour.

The invasion of Japan never became a reality because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Within days the war with Japan was at a close.

Had these bombs not been dropped and had the invasion been launched as scheduled, combat casualties in Japan would have been at a minimum of the tens of thousands. Every foot of Japanese soil would have been paid for by Japanese and American lives.

One can only guess at how many civilians would have committed suicide in their homes or in futile mass military attacks. In retrospect, the 1 million American men who were to be the casualties of the invasion were instead lucky enough to survive the war.

Intelligence studies and military estimates made 50 years ago, and not latter-day speculation, clearly indicate that the battle for Japan might well have resulted in the biggest blood-bath in the history of modern warfare.

Far worse would be what might have happened to Japan as a nation and as a culture. When the invasion came, it would have come after several months of fire bombing all of the remaining Japanese cities. The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation.

With American forces locked in combat in the south of Japan, little could have prevented the Soviet Union from marching into the northern half of the Japanese home islands. Japan today could be divided much like Korea and Germany.

The world was spared the cost of Operation Downfall, however, because Japan formally surrendered to the United Nations September 2, 1945, and World War II was over.

The aircraft carriers, cruisers and transport ships scheduled to carry the invasion troops to Japan, ferried home American troops in a gigantic operation called Magic Carpet.

In the fall of 1945, in the aftermath of the war, few people concerned themselves with the invasion plans. Following the surrender, the classified documents, maps, diagrams and appendices for Operation Downfall were packed away in boxes and eventually stored at the National Archives. These plans that called for the invasion of Japan paint a vivid description of what might have been one of the most horrible campaigns in the history of man. The fact that the story of the invasion of Japan is locked up in the National Archives and is not told in our history books is something for which all Americans can be thankful.

Yoram Fisher lives on Kibbutz Kfar Blum Doar Na Galil Elyon. Contact him by email at

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 30, 2011.

Hillary Clinton

Well, it seems the Obama team lately was running short of things over which to bash Israel and so it decided that the treatment of women in Israel is something that needs condemnation. Led by Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration thinks that Israel does not treat its women nicely or respectfully enough. This is the same Hillary Clinton who never had much to say about the treatment of women in the Clinton White House. Other administration bashers of Israel joined the feeding frenzy.

This is the same Obama team that rarely has had anything to say about the treatment of women in the Muslim world, without a doubt the very worst such treatment that can be found on the planet. Hillary insisted that Israel's treatment of women is as bad as that in Iran, although Obama people do not exactly speak out against the treatment of women in Iran before breakfast each day. Hillary also used the same opportunity to condemn Israel for considering the adoption of transparency laws that would require disclosure of foreign funding to political NGOs operating inside Israel, laws that are similar to what the United States and many other democratic countries already have. After all, how will those who desire Israel's annihilation be able to finance picayune treasonous radical anti-Israel propaganda NGOs inside Israel if such transparency ever takes effect?

So when Hillary Clinton recently decided to speak out against the mistreatment of Middle Eastern women, she singled out Israel for condemnation, and then turned around to welcome a delegation of Saudi feudalists with cordiality. If Hillary considers Israel a force of anti-feminine darkness and repression, just imagine how awful she must regard Scandinavia. She compared Israel's treatment of women with the racial segregation that once was so common in the American South. Israeli public figures, led by the secularist non-Orthodox Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz, denounced Hillary's comments as absurd and incorrect. He was joined by numerous other secularist Israelis.

The Obama administration is largely silent when it comes to the plight of women in the Muslim world, but keeps condemning the only country in the Middle East that has a woman chief justice, plenty of women in its parliament, more women MDs and than men, countless women army officers and court judges, and which has had a woman as head of state, something the US has never had. Israel is also the only country in the world where a panel of judges, two of them women, put a former president in prison for alleged rape and sexual abuse of women. But perhaps that is what really has Bill Clinton's wife so hostile to and suspicious of Israel.

Women university students in Israel have been the majority out of all undergraduate Israeli students since 1980, reaching 58% of students in 1999. That is without including teachers colleges in the computation, where women are a far larger share. Women students are the majority of students, not just in the fields of education and humanities, but also in such "non-traditional" fields for women as biological sciences and agriculture. Women are a majority of medical students, 48.3% of law students, and 39% of physics students, according to the latest survey. There are also oodles of women students in math, engineering, and computer sciences. Women students are also a small majority of those pursuing MA and PhD studies.

So just what got Hillary and the Obama team so upset? Well, it seems that Israel has been debating the behavior of some small ultra-religious Jewish sects, groups that believe in strict gender separation, especially in public spaces. Known as the chareidim, these are religious radicals, best known for their black clothing, long sidecurls, anti-modern life styles, and especially for their ideas about "modesty" for women. No Jew anywhere has to belong to such communities and women in those communities unhappy with the life style may leave at any time.

In some communities of these chareidim, there have been initiatives to introduce a small number of special bus lines in which women and men do not sit together. When a secularist Israeli woman rider challenged the initiative and sat in the "men's section" of one such bus Israel's ultra-secularist leftist media proclaimed her the Israeli Rosa Parks, and Hillary picked up the cue. In another incident, some religious soldiers requested not to be required to attend a concert in which women were singing, on grounds that according to their religious outlook such singing is erotic and immodest. And in yet other incidents, some signs were put up in the neighborhoods of chareidim asking women not to congregate on a street next to a synagogue, or calling on men and women in the name of modesty to walk on opposing sides of some streets in those neighborhoods.

f course Hillary and the secularist media never object to signs in mosques and churches in Israel and elsewhere that ask people not to enter in immodest dress. Hillary and her Obama colleagues have never condemned the Amish for their own pre-modern life styles and opinions and gender roles. The enlightened media regard the Amish as downright endearing, a charming tourist attraction. And you would never know it from reading Hillary's statements, but one can find some neighborhoods and communities of chareidim inside the United States, mainly in Brooklyn and upstate New York, in which similar forms of gender separation in the name of "modesty" are practiced. No one seems to think this is grounds for a public outcry by politicians.

The enormous majority of Israelis reject the life style and opinions of the chareidim, much as the bulk of Americans have no interest in living the Amish life style. But the Amish generally are beneficiaries of a "live and let live" attitude on the part of the bulk of Americans. Most of the "conflicts" in Israel regarding the "gender separation" sought by the chareidim would go away with similar tolerance. The religious soldiers who asked to be excused from listening to women singing did not demand that the singing event be cancelled, and they were happy to do kitchen duty or guard duty instead of attending. But their officers and secularist politicians attempted to coerce them into attending to make a political point. The chareidim who were denounced for requesting bus lines with separate seating have now decided to finance their own independent small bus company without public funding, in whose busses they can sit in the manner they please. No one disturbed by those seating arrangements need use those private bus lines or minibuses.

And no one really needs to heed any of those signs on those few Israeli streets in chareidi neighborhoods that call upon people to behave in manners the chareidim consider "modest." I have walked through such neighborhoods with my wife dressed in pants and otherwise "immodest" secularist dress and with my daughter wearing her army uniform, and not a single resident said a single word to us about it. Even when my daughter was not carrying her gun.

The Israeli media managed to uncover a tiny handful of cases in which local chareidi residents spoke disrespectfully to some women or girls. Well, I am a native Pennsylvanian and I have to tell you that I have seen a few Pennsylvania Dutch hotheads speak disrespectfully to other people. So what? Why is this news? The media rarely report cursing or disrespectful speech by radical secularists.

The Israeli chareidi attitudes towards women and gender separation are actually not any more "pre-modern" or feminist-challenged than are those among Israeli Moslems, Druse, and some other non-Jewish minority populations. It was rather curious that Hillary and the rest of the Obama team did not denounce Israeli Moslems and Druse for also practicing gender separation in public spaces in the name of "modesty." Condemning non-Jews for gender segregation is just not politically correct.

In a sense, Hillary was just following the lead of numerous Bash-Israel leftist feminist organizations. Radical feminists and their organizations have never been able to identify any mistreatment of women in Arab countries beyond the supposed "suffering" of those women due to Israeli "occupation." The feminists cannot conceive of a better way to promote the interests of Moslem women than annihilation of Israel and the accompanying genocide of Israel's Jewish population. Feminist groups have rarely spoken out against Arab anti-Israel terrorism, even though many of the victims of that terrorism are themselves women. Even most of the feminist groups operating inside Israel are radically pro-"Palestinian," pro-terror, anti-Israel, and some are fronts for the Israeli communist party. They do not seem to feel uncomfortable in the role of streetwalkers on behalf of Islamofascism.

The treatment of women in Arab and Moslem countries is so atrocious that space here would not allow for even a superficial survey. In the very same week that Iran announced that a woman convicted of adultery would be mercifully hanged to death instead of stoned to death, the Obama team could find nothing more deserving of condemnation than the treatment of women in the only country in the Middle East in which women are treated as humans deserving of equal rights.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at His website address is This article appeared in Front Page Magazine and is archived at womens-rights-and-double-standards/

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Posted by Honenu, December 29, 2011.

Hadassah Kolish with her husband and five children, ages one to seven years, ascended the Temple Mount (Har Habayit) on the 6th day of Hanukkah. She said that she brought her family to this holy place to give thanks to G-d for the miracle performed for her ancestors over 2,000 years ago. She wanted her family to view the place where the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple.

When she arrived to the Temple Mount, the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people, she was told she was not able to bring up any Judaica items such as prayer books, talitot etc. On her family tour of the Mount, she was accompanied by two officers, one Jewish police officer and one Arab officer of the Wakf (the Muslim religious body given authority over the Temple Mount by the Israeli government).

View of the present day Temple Mount.

Hadassah said she follows the halachic (Jewish legal) ruling of many Rabbis that allow Jewish visitors to walk on the present day Temple Mount as long as they stay away from the area where the Temple stood. She has a map to guide her. Hadassah began to recite the Hallel prayer, a prayer of praise recited during the 8 days of Hanukkah, with her children. "The Jewish policeman did not care," she said, "he was busy on his cellphone". The Arab officer started screaming, "She is praying, she is praying!" She was warned to desist. She was told that she was not allowed even to move her lips. When she continued, she was arrested by the Jewish officer, Azulay, told she was a criminal and brought to the Old City police station. She refused to be questioned by an Arab interrogator and contacted Honenu who provided her with a lawyer. After being counseled by Honenu lawyer, Adi Kedar, she was released with no criminal charge. Hadassah says that the 3 hour ordeal did not discourage her, and encourages others to stand up for their religious rights. Even after 10,000 Jews rallied last year, calling for freedom of religion on the Temple Mount, Jewish rights there are still denied.

Honenu protects basic rights in Israel. Their website is

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 29, 2011.

The "Arab Spring" has made available increased amounts of weaponry that Hamas has been able to smuggle into Israel in the past year. Some 15% to 20% more. Most worrisome is the possibility that sophisticated, laser-guided Russian anti-tank missiles and shoulder-to-air missiles (such as those that have disappeared from Libyan warehouses) have found their way into Gaza.

Always, when I read this sort of thing, I wonder at what point it becomes prudent to act preemptively. Don't have the answer. But I think about it. These reports have the effect of making Israelis feel just a bit like sitting ducks.

The word is that the IDF is prepared to go in at any time, and that, in fact, active duty brigades have begun carrying out drills in preparation for a possible operation.

The question is at what point the political leadership might decide to give the word.


If there is an operation, it would essentially be in response to rockets that continue to be launched from Gaza time and again — to which the Air Force responds in a limited fashion. Or at least this is how it would be spun, even if preemption with regard to new weaponry was part of the motivation.

Said Col. Tal Hermoni, commander of the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade, in a press conference at the border with the Sinai: "...we are prepared to launch another offensive, a different and more versatile offensive [that is, than Cast Lead, three years ago], in order to renew deterrence..."

The decision as to whether Israel goes into Gaza now or not is in the hands of people in Gaza, he said:

"If they do not prevent rocket fire and stop terrorist cells from leaving the Gaza Strip and infiltrating Israel through Sinai, we will unleash a painful campaign on the Gaza Strip."

The people? He's talking to the leaders of Hamas or no one.


Shortly before this, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz made a similar statement in a TV interview:

"From time to time we have to deal with rocket fire from Gaza and we know that terrorists are gaining strength and expanding their base on Egyptian territory. I don't think Israel will be able to tolerate a continuing threat from Hamas in Gaza. Sooner or later we will have to launch a new large-scale operation in Gaza. The IDF knows how to strike terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. Any potential operation would be planned in advance, initiated from our side, and carried out quickly."


My take? We're looking at saber rattling. Notice how qualified Gantz's remark was: "sooner or later..." If a major operation into Gaza were imminent, top brass would not be talking about it. This doesn't mean that a shift in the situation might not provoke an attack, but...


Col. Hermoni, in the course of speaking with journalists, also described efforts by terrorists groups to kidnap additional soldiers, in the wake of the Shalit deal. This is because "there are additional Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails."

Is anyone surprised?

Efforts are being made at several levels to prevent such attacks — including the enhancement of intelligence to keep the IDF apprised of where tunnels from Gaza and the Sinai into Israel are being dug. Shalit was grabbed when terrorists showed up in Israel via a tunnel from Gaza that exited near the Keren Shalom crossing, and this past summer eight Israelis were killed when terrorists tunneled into Israel from the Sinai.

It is anticipated that once the fence closing off the Sinai is completed, there will be efforts to infiltrate into Israel via Jordan.

Procedures for how soldiers should act in the event of an abduction or attempted abduction are being codified by the IDF.


Yet another effect of the unrest of the "Arab Spring" may be a revitalization of al-Qaeda. Writes Ilan Berman, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council:

"...the past half-year has seen new signs of life to the terror cartel, as it seeks to capitalize on the turmoil generated by the multiple revolutions taking place in the Middle East and North Africa in order to expand its strategic reach. And in at least one geographic location — Israel's southern border — alarming signs suggest that the organization has begun to put down fresh roots." al-qaeda-newest-outpost


Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan Halevy, who has an intelligence background, has put out a briefing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Egyptian Islamist intentions with regard to Israel:

"The prevailing optimism in media reports concerning the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist party's readiness to adhere to the peace treaty with Israel is based on general statements made by senior officials in both parties. These statements maintain that Egypt must honor the international treaties that it signed.

"Yet a more rigorous examination of the two parties' stances identifies a markedly different tendency. Both seek a way to cast off the Camp David agreement in a manner that will incur minimal diplomatic and economic damage to Egypt, and restore Egypt to its leading role in the circle of states confronting Israel."

His analysis is well worth a read, and you can find it here: ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID= 1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=11248& TTL=Are_Egypt%E2%80% 99s_Islamic_Parties_Planning_to_Nullify


Well, the deal in process that I recently wrote about with regard to Ramat Gilad — which had been threatened with dismantlement — has been finalized:

The state has agreed to retroactively authorize this tiny community as a neighborhood in Karnei Shomron, while the residents of Ramat Gilad have agreed to permit nine structures (five of which are homes) built on disputed property to be moved a short distance to undisputed property.

This is good news and shows what is possible in lieu of razing "illegal outposts."

I have, however, one observation. In two different media sources I read that those structures had to be removed because they were built on Palestinian land. And I want to ask, Says who?

Moshe Zar says that he purchased this land, and intends to continue to fight for it in court. So I think calling it disputed would be more appropriate.

Please keep in mind that no Palestinian Arab has come forward and claimed this area in court. The subject was raised in court by Peace Now.


A piece on this issue — "The myth of private Palestinian land" — by Moshe Dann may help you make some sense out of what's going on: Contributors/Article.aspx?id=251330


I am sooo tired of politicians who are not pro-Israel but claim to be "the most" pro-Israel. The latest is a spokesman for Ron Paul, and I'm not going to there because it's ludicrous.

But Obama and members of his administration have been using this line regularly, and here I would like to share an informed response to this — "Let the Facts Tell You Otherwise" — by Daniel Halper, deputy on-line editor at the Weekly Standard, writing as a JINSA visiting fellow: analysis/israel/let-facts-tell-you-otherwise


Yesh Din ("there is justice"), an extreme left-wing Israeli NGO, went to the High Court recently to ask that 10 quarries in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which according to the Oslo Accords is under Israeli military and civilian control, be shut down because it was a violation of the Hague Convention of occupying powers.

High Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch completely rejected the Yesh Din petition. Israel, she said, could not be seen as a "classic occupying power." What is more, "Yesh Din is not an 'interested party' with a right to petition on these issues."

This is refreshing. See more here: News/News.aspx/151131


The last article I will recommend today is by Zalman Shoval, "Why Gingrich is right — and wrong." This is because I agree with the essence of his thesis, and although not every detail:

"The Palestinians may indeed be an invented people, but this invention is now a fact of political life...the real issue is not a theoretical one, but how to best deal with this reality in practical terms."

Shoval provides important background information that everyone needs to have. And he makes the significant point that:

"It is an irony of history that while Arabs in Palestine didn't define themselves as 'Palestinians,' others did use that self-definition — the Jews." EdContributors/Article.aspx?ID=251180&R=R1


It is because the notion of a "Palestinian people" has become a political reality that I will not write about them as if they don't exist. (I refer to them as "Palestinian Arabs," and not just "Arabs.") In practical terms today they do exist. If I ignore this, I put myself on the political fringe and lose any opportunity to convince others of the nature of this people: The fact that they were invented — as a response to Zionist development — goes a long way to exposing the intentions of Palestinian Arab leadership. It is "against," not a positive development at all. While it venerates violence, this people has contributed nothing positive to the world.

What is more, as they are a recent invention, they cannot legitimately lay claim to the land, which is part of Jewish heritage.

And, lastly, the fact that I consider them a political reality does not mean by a long shot that I believe that this entitles them to a state. It does not. There are many peoples in the world, peoples with a legitimate history, who are not invented, and who have made genuine cultural contributions, who don't have their own state.


The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that an ancient stone seal — known as a cartouche — has been found near the Robinson's Arch at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. In Aramaic, it bears the inscription, "It is pure."

The soil layer immediately above the find has been dated to the first century BCE, and archeologists believe this is from Second Temple times.

Explained Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority, and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, who are associated with this project:

"This is the first time an object of this kind has been found. It is direct archaeological evidence of Jewish activity on the Temple Mount during the Second Temple era..

"Products being brought to the Temple had to be stamped pure — which is what this seal was used for."


December 31 will pass for me unnoted. I mark Rosh Hashana as the New Year. And yet, in recognition of the large percentage of my readers who do note — and celebrate — New Year's Eve, let me here wish one and all a happy new year. May 2012 be a time of blessings for all of us.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, December 29, 2011.

Several churches in northern Nigeria were bombed December 25, in what has been described as "Nigeria's blackest Christmas ever." The attacks, perpetrated by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram, killed at least 39 people, "the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church [in Madalla near the capital of Abuja] after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion." Charred bodies and dismembered limbs lay scattered around the destroyed church.

Boko Haram: Nigeria's Jihadists

As usual, the world offered the requisite, if perfunctory, condemnations. Of note, however, is the word so many Western leaders, from the White House to the Vatican, used to characterize this latest Muslim attack on Christians — "senseless" — a word that implies no motive, no goal, no rhyme, no reason.

Although Boko Haram has been bellowing its straightforward and far from "senseless" goals for a decade — enforcing Sharia law and, in conjunction, subjugating if not eliminating Nigeria's Christians — one can see why so many are decrying the Christmas Day bombings as "senseless": the mainstream media's coverage offers little by way of context or continuity concerning the attacks.

Consider the New York Times' coverage, as reported by Adam Nossiter, in an article titled "Nigerian Group Escalates Violence With Church Attacks":

The sect, known as Boko Haram, until now mostly targeted the police, government and military in its insurgency effort, but the bombings on Sunday represented a new, religion-tinged front, a tactic that threatens to exploit the already frayed relations between Nigeria's nearly evenly split populations of Christians and Muslims...

This sentence is fraught with problems. For starters, Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigerian Christians for years, killing thousands of them, and destroying hundreds of their churches. Considering that just last Christmas Eve, 2010, Boko Haram bombed several churches, killing nearly 40 Christian worshippers, the New York Times' characterization of these latest attacks as "represent[ing] a new, religion-tinged front" is not only unconscionable, but unprofessional.

Boko Haram — whose full name in Arabic is "People of Sunna for Da'wa [Islamization] and Jihad [Holy War]" — has, for a decade, been representing a very "religion-tinged front," that is, an Islamic front, one that is hostile to all things non-Muslim, with Christians at the very top.

In just the last couple of months, Boko Haram has carried out attacks on dozens of other churches, bombing some, torching others. In one instance, they opened fire on a congregation of mostly women and children, killing dozens; they executed two children of an ex-terrorist because he converted to Christianity; they murdered Christian pastors in cold blood; they "went to shops owned by Christians, ordering them to recite verses from the Quran," killing those who could not.

Just last month, hundreds of armed Muslims from Boko Haram invaded Christian villages, "like a swarm of bees," killing, looting, and destroying. At the end of their four-hour rampage, at least 130 Christians were killed. Forty-five other Christians in another village were slaughtered by another set of "Allahu Akbar!" screaming Muslims. Hundreds of Christians are missing; thousands have fled the region.

Of course, you would not know any of this reading Nossiter's NYT report, which asserts that Boko Haram's attacks on Christians are somehow "new." The report willfully refracts reality through the approved paradigm of political-correctness — a paradigm that always minimizes or ignores Muslim persecution of Christians around the world (lest it appear to "side" with Christians), while always putting the best spin on Muslim violence (lest it appear critical of Islam).

Moreover, the assertion that there are "already frayed relations between Nigeria's nearly evenly split populations of Christians and Muslims" suggests both camps are equally hostile — even as one seeks in vain for Christian terror groups that bomb mosques in Nigeria to screams of "God is Greatest!"

The report goes on to offer more canards, including the suggestion that the Nigerian government's "heavy-handed" response to the terrorists is responsible for their terror:

Critics of the government campaign against Boko Haram say that the effort has not only failed but has increased the sect's appeal, because the security forces' heavy-handed tactics have given it new sympathizers.

The NYT report even manages to insert another mainstream media favorite: the myth that poverty-causes-terrorism — this despite the acres of evidence that many of the most notorious Islamic terrorists are well educated and come from wealthy families, and that the terrorists' Christian victims are often worse off than they. Regardless:

The sect's attacks have been further bolstered by festering economic resentment in the impoverished and relatively neglected north, which has an exploding birthrate, low levels of literacy and mass unemployment.

In short, Boko Haram's actions have been anything but "senseless": its terror campaign has seen Christians reduced in number — whether by killing them off or tormenting them into fleeing their villages — and has seen hundreds of churches eliminated. These results correspond quite well with Boko Haram's own stated goals of creating an anti-infidel Sharia state.

"Senseless" is better reserved for the New York Times and other mainstream media that — by disinfecting, delousing, and deodorizing events until they correspond to the ideals of their writers and editorial boards — distort and lie about the truth.

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article is archived at 10947/nigeria-christmas- present-blown-up-christians

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 28, 2011.

What sorts of "mistakes" and threats? The leaders encourage and the followers commit bombings and murders. Of course terrorists know what they were doing. They were acting on their ideology of hatred, violence, and attempted conquest!

By not protesting and by not holding P.A. Arab leaders to account, Pres. Peres encourages further "mistakes." Why should they take a more moderate position with their followers, when Israeli leaders don't seem to mind their extremist position?

On Dec. 27, addressing Israeli ambassadors, Pres. Peres commented on issues facing Israel:

1. "...Israel will not have better partners for making peace." The Arabs appreciate the advantages of peace. Israel has done much to boost their economy. In turn, he said, Abbas' forces are fighting terrorism.

2. Israel should not ignore its reputation as that of an "occupier." Lack of negotiations darkens Israel's reputation and leads to anti-Israel protests.

3. Iran is an international problem, not just Israel's ( ).

For decades, Shimon Peres has advocated appeasement of the Arabs and has denied a need for border security. He thinks the best security is economic integration. Unfortunately, when jihadist ideology does not change, economic arrangements easily get canceled, and they have been canceled. First the jihadist ideology must be reformed.

Peres' naivete about national security becomes an ethical fault when he esteems Abbas, who honors terrorists. Abbas supervises his society's cultivation of a jihadist mentality, leading to volunteering for terrorism. Israelis get murdered as a result of efforts by those Arabs whom Peres esteems.

Abbas has called for war. War if foreign Arabs would join in now. War if the P.A. gets into better position for one, as by getting independence and an army. War if the P.A. does not get independence or in the way it wishes. War if the Jewish people retain any sovereignty even over a shrunken area. Islam forbids such retention. Peres and the "peace camp" ignore the reality of Islamic warmongering. They play into the hands of the Arab and Quartet diplomatic offensive behind which lurks the military offensive. Remove Israel's heavy arms embargo on the P.A. and Israel's secure borders, and peace is less likely to follow.

To call Abbas a peace partner ill serves Israel or peace. It disqualifies Peres from public policy making.

Yes, Israel has done much to boost the P.A. economy. Since the P.A. is dedicated to jihad, and since the P.a. may soon be taken over by Hamas which is more impatient for jihad, boosting the P.A. economy instead of wrecking it has been one of Israel's strategic errors. It is a strategic error almost as bad as having withdrawn from Gaza, as having set up the P.A., and as having let Hizbullah and Hamas build up missile armories.

To assert that the Arabs appreciate the benefits of peace misleads people. Arab Muslims take religion more seriously than Peres, who doesn't seem to take it at all. They value religion over prosperity.

Like many who propose appeasement, Peres credits the P.A. for fighting terrorism. Fighting it? How? Other than arresting some Hamas people, not because they are terrorists but because they are rivals, how? Abbas has not eradicated the PLO/Fatah. Abbas has not stopped his media, schools, and mosques from promoting terrorism; he subsidizes the families of terrorists arrested by Israel. Indeed, the IDF has to raid the P.A. to make the arrests that Abbas does not.

Terrorism waxes and wanes in waves, according to capability, military buildup, and whether it is more opportune to defer some military action in favor of potentially beneficial diplomacy. During the lull, people like Peres herald its end. As if all were now peaceful for those when in the eye of the storm.

Yes, Israel has a poor reputation. Undeserved but true. When then doesn't Peres and the like stop calling the disputed Territories "occupied territories" and challenge those who do call it that to prove it? Only lately have Israeli officials upheld Jewish claims to the area. Israel needs to gain self-confidence and to go on the offense, politely but firmly and with the facts, to state the Jewish case and the Israeli case.

PM Netanyahu has explained his willingness to negotiate and Abbas' unwillingness to negotiate. Why is he practically alone in this? Why not make this point a campaign, joined by many, challenging the Western media and the State Dept. when they blame Israel for lack of negotiations? The campaign might have to explain that Abbas conditions negotiations upon dangerous concessions. That means he gets something for nothing, and that he refuses to negotiate on what he demands be given him beforehand.

But any campaign to show whose fault is lack of negotiation should also show that negotiations would be counter-productive while Abbas and his people are thoroughly indoctrinated in jihad. Jihad embraces deceit and ultimate war. So what is the point, now?

Too bad Peres dropped the point about Iran not being only Israel's problem just when it got interesting. What did he imply? What would he do? Didn't say.

Although Iran is the world's problem, the world is not tackling it strongly. The world imposes enough sanctions to annoy Iran, but not enough to stop it. One gets the impression that President Obama is not averse to war, viz. Libya, but he is averse to anything that would depose an Islamist regime. Conclusion: Israel cannot count on anybody else. Jews never can. Israel must prepare to do what it can. And sooner or later it will have to act and get condemned for it.

Peres hinted that Israel might use nuclear weapons. You can see that the world's apathy about Iran and aggressive arming of Egypt, overturning of less-Islamist regimes, and demanding Israeli territorial depth is putting Israel into a position of having to fall back on nuclear war. Should Peres warn the world what its apathy is leading to?

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by AFSI, December 28, 2011.

The AFSI Chizuk mission to Israel, this past Nov. 13-22, included a tour of Jerusalem given by Arieh King, head of the Israel Land Fund. During that fascinating and dismaying tour, we learned about eight neighborhoods in Jerusalem where no Jews are allowed. This outrageous situation within Israel's capital city defies understanding.

When Arieh King took us to Har HaZeitim, the Mount of Olives, where land is zoned for Jewish burials, we were appalled to learn that despite his many efforts to alert the city officials, nothing was done to stop the building of an illegal Arab mosque on holy Jewish cemetery land. Below is the detailed story of the desecration of the cemetery, along with photos and documents detailing King's efforts to stop the building of the mosque. This is truly a chillul HaShem. It is entitled "The Law Is the Law — Except on Har Hazetim" and it was written by Menachem Lubinsky.


It is no secret that the Waqf is waging a war on the territorial integrity of Jewish Yerushalayim. This was clear in the expansion and excavations near the Har Habayis and the fake graves planted in Romema in what was clearly a land grab. But most disturbing is the ongoing illegal expansion of the Ras al Amud mosque on Har Hazeitim. Despite a stop-work order that was issued by the Jerusalem Municipality in June, the Arabs continue to expand the mosque to within a few feet of Jewish graves, most notably those of the late former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and his wife Aliza.

"It's not really contracting work," an official in the Prime Minister's Office told Avrohom Lubinsky, chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim. "It's just minor touch-up work."

But Arieh King, an activist and head of the Israel Land Fund, who lives just across the road in Maleh Hazeitim, sees things differently, as he documents below. King says the expansion continues, and if it is not stopped, a huge mosque will be functioning adjacent to graves of kedoshim and others that will deny access to Jewish mourners and visitors, and turn Har Hazeitim into a huge place of assembly for Yerushalayim's Arabs. He continues to document the gross violation of Jewish history and law. Of late, he says, the mosque has even become home to squatters.

It is hard to fathom that the Israeli public is simply indifferent to this serious defamation of Judaism's holiest and oldest (3,000 years old) cemetery. Surely, if the memory of the kedoshim buried there is irrelevant to government officials, then at least they should preserve the honor of a former prime minister of Israel and the heroes Moshe Barzani and Meir Feinstein, who committed suicide rather than be hung by the British. It was because of his desire to be buried next to these martyrs that Mr. Begin chose Har Hazeitim instead of Mt. Herzl, where other Israeli officials are buried. His closest associates say that he wanted to be buried opposite the Har Habayis and with a view of Yerushalayim, which will be distorted should the mosque be completed.

For that matter, Mr. Begin would no doubt have to apologize to Joseph and Caroline Gruss, whom the late prime minister urged to be buried next to him. The Grusses were major philanthropists who supported many Torah causes, and to this day the Gruss Foundation continues its support of Jewish education. Sources say that Mr. Gruss had all but decided on a burial plot in New York until Mr. Begin convinced him otherwise.

There is the sense that the Jerusalem Municipality, and indeed, the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would rather see this "problem" simply disappear. They are fearful that dismantling the mosque would provoke local disturbances and an international outcry. Never mind that, according to King, the area is zoned as a cemetery.

In fact, while the city and the government install surveillance cameras, restore graves and upgrade security elsewhere on Har Hazeisim, they are avoiding enforcing Israeli law and making sure that the Arabs comply with the injunction forbidding building at the site of the mosque. It is as if they are saying, "Anything but the mosque."

Avrohom Lubinsky is furious "at the lip service and double-talk" he has received from officials regarding the mosque. He says that even such prominent activists as Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, repeatedly raises the "shame" of the mosque at the highest level of government, to no avail.

Indeed, the photos and documents revealed by Mr. King are indicative of a scandalous dereliction of duty and responsibility to Jews everywhere, not to speak of the desecration of the holy Har Hazeisim and the holy luminaries who are interred there dating back to our neviim (Zecharia, Chagai and Malachi are buried there). It is clear that if this major chillul of Har Hazeisim is not corrected promptly, it will stand as an eternal blemish on the record of those who governed Israel and Yerushalayim in our time. The material that follows has been presented to decision-makers and elected officials to shed light on the Jerusalem Municipality's negligence in enforcing planning and building laws on Har Harzeisim. It also exposes the problematic relationship between the Israel Police and the Muslim Waqf, whereby the law is not enforced when it comes to Arab criminal activity that harms Jewish interests in Yerushalayim. The following is the response of the city council member who is in charge of eastern Yerushalayim, Mr. Yakir Segev (dated June 11, 2011): Hello, Arieh [King] I'm familiar with the issue, but to my sorrow it is not being dealt with. We have great difficulty with enforcement, especially as regards sensitive sites. I can promise you that the problem is not a lack of will on the part of the municipality [to put an end to the illegal construction].

Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI is a pro-active pro-Israel advocacy group. AFSI may be contacted by mail at 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128 (Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717); by email at; or by accessing its website: Helen Freedman is Executive Director.
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Posted by Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, December 28, 2011.

Highlights of the Week:

  • Possible scenarios of war against Iran: a look from Tehran
  • Iran portrays IAEA Board of Governors' resolution as political achievement following Amano's report
  • Internal power struggle in conservative camp: president's advisor sentenced to one year in prison and almost arrested
  • Next target of Islamic law enforcement campaign: internet cafés and photography shops
  • Azeri separatism at Iranian soccer match


Possible scenarios of war against Iran: a look from Tehran

This week the official website of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei uncharacteristically published a commentary article titled "Possible scenarios of threat against Iran". The article, also published in the daily Resalat, was written by Dr. Amir Mohebbian, a top Iranian political commentator affiliated with the conservative camp. In light of the media discourse about a possible attack on Iran, the author of the article offers an in-depth analysis of three possible scenarios of an attack on Iran led by the United States and its allies, and estimates the likelihood of each.

Mohebbian argues that the main objective of the West is to topple the Iranian regime. Having tried and failed to achieve this objective through various means, it is now left with two options: weakening the regime to render it more vulnerable, and launching a military attack.

He details three possible scenarios of war against Iran: an all-out war of attrition combined with ground intervention, a limited war that includes action against the command centers of the regime and is aimed to promote political objectives, and a selective war against specific targets aimed to strip Iran of its offensive capabilities.

The political commentator goes into great detail about the severe problems involved in a military campaign against Iran in each of the three scenarios. It is his assessment that the third scenario (selective war against specific targets) is the most plausible of the three, but even the likelihood of this scenario is not particularly high due to several reasons, including the difficulty of attacking a large number of targets, the possibility of a selective war developing into an all-out war, the regional environmental consequences of an attack on nuclear facilities, and the inability of such an attack to impact Iran's scientific nuclear abilities.

Mohebbian argues that the military option is brought up by the West as part of a psychological warfare campaign aimed to achieve a number of objectives: testing Iran's reaction and the cohesion of the top echelon of its regime, mobilizing the support of Russia and China for sanctions against Iran, encouraging Arab countries to purchase American weapons to defend themselves against Iran, and forcing Iran into political concessions.

The author concludes the article with a discussion of Iran's response to the threats it has received, arguing that the well-coordinated reactions by top regime officials and all of the country's political factions reveal the inadequacy of the American strategy. The commentator also argues that the Supreme Leader's public remarks concerning the military threats are aimed to send several important messages to the West: Iran will not yield to pressure, there is internal unity among the decision makers, Iran has no offensive intentions and poses no threat to any country in the region, and its policy is dependent on the policy of the other side. A reasonable policy by the United States will be met with a reasonable course of action, and any aggression will be met with a strong reaction.

Iran portrays IAEA Board of Governors' resolution as political achievement following Amano's report

This week top Iranian officials and conservative media portrayed the IAEA Board of Governors' resolution on the Iranian nuclear program as a political achievement for Iran. Last Friday, November 18, the Board of Governors passed a draft resolution condemning Iran for going forward with its nuclear program and expressed its concern over Iran's intentions, but chose not to refer the nuclear issue once again to the U.N. Security Council.

Mohammad Karamirad, member of the Majles Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, said that the Board of Governors' resolution proves that the United States has failed to mobilize international support to isolate Iran. Mostafa Kavakebian, another member of the committee, also claimed that the main objective set by the United States ahead of the Board of Governors' session was unfulfilled: referring the Iranian issue to the Security Council and imposing further sanctions against Iran. He noted, however, that Iran has to adopt an active diplomacy to close the nuclear issue and prevent any more resolutions against it, and fully disclose its nuclear program to IAEA member countries.

The daily Keyhan argued that the Americans, who believed they would have no problem persuading the Board of Governors to pass an anti-Iranian resolution based on the IAEA secretary-general's report, have been defeated and realized none of their goals: referring the Iranian nuclear issue to the Security Council, confirming the IAEA secretary-general's report, declaring Iran's nuclear program as essentially military in nature, and presenting an ultimatum to Iran. According to the daily Qods, gone is the era when the United States could impose its views on the international system, and the resolution of the Board of Governors proves it.

International affairs commentator Hassan Beheshtipour, who spoke against Iran's withdrawal from the NPT last week, defined the Board of Governors' resolution as "neither a victory nor a defeat". In an interview to the Fararu website, the commentator said that the fact that the Board of Governors did not refer the nuclear issue to the Security Council can be viewed as an achievement for Iranian diplomacy, but even that resolution is not beneficial for Iran, which must try to prevent similar resolutions in the future by cooperating with the IAEA and submitting a detailed response to the arguments brought up in the secretary-general's report.

Internal power struggle in conservative camp: president's advisor sentenced to one year in prison and almost arrested

Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, the president's media advisor and director of the government daily Iran and the official news agency IRNA, was sentenced to one year in prison and three years of suspension from journalism on charges of publishing content that goes against Islam in a special supplement released in August 2011 by the daily Iran. The supplement expressed controversial views on women's veils and drew strong criticism from the conservative establishment. On Monday, November 21, security forces attempted to arrest Javanfekr at the offices of the Iran newspaper. Over 30 employees were detained in confrontations with the security forces. Javanfekr was not arrested, apparently thanks to the president's intervention.

In addition to being convicted for the supplement, Javanfekr stirred a political and media scandal this week following an interview given to the reformist daily E'temad, in which he strongly condemned the government's critics and the judiciary. The daily was then shut down for two months by the authorities.

In the interview, Javanfekr accused the judiciary of making false allegations against the president's supporters and arresting his allies for political reasons. He also lashed out against former Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje'i and former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who were dismissed by the president, saying they should keep quiet to retain their dignity. He rejected claims made by the president's critics that Ahmadinejad and his allies are disloyal to the Supreme Leader and involved in economic corruption, and also denied reports according to which the president intends to resign before the legal end of his term.

After the interview, Keyhan's editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari strongly criticized Javanfekr, accusing him of collaboration with Iran's external enemies and the reformist opposition to undermine the regime and Iran's status in light of regional and global developments.

Next target of Islamic law enforcement campaign: internet cafés and photography shops

Tehran's police chief Hossein Sajedinia reported last weekend that the Tehran police recently launched an operation to shut down illegal photography shops and internet cafés which provide their clients with banned services that go against the commonly-accepted "social norms". On the first day of the operation the Tehran police inspected 90 photography shops and 260 internet cafés, issued tickets, and even shut down some of them.

Conservative news websites have complained recently that internet cafés operating in Tehran have become the preferred recreation sites for youngsters who do not comply with Islamic religious law and do not adhere to the Islamic dress code and moral values.

In recent years internal security forces have stepped up the campaign to enforce the Islamic code in various fields, which include confiscating satellite dishes, enforcing the Islamic dress code, confiscating unlicensed DVD films, closing down barber shops that offer Western-style haircuts, and taking action against designers of "inappropriate-style" clothing.

Azeri separatism at Iranian soccer match

A number of independent websites and blogs reported this week that some fans of the Tractorsazi soccer team from Tabriz wore shirts with the flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan to a soccer match against the Fajr-e Sepasi team from Shiraz. One fan even raised the Azerbaijan flag.

The conservative website Raja News strongly condemned the fans for bringing "separatist symbols" to the match, accusing them of an attempt to stir "pan-Turkish" ideas at soccer matches. The website called on the Iranian authorities to take action against the phenomenon.

Iranian concerns over internal Azeri separatism increased following the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 and the establishment of independent Muslim republics, including Azerbaijan, due to the existence of a sizable Azeri minority in the country (about 20 percent of Iran's population). Such concerns are one of the main reasons behind the differences of opinion between Iran and Azerbaijan, which escalated this past year over the suppression of the Islamic opposition in Azerbaijan, the authorities' effort to restrict religious activity in the republic and their sometimes hostile approach towards Iranian tourists, the growing Israeli involvement in the country, and disagreements over the division of the Caspian Sea.

Possible scenarios of war against Iran: a look from Tehran

This week the official website of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei uncharacteristically published a commentary article titled "Possible scenarios of threat against Iran". The article, also published in two parts in the daily Resalat, was written by Dr. Amir Mohebbian, a top Iranian political commentator affiliated with the conservative camp. In light of the media discourse in recent weeks on a possible attack on Iran, the author of the article offers an in-depth analysis of three possible scenarios of an attack on Iran led by the United States and its allies, and estimates the likelihood of each.

Dr. Mohebbian begins the article by discussing the Western policy towards Iran, saying it is based on a combination of hopes and concerns about developments in Iran. On one hand, the West hopes to take advantage of Iran's ethnic and national heterogeneity to stir instability in the border regions populated by ethno-linguistic minorities; in addition, the West pins hopes on internal political developments in Iran and the chance to make the regime lose control as a result of domestic challenges. On the other hand, the West is aware of Iran's growing influence in the region due to the "Islamic awakening"; the relative ineffectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Iran; the strong ties between Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria; and Iran's military growth despite the sanctions.

For years the West has tried various tactics against Iran: Western-backed subversion in the border regions was curbed thanks to Iranian activity against the Baluchi Jondollah and the Kurdish Pejak organizations, efforts to help the Syrian opposition in an attempt to topple President Assad and escalate pressure on Hezbollah have so far been unsuccessful, activity against the Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force and the escalation of sanctions against Iran have also failed to fulfill the objectives of the West, key among which is toppling the regime. The Western world's hopes of toppling the regime by having Iran's neighbors exert the same kind of pressure they did in the Iran-Iraq War; organizing an internal uprising, as was the case in the riots of 2009; and secularizing the regime, which was evident in the reform period, have been disillusioned. The West is therefore left with two ways to realize its objective: weakening the regime and rendering it more vulnerable, and launching a military attack.

Dr. Mohebbian goes on to detail three possible scenarios for a war against Iran led by the United States and its allies:

  1. 1. An all-out war of attrition combined with ground intervention after an air assault.

  2. 2. A limited war which includes action against the command centers of the regime and is aimed to advance political objectives: at best, toppling the regime; at worst, forcing Iran into submission at the negotiating table.

  3. 3. Selective war against specific targets aimed to strip Iran of its offensive capabilities, particularly those that can be used against Israel.

Mohebbian believes that the first scenario is highly unlikely given the severe problems involved in its implementation: the ability of Western countries to coordinate and carry out such a complex operation is limited and almost non-existent; occupying and exerting complete control over Iran will have far-reaching geopolitical and geo-strategic consequences for the international balance of power which will pose a threat to the status of Russia and China and force them to react; historic experience shows that after the Vietnam War the United States avoided going to war against countries it wasn't certain of being able to defeat; the end of the George Bush era marked the end of the radical era of United States policy; the coming presidential elections in the United States will likely have an impact on its foreign policy and the American administration will go to war only if it's clear that it ends successfully in time for the elections; the United States is facing severe economic and social problems that prevent it from going into another war; Iran is a very large country where waging a war of attrition will be difficult; and the West doesn't have enough intelligence on Iran's capabilities. In light of the above, it is Mohebbian's assessment that the chances for an all-out war against Iran are approaching zero.

The second scenario (limited war against the regime's "nerve center") also involves considerable problems: such an offensive would require the West to have confidence in its ability to paralyze the regime already after the first blow; the Iranian regime, which learned the lessons of previous wars waged by the United States, took the necessary measures to prepare for an attack on its power structures and is ready to protect itself from serious damage; such an attack can lead to unpredictable reactions by the regime against the West; the United States cannot be certain that an attack on the regime's targets will not further radicalize it and encourage it to set the entire region on fire, threatening nearby Arab countries; it is unlikely that European countries, which enjoy good economic relations with Iran, will be willing to take part in the "dangerous game" played by the United States for the latter's own interests; the United States cannot be certain that, if the regime falls, there will be a new regime it can control; even if such a war can bring Iran back to the negotiating table, there is no guarantee that it will end with any kind of achievement for the West. Regardless of its negotiating stance, Iran may employ strategic deception and engage in covert operations, and even if the regime does surrender and sign an agreement to suspend the nuclear program, there is no guarantee that it will not be rejected by the Iranian people.

The third scenario (selective war against specific targets) is likewise complicated. If the West chooses to attack economic targets, it will put Iran's civilian population at risk and will only garner more support for the regime; it is impossible to attack all of Iran's military targets due to its size; a selective war may deteriorate into an all-out or at least a regional war; if nuclear targets such as the Bushehr reactor are attacked, it may have severe environmental repercussions for nearby countries; an attack on specific nuclear targets will not eliminate Iran's scientific nuclear capabilities.

Mohebbian concludes by saying that while the third scenario is the most plausible, even the likelihood of this scenario is fairly low.

The commentator also discusses the question of why the West keeps bringing up the military option even though it is aware of the fact that it will come at a high, unknown price. His answer is that it is part of a psychological warfare campaign. The war is a lie that can always be used to put Iran to the test and achieve a number of objectives: intimidating the Iranian people to increase the pressure exerted on the regime, provoking disagreements between hawks and doves among senior regime officials, hitting Iran's economy and reducing the regime's ability to justify the harsh economic conditions, creating an internal crisis, making achievements at the negotiating table, throwing the regime from the offensive to the defensive and forcing it to focus on its own survivability, and testing the regime's ability to deal with crisis situations.

By bringing up the military option, the United States aims to test Iran's reaction and the cohesion of the regime's top echelon, mobilize the support of Russia and China for sanctions against Iran, spread fear in Arab countries and encourage them to purchase American weapons to defend themselves against Iran, force Iran into such political concessions as terminating its support for Hezbollah and Syria, and curbing Iran's influence on the "Islamic awakening".

Mohebbian concludes the article with a discussion of Iran's response to the threats it has received, arguing that the well-coordinated reactions by top regime officials and all of the country's political factions to the threats, as well as the public's disregard for them, reveal the inadequacy of the American strategy. According to the commentator, the Supreme Leader's public remarks concerning the military threats are aimed to send several important messages to the West: Iran will not yield to pressure, there is unity among the decision makers, Iran has no offensive intentions and poses no threat to any country in the region, it will not accept being terrorized and threatened, and its policy is dependent on the policy of the other side. A reasonable policy by the United States will be met with a reasonable course of action, and any aggression will be met with a strong reaction (, November 18).

Iran portrays IAEA Board of Governors' resolution as political achievement following Amano's report

This week top Iranian officials and conservative media portrayed the IAEA Board of Governors' resolution on the Iranian nuclear program as a political achievement for Iran. Last Friday, November 18, the Board of Governors passed a draft resolution condemning Iran for going forward with its nuclear program and expressed "deep and increasing" concern over Iran's intentions. At this point, however, the Board of Governors avoided a resolution that could make it possible to impose stronger sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council.

Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's representative to the IAEA, said that the Board of Governors' resolution is not particularly significant. He stressed once again that Iran will continue its nuclear activity, will not agree to suspend uranium enrichment for even a second, and continue allowing the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities (Fars, November 18).

Mohammad Karamirad, member of the Majles Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, said that the Board of Governors' resolution proves that the United States has failed to mobilize international support to isolate Iran. He said that the efforts made by the United States to refer the nuclear issue to the Security Council have failed due to the resistance of Russia, China, and the non-aligned countries (Press TV, November 19).

Mostafa Kavakebian, another member of the committee, also claimed that the main objective set by the United States ahead of the Board of Governors' session was unfulfilled: referring the nuclear issue to the Security Council and imposing further sanctions against Iran. He added, however, that despite the failure of the United States and the IAEA secretary-general, the Board of Governors' resolution isn't a cause for celebration. He noted that Iran has to hold talks with the countries that supported the decision to fully disclose its nuclear program, while allowing the agency's inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities. He further stated that Iran has to adopt an active diplomacy to close the nuclear issue and prevent any more resolutions against it, and to make IAEA Secretary-General Yukiya Amano understand that he must stop acting like he is the one in charge of implementing decisions made by the United States (Mardom Salari, November 20).

The daily Keyhan reported that the Board of Governors did not yield to American pressure and did not agree to pass an aggressive resolution against Iran's nuclear program. The Americans, who believed they could have the Board of Governors pass an anti-Iranian resolution based on the IAEA secretary-general's report, have been defeated. A commentary article published by the daily said that many countries questioned the information contained in the secretary-general's report, and that Russia and China said it had no new information and defined it as being political. Nevertheless, the Americans attempted to use it as a basis for a new resolution against Iran, but were met with unprecedented opposition from Russia, China, and the non-aligned countries. The Americans wanted the Board of Governors to pass a resolution that would once again refer the Iranian nuclear issue to the Security Council, confirm the IAEA secretary-general's report, declare Iran's nuclear program as essentially military in nature, and pose an ultimatum to Iran over its cooperation with the agency on the military aspects of the nuclear program. In practice, the Americans could not achieve even one objective, and the resolution passed by the Board of Governors cannot prove useful to America's strategy against Iran. The daily stressed Israel's disappointment with the decision and the strong criticism voiced by representatives of the non-aligned countries against the IAEA secretary-general for the report he released (Keyhan, November 19).

The daily Qods also discussed the failure of the United States to pass a more aggressive resolution against Iran, and said that the position taken by China, Russia, and the non-aligned countries proves that the time when the United States could impose its views has passed, and that international resistance to Western dictates is on the rise (Qods, November 20).

International affairs commentator Hassan Beheshtipour, who spoke last week against Iran's withdrawal from the NPT, defined the Board of Governors' resolution as "neither a victory nor a defeat". In an interview to the Fararu website, the commentator said that the fact that the Board of Governors did not refer the nuclear issue to the Security Council can be viewed as an achievement for Iranian diplomacy, but even that resolution is not beneficial for Iran, which must make an attempt to prevent similar resolutions in the future.

Beheshtipour said that Iran has to re-launch cooperation with the IAEA to remove the doubts brought up in Amano's report over its nuclear program. Iran has to adopt an active nuclear diplomacy and promptly present its views on the nuclear program to world public opinion. He argued that it is not enough simply to continue cooperating with the IAEA inspectors to prevent any more resolutions against Iran, and that Iran has to submit a detailed response to the IAEA's claims, particularly those that touch upon the allegedly military aspects of its nuclear program (Fararu, November 19).

Internal power struggle in conservative camp: president's advisor sentenced to one year in prison and almost arrested

Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, the president's media advisor and director of the government daily Iran and the official news agency IRNA, was sentenced this week to one year in prison and three years of suspension from journalism on charges of publishing content that goes against morality and the principles of Islam. On Monday, November 21, security forces attempted to arrest Javanfekr at the offices of the Iran newspaper. Over 30 employees were detained in confrontations with the security forces. Javanfekr was not arrested, apparently thanks to the president's intervention (ISNA, November 21).

The president's advisor was sentenced for publishing a supplement on women's veils called Khatun ("Lady") in an August 2011 issue of the daily Iran. The supplement, which included articles and photographs that addressed the subject, expressed controversial views and drew strong criticism from the conservative camp. An article authored by Javanfekr and published in the supplement criticized the operations conducted by the internal security forces to enforce the Islamic dress code on women. After the release of the supplement, the president's critics in the conservative camp claimed that the views expressed there reflected the anti-religious outlook of the "deviant faction" affiliated with President Ahmadinejad and his allies, particularly his office chief Rahim Masha'i.

In addition to being convicted for the Khatun supplement, Javanfekr stirred a political and media scandal this week following an interview given to the reformist daily E'temad, in which he strongly condemned the government's critics and the judiciary. The daily was then shut down for two months by the authorities.

In the interview Javanfekr claimed that the president enjoys widespread public support and owes nothing to the conservative political establishment. He categorically denied claims about the alleged involvement of the president's allies in corruption, saying that no such claim has been proven so far. He lashed out against the judiciary, blaming it for what he referred to as politically-motivated arrests of some of the president's allies.

Referring to the dismissal of former Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, which provoked a serious crisis between the Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad, Javanfekr said that the president had not disobeyed the Supreme Leader, and that those saying he had did not represent Khamenei's opinion. He argued that the Intelligence Ministry was not under the government's control after the 2009 presidential elections, and that both Moslehi and his predecessor, Gholam-Hossein Mohsen Eje'i, who was removed from his post by the president in July 2009 and is currently Iran's prosecutor-general, were not Ahmadinejad's allies.

Javanfekr lashed out against Eje'i and former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was also dismissed by the president, saying that the two ministers had better keep silent to maintain their dignity. He also condemned Majles members Ali Motahhari and Ahmad Tavakoli, two of Ahmadinejad's most prominent opponents in the conservative camp, claiming they had never supported Ahmadinejad, and that Motahhari even supported reformist opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

The president's advisor added that Ahmadinejad doesn't follow through his threats to expose corruption to avoid compromising the regime's interests, and that the president's opponents are concerned over such an exposure and therefore work against his allies. He rejected claims made by the president's critics that Ahmadinejad and his allies are disloyal to the Supreme Leader, saying that Iranians know full well who stands behind the Supreme Leader and who is loyal to him. Javanfekr also denied reports according to which the president intends to resign before the legal end of his term (E'temad, November 19).

After the interview, Keyhan's editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari strongly criticized Javanfekr, accusing him of collaboration with the reformist opposition and the enemies of Iran. In a strong-worded article published by Shariatmadari, a former Ahmadinejad supporter who in recent months has strongly criticized the president's association with the "deviant faction", the editor-in-chief of Keyhan said that the interview reflects the joint efforts undertaken by Iran's external enemies, the reformist opposition, and the "deviant faction" to undermine the regime and the position of the Islamic republic.

The timing of the interview is no coincidence, Shariatmadari claimed, and cannot be explained simply as a device to divert public opinion from the involvement of the "deviant faction" in the massive embezzlement recently exposed in Iran's banking system. The main reason behind the interview granted by Javanfekr to a reformist daily he himself defined as unreliable only three years ago has to do with regional and global developments. The Islamic revolutions in the region, the fall of the Arab dictators, the growth of Iran's status, and the escalation of social protest in the United States and Europe requires the enemies of the Islamic republic to use all means possible to destabilize its status: bringing up claims about Iran's nuclear program and human rights situation, making false accusations about its alleged involvement in the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, and passing anti-Iran resolutions in international institutions. According to Shariatmadari, the interview given by the president's advisor to E'temad also plays into Western attempts to weaken the regime, emphasize internal differences of opinion, and destabilize Iran's regional position (Keyhan, November 21).

Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mehdi Ta'eb, chairman of the central council of Ammar Headquarters, a think-tank affiliated with the radical wing of the conservative camp, also strongly condemned Javanfekr. He said that the "deviant faction" wants to cause damage to the leaders of the regime and provoke internal disagreements to divert public opinion from the major, important issues on the agenda, including the Islamic awakening (Fararu, November 21).

Speaking at a press conference he convened after being convicted for the Khatun supplement, Javanfekr once again expressed his controversial views. He said that there is no "deviant faction", and that the president and his supporters have always upheld the principles of the revolution, do not deviate from anything, and have nothing to hide from the public.

Javanfekr noted that he had no intention of slandering anyone in his interview to E'temad, and that his claims against the judiciary are objective rather than personal. He stressed that the judiciary has to safeguard the rights of the Iranian people and treat them fairly. As long as he is alive, Javanfekr said, he will continue expressing his opinions and voicing his views under the law. Thirty-two years into the Islamic revolution, the right to voice one's opinion deserves to be freely exercised and tolerated, he added.

Referring to his incrimination, the president's advisor said it is unjust and that he intends to lodge an appeal. He claimed that he was incriminated as a result of the media storm that broke out after the publication of the Khatun supplement, and that it had no basis in fact (ISNA, November 21).

Next target of Islamic law enforcement campaign: internet cafés and photography shops

Tehran's police chief Hossein Sajedinia reported last weekend that the Tehran police recently launched an operation to shut down illegal photography shops and internet cafés which provide their clients with banned services. He noted that the police will take strong action against those who "mislead the youth" and violate the law or social norms.

According to Sajedinia, the police was prompted to launch the operation by complaints it received from many families about inappropriate services offered by photography shops and internet cafés to young people. He said that, among other things, photography shop owners expose private photos that cause numerous family problems, and internet cafés provide illegal services. As the operation began the Tehran police inspected 90 photography shops and 260 internet cafés, issued tickets, and even shut down some of them (ISNA, November 19).

A number of conservative news websites have complained recently that internet cafés operating in Tehran have become the preferred recreation sites for youngsters who do not comply with Islamic religious law and do not adhere to the Islamic dress code and moral values. Young men and women spend hours sitting side by side, talking to each other, smoking, and listening to music in an inappropriate environment (Farda News, September 16).

In recent years internal security forces have stepped up the campaign to enforce the Islamic code in various fields, which include confiscating satellite dishes, enforcing the Islamic dress code, confiscating unlicensed DVD films, closing down barber shops that offer Western-style haircuts, and taking action against designers of "inappropriate-style" clothing.

In June 2007 internal security forces chief Esma'il Ahmadi-Moghaddam announced that many internet cafés that cater mostly to young people operate without a license and violate the law. Iranian law has clear criteria as to who qualifies to operate an internet café, stating among other things that such a business may only be opened by a married person aged 30 or older.

Azeri separatism at Iranian soccer match

A number of independent websites and blogs reported this week that some fans of the Tractorsazi soccer team from Tabriz wore shirts with the flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan to a soccer match against the Fajr-e Sepasi team from Shiraz. One fan even raised the Azerbaijan flag.

The conservative website Raja News strongly condemned the fans for bringing "separatist symbols" to the match, saying that on a number of past occasions the same fans had incited other soccer fans to shout separatist slogans during matches. The website accused them of encouraging "pan-Turkish" ideas and attempting to take advantage of the situation to promote their "deviant objectives". It also called on security, law, and sports authorities to take action against the phenomenon and ban these fans from stadiums (Raja News, November 18). The incident was also reported by the Documentation Center of the Islamic Republic and independent blogs mostly affiliated with the radical wing of the conservative camp.

After the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 and the establishment of independent Muslim republics (including Azerbaijan) to the north of Iran, Iran became increasingly concerned over the growth of Azeri national consciousness, particularly when considering the existence of a sizable Azeri minority in the country (about 20 percent of Iran's population), which does not enjoy national rights. In March 2006 the government was forced to temporarily shut down the government daily Iran, which published a mocking caricature of an Azeri child and sparked riots among the Azeri minority.

Iranian concerns over internal Azeri separatism are one of the causes of the disagreements between Iran and Azerbaijan, which stretch back several years. Such concerns have escalated this past year over the suppression of the Islamic opposition by the Azerbaijani authorities and their efforts to restrict religious activity in the republic, the growing Israeli involvement in the country, the authorities' sometimes hostile approach towards Iranian tourists, and disagreements over the division of the Caspian Sea. On a number of occasions Iranian media even threatened that unless Azerbaijan ceases its efforts to encourage Azeri separatism in Iran and change its hostile stance towards Tehran, Iran may demand the return of the Caucasus territory it ceded to Russia under the treaties signed between the two countries in the 19th century.

Pictures of the week:
Central Council of World Assembly of Islamic Awakening meets in Tehran

The website of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center is at This article is archived at malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/ ran_e142.htm

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Posted by Darlene Casella, December 28, 2011.

The Island Kingdom of Bahrain has been a port of call for millennium. In ancient times Sumerians believed that Bahrain was Paradise, where the wise and brave enjoyed eternal life. She sits in the heart of the Persian Gulf, along trade routes between Asia and the West. The 15 mile King Faud Causeway links her to Saudi Arabia. Why has this kingdom, smaller than New York City, come to be in grave peril?

Archeologists have found ancient Indian, Chinese, and Arabian coins. Islam arrived in the 7th Century, and was met by Bahraini Christians. After centuries of conflict, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians in 1783. Oil was discovered in 1932. Treaties made it a British protectorate. Independence came in 1971 under the rule of Sheikh Isa ibn Sulman Al Khalifh. His eldest son, Hamad, became King in 1999. A delicate balance of power existed until 2010 when the Wifaq, a Shia political society, won a large bloc of seats in Parliament. This year Arab protests brought hard-line activists and unrest.

Shia protestors reject the Sunni King. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council members blame Iran for inciting upheaval.

Military police were accused of mistreating and torture of detainees. The King established The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in June 2011 to assess complaints. November 23rd, BICI reported its findings. Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa told Gulf News said that abuses had been committed. He promised that the government will implement the BICI recommendations immediately. He stressed that Iran is trying to destabilize the whole Arab world.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, addressed worshipers during prayers "We are very worried about the situation in Bahrain". Experts believe that Iran is working for destabilization in Bahrain, Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, and Kuwait. Iran works with Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Iran's efforts are to prepare for a confrontation with Israel and the United States. Weakened Gulf States will be in no position to stand against Iran.

According to Foreign Minister Ahmad Al Halifa, "Iran wants Bahrain to be Iran's "Jewel in the Crown" of Gulf States. The threat is grave, and Arab countries must not stand alone facing Iran; but pay attention to Iran's dangers, which come under a thousand guises."

Senator John McCain from Arizona affirmed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Iran is trying to orchestrate events in Bahrain. He elaborated that Iran seeks to spread its influence into the Arabian Peninsula and he pointed to Bahrain as evidence. McCain further stated that it is important to combine activities against Iran before she succeeds in building nuclear weapons.

Bahrain has been a key player for offshore banking and financial services due to their legal system and strong business ethic. To overcome the impact of social unrest, closed banks and shops, and capital flight; Bahrain is reaffirming its commitment to economic growth. On November 26th, in Munich, Tamkeen signed an agreement with German Chemicals BASF. It will be the largest plant in the Middle East.

The United States Chamber of Commerce has a large presence. There is a U.S. Bahrain Business Council to help Bahrain take advantage of the Chambers network of business relationships.

More than 25,000 Sailors and Marines are assigned to the U.S. Naval Forces Commander, 5th Fleet; off the coast of Bahrain. Their mission is to ensure peace and stability, and protect America's interests in the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, the Arabia Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. They conduct peacetime military exercises with allies in the region.

Fitch, and Standard and Poor's rating agencies have given Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications) a credit rating of BBB-; and A-3 for short term foreign and local currency ratings. These ratings pave the way for the issuance of investment grade bonds.

President Barak Obama received a blunt message from Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa. "You've denounced Iran's plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington. But what is the US actually doing to let Iran show that it is serious? We are asking the US to stand up and to draw lines in the sand. We haven't seen any proper response that is serious coming from your shores."

A Middle Eastern vacuum of US leadership make Turkey and Iran the current power players. China and Russia accept Iran's word that nuclear power plants are for energy generation and not weapons, in spite of the International Atomic Energy Agency's latest report. Putin and Khamenei are both against NATO's Missile Defense System. After Putin is elected president, he might draw lines in the sand. On which side of the line would Putin stand? It is a complex riddle.

The Jewish State of Israel sits amid Arab Nations, Bahrain and other Persian Gulf Kingdoms. All have nervous anticipation with regard to Iran. Khamenei repeatedly promises death to Israel. The Ayatollah threatened Turkey with a bomb to take out the newly installed NATO Defense Shield; and forecast starting a war that could spread across the Middle East. If Khamenei does not intend to launch nuclear missiles, one might ponder why he is so enraged about the Defense Shield.

Darlene Casella was, before retirement, an English teacher, a stockbroker, and owner/president of a small corporation. She lives with her husband in La Quinta, California and can be reached at

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Posted by Evelyn Hayes, December 27, 2011.

A open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu:


"MK Netanyahu, wasn't 78% of the Mandate enough? 80% of Hebron enough? 355/365 days allowed Jews to enter the Machpela — in the property purchased for Jews by Avraham Aviinu and protected by Rabin Amendment to Oslo II enough? Hanna Ashwari is laughing her head off at you just like on the Rose show when you didn't even know what she meant by "We only want 22%" (Of the 100% Jewish Mandate, 78% was gifted to Jordan and so 22% is Israel and Territories) and you're still cutting, and arresting your patriots for them who want it all and Jews dead.

A little fool is fooled once. A big fool is fooled again and again. A disengaged fooler is one who joins the foolers and fools himself and his family and friends and victimizes them like they are the enemies.".

Consider this news item:

"Christian Tourists Angry at Discrimination at Outpost" by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Christian tourists, threatened by arrest during a solidarity visit at an outpost in Judea and Samaria, ask Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu why leftists at the site were not arrested.

The 34 Canadians and eight Americans stopped by the Oz Tzion outpost during their recent two-week visit.

"Your troops showed up and threatened to arrest the men of our group if we did not leave within 10 minutes," Alberta, Canada resident Al Dublanko wrote the Prime Minister.

He revealed, "The colonel who came to arrest us, confessed that he has seen many busloads of foreigners come to his region, all in support of the Arabs against the settlers."

Dublanko asked Prime Minister Netanyahu, "Why would you so easily let these confessed enemies of Israel wander around with immunity, and arrest us who support you? On a previous visit we went to Bat Ayin [in Gush Etzion], and the residents were visibly upset thinking us to be yet another busload of Peace Now activists coming to taunt them over the terrible slayings of their children."

The Christian group had visited Oz Tzion shortly after Israeli police raided the community and destroyed most of it. Dublanko wrote, "The pathetic little outpost had already suffered the indignity of having 15 shacks torn down in a violent manner by your troops during the night, and they had succeeded in rebuilding only one....

"Mr. Netanyahu, you are confused. We are not your enemy. You do not seem to know who your heroes or your friends are. You move against your own people with the excuse of keeping rules and agreements, meanwhile ignoring the rules and even facilitating the rule breaking of your enemies.

"You protect the most anti-Semitic leftist groups as they move around your country trying to foment anti-Israeli sentiments, and expel our little group because we agree with the settlers in their belief that G-d gave the Jewish people the land.

"Mr. Prime Minister, your attempt at appeasement of world opinion is not working nor can it ever work. Jews are a chosen people and Israel is a special country, established not by a UN declaration, or Balfour Declaration, or any negotiations, not even by the might of the IDF, but by an ancient promise by G-d....

"We Christians know this, the Arabs know this, and you and every Jew in the world knows this. This is not to be debated....

"The European nations who support the Anti-Israel peace movements so generously, have the same hatred toward the Jewish people that they showed in WW2, and these groups are just their grandchildren trying to finish the task...

Dublanko said he is planning to send his teenage children to Israel in the spring because "we want them to see the courage and faith of the settlers and the total commitment of the youth like those of Oz Tzion and Bat Ayin. We ask that you not arrest them."

Evelyn Hayes is author of "The Eleventh Plague, Twins, because their hearts were softened to accept the unacceptable" and "The Twelfth Plague, Generations, because the lion wears stripes." Contact her at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, December 27, 2011.

Mistakes can be acknowledged and corrected if the people who made them are not allowed to carry on making them.


Are you already fed up with your voice disappearing as soon as you have sent your representative to represent you in any government forum? I am sure you are or just about to be.

The majority of people in Israel, as well as the USA, strongly disapprove of the performance job their governments do. In the USA, it is just about 20% of the entire population that still think the government is doing a good job. In Israel, the winds of dismay in the way the government has been conducting itself are blowing strong. There are clear indications that there is a growing distrust of the way the government has handled itself these past twenty years. The Israeli oligarchy, mainly with liberal-Leftist ideology is now facing growing opposition.

These governments do not represent the people as they should and in fact, they make the people's life rather miserable. Most people find the people at the top to be self serving individuals with rather miniscule concern to what is happening to the person in the street.

The government system in Israel is a democracy. Democracy, is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal, and more or less direct, participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of Political self determination.

The majority of Israelis agree that their government does not follow the description of a democracy. As the picture is unraveling at present in Israel, for the past two decades, the dominant force, rather undemocratic, has been the Left that had brought about, intentionally, tens of thousands of "victims of peace." They have imported to the land of Israel genocidal terrorists and approve them a new nationally, "Palestinians," which did not exist before 1967. thus took away the right of the real Palestinians, the Jews, the right to the land.

They signed meaningless and disastrous agreement with these beasts, thus gave them the right of way to kill Jews and demand land for themselves from underneath the Jewish nation's feet. That land does not belong to them, however, each concession the failing government of Israel made to the terrorists, gathered under the Palestinians Authority entity, the more ground of demands they gained. And the world went along with the terrorists, supporting them with every mean possible. That was not the case of the world's attitude towards Israel, which was and is far less supportive, in fact hostile.

What took place in Israel, during these past two decades, is inculcated pain and suffering on every level. The Arab jihad, the Left brought to the land of Israel, killed and wounded many. For the land concessions Israel made, in order to have peace, thousands of productive Israelis became homeless, overnight, and many have not recovered from their uprooting. The government's actions demoralized the nation and have brought to the surface many questions; the credibility of the government has been tarnished and the trust in it dwindled.

And what was the cost to the Arab-"Palestinians" for the government of Israel's irrational and ambiguous, rather schizophrenic actions? A simple gain. They in fact were encouraged by the way the Israeli leadership acted and have worsened Israel's position in the international arena. Domestically, the Jewish nation has disunited in regards to the way the nation needs to act in the war the Arabs have lunched on Israel for the past 63 years and even before. Many now woke up to realize that the Israeli leadership promised peace was a mirage, a delusion they bought into and dragged the entire nation into with disastrous consequences. What did the Arab-"Palestinians" do to comply with their agreements with Israel? Not only that they have not begun the peace process, not only that they have not comply with one clause in the Agreements, they began a systematic and extensive political and media terrorism against Israel. They have launched a successful delegitimization campaign against Israel to which many all over the world have joined. Along their demands and whims, they have controlled the non existing, and in and of meaningless "peace process's" negotiations they held with several, consecutive, Israeli leadership and have left the Israeli public behind to ponder, what is happening to us?

Since the Oslo Accords, which was signed on the White House lawn on 13 September 1993 and the Road Map, its closing statement was made at the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 24, 2002, no USA administration, neither the rest of the world, have ever punished the Arab-"Palestinians" for their vile behavior, for their terrorism and ongoing killing of Jews. But most important, they have utterly ignored and have not complied with any and all of what they have agreed to and signed for, agreements that were and are still so greatly revered by all the nations who pressured the parties, especially Israel, to sign for. The non-existing peace partner the world designated for Israel, and Israel went along with, kept on its wretched behavior for which it was and is rewarded. On the other hand, Israel, that complied with the agreements, and beyond, all with the hope in the heart of every Israeli that peace will come to fruition, was reprimanded, pressured and punished for, even isolated by the International community. The delusional "peace process" the Israel government began with the Oslo Accords have released worldwide anti-Semitism sentiments and brought to surface the eternal hate of Jews that was somewhat concealed since WWII.

Nothing good came from neither the Oslo Accords or the Road Map. It was a financial and emotional waste in which Israel invested great resources and much energy. These two agreements turned to be Israel's punishment. Israel had and is being condemned, reprimanded and constantly pressured by the powers of the world to comply with what her partner to any agreement, whether the Oslo Accords or the Road Map, will not.

Everything the Arab-"Palestinians" do is against the bejeweled "Oslo Accords." While the USA, the EU and the UN dictate to Israel to comply with these agreements, its, supposed to be partner to peace is free of any obligations. A classic case of appeasement, one for the books.

So now, the Israelis are waking up to realize that the people who are representing them have cheated them of way too much and have caused them and their country untold harm. Thus, they are now in the process of undoing the domination of those who have harmed them and want to harm them further. The position and faulty rule of the elite, the Left-unJews, the oligarchs in Israel is, slowly but surely, being undone and new, more realistic officials are gaining power.

Israel is NO democracy; rather it is a light tyranny in the guise of democracy in which the few control all. The pretence needs to change.

It will take time to undo the harmed that was done and still being done but the process has started and that is the most important.

It is time to lift the political titanic off the Israelis' back.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Elad Benari, December 27, 2011.

The Palestinian Authority may soon fail financially and cease to exist, its prime minister warned on Thursday.

Salam Fayyad warned that if Israel does not resume the transfer of tax revenues it collects for the PA, the entity will collapse economically and thus cease to exist. Already now, Fayyad claimed, the PA cannot pay salaries to its employees.

Channel 10 News reported that Fayyad made the comments following a meeting with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. According to the report, Fayyad said that the collapse of PA institutions "is advancing rapidly toward the point at which they will stop operating."

"We have no money," Fayyad was quoted as having said. "It's not about donations or international assistance we receive," he added, blaming the Israeli decision to freeze the taxes it collects for the PA as being the reason for the impending collapse.

A recent World Bank report, while admitting that the PA is undergoing a financial crisis, said the crisis was primarily due to the lack of donor countries fulfilling their pledges to fork over billions of dollars to Ramallah.

Israeli officials decided to halt the transfer of taxes to the PA as part of a round of sanctions against the entity, following its ascension as a 'full-member state' to UNESCO. Last week, Israel's cabinet voted to maintain the freeze. Israel transfers some $100 million in tax payments to the PA every month.

Foreign Minister Støre reportedly said Fayyad is correct in saying that the PA will soon cease to exist, and compared the Israeli decision to waterboarding, the method of torture used by the United States on security prisoners, when interrogators simulate drowning by pouring water on the head of the prisoner.

"This is waterboarding-style torture, only that it has to do with the economy," Støre was quoted as having said.

On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resume the transfer of taxes to the PA, saying that transferring tax money to the PA would be in line with Israel's legal obligations.

Elad Benari writes for Arutz-7, where this article appeared December 25, 2011.

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Posted by Paul Lademain, December 28, 2011.

We have for years regarded NYT's Tom-tit Friedman as a cockeyed, narcissistic faux-optimist, always ready to lead others to ruin just so long as he is given his daily ration of sweetened coffee and nosh. Remember how Tom-tit practically broke into tears of gratitude after he was invited to Saudi Arabia and actually allowed to eat — mind you, eat — in the presence of the Soddy "royals"?

One of my prestigious friends says the flaw resides in Tom-tit's DNA. My friend asserts that far too many Jews possess an absolutely unfathomable and crazy pride in slavishly serving others at the expense of their brethren, or, better still, especially at the expense of their brethren (which to our mind accounts for why there are so few Jews compared to millions of non-Jews. ) Call this what you will, but we call it culturally-inculcated lack of common sense.

We here at the SC4Z won't go so far as to blame Jewish DNA for what appears to be an inherent Jewish cultural bent to use one's intelligence to rationalize political stupidity. (Such as allowing the cunning arabs to successfully use semantics to co-opt Israel's right to its lands. For example: the language-blind Jew stubbornly refers to arabs occupying Israel's territory as "palestinians," thereby helping the arabs legitimize the arab's Big LIE.)

It is our opinion that one of the most tragic events in Israel's history was how the people of Israel allowed greedy individuals like Shimon Peres to rise to power and consort with the likes of Yasser Arafat. Arafat, who openly revealed to his arab audience how deeply he despised Peres. The Euroids and the US State Dept. watched Yasser make a fool of Peres. The world even more eagerly watched Peres pretend that Yasser had not made a fool of him. It is Israel's great misfortune that it invented excuses for Peres. Same goes for the Sharon family, Ehud Barak and Olmert and that loose cannon, Dorit Beinisch.

Israel once held all the cards and either forgot how to play them, or else allowed Israel to be led by persons who were either ignorant of the uses of their cards or who for a variety of unacceptable reasons, refused to play them. (Perhaps these individuals received baksheesh so as not to play them?)

With new leadership, Israel can retrieve its cards and play them hard. It might as well. (Doing so might in turn staunch certain US State Dept. bureaucrats' bent toward expanding war throughout the Middle East. ) Better to fight like a lion than to die like a weeping mouse. In short, Israel needs leaders who will stop playing at chess and instead learn how to play and win at the game of "Go".


On Dec 27, 2011, Truth Provider wrote:

Dear friends,

A clown (or better still, a j--k) deservedly receives the CLOWN OF THE YEAR AWARD.

Do not miss the following video.
Friedman the Award-Winning Clown

Your Truth Provider, Yuval.

Uploaded by MidEastTruth on Dec 27, 2011 Clown of the Year Award for 2011: Thomas L. Friedman

It was a very bad year for New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman.

The award is going to Friedman not only because of his repeated, outrageous anti-Israel op-eds, or because of his obvious personal hostility towards Israel PM, Benjamin Netanyahu. . .

The reason we chose Thomas Friedman to be the Clown of the Year for 2011 is his pathetically naive optimism regarding the Egypt revolution.

When every Mideast expert warned about the possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood taking power, Friedman was euphoric and said he truly believed that the secular, Facebook-using young generation is the "real Egypt".

"Last February, after visiting Tahrir Square, the rallying point of the Egyptian revolution, Friedman exulted that the "people" had achieved "freedom" and were heading toward democracy.

He dismissed concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood would become a dominant party." — Isi Leibler, The Jerusalem Post, December 19, 2011

Paul Lademain is a Secular Christian for Zion (SC4Z). Contact him by email at

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Posted by Mordechai Nisan, December 28, 2011.

Everybody is talking about a Palestinian state and the two-state solution. This has monopolized political discourse for decades, and smothered alternative proposals.

While teaching Middle East Studies for 35 years at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I researched and wrote extensively on Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian question, minorities in the Middle East, Islam, and U.S. foreign policy.

My new book "ONLY ISRAEL WEST OF THE RIVER" defends the Jewish national state narrative, rejects the Palestinian state idea, argues in favor of Jerusalem united under Israeli rule, elucidates the Jewish settlement enterprise, while offering a coherent paradigm to contend with the Israeli-Palestinian conflct.

ONLY ISRAEL WEST OF THE Jordan river is my core proposal to generate new political discourse and conflict-resolution toward a vision of peace. My book cuts through the fog of disinformation on behalf of reality, truth, and justice.

For a learning experience on the most controversial and potentially explosive political issue of our times, order now ONLY ISRAEL WEST OF THE RIVER at, at list price $8.99 and at for $8.09



Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State & the Palestinian Question
By: Mordechai Nisan
Publisher: CreateSpace (June 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461027268
ISBN-13: 978-1461027263
Paperback and Kindle

Book Description

This book offers a coherent paradigm to contend with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It first clarifies the national Jewish character of Israel, the danger of domestic Arab challenges, and the imperative of Israeli rule throughout the area west of the Jordan River. It secondly considers the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria, and the complexity of arranging Jewish-Arab accommodation and political stability.

The book then argues for the consolidation of a Palestinian entity east of the river in Jordan. This innovative approach to conflict-resolution offers the only reasonable political solution for a problem that is more than one hundred years old. The two-state solution, currently monopolizing political discourse, is a non-starter; our proposal is the only worthy and serious option to consider.

Mordechai Nisan is an Israeli professor and scholar of Middle East Studies at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact him at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 27, 2011.

The government of Israel built the security barrier in Jerusalem such that some small Arab areas of Jerusalem housing 60,000 people fell outside the barrier. Municipal workers find it difficult to service those areas, because of "security considerations." Israeli police are supposed to control those areas, but do not. They won't enter those areas without Army protection, which they do not get. Those areas reek of municipal neglect.

In reaction, Jerusalem Mayor Barkat suggested ceding those areas to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). He would swap those areas for ones in which 20,000 Arabs live within the barrier but as part of the P.A..

Most Arabs outside the barrier don't want to be ruled by the P.A.. Their doctors and their children's schools are inside the barrier, and they have Israeli social insurance. Arabs inside the barrier but within the P.A. don't want to be ruled by Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports.

What does the Association for Rights in Israel (ACRI) think of the plan? It accused Mayor Barkat of trying to shirk his official duty to the 60,000 Arabs
(IMRA 12/18/11 from MELANIE LIDMAN, The Jerusalem Post Article.aspx?id=249831 ).

As predicted, gradually the barrier sets the boundaries. On what basis was the barrier set?

On what evidence does ACRI accuse the Mayor of trying to shirk his duty? Besides, what can he do, when Arabs make it too dangerous for municipal workers and police, and the Army won't protect them? The article does not say which Arabs make the external areas unsafe and why the Army won't afford protection.

ACRI calls itself a civil rights organization. Because it calls itself that as cover for its undermining of Jewish civil rights in favor of Arabs seeking to destroy Israel, the public mostly thinks it is a civil rights organization. ACRI always champions Arab usurpation and does not champion Jewish civil rights. One would think our media would catch on to the false nomenclature of ACRI. But they are shallow, rushed, or biased. If biased, ACRI's pretense allows them to endorse its criticism of Israel and appear civil libertarians rather than the jihad enablers they really are.

I consulted an Israeli living in the Territories not far from the barrier and who has observed and experienced these things. The reply goes to the issues. It does not hedge over political correctness. It expresses a point of view, but one based on reality.

The Israeli answers first things first. The first question, that the Mayor and the reporter ignored, is why Arab towns are neglected. Arab towns are neglected because Arabs attack workers who enter even to provide needed services. Attacks occur on either side of the barrier. The fundamental problem is not the barrier but Arab bigotry and violence.

Next question, why don't police and Army protect the workers? Problem is, the government has given the army orders almost never to shoot. Don't shoot to protect civilian Jews. Don't shoot if attacked but there may be, may be, other ways to protect oneself. That is, cut your margin of safety close. And don't shoot and therefore exact a price and perhaps apprehend assailants, when Arabs run away, because then the soldiers' lives are not endangered at that moment. [Having gotten away, the assailants can return for another round, contemptuous for the enemy.]

Consider what happened on Friday, December 17, at the entrance to Ma'ale Adumim, an Israeli town in the Territories not far from Jerusalem. Arab stabbed a guard there. The other guards did not shoot him, not even in the legs.

If a soldier shoots an Arab, and the government calls it unnecessary violence, he gets punished. What a disincentive for soldiers on the home front! The Arab, on foot, ran back into his neighboring town.

The Arabs in Jerusalem they don't love Jews, but many are frightened of what would happen if the Palestinian Authority gets jurisdiction over them. On the other hand, my informant notes Arab violence throughout Jerusalem; it is getting worse.

Now my informant issues a challenge. If Arabs want their town not to be neglected, let them stop attacking workers! Likewise, if ACRI really wants to do something about the Mayor's neglect of those Arabs, let them protect workers so they won't refuse orders to enter those towns. It is easy for ACRI to denounce others, but it won't suggest that the Army use more force. That would violate the Arab right to attempt to kill Jews. That is the paramount civil right. Just as the American governmental bureaucracies are tied up in legalistic red tape, so, too, now, is the government of Israel tying its own hands in dealing with the enemy. Governments are afraid of criticism over doing the right thing.

For Jews, the supposed Jewish state is like living under Britain's Palestine Mandate, when the government sided with the Arabs and condoned their violence against Jews. Israeli governments allow such violence, committed by Arab admirers of the Holocaust that they nevertheless deny happened.

Israeli governments have the wrong concept about the violence. They see it as individual violence. But it is societal, based on a religious ideology. This violence, which has taken thousands of Jewish lives, is part of jihad. The correct concept is that the Muslim Arabs are at various stages of war with Israel.

Treat these attacks as war crimes and as military. Then Israel might stop letting attempted murderers get away with their crimes. Israel might deter many attacks, when the attackers incur penalties. Since this concept perceives the Arab attacks as part of an attempt to annihilate the Jews and/or drive them out of the Jewish homeland, Israel would stop "affirmative action" discrimination in favor of Arabs, would stop discriminating against Jews over land disputes, would stop permitting massive Arab evasion of the laws on land ownership, construction, taxation, and riots.

Israel has to stop trying to be "nice" to the enemy, for nobody appreciates that and everybody has contempt for that. It harms oneself. This is not to suggest that Israelis start being the brutes toward the Arabs that they are slandered for. But the government should stop being brutes toward nationalist and religious Jews that they often are. And the government should do what it can to undermine the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). The P.A. strives to overthrow Israel, and Israel strives to bolster the P.A.. Where is the sanity in Israel's position on that?

Palestinian Arabs, imbued with false grievances and hating people with different religions have attempted to slay Jews just about every day — imagine granting them a state close to Israel, "side-by-side," as the "two-state solution" proposers put it!

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kark, December 27, 2011.

An article on Indigeneity, specifically about the Israeli Bedouin appeared in Israel Studies, Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2012, pp 78-104, 10.1353/is.2012.0003
( israel_studies/summary/v017/ 17.1.frantzman.html), published by Indiana University Press. It was written by Seth J. Frantzman, Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kark. This is the Abstract:

The article examines the history of the development of a discourse that regards the Bedouin of the Negev desert in Southern Israel as an indigenous people of Israel. This movement has generated a great deal of activity in recent years, particularly the submission of a petition to the U.N. by activists asking for the Bedouin to be recognized as having indigenous communal rights in 2005. The subject is examined in the context of the worldwide recognition of indigenous rights that culminated in the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted on the 13th of September 2007. The article takes account of the processes and activities of individuals who have helped lead and craft a narrative of an indigenous Bedouin identity. It also explores the rise of an indigenous consciousness movement as reflected in states, academic institutions, NGOs, and individuals across the world, with a focus on some of the implications for Israel and the region of the current struggle for recognition for indigenous rights.

Below is the Lawfare Report Review of the article.


Israel Affairs

The burgeoning international human rights efforts have helped to create a "consciousness movement" of indigenous people. Spurred by activists, human right lawyers and scholars, in 1983 the U.N. created a working group on indigenous population. The group failed to come up with a definition of who qualifies for this category, but the U.N. adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. The Declaration and some subsequent resolutions were also ambiguous with regard to the compensation for indigenous people, notably whether they should be entitled of their lands and resources.

Citing this vagueness of the U.N. Declaration, Canada, New Zealand and Australia reject it, stating that the "provisions of the Declaration are overly broad, unclear and open to interpretation . . . the text is not balanced, and suggests that Indigenous rights prevail over the rights of others." The three countries have subsequently reversed the decision but stipulated that the Declaration is vague enough to lend itself to different interpretations.

U.N. failure to define indigeneity created a veritable hodgepodge of claims by ethnic, religious and cultural groups. The Middle East is a case in point; the Egyptian Copts claimed to be an indigenous group as well as the Bahais and the Iranian Arabs. The Iraqi Marsh Arabs, a truly indigenous population, were listed once, but then disappeared from the U.N. registry, apparently because they did not invest in writing an entry. As for the various Bedouin tribes, their status is only sporadically reflected either in the U.N. Directory of the scholarly literature.

The Bedouin tribes in Negev are a clear exception in this respect. The article credits the rapid advancement of Bedouin indigenous consciousness (and status) to two closely related factors. First, a group of Israeli academics, including Oren Yiftachel (BGU) Tovi Fenster (TAU) Alexander Kedar (Haifa U) and Geremy Forman (Haifa U) conceptualized the Bedouins as indigenous people. Their writings influenced the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous People, something that Yiftachel apparently hoped for when he stated that Jewish activism "is intended to influence the public discourse and raise consciousness" on behalf of the Bedouins. Second, Jewish and Bedouin activists have mounted a campaign to lobby UN and human rights groups to recognize the indigenous status of the Negev tribes, which is now referred to as Naqab.

The high-level activism that propelled the Israeli Bedouins into the "top of the chart" of UN indigenous peoples, has produced an ironic consequence. As the article indicates, the same Bedouin tribal groups outside Israel have not benefited from the such heightened attention and thus failed to reach the coveted "indigenous" status. This categorization makes little sense from an anthropological point of view, but can be easily explained when the high-velocity politics of the process are considered. Looked at from such angle, it is hard to escape the conclusion that pro-Bedouin activism is one more front in the increasingly broad and successful campaign of lawfare against Israel waged by Palestinians and their supporters.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at and visit his website: Contact the Israel Academia Monitor by email at and visit the website: The IAM monitors anti-Israel publications of Israeli academics. It frequently reprints papers written by these academics.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 26, 2011.


DISTORTING HISTORY: As memories of the struggle for Jewish self-determination fade, and as people with such memories fade away, decades of pro-Arab propaganda fill in. Known and documented history becomes distorted in favor of the Arabs. The public is none the wiser.

One particular 1947 threat of Arab violence was not documented. That was the Arab League warning that the establishment of a Jewish state would be met with "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades." The original document containing the threat was lost. As a result, some people profess to doubt the Arab intentions [although much of the same kind of statement was documented].

DOCUMENTING HISTORY: The missing document has surfaced. Middle East Quarterly published a full translation, annotated. In reaction, "new historian" Tom Segev, who long has warped the story of Israeli defense against aggression into one of Israeli oppression, used his column in Haaretz to minimize the significance of that quoted threat of genocide. DENIGRATING PUBLICATION OF HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Mr. Segev did not deny the threat nor dispute its meaning. Instead, he demeaned people who published the missing document. [Is Segev's notion of history to keep key points undermining his anti-Zionist thesis secret.] He called it "pathetic" to find historical quotes in newspapers, as if the document didn't exist and only newspaper quotes did. He tried to counterbalance the document by quoting public statements by Arab League Secretary Azzam that offered protection for the Jewish people.

Mr. Segev went on to claim that the retrieved document was taken from Wikipedia, a denigration which has nothing to do with the document's authenticity. But Middle East Quarterly published the document before Wikipedia did.

JIHADIST BLUNT IN PRIVATE: Privately, however, Mr. Azzam was blunt with Jewish leaders. In line with the document, he told them that their state would meet the same ill fate as the crusaders' state. Referring to the Palestinian Jews a week earlier, he had told British Ambassador to Jordan Sir Alec Kirkbride, "We will sweep them into the sea." In the contemporary Palestine Post with which Segev was familiar, Azzam explained that Israel must be destroyed.

In a memo to UN Sec-General Trygve Lie, Azzam said that he would allow survivors of the destroyed Jewish state to live, but as inferiors.
( haaretz-newspaper, 12/16/11).

How many survivors would there be, if jihadists were victorious?

When I was a lad, New York newspapers were full of Arab threats to "throw the Jews into the sea." Arab leaders have learned that stark statements make poor public relations, but their goals remain the same.

JEWS WHO BETRAY OWN PEOPLE: Mr. Segev's tactic is to "kill" the messenger. Is that the best he can do?

For a supposed historian, Mr. Segev has low standards of accuracy and analysis. By distorting the historical record all during his career, he has betrayed not only his profession but his own people. Such disloyalty goes beyond the intellectual and into the psychiatric.

This aspect of antisemitism is not widely realized. Many people still are under the illusion that Jews cannot be antisemites. They might realize that Jews can be antisemites, if they knew history. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that history is not relevant. Were they really educated, they would know that the small proportion of Jews who also were Communists turned all the more rabidly against their own people, to demonstrate their new loyalty. Thus went Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky. (But when gentile antisemites want to blame Jews, they cite Leon Trotsky as one.) Thus some Medieval Jewish converts to Christianity lied about the Talmud to help persecute Jews. Some Jews who had aided the American civil rights movement sided with black segregationists who discriminated against Jewish teachers and even beat up some. American leftists who do not practice Judaism and do not identify with their fellow Jews sometimes deceitfully cite their (nominally) being Jewish as indicating that their agitation against the Jewish state is not prejudice.

PRETENDING TO BE BENIGN: Totalitarians — Islamists, Nazis, or Communists — often masked malign intentions as benign. This tactic provokes less resistance. Soviets called themselves democratic and champions of workers. The Nazis assured Jews they were being sent to work, not to death, and they demonstrated this to the Red Cross in a phony concentration camp. Muslim Arabs hide jihad behind fabricated territorial grievances and call their terrorism "resistance."

Although knowledge of such deceit is in the public domain, it is not in the public consciousness. People still get deceived. Decent Americans, educated people and leaders alike, are naive. They keep succumbing to the same ruses.

I think many people want to be deceived. Swallowing totalitarian propaganda suits the prejudices of some and the apathy of others. It is cheaper and easier to defer difficult decisions. So they ignore foreign imperialist movements; they keep the economy suspended on bailout, short-term legislation, and new sub-prime products.

Overall, beware of Radical Muslim rationalization and of one's own! Israel is facing grave danger. Its leftists do it a great disservice in bolstering the enemy cause.


EGYPTIAN PRETENSE: Egypt has two Radical Muslim political parties that together, so far, have gained about 3/5 of the parliamentary seats. Leaders of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist party declare themselves faithful to the non-aggression pact with Israel. Is that just cover for their undermining and eventually nullifying the pact?

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is reviewing Egypt's treaties. It plans to evaluate them via: (1) Islamic law; (2) Egyptian public opinion; and (3) Whether Israel complies with the treaty, as judged by Egypt.

ISLAMISTS WILL END EGYPT-ISRAEL TREATY: Islamist party leaders have suggested amending or ending the Camp David accords and diplomatic and economic relations with Israel. They called Israel's repulsion of a terrorist attack, in the course of which Israeli troops shot some Egyptian troops [who may have been complicit with the terrorists], a violation of the treaty. Freedom and Justice Party leader Dr. Mohammed Morsi went so far as to accuse Israel of "systematic" violations. The Party's legal advisor wants to deploy powerful Egyptian forces in the Sinai, to "deter" Israel.

Dr. Hamdy Ismail, a district leader of the Party proposed submitting the issue to a referendum. Besides, said Dr. Ahmed Rami, another district leader, Israel is near collapse and the Egyptian revolution will "liberate" Jerusalem.

The two parties want Egypt to resume regional leadership of the military and diplomatic struggle against Israel. The treaty stands in their way. They will get their new parliament or a referendum to void the agreement. That done before a new government forms, the decision cannot be blamed on the new government. The parties seek to cancel the agreement with th the least diplomatic and economic repercussions. Freedom and Justice Party deputy leader Dr. Essam El-Arian does not think much of U.S. threats to stop subsidizing Egypt if it canceled the treaty.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader, Dr. Mohammed Badie views the treaty as a surrender to Israel. The treaty ended infiltrating into Israel, closed the Gaza-Egypt border, and damaged Egyptian national security (somehow) by exporting gas to Israel. He did not refer to Israel by name but as the "enemy" or "Zionist." He considers Israel and the U.S. as Egypt's main enemies, seeking to take over the Mideast. Both those enemies, however, are declining, he thinks. He cites U.S. failures in Iraq and Afghanistan and its financial doldrums; he looks forward to what the US. calls "Arab Spring" and to restoring the area of Israel to Islamic rule.

Dr. Emad Abdel Ghafour, head of the Salafist party, al-Nur, finds that Israel failed to implement parts of the treaty, such as a final solution for Palestinian Arabs. Therefore, he would re-examine the treaty. Party spokesperson, Dr. Yousry Hamad, denied that the Party would maintain contacts with the Israeli ambassador.

There we have the ideological positions of Islamic extremists and the tactics for implementing those positions. They only pretend to be democratic, and the U.S. swallows that pretence. Why do Westerners remain optimistic about Egypt keeping the peace? Answer: they accept general reassurances intended to allay their suspicion.

The Moslem Brotherhood of Egypt will be able to assist its Hamas wing in Gaza. Egypt would open the border with Gaza and ship heavy arms in. Israel is trying not to seem to violate the treaty or to challenge Egypt. But Egypt inevitably will deploy regular forces in the Sinai. Egypt will challenge Israeli military action in Gaza and in Judea-Samaria (IMRA from Jerusalem Issue Briefs, Vol. 11, No. 22, 12/26/11, Jonathan D. Halevi ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1& LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID= 0&IID=11248&TTL=Are_Egypt�s_ Islamic_Parties_Planning_to_Nullify).

Have you noticed how much falsity and nonsense Muslim leaders include in their statements? For example, the nonsense that the U.S. and Israel want to control the Mideast. That is the propagandistic language of jihad.

DECEIVERS AND NAIFS: Let's face it, many societies and movements lie. But Westerners often evade passing necessary judgment by falling back on generalizations, such as that all politicians lie. They don't believe that — they believe politicians who share their views. They just say that cynical statement so as to brush off inconvenient truths.

We need to recognize which societies or their leaders engage in what manner of deceit. We need to understand that Islam authorizes deceit of non-Muslims, to advance the faith. Arab leaders have been indoctrinating their followers in bigotry and violence, while issuing press releases to us that theirs is a religion of peace.

When the Islamic goal is to conquer the world, starting with reclaiming areas liberated from their ancient conquests, it precludes being a religion of peace. We had better wake up to that fact, being as we are an object of their imperialist covetousness.

In Islamic deception, treaties may be signed until the Muslim side has gained enough strength not to need the treaties. Then they find excuses to break the treaties, blaming the other side. Not that the Soviets or the U.S. have been blameless about treaties.

Words being propaganda weapons, in the Muslim Arab lexicon, non-believers' self-defense against supposedly rightful Islamic advances is aggression. Defense against Islamic terrorism is "state terrorism." Jews returning to their homeland, where Arabs and other Muslims came in about the same time, are called "occupiers" and "settlers." Some of these deceptive terms have been bought by the Western Left, whose policies can be suicidal.

DON'T EQUATE ALL SIDES: Like equating all politicians as underhanded is equating all sides of all wars. They are not consistent about that, either. If they care about integrity, they would examine their own psychological rationalizations.

When they equate all sides, they implicitly deny any are evil. For example, the U.S. did not want to conquer the world, but the Nazis, USSR, and Radical Muslims have had that goal. The refusal to recognize evil may fall back on the notion that not all residents in a totalitarian culture are evil. As if that will keep the bombs from bursting!

Yes, war is terrible, but self-defense is justifiable. We should not start unnecessary wars, but pacifism and naivete embolden enemies to war on us.

REVIEW ARAB UPRISINGS: The Arab uprisings turned sour. Why? To find out, we should to review policies that encouraged Islamic take-over. Our U.S. government does not review it. To the contrary, the government is trying to put our heads deeper into the sand. One could make a joke that the Hidden Imam praised President Obama as a great leader, which now Americans know he is not, for enabling Radical Islam to triumph on one place after another.

A policy review should recognize what ideology deems us the enemy. It should understand how that ideology operates. It should figure out how to counteract that ideology. It should husband U.S. resources.

A policy review also should re-examine past policies, to see what we can learn. Assisting popular movements should not be done blindly; find out who is behind them or who would inherit them. Just because foreign leaders tell us the pleasing news that they favor democracy does not mean that they do. We must vet them below the surface. The U.S. arming of Egypt and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and even from the Sinai were mistakes that facilitate the next war. Let the State Department put its traditional anti-Zionism behind us, now that we have real, existential enemies.

THE NEW ARMS TRADE — DIGITAL PRODUCTS Ushered in with our new digital economy is a new arms trade. This trade buys not weapons but the digital technology or software that operates weapons or represses dissident digital communication. At stake are billions of dollars and millions of lives.

The weapons trade has been restricted by many countries, though not sufficiently and not by scofflaw countries Russia. The software trade has lagged in getting controls.

Being a Silicon Valley in itself, Israel exports much technical products. The country lacks uniformly applied controls. It is up to the exporters to police their shipments. Some don't, at least not diligently.

So it was that for years, an Israeli company shipped Internet-monitoring equipment to a distributor in Denmark. The goods intercept e-mails and text, record Internet activity, and map cell phone locations. Iran, Bahrain, Syria, and Tunisia have used such techniques to track dissidents, according to Bloomberg News.

The Danish distributor had the packaging and labels removed and the goods trans-shipped to Iran. Israeli officials did not know this, though employees of the company told Bloomberg that they, themselves, did know. However, the shipments were legal in Denmark.

Officially, Israel bans shipments to Iran, which seeks to destroy Israel and which represses its own people. The deals left a paper trail that the governments did not examine.

Companies can do more to prevent misuse of their software and equipment. "Companies often stay in touch with their products to send software updates, and can also examine customers' Internet addresses to determine where the equipment is." "The method has already proved effective, stymieing Syrian efforts to circumvent the US embargo during a crackdown that has killed more than 5,000 people." Companies also can check not only the buyers but also the locations where the software would be downloaded.

Companies can refuse to provide updates if they learn after shipment that their products were sent to ineligible consumers.

Do companies want to know where their goods end up? American companies had better know, if a House bill passes. The Bloomberg News investigation has stimulated European enforcement efforts, too.

Some companies also want to guard their reputations, and are waiting for their contracts to expire. When the Bloomberg investigation revealed that an Italian company was selling an Internet surveillance system to Syria, and Italy's newspapers reran the story, Syrian dissidents and Internet-freedom activists picketed company headquarters. The company paid heed. Some companies don't want to get involved in these problems ( By BLOOMBERG/ BEN ELGIN 12/23/2011 09:09 For more examples, see News/Article.aspx?id=250659).

Beware about siding with dissidents automatically. Dissidents may be Islamists seeking to replace a repressive regime with an ultra-repressive regime.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 26, 2011.

Last night, Moshe Ya'alon, Minister of Security Affairs and Deputy Foreign Minister, spoke at a Likud Anglo event in Jerusalem.

I share here thoughts from his briefing:

The main threat Israel faces, he says, does not involve security issues external to us, but rather our level of confidence in ourselves: in our way of life, our culture, our faith. We are in the midst of Chanukah, and this holiday, above all, is about our spirit.


Part of what is required of us is strength in the face of what he referred to as "corrupt discourse." We must continue to see matters clearly and know what we stand for, even in the face of perceptual distortions and biases.

A key example of this is the so-called "Arab Spring," which is actually a geo-political earthquake. The notion that it is about democratization is a fairy tale.

What we are actually seeing around us in the Middle East is the collapse of the nation-state system, which was imposed artificially in this region. After WWI, European nations divided up the Middle East into "nations," drawing lines without regard to the various tribe, clans and other groups, including religious, that existed within the designated borders. They did this using the European nation-state as model. (There is a France, with a French people, etc. But, for example, Syria is governed by an Alawite minority, while the state contains within it Christian, Sunni, Shia, Druze and other groups). In point of fact, the imposition upon tribal societies of nations-states was patronizing.


And now the West is attempting to impose another value: democratization. Often the benchmark used is an election. But this alone does not define a democracy, and Islamic regimes distort the game — using those elections for their own ends. Actual democratization is a slow process, with development of a free press, concern for human rights, etc.


One of the reasons the West is eager to see instant democratization is because it has developed a fallacious mental set: It sees all problems as having solutions, and believes that those solutions can be found now. This is a corruption of Western modern life. When we are dealing with very complicated geo-political situations, "solutions now" may simply not be possible.

This is certainly the case with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

But what happens when no instant solution is found is that Western leaders deny that the Jihadists have accountability. Instead the finger is pointed at Israel. This is a dangerous situation.

The media and academia impose politically correct thinking and are eager to push Israel into a situation that requires appeasement. These are failed approaches, fueled by anti-Semitism, ignorance and naiveté.

And Israel must fight back against this thinking.


Ya'alon says as early as 1995 — when he was in IDF Intelligence — he was able to readily see that Oslo was not going to be a success because Arafat wasn't preparing his people for peace, rather he was educating them for war.

Until this day, that situation has not changed. He says that there are three key questions that must be posed to the Palestinian Arabs, which are major signposts with regard to their intentions:

* Will you recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jews?
* Will you agree to an end of conflict?
* Will address Israeli security needs (which are actually greater now because of regional instability)?

Another key to Palestinian Arab thinking is that see Israeli Arabs as being "under occupation." The PA and Hamas diverge very little with regard to this thinking.


There is too much focus on documents — on signed pieces of paper. But they can be worthless, as was the case with the Oslo Accords — which Arafat broke almost immediately, when he smuggled arms into Gaza via Rafah in spite of the fact that Oslo forbid this. Conversely, we have no treaty with Syria, but that border remains quiet.

What we need are not peace treaties, but big sticks and carrots. It is also productive to seek areas in which other nations share strategic interests with Israel, even if interaction is covert.


Ya'alon sees Iran as the security issue of the first priority for Israel. However, he was quick to note, what we are seeing is not Iran vs. Israel, but Iran vs. the West. The West often misses the signs that it, more broadly, and certainly the US, is in Iranian sites. The US is the big satan, and Israel only the small satan.

Iran deliberately foments unrest around the globe. To promote instability, it supports both Sunnis and Shia, who may be at each other. It is involved in Yemen, Bahrain, S. America, and elsewhere.

Israel believes Iranian nuclear efforts must be stopped. It is best if Israel does not lead this campaign, but must be ready to do so if it becomes necessary.

Iran must be told it has a choice: The bomb or survivability.

Iranian leaders must be made to feel insecure. Sanctions must be aimed at Iran's Central Bank. The Iranian resistance must be supported. And a credible military option must be on the table.

Unfortunately, "the US has lost its political stomach and Teheran knows it." With regard to sanctions the US is leading from behind, while Britain and France are at the helm.


The countries in the region that are hostile to Israel cannot afford to go to war against us — both because of lack of funds, and because they are ill-equipped. Their main weapon, then, has become delegitimization.

This must be fought vigorously. And here is where our confidence in ourselves — our believing in what we are fighting for — becomes critical.

Ya'alon says he is optimistic about Israel's future. There is an awakening in Israeli public discourse. This is not yet a decisive victory, but he sees the electorate rising above the [left wing] media and academia.

"No one can take from us our intelligence and our heart."


And then, on this seventh night of Chanukah, a story to warm the heart.

Naomi Faran

Naomi Faran established the Moran Choirs in 1986, at Beit Yitzhak in Emek Hefer. She has continued as the conductor, musical director and guiding light for the choirs, which comprise four different ensembles.

Faran works with people from ages five to 25. She brings into the fold of her work children suffering from cancer, children at risk and special needs children and adolescents.

Pamela Hickman, professional music reviewer and a personal friend, has told me about the incredible impact Faran has on these children with whom she works — the ways in which she uses music to build in them self-esteem and a sense of equality and pride. Faran's goal, as Hickman writes, is "to instill the love of singing together, acceptance of the other, excellence and professionalism, to build confidence and discipline, to encourage listening and to nurture the ability to be expressive." All the while, providing a first class musical education. Faran believes that singing is "the most natural and profound human expression of all."

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 26, 2011.

Of all the Jewish holidays, the one that I think best captures the contemporary Jewish zeitgeist, the one that is the most relevant to the current (and, if certain trends are not reversed, the last?) chapter in Jewish history, is Hannuka.

Hannuka is, of course, the story of Jewish national liberation. It is the story of the military victory of the few against the many, of the champions of Judaism against the pagan barbarians.

But it is more than this. It is the saga of the heroic struggle of Jewish survivalists (those one would today label "Zionists") against the assimilationists and self-hating Hellenists of the second century BCE.

Hannuka is less a story about the battle against the Greeks than it is about the battle against the predominant assimilationist paradigm at the time among the Jews. It is about the battle against the anti-survivalists, those who hated themselves for being Jews, those who seek to be "progressive", "modern", and "in", through rejecting, abasing, disgracing and degrading themselves and their people. The Hellenists who fought the Hasmoneans were struggling against Jewish survival. Sound familiar?

In the United States, the main movement of Hellenistic assimilationism has been the school of "Political Liberalism as Judaism", the pseudo-religion that holds that all of Judaism can be reduced to the pursuit of this week's liberal political fads. But the global avante garde of Jewish self-hatred these days is the Israeli Left.

The Israeli Left is the main manifestation today of Jewish anti-Semitism.

It not only promotes "plans" and policies designed to end Israel's existence, increasingly endorsing the one-state, bi-national Rwanda solution to the "problem" of Israeli national existence, but it also regularly attacks every symbol and concept of traditional Judaism.

You think I am exaggerating? Well just consider the Op-Ed a few years back in the Israeli anti-Zionist daily Haaretz, penned by one Yehiam Shorek, a "historian" who teaches at the Beit Berl College in Israel. Beit Berl is a college run by the kibbutz movement.

The "historian" Shorek devoted his Haaretz column to proving that the Maccabees were fascist and racist hooligans, bloodthirsty zealots, and downright Likudniks. His column was entitled "Bloodthirsty Zealots". His thesis was that Jews should stop celebrating Hannuka and the exploits of the Maccabees, and should instead feel sympathy for the poor occupied and mistreated Greeks and Hellenists.

His article was not a spoof.

The evil Maccabees were plotting to perpetrate population "transfer", wrote Shorek, that most evil of all crimes in the "minds" of Israel's fundamentalist Leftists. Population "transfer" is far worse than, say, mass murdering 2000 Jews after signing with them a series of peace accords, or turning the West Bank and Gaza over to barbarian fascists to allow them to carry out such mass murders. Shorek is a member of that same Fundamentalist Left that will not rest until all Jews have been expelled from the West Bank and Gaza in an act of ethnic cleansing, and until no Israeli armed forces are left behind to interfere with the terrorist activities of the "Palestinians."

Matityahu, the father of Judah Maccabee and his brothers, was a lunatic, wrote Shorek. He was a warmonger who dragged his country into an unnecessary "war of choice", one that was not a legitimate "war of self-defense". (Never mind that there is nothing at all in Judaism that says Jews should refrain from conquering their lands unless it is part of a war of self-defense.) The Maccabees were the aggressors, insisted Shorek. And they suppressed the free speech of those who supported the Greeks; how undemocratic of them!

Judah Maccabee was guilty of causing many families to lose their loved ones by leading people to war, wrote Shorek, instead of pursuing some sort of Hellenistic Oslo appeasement and capitulation, the sort the "enlightened Left" seeks today to impose upon Israel. All Judah Maccabee really wanted to do was to Occupy, Occupy, Occupy, insists Shorek. No better than the West Bank settlers today! And not only that, but Judah and his hooligans were Orthodox Jews, which every leftist knows must make them primitive and barbaric; you know, unlike the enlightened Marxist historians who live on nice kibbutzim or teach at the Beit Berl college.

Unfortunately, Shorek is hardly a lone phenomenon. Israel's anti-Jewish leftists have been launching similar jihads against every other symbol of Jewish valor. Masada was a cesspool of non-tolerant fanatics, according to them. The Bible is a backward document full of fabrications. Schools should stop teaching it altogether, they demand, and instead teach something really useful, like the works of Palestinian "poets". Archeology proves the Bible is nothing but lies and fantasy, they insist. One wag labeled such people Pentateuch Deniers (intended as a play on "Holocaust Deniers").

In Israel, the country's politics — particularly its cultural/educational elite and its chattering classes — are now largely dominated by those motivated by the desire for their country to commit national suicide. They scorn themselves, their own country and their own people, the same way that the Hellenized Jews did at the time of the Maccabees. Many endorse boycotts of Israel by anti-Semites abroad. Like the Hellenized Jews, they are convinced that traditionalist Jews are reactionary and primitive, and that the

greatest national priority should be renunciation of Jewish peculiarity and the striving to assimilate amongst the cosmopolitan progressive "Greeks" of the world. They are ashamed of their Jewishness and convinced that the only path to peace is to renounce it. They insist that a Seleucid "narrative" should replace the Jews' own reactionary national one.

Israel's universities are by and large the Occupied Territories of these Hellenists. The Israeli media is to almost the same extent. Hellenists dominate much of the Israeli military and, somewhat incredibly, the intelligence services. (It is doubtful the country could have undergone the Oslo debacle had these intelligence services not operated as lap dogs for the Beilinized Israeli Left.)

Hellenists have attempted to rewrite the Israeli school curriculum, to teach Israeli Jewish children to despise themselves. Their message is that Jews must feel ashamed, because they are mean, selfish, evil and immoral people. Surely, there would be no anti-Semitism on the planet were not the Jews such racist and insensitive people.

Their aim is to convince the Jews that the only way they may become accepted in the world is to adapt to paganism, to stop seeking to exist as a separate national entity, to commit national suicide. Moreover, their campaign is aimed at challenging the moral existence of the Jews. They realize this is the weakest chink in the armor of the Jews. If Jews can be convinced that they are morally in the wrong, then no Maccabees will emerge. The aim of the Jewish Hellenists is the delegitimization of the Jews as a nation, discrediting the moral position of Jewish survivalism.

The message of the contemporary Hellenists is unambiguous: Those who wish to purify the Temple, who seek pure oil for the Temple lamp, who wish to evict the barbarians from Jerusalem, are the enemies of peace.

The Maccabees must be arrested for incitement. The Jews must provide Antiochus with concessions and arms and funds and a Road Map. Under no circumstances should the Jews seek to defend themselves militarily against the Seleucids, for there is no military solution to the problem of Seleucid aggression. If the barbarians murder the Jews, it is because the Jews are evil, selfish people and because they have been too reluctant to abandon their primitive survivalism.

If the Israeli anti-Jewish Left has its way, the Post-Hasmonean, post-survivalist era will be upon us.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at His website address is

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, December 26, 2011.

This is entitled "You wouldn't expect George Soros' tentacles here, or would you?," and was written by Aaron Klein, WND's senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's WABC Radio. His latest book is the N.Y. Times best-selling, "The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists." It appeared in WND 381317/#ixzz1hcTTGelQ


George Soros

JERUSALEM — J Street, the supposedly pro-Israel, pro-peace political action committee and lobbyist group, is actually backed by a controversial far-left clearinghouse financed by billionaire George Soros, WND has learned.

J Street claims to be pro-Israel, yet it has faced mounting criticism for its policies and advocacy that many argue is harmful to the Jewish state.

J Street's executive director, Jeremy Ben Ami, is himself deeply tied to the controversial group, the Tides Center, which is heavily financed by Soros.

Ben Ami served at a radical-led marketing firm that helps to craft the public relations strategy for Tides grantees, including MoveOn. The firm, Fenton Communications, also has represented Soros himself as well as the billionaire's Open Society Institute.

"Red Army: The Radical Network that must be defeated to save America" exposes the extremists that seized political power in Washington over decades, shaped Obama's presidential agenda and threaten the very future of the U.S.

Tides documentation reviewed by WND shows the group provided a $50,000 grant to the "J Street Education Fund" for the fiscal year of 2010. J Street's main website is listed in association with the Tides grant.

According to tax filings, the J Street Education Fund is a nonprofit arm of J Street. The fund's stated mission is to "promote meaningful American leadership to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically through the use of coalition building, mobilizing public opinion online, engaging younger Americans and amplifying the public's voice."

It was not immediately clear how much J Street's educational arm depended on the Tides donation since the nonprofit's tax filings for 2010 were not made public. In 2009, however, the J Street Education Fund posted total assets at $573,233.

The discovery that it accepted a donation from the Tides Center serves as yet another connection between J Street and Soros.

J Street previously denied it received significant funds from Soros until the Washington Times reported in September 2010 that J Street had received $245,000 from Soros and his children in 2008, and another $500,000 in subsequent years — altogether, about 7 percent of the $11 million that J Street says it has taken in since its 2008 founding.

In a now removed section of the "Myth and Facts" page of its website, J Street denied the "myth" that Soros "founded and is the primary funder of J Street."

In what some charged was a misleading statement, J Street claimed about Soros funding: "George Soros did not found J Street. In fact, George Soros very publicly stated his decision not to be engaged in J Street when it was launched — precisely out of fear that his involvement would be used against the organization."

In a March 2010 interview with Moment magazine, Ben-Ami directly denied Soros funding altogether: "We got tagged as having his support without the benefit of actually getting funded!"

After the Washington Times piece, Ben Ami accepted "responsibility personally for being less than clear about Mr. Soros' support once he did become a donor," Ben-Ami said in the statement.

Now WND's revelation about Tides Center funding to J Street may open new avenues of concern about the Israel lobby group, including Ben Ami's personal ties to Tides and its marketing partner, Fenton Communications.

J Street is further connected to tides through Hadar Susskind, vice president and managing director of Tides' Washington, D.C., office. Prior to joining Tides, Susskind served as vice president of policy and strategy at J Street., ACORN Occupy Wall Street

Tides functions as a money tunnel where major leftist donors provide large sums that are channeled to hundreds of radical groups. One prominent Tides donor is Soros.

Tides recently has been closely linked to Occupy since the anti-Wall Street movement's inception. The Tides-funded Adbusters magazine is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The Adbusters website serves as a central hub for Occupy's planning.

The Tides-funded Ruckus Society has been providing direct-action training to Occupy protesters as well as official training resources, including manuals, to Occupy training groups. Ruckus, which helped spark the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, was also listed as a "friend and partner" of the Occupy Days of Action in October.

Another grantee of Tides is, which has joined Occupy.

Tides also funds hundreds of other far-left causes. It was a primary financier to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which was implicated in massive voter fraud.

Ben Ami himself is connected to some of these Tides-sponsored radical groups. Until he founded J Street, he served as senior vice-president of Fenton Communications, an extremist-led outfit that crafts the public relations strategy of Tides grantees and has been closely tied to Occupy, as well.

Fenton Communications helped to craft's infamous attacks on Gen. David Petraeus.

Fenton has been behind the public relations strategies of a who's who of far-left causes, organizations and activists, from representing Health Care for America Now to crafting strategy for a litany of anti-war groups. Fenton also has represented Soros himself and the billionaire's Open Society Institute.

Fenton, which works closely with Tides, first made its name representing communist dictatorships in the 1980s.

Fenton Communications was founded in 1982 by David Fenton, an activist who served as a photographer for Bill Ayers' domestic Weather Underground terror group.

David Fenton used the Tides Center to set up Environmental Media Services in 1994. Tides reportedly originally ran EMS' daily operations.

David Fenton serves on the board of numerous Tides-funded groups, while his firm represents more than 30 Tides Center grantees.

Fenton Communications came under new scrutiny after WND published a series of exposés tying it to Occupy Wall Street. One of its senior employees represented the anti-Wall Street march past millionaires' homes in New York in October.

After WND's report, Fenton denied ties to the Occupy movement. Fenton's Chris Potter denied the firm was working for Occupy, claiming his group was doing a "favor" for a friend in New York by helping with recent publicity.

However, WND reported last month on Fenton's further ties to Occupy through Beth Bogart, who has been widely quoted in the news media as helping to run the movement's press relations department in New York and other cities.

Not mentioned in most media accounts is that Bogart, formerly known as Beth Bogart Fenton, is co-founder of Fenton Communications.

An example of the close public relations relationship between Fenton and Tides, meanwhile, is the Social Venture Network, which was established and operates as a project of the Tides Foundation, while its strategy is represented by Fenton. SVN's board has included Tides' founder Drummond Pike as well as Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink.

Another group, September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows, is an anti-war organization founded by individuals who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The group's campaign was coordinated by Fenton while the group was funded by Tides.

Also represented by Fenton is the Win Without War group, which was funded by Soros and Tides.

Ben Ami's former employer, Fenton in 2009 spearheaded a major campaign to end Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Fenton Communications reportedly developed a communications action plan for an 18-month campaign, known as the Al Fakhoora Project, aimed at delegitimizing Israel's naval blockade while garnering support for the Hamas-led government and the people of the Gaza strip.

Newsmax last year reported Fenton signed contracts for the project worth more than $390,000 with Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, the wife of Qatar's ruler, as well as a separate foundation she chairs.

J Street's GOP attack on Israel

In a Washington Post opinion piece last week entitled, "What 'pro-Israel' should mean," Ben Ami attacked Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates for "unqualified support for Israeli government policy and unprecedented backing for Israeli settlement beyond the pre-1967 Green Line."

Ben Ami urged lawmakers to ensure that Israel "proactively take[s] bold, even risky, steps to establish a state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps."

Unnoted by Ben Ami is that Israel already evacuated the Gaza Strip only to have Hamas take control. Ben Ami also failed to note that the Jewish state multiple times offered the Palestinian Authority a state on most of Gaza, the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem with no counter offer from the PA.

At Camp David in 2000, PA Leader Yasser Arafat walked away from talks, instead launching his intifada, or terror war, against Israeli civilians.

Soros himself recently spelled out his formula toward Israel in a Washington Post op-ed concerning the revolutions in the Middle East, which many say have been favoring the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties.

In the piece last February, entitled "Why Obama Has to Get Egypt Right," Soros recognized that if free elections were held in Egypt, "the Brotherhood is bound to emerge as a major political force, though it is far from assured of a majority."

He stated the U.S. has "much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy" in Egypt.

Soros singled out Israel as "the main stumbling block" in paving the way toward transition in the Middle East.

"In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks," he wrote.

Israeli ambassador: 'J Street opposes all our policies'

J Street brands itself as pro-Israel. It states on its website it seeks to "promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically."

But the group also supports talks with Hamas, a terrorist group whose charter seeks the destruction of Israel. The group opposes sanctions against Iran and is harshly critical of Israel's anti-terror military offensives.

The Israeli government has been distancing itself from J Street. When its ambassador, Michael Oren, refused to attend the annual J Street dinner in 2010, Israeli embassy spokesman Yoni Peled told the Jerusalem Post his government has some "concern over certain [J Street] policies that could impair Israel's interests."

At a December 2009 breakfast, Oren reportedly described J Street as "a unique problem in that it not only opposes one policy of one Israeli government, it opposes all policies of all Israeli governments. It's significantly out of the mainstream."

Earlier this month, the Jewish student union at the ultra-liberal University of California, Berkeley, decided to deny membership to J Street's collegiate division.

Contact Barbara Sommer at

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, December 26, 2011.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at Go to to see more of his graphic art at. and at

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Posted by Edoardo Recanati, December 26, 2011.

Israel is facing today an impossible alternative. On one hand, to keep making horrible wars without any final result. On the other hands to negotiate, but it is not an issue. The Arabs want everything, including our own disappearance. And we? we cannot give away any piece of the Land, because it has been given by God to our descendants... also those not yet born. And when we have given it a try (1947 — Gaza) we have been punished with wars and thousands of rockets. And next time (God forbid!) even more catastrophic. There must be a third way...

I invite you to visit the site which exposes an original and very plausible theory on the whereabouts of the Ark. How Solomon succeeded in building the House in such a way that the Ark could not be detected, even at the time of its destruction. Which machinery he used and what hints he gives to make our generation understanding.

Imagine, if such theory is well spread and satisfies many and many people. I believe it would have positive effects on the Jews and... the Arabs! What do you think the Arabs will do if they begin growing the doubt that, on Fridays, their children play soccer on top of the Tablets of the Law?

I hope you will react to my letter.


Dr. Edoardo Shmuel Recanati by email at

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Posted by Sanford Aranoff, December 26, 2011.

People talk a lot how Jews vote. Most people say that since Jews traditionally vote Democrat, Jews will continue to support Democrat candidates in the coming elections. What people tend to forget is the uniqueness of certain aspects of the Jewish religion. We all know the critical importance of rational thinking in our individual and national survival. We spend vast resources in support of education and research to help advance rational thought with the goal of improving society. The Torah, the Hebrew Bible, tells us we have a choice between life and good on the one hand, or death and bad on the other and, and commands us to choose life. This means the Torah commands us to use rational thought processes in making major decisions that affect our lives. When a Jew votes Democrat simply because this is how Jews have traditionally voted, and this is how his Jewish friends vote, it is not rational and so not Jewish. The Jew can only vote if he feels (or she feels) that the vote will be better for our country and us. A Jew who accepts the Torah can be swayed to vote for a certain party only on the basis of rational arguments, and must dismiss all arguments that do not contain rational thought (such as how Jews traditionally vote).

Other major religions do not demand rational thinking. Islam, for example, demands acceptance of the literal words of the holy texts, permitting rational thought only to the extent the literal words of the texts permit such thought. Many Americans make major decisions using emotional (irrational) thinking, and this is the basis of consumer marketing.

A Jew who accepts the Torah will use Torah principles as a guide to good living, with the belief that the Torah way of life is the best way of life for a society. For example, the Torah tells us "You shall not covet." This is the 10th Commandment, and accepted by most religions and peoples. This means we must not covet the wealth of others. We must reject government efforts to use government controls and taxation with the goal of partially transferring this wealth to us, people who are not as wealthy.

This is very well known. People who accept the 10 Commandments and think about how these commandments influence our lives will reject policies that have the goal of wealth transfer. What people do not know is the Torah demand for people to support weak central governments, and to reject powerful governments.

Read the story in the Hebrew Bible about Samuel the Seer, and his speech objecting to Israel becoming a monarchy. This means the Torah asks voters to vote for that political party that support a weak government.

This is made very explicit in the story of the king who reigned after the death of King Solomon. There were two political parties advising the king, one who wanted lower taxes and the other higher taxes. The Bible calls the low tax party "wise people", and the high tax party "childish" (Kings 1 12). The Torah is very clear, asking Jewish voters to support Republicans as they favor lower taxes.

Let us not say this is merely from the Nach, the Hebrew Bible, but not from the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. Indeed, an explicit command is written there telling Jews how to vote. Jews lived in ancient Egypt for generations under a very powerful government, a government that controlled most of the world. After the Exodus, Jews became a free people. The Torah commands the Jewish nation to have judges and police who will enforce laws, so that people do not cheat on one another such as by having dishonest weights. Here is an explicit commandment:

Deut: 16. "He [the king] shall not have too many horses [the government shall not be too powerful] for he may return the nation to Egypt because of too many horses and God said not to return to this way again." The way of Egypt was the powerful central government. This is a serious commandment, not something trivial like saying Egypt had many horses and we would be involved with commerce with Egypt to get the horses!

The Torah is very clear. The Jew who accepts the Torah must vote for Republican candidates for all national and local offices, for the Democrats are the way of big government. Voting for Democrats is support of a government that has too many horses.

Jews who accept the Torah as a valid rational way of living, a way of life that promises healthy national prosperity, will think carefully about the command not to have too many horses, and so will cast their votes for the Republicans.

Sanford Aranoff is author of "Rational Thinking, Government Policies, Science, and Living Teaching" and "Helping Students Think and Do Better ". Contact him by email at

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Posted by Jim Kouri, December 26, 2011.

Members of Palestinian groups, including terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met with representatives from President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's representatives at the meeting included members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists.

The Palestinians and Egyptians discussed the implementation of an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact reached on May 4, 2011.

The leaders of the Palestinian groups held talks regarding the implementation of the pact, elections, and social reconciliation, according to a Hamas spokesperson, Ismail Radwan.

"The atmosphere was positive and fruitful," said Radwan, adding that the Palestinian attendees "discussed measures of building up confidence among them in order to end the current internal division."

The subject of releasing political prisoners was discussed as well as reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to represent more militant groups, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad movement.

However, the subject of forming a Palestinian transitional unity government was not on the agenda of Tuesday's meeting, according to a source in Israel.

The Islamist movements, mainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, demand that new elections be held in the organization and its charter be modified so as to allow factions that do not recognize Israel to join it.

Abbas has repeatedly stated that any groups who wants to join the PLO must accept its commitments, but a Hamas official responded that his movement cannot join the PLO under the organization's current statutes including the recognition of a legitimate Jewish State.

On Wednesday, Abbas is scheduled to meet with the head of the rival Hamas movement, Khaled Mashaal, in Cairo, Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah, announced on the Voice of Palestine Radio.

The meeting is expected to herald the beginning of the national debate on reforming the PLO. But so far, the factions have only talked about confidence-building measures, such as stopping political arrests and ending media incitement.

Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas will hold Arab Spring-style mass protests against Israel but is not renouncing the use of violence against the Jewish state, leader Khaled Mashaal told The Associated Press late Thursday. Mashaal told the news agency that popular protests have "the power of a tsunami," pointing to the recent waves of demonstrations across the Arab world.

Jim Kouri, CPP, is Fifth Vice-President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police (

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, December 26, 2011.

Hamas Talks Peace but Declares War by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Hamas unknowingly acts out a verse from Psalms and talks about another ceasefire while proclaiming to "remove the occupier... from whole of Palestine." "I am (for) peace, and when I speak, they are for war" is written in Psalms, Chapter 120, verse 7.

As another round of missile attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza on Israel, followed by IDF retaliation, continues, Hamas has simultaneously tried to coax Israel into agreeing to another "ceasefire" while announcing virtually the same day it is determined to continue its "resistance," the Arab code word for terrorism.

Hamas and allied terrorists have attacked Israel with more than a dozen missiles the past week, drawing the standard military retaliation against "ticking bomb" terrorists, smuggling tunnels and weapons warehouses.

In a new media twist, Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, accused Israel of an "unjustified escalation against Gaza" without denying, or even mentioning, the rocket attacks.

Simultaneously, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar referred on Friday to the strategy of terror-for-concessions, specifically its terrorizing Jews in Gush Katif until the Israeli government capitulated and decided not only to expel them but also to withdraw all military forces from Gaza and turn over to Hamas all of the destroyed Jewish communities. "Hamas has developed its way and succeeded in removing the occupier from Gaza, and will remove him from the whole of Palestine," he said...

"(We) will always remain united and determined to liberate Palestine and its holy sites," Hamas stated.

The terrorist organisation also charged the United States and Western countries with giving Israel financial and military support but did not note that Hamas also receives Western funding.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Ignoring a truth is the most effective way to conceal and make people forget about it. That is why, it took just a couple of days for international anti-Israel bigots, in press and politicians, to recover from initial shock, caused by the US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich revelation that so-called Palestinians are ''invented'' people. Now the subject is covered by silence! There are no political calls to review the historic facts and press is also not interested in any digging for the truth.

Iranian Atomic Program is Underground

Iran declared all its nuclear facilities, including uranium enrichment centrifuges, are now underground and safe from US and Israeli attack. Iran has obtained from North Korea the special metals for advanced uranium enrichment up to weapons grade — contrary to Western claims that their short supply had stalled enrichment. (Isn't it too expensive to develop a nuclear energy program underground?)

Free Pollard, 26 Years is too Much

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky has called for the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard: " when there is growing consensus for Pollard's release among former Pentagon and CIA officials, lawyers, community leaders, the Israeli government and Jewish-American leaders, it's time to loudly demand his release."

Hamas: Another Clear Declaration of Intention

Emboldened Hamas renews call for the end of Israel. Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza's de facto prime minister, told the rally: "We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the River (Jordan). God willing, Hamas will lead the people... to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine."

Cutting Funds to UNRWA is Long Overdue

Holland is reviewing its policy of funding the UNRWA agency for Arab "refugees," which treats them differently from other refugees. Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the government will "thoroughly review" its annual contribution of approximately $30 million

Example of 'Palestinian' Co-operation

A Gaza-based NGO called the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the Hamas government of Gaza. The delegation was to participate in a medical conference in Jerusalem, and Israel had given a green light for all 19 of its members to travel through its territory. Hamas vetoed the participation of five people who had been selected by the PA in Ramallah, which is led by rival terror group Fatah.

IDF Radio to Stop Saying 'West Bank'

IDF Radio's commander has instructed the station's reporters to prefer the term "Judea and Samaria " (Yehuda veShomron) to "the West Bank. " The latter phrase dates from the 19-year interval between 1948 and 1967 during which the Biblical heartland was under Jordanian control.

Hiding Genocide Committed Against Armenians

Turkey is doing its utmost to head off a bill in the French National Assembly that would criminalise the denial of the Armenian genocide of 1915. The Armenians claim that one and a half million Armenians died as result of mass deportations by the Turkish Ottomans. (Almost 100 years passed, but world is still unwilling to condemn the genocide which set the precedent for the Holocaust, Pol Pot extermination of almost two million Cambodians and Genocide of Tutsis in Ruanda!)

UN Condemns Israel Again, But not Egypt!

UN Security Council members condemned Israel for the planned Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria as well as for 'price tag' vandalism. The condemnation was led by ('friends' of Israel) Britain, France, Germany and Portugal. (If only UN was so quick to condemn Islamic terror and so-called Palestinian violence against Jews and Jewish properties. Almost 60% of all UN resolutions are anti-Israel! Brutal biting of veiled Muslim woman on the street of Cairo does not bother the 'Unless Nothing'!)

Police and UN Silent on Synagogue Fire in Ramle

Arab terrorism targeting Jews in Ramle is on the rise, but local residents say police are afraid to confront local Arabs and deal with the problem. Shortly after the car of a local religious school principal was torched on Thursday there was also a fire at a nearby synagogue in the heart of the al-Grebe neighborhood in Ramle.

Iran Offers Regional anti-US and anti-Zionist Nuclear Pact

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi visited Riyadh on Monday, Dec. 12 with a large delegation and a proposition for Crown Prince Nayef: For an anti-US and anti-Zionist pact on regional issues, Tehran would act to bring the Syrian opposition into government and open its nuclear program to Saudi participation. Moslehi boasted that after seizing top US secret drone technology by a successful cyber attack, Iran was unquestionably the top regional power.

Even US Start to Seriously Worry about Iran

"Despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program, they have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less," said US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta. "That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis," he said. Instead of warning Israel against striking Iran, Panetta said: "If we have to do it we will deal with it." (Time for "IF" game is over. It is time to act!)

Quote of the Week:

"Let us all recall and emulate the Maccabees, those heroic Jewish warriors who rose up against the mighty, more heavily armed legions of the Seleucid occupiers, vanquished them and established Judea's liberty and independence in 165 BC for the final time until the rebirth of Israel in 1948." — Richard A. Hellman, CIPAC and MERCL — Most rabbis talk about Hanukah as "a festival of light", omitting the Zionist context of this significant Jewish celebration! Jews need strong political and spiritual leadership, nor politicly correct and self-serving...!

Muslim Criminals Turn to Martyrdom

Immediately after Nordine Amrani, 33, armed with grenades went on a killing spree in Belgian city of Liege, Belgium's third-largest city, killing four and wounding around 120, police declared "There are no elements present to suggest there was any terrorist motive".

A 23-month-old baby died in a hospital late after being wounded in the attack near a Christmas market in a city centre square... Others killed in the attack included two teenage boys, aged 15 and 17, and a 75-year-old woman. Some 52 people were treated for injuries by medics.

...The man acted alone in the attack in Place St. Lambert, and police are not looking for other suspects, said Liege public prosecutor Danielle Reynders, adding that he had left his home with a pistol, a semi-automatic rifle and the grenades in his bag. (Immediate conclusion — no investigation?)

Police had asked the attacker, who had been previously convicted on drugs and weapons offences, but had never been charged with terror offences. During Amrani's 40 months in jail, he was not diagnosed with any mental disorder or seen to be politicized before being released on conditional parole. (One does not commit suicide attack, killing strangers with grenades in a city square unless — it is act of terror! When the right-wing anti-Islamic extremists commit terror acts they immediately identified as such and instantly condemned by press and government officials. We will never win the war against Islamic terror at our door steps by pretending that it does not exist!)

The Worst Islamist Attack in European History

On the morning of March 11 2004, as thousands of commuters made their way to work, 10 bombs packed with nails and dynamite exploded on four trains heading into central Madrid. The blasts killed 191 people and injured nearly 1,800. It was the worst Islamist terrorist attack in European history. The bomb plotters were assisted by a gang of mainly Muslim Spanish small-time criminals who provided the dynamite needed for the attacks.

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He publishes internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He can be reached by email at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 25, 2011.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), founded in 1964, is touted — by the UN and a number of nations — as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people." As such, it is officially the organization responsible for negotiating on behalf of Palestinian Arabs: It was the PLO that negotiated with Israel with regard to the Oslo Accords.

While 10 groups (e.g., Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — PFLP) are members, it has long been heavily dominated by Fatah: Major figures in Fatah — notably Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas — have played key roles in the running of the PLO.

That situation may be changing shortly, and I see considerable significance in this possibility.

On Thursday Palestinian Arab leaders representing several groups announced an "historic" agreement to "activate and reconstruct" the PLO so that organizations that do not currently belong might join. Most significantly, this would open the door to membership by Hamas, as well as the "up-and-coming" Islamic Jihad.


As I have watched a continually shifting situation with regard to Fatah-Hamas relations and the possibility of a "reunification" agreement, it has seemed to me that one of the major prizes that Hamas was seeking was membership in the PLO. More important than a joint government and all the rest — most of which probably will never materialize.

This is a shift from its earlier position, which was one of shunning PLO membership — a shift from having no part of this "official" organization to seeking to play from within. And make no mistake about it: The ultimate goal of Hamas is not to belong to the PLO, but to dominate and control it. Hamas speaking for and acting on behalf of the Palestinian Arab people.


The meeting on Thursday took place in Cairo, with Abbas, Palestinian National Council speaker Salim Zanoun (also Fatah) and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal in attendance. It was agreed that a committee, headed by Zanoun, would meet — in Amman, starting January 15 — to discuss ways to incorporate groups such as Hamas into the PLO.

According to Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon, writing in Friday's JPost, this will pave the way for a new provisional PLO leadership that would include Hamas and other radical groups for the first time. Ultimately, this would lead to incorporation into various PLO institutions — most significantly, the Palestinian National Council, the PLO's parliament in exile.

The Council elects the Executive Committee, the PLO's main decision-making body. So we can see where this may be going.


With statements by Hamas leaders over the weekend, we can see this even more clearly:

Osama Hamdan — referred to as Hamas's "foreign minister" — in response to claims that Hamas was moderating, felt the need to clarify what is happening. He was quoted by the Quds Press news agency:

"Anyone who thinks Hamas has changed its positions and now accepts the PLO's defeating political program is living in an illusion. Hamas cannot make the mistake of joining a process that has proved to be a failed one..."

By moving towards "reconciliation," Hamas is aimed at "reconstructing the organization and reconsidering its political program."

Hamas's goal is "first and foremost the liberation of our lands from the sea to the river and achieving the right of return."


Another Hamas leader, Khalil Abu Leila, cited by Abu Toameh, said that Hamas would not join the PLO's current political program. Rather, a major task of the provisional leadership will be to "bring the PLO back to its correct path and the goal for which it was established, namely the liberation of Palestine."


And it's here that I want to stop for a moment and provide important background and context.

The PLO was founded in 1964 at a summit of the Arab League, which committed to being more active in "liberating" Palestine. A pivotal role was played by Egypt's president Gamal Abdul Nasser, and indeed the first chair of the PLO was a Nasser protégé, Ahmad Shuqeiri. The first meeting was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in eastern Jerusalem (then under Jordanian control) and meetings continued to be held in eastern Jerusalem until 1967.

The overriding factor of significance here is that the founding of the PLO took place BEFORE 1967, before Israel controlled Judea, Samaria and Gaza. What it sought to "liberate" was Israel INSIDE the Green Line. This puts the lie to all the hoopla regarding Oslo, a "two-state solution," a Palestinian state with the '67 line as border, etc. etc.

The original Palestinian National Charter clearly specified that there were no designs on the areas within "Palestine" that were controlled by Egypt (Gaza) and Jordan (Judea and Samaria). All that was to be "liberated" was what Israel then controlled. This Charter was amended once, in 1968, after Israel acquired control of the land from the river to the sea. That is, what the PLO sought to "liberate" was adjusted according to what Israel controlled — the ultimate goal being the eradication of Israel.


The complications arose with Oslo, in 1993. As part of understandings at that time, Arafat was committed to amending the PLO Charter, removing or changing those sections that called for Israel's destruction. But all Arafat did was declare the intention of making required changes. Those changes were never actually made. A committee to explore the matter was appointed, following a vote by the PLO National Council, but the committee never met.

What followed was what I have dubbed "as if" diplomacy: nations conducting themselves "as if" something has happened, when it fact it has not. Among those celebrating the changes was then-President Bill Clinton.


The sense of the Charter, and the need for elimination or amendment of certain clauses, becomes clear from the following examples:

"Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit." (Article 2)

"The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country." (Article 3)

"...[The Palestinian] must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation." {Article 7]

"Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it..." [Article 9]

"The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and to their natural right in their homeland..." [Article 19]:

"The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood..." [Article 20]

"The demand of security and peace, as well as the demand of right and justice, require all states to consider Zionism an illegitimate movement, to outlaw its existence, and to ban its operations.." [Article 23]

But these clauses stand to this day. What they represent is not significantly different from what Hamas espouses.

The entire charter can be seen at: 20th_century/plocov.asp


One would have to ask how it was that the Western world, over a period of almost two decades, could have anticipated a "peace process" resulting in a "two-state solution" if one of the parties to that process embraced the above principles so thoroughly inimical to true peace.

The answer, of course, is that the Western leaders (including many Israeli leaders) were imitating the three monkeys who hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

They allowed themselves to be convinced that these were not the PLO principles any longer and that its leaders were prepared to seek peace.

But since, indeed, the PLO has retained these principles, while feigning the embrace of peace in English for Western consumption, only disaster has ensued.


Now along comes a more forthright Hamas, determined to call the PLO back to honestly embracing what it was supposed to stand for in the first place. No more subterfuge or mixed messages.

Of course, when it comes to interactions between Fatah and Hamas, everything is tentative. And so it remains to be seen what role Hamas does ultimately play in the PLO. But I'm not at all certain that this transition would be a bad thing: it would eliminate a very pernicious pretense and push Western leaders towards having to face the reality of the situation.

Then — as Minister of Security Affairs Moshe Ya'alon said this evening, when I queried him about this at a meeting — it would be important to make certain that Western nations continued to recognize the Quartet requirements.

(Ya'alon, it must be added, is quite certain that there will be no full Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. And I'll have a great deal more to say tomorrow about a briefing he provided tonight.)


A "good news" piece regarding significant medical innovation here in Israel:

Professors Yona Keisari and Itzhak Kelson of Tel Aviv University have developed a technique for attacking cancerous tumors from within, instead of bombarding them from without with radiation therapy with gamma rays.

In this treatment, a wire implant inserted into the tumor by hypodermic emits alpha rays for a period of ten days, after which only non-toxic substances remain. The innovators are describing this process as like a cancer "cluster bomb," since the alpha particles "diffuse inside the tumor, spreading further and further before disintegrating...Not only are cancerous cells more reliably destroyed, but in the majority of cases the body develops immunity against the return of the tumor."

It is expected that this treatment will be successful against a number of different kinds of cancer.


Those of us of a certain age who grew up in America will recall Tom Lehrer. For a bit of frivolous fun on the sixth night of Chanukah I share a link to one of his songs: LslsgH3-UFU&feature=share
(With thanks to Wallace B.)


And for a different generation, and a very different sound, Matisyahu singing about Chanukah miracles: Dom_X7YXf8s&feature=relmfu

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 25, 2011.

Shurat HaDin brings legal action in behalf of Jewish victims and in defense of the Jewish people's rights against jihad. The organization vainly petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to suspend the government's second release of hundreds of Arabs convicted of terrorism.

The petition contended that the government was violating the "Crime Victim's Rights Act (2001), which clearly provides in regulation 16, that crime victims have the right to respond within 14 days of the date upon which they are given notice that a criminal who has injured them or their family member, is being considered for a pardon or sentence reduction."

Democracies are supposed to give public notice before the government takes irretrievable action. [Otherwise they are supposed democracies.]

Victimized families had asked Shurat HaDin whether among the 550 to be released were the very ones who had slain or maimed their relatives. They were worried, because the government illegally rushed its first release of hundreds of convicts in two days, and was doing so, again. The families were given insufficient time to examine the list and determine whether their families' assailants were slated for release. Some of the families live outside of Israel.

The government parried that it had to carry out the first half of the deal with Hamas within 48 hours or there might be no deal. The government offered no plausible justification for the delay. On December 15, the government again listed the prisoners only 48 hours beforehand, although it had announced the second release in October.

The petition also contends that the government provided no information about why they selected those particular terrorists. Lack of information hampers families' ability to provide opposing arguments.

[This is similar to the U.S. government refusing to provide Jonathan Pollard's security-cleared lawyers with pertinent records so that they would have more of a legal basis for appealing in Pollard's behalf. This denial enabled opponents of releasing Pollard to allege wrongdoing by Pollard that could not be disproved. A democracy is supposed to have public trials, but this amounts to a semi-secret trial.]

The U.S. government asked Israel not to continue releasing terrorists who murdered U.S. citizens, as Israel did in the first phase of release. (IMRA, 12/15/11 and related article on the court case Article.aspx?id=249620).

The Court declined to act. I am not the first to note that when the government enforces laws against Arab violators, the Court freely prohibits government action. Instead of having a concept of separation of powers, the court's concept is that Arabs have rights but Jews hardly do when in conflict with Arabs.

When Israel unfairly takes the Arabs' side in property disputes, the government touts its dedication to rule of law. That is not rule of law, that is unequal enforcement of the law, overly enforced against Jews and unenforced against Arabs. In any case, where is the rule of law in this issue?

Western governments don't know how to negotiate with totalitarians. The totalitarians do not have electorates to impress. They are not in a hurry. But they do bluff.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Amil Imani, December 25, 2011.

This is the time of the year that the air is filled with everything Christmas. There is something for everyone: gifts for family and friends, prayers at churches, and Christmas music everywhere. It puts me in a contemplative mood, particularly when I hear the delightful Christian refrain, peace on earth, goodwill to men. This is the gift I want. This is my Christmas. When there is peace on earth and all people dispense and receive good will.

Yet, I am saddened to see the world as it is, particularly with what Islam is doing to it, which is the exact opposite of working for peace and extending goodwill to all people.

My contemplation takes me to the genesis of Islam. Something I have come to view as a scourge of humanity, and here are a few of my random thoughts about the founder of Islam: the person who launched a religion that has denied peace to mankind right from the start, the person who advanced a religion that began with war, continues with war, and aims to carry on with bloodletting to the end of time. All this makes me think and shake my head in bewilderment.

Starting with the premise that an all-knowing powerful God is the Creator of this awe-inspiring universe where we humans are an infinitesimally insignificant part of His creation humbles me. Muslims call this creator Allah — a recast of one of 360 idols in the pre-Islamic Idolatry of Mecca — and attribute numerous superhuman qualities to him. It is awe-inspiring to realize that a being of that description may indeed exist.

That leads me to some questions: Why would such an indescribably exalted Creator, with his ascribed boundless wisdom and resources, pick an illiterate Bedouin to become His prophet for then and forever? The man himself, Muhammad, admitted in the Quran to his own illiteracy. Yet, Allah persisted in choosing this man? Was Allah bored with the rest of his universe and playing a joke on us helpless mortals? Or was it a case of Allah not being able to get any reasonably literate man to take the job? I don't have an answer to this or a bevy of other questions, and the answers I have seen so far from Muslims are far from satisfactory. I am forced to mark this as one of the enigmas of life and move on to further look into Muhammad, his claims, his life and the way all might come together with Allah's choreography of our life of drama.

Muslims claim that Muhammad was the most perfect man, the kind of saintly man that each and every one of us should adulate and aspire to follow. On the top of their list is the desire to lead their lives in such a way that would please Allah, if they can.

Muhammad has done that, Muslims claim. And apparently Allah, in His infinite kindness, does not require the rest of us mortals to do things that we are incapable of doing. And Muhammad has brought us the perfect life manual, the Quran, to help us in our quest, we are told.

Besides, a great inducement for me to check Islam out is the promise of eternal life in an indescribably lush sensual paradise of Allah if I make the grade. If I fail, I am told, my forever destination is the dreadful inferno of hell.

I have also checked out those schools of thought that say life starts here and ends here. End of discussion. Well, buying into the idea that I am going to end up as fertilizer in some desolate cemetery is not something I would like to contemplate. So, I kept looking into this Islam thing since I was born and raised in it. After all 1.5 billion people have bought into it. They can't all be misguided, can they?

This quest led me to examine the teachings and life of Muhammad closely. And here are a few of my findings that have thrown me for a loop. Hence, I am sharing my findings with the readers in the hope that someone would supply me with explanations that would relieve me of my perplexities.

I have, in my quest, read, re-read, and read again the Quran — purportedly the literal word-for-word of Allah transmitted to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel over the course of some 20 years.

Right away I am troubled. Is Allah the same Creator who has created the entire universe by a single word of his mouth — kon va yakoon — be and became, as Islam claims? Then why did it take this magnificent all-knowing lightning-fast-Allah 20 years to get across a dime-novel-size hodgepodge of contradictory and nonsensical verse called the Quran, to us poor creatures?

Was it because Muhammad was illiterate and he couldn't write them down? But that can't be. He didn't write down anything himself. He dictated to anyone who could write and was around at the time to do it. Therefore, in the course of some 20 years what is claimed to be the word-for-word dictates of Allah went through a number of intermediaries and materialized in several versions.

First the Archangel Gabriel whispered it to Muhammad, then Muhammad found some Arab who could write — not an easy find among the masses of the most backward illiterates of Arabia — and who happened to have a pen of some sort and a parchment to jot down what Muhammad still managed to recall.

Perhaps this does explain the several versions of the Quran that popped up after Muhammad's death and the Caliph Othman's choice of one as the genuine and burning of the others. The practice of burning books Muslims don't like to talk about, goes all the way back to their venerated second Caliph, Othman.

Now, how could a fallible politician like Othman be the judge of Allah's genuine utterances? Was there another Archangel that helped him out, or he just simply liked that particular version best? One thing you can say about Othman. He was an astute enough politician to realize that you can't have one Islam with several versions of the word-for-word revelation of Allah.

Here is another problem. Even the chosen version of the Quran, if you can make any sense of it at all, reads like two different books. The early part is known as the Mecca Quran. This part is much about meekness, tolerance, kindness and so forth. This was the time that Muhammad's wife Khadija — a monotheist Hanif, in contrast to polytheist idolater Muhammad — introduced her young troubled husband to her Christian uncle and exposed him to the teachings of Christianity that influenced his "revelation."

islamist_day_paradeDuring this early phase of his ministry, Muhammad spoke respectfully about the "people of the book," — Christians and Jews, the people from whose book he liberally plagiarized to launch his monotheistic faith with the invaluable encouragements of his wife Khadija.

It was Khadija who convinced the young man that he was indeed chosen by Allah to be his spokesperson; that the jinn and angels communicated with him were parts of Allah's plan for him.

Muhammad, during his Mecca years, was ridiculed for his confused sayings by his own tribe of Quraish. He was called shaeron majnoon — crazed poet. At this early stage he went by his birth name of Abulqasem. It was later that he took on the new name of Muhammad — Praiseworthy-One — to go better with his ministry.

Muhammad was judged as a hallucinating insane poet and was tormented by the Meccans in many ways. It got so bad, that after his wife's death he left for Medina where a significant Jewish community provided a safer place for him to gather followers, build a powerbase, reveal his Medina Quran of intolerance and vilification, and launch his religion in full force and by brute force.

Once in Medina, Muhammad hit on a most powerful formula for success. He justified everything, on the spot, by saying that Allah wants it this way. And Allah was nothing to trifle with. He held the key to the most magnificent paradise as well as to the dreadful hell. The duty of a good Muslim became unquestioning obedience to everything that Muhammad said and wished. Muhammad became Allah's gatekeeper to paradise and hell.

Muhammad's formula worked magic with the Bedouins of Arabia who thrived on robbery and murder. His religion spread like a pandemic disease in no time at all. And here we are in the 21st century, at Christmas time, praying for peace and goodwill to men, while Muhammad's men are working overtime to make sure that men see neither peace nor goodwill.

I would like to join the chorus of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Yet, deep in my soul, I find it my solemn duty to keep on sounding the alarm about the fire of Islam even at this poignant moment of Christmas.

Peace on earth and goodwill to men is a perennial prayer. It can be only when enough men and women of goodwill, with iron resolve arise and disempower the Islamist people of war and ill will.

Amil Imani is the author of "Obama Meets Ahmadinejad" and "Operation Persian Gulf". This article is archived at christmas-spirit-and-islam/

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Posted by L. Duran, December 24, 2011.

Jewish psyches seem to be the focus of microscopic investigation lately, especially Israeli Jews, and the arguments run in more than one direction. The latest and very intriguing Op-ed by Moshe Feiglin ("I am the Master here...." ( in Israel National News bears close review and comment. His article is presented below.

Mr. Feiglin lays the blame for a lack of or confusion about the Jewish identity of Israeli Jews, on all Jews. He considers this the basis for vacillation that results in weak or no resolution of the internal security problems that plague Israel.

I don't disagree, but I ask you, dear reader, to consider the source of the indecisiveness that afflicts us. A cursory review of Jewish history going back to 597 B.C.E., when the Babylonian Exile began. Skip ahead several centuries to 70 C.E. to the Roman conquest. In those days we Jews were nothing if not stubbornly determined to live on our land. What changed us?

Certainly it wasn't the millenia of abuse, pogroms, a Holocaust, economic exploitation and institutional ostracism, expulsion and separation from the populations of the nations we inhabited for varying intervals. We had our religion, our traditions, our people to cling to, and we turned inward for strength and tenacity. Our mantra was (and still is) "next year in Jerusalem." The more we suffered at the hands of indifferent sovereigns and dictators, the stronger our resolve became. So what happened to split us apart?

Perhaps the answers are psychic exhaustion and the search for kindness, acceptance, and the ephemeral appearance of belonging to the society in which we lived at that time. The arrival of political ideologies that seemed to mirror the ideals inherent in Judaism played a vital part. All of which led to miscegenation and departure from the faith that had sustained us for so long.

Now we live with the result of those experiments: socialism, multi-culturalism, and the ascendancy of "Tikkun Olam" (saving the world) becoming of greater consequence than all the rest of what comprises Judaism. The latter belief is very seductive. Those who adhere to that ideal feel that they are doing Hashem's work and are thus blessed.

This "blessing" is marred by two problems. First, if the land of Israel and the Jews who live there (and Jews everywhere else too) are endangered by acts or omissions due to "Tikkun Olam," where is the positive side? Second, where does the observance of the 613 commandments end and expropriation of Hashem's role in our lives begin? There's an old adage that says: "Who died and appointed you G-d?"

If Jews are to be "the masters in our own land," then we should behave accordingly. Let us acknowledge the value of our beliefs, our lives, and our nation above all else. We can't think of ourselves as victims and pariahs if we wish to survive as a people. Who will respect us if we have no true self-esteem? Being "a light unto the nations" becomes irrelevant if the source of that illumination is extinguished.

If you can't see clearly who the enemies are, how can you deal with them appropriately?


"I am the Master Here"
by Moshe Feiglin
December 18, 2011

"I am the master here!" shouted MK Ahmad Tibi, completely losing his cool. When I heard that sentence I understood that I did not need to say anything more. I did not need to remind the viewers that Tibi was the aide and close advisor of the arch-murderer who killed more Jews than anybody since World War II, Yassir Arafat, may his name and memory be blotted out. There was nothing more to be said. Tibi showed his true face in living color. But I couldn't remain silent after he said that sentence. I put the microphone close up to my mouth — I was afraid that the studio in Tel Aviv may be phasing out my sound — and I said to Tibi, "This is my Land and you will not be here."

Ahmad Tibi precisely defined the line that separates the Arabs who are invited to live with us here with mutual respect and all the human rights that they deserve, and those Arabs who will have to go. "I am the master here," said Tibi. If an Arab living in Israel understands that the Jewish Nation returned to its Land and is "master of the house," here, then he can live here with good neighborly relations and respect. But if he doesn't think so, if he develops hope to establish an Arab state here instead of the Jewish one, we will show him the door out.

The fact that Tibi and his counterpart, former MK Azmi Bashara, who had to flee Israel after he was caught directing incoming Hizballah rockets into Haifa, are the popular leaders of the Arabs in Israel is not good news. I know that the Arab public, like any public, consists of both good and bad people. I believe in the human race and am confident that as a rule, people prefer to be good. I think that the radical trend in the Arab street and the fact that an accomplice to terror and murder like Tibi has become the leader of the Arab public is first and foremost the fault of the Jews, not the Arabs. It is the Jews who have forgotten what they are doing here. Many Israelis believe that the Land of Israel belongs to the "Palestinians". They hope that they can buy some legitimacy for robbing the land in Sheikh Munis (Ramat Aviv) by destroying the settlements in Judea and Samaria. It is the Israelis who turned Arafat into some kind of cult figure, so what can we expect from Tibi?

The Israeli needs the Arab to allow him to forget that he is a Jew. For if it is impossible to be an Israeli Arab, that means that only Jews can be Israeli, leaving us stuck with our old Jewish identity that we have tried so hard to escape.

This inferiority complex is the crack into which Tibi and the chorus of Jewish sycophants infiltrate the Israeli psyche, allowing him to spit in our faces for the past twenty years. When you understand this, you understand why Israel did not arrest Bashara and accuse him of treason, allowing him to simply escape Israel, instead. The last thing that the sycophants wanted was a media-intensive trial of an Arab leader; a trial in which Bashara would have had the opportunity to say, "Gentlemen, you tried to turn me into an Israeli against my will. You gave me rights; you gave me democracy, a seat in the parliament, honor fit for kings and all the perks I could ask for. I am sorry, but I am not an Israeli. I am an Arab and I am proud that I directed the missiles straight into your homes."

Tibi's chutzpah stems from the fact that this sly man fully understands the Jews' identity crisis. He knows that they will always grant him immunity because he holds the key to their imaginary Israeli identity. And then this Feiglin shows up, totally free of the complex, a Jew who is simply a Jew and says to him, "Mr. Ahmad," (that really upset the interviewer) "I am simply a Jew and you are simply an Arab. No Israeli mask and no "Palestinian" mask. Suddenly the entire foundation upon which Tibi has built his career collapsed under his feet, and he went berserk.

Tibi is not my problem at all. When the Israelis will reconnect to their identity, there won't be any more problems; not with the Arabs who live in Israel and not with those who live outside our country. He who is in conflict with himself is in conflict with his neighbors, and vice versa.

Tibi is the problem of the public that he represents. Because when he and his ilk continue to represent the entire Arab public, then the righteous among them — those who truly want to live here in peace, just like the Jews live in peace in all the foreign countries around the world — are also included in those who claim to be the "masters" here. And if you are not a Jew and you say to the Jews in their state that you are the master here — like it or not, you have declared war.

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Posted by Maurice Ostroff, December 24, 2011.

The Jerusalem Post reported that in response to criticism of his statement that the standing ovation Netanyahu received from Congress "was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby." Tom Friedman recanted. He said "In retrospect I probably should have used a more precise term like 'engineered' by the Israel lobby "

Wow! As an engineer, I thought this kind of stuff was reserved for Uri Geller and I sent the following to the Jerusalem Post.



To the Letters Editor, Jerusalem Post

Israel's engineering feat of the century

Thomas Friedman should go down in history as one of Israel's greatest admirers.

After all, he credits Israel with an amazing feat, namely "engineering" more than 400 congressmen and women to give PM Netanyahu a standing ovation against their inner convictions and despite the efforts of the well-funded petrodollar lobby. (Friedman responds to criticism over PM jab JPost Dec, 21)

Contact Maurice Ostroff by email at
and visit his website:

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Posted by Dr. History, December 24, 2011.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." However, in our present government more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses. And of course....

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

14......And then there's the election in 2012.

Contact Dr. History by email at

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Posted by Daily Alert, December 23, 2011.

Egypt's radicals eliminating country's connection to West, but does anyone care?


It was barely mentioned in the Israeli and global media, but the following event pertains to the whole of Western civilization: Last Saturday, violent groups of Islamic-Salafi radicals burned the famous scientific institute established by Napoleon in Egypt after its first encounter with the West. Some historians consider it the start of modern times in the Middle East.

The site, L'Institut d'Egypte, held some 200,000 original and rare books, exhibits, maps, archeological findings and studies from Egypt and the entire Middle East, based on the work of generations of western researchers. Most of the artifacts were lost forever, burned or looted.

It's difficult to understand the modern Middle East without these studies, which were overcome by an immense fire. The large building was situated in the center of Cairo and torching it was a symbolic, intentional act. Those who burned the building and its artifacts meant to burn the era of logic, enlightenment, research and individualism.

This was a grave provocation against the whole of Western civilization, a desire to disconnect from science, research and modernity, while cynically using a Western means — that is, democracy — in order to take power.

One need not go all the way to blowing up the pyramids, as some of Egypt's Salafis wish to do after they seized some 35% of the new parliament seats (alongside 40% of the Islamic brotherhood,) and there is no reason to go as far as Afghanistan, where the Taliban blew up the huge Buddha statues. The elimination of Egypt's non-Muslim past is already here.

Anything that dates back to the Pharaohs, that is ancient, or that is Western is destined to be destroyed, and the mission has already been launched in the most symbolic manner: The outset of Egypt's modern era, which the Salafis seek to erase, and in fact rewrite. This is a battle for writing the history of Egypt and of the Arab and Muslim world.

UNESCO's silence

This isn't a new phenomenon, and in Jerusalem as well we see elements associated with political Islam trying to erase any presence of the 3,000-year Jewish existence there, on Temple Mount for example — existence that pre-dated Islam.

In 1258, the Mongols burned the immense library in Baghdad known as the "House of Wisdom." It held rare writings that have disappeared forever, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and the other cornerstones of Western civilization. All we know today is that these books existed, yet following the terrible fire in Baghdad they were burned forever. The Mongols sought to secure the same objective as Egypt's Salafis: Erasing the past and keeping only their present.

All of this is happening while the confused West is lauding the new democracy established in Egypt, without understanding that this democracy is erasing the historic Egypt that was intimately connected to the West and its culture; a new Egypt shall rise on the ruins of the great fire. What we are seeing here is not a battle for power, but rather, a battle for perception, memory, heritage and historiography; that is, the writing of history.

Oddly, this is happening in Egypt of all places, a state that always demanded the return of the archeological findings taken from it as part of its national ethos. Artifacts of the era of the Pharaohs are still held in London and in Paris, yet Israel already returned all the archeological findings it discovered in the Sinai. Now, it is doubtful whether Egypt would be able to safeguard its own museums, which are also facing the threat of fire and looting.

And who is supposed to raise a hue and cry over the burning of Egypt's Western past? Who is supposed to be greatly disturbed by the fact that Egyptian authorities are having trouble protecting their own museums? UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Yet not much is happening there. Well, we can't blame this organization; after all, it is preoccupied with admitting "Palestine" into its ranks.

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to

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Posted by Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, December 23, 2011.

Will we ever know the extent to which President Obama's most recent submission to the pressured demands of Islamists has endangered American national security? When the Obama administration yielded to the outcries of Muslim-American citizens and Islamic organizations recently with the removal of FBI training manuals containing certain anti-terror material deemed "offensive," the President was either ignorant of the goals of Islam, complacent about what he knows, or notching up another win for appeasement and promotion of Islam — for now a mystery.

One persuasive player in that ongoing scenario was Salam al-Marayati, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Democratic Party and also a former Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He charged the FBI, which had documented facts about Islamic history and religious-political norms, with "ineptitude" in its use of erroneous and misguided language leading to "biased and faulty policing." Although former analysis of this event has been thorough, I wish to point out that this occurrence not only jeopardizes our safety but perpetuates the common theme that the Islam of our nation's mosques and communities is somehow benign and different than the Islam of al-Qaeda.

We must always be mindful of the motives and methods of Muslim-Americans who pressure the U.S. government for Sharia compliant revisions and what it means for our country. At the time of his op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times entitled "The Wrong Way to Fight Terrorism" (Oct. 20, 2011), Marayati, an Iraqi born Muslim, was on the verge of receiving very good news. Attorney General Holder would buckle under the pressure of Islamic pleas by withdrawing the FBI training manual. Contrary to Marayati's assertion, the manuals were comprised of valuable information for American national security and served the performance of FBI officers free to do their duty under U.S. law, harming no one.

Using the method of furthering lies (Taquiyaa) and bolstering false assumptions already inserted into American culture, Marayati's argument against the words used in the manual centered upon the absence of any link between the "cult" of al-Qaeda and the religion of Islam. Additionally he warned that facts about Islam and quotes from the Quran actually thwart the fight of terrorism because FBI use of them would lead to a breakdown of trust between Muslim-Americans and the FBI, made certain by him and those working with him.

Some argue that this would come on top of an already eroding trust between the non-Muslim and Muslim Americans because of Muslim resistance to assimilate: inching Islamic law into American courts, creating Sharia no-go zones, and adhering to Bedouin dress. But despite America's reasons for suspicion, Marayati blames America for providing a tainted environment for Muslim immigrants asking, "How can we persuade Muslim American communities to stay at the table when the food on the table is filled with poison?" — a wild accusation against Americans who have been open, friendly, polite and tolerant.

Marayati equated FBI teachings with al-Qaeda's rhetoric of hate (law enforcement agents are on "opposite sides of the same coin of hate"), threatened that Muslims will stop cooperating with the U.S. government ("it will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim-American community") and distorted the facts ("baseless." contained in FBI manuals), in order to accomplish this dirty deed. The sinister point that Marayati makes is his insinuation that the harsh realities of Islam visible around the world today are based upon an Islamic religious jurisprudence which has no bearing on the workings of al-Qaeda, even as Jihad remains a pillar of all Muslim believers.

More outrageously Marayati suggested that "Muslim leaders, not FBI agents, can more effectively battle al-Qaeda's destructive ideas." He justifies this by citing several incidents where Muslim-Americans have informed our government of the plots by fellow Muslims to help foil those attempts and lead to arrests. By this example alone, Marayati actually proves the legitimacy of the FBI training language he wants expunged. A man named Antonio Martinez, a convert to Islam (not to al-Qaeda) allegedly tries to blow up a military recruitment center and his whereabouts were given to law enforcement by the Maryland Muslim community. Martinez was not a Muslim fundamentalist or al-Qaeda member, proving the FBI does indeed need correct and accurate information about devout Muslims, their beliefs and their community.

After Marayati buried himself with his own argument, he brazenly concludes that America law enforcement must depend on Muslim leaders alone for their information. Marayati expects American national security at its highest level to be placed in the hands of a "task force" of "experts" who worship and practice from the same book as al-Qaeda agents and have the same loyalties — all in the guise of promoting tolerance. He will get his way in this as well. The Muslim Public Affairs Council and CAIR have prevailed against the American people.

As an American, Marayati should be considered a traitor to his country since he has propagated false impressions leading to the disarming and disabling of U.S. counter-terrorism. His efforts should have been dismissed by U.S. officials as paranoid at best, but instead were rewarded with a setback for national security — removing facts needed to fight terror (ironically as a bonus to him, facts in and of themselves now deemed a threat to national security), jeopardizing the safety of America, and demoralizing American self-defense.

Marayati and his cohorts have succeeded in expunging the "insults" about Islam from the training manuals because this is more important than expunging dangerous elements from the country. Muslim supremacy, emanating from the victimhood complex inside America's emergent Islamic community, impacts our courts, hijacks academia, and patrols free speech. So far Islamic leaders, out front and pro-active, encounter relatively little resistance from Americans just now beginning to detect the danger.

Will Americans settle for a repressed society governed by political correctness waiting for Islam to build a stronghold inside our country? Immigrants living in America having once been subject to Islamic law are much more cautious than those who were born into freedom and have only known the freedom of the West. Take the word of the Copt living in America; the signs of Jihad are everywhere, seeking to dismantle our liberty and way of life. It is the Copt living in America who will speak the truth having lived it never allowing the falsehoods of Islam to dominate.

Dr. Ashraf Ramelah is the Founder and President the Voice of the Copts. This was published in Al Arabiya newspaper. 2011/12/14/182492.html

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Posted by Teresinka Pereira, December 23, 2011.

Nothing is exact
in the celebrations
of the holidays.
However, not the speeches,
not the expressions.
not even the verses
can envision the hope
to be happy and the desire
that you too are happy.
My pulse is the conductor
of merry season words.
My mind can do better
and is sending you
magnetic waves
which will inspire you
to a wealth of happiness.

Contact Teresinka Pereira at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 23, 2011.


The New York Times invited PM Netanyahu to write an op-ed. He declined because of the newspaper's negative portrayal of his regime in its opinion pages. The Prime Minister's spokesman cited the 20 op-ed pieces on Israel since September, of which 19 were negative. The 20th was written by South African Judge Goldstone, defending Israel against charges of apartheid.

The spokesman explained that regular columnists distort official Israeli positions, ignore its efforts at peace, and defame that whatever minor thing happens in Israel, and which PM Netanyahu and his administration condemn, actually reflect his policy or Israeli society. The spokesman noted Thomas Friedman's claim that the Israel lobby had bought congressional support for PM Netanyahu, a support evident at a speech before congress.

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) demanded an apology from Mr. Friedman. Rep. Rothman considers Israel of strategic importance to the U.S.. He deplores Friedman's defamation against the American people, who support the Jewish State of Israel.

Another hostile op-ed criticized Israel for touting its positive record on gay rights.

Another example was a May op-ed by Palestinian Authority (P.A.) head Abbas, stating that right after the UN vote to partition western Palestine in 1947, Zionist forces expelled Arabs. Older people can remember that what happened was that the Palestinian Arabs and Arab states started a war to destroy the Jewish state. Apparently, the newspaper does not check facts.

The paper does reject pieces favorable to Israel. One example is a September submission by the House Majority Leader and the Minority Whip in bipartisan support for direct negotiations rather than the P.A. seeking independence unilaterally at the UN. Bipartisan! That would be news (IMRA, 12/16 from Politics/Article.aspx?id=249718).

I recall that Judge Goldstone's op-ed denounced Israel for other things, I think unfairly. In any case, such an op-ed hardly is favorable to Israel.

Mr. Friedman's claim that the Israel lobby buys congressional support is what antisemites say. Friedman cited no evidence.

What a specious argument, even mean-spirited, that when Israel takes pride in its gay rights protection, an op-ed refuses it any credit because he objects to other Israeli policies (which I think the op-ed mischaracterizes)!

The anti-Zionist, antisemitic falsehood that Israel expelled masses of Arabs when most fled on their own, after trying to ethnically cleanse Israel of Jews does not belong in a serious newspaper. Nor does that newspaper make clear that the P.A., backed up by the NY Times and the State Dept., want to ethnically cleanse Judea-Samaria.

I think the Israeli response was tepid. They get such a vicious treatment from the New York Times, what do they have to lose by setting the whole record straight? As I have shown, that newspaper also distorts or omits the facts about Israel from its news columns. Let Israel explain the propaganda tricks in which that newspaper engages. Someone has to wake up its deceived readers.


Throughout Muslim countries in the Mideast, Christians are fleeing persecution. They are multiplying only in the Jewish country.

In Israel, the Christian population has quadrupled since 1948. Since 1948, the Christian population in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza has plummeted, except between 1967 and 1993, when Israel ran the Territories.

In the Palestinian Authority, 500 Muslims put down prayer rugs at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity, one of Christianity's most important religious sites. The Muslims were showing their disrespect for the feelings of Christians.

By contrast, in Israel, Arabs get the benefit of a Western judiciary. Arabs prefer Israeli rule to that of the Palestinian Authority (IMRA, 12/23/11 from

Americans often are lectured to be sensitive to Muslim feelings. Who will ask Muslims to be sensitive to Christian and Jewish feelings?

Some circles blame Israel for the decline of the Christian population in the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Israel no longer rules. They don't blame the P.A. and its aggressive Muslims; they ignore the pattern of Christian flight through most of the region, and don't recognize the Jewish state's tolerance toward Christians. Giving Israel deserved praise would upset their anti-Zionist ideology, in which the Jewish state is the scapegoat for problems.

Increasing Attacks on Iraq Christian-Owned Businesses

First a mullah gave a sermon. Then Muslim mobs burned and wrecked liquor stores, hotels, hair salons, and other businesses owned by Christians in northern Iraq. The world was not much informed about those attacks. But Iraqi Christians live in fear.

There is a pattern of (1) International neglect of Christian persecution by Islam, however frequent and severe; and (2) Attacks following sermons, indicating that the attacks are Islamic ones. The Obama administration does not pressure the government of Iraq nor even speak up in behalf of persecuted Christians.

The indigenous people of Iraq thus are being driven out by jihadi Muslims and Kurdish nationalists. Where can they go? Neighboring countries, influenced by the Islamist Spring, are no havens. Thanks to Obama administration pressure for pro forma democracy, the most anti-Christian, anti-Western, and anti-Israel forces have been unleashed.

Now it is the turn of Syrian Christians, 10% of the population, to worry about their future and that of Iraqi Christian refugees there. The fall of Assad may bring death to them. The U.S. refuses them refugee status, but Muslims still are entering the U.S. by thousands per month (Raymond Ibrahim,, 12/21/11 iraq-christians-extinction).

So a third patter is of Obama administration help, direct and indirect, for Islamic jihad.

U.S. Unleashing Jihadists, Christians Purged

How Much Violence Is There? The media reacts to events rather than reporting on an even keel. Mr. Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi finds that the media pays more attention to jihadist attacks in Iraq now that U.S. troops have left. The media disregards seasons' effect upon combat and ignores the long-range trend of declining fatalities.

U.S. forces have not been active in Iraqi cities for two and-a-half years, and have been restricted. Therefore it is not the sudden absence of GIs that lets jihadists operate in Iraqi cities.

Opponents of the U.S. presence argued that this presence antagonized Iraqis, and that their absence defuses tensions. But U.S. troops are not the target. Jihadists and sectarians have Iraqi targets. They will fight regardless of the presence or absence of GIs. On the other hand, the Naqshibandia group urges members to attack American civilians even after the GIs have departed.

Conflict in Iraq goes beyond Radical Muslim terrorism. Political and religious factions have been clashing. Two Kurdish groups fought each other, after Islamists picked on non-Muslim Assyrians and Yezidis. Conflicts may be between political factions or be territorial, as between Kurds trying to undo Saddam's "Arabization" program in their province and Sunni Arabs whom he placed there.

It is up to Iraq to solve its own problems (Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The Daily Star (Beirut), 12/16/11

Can Iraq solve its own problems when its Prime Minister takes steps to repress Sunnis in favor of his Shiites, and when Iran has a freer hand in Iraq now?

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, December 23, 2011.

The so-called "Arab Spring" continues to transition into a "Christian Winter," including in those nations undergoing democratic change, such as Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis dominated the elections — unsurprisingly so, considering the Obama administration has actually been training Islamists for elections.

Arab regimes not overthrown by the "Arab Spring" are under mounting international pressure; these include the secular Assad regime of Syria, where Christians, who comprise some 10% of the population, are fearful of the future, having seen the effects of democracy in neighboring nations such as Iraq, where, since the fall of the Saddam regime, Christians have been all but decimated.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that "Christians are being refused refugee status [in the U.S.] and face persecution and many times certain death for their religious beliefs under Sharia, while whole Muslim communities are entering the U.S. by the tens of thousands per month despite the fact that they face no religious persecution."

Categorized by theme, November's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed according to theme and in alphabetical order by country, not necessarily severity.


Ethiopia: More than 500 Muslim students assisted by Muslim police burned down a church, while screaming "Allahu Akbar" (and thus clearly positing their attack in an Islamic framework); the church was built on land used by Christians for more than 60 years, but now a court has ruled that it was built "without a permit."

Indonesia: Hundreds of "hard-line" Muslims rallied to decry the "arrogance" of a beleaguered church that, though kept shuttered by authorities, has been ordered open by the Supreme Court. Church members have been forced to hold services on the sidewalk, even as Indonesia's leading Muslim clerics warned Christians that it would be "wise and sensible" for the church to yield to "the feelings of the local believers, specifically Muslims."

Iran: The nation's minister of intelligence said that house churches in his country are a threat to Iranian youth, and acknowledged a new series of efforts to fight the growth of the house church movement in Iran.

Nigeria: Islamic militants shouting "Allahu Akbar" carried out coordinated attacks on churches and police stations, including opening fire on a congregation of "mostly women and children," killing dozens. The attacks occurred in a region where hundreds of people were earlier killed during violence that erupted after President Jonathan, a Christian, beat his closet Muslim rival in April elections.

Turkey: The ancient Aghia Sophia church has been turned into a mosque. Playing an important role in ecumenical history, the church was first transformed into a mosque in 1331 by the jihadist Ottoman state. As a sign of secularization, however, in 1920 it was turned into a museum. Its transformation again into a mosque is a reflection of Turkey's re-Islamization.

Apostasy and Proselytism

Afghanis around the world are being threatened for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. One exile, who changed his name after fleeing Afghanistan in 2007 when an Islamic court issued an arrest warrant for his conversion, is still receiving threats: "They [Afghan officials] were very angry and saying that they will hit me by knife and kill me." Even in distant Norway last September, an Afghan convert to Christianity was scalded with boiling water and acid at a refugee processing center: "If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you," his attackers told him.

Algeria: Five Christians were jailed for "worshiping in an unregistered location." International Christian Concern (ICC), an advocacy group investigating the case, states that the five Christians are charged with "proselytizing," "unauthorized worship," and "insulting Islam."

Iran: Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who caught the attention of the world after being imprisoned and awaiting execution for leaving Islam, remains behind bars as officials continue to come up with excuses to force him to renounce Christianity, the latest being that "everyone is [born] a Muslim." A Christian couple "who had been snatched and illegally-detained" by authorities for eight months without any formal charges, were finally released, beaten again, and have since fled the country. While imprisoned, they were "ridiculed and debased" for their Christian faith.

Kashmir: Muslim police arrested and beat seven converts from Islam in an attempt to obtain a confession against the priest who baptized them. After the grand mufti alleged that Muslim youths were alternatively being "lured" and "forced" to convert by an Anglican priest "in exchange for money," the priest was arrested in a "humiliating" manner. Recently released, his life is now "in serious danger."

Kenya: A gang of Muslims stabbed and beat with iron rods a 25-year-old Somali refugee, breaking his teeth; he was then stripped naked, covered with dirt, and left unconscious near a church. Although he was raised Christian since age 7, he was attacked on the "assumption that as a Somali he was born into Islam and was therefore an apostate deserving of death."

Nigeria: The Muslim militant group, Boko Haram, executed two children of an ex-terrorist and "murderer" because he converted to Christianity. When still a terrorist, he "was poised to slit the throat of a Christian victim" when "he was suddenly struck with the weight of the evil he was about to commit." After finding he converted to Christianity, "Boko Haram members invaded his home, kidnapped his two children and informed him that they were going to execute them in retribution for his disloyalty to Islam. Clutching his phone, the man heard the sound of the guns that murdered his children."

General Killings

Egypt: After a Christian inadvertently killed a Muslim in a quarrel begun by the latter, thousands of Muslims rose in violence, "collectively punishing" the Copts of the village. Two Christians "not party to the altercation" were killed; others were stabbed and critically wounded. As usual, "after killing the Copts, Muslims went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian-owned homes and businesses." Even so, "Muslims insist they have not yet avenged" the death of their co-religionist, and there are fears of "a wholesale massacre of Copts." Many Christians have fled their homes or are in hiding.

Kenya: Suspected Islamic extremists, apparently angered at the use of wine during communion — Islam forbids alcohol — threw a grenade near a church compound killing two, including an 8-year-old girl, and critically wounding three others. The pastor of another congregation received a message threatening him either to flee the region "within 48 hours or you see bomb blast taking your life and we know your house, Christians will see war. Don't take it so lightly. We are for your neck."

Nigeria: In the latest round of violence, soon after mosque prayers were heard, hundreds of armed Muslims invaded Christian villages, "like a swarm of bees," killing, looting, and destroying virtually everything in sight; at the end of their four-hour rampage, some 150 people had been killed — at least 130 of them Christians. Another 45 Christians were also killed by another set of "Allahu Akbar!" shouting Muslims who burned, looted, and killed. Hundreds of people are still missing; the attacks have included the bombing of at least ten church buildings. Nearly all the Christians in the area have fled the region.

Pakistan: A 25 year-old Christian was shot dead by "an unidentified gunman in what his family believes was a radical Muslim group's targeting of a Christian." According to the son, "We firmly believe that my father was killed because of his preaching of the Bible, because there is no other reason." He began to receive threats "after voicing his desire to start a welfare organization for the poor Christians" of the region.


(General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of non-Muslim "Second-Class Citizens")

November's major instances of dhimmitude come from two Muslim nations notorious for violating Christian rights — Egypt and Pakistan — neither of which is even cited in the U.S. State Department's recent International Religious Freedom report:

Egypt: Following October's Maspero massacre, when the military killed dozens of Christians, some run over intentionally by armored vehicles, Egypt's military prosecutor detained 34 Christians, including teens under 16, on charges of "inciting violence, carrying arms and insulting the armed forces"; many of the detainees were not even at the scene and were just collected from the streets for "being a Christian." Three are under 16 years of age, including one who, after having an operation to extract a bullet from his jaw, was chained to his hospital bed. Hundreds of Christians also came under attack from Muslims throwing stones and bottles, after the Christians protested against the violence at Maspero: "Supporters of an Islamist candidate for upcoming parliamentary election joined in the attack on the Copts." Meanwhile, a senior leader of the Salafi party, which came in second after the Muslim Brotherhood in recent elections, blamed Christians for their own massacre, calling "Allah's curse on them." Muslim Brotherhood leaders asserted that only "drunks, druggies, and adulterers" are against the implementation of Sharia — a clear reference to Egypt's Christians.

Pakistan: A new U.S. government commission report indicates that Pakistani school textbooks foster intolerance of Christians, Hindus, and all non-Muslims, while most teachers view religious minorities as "enemies of Islam." "Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful," notes the report. Accordingly, in an attempted land-grab, Muslim police and cohorts of a retired military official, beat two Christian women with "batons and punches," inflicting a serious wound to one of the women's eyes after the women spoke up in defense of their land, and shot at Christians who came to help the women. "In the last few years Muslims have made several attempts to seize the land from the Christians, usually succeeding because Christians are a marginalized minority." Likewise, under a "false charge of theft," a Christian couple was arrested and severely beaten by police; the pregnant wife was "kicked and punched" even as her interrogators threatened "to kill her unborn fetus." A policeman offered to remove the theft charges if the husband would only "renounce Christianity and convert to Islam."

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some — by no means all — of the instances of Muslim persecution of Christians that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

1. Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.

2. instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated — that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya; overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis (second-class citizens); and simple violence and murder. Oftentimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales — from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims — it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam — whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 23, 2011.

This was written by Efraim Karsh, research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia) and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed. It appeared in the Middle East Forum (

University of London's Efraim Karsh Exposes Ben Gurion University's Pseudo-Academic anti-Israel Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities, David Newman


It is ironic that Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel's only university bearing the name of the Jewish state's founding father, and established in the ancient desert he dreamt of reviving, has become a hotbed of anti-Israel propaganda at the expense of proper scholarly endeavor.

So much so that an international committee of scholars, appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education to evaluate political science and international relations programs in Israeli universities, recently recommended that BGU "consider closing the Department of Politics and Government" unless it abandoned its "strong emphasis on political activism," improved its research performance, and redressed the endemic weakness "in its core discipline of political science." In other words, they asked that the Department return to accurate scholarship rather than indoctrinate the students with libel.

The same day the committee's recommendation was revealed, Professor David Newman — who founded that department and bequeathed it such a problematic ethos, for which "achievement" he was presumably rewarded with a promotion to Deanship of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, from where he can shape other departments in a similar way — penned an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in which he compared Israel's present political culture to that of Nazi Germany. "I will no doubt be strongly criticized for compared making such a comparison," he wrote, but we would do well to paraphrase the famous words of Pastor Niemoller, writing in 1946 about Germany of the 1930s and 1940s: "When the government denied the sovereign rights of the Palestinians, I remained silent; I was not a Palestinian. When they discriminated against the Arab citizens of the country, I remained silent; I was not an Arab. When they expelled the hapless refugees, I remained at home; I was no longer a refugee. When they came for the human rights activists, I did not speak out; I was not an activist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

Even if every single charge in this paraphrase were true, Israel would still be light years apart from Nazi Germany. But one need not be a politics professor or faculty dean to see the delusion in these assertions.

To begin with, which Israeli government has denied "the sovereign rights of the Palestinians"? That of David Ben-Gurion which accepted the 1947 partition resolution with alacrity? Or those headed by Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu, which explicitly endorsed the two-state solution? Has Newman perhaps mistaken Israel's founding father for Hajj Amin Husseini, leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the early 1920s to the 1940s, who tirelessly toiled to ethnically cleanse Palestine's Jewish community and destroy the nascent state of Israel? Or possibly for Husseini's successors, from Yasser Arafat, to Ahmad Yassin, to Mahmoud Abbas, whose commitment to Israel's destruction has been equally unwavering?

There is no moral equivalence whatever between the Nazi persecution, exclusion, segregation, and eventually industrial slaughter of European Jewry, and Israel's treatment of its Arab population. Not only do the Arabs in Israel enjoy full equality before the law, but from the designation of Arabic as an official language, to the recognition of non-Jewish religious holidays as legal resting days for their respective communities, Arabs in Israel have enjoyed more prerogatives than ethnic minorities anywhere in the democratic world.

To put it more bluntly, while six million Jews, three quarters of European Jewry, died at the hands of the Nazis in the six years that Hitler dominated Europe, Israel's Arab population has not only leapt tenfold during the Jewish state's 63 years of existence — from 156,000 in 1948 to 1.57 million in 2010 — but its rate of social and economic progress has often surpassed that of the Jewish sector, with the result that the gap between the two communities has steadily narrowed.

It is precisely this exemplary, if by no means flawless, treatment of its Arab citizens that underlies their clear preference of Israeli citizenship to that of one in a prospective Palestinian state (a sentiment shared by most East Jerusalem Palestinians). This preference has also recently driven tens of thousands of African Muslims illegally to breach the Jewish state's border in search of employment, rather than to stay in Egypt, whose territory they have to cross on the way. The treatment of mass illegal immigration (hardly the hapless refugees presented by Newman) is a major problem confronting most democracies in the West these days, where there is an ongoing debate about what are the basic responsibilities of governments for their citizens' wellbeing and the right of nations to determine the identity of those entering their territory.

Even more mind-boggling is Newman's equating Israel's attempt to prevent foreign funding of Israeli nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the international Israel de-legitimization campaign — along the lines of the US Foreign Agents Legislation Act — with repressing political opponents by the Nazi regime. What "human rights activists" have been unlawfully detained by the Israeli government, let alone rounded up and thrown into concentration camps? On what planet does the Ben-Gurion University faculty dean live?

But Newman is not someone to be bothered by the facts. His is the standard "colonialist paradigm" prevalent among Israeli and Western academics, which views Zionism, and by extension the state of Israel, not as a legitimate expression of national self-determination but as "a colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement" (in the words of another BGU professor) — an offshoot of European imperialism at its most rapacious.

And therein, no doubt, lies the problem with BGU's Politics and Government Department: the only Israeli department singled out by the international committee for the unprecedented recommendation of closure. For if its founder and long-time member, who continues to wield decisive influence over its direction, views Israel as a present-day reincarnation of Nazi Germany in several key respects, how conceivably can the department ensure the "sustained commitment to providing balance and an essential range of viewpoints and perspectives on the great issues of politics" required for its continued existence?

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at His website address is

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 22, 2011.

It makes me crazy when overly cautious representatives of the Israeli government tiptoe in such a fashion that they convey the impression that they are unsure of Israel's rights. But this is not the case here.

The government (or more accurately, the Foreign Ministry), weary of meddling European governments with a pro-PA stance, has delivered a strong message to France, Britain, Germany and Portugal — the four EU nations currently sitting on the Security Council. For these four nations released a joint statement on Tuesday that: condemned building in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem (which sends "a devastating message"); addressed the "disturbing escalation of violence by settlers;" and called for parties to "present as soon as possible to the Quartet comprehensive proposals on territory and security."

From the Foreign Ministry, then, came a message that, "interfering with Israel's domestic affairs, including on issues that are to be solved within the framework of direct talks, does not enhance the status they wish to be granted."

This is Avigdor Lieberman's voice, loud and clear. Which is why this statement doesn't tiptoe. It would be more productive, suggested the Ministry statement, if these countries attended to the extreme violence in Syria, helping Arab countries to develop democracies, and stopping Iran's nuclear threat.

"If, instead of contributing to stability in the Middle East through these steps, they invest their efforts in inappropriate bickering with the one country where there is an independent justice system that knows how to handle lawbreakers of all kinds, they are bound to lose their credibility and make themselves irrelevant.

"The European UNSC members have chosen to do what is easy and unnecessary, rather than muster their courage to do that which is difficult and necessary."

I love it!


The issue addressed by these nations that most irritated officials was the call for the proposals to be submitted to the Quartet. Israel's position is that three-way negotiations are a waste of time and that proposals should only be submitted at the table when there are face-to-face negotiations. And, in fact, just last week representatives of the Quartet said the same thing — that the parties should submit proposals to each other in direct talks.

The position of the four nations making the statement was directly in line with what the PA is claiming: that proposals are supposed to go to the Quartet. They submitted their proposals, they are saying, but an obstructionist Israel has not done so.

Then too, Israeli diplomats were greatly irked by the fact that demands upon Israel are very specific, while what is expected of the PA is left in general terms.

The four nations attempted to predetermine the outcome of the negotiations by calling (in line with PA demands, of course) for the '67 lines as border and Jerusalem as the capital of two states. But these are matters to be determined only via negotiations.

How these European nations speak is not news. What is of import is the strength of the Israeli response.


This week, Mahmoud Abbas met in Turkey with Amna Muna, who lured an Israeli teenager to his death by pretending to establish a romantic relationship with him via Internet. She was released as part of the Shalit deal.

The prime minister's office had plenty to say about this, including a statement that, "Instead of promoting peace and reconciliation the Palestinian leadership seems to be putting extremist murderers up on a pedestal."

But I don't believe I caught any condemnation from EU nations who want to see Abbas refrain from such behavior in the interests of peace.


The US on the issue of Iran: Mixed messages and a thoroughly confusing situation. We've had American officials dispatched here to warn us not to attack Iran, and we've seen the president eager to avoid "offending" Iran with what might be seen as "a declaration of war," as he attempted various diplomatic means of controlling the situation.

But it now seems that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta — who is one of those people who had been sent to Jerusalem to warn us — speaks out of both sides of his mouth. For he has now given an interview on CBS in which he says that Iran might have the bomb within a year. The US has the ability to attack anywhere in the world, he told his interviewer. The US will not allow Iran to go nuclear, and will take any steps necessary to stop it.

A change of heart as he faces the frighteningly imminent countdown? Acceptance of evidence presented by Israel (Barak was just in Washington)? Or politicking in an election year?

Who knows. What I do know is that it will take more than words from an Obama administration official to convince me that the US is serious on this matter.


What makes Panetta's words seem like more than politicking is another interview — the timing of which is no coincidence — given to CNN by US Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey:

The US, he said, is formulating a plan for attack on Iran: "I am satisfied that the options that we are developing are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary."

Well, this is reassuring. But we have to ask what took them so long. They should have had such plans all along. This does seem to indicate a readiness by Obama to maybe, perhaps, possibly consider such an option. For it goes without saying that such plans would be activated only if the president gave the word.

The General further said that:

"We are trying to establish some confidence on the part of the Israelis that we recognize their concerns and are collaborating with them on addressing them."

And a statement by Defense Minister Barak seemed to confirm this:

"The change in American statements on Iran are a very important development. If any of my meetings with American officials contributed to this, then I'm happy about it. It is also important that the Iranians hear this, because it shows them that there are consequences."

"...The US is standing behind Israel in a way it has not done for a long time now, with more determination and depth..."

Yes, I know, the reality must be separated out from the politics here. Barak has been an Obama buddy. But this offers a reasonable measure of hope.


According to Israel Hayom:

"Intelligence recently provided to the US by Israel regarding developments in Iran, and threats of the use of force by the Israel Defense Forces against Tehran's nuclear program, played a central role in the uptick of comments by senior US defense officials against Iran this week.

"Furthermore, the assessment in Israel is that several other U.S. allies in the Middle East have made it clear to Washington that if it does not seriously intend to stop Tehran's nuclear march, these countries would have to conduct a reassessment of their strategic positions — a reassessment not necessarily in Washington's favor." newsletter_article.php?id=2329


Tomorrow is Shabbat, and with the celebration of Chanukah, and precious time with grandchildren, it is likely to be a few days until I post again.

It is impossible to touch upon every subject of concern. I have not mentioned Thomas Friedman's anti-Israel positions, or the subsequent and very appropriate refusal of Netanyahu to write something for the NY Times.

Far more significantly, I will want to return to issues touching upon Egypt, where the situation is hardly stable. The military has been flexing muscle: Not without violence, they have been working to put down protests against military rule. From the perspective here, their last ditch effort to control the country, as unsatisfactory as it is in multiple ways, beats control by the Islamists.

What is startling however is that, according to the Jordanian paper, Albawaba, Dr. Yusri Hamad, spokesman for the Egyptian Salafi Nur party, has said that the party would be expressed willing to sit down with Israel under certain conditions; this would not contravene Islamic law, he said. While party leader Dr. Emad Abdul Ghafoor declared, "We must respect the treaties signed by Egypt." However, his statement linked the treaty with Israel to establishment of a Palestinian state.


I think we can learn the lesson at least a couple of times over just in this posting alone — that world events are fluid and unpredictable, and as much as the pundits think they know what is going to happen, in point of fact we have to sit tight and watch it all unfold. Praying, at the same time, of course.


Let me here wish all of my Christian friends on this list a joyful holiday.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Paul Rotenberg, December 22, 2011.

( uploads/2011/12/obama-150x150.jpg)
Trying to portray Obama as pro-Israel is not a simple task. From the outset of his tenure in office, Obama has distinguished himself as the most anti-Israel president ever," Caroline Glick writes in a September op-ed for The Jerusalem Post.

After providing a laundry list of historic presidential firsts against Israel, Glick adds: "Given Obama's record — to which can be added his fervent support for Turkish Prime Minister and virulent anti-Semite Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his courtship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and his massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt — it is obvious that any attempt to argue that Obama is pro-Israel cannot be based on substance, or even on tone."

So it takes one aback to hear Obama last Friday, before a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism, declaring, "I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours. None. Don't let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact."

This echoed earlier statements he made on November 30 at a New York fundraiser attended by wealthy Jewish campaign contributors. "I try not to pat myself too much on the back — but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration." He added: "And that's not just our opinion, that's the opinion of the Israeli government."

Which raises an interesting question: Does Israel's government share Obama's high opinion of his administration?

On Dec. 2, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, had the chance to answer that question. CNN Host John King asked Oren: "You speak for the Israeli government. Is that true? Has Barack Obama been better for the security of Israel than any other previous American president?"

Anyone who anticipated a hard hitting reply was disappointed. Oren responded: "President Obama has made immense contributions to Israel's security. ... We've developed anti-missile technology that is absolutely ground-breaking. We've stood together in the face of terror, in the face of Iranian nuclearization — truly an excellent relationship."

No one is disputing the technological cooperation. Israel and the U.S. work together and have no doubt come up with ground-breaking advances such as Oren describes. It's worth pointing out this is not a one-way street. America benefits greatly from Israeli technological innovation.

Shmuel Katz, in "The Big Lie On U.S. Aid" (The Jerusalem Post, March 20, 1992), describes how Joseph Sisco, a former assistant secretary of State, came up to him during a symposium of the International Security Council in February 1989. Sisco said:

"I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us."

As Caroline Glick points out, even the technological cooperation is not as rosy as Ambassador Oren makes it seem: "[T]he truth is less sanguine," Glick writes. "While jointly developing defensive systems, the administration has placed unprecedented restrictions on the export of offensive military platforms and technologies to Israel. Under Gates, Pentagon constraints on Israeli technology additions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters nearly forced Israel to cancel its plans to purchase the aircraft."

But the real problem with the Israeli government's approach is that it focuses on what goes on behind the scenes as opposed to what's happening on the world stage.

What we see, and what the Arabs see, isn't the secret cooperation, which, as Glick points out, isn't that cooperative, and as Mr. Sisco points out, isn't all that beneficent. Instead, the world sees a president who tells Israel to get back to the 1949 Armistice lines and tells the Palestinian Arabs that they have the right to a "sovereign and contiguous state," a proposal that would split Israel in two.

From the start of his presidency, Obama has sent a clear message, starting with his first major policy address on the Middle East in Cairo, where he speechified about how Palestinian Arabs "endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own."

It's odd that that a president 'who has done more for Israel than any other' should have nothing to say about the suffering of Israelis at the hands of the Arabs. Yet, the Israeli government wants us to believe that relations are excellent — albeit secretly excellent.

It is a political error that Jewish leaders have made before and with predictably awful results. The prime example of this approach is Dr. Chaim Weizmann's leadership of the Zionist movement during the inter-war years. From the start of the British conquest of Palestine, there began a deterioration of British-Jewish relations. Dr. Weizmann chose to support the British publicly and deal with any problems privately. Vladimir Jabotinsky, who would eventually establish a rival Zionist movement, warned him repeatedly to take the matter to the court of public opinion.

In a letter dated Jan. 22, 1919, Jabotinsky wrote: "...Arab impudence is growing daily. No forty-eight hours pass but some inciting speech is heard in Ramleh, concluding in a call to the 'Arab sword'... [I]f all this exceeds certain limits I shall be forced either to resign altogether or to see to it that the cry of Palestine shall be heard in Europe."

Weizmann, however, only expressed satisfaction with the British in public. As Shmuel writes in Lone Wolf: A biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky (Barricade Books, 1996):

[The British military administrators] having assured themselves of an accommodating attitude from the outstanding Zionist leader Weizmann, they were able without major effort also to manipulate their pro-Zionist masters in London into broad acquiescence, or resignation, to their anti-Zionist actions.

Weizmann did from time to time, in letters and private conversations, complain bitterly about their behavior, but was careful not to cause them public embarrassment.

Weizmann had many opportunities to change course. In Lone Wolf, Shmuel writes that, following the 1929 Arab riots:

No moment could have been more propitious for the Zionists, even while mourning the dead, to launch a supreme effort, visible equally to the Jewish people, to the British public and to the world at large, to translate the agonies and pent-up bitterness of the Yishuv into a political offensive for exposing British encouragement as the prime cause of Arab violence; and for demanding a full reinstatement of Britain's obligations to the Jewish people under the mandate.

Unfortunately, the Zionist leadership had for so long remained silent about the problems with the British that it couldn't announce its dissatisfaction. As Shmuel writes:

It was morally impossible for the incumbent Zionist leadership suddenly to challenge the British government. It was itself too vulnerable. It could, of course, correctly blame the government for not foreseeing the campaign of Arab violence; but had it itself warned the government and aroused public opinion to the danger? Had it not repeatedly pronounced itself "satisfied" with the situation in Palestine and its relations with the government as "excellent"?

Just like the Zionist leadership of the past, Netanyahu's government is too timid to make waves and, thus, lets things go from bad to worse.

Oren said the Israeli government wants to preserve bipartisan support. If so, it has a strange way of going about it. Expressing satisfaction when an administration pursues policies that undermine Israel's moral authority isn't going to make that administration stop what it's doing. It doesn't encourage Israel's friends to go out of their way either. What's the upside to supporting Israel, when there may be political risk for doing so, but none for not doing so? After all, Israel's government is going to say you're wonderful no matter what you do.

A far better approach would be for Israel to express public disapproval when it is publicly attacked. The administration in question would then suffer a loss in American Jewish electoral and financial support. This would send a clear message: If you take an anti-Israel stance there is a price to be paid. It's a simple problem in political math the Netanyahu government hasn't solved, although Jabotinsky gave them the answer nearly 100 years ago.

Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at

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Posted by Moshe Feiglin, December 22, 2011.

(Temple Institute)

"And it was at the end of two years and Pharaoh had a dream." (From this week's Torah portion, Miketz, Genesis 41:1)

Another two years in the dungeon for Joseph. Twelve years in all. And why is he in the dungeon in the first place? Because he didn't want to sin with the wife of the Egyptian minister? This is his reward for doing G-d's will?

Joseph does not break. He clings to his faith. From the depths of the dungeon, we cannot possibly understand the entire story. Only after the fact do we understand that every moment in the Egyptian dungeon honed Joseph for the position that he would take. When the moment came — "and they hurried him from the dungeon." When the moment comes, nothing can stand in its way. Not trickery and not the situation that seems completely hopeless. When a person clings to his faith, does the right thing and does not give in to despair he is positioned so that when the moment comes, reality hurries him out of the dungeon.

We are now celebrating Chanukah. Much will be recalled this week about the miracle and the Maccabees' victory over the Greeks. We have a lot to learn from their dedication, perseverance and the leadership qualities of Matityahu and his sons. Just like Joseph, they clung to their faith, persevered and led the nation until they established the independent Jewish state — both physically and spiritually. But no less important than studying their successes is to study the end of the independent Hasmonean state. The Jews' loss of identity caused the disintegration of the Israeli kingdom after the reign of Queen Shlomzion. Israel under Hasmonean rule became a protectorate of Rome.

The Holy Temple was still standing and the enlightened Romans allowed for freedom of worship — almost. But the core principle was missing. The idea of perfecting the world in the kingdom of Heaven had become meaningless. For if the Nation of the King of kings is ruled by others, if the holy service in the royal palace — the holy Temple — is being performed with permission from the Roman king — then what kind of perfection of the world is taking place? It is nothing more than a caricature of G-d's supreme reign, nothing more.

To be 'religious' one does not need a nation. One can be a Moslem or a Christian from any state. But to make G-d supreme over His world, He must rule over the Nation, the Land and the royal palace. This is the vital Jewish connection between nationality and religion. When the Jewish Nation is not free, Judaism is detached from its destiny and merely exists as moth-balled religion.

The other side of the coin is true as well: When the Nation is free but is not loyal to the commandments of the King, Judaism exists only as moth-balled nationalism. Historically, the religious mothballs preserve Judaism longer and better than the nationalist moth-balls. One way or the other, both nationalism and religion are limited and cannot guarantee the existence of our nation and certainly not the fulfillment of its destiny. We must re-connect the loose ends and mold them all into Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount: sovereignty and religion all wrapped up into one; the fulfillment of Jewish destiny and Manhigut Yehudit's goal.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Moshe Feiglin, its cofounder, has emphatically said he does not want a theocracy, but he does want a State based on Jewish values. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit Or contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

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Posted by Daily Alert, December 22, 2011.
This was written by Melanie Lidman and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at Article.aspx?id=250468

Vandals desecrating graves are caught more often, and are more easily convicted due to video evidence; 80 out of 147 planned cameras are already monitoring the cemetery.


Mount of Olives Cemetery (Har Hazeitim), Jerusalem — Vandal caught in the act of desecrating graves at the world's oldest and largest Jewish cemetery.

View entire video here.

A year after the Prime Minister's Office began funding security cameras in the Mount of Olives cemetery, vandals desecrating graves are caught more often, and are more easily convicted due to video evidence.

On Tuesday, the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim (the Mount of Olives) released video footage from the security cameras, showing a man throwing bricks and trying to break a headstone on November 29. As he was walking away from the site he was apprehended by two private security guards, and later arrested by police.

Due to the video footage, he was sentenced to three months in prison. During the course of the investigation, the man said he had been paid NIS 1,000 to vandalize a grave.

There are 80 security cameras in the cemetery; by the end of 2012, there will be 137. There is also one thermal camera to catch vandals at night using heat sensors, and there will eventually be six more.

The cameras are funded by the Prime Minister's Office, which is responsible for the Mount of Olives cemetery.

The cameras will cost a total of roughly NIS 80 million, which is part of a NIS 630m. budget for improving the Old City's infrastructure that was approved in 2006. The authorities began installing the cameras in the past year.

The 137 cameras will not cover the entire cemetery, and the International Committee is trying to secure funding for more

The cameras feed into a command center located on the main road of the cemetery that is manned around the clock by a private company. When guards see vandalism on their screens, they alert the private security company that provides security to Jews living in majority Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, including in Silwan, Ras al-Amud and the Old City.

"The cameras certainly scare the vandals, but their capability is limited," said Elad Kandl, the director of the Old City for the Jerusalem Development Authority, which is overseeing improvements to the cemetery.

Kandl said the cameras had enabled the police to arrest and successfully prosecute many more people caught desecrating graves, but he declined to give exact figures.

The International Committee stressed the need for a permanent police presence in the area to stop vandalism before it starts and to protect visitors and mourners who are often stoned by Arabs.

"Why isn't this a matter of national interest? It's a disgrace, things are being done but not enough," said Harvey Schwartz, the recently elected chairman of the International Committee's Israel branch.

"Anything of Jewish interest of this magnitude has to be protected. Finally they have begun efforts, but it's not nearly enough and not quickly enough," Schwartz said. "What do we look like if we're not protecting our national cemetery? We look like fools."

He demanded a police investigation to determine who is funding the vandals-for-hire and paying NIS 1,000 per grave desecrated.

Schwartz said desecration of a Jewish cemetery in any other country would prompt international outrage and a strong condemnation from Israel, while desecration is happening on a daily basis in one of Judaism's oldest and holiest cemeteries. The International Committee has tried to push forward legislation making desecrating a cemetery a much more serious crime with a harsher sentence. In America, cemetery desecration is a felony and is punishable by up to seven years in prison in some states.

The Mount of Olives has been used as a Jewish cemetery for more than 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, including those of prime minister Menachem Begin, writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold and the Ramban.

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to

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Posted by Michael Freund, December 21, 2011.

As Jews around the world gather to celebrate Hanukka, the festival of lights, it is only natural that we look back with pride at what our ancestors were able to accomplish.

Over two millennia ago a small band of freedom fighters rose up against the Seleucid tyrant Antiochus and his despotism, determined to reinstate our national sovereignty and salvage our religious identity. Thanks to Divine providence, Matityahu the high priest and his intrepid sons prevailed, defeating the enemy, cleansing the Temple and reestablishing Jewish rule.

As a result, the Maccabees rightfully earned their place in the annals of Jewish heroism, setting an inspiring example of spiritual resolve and military fortitude for generations of Jews to come.

Tuesday night, as we lit the first candle, I stared at the light and considered what the Maccabees had achieved with one pressing question on my mind: how would they view us? Would the Maccabees, who sacrificed everything for the sake of preserving the Jewish way of life, be proud to see what the Jewish people and the modern State of Israel have become?

From a strictly political and martial perspective, the answer would appear to be obvious.

Surely Judah the Maccabee and his brothers would rejoice to see a reborn Jewish state, free and independent, with a potent military that is the envy of the region. They would undoubtedly marvel at Israel's accomplishments on the battlefield against overwhelming odds, seeing in them some undeniable parallels with their own victories over the Syrian-Greeks.

In the First Book of Maccabees (3:58-59), Judah rallied his troops as they prepared for battle, urging them to "arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that you are ready in the morning so that you may fight with these nations that are assembled together against us to destroy us and our sanctuary."

"It is better for us to die in battle," he told them, "than to behold the calamities of our people and our sanctuary."

The IDF is the living embodiment of Judah the Maccabee's fighting spirit, carrying on his legacy of national dignity and self-respect.

BUT AS much as the Maccabees would have taken delight in Israel's prowess, I can't help but feel they would be terribly disappointed by a number of the Jewish state's policies.

Take, for example, Israel's treatment of the Temple Mount, which lies at the very heart of the historical events that Hanukka commemorates. In deference to our Muslim neighbors, Israel imposes a series of shameful restrictions on Jewish visitors to this holiest of sites. Jews ascending the Mount are not allowed to bring a prayer book or Bible with them, nor are they permitted to pray. Indeed, Jews are occasionally detained by police for moving their lips on their Mount, as this could be interpreted to be an act of prayer.

On the other hand, the Muslim Wakf, which effectively controls the site, has done as it pleases, carrying out illegal archaeological digs and destroying priceless relics from Temple times right under Israel's nose.

I think Matityahu and his sons would have a hard time understanding why the Temple Mount they fought so hard to liberate and purify is now routinely debased thanks to a weak-willed Jewish government. After all, it was the restoration of the Temple and its service that was the driving force behind their revolt.

Moreover, the longing for the rebuilding of the Temple is a theme that permeates our Hanukka liturgy. In the first stanza of the "Maoz Tzur" hymn, we say, "Restore my House of Prayer and there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.... then with a song of hymn I shall finish the dedication of the Altar."

Our national apathy toward the Temple Mount is a betrayal of our Maccabeean heritage and flies in the face of everything they fought for.

And then there is Israel's nasty habit of turning over territory to our enemies. Take, for example, the ignominious withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which would certainly have astounded the protagonists of the Hanukka story.

In the year 145 BCE, the Hasmonean king Jonathan, Judah the Maccabee's brother, attacked Gaza and forced its population to sue for peace, as recounted in the First Book of Maccabees (11:62). His brother Simon, who succeeded him, later captured Gaza and pacified its population, which had been agitating against the Judean kingdom. He sent Jews to settle Gaza, and even built himself a home there, sending a clear message that the Jews were there to stay.

Contrast this with our own expulsion of thousands of Jews from Gaza, and the inexplicable forbearance that our government shows in the face of rocket attacks emanating from the area.

The Maccabees would be appalled!

Matityahu and his sons took up arms because Judaism and its core beliefs, as well as the Jewish people, were under assault from both within and without. They were driven by a firm belief in the justness of their cause, which gave them the wherewithal to confront the existential threats facing the Jewish nation. In our own time, even that has eroded, as many of our fellow Israelis seem to have lost sight of the fact that we are engaged in a clear struggle between good and evil.

What ensured the Maccabean success was their obstinate and uncompromising commitment to Jewish values and principles, and it is this trait that we must seek to re-embrace. Enough with retreat, enough with withdrawal and appeasing our foes. Let's learn from the Maccabees and start worrying a little less about what the world might think, and a little more about how to build and defend the Land of Israel.

Just as the candles that we kindle each night stand ram-rod straight, giving off light in defiance of their surroundings, so too must Israel now do the same.

That, perhaps more than anything, is what the heroes of Hanukka would have wanted.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (, which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his first term in office. This appeared in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at 10913/maccabees-proud

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Posted by Roger Bodle, December 21, 2011.

This was written by Michael Ordman, who writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel at To subscribe, email a request to


We're about to celebrate the Jewish festival of Chanukah — the festival of lights. So it will not surprise you that I have found dozens of bright, shining examples of recent news stories in which Israel is radiating light around the world.

Let's start in the sunlight. Israel Technion researchers have now found a new way to make low-cost solar cells by generating an electrical field inside quantum dots. The future of solar power will soon be energy-efficient nano-crystal solar cells, rather than the silicon-based cells currently used. Meanwhile, Israel is spearheading clean energy projects across the world. Israel's Evogene and Brazil's SLC Agricola are developing bio-diesel from castor seed, suitable for sustainable and commercial production in Brazil. The fuel will cost substantially less than oil and is expected to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by over 75%.

In the Netherlands, The Israeli engineering and energy organisation, Ludan, is sharing the build of a two-megawatt biogas power plant with a Dutch company. Back in South America, Israel Corporation has bought 75% of Chilean power company Central Tierra Amarilla SA including its power station. IC Power already owns power stations in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

Israel's light will soon spread to one of our neighbours on the Mediterranean. Minister of National Infrastructures Dr. Uzi Landau announced that Israel and Cyprus were in advanced discussions about linking electricity grids in order to provide mutual backups in the event of a supply failure in either country. And in another report about linking across water, Israel's oldest construction company Solel Boneh International Ltd. has won a contract to build a 2.1-kilometer bridge over Nigeria's Benue River and its access roads. The following video features the huge hydroelectric dam that Solel Boneh constructed in Guatemala.

View the Solel Boneh video here.

Staying in the water, DSIT Solutions has won a NIS 45 million deal from a government oil company to protect the coastline of an undisclosed Asian country, using its AquaShield sonar system. Back at home, there was a breakthrough agreement during the discussions about water between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the recent Ashdod Sustainability Conference. And I must send Mazel Tov greetings to Israel's latest water champion. Lee Korzits has just won the second gold medal of her career in the ISAF World Windsurfing Championships in Perth Australia.

Israel is often consulted about water by countries that hardly acknowledge her existence. At the United Nations conference on Climate Change in Durban, representatives from Iraq, Afganistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Tunisia visited the KKL-JNF booth to seek advice. The UN is also grateful to Israel for its work in preparing their UNAIDS team for their five-year program to circumcise an estimated 20 million African men in order to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus.

Israel is one of the leading lights in cancer research, so it was good to see that Bar Ilan and Miami universities are together setting up a new cancer centre and developing a state-of-the-art graduate program in cancer biology. And the big hi-tech news is that Apple computers has seen the light. In the past week it has decided to open a development centre in Israel focusing on semiconductors. It will be Apple's first and only R&D centre outside its California headquarters. The US giant is also in advanced talks to make its first purchase of an Israeli company, Anobit, which provides flash memory solutions for smartphones, tablets, and music players.

The warm winter sunlight attracted 316,000 tourists to Israel last month — the highest ever number of tourists for any November. The Government is also investing funds in building and renovating hotels. Israel already has some bright stars in the hotel business. Jerusalem hotels Inbal (4th) and David Citadel (7th) were voted into the top 10 best hotels in the Middle East by Conde Nast Traveller and described as being among the "pinnacles of luxury".

Time to sign off now and prepare for lighting the Chanukah candles. This year why not follow the singing of the traditional festival tunes with this great new song "Light up the night" from the Ein Prat Fountainheads.

View the Light up the Night video here.

But I will finish with two of Israel's brightest news stories. In the first, Israel's Spacecom Satellite Communications launched its Amos 5 communications satellite on 11th December from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Spacecom has already signed contracts for the Amos 5 to provide satellite communications services to half of Africa.

And lastly, President Shimon Peres unveiled an Israeli project to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon by 2014. If all goes to plan, Israel will be only the third country ever to land a spacecraft on a heavenly body. Just imagine it; in Chanukah 2014 we will be over the moon and then can really publicise the miracle of the Jewish State.

Contact Roger Bodle by email at

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, December 21, 2011.

Dear Reader:

If the ongoing eradication of Christians under Islam is of concern to you, please consider signing Christian Solidarity International's petition here urging President Barack Obama to present during his forthcoming State of the Union Address his "administration's policy to prevent the eradication of the endangered Christian communities and other religious minorities of the Islamic Middle East."


Raymond Ibrahim


Iraq's Christians near extinction as the world silently watches. Woman grieves during mass for slain victims of Baghdad's 2010 church attack.

A recent Fox News report tells of how "a rash of attacks on Christian-owned businesses in northern Iraq has raised troubling questions about the future safety of the country's shrinking Christian community, particularly as U.S. forces withdraw completely from the nation they've refereed since 2003."

Iraq's Christians near extinction as the world silently watches. Woman grieves during mass for slain victims of Baghdad's 2010 church attack.

In fact, "questions about the future safety of the country's shrinking Christian community" have been raised ever since the U.S. toppled secular strongman Saddam Hussein, thereby unloosing the forces of jihad previously corked. The report continues:

The attacks, which have received little international attention, raged through northern cities following a sermon last Friday by a local mullah. Video purportedly from the riots posted online shows mobs burning and wrecking businesses, which included liquor stores, hotels and hair salons.

Note the two important facts here that play over and over whenever Christians are persecuted under Islam: 1) Despite their frequency and severity, they "receive little international attention" (indeed, only the most spectacular of terrorist attacks on Christians — such as the 2010 Baghdad church attack which left some 60 dead — ever receive mainstream media attention); and 2) as usual, the attacks followed "a sermon last Friday by a local mullah" (in other words, are Islamic in nature).

As if the situation wasn't bad enough, after pointing out that "Iraqi Christians ... are living in fear," U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf said:

"Now with the [U.S.] forces leaving ... I think the Iraqi Christians are going to go through a very, very difficult time." ... He urged the Obama administration to do more to speak up on the issue. "They know this is a problem. Our government ought to be advocating and ought to be pushing."

It ought to, but it's not. After calling the U.S. government's silence concerning the blatant persecution of Iraq's Christians "disturbing," the founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council added: "We're on the verge of extinction."

Writer Kenneth Timmerman, who recently returned from Iraq, was asked in an interview "what if anything is the U.S. doing to alleviate the plight of Christian minorities ... in Iraq?" His response:

Under President Obama the U.S. is doing nothing. They are putting no pressure on Al-Maliki in Iraq. ... I just returned from Northern Iraq ... I can tell you that this is a community that is on the verge of extinction. The Assyrian Chaldean Syriac community in Iraq [i.e., the Christian community] constitutes the indigenous people of Iraq. They have been there for millennia. They are being driven out by Jihadi Muslims on the one hand and by Kurdish Nationalists on the other.

Worse, whereas Iraq's Christians were in the habit of fleeing to neighboring countries for refuge, in light of the so-called "Arab Spring," these countries are no longer safe, as their own Christians are increasingly targeted.

In fact, by pushing for "democracy" and "elections, the Obama administration has helped unloose some of the most anti-Christian — not to mention anti-Western, anti-Israel, in a word, anti-infidel — forces in the region. Consider Syria, for instance, where many Iraqi Christian refugees have fled to:

As the Assad regime comes under mounting international pressure, Christians, who comprise around ten per cent of the population, are particularly concerned about what the future holds for them and Iraqi Christian refugees living in the country. Should Assad fall, it is feared that Syria could go the way of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence. Many of them went to Syria. ... Most of the Iraqi Christians living in Syria are worried because they do not want to see Syrian Christians passing through the same path as happened with them in Iraq.

As if all this was not enough, Pamela Geller reports that "Christians are being refused refugee status [in the U.S.] and face persecution and many times certain death for their religious beliefs under Sharia, while whole Muslim communities are entering the U.S. by the tens of thousands per month despite the fact that they face no religious persecution."

Such is the increasingly surreal world we live in.

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article appeared today in FrontPage Magazine and is archived at 10912/iraq-christians-near-extinction

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 21, 2011.

1. Abu Dawud was the guerilla pseudonym of Muhammed Dahud Udeh, the uber-terrorhoid who planned and organized the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. He died last year, much too late and much too easily. His widow is still alive and waddling. She was allowed by Israel this past week, a bit foolishly, to enter the country from Syria in order to attend a funeral. She fainted after the funeral and was hospitalized in Ramallah by the "Palestinians." Before her medical team had a chance to kill her with their incompetence, she asked to be treated in Tel Aviv at the city's fanciest private hospital, Assuta. Israel agreed and she was. You and I are shouldering her costs.

2. This week three Jewish teenagers were arrested on suspicion of having attacked Arab teenagers and yelling at them "Arabs, get out." The police wanted them remanded and charged with racism, even though the mother of one of the Arabs who claims he was attacked insists that the background to the quarrel was not ethnic but just teenage hooliganism. When they were brought before the judge, he assigned to the Jewish teenagers the public defenders who were on duty that day. They were Arab lawyers. They defended the Jewish teenagers and in fact got them released. When asked how they felt about having successfully released Jewish teenagers accused of attacking Arab teenagers, the public defenders said Just Fine. (Story in Yediot Ahronot today.) So as you can see, Israeli apartheid is all alive and kicking.

3. You may recall that hundreds of Israel's tenured leftists signed petitions and organized caravans of solidarity to a small Galilee mosque that was vandalized a few months back, apparently by Jewish vandals. Well, today's headline is Police Silent on Synagogue Fire in Ramle
( News/News.aspx/150924)

A member of Ramle's Jewish community say police are trying to hide the rise of attacks on Jews in the city after a synagogue is "Torched"

Quick, guess how many of those same tenured leftists who signed the earlier petition or who made pilgrimages to the village in the Galilee with the vandalized mosque have signed petitions or spoken out about this new incident!

While you are computing your answer, here is a followup question:

Baaa Baaa Tenured Sheep, have you any wool?
Yassir, Yassir, two bags full.
One for the mosque, sir, and one for the church,
But none for the little shul that burned down the lane. .

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at His website address is

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 21, 2011.

Chanukah has begun and, as is my custom, after lighting candles I sit before them quietly, searching for peace, contemplating the way life does go on. And determined, absolutely determined, to find inspiration for strength and hope.

A weighty task in today's world. But to despair is forbidden.

And so on that note....


Please see my latest piece, up on Front Page Magazine. It deals with the pro-Arab US State Department, and its offensive response to requests for a public position regarding deprivation of Jewish religious rights on the Mount of Olives. 12/20/us-state-department-true-to-form- on-the-mount-of-olives/

See it, and share it, because this is the sort of thing people need to know.


An agreement has been reached between the government (with Minister Benny Begin actively involved on its behalf) and the Yesha Council (working with the residents of Ramat Gilad) that would prevent destruction of the small community. According to this agreement, the outpost would be considered part of the community of Karnei Shomron, and five caravans on disputed land would have to be relocated.

Ramat Gilad (Gil Yohanan)

This serves as a perfect example of a way in which small "unauthorized" communities in Judea and Samaria can be saved instead of being razed.


As a small aside, I would like to call attention to what Danny Dayan, chair of the Yesha Council, said yesterday, according to the JPost:

"The agreements were already 95 percent ready...before the attacks. Suddenly, Defense Minister Ehud Barak created a provocation of preparing forces to evacuate Ramat Gilad and that's what led to the violence."

The "attacks" he refers to are the incidents involving youth, primarily at the Ephraim's Brigade base, which I recently discussed. Barak's provocation should be duly noted.


A brief background regarding this complex and sensitive subject of dealing with "illegal outposts::

It has been Israeli government policy since the time of Menachem Begin not to build on privately owed Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria.

Peace Now, however, works on the assumption — a HUGE assumption — that any land in Judea and Samaria that is not specifically government land is privately owned Palestinian land. And so this group (which is not even a registered NGO in Israel and receives funding from abroad), goes to the High Court and makes charges against outposts, claiming they are situated on Palestinian land. The group makes this claim even though it has no standing in the relevant cases and even though NO Palestinian has come forward to claim the land.

This was the situation regarding Ramat Gilad. Once the charge was made, the government acquiesced, as it often does, making a commitment to address the situation per the charge — which at that point meant destruction of houses.

Moshe Zar, who lives in Karnei Shomron, claims that he purchased the land for Ramat Gilad privately, but the civil administration maintains that there was lack of sufficient documentation with regard to one area. The agreement being drafted now would move the caravans from the area that is contested.

Zar says he is content with this compromise for now so that Ramat Gilad can be saved. The fight concerning the legality of the contested area will continue in court, however, even after the caravans are moved — for Zar insists that his documentation is in place.


News reports have it that the agreement is not quite finalized. One source I spoke with indicated that the hold-up is the fact that Defense Minister Barak has not signed it yet. Another source said everything has to be precisely in order and then the agreement has to be submitted to the Court for final approval.

But it was Danny Dayan — who speaks for the Yesha Council, a party to these negotiations — who provided an explanation for me that had the most clarity:

No Barak has not signed, and Dayan doesn't know that he is going to sign. But, he says, this is not going to be a formal agreement that requires signatures: It is an informal understanding. And, as such, it has, he believes, "passed the point of no return" It is in place, and has been accepted by both sides. Yes, says Dayan, this understanding will be brought to the Court — by January 5, if not before. But if both sides have agreed, the Court will accept it. It's not a question of waiting with bated breath to see what the Court says.


Relevant to all of this is proposed legislation that has been advanced by MK Zeev Elkin, chairman of the Likud faction, MK Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu), MK Danny Danon (Likud), MK Carmel Shama (Likud), MK Nissim Zeev (Shas), MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) and signed in all by 20 members of the Knesset.

The bill, which would apply only to settlements of more than 20 families in Judea and Samaria, provides that if no land owner (i.e., Palestinian Arab land owner) had appealed to the court for redress within four years, a customary length of time, then the houses built on the land could not be destroyed. If an individual subsequently appealed to the court, the court would be able to dictate financial compensation.

The originators of the bill released a statement, which read:

" the past few years a number of petitions have been filed in Israel by public organizations fighting against Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and their interest was to destroy communities or neighborhoods they claimed were built on private land. The Justice Ministry and Supreme Court believe the only way to deal with these situations is to demolish the buildings.

"This bill is intended to prevent more homes from being destroyed..."

What it does is present a very rational alternative that would avoid the horrendous heartache of young families who are pulled from their homes and then must watch as bulldozers take them down.

What it also does is remove from organizations like Peace Now the ability to meddle for political ends as they now do.

"No one wants to take over land that belongs to a [Palestinian Arab] family, but there is a long way between that and declaring that all non-state land is Palestinian land," said MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud).


It had been thought at first that the prime minister would be for this, but it turned out that he declined to support it. In fact, he instructed the Minister of Justice to ensure that the legislation would be rejected by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. And, indeed, that is what happened this past Sunday.

What Netanyahu had previously committed himself to was creation of an outpost committee that would review challenges to government designation of specific areas of land as belonging to Palestinian individuals [when no such individuals have come forward]. But as of this date, no committee has been appointed.


The fact that the Ministerial Committee didn't approve this legislation doesn't mean it cannot go forward. Its sponsors intend to make sure that it does. But it's a much harder haul.

As a first step, an appeal is being made to the Ministerial Committee for a re-vote on the legislation. MK Orlev is convinced that a majority of the committee is actually for it. But the political pressures are overwhelming, and apparently some members of the committee chose to absent themselves when the original vote was taken.

The bill — whether the Ministerial Committee approves it or not — can then advance to the Knesset for three readings.

A group known as the "Judea and Samaria Joint Residents' Council," is launching a lobbying campaign to move this bill forward. Representing the councils of the Shomron and Binyamin, the Joint Council is focusing on saving the outpost of Migron — but their efforts will help across the board.


What seems important with regard to this legislation is that there is movement in the direction of changing the situation — even if success will take time.


Sometimes I wonder if the Palestinian Arabs have a special thespian gene, or if they have hidden drama schools for their officials. They are the best, the very best, at presenting their alleged case even when it is riddled with lies.

All of this occurred to me as I read yesterday what Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had told journalists:

"We have come a long way on each issue, and today, as we end 2011, my heart is aching that we do not have a partner for peace." Got it? His heart is aching.

The PA might collapse soon, he warned, if there is no progress in the "peace process": What has to happen is that Western leaders must press Netanyahu to accept the pre-1967 lines.



I had a similar experience when I began doing research on UNRWA some years ago. The Arab PR representative who met with me looked into my eyes and clutched his chest, as he told me with the deepest (feigned) sincerity about the situation of the refugees.

He's gooood, I thought then. And the fact that he and others have been so good at what they do is part of the reason why the Western world did not grapple honestly with the issue of UNRWA for a very long time.

Thus it is heartening to see that this situation is beginning to reverse itself. There was Danny Ayalon's video, which I shared recently.

And now I see that Elliot Abrams, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations is calling for the dismantlement of UNRWA:

"...But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.

"Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it." ending-unrwa-and-advancing-peace/


Those of use who have been fighting this fight for a long time now begin to breath a sigh of relief — not that the fight is all over.

Who knows, maybe some day I'll be writing about calls for the PA — an entity that works against the goals of true peace — to be dismantled, as well.


An elaboration on my last posting, for the sake of providing full information: I spoke of the dispute between those who like salt and those who like sugar on their potato latkes. But — as readers reminded me — I neglected to mention two other tasty alternatives, applesauce and sour cream.


Let me close by sharing a video clip of opera at the food market at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv on a recent Friday. A clip to make you smile: eNqosHRbWog&feature=player_embedded

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Daily Alert, December 21, 2011.

This was written by Herb Keinon and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
( Article.aspx?id=250226)


Netanyahu, S.Sudanese president Kiir meet in Jerusalem; PM tells Kiir J'lem will send mission to help develop the country. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Jerusalem will send a government delegation to South Sudan shortly to see how Israel can help the development of the fledgling country, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Tuesday.

Kiir, on one of his first visits abroad since South Sudan declared independence in July, arrived after midnight Tuesday for a working visit of less than 24 hours. Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said the South Sudanese requested that the visit be kept at a low profile. As a result, there were no public statements.

Before meeting Netanyahu, Kiir visited Yad Vashem and also met with President Shimon Peres. According to a statement put out by Peres' office, Kiir was effusive of his praise of Israel during his meeting.

"I am very moved to be in Israel and to walk on the soil of the Promised Land, and with me are all South Sudanese people," Kiir was quoted as saying. " Israel has always supported the South Sudanese people. Without you, we would not have arisen. You struggled alongside us in order to allow the establishment of South Sudan and we are interested in learning from your experience."

During their meeting, Peres reminded Kiir that when he was deputy defense minister in the 1960s, he met — along with then prime minister Levi Eshkol — in Paris with local leaders from southern Sudan, and provided them with assistance in agriculture and infrastructure development.

"Israel has supported, and will continue to support, your country in all areas in order to strengthen and develop it," Peres said. He termed the birth of South Sudan "a milestone" in the history of the Middle East.

Kiir was accompanied by Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial, and Defense Minister John Kong Nyuon.

Among the topics the Israeli leaders raised with Kiir was the illegal migration to Israel from Africa and the possibility of repatriating infiltrators to the new country.

One of the ideas raised was for Israel to help South Sudan build agricultural settlements where the infiltrators would be returned.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, during his meeting with Kiir, said Israel intended to appoint a non-resident ambassador to the country this week

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 21, 2011.


Expanding 10% annually, Turkey's economy seemed extraordinary. What most people thought was almost a miracle really was a bloated balloon. The bubble was of Turkey's own making, unconnected to the global financial crisis at which Turkey scoffed. Eventually, any bubble stretches beyond its ability to contain the expansion.

Now the air is rushing out of Turkey's ruptured balloon. What pumped in all the air and hype? Bank credit expansion. Especially Islamic banks issued credits of 40% a year, and Turks borrowed. One result is a balance of payments deficit resembling that of southern Europe.

Markets are responding. In the past year, the Turkish lira fell by about 25%. The stock market fell by 40%. Turkey's stocks and currency have become among the world's worst. From their loans, Turks splurged in imported consumer goods. But they did not import capital goods that might produce enough to repay the loans. Less capital is flowing into Turkey for investment. Exports are down.

Foreign banks and hedge funds shunning struggling Western Economies made short-term loans to Turkey at high interest. Turkey's indebtedness is growing fast, though it still is proportionately lower than southern Europe's.

Turkey's central bank tried to ease the problem by reducing interest, but that reduced capital inflows and the currency. One hears that weaker currencies facilitate exports. True, but Turkey imports much more than it exports; a weaker currency causes it to pay so much more for imports than it gains on exports. Its exports are not high earners, either.

Turkey lacks natural resources that could help it recover. It imports most of its food. To recover, Turkey must import much less, overall, probably causing deep recession. Turks also must save more, but the government does not encourage them too.

Analysts anticipate problems in that country's labor force and infrastructure that will keep Turkey in recession for a long time. Apparently, wages are too high and productivity too low, there. Basic education is relatively poor compared with Mexico, Portugal, and Poland. Girls do go to school, but they are discouraged from going out to work. As small farms wane, and the birth rate declines, women just sit at home. Taking their idleness into account, Turkey has not 10% unemployment as declared but more like 25%.

Ethnic Turks' fertility rate is 1.5, now, like that of Europe. Turkey's population is aging fast, as is Iran's. Turkey's social security system is running at increasing deficits.

The Kurds' birth rate is higher, gradually strengthening the hand of Kurdish separatists.

A poor economy [Americans take note] may emasculate Turkey's muscular regional posture, make Turkey unable to invest in its restive Kurds, and even undermine its political power gained from downplaying Islamist ideology and playing up economic success. If the current regime imposes more Islamism on the people, the middle class may send their capital abroad, as have Iranians, and foreign investors would stay out.

The government may have entrenched itself by mass arrests of journalists, military officers, and political opponents, but it also offended many Turks. Only the imagined economic miracle kept the government in power. Now that miracle is disintegrating (David P. Goldman, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2012, pp. 25-30 (view PDF)


Islamic law governs the Islamic way of life, including relations with non-Muslims. One of the rules is that Muslims are not permitted to give non-Muslims a friendly smile except when engaging in missionary work, that is, non-violent aspects of jihad, including propaganda.

If a Muslim smiles to a non-Muslim in friendship, he violates the rule. Quran verses backing this up include 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22. Quran 3:28 commands "believers not to take infidels for friends and allies instead of believers... unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions."

" An authority on Islamic law explains, "If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them ... [but know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers — except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion."

After interpreting Quran 3:28 as meaning that Muslims may "protect" themselves "through outward show" when under non-Muslim authority, Ibn Kathir, perhaps Islam's most celebrated exegete, quotes a close companion of Muhammad saying: "Let us smile to the faces of some people while our hearts curse them."

Such Islamic texts and tactics indicate that in the West, Muslims may put on a false smile and operate in stealth (Raymond Ibrahim, Jihad Watch, 12/8/11 sharia-sinister-smiles).

Most Westerners do not know about Islamic deception for the religion. They may meet Muslims in the U.S., Syria, or Gaza, and find them good hosts and friendly people. And indeed some may be friendly. But some use friendliness to mask hostility. Personal experience can be a poor guide.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, December 21, 2011.

1. Apple made its first Israeli acquisition, Anobit, for $400MN (Globes business daily, December 21, 2011). Apple will establish, in Israel, its first R&D outside the USA (Globes, Dec. 15).

2. The American CHS consortium acquired Israel's Solbar for $133MN (Globes, Dec. 15). The British Avaya negotiates acquisition of Israel's RadVision for $200MN (Globes, Dec. 14). China-Israel Technology (co-led by Chian's OneGate Capital and Israel's Catalyst Ventures) closed a $150MN fund (Globes, Dec. 12). Intel (which operates in Israel 4 R&D centers and 2 manufacturing plants, employing 7,300 persons) will invest $25MN, during the next five years, in a research center, which will promote cooperation with Israel's academia (Globes Nov. 15). Google will establish, in 2012, an incubator for Israeli start-ups (Nov. 14). General Electric co-led a $200MN round by Israel's Better Place (Globes, Nov. 14). The British Index Ventures closed a $700 fund. 75% will be invested in European and Israeli companies; 25% in US companies (Nov. 10).

3. 200 Israeli companies are engaged in water technologies, yielding — in 2011 — $2BN scope of business, which is expected to expand significantly (Nov. 15).

4. Israel's Imperva, Allot and Selway Capital raised, in NY public offerings, $90MN, $78MN and $20MN respectively (Globes, Nov. 10 and Nov. 14).

5. Accel Partners, Red Point and Singapore's Crescent Point participated in two $24MN (each) rounds of private placement by Israel's Qwilt. Qualcomm, Amiti Ventures and Argonaut Private Equity participated in a $19MN round by Israel's Siklu (Globes, Oct. 24). Norwest Venture Partners, General Electric and Opus Capital led a $37MN 4th round by Israel's SolarEdge (Globes, Oct. 25). Landa Ventures and Chinese investors participated in a$35MN 2nd round by Israel' s XJet (Globes, Nov. 3). Bessemer Venture Partners led — along with Matrix Venture Capital, OVP Venture Partners and Generation Investment Management — an $18MN round in Israel's Tigo Energy (Globes, Dec. 14). QuestMark, Scale Venture partners, Longworth Venture, Egan Capital and Mesco participated in a $17MN 4th round by Israel's uTest (Globes, Dec. 6). Mayfield Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Google's Chairman, Eric Schmidt's, Innovation Endeavors participated in an $11MN round by Israel's HealthTap (Globes, Dec. 1). Vodafone led a $9.2MN 2nd round of private placement by Israel's cleantech, CellEra (Globes, Dec. 20). Canaan Partners led a $6MN 2nd round by Israel's CallMyName (Globes, Oct. 31). Sumitomo's investment arm, Presideio Ventures, participated in a $5MN round by Israel's Axxana (Nov. 21). Britain's Bridge Venture led a $3.5MN round by Israel's Medic Vision (Globes, Nov. 10). Holland's Esperante Ventures led a $3.25MN round by Israel's AtoxBio (Globes, Dec. 20). Canada's Intertainment media invested $2MN in Israel's Lexiphone (Globes, Dec. 5).

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at This article is "Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #158"

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, December 21, 2011.

This Chanukah story did not take place during the Hellenist Empire time when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was defiled. It takes place in more recent times, when, once again, a cruel tyrant, crueler than the Hellenist Syrian Antiochus, declared an open war against the people of the Covenant, threatening to extinguish them and their eternal light.

This story takes place during the Second World War in a wretched Nazi Hungarian labor camp, a place unsuited for human beings dwelling; a place of horror and repugnance; a labor camp where many Jews assembled to wait their unknown fate.

Among the many Jews gathered there was one brave man named Chaim Kirsch. Chaim was a Rabbi who maintained a dignified attitude. He always managed to give hope and solace to his despairing brothers and sisters.

Since the early summer days of his entering the camp, Rabbi Kirsch has been saving some oil from his meals. By the time Chanukah came he had enough to prepare and improvised a Chanukah Light holder, the Menorah. He managed to obtain a potato, carved it and filled it with the saved oil. He then cut off a little piece from his shirt and made a wick out of it and was then ready to bless the first light of Chanukah. In the silent darkness of this Chanukah eve, the Rabbi's first words seemed to have come from a remote place, like a voice from far away, from heaven.

"My dear brothers and sisters," he whispered, "tonight is Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, the festival that brings a message of hope to all the oppressed." He then went on to recite the three blessings over the first Chanukah Light. Without tears in his eyes, with solemn hope and courage, coming from the bottom of his heart, he continued while the tinny flame threw a dim light in the barrack illuminating the sad faces of the gathered.

"My brothers and sisters, tonight, it is no time for despair. Look at this tinny flame and try to understand what it signifies." When the high priest was about to light up the Menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem, God made him a promise. Although from time to time, when Israel turns away from God, the Menorah of the Temple might be put out; there would always be a light that kindles. This kindled light would bring light and hope to His children in their darkest of hours. This light was to be the Chanukah Lights.

Once again a cruel tyrant, Iran's President Ahmadinejad, who may turn to be even more brutal than Hitler, declared an open war against the Jewish people and is threatening to annihilate the eternal light of the third Jewish sovereignty.

Let us not despair, rather pray for the wisdom that will illuminate the House of Israel.

Let us pray for unity and love within the House of Israel, so God may fulfill the promise of the Covenant and Israel becomes admirable and the nations of the world shall then walk following her light, and the kings by the brightness of her rising.

Chag Sameach the nation of Israel. Brighten up the dim lights of the world.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Eli E. Hertz, December 20, 2011.

It is remarkable to note the April 22, 1925 Report of the first High Commissioner on the Administration of Palestine, Sir Herbert Louis Samuel describing Jewish Peoplehood:

"During the last two or three generations the Jews have recreated in Palestine a community, now numbering 80,000, of whom about one fourth are farmers or workers upon the land. This community has its own political organs, an elected assembly for the direction of its domestic concerns, elected councils in the towns, and an organisation for the control of its schools. It has its elected Chief Rabbinate and Rabbinical Council for the direction of its religious affairs. Its business is conducted in Hebrew as a vernacular language, and a Hebrew press serves its needs. It has its distinctive intellectual life and displays considerable economic activity. This community, then, with its town and country population, its political, religious and social organisations, its own language, its own customs, its own life, has in fact national characteristics. " [italics by author]

Eli E. Hertz is president of Myths and Facts, Inc. The organization's objective is to provide policymakers, national leadership, the media and the public-at-large with information and viewpoints that are founded on factual and reliable content. Contact him at

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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, December 20, 2011.

Hanukah Dreidel

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."
- Elliott Erwitt


Chanukah — the Festival of Lights — should be a photographer's paradise. After all, photographers are always chasing interesting light and here is an entire holiday dedicated to celebrating light, both literal and metaphorical.

This photo of a dreidel at rest was taken as part of a photo essay I shot a couple of years ago. I had been shooting fine art glass and metal tops and experimenting with different light sources to capture their form. In the end, the sun, old faithful, performed best, and I found plenty of good light on this wall right outside my home.

It's a very sparse photo, held together by the elongated shadow, which fills the foreground, and the opposing triangles, one at the base of the dreidel and the other at the corner of the wall. The strip of blackened background, running at an odd angle to the edge of the wall, adds a bit of tension to a very calm image.

The only minor technical challenge to overcome was ensuring the face of the dreidel was bright enough for the words to be readable. I used my exposure meter on the spot setting with the center dot pointed at the words in order to expose that part of the photo correctly. I knew that as a result, the brightest areas of the photo would over expose, but that would give me the dramatic effect I was seeking.

May we all merit to be enlightened by the more mundane miracles which occur daily in our lives. Chanukah Sameach. Happy Chanukah.

Technical Data: Nikon D300, 28-105 zoom at 56mm, f4.5 @ 1/800th sec., ISO 200.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at and visit his website: Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at

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Posted by Alex Dymshits, December 20, 2011.
This was written by Ben Caspit and it appeared December 18, 2012 in Maariv and is archived at

Ben Caspit, is an Israeli political analyst and opinion-maker. He hosts a TV program and appears regularly on Israeli radio. He is the senior political analyst and correspondent for Maariv, a major Israeli Hebrew daily.

American Jewry is letting Obama know that if he wants their vote, they aren't accepting any more excuses for the continued incarceration of Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard. The President of the United States, Barak Obama appeared on Friday last week as the keynote guest speaker at the URJ Biennial Conference of the Reform Jewish Community in the United States. Aside from converting to Judaism in a live broadcast (including ritual circumcision) Obama did everything a president possibly could do to woo the Jewish vote, and perhaps even more importantly, Jewish money.

Obama clowned around, spoke Hebrew, told jokes in Yiddish, wished the crowd "Shabbat shalom" just as Shabbat came in; and prided himself on the fact that his government: "has done more than any government in history for the security of the State of Israel." Obama hugged the biggest Jewish leaders in America (who, for some reason, only here, do we have no regard for them) and he even found time to spend 10 minutes with Ehud Barak. There is only one thing he did not do, Obama. He did not say a word about Jonathan Pollard.

A day before this, in the same venue, at the same convention, the head of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, a world-renown Jew and consummate symbol of the struggle for freedom, took the stage and demanded that Obama release Jonathan Pollard. Sharansky's speech was particularly pointed, with no ifs, ands or buts. His speech pressed the "restart" button in the struggle for Pollard's release.

American Jewry, including its most modern and most complacent constituent part, is taking off its gloves and letting the American administration know that the time has come. That there is a limit to all folly.That it is no longer willing to accept any excuses.

Sharansky used strong words, and they were backed up by similar sentiments in a full page ad in the Washington Jewish Week, signed by an impressive parade of senior American officials, who held ranking and relevant positions in the administration, calling for Pollard's release after 26 years in prison, a number of them in solitary confinement, without any leave whatsoever, not even to attend his father's funeral.

This latest awakening is in addition to the bold words of the leading American Republican candidate for the presidency, Newt Gingrich, who recently said that if he were elected president, he intends to weigh clemency for Pollard. This is unprecedented. A candidate has never before declared his intention to weigh clemency for Pollard in the full height of the primaries. We are heading in the right direction. But this could take too long. That is, unless Obama is given to understand that with all due respect — the tricks and the shtick, and the jokes in Yiddish notwithstanding — the goods that he has to deliver if he wants to win the Jewish vote in these crazy times, if he wants to appease the American Jewish community and to honestly earn its money and its votes, the answer is very simple: Mr. President, let Jonathan Pollard go home.

Mr. President, it would be an act of justice, of compassion, of humaneness and of morality.

Contact Alexander Dymshits at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 20, 2011.

UNESCO and the PLO sponsor Zayafuna Magazine in the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), written for children and partly by children. It is high-minded about family values and tolerance of people of other nationalities and religions. The exception is about Jews.

For example, one story is by a girl who relates a dream in which she asks Hitler: "You're the one who killed the Jews?" "Hitler responds: 'Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.'" The magazine glorifies jihad.

Since much of the magazine is wholesome, its literally racist attitude toward Jews may be more effective than if the magazine were rabid on everything. The children reflect this hatred
( from IMRA, 12/20/11.

Palestinian Arabs generally have racist antisemitic notions, want to exterminate Jews, claim that the Jewish people stole the country from them, and call Haifa and all of Israel "occupied." Bear this in mind as we consider what many Jews have begun saying about Israel (including nonsense about a peace process and a "two-state solution" with genocide-minded Arabs.

Some Jews tell me, incorrectly of course, that the land, at least in the Territories, belongs to the Arabs. (They fail to explain why Israel does but the Territories don't — they don't know the historical and legal background of the area.) Others hear exaggerated accounts of Jews attacking Arabs, and vaguely assert, "the settlers are a problem." Which Jews? What problem? What about the thousands of Jews murdered by Arabs because of their religion? Isn't that a problem? Those Jews don't mention any.

Jewish friends say, "Don't you think the Palestinians deserve a state of their own?" No. They are not a nationality. They have a state in Palestine, anyway — Jordan. But they deserve nothing, being part of the Islamic jihad seeking to destroy civilization. And they want religious war, not co-existence, although they would prefer that the U.S. coerce Israel into making it easy for them by surrendering territory, ceding defensible borders, and letting hostile Arabs flood into Israel and overwhelm it.

How can Jews sympathize with Palestinian Arabs, who admire and long have admired Adolph Hitler because of the Holocaust (that the P.A. leader contradictorily denies happened)?

Most of these Jews are liberals. Most P.A. Arabs are as illiberal as any people on earth. What sense does it make for liberals to support the illiberal Arab cause? However, neither do American feminists make sense in condemning Israel and favoring the Arabs, although Israel treats women better than does any Arab state. These feminists often have little to criticize about the Arab record. Nor does it make sense for American gays to echo pro-Arab condemnation of Israel, considering that Arab gays flee to Israel lest Palestinian Arabs kill them for their sexual preference. One would expect American gays to praise Israeli tolerance of gays and to condemn Arab intolerance of gays.

These Jews think they evince fair-mindedness in bending over backwards to criticize Israel. But they side with bigots, unjustly and naively. These Jews' prejudice against fellow Jews displays no virtue, just foolish disloyalty.

One of my Jewish friends started a discussion by asserting that she wished Americans would realize what Muslims in the U.S. have to go through. I retorted that they routinely pretend to be victims and falsely claim there are many hate crimes against them. Actually, there are 10 times as many hate crimes against Jews in the U.S., and Muslims perpetrate many or most of those hate crimes against Jews. As they do in Europe.

I added that I wish that Americans would realize what Muslims in the U.S. put Americans through. Muslims commit crimes of terrorism or to raise money for terrorism, they preach hatred, they seek special privileges for themselves, they attempt to insinuate their religious laws into our law and to repress criticism of their abuses. And they tell us we are prejudiced against them.

She replied that not all Muslims do this. True, but that that is a meaningless distinction not worthy of an intellectual. Point is, most Muslims favor jihad, and perhaps a tenth of the Muslims wage it. In the world, that means a hundred million Muslims working to conquer. In the U.S., that means 300,000 amenable to the call for jihad. Activists radicalize their youth. Fascists, whether Nazis, Communists, or Radical Muslims, do not need a majority when they seize power. Some may ride an election into office, but then ride roughshod over democracy. If behooves my friends to learn how to discern the telltale signs of tightening dictatorship or Islamist rule, as in Guatemala before its Congress deposed its president and in what they think are democratic uprisings in the Arab world.

Another Jewish friend, who calls herself a social democrat, then said that they respect my opinions but they have different opinions. So it's all right for them to make false claims but not for me to call them to account? In others words, they lack facts, but venture dangerous opinions. Conservatives contend that many liberals do not believe in making decisions from facts, they think that what I call facts are opinions, all equally valuable. Of course, if all are equally valuable, why hold any? Political logic is not their forte.

Incidentally, I was a social democrat for about 40 years. I recognized within a short time that Castro was a Communist, an enemy of democracy. This friend still thinks highly of Castro's Cuba.

Why do such friends, earnest, intellectual about literature and art, and adept in their professions, display such ignorance about politics? I think that their education is shallow or narrow. They depend on the New York Times and allied leftist media for information on Israel. But that newspaper has been anti-Zionist for almost a century. It slants the news to mold public opinion. My friends have no idea they are being misled.

I feel as if back in the year, 1950. I used to debate with Communists and Communist fellow travelers. The difference is that they knew enough facts and had mastered enough logic so that they knew when they were beaten. Nowadays, jihadist fellow travelers do know the facts and haven't mastered political logic. Consequently, they either don't reply, state an irrelevancy, or change the subject.

Here we are, confronted by the third totalitarian, imperialist, antisemitic movement in our lifetimes, but just as in the past, many people do not realize that the struggle has begun. Some people even side with the enemy.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 20, 2011.

Tonight we light the first candle of Chanukah. And so I want to put aside our day-to-day worries about the world, in order to consider the meaning of this holiday, and have a little fun as well.


Last night I attended a lecture on Chanukah by a wonderful teacher, Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz.

He provided new perspectives for the holiday. (New, at least, to me.) The essence of what he said — as I heard it — is this:

As many of us understand, in different sources, and at different times, there are two very different reasons offered for the celebration of Chanukah.

One is that the Jewish traditionalists, the Hasmonians or Macabees, defended Judaism against the Greeks, who controlled Judea and, with it, Jerusalem. The Hellenists threatened the Jews with cultural assimilation and set about depriving them of their right to practice their religion. The Hasmonians re-took the Temple, which had been defiled by the Greeks, and rededicated it (chanukah = dedication); they drove out the Greeks and established a period of Jewish independence in the land.

The other is that when the Temple was rededicated there was only enough pure oil to light the Menorah for one day, and yet it burned for eight days. This was a miracle.


Says Rabbi Breitowitz, the common impression is that the miracle of the oil took place at the end of the battle with the Greeks, which is when the Temple was secured. But historically this was not the case. The Temple, with some area of Jerusalem around it, was re-taken early in the battle — it was, in essence, a beachhead. But the fight against the Greeks that succeeded in driving them out took 25 years.

When we consider this, we can look at the miracle of the oil in a new way.

It delivered a message to the Hasmonians: Do what you can. Don't give up. The Almighty is with you.

Thus were they strengthened and assured as they continued in their battle. The miracle was a miracle of light over darkness that provided the people with the strength to overcome.

We don't make holidays just for miracles, the rabbi says. There are other miracles in the Torah that are not marked by holidays. But in the case of Chanukah, the miracle is bound up with what the Hasmonians were able to achieve.


We are living in very dark times. As we light our candles over the next eight days, and say our blessings, and sing our songs, we are celebrating these ancient events and expressing gratitude to Heaven.

But we also need to gaze upon those lights and remind ourselves: Do what you can. Don't give up. The Almighty is with you.


And there is, I would suggest, yet one other lesson to be drawn from this history. The Hasmoneans were a minority among the Jews, many of whom were content to assimilate and looked at them with contempt or disregard. Standing resolute in the face of this required a special strength.

It is not very different today. Many Jews have lost their way. There are Jews for whom our ancient traditions are without meaning. Jews who feel no connection to Israel. And Jews who embrace the position of our enemies (imagining themselves to be very righteous, I would add). These Jews see those of us who hold fast to our faith, and our traditions, and our right to our land as rigid and foolish and misguided.

In the face of this, we must stand strong. Do what we can. Pray that the Almighty will be with us, and that light will overcome the darkness.


Here in Israel, it's sufganiyot — donuts, for celebrating.

But I will never relinquish my love for hot potato latkes (pancakes), brown and crispy around the edges. As you may know, there is a makloket (quarrel) with regard to latkes: Are they eaten with salt or sugar? No sugar for me — I do mine with salt.


Sharing a few Chanukah songs.

Maoz Tzur — translated often as "Rock of Ages," but more literally perhaps "Mighty Fortress" — is sung after the candles are lit. Here is an Ashkenazi version that is traditional for most reading this:

And here, a Moroccan version with a very different sound:

The Maccabeats are popular in certain circles, and so I include their 2010 Chanukah video:

The Nefesh B'Nefesh Flashmob for Chanukah of 2009 still seems worth including for its spirit:



Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 20, 2011.

In Israel there are two schools of thought as to what a university should be. The first school of thought, a shrinking minority opinion on Israeli campuses, holds that universities should be centers of scholastic inquiry, research, scientific exploration and analysis, and teaching. The second school of thought, which is the growing majority position, holds that universities should be indoctrination centers in which radical leftist anti-Israel and sometimes Marxist ideology is drummed into students by tenured thought police. Under the second school of thought, faculty leftists bully students into toeing the ideological line and agreeing with the ideological positions of the lecturers, a bit like re-education camps in North Korea. Student grades often depend upon their endorsing and agreeing with the leftist anti-Israel positions of faculty members. Faculty members are hired and promoted in many departments based on their leftist ideological purity. Bashing Israel has become both a necessary and a sufficient condition for being hired in many university departments in Israel.

The comparative prevalence of the two schools of thought varies by disciplines. Natural sciences and engineering usually are dominated by the first school. Social sciences, humanities, education and law schools are dominated by the second. The political biases are well documented at the web site of Isracampus (

The first school of thought is very strong at all four of Israel's liberal-arts universities (Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University, Hebrew University, University of Haifa), and is weaker at the science-engineering institutions (Technion and Weizmann) and at the nominally religious Bar-Ilan University.

In many ways Ben Gurion University is the very worst offender. The most infamous of the "academic" units in Israel in which the second school of thought dominates is the department of political science at Ben Gurion University. There no Zionist or non-leftist is permitted to teach. The one single dissenting pro-Israel faculty member who once taught there was fired by the university for incorrect thinking. The department was largely erected by one David Newman, currently Dean of social sciences and humanities at Ben Gurion University, a geographer (and Jerusalem Post columnist) who believes that academic freedom means critics of the Left should be silenced and suppressed. In the politics department he built, far-leftist anti-Israel faculty members get evaluated for hiring and promotion by appointing evaluation committees consisting of other far-leftist anti-Israel extremists who then solicit evaluation letters from still other far-leftist anti-Israel radical academics from around the world. The results of these politicized and corrupt "evaluation procedures" of faculty members is visible to all.

The conversion of the department of politics at Ben Gurion University into an anti-Israel indoctrination camp has by now become well known around the world and to everyone in Israel. Last year Israel's Council on Higher Education, which oversees and funds Israel's universities (and is composed of representatives of those same universities) appointed a special commission to investigate and evaluate the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University. That commission found what everyone already knew, that the department is a radical monolithic politicized incitement camp, not a serious academic department, one in which anti-Israel activism had replaced serious scholarship, and in which serious academic standards have been trashed. The commission proposed that the entire department be shut down unless radical reform and restructuring takes place, including complete de-politicization of and introduction of real pluralism into the department.

Since that CHE report was issued, Israel's radical Left, led by its tenured Left, has been leading a campaign to defend the anti-Israel indoctrination camp calling itself the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University. They have been joined by the President of Ben Gurion University, Rivka Carmi, who sees nothing wrong with a university department engaged in anti-Israel agitation in which no pro-Israel person may teach. And they are also being championed by Haaretz, the radical anti-Israel leftist "newspaper," better thought of as a Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew. These people insist that preserving the second school of thought in Israeli academia is the country's highest priority. Universities must continue to serve to indoctrinate students into correct leftist anti-Israel ideology. All attempts at interfering with this sacred mission must be resisted and defeated.

Now the tenured Left in Israel is organizing petitions of like-minded radical tenured leftists in Israel and around the world to express their support and solidarity with the Ben Gurion University indoctrination camp. Here is the report in Haaretz about this: academics-seek-to-keep-biased-ben-gurion- department-open-1.402450

An actual examination of those signing the petitions shows that they are themselves radical Marxist and anti-Israel pseudo-academics. So naturally they identify with the sacred need to preserve and defend leftist pseudo-academic indoctrination at Ben Gurion University.

While one could go through the lists of signers of the petition name by name to document their own anti-Israel far-leftist biases, it is sufficient to illustrate the point with one of the leading signers, Berkeley's Judith Butler. She is a notorious collaborator with anti-Semites and supporter of Israel annihilation. Below is an analysis of Butler's academic credentials and political bias. It first appeared in collaborators-in-the-war-against-the-jews- judith-butler/
and at Think-Israel.


Professor Judith Butler from Berkeley's Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature is not just your ordinary deconstructionist feminist anti-Semite. A self-proclaimed leading scholar in the pseudo-discipline of "Queer Studies," she is also one of the leading academic defenders of anti-Semitism, which she insists is not anti-Semitic at all. She has devoted much of her academic career to the struggle to see Israel eliminated. While often posturing as a free speech absolutist, she is also absolutely opposed to Israelis having any academic freedom and is a leader in the attempt to impose a world boycott against Israeli universities. Naturally, she has never come out in favor of an academic boycott of Syria, Libya, Iran, Cuba, or the Hamas. Hamas and Hezbollah may seek the extermination of every Jew on the planet and not just of Israel, but Butler still likes to wave her "Jewish roots" when she serves as an apologist for them. Butler is perhaps best remembered as one of the most strident attackers against Lawrence Summers, the ex-President of Harvard. She was horrified when Summers proclaimed: "Profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent (September 17, 2002)." Butler venomously denounced Summers for telling the truth, arguing that telling the truth threatens academic freedom: "Summers has struck a blow against academic freedom, in effect, if not in intent."

Edward Alexander, who is also a professor of comparative literature, explains that Butler's hysterical attacks on Summers stemmed from something more than her girlish enthusiasm: "Butler had herself signed the divestment (against Israel) petition at its place of origin, Berkeley, where it had circulated in February 2001. She therefore found Summers' remarks not only wrong but personally 'hurtful' since they implicated Judith Butler herself in the newly resurgent campus anti-Semitism. Butler could hardly have failed to notice that the Berkeley divestment petition had supplied the impetus and inspiration for anti-Israel mob violence on her own campus on 24 April 2001, a few weeks after it had been circulated, and for more explicitly anti-Jewish mobs at San Francisco State University in May of the following year."

Summers insists that people who oppose Israel's very existence are anti-Semitic. The fact that a second Jewish Holocaust would result from Israel's annihilation does not seem to matter to his attackers like Butler. She writes, "A challenge to the right of Israel to exist can be construed as a challenge to the existence of the Jewish people only if one believes that Israel alone keeps the Jewish people alive or that all Jews invest their sense of perpetuity in the state of Israel in its current or traditional forms." The fact that the very people calling for Israel to be annihilated are not calling for the elimination of any other country, not even a single one of the 22 fascist Arab states, cannot possibly have anything to do with anti-Semitism, she insists.

Butler's proof that anti-Israel radicals are not really anti-Semites? It is that she manages to find some anti-Israel extremists among Israelis, the Israeli equivalents to Taliban John, Lord Haw-Haw, and Noam Chomsky. She writes, "Identifying Israel with Jewry obscures the existence of the small but important post-Zionist movement in Israel, including the philosophers Adi Ophir and Anat Biletzki, the sociologist Uri Ram, the professor of theatre Avraham Oz and the poet Yitzhak Laor. Are we to say that Israelis who are critical of Israeli policy are self-hating Jews, or insensitive to the ways in which criticism may fan the flames of anti-Semitism?" The proper answer to her question is often: yes.

Butler recently showed up in the Middle East, to strut her support for the intifada. As a militant feminist, however, she was on a bizarre mission. In February, 2010, she spent her time in the West Bank shilling for the very same Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups who make a point out of torturing and murdering homosexuals and who insist that the place of women in Muslim society is somewhere out back and out of sight, barefoot and scarved. Like so many apologists for Islamofascism, the only "oppression" of Palestinian women Butler could find was their supposed mistreatment by the Zionist "occupiers." You know, the same ones who have a woman Chief Justice in their Supreme Court, who have more women doctors than men, and who have elected a woman as Prime Minister. Butler denounced Israel at length for its "mistreatment" of Arab women, and never mind that they are treated at least a thousand times better by Israel than they are inside any Arab regime. Meanwhile, Islamic religious figures in Egypt have been proclaiming that Muslims have the natural right to rape all Jewish women. Butler has yet to issue a response to that.

To remove all doubt, Butler made it clear that she objects to Israel's presence not only in the West Bank, where she was doing her Terrorism Grand Tour. She also wants Israel removed from within Israel's pre-1967 borders. Butler has long supported a worldwide boycott of Israel, and not simply because Israel "occupies" the West Bank. She has made it clear that she demands that Israel allow millions of Arabs claiming to be Palestinian "refugees" to flood into Israel and convert it into yet another Palestinian Arab state. She wants this even after the creation of some Palestinian state.

While in the West Bank, Butler went to visit a "theater" in the terrorist stronghold of Jenin. Theatrics is largely what Jenin is all about. During Israel's battle against terrorists there in April of 2002, the Bash-Israel Left invented fictional tales about Israel carrying out a "massacre," some even calling it a "genocide." As it turned out, after days of Jenin street-to-street gun battles, launched by the Palestinians intentionally in built-up urban areas, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed along with a few dozen terrorists. Less than 20 Palestinian civilians died in the intense urban firefight, largely because Israel foreswore reducing the town to rubble using artillery to spare civilian collateral damage. It sacrificed the lives of its own soldiers for that reason. And this was called "genocide." A propaganda film about the battle called "Jenin, Jenin" was later produced by Israeli Arab pro-terror director Mohammed Bakri, who himself publicly admitted that his film was a tissue of lies. Bakri is now being sued by some Israeli soldiers for libel. Butler explained to her terrorist hosts that she opposes the existence of a Jewish state even alongside some future Palestinian Arab state. Instead, she favors what she calls a bi-national state, something along the lines of Rwanda. She claims to be some sort of authority on Hannah Arendt and promotes her anti-Israel "bi-nationalism" by obsessively citing Arendt's ancient writings on bi-nationalism (at Berkeley Butler is officially the "Hannah Arendt Professor"). Of course, no one knows just what Arendt would have to say about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the twenty-first century. But one suspects that anyone like Arendt who spent so much time studying the totalitarian mindset would retch at the willingness of people like Butler to vouch and shill for Palestinian violence.

Butler writes: "And if we have a bi-national state, it's expressing two nations. Only when bi-nationalism deconstructs the idea of a nation can we hope to think about what a state, what a polity might look like that would actually extend equality." Come to think of it, the genocidal consequences of bi-nationalism in Rwanda are pretty close to what Butler seems to have in mind for the Israeli Jews. Among the terrorists who hosted her in Jenin was Zakaria Zabeidi, a head of the genocidal "Al Aqsa" Brigades. Assaf Wohl, a columnist in Israel's leading daily Yediot Ahronot, dismissed Butler as a Jewish anti-Semite.

According to Professor Edward Alexander, "Prior to the autumn of 2003, this University of California professor of rhetoric and comparative literature was, like many members of Berkeley's 'progressive' Jewish community with which she habitually identifies herself, somebody who defined her 'Jewishness' (not exactly Judaism) in opposition to the State of Israel. She was mainly a signer of petitions harshly critical of the Jewish state, full of mean spite towards its alleged 'apartheid' and 'bantustan' practices, oily sycophancy towards such Palestinian figures as Sari Nusseibeh, and a habit of covering over the brutality of Arab terror with the soft snow of Latinized euphemisms. She was one of the 3700 American Jews opposed to 'occupation' (Israeli, not Syrian or Chinese or any other) who signed an 'Open Letter' urging the American government to cut financial aid to Israel; later she expressed misgiving about signing that particular petition — it 'was not nearly strong did not call for the end of Zionism.'"

Butler, whose PhD is actually in philosophy, is a walking illustration of the very worst things wrong with the humanities. She is a leading American proponent of "Queer Theory" (which is what she calls it.) You will never discover in "Queer Theory" any scientific hypotheses about what produces homosexuality. Instead, it serves as the umbrella term for politicized militant homosexuals seeking the annihilation of America, Israel, and capitalism. Whether such people seriously think that homosexuals are treated better in non-capitalist regimes and in the Islamic sections of the Third World is doubtful.

Butler's favorite prefix is "post." She uses it more often than the Cliff-the-Mailman character on "Cheers." She proudly describes herself a "Post-Zionist," by which she means she is anti-Zionist. Butler likes to describe herself as a "poststructuralist," and sometimes also as a "Post-Marxist," which — as far as we can tell — seems to mean a Marxist. (The Marxist New Left Review is one of Butler's favorite venues.) She claims to reject "dialectics" as her political theology because it is too "phallogocentric," and that has upset some of the members of the academic Comintern. Like so many members of the tenured Left — her favorite methodology of analysis is the silly polysyllable. Her writings ooze "Deconstructionist" jive and are exercises in the worst forms of pseudo-academic NewSpeak. And that is when she is sticking to her actual "discipline," not pontificating about the Middle East, about which she has no expertise or training at all. "Deconstruction" is the nonsensical infantile "philosophy" that argues that words have no meaning, there are no facts nor truth, and the only thing we can really be absolutely certain about are that the US and capitalism and Israel are evil and must be eliminated. Language is the ultimate form of tyranny and source of control over us oppressed folks by those evil elites. There are no false narratives, just different subjectivities.

Deconstructionism has become something of a pseudo-intellectual orthodoxy among certain of our academic colleagues, especially those in the academic professions that never quite found out where's the beef.

Butler's "theories" about feminism include her argument that sexual relations are "performative," and are based on "regulatory discourse."

The "system" attempts to impose "constructions of binary asymmetric gender." She has even devoted time to celebrating drag queens: "There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original." A fuller collection of some of her bizarre pronouncements can be read here. She insists, "Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed," which seems to prove that she never took any biology courses back at Yale.

A typical Butler bloviation is this: "Performativity cannot be understood outside of a process of iterability, a regularized and constrained repetition of norms. And this repetition is not performed by a subject; this repetition is what enables a subject and constitutes the temporal condition for the subject. This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular 'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist, determining it fully in advance." (From Butler, Judith 1993; Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge. pp. 95.)

It is almost impossible to read a sentence by Butler without reacting with a loud "Huh?" So much of it sounds like a parody of an academic being concocted by "The Onion" or "National Lampoon." In 1998 she won first-prize in the Bad Writing Contest sponsored by the academic journal Philosophy and Literature. She won for this sentence:

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

So much of what Butler writes is so mindless and filled with so many grammatical flaws that one wonders how her text survives a word processing program. Butler's take on the 9-11 attacks on America was that "the violent acts of 9/11 is (sic) exacerbated by the inability of Americans to recognize the precariousness of non-American (particularly Muslim) lives. They are always already dead, and therefore cannot be killed." Huh? She insists that the West is guilty of this: "These excluded are brutally subjected to the "violence of derealization." Huh? She "claims that the War on Terror has provided a climate where the sexual freedoms she and others fought for are now misused to symbolize (sic) the shining, gleaming modernity of the West. The backwardness and inferiority of 'others' is counterposed (sic) and underscored against this." Huh?

In an interview she explains how her feminism differs from that of some of the others, like Catharine MacKinnon or Andrea Dworkin: "I'm not always calling into question who's a man and who's not, and am I a man? Maybe I'm a man [laughs]." She is not one of those folks in favor of homosexual marriage, by the way. In fact she is opposed to marriage: "It's very hard to speak freely right now, but many gay people are uncomfortable with all this, because they feel their sense of an alternative movement is dying. Sexual politics was supposed to be about finding alternatives to marriage."

Butler was one of the noisiest people denouncing the Campus-Watch website for daring to criticize anti-Israel radical Middle East Studies faculty members. Naturally, Butler thinks that critics of anti-Israel radicals are not entitled to freedom of speech and that their criticism is "McCarthyism."

While she likes to beat on her drum about supposedly growing up in a Jewish home, there is no evidence that she knows the slightest thing about Judaism. She claims her "Jewish values" are what drive her to embrace Palestinian anti-Semites and barbarians. Here she sums up her own knowledge of Judaism: "As a Jew, I was taught that it was ethically imperative to speak up and to speak out against arbitrary state violence." There is no such Jewish ethical imperative. She clarifies: "There were those who would and could speak out against state racism and state violence, and it was imperative that we be able to speak out. Not just for Jews, but for any number of people." Needless to say, the only "state violence" she feels obliged to denounce is that supposedly practiced by Israel when it defends its civilians. She is not exactly outspoken when it comes to the state violence practiced by Iran or Syria.

As part of Butler's campaign on behalf of Palestinian terrorism, she likes to wave about the fact that she herself grew up as a "Reform" Jew. There are very few things wrong with the world that she does not attribute to the unforgivable desire by Jews for self-determination. Her attitude towards the Jewish homeland was summed up by her thus: "The argument that all Jews have a heartfelt investment in the state of Israel is untrue. Some have a heartfelt investment in corned beef sandwiches."

When it comes to academic streetwalking on behalf of anti-Semitism and Palestinian violence, that old adage is true: the Butler did it.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at His website address is

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Posted by Giulio Meotti, December 19, 2011.

Christians are being sold out by Church — Jews were sold out long time ago! Officialdom of the Church is driven by anti-Semitism and policy of appeasement of Islamic terror!

On September 12th, 2006, Joseph Ratzinger claimed that the god of the Muslims is both transcendental and unreasonable and he severely condemned Jihad and the use of violence in the name of Koran. It was the only public event in which a Pope told the truth about some aspects of Islamic religion...

The reaction to the Pope's speech was (predictably) a familiar spectacle: Threats, riots, and violence. From the religious leaders in Muslim majority countries to the New York Times, all demanded the Pope's apologies. In the Palestinian (controlled) areas, churches were attacked and Christians targeted. In the Somali capital, Mogadishu, an Italian nun was executed. In Iraq, Amer Iskander, a Syrian Orthodox priest, was beheaded and his arms mutilated...

After Regensburg, the Vatican adopted an appeasement agenda. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who is known for having a pro-Islam position, was appointed by the Pope as the head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue...

Last autumn, Vatican representatives met with Muslim leaders from around the world in Tehran for "a three-day interreligious dialogue." In Tehran Cardinal Tauran praised Iran's "spirit of cordiality" and "the friendly Ahmadinejad." Last month, the Vatican published a letter written by Tauran, addressing his "Dear Muslim friends." In the letter, Tauran asked for Islamic help to form an alliance against atheism.

Last May, Bishop Mariano Crociata, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, announced that the Vatican is in favor of building new mosques in Europe. A month later the European Bishops met with European Muslims in Turin (Cardinal Tauran was also present) to proclaim the need for the "progressive enculturation of Islam in Europe"...

The State of Israel is easily expendable in the new pro-Islam policy. In January 2009, thousands of Muslims marched in front of Milan's Duomo to protest against Operation Cast Lead in Gaza... Months later, Pope Benedict visited Bethlehem, where the Christian population has dropped from a majority to less than 20%. Benedict delivered a message of solidarity to the 1.4 million Palestinians isolated in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. He said nothing of the suffering of Gaza's 3,000 Christians since Hamas took over that territory in 2007.

To understand the new Vatican's approach toward Islam, one should also read what happened in the historical synod on the Middle East hosted by the Pope last autumn. Nothing was said about Islamist persecution of Christians; indeed, every effort was made to show the Catholic Church's sympathy to Muslim grievances, especially against "Zionism" — a word evoked as a symbol of evil...

Elsewhere, the number of Christians in Turkey declined from two million to 85,000; in Syria, from half the population they have been reduced to 4%; in Jordan, from 18% to 2%; nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed; in Lebanon, Christians have dwindled to a sectarian rump, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations, and in Saudi Arabia Christians have been beaten or tortured by religious police. Giulio Meotti is a journalist with Il Foglio, whose latest book is "A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism." He writes a weekly column for Arutz-7.

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Posted by Robert Hand, December 19, 2011.

This was written by Jonathan Tobin and it appeared in Jewish World Review


On Friday afternoon, President Obama received a hero's welcome when he spoke to the biennial convention of the Union of Reform Judaism. Approximately 5,000 Reform Jews gave Obama almost as many standing ovations as Congress gave Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu this past spring. But though the coverage of the speech has focused primarily on the president's repeat of his boasts that he is the most pro-Israel president in history, it should be understood that the bulk of the address did not touch on the Middle East.

Rather, the main focus of his remarks was a compendium of liberal positions on domestic issues intended to draw cheers from an audience that, while still concerned with Israel's security, was far happier hearing talk about higher taxes, defense of entitlements and the class warfare rhetoric Obama has been rehearsing since the start of the debt-ceiling crisis this past summer. Those seeking to analyze the possibility of a shift in the Jewish vote as Obama seeks re-election know that the president's often-antagonistic relationship with the State of Israel could cost him next November. Polls and special elections such as the one in New York's 9th Congressional district last September have showed that there are enough swing Jewish voters who will be influenced by this issue to give Democrats something to worry about.

But though the minority of Jews who can be swayed by concerns about Israel is not inconsiderable, it is nonetheless true that Obama is almost certain to win a majority of the Jewish vote in 2012 no matter what happens to Israel on his watch. And the applause Obama garnered on Friday afternoon when speaking to this conclave of the largest Jewish denomination in this country provides the evidence for that conclusion. That Obama's speech followed a lengthy tribute at the event on the 50th anniversary of Reform's Religious Action Center was not exactly a coincidence. The RAC is the embodiment of the belief by some that the liberal political stands are indistinguishable from Judaism. Much of the RAC's agenda: support for abortion, Obamacare, "economic justice" (so defined as to encompass support for higher taxes and more entitlement spending) and gay marriage are not Jewish issues even if they are ideas that many Jews support.

And it is to those concerns that Obama spoke with passion on Friday as he bragged that "the change we needed and voted for" had satisfied much of the laundry list of the RAC's political wish list. The old quip that Reform Judaism consists of the Democratic Party platform with holidays thrown in never seemed more true as thousands yelled their approval when Obama let loose with class warfare rhetoric.

By casting the political debate as a "moral issue" of the interests of "working people" against "the powerful," the president played to the desire of liberal Jews to interpret their own partisanship as somehow being part of their religious tradition.

Indeed, so deeply entrenched are such attitudes among liberals that it never occurred to the cheering throng that letting a candidate for public office — even an incumbent president — use a religious gathering for partisan political purposes was inappropriate. Though Obama's pitch certainly appealed to the sensibilities of most Reform Jews, the notion that there was any connection between Judaism and his political agenda is a myth.

Nevertheless, it is a misnomer to think liberal Jews such as those who cheered Obama Friday at the Reform biennial, don't care about the Jewish state.

However, their willingness to accept Obama's claims on the topic says more about their desire not to turn on a Democrat than it says about his virtues. One must ignore much of what has transpired in the last three years in order to believe the president's claims.

The main element of Obama's claim is that he has done more for Israel's security than any of his predecessors. It is true he has done nothing to interfere with the security alliance that has grown since it was initiated during the Reagan administration. Military aid has flowed in large amounts, and for that Obama deserves some credit. But to speak, as he does, as if this relationship was invented by him, is absurd.

On Friday, he alluded, as his defenders often do, to the Iron Dome missile defense system the two nations have created. But that project was initiated and funded by the Bush administration. The most we can say of Obama's involvement is that he chose not to prevent it from being deployed.

Obama also bragged of making a phone call to ask Egypt's military government to prevent Israeli diplomats from being slaughtered and also of providing assistance when forest fires beset Israel. These are praiseworthy acts. But, as with his continuance of existing security cooperation, the failure to act would have been far more noteworthy than a routine willingness to help.

But though the president told his Reform listeners not to "let anybody else tell a different story," his account of his relations with Israel is, to put it mildly, incomplete.

From his first moments in office, Obama set out to distance the United States from Israel. The intention was both to draw a distinction between the closeness of the Bush administration to the Jewish state but also to create a greater bond between the Arab and Islamic world and the United States. President Obama's June 2009 Cairo speech drew a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and the plight of the Palestinians. This attempt to reach out to Muslims failed miserably, but the one thing he accomplished was to convince the Palestinians they could avoid negotiating with Israel because Obama was willing to fight the Israelis for them.

In his speech, the president noted his frustration with the lack of progress toward peace but failed to acknowledge that he has chosen to vent that anger solely at Israel by picking damaging and unnecessary fights with the Netanyahu government. No president has done more to undermine Israel's position on Jerusalem. His stance on the 1967 borders was, like his stance on Jerusalem, a precedent setter that tilted the diplomatic field toward the Palestinians. It is this record that has caused Israelis to regard him with less favor than any other American president in a generation.

Just as troubling is another issue he brought up in order to bolster his questionable pro-Israel bona fides: Iran's nuclear program. Obama told the Reform gathering the following:

We've worked painstakingly from the moment I took office with allies and partners, and we have imposed the most comprehensive, the hardest-hitting sanctions that the Iranian regime has ever faced. We haven't just talked about it, we have done it. And we're going to keep up the pressure. And that's why, rest assured, we will take no options off the table. We have been clear.

The problem with this pledge is that it is utterly disingenuous. Having wasted three years on a feckless attempt to "engage" Iran and failed efforts to get the international community to adopt the "crippling sanctions" that Secretary of State Clinton said must be imposed, Obama is forced to pretend the weak sanctions voted by the United Nations have any meaning. They don't. Even worse is the fact that these "hard-hitting" sanctions are not being enforced-even by the United States, where the Treasury Department has issued thousands of legal exemptions to allow companies to do business with Iran. And when Congress has sought to impose a meaningful sanction — such as the effort to ban transactions with any entity that works with Iran's Central Bank — the administration has opposed such efforts and fought to include waivers that will allow the president to shelve enforcement of this measure, too.

Though Obama says he will take "no option" off the table — a veiled reference to the use of force — Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made it clear that the United States opposes the use of force against Iran and will oppose any effort by Israel to use it either. The "different story" that must be told about Obama is that he has talked incessantly about stopping Iran but has done nothing to achieve that end. He has spoken of his support for Israel's security but has done much to undermine its diplomatic position and, sometimes unwittingly, to strengthen that of its enemies.

While it would be an exaggeration to speak of this administration's record on Israel as that of a determined foe, any objective analysis must acknowledge that he is the least friendly president to Israel since the first President George Bush. The Palestinians and other foes of Israel know this. They are openly hoping he will be even less friendly to the Jewish state during his second term if he gets one. Israelis rightly fear for the alliance in the coming years. The only people who don't seem to get it are liberal American Jews whose devotion to Obama's domestic agenda is sufficient to allow them to overlook his faults on Israel.

Contact Robert Hand by email at

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Posted by Yisrael Medad, December 19, 2011.

The issue of the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria has become an American presidential campaign issue of sorts. Just recently, Wolf Blitzer, former Al HaMishmar correspondent, pressed Rick Perry in a CNN interview, asking him: "Since '67, every U.S. president, Democrat and Republican, has called Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories, in the West Bank, illegal under international law. Would you continue that activity?"

Perry responded, "No I wouldn't. I consider the Israeli settlements to be legal, from my perspective, and I support them ... where the Israelis are clearly on Israel's land that they have hard fought to win and to keep, absolutely." In November, Rick Santorum, another Republican contender, was asked if Israel should dismantle its settlements, and insisted the territory was "part of Israel." He compared it to the status of New Mexico and Texas as part of the U.S. and asked his questioner, "Should we give Texas back to Mexico?" The interviewer countered, "Well, I don't think you should recognize recent annexations," to which Santorum retorted, "Oh, so it depends whether it's recent or not? ... The bottom line is that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country ... all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they're not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian, this is Israeli land."

The roots to this dispute lie with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who claims that, on U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, "Prime Minister [Menachem] Begin ultimately acknowledged its applicability in all its parts," as Carter wrote, for example, in the Washington Post on Nov. 22, 2000, where he linked this to the issue of building Jewish communities "in occupied territory."

In fact, it was the Carter administration that initiated the "illegality" terminology. He had Herbert Hansell, the State Department legal adviser, declare that the communities "violated international law," marking a reversal of the approach taken by all previous administrations. Following Carter, however, President Ronald Reagan reinstated the traditional approach, declaring on Feb. 2, 1981, that the communities were "not illegal." He did criticize them on policy grounds as being "ill-advised." Even Carter's Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, stated on July 29, 1977, that "it is an open question as to who has legal right to the West Bank."

Carter, of course, will not forgive Begin's resistance to bow to him on this matter. As scholar and author William B. Quandt notes quite plainly on page 246 of his book, Camp David: Peacemaking and Politics, Begin rejected Carter's interpretation of Resolution 242 and its relevance to portions of the Jewish people's historic homeland in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Just after the Camp David Accords' signing, on Sept. 20, 1978, Begin declared that 242's preamble of "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" was unacceptable. He viewed the 1967 Six-Day War as one "of legitimate self-defense, of saving a nation surrounded and attacked and threatened with annihilation." He added, "We refused. On behalf of the people of Israel, on behalf of the Jewish people, in the name of simple of human justice and dignity, above all, on behalf of truth, we refused to give this signature for those words."

The resolution needed to make clear that Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza, were part of the territory to which Jews had the right of "close settlement," as the League of Nations decided by international law. The British Mandate gave recognition "to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine." That history, including recent history, cannot be separated from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It was only in 1929 that a campaign of violent ethnic cleansing by Arabs forced Jews out of their homes in Hebron, Nablus and Gaza, to be followed, similarly, in the 1948 expulsions of Jews from Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Kibbutz Beit Haarava, Neve Yaakov and Atatrot.

Despite not being a member of the League of Nations, the U.S. accepted the mandate's terms and its territorial applicability in a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress on June 30, 1922. The resolution was signed on Sept. 21, 1922, by then President Warren G. Harding, and was further supported by the Anglo-American Convention, a treaty signed by the U.S. and British governments in 1924, stipulating that the U.S. fully accepted the mandate for Palestine.

Perry, Santorum and others are not making any new statements but repeating traditional American diplomatic policy: Jews have a legal right to reside in Judea and Samaria and build their homes there.

This was written by Yisrael Medad, who resides in Shiloh and is a Yesha Council spokesman. It appeared in Israel Hayom newsletter_opinion.php?id=1037

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Posted by UCI, December 19, 2011.

This was written by Michael Coren and it appeared December 16th, 2011 in the Edmonton Sun


Newt Gingrich got into all sorts of trouble a few days ago when he claimed: "There was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We've had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places."

Newt, you're completely correct, and this is one of the bravest and most intellectually informed things any of the Republican candidates have said so far.

Contrary to what you might hear from leftists, labour leaders, students and manipulative Arab activists carefully pulling on the emotional heart-strings of gullible westerners, the Palestinians as an identified group trace their ancestry not — as with the Jews — back thousands of years, but to 1920.

Until then, Arabs living in what we now know as Israel regarded themselves as Muslim or Christians, and not as Palestinians.

For centuries they had been subjects of the Ottoman Empire, and as Arabs did not recognize any particular national boundaries, and felt commonality with Muslims in Algeria or Yemen rather than Christians who lived in the next village.

Ottoman maps and records, and the writings of foreign travellers, do not speak of Palestine or Palestinians.

It was the British, who had taken the region from the Turks during the First World War, who in 1920 formed Palestine, just as they artificially created nations all over their empire.

The local Arabs were stunned, and resistant.

The Muslims explained that this "Palestine" meant nothing, and that they were southern Syrians, loyal to Damascus.

It was the vehemently pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic Amin el-Husseini, the so-called Mufti of Jerusalem who, when he wasn't praising Hitler as the new messiah and demanding the Nazis extend the Holocaust to the Middle East, developed the idea of the Palestine homeland, partly because the French had taken Syria.

From the 1920s on, this new phantom would come to dominate the Arab narrative.

Where no nation had existed, one had to be born. To the point where, today, we are obliged to listen to young men and women born in Canada, shouting at us about the plight of their Palestinian ancestors, and how they want nothing more than to return to the country and the land to which they belong. Oh Palestine, I was told by a protester in Toronto just a few months ago, we need you as a child needs a mother.

Not much of a mom though, and not often at home or looking after the kids. Of course people who once lived in the area no longer live there, and of course there were crimes committed and injustices perpetrated.

But nothing on the scale of the million Jews expelled from the Arab world, who can trace their lineage with far greater depth and longevity than the alleged Palestinians.

But Palestine is fashionable, the Jewish/Christian temple never existed, the Jews all came from Poland, and lies become truth.

Newt, for all of your failings, you had the courage to speak truth to power this week, and for that we all should be grateful.

Any pal of honesty is a pal of mine, if not stine.

Editor's Note: These are some of the comments that added useful information.


FINALLY...!!!! good to hear a man write who knows TRUE history; and not gullable enough to swallow the "politically correct" version of lies that has become the norm, for most of the national media; here and abroad.


This should be posted in every newspaper in every city across the united states... and the middle east.. Its stuff like this that everyone should know.. there is no need for a palestine state because there is no such thing as a palestinian.Its unbelievable that someone just made this up in the twenties and now there are people literally fighting over it.. Leave Israel alone and let the iranians live there if they would like to but, no fighting... there is no reason for fighting again.. and if the iranians want to fight then, just send them to Iran... problem solved.. Way to go Newt...

UCI — The Unity Coalition for Israel ( — is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Laura, December 19, 2011.

This was written by Sam Blumenfeld and it appeared in the New American
( sam-blumenfeld/10182-the-george-soros-plot- to-destroy-israel).


If you're wondering who's funding the network of left-wing, non-government organizations in Israel, which aim to topple Netanyahu's government and turn Israel into an Arab majority state, it turns out to be the same man who's funding the Occupy Wall Street mobs: George Soros. Tel Aviv has had to contend with the same left-wing protests, tents and all, obviously all coordinated by one central global puppeteer.

That is why the Israeli Knesset passed the NGO Funding Transparency Bill by 40 to 34 in February. It was a hard-fought battle. But despite its neutered state, the bill survived and was enacted. It is a declaration of war by the conservative Likud Party against the shadow NGO empire being used by George Soros to shape the future of Israel. Its liberal opponents called it a "threat to democracy."

Dan Greenfield writes in FrontPage Magazine, 9/22/2011:

While the bill was no longer able to empower the lifting of tax exempt status for foreign funded NGOs and it only addressed foreign funding of NGOs by government entities, it was a major step for foreign funding transparency. The Soros empire had been built on non-transparency, on hidden donor lists and front groups funded by think tanks with money pipelined in grants through a dozen different organizations.

NGO transparency threatened the entire Soros empire and the passage of even a neutered bill meant that Israel might finally be ready to begin rolling back the peel on the rotten fruits of the Open Society Institute. First governments, then foreign funders, parliamentary inquiries into foreign funding, and then the loss of tax exempt status for left-wing NGOs waging a civil war.

Soros' global reach is what is contributing to world-wide economic and political disequilibrium. His attempt to overthrow the Netanyahu government is a particularly odious campaign. He has aroused intense hatred among many supporters of Israel. Dan Greenberg writes:

The campaign for Israeli NGO transparency threatens Soros' long-term influence in Israel, and the defection of Jewish voters threatens his influence in America. His Israeli puppets have big money at stake. Soros, the Shadow Party billionaires and the EU have spent fortunes to buy up the left. Israeli left-wing university grads with no talent for tech have a lucrative alternative to dot coms in the NGO, and if their NGO mafia were to collapse, it would give the leaders of the housing protests some real economic problems to cry about.

In the United States, the radical leftist Shadow Party, which controls the Democratic Party, is funded by the same network of NGOs that was very well exposed by Glenn Beck on a big blackboard on his television show.

Soros is using against Israel the same communist-inspired strategy, which calls for "pressure from above and below" (pioneered by the Italian communist strategist and writer, Antonio Gramsci), which is presently being used so openly in the United States. Soros has a paid cadre of operatives who keep the OWS encampments in place, although municipalities have decided that enough is enough and are dismantling these putrid tent colonies. But they represent the pressure from below. Obama is the pressure from above. An Israeli reader of the FrontPage article wrote:

I had the personal pleasure of stomping down two tents bought by the Nazi collaborator to house his orcs [evil beings in the "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy]. The municipalities, even those controlled by unJews, could not any longer keep the charade and ordered the filthy peons of Soros — [Stanley] Greenberg — to vacate. Some failed to comply and were, in Tel Aviv, forced by court order and some of the creeps inside, detained. In outline [sic] areas the people attended to them just as well. Many of those that were part are extreme left parasites.

Soros also uses other people's money to fund his projects. Among the NGOs in Israel working to undermine the Netanyahu government are the New Israel Fund (NIF) and Rabbis for Human Rights. Concerning the NIF, FrontPage reveals:

The New Israel Fund is the mothership of Israeli left-wing NGOs and it is the most threatened by donor transparency. The NIF's 25-million-dollar annual budget is used to fund even more radical groups, some of which call for boycotting or outright destroying the State of Israel. A recent WikiLeaks report quoted the local head of NIF, Hedva Radovanitz, as saying that she expected the country to disappear and be replaced by a more "democratic" Arab state.

All of this funding comes through Soros' Open Society Institute, the Tides Foundation, and other nonprofit entities in the network. Even "J Street," the left-wing Jewish lobby in Washington created to oppose pro-Netanyahu AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), is a creation of the Soros network. It was Shadow Party billionaire S. Daniel Abraham, a former member of Soros' International Crisis Group, who provided the manpower for J Street. The Soros money was carefully hidden in the paperwork.

It is obvious that Barack Obama's attitude toward Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu has been shaped by his puppetmaster. He takes his instructions from the Shadow Party, that network of private organizations that now controls the policies of the Democratic Party, which is pursuing goals that are never openly discussed in public. These goals embody a fundamental hostility to American institutions and even to American sovereignty as a nation.

Much of the Shadow Party's power lies in the public's ignorance of its existence and purposes, and its ability to hide its radicalism behind the usual Washingtonian political rhetoric. Obama's recent interview on 60 Minutes was typical of his ability to say nothing while appearing to say something. He even mentioned that some of his Republican critics call him a socialist! He didn't deny that he was a socialist; he simply assumed that most viewers would gather from his demeanor that such an accusation was totally ridiculous.

However, the only government in the world which wants to expose the existence of the Shadow Party and how it uses its hidden power is the conservative Israeli government. And that is why its enactment of the NGO Funding Transparency Bill is an extremely important measure in exposing to the world and Americans in particular how the Shadow Party works. And that's all the more reason why Soros wants to get rid of Netanyahu.

A reader of the FrontPage Magazine article left this comment (corrected for typos and grammatical errors):

The New Israel Fund ... is supported and funded by George Soros and many American Jews. They organized the Rent-tent campaign as a deception in order to attack Israel's government. Where, what and when the next attack will be is unknown, but there will be more attacks.

George Soros is the most dangerous enemy Israel has, trying to destroy the state of Israel through nonprofits. He has used the same techniques in Asia, by using a ruse to create chaos.... The Israel Resource News Agency confirms this: "The Israeli Arabs in the Galilee are determined to intimidate thousands of Jews to leave the Galilee. A New Israel Fund official wants Israel to disappear.

Thus, should a conservative Republican government take power in Washington in January 2013, the first act of Congress should be a full-scale investigation of the Shadow Party and its clandestine activities in the United States. The exercise of stealth, hidden money, bribery, and intimidation to achieve political power in Washington should be exposed for what it is: wholesale corruption of the political process. Only by enacting our own transparency law will we be able to protect Americans from the kind of fraud and deception that led to a socialist takeover of the White House.

Contact Laura at

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Posted by Asaf Romirowsky, December 19, 2011.

As of November 29, 2011, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal will visit Jordan officially for the first time since he was expelled in 1999. The meeting showcases Amman's warming relations with the terrorist group that now governs Gaza, as well as its cooling relations with Israel.

According to a statement made by Minister for Information Affairs Rakan Al-Majali, this significant visit will open with a meeting with King Abdullah II himself.

Given Jordan's substantial Palestinian population, the Palestinian question remains integral to the country's public discourse. In the past, the monarchy sought to quell the Muslim Brotherhood and deny power to its Palestinian sympathizers in Jordan. But the uprisings of the Arab spring have put unelected leaders on the ropes — so much so that the king now seems willing to meet Meshal face to face.

On October 17, Abdullah appointed the prominent jurist Awn Khasawneh as Jordan's new prime minister. Khasawneh enjoys longstanding close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and its many branches abroad, in particular Hamas. Before returning to Jordanian politics, he had served as a judge in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, where he spearheaded international criticism of Israel's security fence. He has intimate knowledge of Jordan's Royal Court, where he served in the mid-1990s during the negotiations leading to the 1994 peace agreement with Israel.

Meshal's relationship with Jordan began in the 1990s when he headed the Hamas office in Amman and raised money for his causes, including suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel. In 1997, Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists attacked Meshal by smearing his neck with a lethal poison. Some accounts suggest the poison was injected into his ear. But the operation failed when six members of the Mossad team were stranded in Jordan, and two were captured by Jordanian authorities. The sovereign at that time, King Hussein, felt betrayed by Israel, with whom he had signed a peace agreement just three years earlier over the bitter opposition of his citizens and large Palestinian refugee population. Ultimately, Hussein brokered a deal in which he released the Israeli agents in exchange for the poison's antidote, which an Israeli doctor administered, saving Meshal's life.

The incident almost completely derailed the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty. Much of that reconciliation had resulted from the relationship between King Hussein and former Mossad head Efraim Halevy, whom Benjamin Netanyahu — then serving in his first term as Israel's prime minister — urgently called upon to prevent an even greater diplomatic disaster. In his biography, Man in the Shadows, Halevy writes, "The Mashal affair was a unique experience in dealing with matters of state. I came to learn how brittle the fortunes of political masters and historic figures could become. One moment they were up on high, a minute later their careers hung in the balance."

On the Jordanian side, Khasawneh served as one of King Hussein's point men on the Meshal affair. The botched assassination attempt solidified Meshal's role within Hamas, and in the years since he became one of the organization's top leaders. Today, he is Hamas's head, so it comes as no surprise that he remained close to Khasawneh, who was one of the first to congratulate him on his new role.

In conjunction with the deal to free the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Meshal's visit boosts Hamas's street credibility and elevates his own status in relation to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. These events put Israel in a bind. Islamism and Islamist leaders such as Meshal are on the rise in Jordan and Egypt, the Arab countries that made peace with Israel.

In Netanyahu's eyes, Israel offers Jordan a more secure future than Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. But will King Abdullah reach the same conclusion?

Contact Asaf Romirowsky at This article is archived at hamas-palestinian-authority-jordan

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Posted by Allen Roth & David Goder, December 19, 2011.

New plans to divide Jerusalem surfaced last week.

Recently, sophisticated designs on how Jerusalem should be divided were published in the prestigious Atlantic magazine. These plans are an attempt to kick-start the misguided plan to make Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian State. You can be sure this plan will be adopted by the Palestinians to supposedly show that Jerusalem can be divided.

Of course, this plan assumes that Jerusalem should be divided, by denying the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of only one people: The Jewish people.

This plan does not point out that the Temple Mount, the holiest spot in Judaism, would be in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

It also ignores the history of discrimination against Jews and Christians, when the Old City was under control of the Arabs from 1948-1967.

Jerusalem must never again be divided.

Today, Jerusalem is a free and open city for the first time in modern history because the State of Israel insures that all people have a right to visit, pray, and live in Jerusalem. It allows the different religions sovereignty over their holy places.

This unprecedented situation would be shattered if the city is divided.

But make no mistake. Considerable sums of money were spent drafting these "new" plans and you can be sure they will be referred to in negotiating rooms and the anti-Israel media.

This is one important reason why One Jerusalem needs your continued support. Our mission in defense of a united Jerusalem includes exposing the sophisticated propaganda from Israel's determined enemies.

They would love it if we did not exist to tell the world that Israel must remain united under the State of Israel.

If you can, please make a year-end donation to One Jerusalem so we can continue our campaign of defending Jerusalem.

Allen Roth & David Goder

Contact the One Jerusalem organization at or send an email to

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 19, 2011.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a brilliant young, new reporter and commentator on events in the Mideast. The first 30 of his articles seemed flawless, to me. In the one summarized below, he describes a realignment of Mideast Sunni Muslims against the Iranian-led Shiite bloc. It seems to me to be more than that. I see the first bloc not just as Sunni but also as Islamist.

Hamas removed its staff from Damascus. On the one hand, Iran threatened to stop supporting it. On the other hand, Turkey and Qatar support the Syrian rebels, dominated by Sunni Islamists. Turkey and Qatar smuggle arms to them. Qatar's al-Jazeera broadcasts drew attention to Assad's repression of protests.

Denying that Hamas is terrorist, Turkey may subsidize it. Qatar tried to set up a summit in support of Hamas.

Turkey supported the rebels in Libya by an arms embargo and a no-fly zone. Qatar helped enforce the no-fly zone, advised the rebels, and participated in NATO raids. Qatar supported not the official rebels but Islamist militias, whereas Turkey more subtly aids mosques and education casting a favorable light on the former Turkish rule there.

The question is how Turkey and Qatar will relate to Saudi Arabia, which has been more cautious about events in the Mideast. The Saudis did little about Libya and Syria. But the Saudis, like Qatar, sent troops to Bahrain to suppress Shia protests against Sunni rule. Turkey took no stance against that repression. While Saudi represses its own Shia protests, Turkey and Qatar do not condemn it and al-Jazeera depicts the protestors as tools of Iran.

The Saudis had supported the Mubarak regime. Now that Islamists are poised to take over Egypt, how will Saudi Arabia relate to other Sunni-ruled states? (Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The American Spectator, 12/9/11

Turkey and Qatar claim to be following principle, against Assad, but then why not against repression of Bahraini protestors? Citing principle is a sunny mask for cold ideology.

Commentators have shown that the Sunnis of Iraq are reconciled to being a minority, but the Shiite ruler is not reconciled with them. Sunnis are bombing other branches of Islam in Pakistan.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, December 19, 2011.

President Obama has done a great service to Israel, service that the government of Israel refuses to use. President Obama made it clear that only true Zionism will change Israel domestic and International stance. By his ongoing support for Israel's archenemy and disapproval of Israel, he has weakened Israel's posture in the world as well as he made Israel an appeaser of its archenemy nation and the many who support them.

I will try to simplify a word that has, unfortunately, become synonymous to Nazism...

What is the definition of Zionism?

It is a movement founded by the Viennese Jewish journalist Theodor Herzl, who, in his 1896 book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) argued that the best way of avoiding anti-Semitism in Europe was to create an independent Jewish state in Palestine, Biblically known as Zion-Tzyion. Zionism was named after Mount Zion in Jerusalem, a symbol of the Jewish homeland in Palestine since the Babylonian captivity in the 6th century BC. The movement culminated in the birth of the State of Israel in 1948.

I wonder if this simple explanation is taught in Israel's schools for the generations to come to carry this torch.

I will go farther and simply define Zionism as the return of the, forever persecuted and discriminated, Jews to their home of over 3000 years. Yet, Israel is not only a nation under siege, it is also an abuse nation.

Zionism equals Jewish pride, which, unfortunately and for no reason many, Israelis have not got or did not acquire yet. Reason being, they are not taught the Zionistic feeling.

Zionism encompasses the Jews' rightful law to live like any other nation in secured borders and in total peace. However, since its founding, Israel has not lived within secured borders and in total peace. It has not brought its enemy to total surrender as the Allies did at the end of WWII, dictating to Germany and Japan the terms of surrender. What Israel has done and is doing is achieving victory that later translate into a defeat. She is, further and further, capitulating to her enemy and their enablers, leaving herself more and more vulnerable as days go by.

Israel has drifted from Zionism, its establishment's lifeline. Reason being, from its inception Israel had to fight and is still fighting, now more than ever, for its existence. For that matter Israel should have stuck to Zionism like bees to honey.

Some Israelis have woken up to realize the mistaken conduct of the Israeli leadership almost from the time the state was conceived.

These Israelis have formed an organization, or a movement, well worth supporting if one cares for Israel's future. I refer to Im Tirtzu the second coming of the Zionism movement. ( This movement is tirelessly working to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel and their tentacles are already reaching aboard. Im Tirtzu was established in 2006, after the Second Lebanon War, by Israeli intellectuals, students and IDF reservists. Its main objectives focus on working towards a renewal of the Zionist discourse, Zionist thinking and Zionist ideology, to ensure the future of the Jewish nation and of the State of Israel and to advance Israeli society in coping with the unprecedented challenges it faces daily.

Im Tirtzu members are reviving Zionism so that the Zionistic movement will continue. Hopefully they will turn the tide so that large portion of the Israeli population who have been drifting way from Zionism will join them. Until such time Israel has finally achieved the ultimate goal of security and peaceful Jewish homeland — Israel. The day when the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. Until then, the Zionistic struggle must continue and go from strength to strength.

All Jews have a stake in the state of Israel, yet the Israelis leadership is not acting along this pledge. It is the duty of every Jews to protect, cherish and defend this pledge! Without Israel we, Jews, will have no dignity and security is only because of Israel that all of us Jews could have continue living as Jews anywhere but sadly, this is no longer true. Many of the remnants of the European Jews are fleeing the continent that is, once again, infested with Anti-Semitism, fueled by the Islamofascists who have come to roost in Europe.

Israel must changed its stance to allows us, Jews, to stand strong and proud, which she has not done since 1993, when it began sinking in Osloism.

Only resuscitated strong Zionism sentiments will give Israel the jolt of existence it now needs with great support from aboard.

Take heed, Israel.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Yoram Fisher, December 18, 2011.

A new cheaper method for producing drinking water from sea water has been unveiled in Israel. IDE Technologies' transportable desalination system uses traditional reverse osmosis technology but without the need for chemicals.

The unit, the first of its kind, is housed in a standard, 12-meter-long skid-mounted container and can produce between 500 to 10,000 cubic meters of water per day, depending on the water type, the company said.

That would be enough for a hotel or small village in remote areas or disaster sites that lost water supplies, said Fredi Lokiec, IDE's executive vice president for special projects.

"IDE brought to the industry something that is really new and this facility we don't use any type of chemicals. So it's completely green — that's the name, Pro Green — environmentally friendly," he said.

Israel is two-thirds arid and to deal with its own shortages has become a world leader in water technologies, pioneering new methods of drip irrigation, water recycling and desalination.

Reverse osmosis is a common desalination method where sea water is passed through membranes under high pressure. Usually chemicals are needed to clean the pre-treated water as well as the membranes themselves. Lokiec said IDE developed environmentally friendly biofilters that can do the job instead.

"We don't use any type of chemicals, so it's very economical, no ... without the troubles of handling chemicals and discharging them back into the environment. That's the difference and that's the beauty of this plant," he said.

IDE would not disclose what each unit costs, but said it is in line with market standards.

Last year the company opened the world's largest desalination plant to use reverse osmosis in the coastal city of Hadera and is now constructing an even larger plant which will produce 150 million cubic meters of water each year at a cost of around 2.01 shekels (57 cents) per cubic meter.

Once it is completed, over 50 percent of household water use in Israel will come from desalinated sea water.

Yoram Fisher lives on Kibbutz Kfar Blum Doar Na Galil Elyon. Contact him by email at This news item is from ITN and is archived at 2011/12/05/RTV3524411/?v=0&a=1

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Posted by David Isaac, December 18, 2011.

"Trying to portray Obama as pro-Israel is not a simple task. From the outset of his tenure in office, Obama has distinguished himself as the most anti-Israel president ever," Caroline Glick writes in a September op-ed for The Jerusalem Post.

After providing a laundry list of historic presidential firsts against Israel, Glick adds: "Given Obama's record — to which can be added his fervent support for Turkish Prime Minister and virulent anti-Semite Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his courtship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and his massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt — it is obvious that any attempt to argue that Obama is pro-Israel cannot be based on substance, or even on tone."

So it takes one aback to hear Obama last Friday, before a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism, declaring, "I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours. None. Don't let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact."

This echoed earlier statements he made on November 30 at a New York fundraiser attended by wealthy Jewish campaign contributors. "I try not to pat myself too much on the back — but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration." He added: "And that's not just our opinion, that's the opinion of the Israeli government."

Which raises an interesting question: Does Israel's government share Obama's high opinion of his administration?

On Dec. 2, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, had the chance to answer that question. CNN Host John King asked Oren: "You speak for the Israeli government. Is that true? Has Barack Obama been better for the security of Israel than any other previous American president?"

Anyone who anticipated a hard hitting reply was disappointed. Oren responded: "President Obama has made immense contributions to Israel's security. ... We've developed anti-missile technology that is absolutely ground-breaking. We've stood together in the face of terror, in the face of Iranian nuclearization — truly an excellent relationship."

No one is disputing the technological cooperation. Israel and the U.S. work together and have no doubt come up with ground-breaking advances such as Oren describes. It's worth pointing out this is not a one-way street. America benefits greatly from Israeli technological innovation.

Shmuel Katz, in "The Big Lie On U.S. Aid" (The Jerusalem Post, March 20, 1992), describes how Joseph Sisco, a former assistant secretary of State, came up to him during a symposium of the International Security Council in February 1989. Sisco said:

"I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us."

As Caroline Glick points out, even the technological cooperation is not as rosy as Ambassador Oren makes it seem: "[T]he truth is less sanguine," Glick writes. "While jointly developing defensive systems, the administration has placed unprecedented restrictions on the export of offensive military platforms and technologies to Israel. Under Gates, Pentagon constraints on Israeli technology additions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters nearly forced Israel to cancel its plans to purchase the aircraft."

But the real problem with the Israeli government's approach is that it focuses on what goes on behind the scenes as opposed to what's happening on the world stage.

What we see, and what the Arabs see, isn't the secret cooperation, which, as Glick points out, isn't that cooperative, and as Mr. Sisco points out, isn't all that beneficent. Instead, the world sees a president who tells Israel to get back to the 1949 Armistice lines and tells the Palestinian Arabs that they have the right to a "sovereign and contiguous state," a proposal that would split Israel in two.

From the start of his presidency, Obama has sent a clear message, starting with his first major policy address on the Middle East in Cairo, where he speechified about how Palestinian Arabs "endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own."

It's odd that that a president 'who has done more for Israel than any other' should have nothing to say about the suffering of Israelis at the hands of the Arabs. Yet, the Israeli government wants us to believe that relations are excellent — albeit secretly excellent.

It is a political error that Jewish leaders have made before and with predictably awful results. The prime example of this approach is Dr. Chaim Weizmann's leadership of the Zionist movement during the inter-war years. From the start of the British conquest of Palestine, there began a deterioration of British-Jewish relations. Dr. Weizmann chose to support the British publicly and deal with any problems privately. Vladimir Jabotinsky, who would eventually establish a rival Zionist movement, warned him repeatedly to take the matter to the court of public opinion.

In a letter dated Jan. 22, 1919, Jabotinsky wrote: "...Arab impudence is growing daily. No forty-eight hours pass but some inciting speech is heard in Ramleh, concluding in a call to the 'Arab sword'... [I]f all this exceeds certain limits I shall be forced either to resign altogether or to see to it that the cry of Palestine shall be heard in Europe."

Weizmann, however, only expressed satisfaction with the British in public. As Shmuel writes in Lone Wolf: A biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky (Barricade Books, 1996):

[The British military administrators] having assured themselves of an accommodating attitude from the outstanding Zionist leader Weizmann, they were able without major effort also to manipulate their pro-Zionist masters in London into broad acquiescence, or resignation, to their anti-Zionist actions.

Weizmann did from time to time, in letters and private conversations, complain bitterly about their behavior, but was careful not to cause them public embarrassment.

Weizmann had many opportunities to change course. In Lone Wolf, Shmuel writes that, following the 1929 Arab riots:

No moment could have been more propitious for the Zionists, even while mourning the dead, to launch a supreme effort, visible equally to the Jewish people, to the British public and to the world at large, to translate the agonies and pent-up bitterness of the Yishuv into a political offensive for exposing British encouragement as the prime cause of Arab violence; and for demanding a full reinstatement of Britain's obligations to the Jewish people under the mandate.

Unfortunately, the Zionist leadership had for so long remained silent about the problems with the British that it couldn't announce its dissatisfaction. As Shmuel writes:

It was morally impossible for the incumbent Zionist leadership suddenly to challenge the British government. It was itself too vulnerable. It could, of course, correctly blame the government for not foreseeing the campaign of Arab violence; but had it itself warned the government and aroused public opinion to the danger? Had it not repeatedly pronounced itself "satisfied" with the situation in Palestine and its relations with the government as "excellent"?

Just like the Zionist leadership of the past, Netanyahu's government is too timid to make waves and, thus, lets things go from bad to worse.

Oren said the Israeli government wants to preserve bipartisan support. If so, it has a strange way of going about it. Expressing satisfaction when an administration pursues policies that undermine Israel's moral authority isn't going to make that administration stop what it's doing. It doesn't encourage Israel's friends to go out of their way either. What's the upside to supporting Israel, when there may be political risk for doing so, but none for not doing so? After all, Israel's government is going to say you're wonderful no matter what you do.

A far better approach would be for Israel to express public disapproval when it is publicly attacked. The administration in question would then suffer a loss in American Jewish electoral and financial support. This would send a clear message: If you take an anti-Israel stance there is a price to be paid. It's a simple problem in political math the Netanyahu government hasn't solved, although Jabotinsky gave them the answer nearly 100 years ago.

David Isaac is editor of the Shmuel Katz website: Contact him at This article is archived at ?p=840&Source=email

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 18, 2011.


President Obama addressed the Reform Jews. His speech was notable for praising their positions but omitting one, their support for Israel.

Then, in another, but whose deficiency was not remarked on, he referred to the Arab-Israel conflict if it were a Gordian Knot that the Palestinian Arabs and Israel should untie, together. They should solve the problem jointly, he suggested (IMRA, 12/17/11).

As for Iraq, Pres. Obama turned a Hizbullah murderer of GIs over to Iraq, which already has released to Iran dozens prisoners the U.S. turned over to them. Oh, but the credulous Administration assures us, Iraq promised to put that Hizbullah man on trial. Sure! Obama claims that he had no choice under the agreement with Iraq, but to turn the prisoner over. Perhaps the prisoner's not being a citizen of Iraq would not require turnover. In any case, if the Iraq-US agreement left Obama no choice to turn him over, how come Obama first had tried to bring him to a U.S. prison? Wouldn't that violate the agreement?

Congress insisted that he not come onto U.S. soil, rather, that he be sent to Guantanamo. That Obama would not do. His left wing would object. So he let a murderer of Americans slip away from our custody, probably to be allowed to strike again (Wall St. J., 12/17/11).

Obama long has opposed the Iraq war. Who will ask him why he opposed that war, which interrupted Saddam-ordered genocide, among other accomplishments, but supported a war against Khadafy, which has empowered Islamists? The rationalization for the war on Libya is that Khadafy might take vengeance against opponents. Was Obama's objection that the Iraq war was in the U.S. interest, because Saddam had invaded countries whose oil sustains U.S. industry and he was slipping out of UN restraints that kept him from funding the WMD weapon programs whose staff he retained on the payroll?

What does it take for Americans to realize that this President is anti-Israel and anti-American? How many times must he praise Islam, avert his eyes from Radical Islam, ignore Israel's rights and its value to the U.S., and snub Israel's leaders, before most Americans assess this President realistically?

How can Palestinian Arabs and the rest of Israel's Islamic enemies make genuine peace with Israel, when they hate it for not kowtowing to them, delight in killing Israelis, and want to conquer Israel? Israel wants to keep its state and the small part of the Territories on which its citizens have built towns, although Israel could make a strong case for keeping the whole Territories. By contrast, the Arabs want the whole of the Territories and of the State of Israel; they are fanatical about that.

The Arab-Israel conflict never can be settled by the two parties until Islam repudiates jihad. To insist that Israel not settle the conflict by itself but must negotiate, when negotiations are hopeless and counter-productive, keeps the conflict unresolved.


What should Israel do about foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs that exert disproportionate influence on Israel in behalf of hostile European powers? Is curbing or even just reporting such donations a matter of self-defense or of restricting free speech?

If free speech really were important to those who object to the curbs, how come they do not criticize the government of Israel in arresting rabbis who discuss Talmudic rules on when it is permitted to kill gentiles? The government calls such esoteric discussions "incitement." What is being incited? Not stated by the accusers. The rabbis are talking about religious rules, and are not urging anybody to kill anyone.

That was one telling inconsistency. Another inconsistency is that Israeli Muslims and now Far Left professors and journalists urge the murder of Israeli Jews, and the government does not arrest them for actual incitement to murder.

A third inconsistency is that some European countries have hate crime laws under which they arrest people for non-hateful and truthful criticism of Muslim behavior, but do not criticize European or Israeli Muslims for slanderous and hate-filled criticism of Jews and of Israel. Three such double standards indicate insincerity.

Now for a case study of one of the Israeli NGOs financed 94% by foreign organizations, largely by foreign governments seeking to remake Israel or undermine its self-defense.

The Israeli NGO, Yesh Din, released a publication accusing the IDF Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) and the Military Advocate General's Corps (MAGC) of failing to investigate and punish Israeli officials for war crimes. The same accusations are brought in European courts and the International Criminal Court.

The EU grant to Yesh Din identifies the study's objective: "To change Israeli policy vis-a-vis criminal accountability of Israeli Security Forces Personnel in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in such a way that acknowledges and takes into account the severity and the different nature of War Crimes, as distinguished from regular, domestic crimes"

The president of NGO Monitor, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, finds the report based on methodological bias and distorted presentation of the data and incorrect interpretation of legal procedure during war.

The report argues that investigations that do not produce indictments are improper. Biased assumption: Israel always is guilty. Yesh Din's bias is indicated by hostile editorial comments on the Arab-Israel conflict.

An example of an editorial comment is the assertion that "one can't help feeling that" if Arabs carried more weight in Israeli society, the IDF would investigate alleged war crimes more expeditiously. No basis for that "feeling" is stated. No comparison is made between the investigations discussed and other investigations in Israel. Neither are comparisons made between investigations in Israel and in other countries. Unsubstantiated accusations in a study seem like bias.

Yesh Din states that 3.5% of the complaints received by MPCID and MAGC about Israeli soldiers harming civilians and their property in Judea-Samaria led to indictments. The biased assumption here is that complaints are serious and valid. Suppose Yesh Din encourages Arabs to file frivolous complaints?

Admittedly, Yesh Din does not evaluate whether the military rulings are right or wrong. The Knesset did tabulate results from other agencies. It found that 7% of investigations of Israeli police in 2008 resulted in indictment. Yesh Din reported a 9% rate for the IDF in Judea-Samaria.

Of indictments, Yesh Din found that 90% resulted in convictions. That, Yesh Din states, demonstrates that prosecutors use discretion, to pursue strong cases, not clog the system.

The specious study will be used in lawfare cases against Israeli officials. NGOs will cite this poor study as evidence of Israel war criminality and of the unreliability of Israeli courts in dealing with it. Since the accusations are false, the study is not about human rights; it is about making Israeli justice seem unfair to Arabs. Indeed, the study asserts that the IDF is not subject to the rule of law
( citing /render?llr=rfhybieab&v=001cQDW1aEI0uUrmgn_ 6zBlCnwrnSS1HO1Lp1ClYZGkBaCZVwW3OxGooCHV mnHkAvt_vbxTH7lNZgms_NW0TF8pXLz5MUJMBwUpc OapEBcG9wTEHEneNFqNUQ%3D%3D, from 12/7/11).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 18, 2011.

I begin with something that I address with hesitation, because it's an internal Israeli affair and I prefer to keep such matters in house. But this one — involving a group of young people who identify with the religious nationalist movement and who acted in a deeply reprehensible fashion last week — has made significant news. I feel at this point I must address it.

Let me make it clear that I do not condone what they did in any way whatsoever. It was wrong morally and tactically. They did a disservice to themselves and their nation. Most especially was this the case with regard to the brief but violent action, at night, undertaken at the Ephraim Brigade's (IDF) base in Samaria, during which they vandalized equipment and clashed with members of the IDF, throwing a stone at the car of the deputy brigade commander and injuring him.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was absolutely correct when he said, in response to this action, that, "No one can break the law. No one can raise a hand against the IDF or the police. This is the foundation of democracy."

And so this — Jew setting against Jew — causes pain. It's one of those things that should not be, that we hope will not be. With the state of the world today, and the hostility with which we are surrounded, it is something we can ill afford.


However... if the actions of these young people are to be condemned, it is important to set their behavior into context. That context is significant, and it, too, is painful.


First, we need to know that the violent actions of these young people were motivated by government plans, as Caroline Glick has explained, to destroy "Ramat Gilad, a small enclave of homes in Samaria located on land owned by rancher Moshe Zar and named for his son Gilad who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 2001." Ramat Gilad, you see, has been identified as an "illegal outpost." The young people who rioted were out to protest or stop this destruction.

The whole situation, with regard to demolition of houses at "illegal — or unauthorized — outposts" has been shameful. For this is a political football and not just a matter, black and white, of "legal" vs. "illegal." Often those "outposts" have had support from a variety of government agencies, including the Ministry of Housing — they have not operated in a vacuum. What they lack is the final sign-off from the Ministry of Defense.

And it is Defense Minister Ehud Barak who then orders those demolitions, to appease the left wing or to show the world how cooperative we are.

All of this applies in the instance of Ramat Gilad. What is more — and this touches on other issues that have been in the news lately — it was, as I understand it, Peace Now that went to court and challenged the ownership of the land the small community is built upon. This, in spite of the fact that no Arab has claimed ownership. (And that Peace Now had no standing in the case.)

I will not describe in detail all of the legal complexities involved. But there are ways to handle the situation of Ramat Gilad other than by destroying it. It is sufficient here to make the point that these young people are aggrieved and outraged by the political game-playing. And it seems to me past due for the government to develop greater sensitivity in the matter and to seek new strategies with regard to the communities over the Green Line.


What follows from this, then, is the evidence that stares these aggrieved young people in the face: violence works. Again, I am not condoning what they did. But it is important to make the point that the government has demonstrated a regrettable tendency to step back in the face of threatened violence. At least when it is Arabs who are doing the threatening. This fact was the thrust of what I just wrote about with regard to the Mughrabi Bridge. I suggest that the government is sending the wrong signals.


And there is another way, as well, that the government is, in my opinion, sending the wrong signals. The issue first became prominent after the expulsion from Gush Katif, which was done to a considerable degree by specially trained IDF forces. But the IDF is meant to protect the people of Israel, and should not be acting against any part of her population. The idea of Israeli soldiers participating in forcefully removing Israeli citizens from their homes struck many as simply wrong. (In many democracies this would not be permitted.) Various proposals were advanced to make this illegal, but never gained the necessary traction. Thus we still have situations today in which IDF soldiers are involved in forcefully removing residents of "outposts" from their homes, which are then demolished.

What a painful emotional dissonance this must set up for many religious nationalist youth. Especially is this the case as this same population volunteers for combat units in the IDF in disproportionate numbers.


Also painful is the infuriating inclination of persons on the left — and this includes the media — to now paint all "settlers" and all religious Zionists with one brush, acting as if the entire religious nationalist movement is of the same mind as those young people who opted for violence. Anything to delegitimize those who would fight to retain Judea and Samaria.

In point of fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The response from religious Zionist rabbis and political leaders was almost universally one of condemnation for the acts of violence. David Rubin, former mayor of Shilo, is absolutely on the mark when he refers to attempts to "defame an entire population of mostly idealistic, self-sacrificing young people."

This tendency to delegitimize those good people who live in Judea and Samaria — "the brave men and women and the many thousands of Jewish children who have settled the biblical heartland of Israel," Rubin calls them — is hardly new. If they can be depicted as "crazies" who work against peace, then it is easier to make the case for surrendering land to the Arabs.

I confess to being especially angered by this now. Because now when Oslo is dead, and the intentions of the PA with regard to seeking a "two-state solution" are clear, there is no rational case to be made for surrendering land to Arabs. If it depends upon making the term "settlers" a dirty word, then we are all in a great deal of trouble.

This is the time for gratitude that we have viable, vibrant communities in Judea and Samaria. And for embracing their residents as fully part of the Israeli people in every sense.


I was, as well, deeply disturbed by certain "over-the-top" reactions to these young people. Gratefully, the prime minister was not party to this. Use live bullets against them, someone obscenely suggested. No, live bullets are not going to be used. But what immediately occurred to me is that no one suggests using live bullets against rioting Arabs. But against our own? Painful. Frightening.

Label them as "terrorists," came another suggestion. But they are not terrorists, and Netanyahu would have no part of this.

Yet, what is happening to us? This situation, in its broadest sense, must be turned around.


Please see Rubin's entire article: Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?ID= 249841&R=R1

And Glick's: 12/violent-rioters-and-media-goon.php


The following is also painful, but in a very different way.

Last week, Obama, who is hot on the campaign trail now and focused on American Jews, addressed a biennual conference of Reform Judaism.

This is how American Thinker described part of his talk:

"In a display of scintillating chutzpah, after bidding everybody 'Shabbat Shalom,' Obama linked himself to the biblical Joseph — the chief character in this week's Torah portion. When Joseph's father Jacob told him to join his brothers in their pasturelands, Obama pointed out, Joseph stepped forward and obediently said one word, 'Hineni' — 'Here I am.'

"And...Obama went on to note that 'Hineni' was also the response of Abraham to G-d in the binding of Isaac, and of Moses when summoned by G-d from the burning bush.

"At that point in his speech, you knew what was coming next: Obama assured his audience that he also was ready to declare 'Hineni' in responding to Israel's struggles..." (Thanks for this, Manis.)

Obama, painting himself as the great protector of Israel, and putting himself on a par with Moses, Abraham and Joseph, all in one fell swoop.

Doesn't this give you pains in your stomach?


News of our "peace partner":

Khaled Abu Toameh reports in today's JPost that "Fatah has declared war on all informal meetings between Israelis and Palestinians." This according to Abdel Kader, a senior Fatah official.

"We will try to thwart any Palestinian Israeli meeting, even if it's held in Tel Aviv or west Jerusalem. In Fatah we have officially decided to ban such gatherings."

According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the Palestinians want to prevent such meetings from taking place out of fear that the Israeli government would say that there is some dialogue going on between Israelis and Palestinians, and the stumbling block is the Palestinian leadership.

Last week Palestinian Arabs actually stormed the Ambassador hotel in eastern Jerusalem, and forced organizers and hotel management to cancel a conference to be held by the Israeli-Palestinian Confederation at the hotel. Something similar happened the next day in Bethlehem.


Meanwhile, Israel Hayom today reports on the continued failure of Fatah and Hamas to agree on major points.

PA (ostensible) President Mahmoud Abbas gave an interview to Euronews, in which he declared that the two factions were getting close to reaching agreement on several key issues. Among these issues was an understanding that a Palestinian state would be established on the '67 line, and that resistance would be peaceful, without weapons.

Israel Radio, however, reports that Hamas is saying that any agreement regarding the '67 line would only be an "interim" solution as Hamas will not relinquish any part of Palestine. Further, it will not relinquish the "armed struggle."

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, December 18, 2011.

... Climategate I, the release of a few thousand emails and documents from the CRU (Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University) in November 2009, revealed that the united-front clubbiness of the leading climate scientists was just a display for public consumption. The science of climate change was not "settled." There was no consensus about the extent and causes of global warming; in their private emails, the scientists expressed serious doubts and disagreements on some major issues. In particular, the email exchanges showed that they were far from agreement about a key part of the global warming narrative​ — ​the famous "hockey stick" graph that purported to demonstrate that the last 30 years were the warmest of the last millennium and which made the "medieval warm period," an especially problematic phenomenon for the climate campaign, simply go away. (See my "Scientists Behaving Badly," The Weekly Standard, December 14, 2009.) Leading scientists in the inner circle expressed significant doubts and uncertainty about the hockey stick and several other global warming claims about which we are repeatedly told there exists an ironclad consensus among scientists. (Many of the new emails make this point even more powerfully.) On the merits, the 2009 emails showed that the case for certainty about climate change was grossly overstated.

More damning than the substantive disagreement was the attitude the CRU circle displayed toward dissenters, skeptics, and science journals that did not strictly adhere to the party line. Dissenting articles were blocked from publication or review by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), requests for raw data were rebuffed, and Freedom of Information Act requests were stonewalled. National science panels were stacked, and qualified dissenters such as NASA prize-winner John Christy were tolerated as "token skeptics."

One thing that emerges from the new emails is that, while a large number of scientists are working on separate, detailed nodes of climate-related issues (the reason for dozens of authors for every IPCC report chapter), the circle of scientists who control the syntheses that go into IPCC reports and the national climate reports that the U.S. and other governments occasionally produce is quite small and partial to particular outcomes of these periodic assessments. The way the process works in practice casts a shadow over one of the favorite claims of the climate campaign​ — ​namely, that there exists a firm "consensus" about catastrophic future warming among thousands of scientists. This so-called consensus reflects only the views of a much smaller subset of gatekeepers. ... Definite examples of political influence have emerged already from a first pass over a sample of the massive cache.

No amount of context can possibly exonerate the CRU gang from some of the damning expressions and contrivances that appear repeatedly in the new emails. More so than the 2009 batch, these emails make clear the close collaboration between the leading IPCC scientists and environmental advocacy groups, government agencies, and partisan journalists. There are repeated instances of scientists tipping their hand that they've thrown in their lot with the climate ideologues. If there were only a handful of such dubious messages, they might be explained away through "context," or as conciliatory habits of expression. But they are so numerous that it doesn't require an advanced degree in pattern recognition to make out that these emails constitute not just a "smoking gun" of scientific bias, but a belching howitzer. Throughout the emails numerous participants refer to "the cause," "our cause," and other nonscientific, value-laden terms to describe the implications of one dispute or another, while demonizing scientists who express even partial dissent about the subject, such as Judith Curry of Georgia Tech.

These are only a few of the many problems with the climate models on which all of the predictions of doom decades hence depend. It will take months of careful review to sort the wheat from the chaff, but there is enough evidence already to support the conclusion that the climate science establishment has greatly exaggerated what it knows.

... If Climategate II does poor box office, it won't be because the various internal reviews exonerated the CRU from the narrow allegations of fraud in Climategate I, but because the whole show has become a crashing bore. The latest U.N. climate summit that opened last week in Durban, South Africa, is struggling to keep the diplomatic circus on life support. ... Yet there is one more tantalizing detail that has been largely overlooked in the commentary so far. According to "FOIA," the online name of the hacker/leaker behind the release of these emails, there are another 220,000 emails still out there, blocked by a heavily encrypted password that "FOIA" vaguely threatens or promises to release at some future date. Stay tuned for Climategate III.

Steven F. Hayward is the F.K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of the Almanac of Environmental Trends. This appeared December 12, 2011 in the Weekly Standard and is archived at

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Posted by Yisroel Medad, December 17, 2011.

I was all for "retention" as the political buzzword.

It is my presumption that politicians are afraid of movement, initiative, change. Presented with plans for immediate application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria or suggestions of additional annexation moves, the reaction would be one of nervousness. I suggested a new campaign:

Retain The Territories

Retention, which I employed in this 2005 op-ed, avoids the issue of "sovereignty" which, I am forced to acknowledge, scares people because they think — wrongly — that Israel doesn't have the better claim but it does.

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff reported on June 29, 1967, submitting an opinion about Israel's needs for retaining territory which detailed in this Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCSM-373-67) possible lines in Judea and Samaria as so:

a. The Jordanian West Bank. Control of the high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan generally east of the main north-south highway along the axis Jenin-Nablus-Bira-Jerusalem and then southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea at the Wadi el Daraja would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border... Israel should not have pay a price of "territorial compromise".

I've been now outflanked:

ZOA's Mort Klein had asked Newt Gingrich:

What is your position about the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and the right of Jews to live in communities there at this present time?

and Gingrich replied:

Well, it depends on where exactly you define the boundaries. I do not oppose any development in the [Israeli occupied] areas, because I think that's part of the negotiating process. To the degree that the Palestinians want to stop the developments they need to reach a deal in which they recognize the right of Israel to exist... As long as they are waging war on Israel, they are in no position to complain about developments. I think the whole peace process has been absurd and has created a psychologically almost impossible position for the average person because once you say there's a peace process you wonder why the Israelis aren't being more forthcoming. But if you say, look, we're still in the middle of a war. They're still trying to destroy the country — they're still firing rockets, they still have terrorists coming in — then you all of a sudden understand what the real situation on the ground is, and in that setting, why would the Israelis slow down in maximizing their net bargaining advantage?

This thinking quickly followed his words to another Jewish questioner in an earlier interview when Gingrich said:-

"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, who are historically part of the Arab community."

Many of our establishment Jews, even some who share blog space here were upset, almost declaring Gingrich to be irrelevantly silly. But a statement like this one gets a free pass:

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Gingrich needs to reexamine the history books..."The Palestinian people inhabited the land since the dawn of history, and intend to remain in it until the end times...People like Gingrich must consult history..."

Following Rick Perry ("I consider the Israeli settlements to be legal, from my perspective, and I support them...where the Israelis are clearly on Israel's land that they have hard fought to win and to keep, absolutely.") and Rick Santorum ("The bottom line is that that [Judea & Samaria] is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country [...] all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they're not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian, this is Israeli land."), the visit of five Congressmen to Judea and Samaria, the South Carolina State Assembly decision, US politics seems to be reorienting to the original intent of Congress.

Almost 90 years ago, the United States accepted the terms of the Mandate and its territorial applicability which included Judea and Samaria — and Gaza — both in a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress on June 30, 1922 which was then signed on September 21, 1922, by then President Warren G. Harding, as well as appending its signature to the Anglo-American Convention of 1924.

Gingrich, Perry, Santorum and others are not making any new statements but repeating traditional American diplomatic policy: Jews have a legal right to reside in Judea and Samaria and build their homes there.

Contact Yisroel Medad by email at

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Posted by Barbara Ginsberg, December 17, 2011.

This article was written by Rabbi Meir Kahane on January 10, 1986.

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If there is anything left of secular Zionism to prove its success in the wake of its ideological tatters and bankruptcy, it can only be the claim that it took the Jew out of the ghetto, out of the exile, out of fear and terror, and created a state of security and safety for the Jewish people. Alas, the truth is that what has occurred is that Israel is in the process of creating a new Minsk, Pinsk, Sa'ana and Brooklyn. Fear has become a permanent resident of Israel, moving into the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of Jews who fear the night, fear to hitch rides, fear to drive in the evening through Arab villages, fear to allow their children to play alone in the streets.

Four Jews have been stabbed within two months, within the Old City of Jerusalem, capital of Israel, home of Teddy Kollek and his Arab friends. One was Yossi Martin, a tank commander, whose girlfriend blurted, "I will never again enter the Old City." Fear. It is hard to find Jews who are prepared to use the Damascus Gate to walk to the Western Wall. Fear. The Jerusalem weekly paper Kol Ha'ir printed a survey asking, "Should we continue going to East Jerusalem?" Fear.

As yet another soldier, waiting to hitch a ride, was murdered in cold blood (just three kilometers from his Petach Tikvah home), the response from hysterical politicians was, "compel public transportation to give rides to (female soldiers!" Which led, of course, to outrage and the brave new Zionist demand, "free bus transportation to male soldiers, too." And, since this leaves civilians to the pleasure of the Arabs who move freely and without fear about Israel, naturally a columnist in the Histradrut paper Dvar wrote an article, "Home Before Dark," in which he outlined his terror, driving through Jerusalem late at night.

That secular Zionism from its beginning was the bankrupt and naked of all ideological meaning was obvious to me long ago. But here, we see in the State of Israel, that rose in order to sanctify G-d's name through Jewish power and strength and victory, the exact opposite — Hillul Hashem, desecration of G-d's name — as the same fear and terror of the Exile is recreated in Hebrew on the soil of the Holy land.

The nations, the gentile, understand Jewish destiny and truth only in terms of power and victory. If for two millennia they were able to persecute, trample, humiliate, burn, gas and massacre the Jew — to them this was proof not only of Jewish impotence, but of the very non-existence of the G-d of the Jewish people! Defeat, humiliation and weakness of the Jew have always been the yardsticks of gentile desecration of G-d's name, whereas power and victory of the Jew over his enemies have always been proof to the gentile that the G-d of Israel is One and the only one. Kiddush Hashem, sanctification!

The pitiful secularists of Israel, joined by the ghettoized ritualists, have institutionalized fear in Israel. They desecrate G-d's name daily. The answer to Arab arrogance, to attacks on Jews, stoning of Jews, stabbing of Jews, murder of Jews — is not to have Jews fearfully ride public buses or use the "Jewish" Jaffa Gate rather than the "Arab" Damascus Gate in the Old City. It is not to tell Jews to keep a watchful eye out for bombs and explosive devices. This is the policy of Minsk and Brownsville, Brooklyn. This is pandering to the fear and humiliation of the ghetto and Exile we left. This is the reincarnation of Hillul Hashem in the Land of Israel, the Land of Kiddush Hashem.

The answer to the Arab who desecrates G-d's name by attacking Jews is to rise up with the Jewish wrath of G-d and drive the contemptuous Arab from the land. For in the end, the removal of the Arab is the removal of desecration. Jewish power and strength and pride and confidence — walking with the G-d of Israel — are the Jewish reply to Both Arab and Hellenized Jew.

Contact Barbara Ginsberg at

"Beyond Words" is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings that originally appeared in The Jewish Press, other serial publications, and his privately-published works.

"Beyond Words" also includes a number of extra features:

Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.

"Beyond Words" now can be bought at On the search line, type... Beyond Words Kahane.

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, 1960-1990, Volume 6

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Posted by Sanford Aranoff, December 17, 2011.

Americans say that Christians have Christmas, and Jews have Hanukah. It is time for Jews to explain what Hanukah is. It is a commemoration of the victory of Israelis against the powers of international government. Jews are a free people, living in a free land. Jews have always refused to accept the dictates of one-world statist governments. The Exodus from ancient Egypt was a bloody rebellion against a one-world statist government. The government gave food to the people, decided where they can live, and ordered people to work on various projects. The Israelis leaving Egypt were fighting for freedom. By the way, Christian translators incorrectly translated the word as Israelites instead of the correct word Israelis, with the purpose of hiding the identity of the ancient Israelis with modern Israelis.

The Torah is replete with praises for limited government. For example, Samuel the Seer objected to creating a monarchy, saying the king will take power to himself away from the people. Read the story about King Solomon's son who refused to lower taxes and the great harm it brought, dividing the country. Think about this, when a government tries to raise taxes, people may revolt. Indeed, in ancient Egypt slaves were controlled by "tax masters".

Let us all remember that the American Revolution was based upon these Jewish ideas of freedom from international powers. Benjamin Franklin proposed that the great seal have a picture of the Israelis crossing the Red Sea during the Exodus. The American founding fathers saw the identity of the Jewish struggle against ancient Egypt with their struggle against Great Britain.

Jews have not always succeeded in their goals for independence. A sad example is the destruction of Israel by the Romans. Hitler understood the Jewish nature of independence, and realized he would not be able to conquer the world as long as Jews were around. The Arabs want to have a one-world government, and know that Jews will not permit it. This is the reason for the hatred.

In spite of the hardships and deaths, Jews will always light candles for freedom. The menorah is the symbol of Israel. The menorah of Hanukah signifies the desire for freedom will continue and grow. We Jews will never give up our hope and desire for freedom and independence in our country Israel, and will continue to oppose one-world governments that will deny freedom to the people of Israel.

Happy Hanukah! Think about this when we light the candles. Hanukah is not just songs and gifts of money (Hanukah gelt). It is about freedom from powerful international organizations, with hard cash symbolizing the freedom of the individual.

Sanford Aranoff is author of "Rational Thinking, Government Policies, Science, and Living Teaching" and "Helping Students Think and Do Better ". Contact him by email at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 16, 2011.

About 50 Jews were said to have attacked an Israeli Army base on Tuesday. They lit fires, vandalized vehicles, and threw stones. According to a station that young Jews of the area broadcast from, the attack is in reaction to word that some unauthorized outposts would be demolished. Soldiers dispersed the group, detaining one of them. Hours earlier, "another group" occupied an abandoned building on Israel's side of the border with Jordan. In a third incident, a group stopped a car carrying an IDF commander, and threw a brick at him. The night before "other settlers" blocked a road and threw stones at Arabs' vehicles.

The perpetrators were condemned and re-condemned not only by the government but also by the main organization of resident Jews (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 12/14/11, A6). A similar report appeared in the Wall St. Journal.

The number of such activists is not known. How does the reporter know that the four incidents, hours apart, were by different groups of people?

I had suspended judgment about vandalism in Judea-Samaria, because nobody had been caught in the act, and the government of Israel has a record of using agents provocateurs to smear political opposition. Now perpetrators were seen and apparently one was apprehended.

I do not like what the youths did. But there is a part of the story not told. That part of the story indicates that what they did was inevitable because the government misbehaved first. Understandable, but not justifiable.

I have told the other part of the story before, so I'll just summarize here. The government authorized several stages of building construction. Then under anti-Zionist ideology, politics, U.S. pressure, and lack of imagination for an alternative policy, various regimes pressed Jews to leave the Territories, so the government could turn land over to Arabs. Accordingly, current Defense Minister Barak refused to sign the final authorization for occupancy of residences otherwise completed according to approved specifications. Then people call the houses unauthorized or even illegal. But that is a misinterpretation of Defense Min. Barak's political decision betraying his own people. The indignation with which people call those houses "illegal" reveals their own bias. The Jews who had those houses built did nothing illegal. Not then.

Outposts usually are not authorized, but usually are built within municipal boundaries.

Barak's refusal denies people their property rights. It comforts the enemy. Its ideology has failed time after time. PM Sharon had ousted almost 10,000 Jews from residences (not called illegal) in Gaza and northern Samaria. You know the terrorist consequences of that appeasement, that supposed land for peace.

I also have reported the Army's frequent failure to protect Jews from Arabs, the Army's arrest of Jews who defend themselves from Arab mobs, the years of Arab attacks on Israelis, their vehicles, and their crops, and the government's failure to demolish really illegal Arab houses (built without permits and often on stolen land). The Arabs have dozens of times as many illegal houses as Jews are merely alleged to have. When the government tries to demolish Arabs' illegal houses, the U.S. and the Left — the usual anti-Zionists — protest. The government rarely proceeds against Arab illegality, even while proclaiming its adherence to equal enforcement of the law.

Anti-Zionist leftist Israelis prompt Arabs to make claims to land Jews acquired by normal means. The claims lack valid documentation, but in further Establishment bias, the leftist courts usually side with Arabs.

Thus we see that the Israeli regime's reputation for being right wing or hard-line is false. The government oppresses Innocent Jews, not Arabs. The government is moving to give away the Jewish people's patrimony not even for peace, but to jihadists thirsting for Jewish blood. What recourse have Jews in the Territories?

When government fails to protect people, vigilantes arise. It is convenient for many people to criticize vigilantes, but why not also criticize the derelict government that, along with Far Leftist Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, causes the problem?

A Jew who lives in the Territories sent me this explanation (which I edited). The explanation does not justify Jews' violence against troops, but explains that first there was troop violence against Jews and unfair treatment in favor of the national enemy. The uproar of criticism against the small number of violent Jews in the Territories ignores the large number of instances of police violence and improper treatment against Jews in the Territories. How sincere are the critics of the residents' violence, when the ignore police violence? The answer may be that the critics are sincere, but they don't know. Neither the New York Times nor the Wall St. Journal informs readers of the whole story.

The IDF Ephraim Regional Brigade HQ, which was attacked, was stationed in the region to throw Jews off their land and destroy homes. They were being taught how to implement this. Were there even 50 youths vandalizing destroying the Army base? More like five or 10 go out to do such things. When needed to make a stronger impression for the leftists, they claim a higher number attending.

When Arab illegal houses are not destroyed and a Jew builds a hut on a Hilltop without permission, it is destroyed in the middle of the night when people are at their weakest. Troops come in swinging fists and clubs. When permission had been given, but then Barak decides perhaps we will give this land to our enemies and he destroys a settlement, again the government is frustrating and angering the people. An example is the Sholom House in Hebron which is owned by a Sephardic Jew living in Brooklyn. All legal documents were brought into the court in Israel. Yet, the IDF came in swinging, beat Women in Green leader, Nadiar Matar, badly, paralyzing her for a few hours. Arabs destroyed Jews' olive trees, but the Arabs tell the IDF or police that the Jews started the fight — all are arrested, but the blame goes to the Jews.

Is it good behavior when the IDF come in swinging clubs and fists to destroy another Jew's house which the government calls "illegal?" An example of these terror tactics is the house of Noam Federman, well-known right-wing critic of the government. The IDF came in large numbers in middle of the night and destroyed the Federman home including all furniture, clothing, personal items, crushing all into the ground. While the Federmans were asleep, they broke in, handcuffed and foot cuffed Naom, took his wife Elisheva and banged her head onto the door while she was holding her nine-month-old baby, pulled the baby from her arms, twisting the baby's hand in the process and left mother and children standing alone in the cold Hebron Hills wearing only pajamas, no coats or even socks, and no closet to get them from.

Was it not violence that took place in Amona, when the police on horses cracked MK Benny Alon's head, and broke MK Ariel Eldad's hand? MK Eldad also was a leading skin surgeon, who treated victims of terrorism — now he never can operate again. Did they act as law enforcement officers when they mishandled religious Jewish girls, calling them whores, put their hands on the girls' bodies where they shouldn't have been, and dragged them in an immodest way? [Or was it anti-Zionism to the point of antisemitism?]

On 12/15/11, the IDF destroyed homes on a small settlement, perhaps Yitzar.) On the English language news they showed the IDF throwing a child of about 5 years violently onto the ground. Can you imagine if the IDF did this to an Arab child and it appeared on the news? The world would be screaming

I can fill pages of violence and breaking of the law by the IDF and Police against what today are called "extremists." Are not the police extremist?

Our Prime Minister and Defense Minister should institute a program teaching the proper way our enforcers of the laws should act towards other Jews. Teach them to understand that when law enforcement bodies use uncalled for violence against other Jews, they teach them to retaliate and follow their example of using violence as the only way. We cannot afford to use terror of any kind against each other.

To win the war against our enemies, we have to learn to live in peace among ourselves. I would add that the government of Israel needs to learn about civil liberties for Jews and about who its enemies are.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Samara Greenberg, December 16, 2011.

Experts are in the final stages of recovering data from the drone that went down inside Iran earlier this month, according to reports from inside the country. Iranian MP Parviz Sorouri, who sits on Iran's national security and foreign policy committee, said Monday the regime will use the information gleaned from inspecting the drone to file a lawsuit against the U.S. for invading Iranian territory. Sorouri also claimed that Iran will be able to reverse-engineer and "mass produce" the drone in the near future.

There was confusion when the aircraft went down, as Iran reported both that it landed the drone through a cyber attack and also that it shot down the unmanned aircraft. U.S. military sources since confirmed that the Iranians are in possession of the advanced RQ-170 Sentinel drone, but they say it was not a result of Iranian doing. Rather, multiple theories have been put forth, with initial reactions being that the aircraft malfunctioned and "wandered" into Iranian air space after losing contact with its operators during a mission over neighboring Afghanistan. Those initial assessments, however, are now being questioned.

Of course, the reports of a wandering drone leave analysts wondering why the aircraft didn't return to its base as it is designed to do if it loses contact with its handlers, or why the drone lacks a kill switch.

A photo released by Iran's Revolutionary Guards shows what Iranian officials say is an American RQ-170 Sentinel drone.

According to sources, President Obama turned down plans from the Pentagon to enter Iran and either retrieve the RQ-170 or destroy it. He reportedly was concerned that doing so would be considered an act of war. But one must question if taking the repercussions from entering Iran to destroy the drone would have produced a better outcome than allowing Tehran access to the best of American stealth technology.

There's no knowing if Iranian engineers will be able to understand what they are looking at, as they claim, when it comes to the drone. Nevertheless, obtaining the high-tech drone was a victory for Iran, and decoding and replicating its technology, or even selling it for inspection by either China or Russia, would be a game changer in the region.

Samara Greenberg is a senior research associate at the Jewish Policy Center and deputy editor of the JPC's journal, inFOCUS Quarterly. Her areas of research include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Hamas. She also focuses more generally on Islamic extremism and national security related issues. This article is archived at 2011/12/iran-says-it-will-decode-us-drone-technology

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Posted by MS Kramer, December 16, 2011.

I recently spent several weeks in the U.S. Michal and I were struck, but not surprised, by the almost total lack of international news available in the usual media. Thankfully we had our ipad with us, which ensured that we knew what was happening in Israel and the rest of the world.

During our visit, I addressed the wonderful Christian-Zionist group "Friends of Israel" in Deptford, the residents of Lions Gate senior residence in Vorhees, and Beth Judah in Ventnor. In each, I posed several choices which Israel faces with alternative solutions. As always, there was a lively interchange of questions and answers during and after my comments. The following is a summary of my talk.


Choice A: Israel can acquiesce to Palestinian demands for peace: abandon communities beyond the Green Line in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem; agree to the Palestinians locating their capital in Jerusalem; agree to Palestinian sovereignty over Old City and Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem; and allow three or four generations of Palestinian "refugees" to move into Israel and confiscate "their" property.

Choice B: Israel can continue the prudent status quo policy until Palestinians agree to compromise their demands, stop government incitement and terror against Jews, and make no future demands after signing a peace treaty.

I choose B. Giving land for peace is a discredited policy and Israel's past compromises have been more than enough. While Israel formally asks for no preconditions before beginning negotiations, the Palestinians insist on several whoppers. The Palestinians will not have Israel as a negotiating partner unless they commit to building a peaceful state alongside of, not usurping Israel. Israel must stop begging Palestinians to make peace as it has done for decades.


Choice A: Israel will agree to a containment policy for dealing with nuclear weaponized Iran, which seems to be the choice of the Western powers.

Choice B: Israel will continue to press for devastating sanctions against Iran, but if sanctions fail, Israel will try to enlist an ally to interdict or delay Iran's progress.

Choice C: After finding itself abandoned by the West and fearing an Iranian attack is imminent, Israel will undertake a solo preemptive strike against Iran regardless of both foreseen and unforeseen consequences.

I choose C. Unfortunately, the West is more worried about what Israel will do against Iran than what Iran will do against the West. "Never Again!" is not an empty slogan to Israelis. If necessary, Israel will act alone and won't depend on another country to defend it.


Choice A: Israel will endure hundreds of rockets per day from the north and south, over a period of up to 40 days. If there is a call for a ceasefire, Israel will accept it.

Choice B: Israel will retaliate by the second day of massive rocket attacks. The retaliation will be massive, awesome and brutal, devastating military targets regardless of proximity to civilians. Hysterical calls for a ceasefire will be ignored for a minimum of several days or until Israel's enemies are sufficiently punished to be deterred for years.

I choose B, the same choice America would make. Wars are won by the victor applying superior and asymmetrical force. Israel must not allow its enemies to remain a serious threat by utilizing a strategy of hiding behind civilians.


Choice A: Israel will continue to retaliate tit-for-tat to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbullah, or other attackers, while waiting for a huge tragedy to occur before seriously invading enemy territory. When a cease-fire is demanded by the UN or the US, Israel will accept it.

Choice B: Israel will not wait for a tragedy to occur: an attack on a classroom populated with children; a school bus (again); a large gathering, etc. Israel is poised to make an incursion into Gaza, or elsewhere, to seriously confront terrorists. Israel will not accept a cease fire, but will persevere until the mission is accomplished.

I choose B. Israel and the West are in a war against jihad. The nature of war has changed, making Israel, even with its formidable army, vulnerable. War has been partially replaced by terrorism, which must be fought by different, harsher methods. The Western countries are in precisely the same situation as Israel but don't realize it.


Choice A: Israel will become a theocracy and adopt Jewish law (Halacha) as its standard, based on the burgeoning ultra-Orthodox population.

Choice B: Israel will apply current civil law to secular Israelis, Halacha to religious Jews, and Shari'a law to its Muslim citizens.

Choice C: Israel will renounce being a Zionist state and will stop giving preference to immigrants with a Jewish connection.

Choice D: Israel will continue to be an imperfect democracy with a Jewish ethos, offering equal rights to all its citizens.

I choose D. Democratic, Zionist Israel is dealing with the global economic collapse better than most Western countries. Despite citizen unrest, Israel will resist the unrealistic demands by its own "occupiers" to bankrupt the country by becoming a welfare state. Israel will continue to do its utmost to help its citizens help themselves.

Some of the above choices are harsh. I sincerely hope that good statecraft by Israel and the West will eliminate the need to face these dilemmas. My final choice is to remain optimistic.

Steve Kramer lives in Alfe Menashe. He has written a weekly opinion column for the Jewish Times of southern New Jersey ( for the last ten years. He writes, "They're about history, politics, touring, or whatever excites me." He is author of "Encountering Israel — Geography, History, Culture." Contact him at and visit

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, December 15, 2011.

In Egypt, calls for jizya — the tribute doctrinally demanded and historically collected from conquered infidels — are increasing day by day, by those who wish to be true to the words of Koran 9:29:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid that which Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], from the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued.

"Fight ... the People of the Book until they pay jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued," Koran 9:29

Accordingly, days ago, Ahmed Imran — a candidate of Egypt's Salafi party, the "Party of Light," which won some 20% of votes in recent elections — called for the return of jizya (which was abolished under colonial pressure in the mid 19th century). Sounding like a Western apologist of Islamic supremacism, he distorted history and spoke of jizya in glowing terms:

I say to those who fear that we might govern, that it was the Muslims who liberated the Copts from Roman slaughter and that Copts are obligated to pay the jizya, and it will only be half a dinar, taken from the rich and given to their poor.

Earlier, Abu Shadi, another Salafi leader — though not one running for office, and so extra candid — announced that Egypt's Christians must either convert to Islam, pay jizya and assume inferior status, or die.

Nor is the return of jizya limited to Salafi discourse. Running for Egypt's presidency, Hazem Abu Ismael, a former Muslim Brotherhood member still affiliated with the group, said he would impose jizya on the Copts.

And Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni — the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party which won 40% of the votes — reportedly said that Copts would not pay jizya now, implying that the idea of collecting tribute from subdued "dhimmi" Copts is very much alive among the Brotherhood, only dormant till a more opportune moment (naturally, the Brotherhood later denied he said such a thing).

Moreover, increasing numbers of attacks on Christians in Egypt revolve around extorting jizya. For instance, last summer a priest was almost

killed at the hands of the Salafis because of his refusal to pay them jizya money.... [T]he church's priest had declared that the Copts would not pay jizya, in any way, shape, or form. This is what caused the Salafis to want to banish him from the region, so they could collect jizya from the Copts.

Here, then, is another rule of thumb: Wherever and whenever there are calls to return to "true Islam" — whether by 9th century Ibn Hanbal, 14th century Ibn Taymiyya, 18th century Abdul Wahhab, or 21st century Salafis, and the countless no-names in between — the non-Muslims among them will always be first to suffer; first, in the words of Koran 9:29, to "pay the jizya [tribute] with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued."

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article is archived at 10872/the-specter-of-jizya-returns-to-egypt

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Posted by Giulio Meotti, December 15, 2011.

"Peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem", Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Council for Interreligious Dialogue, declared several days ago in Rome.

The Vatican's former foreign minister asked to place some Israeli holy places under Vatican authority, alluding to the Cenacle on Mount Zion and the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The first site also houses what is referred to as King David's tomb.

"There will not be peace if the question of the holy sites is not adequately resolved", Tauran said. "The part of Jerusalem within the walls — with the holy sites of the three religions — is humanity's heritage. The sacred and unique character of the area must be safeguarded and it can only be done with a special, internationally-guaranteed statute".

The Israeli government and the Vatican are deadlocked in discussions over the status of the religious sites. Vatican officials are now reiterating their demand for control over the religious sites in the ancient and holy city founded by King David as the capital of ancient Israel and now the capital of the reestablished Jewish state.

Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, declared that Israel might consider giving the Vatican "a greater role" in operating the sites. In the last weeks, the Roman Catholic Church's authorities increased their political initiatives for Catholic control over some sites in Jerusalem.

The Vatican's former arcibishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, just promoted an appeal to the European Union and United States to "stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem".

Two weeks ago Msgr. David-Maria Jaeger, who was recently appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Vatican's highest court, talked in Washington about a current U.S. Supreme Court case over whether an American boy born in Jerusalem should add Israel after the name of the historic city on his U.S. passport. Jaeger said that the question about Jerusalem is not "whether it is the capital of Israel, it is a question of whether it is a part of a national territory".

A few days earlier, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, gave a speech to greet the bishops of Europe and North America during their annual pilgrimage in Israel, in which Twal denounced "the Israeli right wing invading more and more of Jerusalem and trying to transform it into an only Hebrew-Jewish city, excluding the other faiths".

Claudette Habesch, the Caritas general-secretary in Jerusalem, a Vatican NGO that works in social activities, just released an interview to Zenit news agency, in which he "christianized" the Palestinian Intifada against "what we call the Checkpoint of Humiliation".

In September, Patriarch of Jerusalem Twal was at the White House for a meeting with the American administration as well as to support the PA statehood bid at the UN. Twal repeated Benedict XVI's speech of May 13, 2009 in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, one of the most political speeches ever pronounced by Ratzinger during his pontificate. It was given in front of the most eloquent symbol of the conflict: the security wall between Israel and the PA areas.

On that day the Pope spoke specifically of an "independent Palestinian state".

The Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican's powerful agency for worldwide pilgrimages, just organized a "marathon for peace" in Jerusalem to protest against the security fence near Bethlehem and to support "Palestinian political rights". The march began on the Mount of Olives, "where the Last Supper took place".

On December 1st, several Christian and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on "How to live together in a future Palestinian state?". Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, also attended the event organized by Al-Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center based in Bethlehem.

Sabbah said that "recourse to the UN for a Palestinian state is a step toward peace". Last summer, Latin Patriarch Twal took part in a meeting in London with Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, in which the Vatican envoy denounced the "more than 550.000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank" and "the demography of Jerusalem changing rapidly with the sacred space being threatened".

In 2006, then Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, negotiated to give away the "holy basin" to the Vatican.

At the time, President Moshe Katzav, in the face of increasing public pressure, was forced to deny any plans to sign away the King David's complex in Jerusalem.

It now appears that this option has once again surfaced. A major voice for the Vatican's plan is Hanna Siniora, the elder statesman of Palestinian 'peace' activists, whose office is in the Vatican's Tantur Institute for Ecumenical Studies in Jerusalem.

The site known as King David's Tomb is the major target in the Vatican's plan. It's a complex of buildings of some 100,000 square feet where David and Solomon, and kings of Judea, are said to be buried, although this is disputed by historians.

The Upper Room, or Cenacle, as it is known, is on the second floor of the Crusader-era building. During his visit to Israel in 2000, Pope John Paul II held Mass there. The Roman Catholic Church has been fighting for more than 450 years to win back control over the sanctuary, which was seized from Franciscan monks during the Ottoman Empire's rule around 1551.

The building was granted to the Diaspora Yeshiva over 40 years ago, and yeshiva heads fear that the Vatican wishes to turn it into a pilgrimage site for hundreds of thousands of Catholics and hold religious services there.

The Vatican wants Israel relinquishing sovereignty at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The Holy See uses the expression "Holy Basin", which refers to the are of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites which the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton began reccomending be administered under a "special regime".

The Obama plan also calls for resolving the two thorniest issues in the conflict by sharing Jerusalem and settling Arab refugees in Arab countries or a future Palestinian state, but not in Israel. According to Obama, the Old City of Jerusalem would be designated an "international zone".

Israel's President Shimon Peres, who has no authority, also agreed to hand over to the Vatican the sovereignty of the holy sites.

Any Vatican claim to a seat at the negotiating table is undermined by the complicity of the Vatican between 1948 and 1967. During the Jordanian occupation, Judaism's holiest sites were desecrated and Jews were barred from visiting these shrines. The Jordanians built a hotel and a road through the Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives and they used the broken headstones to build the latrines in the construction of the Intercontintental Hotel, which likely rests on burial grounds.

As was its practice during the Holocaust under Pius XII, the Vatican then turned a deaf ear to these gross violations of Jewish human rights.

If Israel would cede Jewish sovereignty on the holy sites, it would mean returning to a time when Jerusalem was separated by a seven-kilometer wall, barbed wire, minefields and bunkers. A tourist visiting the holy city would have found signs warning "Danger — Frontier ahead!", "Snipers nearby" and "shetah hahefker", which in Hebrew means: No-Man's Land.

It would be Sarajevo, not the Holy City of Jerusalem. Giulio Meotti is a journalist with Il Foglio, whose latest book is "A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism." He writes a weekly column for Arutz-7; this article is archived at News/News.aspx/150757

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Posted by Moshe Feiglin, December 15, 2011.

And they said to each other: Here comes the dreamer. And now, let us kill him and we will throw him in one of the pits and we will say that an evil beast ate him and we will see what will be of his dreams. (From this week's Torah portion, Vayeshev, Genesis 37:19-20)

Here come those dreamers again. The people who insist on dreaming the dream that we thought we were rid of. Here they go, climbing up the hilltops and clinging to the Land of Israel, clinging to the dream. Here they come, stronger than us. Their ranks are growing. Soon they will overcome us and rule. We can't override them anymore with democratic tools; they are simply the majority. So we will transfer the authority from the Knesset to the High Court and the media — power hubs not elected by the people. There, on that safe playing field, we will attack them and bring about their destruction — from Gush Katif to the hills of Samaria. There, we will destroy them, we will destroy their legitimacy and we will portray them as violent and dangerous extremists. There we will throw them into a pit. We will deny our responsibility for all the disasters that we have brought upon Israel — from Oslo through the Expulsion. We will say that it is purely coincidental that they are shooting missiles at Ashkelon from the ruins of Neve Dekalim; it is just a strange twist of fate that the world doesn't recognize our right to exist. We will say that it was an evil beast that just happened to be passing by and ate them, those dreamers. Then we will see what will be of their dreams.

But the dream is getting stronger and stronger. We have a destiny in this Land; a destiny without which we could not have guarded our uniqueness for thousands of years. We need Jewish leadership that will fulfill this destiny as its vision; leadership that is connected by its root to Jewish destiny and from which it derives its existential power.

What is Jewish destiny? The Nation of Israel's purpose is to make G-d sovereign over His creations. Our purpose is to bring G-d's Divine Presence into the entire world. This is why we were created and why we have wondrously survived against all historical odds. This is the purpose of the Land of Israel and it is to this end that we received Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

The Holy Temple is the royal palace. In order to make G-d sovereign, His chosen nation must be free and His royal palace must be sovereign. The fear in many Israeli circles of the Temple Mount and Jewish prayer there is the fear of fulfilling our destiny.

The Torah and sovereignty cannot exist without each other. The Torah cannot be completely fulfilled without complete Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel. And conversely, without the Torah and the destiny that it represents, the State is rapidly losing its sovereignty.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moshe Feiglin

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Moshe Feiglin, its cofounder, has emphatically said he does not want a theocracy, but he does want a State based on Jewish values. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit Or contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

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Posted by Janet Lehr, December 15, 2011.


Israel grants amnesty to 51 'wanted' prisoners 04/11/2011 ViewDetails.aspx?ID=435115 The prisoners were all active in the second intifada, or uprising, against Israel from 2000 — 2005. The deal comes weeks after Israel agreed with Hamas to swap over 1,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israeli officials called for coordination with President Mahmoud Abbas'

Fatah faction, which leads the West Bank government, in the second phase of the deal, warning the releases boost Fatah-rivals Hamas.


An Egyptian helicopter on Sunday entered Israeli airspace without authorization, and refused to leave for 25 minutes, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Thursday.

The incident occurred at 5pm, when a mi-8 model helicopter crossed the Israeli-Egypt border near Eilat and continued to fly over the Negev. Four F-16 fighter jets were called up from Nevatim and Ovda airbases. The pilots attempted to contact the Egyptian pilot over the radio, but to no avail.

Only after the IAF jets fired warning shots, the pilot retracted his steps and returned to Egypt.

"The pilot was flying at a low speed, and didn't respond over the radio," said an Air Force official, adding that the reasons behind his excursion were still unclear, but that all possibilities were being examined, including an intelligence gathering mission or an unintentional error.

The official added that the Air Force views this incident with the fullest gravity, noting that they have never encountered a similar situation.

Immediately following the incident, Israel's security establishment filed a complaint with Egypt through the appropriate channels. (Yedioth Ahronoth)


The office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was badly damaged by a firebomb on Wednesday, after it published a spoof issue "guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of the Islamist party in Tunisia's elections. The magazine's website has also been hacked with a message in English and Turkish. The fatwa said: "You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be Allah's curse upon you!" "Charia Hebdo," a play on the French word for Islamic law.

The full article by Giulio Meotti can be found on YNET. Giulio Meotti is a journalist with Il Foglio, whose latest book is "A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism."


Israeli authorities on Friday barred passage of a bus taking released prisoners from the West Bank to make pilgrimage to Mecca, passengers said. Raed Amer, traveling with the group of 86 pilgrims recently freed from Israeli jails in a exchange deal with Hamas, said Israeli forces stopped the buses and forced them to return to the city of Jericho.

Amer protested Israel's continued "punishment" of former detainees by banning them from praying in the holy city of Mecca during the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha, which begins Sunday. "It is not fair at all," he told Ma'an. Palestinian border official Nathmi Mhanna said obstacles out of their control prevented the ex-prisoners from passing.

The Jericho-district Allenby crossing to Jordan, controlled by Israeli authorities, is the sole point of exit for most Palestinians in the West Bank to travel abroad. Israel's border police did not return calls seeking comment.

The pilgrims were released as part of the first stage of deal which freed captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Oct. 18, in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails.

Palestinian Authority religious affairs minister Mahmoud Habash announced Wednesday that Saudi King Abdullah invited 477 Palestinians freed in the first stage of the deal to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, an Islamic obligation. The Saudi king has offered to pay all their expenses for the journey, Habash said.

Gaza's interior ministry said earlier it was preparing the Rafah crossing to Egypt for the passage of pilgrims to Mecca.

Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly Anti-Semitic Book? As the discourse about Israel on university campuses continues to degenerate, there is growing concern that some of Israel's most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism. The recent endorsements by several internationally prominent academics — including John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Richard Falk of Princeton — of an overtly anti-Semitic book written by a notorious Jew-hater illustrate this dangerous trend. mearsheimer-falk-atzmon-anti-semitic-book


Dozens of anti-Israel activists attempted to barge into the Israeli consulate in Boston over the weekend in protest over Israel's seizure of the Canadian-Irish flotilla ships that attempted [and failed] to sail to Gaza. Bearing PA flags, the activists attempted to storm the building but were turned back. They swore to return, shouting slogans about how the "apartheid regime in Israel must fall." The activists were "spillovers" from the Occupy Boston protests, one of many Occupy Wall Street protests, some with anti-Semitic undertones, being held in the U.S. demanding social justice.

Meanwhile, six of the flotilla members who were arrested Friday were released on Saturday night. One of the detainees was an Israeli citizen, Mag'id Ca'il, an Arab from Haifa. He was interviewed by a correspondent of Iranian television who accompanied by the flotilla. In the interview, he claimed he was threatened by IDF soldiers.

Police have been arranging for the deportation of the flotilla members, but several of them told reporters Saturday night that they were refusing to leave Israel. The activists said that they preferred to remain in prison in Israel and go to court in order to make their opinions heard, than to leave voluntarily. (David Lev INN)


A new phase of diplomatic debate approaches regarding the application for recognition of a Palestinian state "with East Jerusalem as its capital." Forty-two percent say they would even try to move to Israel if their neighborhood became part of a new Palestinian state. These findings are from a survey sponsored by The Washington Institute and conducted September 4-10 by Palestinian pollster Dr. Nabil Kukali of the Bethlehem-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), in partnership with the Princeton-based Pechter Middle East Polls. (Pollack, Washington Institute Report)


1-NOVEMBER 8-10, 1938 is known as Kristallnacht-The Night of Broken Glass that began the Nazi reign of terror that didn't end until between 62-78 million people were killed. These figures do not include the Pacific Theater of the war, and, the injured are not noted, and they were considerable.


Whereas 3.9% of the general population were casualties of WW II, 65% of the Jews of Europe were slaughtered mercilessly.

2- As the discourse about Israel on university campuses continues to degenerate, there is growing concern that some of Israel's most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism. The recent endorsements by several internationally prominent academics — including John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Richard Falk of Princeton — of an overtly anti-Semitic book written by a notorious Jew-hater illustrate this dangerous trend.

1>Kristallnacht-The Night of Broken Glass that began the Nazi reign of terror.

by Karol Jonca *
Reprinted with permission from The Holocaust Encyclopedia (Yale University Press). Modern_History/1914-1948/The_Holocaust/ Early_Stages_of_Prosecution/kristallnacht_Prn.shtml

Karol Jonca (1930-2008) was a professor at Wrocław University.

The unprecedented pogrom of November 9-10, 1938 in Germany has passed into history as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). Violent attacks on Jews and Judaism throughout the Reich and in the recently annexed Sudetenland began on November 8 and continued until November 11 in Hannover and the free city of Danzig, which had not then been incorporated into the Reich. There followed associated operations: arrests, detention in concentration camps, and a wave of so-called aryanization orders, which completely eliminated Jews from German economic life.

kristallnacht 1938

The November pogrom, carried out with the help of the most up-to-date communications technology, was the most modern pogrom in the history of anti-Jewish persecution and an overture to the step-by-step extirpation of the Jewish people in Europe.

Jews Leaving Germany

After Hitler's seizure of power, even as Germans were being divided into "Aryans" and "non-Aryans," the number of Jews steadily decreased through emigration to neighboring countries or overseas. This movement was promoted by the Central Office tor Jewish Emigration established by Reinhard Heydrich in 1938.

In 1925 there were 564,378 Jews in Germany; in May 1939 the number had fallen to 213,390. The flood of emigration after the November pogrom was one of the largest ever, and by the time emigration was halted in October 1941, only 164,000 Jews were left within the Third Reich, including Austria.

The illusion that the legal repression enacted in the civil service law of April 1, 1933, which excluded non-Aryans from public service, would be temporary was laid to rest in September 1935 by the Nuremberg Laws — the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor. The Reich Citizenship Law heralded the political compartmentalization of Jewish and Aryan Germans.

Economic Exclusion

The complementary ordinances to the Reich Citizenship Law, dated November 14-28, 1935, sought to define who was a Jew; it also created a basis for measures limiting the scope of Jewish occupations and the opportunities for young Jews to get an education. Following the March 1938 annexation (Anschluss) of Austria, which brought 200,000 Austrian Jews under German domination, exclusion of Jews from the economy began first through the removal of Jewish manufacturers and business chiefs and their replacement by "commissars" in charge of "aryanization," the expropriation of Jewish businesses.

Within a short time, from January to October 1938, the Nazis aryanized 340 middle-sized and small industrial enterprises, 370 wholesale firms, and 22 private banks owned by Jews. The November pogrom was the peak of a series of events intended to expel the Jews from economic life and to force a hurried emigration.

A sequence of normative legislation in 1938 heralded economic despoliation. Under the Law Concerning the Legal Position of the Jewish Religious Community (March 28, 1938), the state subsidy for the Jewish community was withdrawn. Under the decree of April 22, 1938 against "continuing concealment of Jewish business activity," Jews were obliged to declare their assets — an indication that their possessions might be seized.

The Fourth Decree (July 25, 1938) under the Reich Citizenship Law deprived Jewish doctors, as of September 30, of their practices among Jewish patients. An edict by the police president of Breslau dated July 21 ordered that shops and businesses belonging to Jews should bear a notice: "Jewish Firm." Air Ministry political-economic guidelines of October 14, 1938 were accompanied by a recommendation, summed up by Hermann Goring (then head of the ministry): "The Jewish question must now be grasped in every way possible, for they [Jews] must be removed from the economy."

Goring also said that he was in favor of the creation of Jewish ghettos in German towns. His words gave notice of a general anti-Jewish offensive in the coming weeks. The most favorable opportunity for unleashing the attack was afforded by the fatal wounding of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath on November 7th 1938 in Paris by the 16-year-old Polish Jew Herschel Grynszpan.

A Top-Down Pogrom

Ernst vom Rath's death gave the signal to the Reich propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, to unleash the pogrom against the Jews. The news of the death was received by Adolf Hitler during the traditional dinner for the "old fighters" of the Nazi movement, held in the assembly room of the Old Town Hall in Munich on the anniversary of the bloody march on the Feldherrnhalle and the unsuccessful putsch of November 9, 1923.

The atmosphere for announcements of victory or incitements to hate and revenge was optimal, not only in Munich but also among Nazi organizations throughout the country, where Germans awaited the radio transmission of the customary memorial celebration and Hitler's speech. The signal for retaliation had already been given by Goebbels (with Hitler's agreement) in an unusually aggressive speech, which Hitler did not attend. The political propaganda initiative and management of the pogrom was in Goebbels' hands, though he held no written authority from Hitler.

While the Fuhrer went to his Munich apartment, the propaganda minister told the Nazi notables and old fighters present that there had already been acts of revenge on November 8 in Kurhessen and Magdeburg against State Enemy No. 1 — the Jew. Synagogues and shops belonging to Jews had, he said, been destroyed.

His words were understood by his audience to signify "that while the party would not openly appear as the originator of the demonstrations, in reality it would organize them and carry them through" (secret report of supreme party judge Hans Buch to Hermann Goring, February 13, 1939). These intimations were immediately passed on by telephone to the headquarters of the various districts and were followed by telegrams from the Gestapo. Heydrich's secret order, sent by teleprinter to all Gestapo offices and senior SD sections, was transmitted at 1:20 a.m. on November 10.

Once Goebbels had given the Nazi district leaders the impetus to unleash a massive pogrom, the further initiative lay in their hands. The execution of the pogrom, under direction of the highest Nazi party leaders, was entrusted to police and state agencies, to units of the SS, and in part to SA members. By means of the latest communications technology — telephone, teleprinters, police transmitters, and radio — within a few hours the pogrom had reached almost every part of the Reich without meeting any resistance.


During the night of November 9-10, 1938 Jewish shops, dwellings, schools, and above all synagogues and other religious establishments symbolic of Judaism were set alight. Tens of thousands of Jews were terrorized in their homes, sometimes beaten to death, and in a few cases raped. In Cologne, a town with a rich Jewish tradition dating from the first century CE, four synagogues were desecrated and torched, shops were destroyed and looted, and male Jews were arrested and thrown into concentration camps.

Brutal events were recorded in the hitherto peaceful town ships of the Upper Palatinate, Lower Franconia, Swabia, and others. In Hannover, Herschel Grynszpan's home town, the well-known Jewish neurologist Joseph Loewenstein escaped the pogrom when he heeded an anonymous warning the previous day; his home, however, with all its valuables, was seized by the Nazis.

In Berlin, where 140,000 Jews still resided, SA men devastated nine of the 12 synagogues and set fire to them. Children from the Jewish orphanages were thrown out on the street. About 1,200 men were sent to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp under "protective custody." Many of the wrecked Jewish shops did not open again.

Following the Berlin pogrom the police president demanded the removal of all Jews from the northern parts of the city and declared this area "free of Jews." His order on December 5,1 938 — known as the Ghetto Decree — meant that Jews could no longer live near government buildings.

The vast November pogrom had considerable economic consequences. On November 11, 1938 Heydrich, the head of the security police, still could not estimate the material destruction. The supreme party court later established that 91 persons had been killed during the pogrom and that 36 had sustained serious injuries or committed suicide. Several instances of rape were punished by state courts as Rassenschande (social defilement) in accordance with the Nuremberg laws of 1935.

At least 267 synagogues were burned down or destroyed, and in many cases the ruins were blown up and cleared away. Approximately 7,500 Jewish businesses were plundered or laid waste. At least 177 apartment blocks or houses were destroyed by arson or otherwise. It has rightly been said that with the November pogrom, radical violence had reached the point of murder and so had paved the road to Auschwitz.

2> Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly Anti-Semitic Book?

Alan M. Dershowitz
November 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

This article originally appeared in The New Republic. falk-atzmon-anti-semitic-book

As the discourse about Israel on university campuses continues to degenerate, there is growing concern that some of Israel's most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism. The recent endorsements by several internationally prominent academics — including John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Richard Falk of Princeton — of an overtly anti-Semitic book written by a notorious Jew-hater illustrate this dangerous trend.

The book in question is entitled The Wandering Who? and was written by Gilad Atzmon, a British jazz musician. Lest there be any doubt about Atzmon's anti-Semitic credentials, listen to his self-description in the book itself. He boasts about "drawing many of my insights from a man who ... was an anti-Semite as well as a radical misogynist" and a hater of "almost everything that fails to be Aryan masculinity" (89-90). He declares himself a "proud, self-hating Jew" (54), writes with "contempt" of "the Jew in me" (94), and describes himself as "a strong opponent of ... Jewish-ness" (186). His writings, both online and in his new book, brim with classic anti-Semitic motifs that are borrowed from Nazi publications:

Throughout his writings, Atzmon argues that Jews seek to control the world:

* "[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously."

* "American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' [sic] are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy."

Atzmon expands on this theme in The Wandering Who?, repeatedly conflating "the Jews" and "the Zionist":

* He calls the recent credit crunch "the Zio-punch" (22) and says it was not "a Jewish conspiracy" because "it was all in the open" (30).

* Paul Wolfowitz, Rahm Emmanuel, and other members of "the Jewish elite" remain abroad instead of moving to "Zion" because they "have proved far more effective for the Zionist cause by staying where they are" (19).

* The American media "failed to warn the American people of the enemy within" because of money (27).

Atzmon has written that Jews are evil and a menace to humanity:

* "With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum."

* "The Homo Zionicus quickly became a mass murderer, detached from any recognised form of ethical thinking and engaged in a colossal crime against humanity."

Atzmon rehearses many of these ideas in The Wandering Who?:

* "[T]o be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order" (20) and this commitment "pulls more and more Jews into an obscure, dangerous and unethical fellowship" (21).

* If Iran and Israel fight a nuclear war that kills tens of millions of people, "some may be bold enough to argue that 'Hitler might have been right after all'" (179).

Atzmon regularly urges his readers to doubt the Holocaust and to reject Jewish history:

* "It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn't make any historical sense. ... If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein — free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?"

* "[E]ven if we accept the Holocaust as the new Anglo-American liberal-democratic religion, we must allow people to be atheists."

Atzmon reprises some of this language in The Wandering Who?:
* Children should be allowed to question, as he did, "how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of young Goyim's blood were indeed empty or groundless" (185).

* "The Holocaust religion is probably as old as the Jews themselves" (153).

* The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves (175, 182).

Atzmon argues that Jews are corrupt and responsible for "why" they are "hated":

* "[I]n order to promote Zionist interests, Israel must generate significant anti-Jewish sentiment. Cruelty against Palestinian civilians is a favourite Israeli means of achieving this aim."

* "Jews may have managed to drop their God, but they have maintained goy-hating and racist ideologies at the heart of their newly emerging secular political identity. This explains why some Talmudic goy-hating elements have been transformed within the Zionist discourse into genocidal practices."

Atzmon returns to this theme repeatedly in The Wandering Who?:

* The "Judaic God" described in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 "is an evil deity, who leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft" (120). Atzmon explains that "Israel and Zionism ... have instituted the plunder promised by the Hebrew God in the Judaic holy scriptures" (121).

* The moral of the Book of Esther is that Jews "had better infiltrate the corridors of power" if they wish to survive (158).

Finally, Atzmon repeatedly declares that Israel is worse than the Nazis and has actually "apologized" to the Nazis for having earlier compared them to Israel:

* "Many of us including me tend to equate Israel to Nazi Germany. Rather often I myself join others and argue that Israelis are the Nazis of our time. I want to take this opportunity to amend my statement. Israelis are not the Nazis of our time and the Nazis were not the Israelis of their time. Israel, is in fact far worse than Nazi Germany and the above equation is simply meaningless and misleading."

In light of this Der Stürmer-like bigotry against Jews, it should come as no surprise that even some of the most hard-core anti-Israel activists have shunned Atzmon out of fear that his anti-Semitism will discredit their cause. Tony Greenstein, a self-styled "anti-Zionist" who recently participated in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's unprecedented disruption of an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert in London (which Greenstein compared to protesting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1930s), denounced The Wandering Who? as "a poisonous anti-Semitic tome." Sue Blackwell, who co-wrote the Association of University Teachers' motion to boycott Israeli universities in 2005, removed all links to Atzmon from her website and placed Atzmon on her list of "nasties" along with David Irving and Israel Shamir. Socialist Worker, a website that frequently refers to Israeli "apartheid" and publishes articles with titles such as "Israel's murderous violence," removed an interview with Atzmon and called the evidence of Atzmon's anti-Semitism "damning." At least ten authors associated with the Leftist publisher that published The Wandering Who? have called on the publisher to distance itself from Atzmon's views, explaining that the "thrust of Atzmon's work is to normalise and legitimise anti-Semitism."

Hard-core neo-Nazis, racists, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, on the other hand, have happily counted Atzmon as one of their own. David Duke, America's premier white supremacist, has posted more than a dozen of Atzmon's articles on his website over the past five years and recently praised Atzmon for "writ[ing] such fine articles exposing the evil of Zionism and Jewish supremacism." Kevin MacDonald, a professor at Cal State Long Beach whose colleagues formally disassociated themselves from his "anti-Semitic and white ethnocentric views," called Atzmon's book "an invaluable account by someone who clearly understands the main symptoms of Jewish pathology." Israel Shamir, a Holocaust denier ("We must deny the concept of Holocaust without doubt and hesitation") who argues that Jews ritually murdered Christian children for their blood and that "The rule of the Elders of Zion is already upon us," refers to Atzmon as a "good friend" and calls Atzmon one of "the shining stars of the battle" against "the Jewish alliance."

But neither Atzmon's well-established reputation for anti-Semitism nor the copious anti-Semitic filth that fills The Wandering Who? has deterred Professors John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk from actively endorsing Atzmon's work. Mearsheimer, the Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, calls The Wandering Who? a "fascinating" book that "should be read widely by Jews and non-Jews alike." Falk, Milibank Professor of International Law Emeritus at Princeton University and United Nations Special Rapporteur on "human rights in the Palestinian territories," calls The Wandering Who? an "absorbing and moving" book that everyone who "care[s] about real peace" should "not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely." Falk's endorsement appears prominently on the cover of Atzmon's book. Mearsheimer's endorsement is featured on its first page. These professors are not merely defending Atzmon's right to publish such a book; they are endorsing its content and urging their colleagues, students, and others to read and "reflect upon" the views expressed by Atzmon. One wonders which portions of this bigoted screed Professors Mearsheimer and Falk believe their students and others "should" read and "discuss widely."

Mearsheimer has defended his endorsement (on Stephen Walt's blog) by questioning whether his critics have even read Atzmon's book. Well, I've read every word of it, as well as many of Atzmon's blogs. No one who has read this material could escape the conclusion — which Atzmon freely admits — that many of his "insights" are borrowed directly from classic anti-Semitic writings. Mearsheimer claims, however, that he has endorsed only Atzmon's book and not his other writings. But the book itself is filled with crass neo-Nazi rants against the "Jew," "World Jewry," and "Jewish bankers." He claims that "robbery and hatred is imbued in Jewish modern political ideology on both the left and the right" (123). And like other anti-Semites, Atzmon is obsessed in the book with Jewish names. It was Jews, such as Wolfowitz and Libby, who pushed the United States into war against Iraq in the "interests" of "their beloved Jewish state" (26). "How is it that America failed to restrain its Wolfowitzes?" Atzmon asks (27).

Likewise, according to Atzmon's book, it was "Jewish bankers," financiers, economists, writers, and politicians such as Greenspan, Levy, Aaronovitch, Saban, Friedman, Schiff, and Rothschild who have caused the economic and political problems of the world, ranging from the Bolshevik revolution to the wars of the 20th century to the current economic troubles (27,194). And like other classic anti-Semites, Atzmon doesn't simply fault the individual Jews he names; he concocts a worldwide Jewish conspiracy motivated by a "ruthless Zio-driven" (27) "Jewish ideology" (69) that finds its source in "the lethal spirit" (122) of the Hebrew Bible. This sort of conspiratorial drivel is borrowed almost word for word from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — the Czarist forgery that became a staple of Nazi propaganda.

A number of other prominent academics have defended Atzmon and his endorsers. Brian Leiter, the Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School, dismissed the reaction to the book and to Mearsheimer's "straightforward" endorsement as "hysterical" and not "advanc[ing] honest intellectual discourse," though he acknowledges not having read Atzmon's book. On the basis of having perused one brief interview with Atzmon, Leiter is nonetheless prepared to defend him against charges that he is an anti-Semite or a Holocaust denier: "His positions [do not mark him] as an anti-Semite [but rather as] cosmopolitan. ... He does not deny the Holocaust or the gas chambers... ." Leiter should read the book, especially pages 175-176, before leaping to Atzmon's defense. There Atzmon reflects "that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions. We should ask for historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws."

James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Binghamton University, called The Wandering Who? "a series of brilliant illuminations" and praised Atzmon's "courage." The list of academics who have endorsed Atzmon also includes William A. Cook, a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California; Makram Khoury-Machool, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge; and Oren Ben-Dor of the University of Southampton School of Law.

These endorsements represent a dangerous step toward legitimizing anti-Semitic rhetoric on university campuses. If respected professors endorse the views contained in Atzmon's book as "brilliant," "fascinating," "absorbing," and "moving," these views — which include Jewish domination of the world, doubting the Holocaust, blaming "the Jews" for being so hated, and attributing the current economic troubles to a "Zio-punch" — risk becoming acceptable among their students. These endorsements of Atzmon's book are the best evidence yet that academic discourse is beginning to cross a red line, and that the crossing of this line must be exposed, rebutted, and rejected in the marketplace of ideas and in the academy. (Another evidence of this academic trend in Europe appeared recently on Atzmon's website, where he brags that he has been invited to "give a talk on ethics at the Trondheim University" in Norway. This is the same university whose faculty refused to invite me to speak about the Arab-Israel conflict.)

Accordingly, I hereby challenge Professors Mearsheimer and Falk to a public debate about why they have endorsed and said such positive things about so hateful and anti-Semitic a book by so bigoted and dishonest a writer.

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of a daily e-mail called "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at

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Posted by Michael Freund, December 15, 2011.

What a remarkable breath of fresh air.

For the first time in recent memory, a prominent American politician has had the courage to speak some unvarnished truths about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In video footage released on December 9, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told the Jewish Channel, a cable TV network, that the Palestinians are an "invented people."

"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state — it was part of the Ottoman Empire," the former speaker of the House of Representatives said.

"I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and historically part of the Arab community," Gingrich declared.

Whatever one might think of Gingrich's stance on various other political matters, in this case there can be no disputing the historicity of his remarks.

Palestine and the Palestinians are in fact a modern invention, a fiction created with the aim of dismantling Israel and undermining its claim to its ancient patrimony.

Indeed, prior to the 1947 UN partition plan, even Palestinian Arab leaders openly affirmed this to be the case.

Take, for example, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, who testified in 1937 before the Peel Commission, which was established by the British government to investigate the outbreak of Arab violence in British-ruled Palestine. Abdul-Hadi told the commission, that, "There is no such country as Palestine! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria."

A decade later, in May 1947, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee told the UN General Assembly much the same.

Palestinian nationalism only gained steam in subsequent decades, as the Arab states found it to be a useful proxy tool in their ongoing war against the Jewish state. They cultivated a Palestinian national consciousness and identity in order to create a narrative of Arab victimhood and Israeli aggression, which suited their political agenda.

Thanks to the left and the media, the Palestinians' claims to the Land of Israel became amplified and even accepted by a large percentage of people around the world, many if not most of whom do not know the first thing about the history of the Middle East. Sadly, even many Jews are no longer cognizant of or familiar with the historical record and have come to accept Palestinian assertions as true.

But as Gingrich correctly pointed out, there has never in all of history been a Palestinian state.

His comments echoed similar remarks made by the late Golda Meir. In an interview with the Sunday Times on June 15, 1969, Meir said, "There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state?"

Furthermore, she noted, "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."

To our ears, such assertions may sound jarring because they are so at odds with what has come to be accepted as the conventional wisdom. But that is merely because we have succumbed to decades of pro-Palestinian propaganda and indoctrination.

Needless to say, the reaction to Gingrich's remarks by the Palestinians and their supporters was predictably swift and vitriolic. The PLO's Hanan Ashrawi accused Gingrich of "ignorance and racism," while Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called his assertions "despicable" and "the lowest point of thinking anyone can reach."

Neither, of course, dared to challenge Gingrich with evidence, presumably because they have none in their favor. They know he is on to something, and so they resort to name-calling and venom in an effort to delegitimize the opinions he expressed.

But we cannot allow them to succeed. The brouhaha surrounding Gingrich's statements provides an important opportunity for pro-Israel activists to right the historical record and begin to undercut decades of successful Palestinian propagandizing.

We must seize on this opening to remind people of what many have forgotten: Palestine is a myth with no basis in historical reality. Last Saturday night, during a Republican presidential debate, Gingrich was asked about his comments regarding the Palestinians. Refusing to back down, he reiterated that what he said had been factually correct, and added that, "Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth."

Here's hoping others will follow in his wake.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (, which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his first term in office.

This appeared yesterday in the Jewish Press 10868/invention-of-palestine

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Posted by Hal Rosenthal, December 15, 2011.

FROM: Don Juan

"Why do not the Jews believe in one man, one vote, as do AMERICANS?Why can this land not be SHARED by all? And the big question is, "Why does America SUPPORT this apartheid?" Jews were the predominant "freedom riders" in the '60's for blacks, yet they DENY their half-brothers, the Palestinians THEIR humanity............Are there TWO STANDARDS IN PLAY HERE?"

TO: Don Juan

The answers to your questions can be easily determined by asking similar questions of the Palestinians and every Arab country surrounding Israel. Which of them believe in one man one vote as do the Israelis? Certainly not Iran, Syria or even Jordan. The leading political parties in Egypt proclaim, don't vote for a Christian and Christians should not be permitted to run for office. Jews don't exist to vote or run for office. An "election" among the Palestinians resulted in one Party killing the supporters of the other and then splitting the Palestinians by forcefully taking over Gaza. An election that was supposed to have occurred last September was and has been put off.

Why do they not want to share the land with the Jews? That is a question best answered by you or others. They don't want the Jews to exist. Their schools, their political and religious leaders, their books, maps and TV claim there is no Israel and that Jews are "monkeys and pigs." As to your big question "Why does America SUPPORT this apartheid?" Do you define "this apartheid" as a country whose citizens are 20% Arab, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and several other religions, white, black, yellow, straight and gay? Or does the real meaning of apartheid apply to countries who forcefully threw out their Jews who had lived there for centuries, who do not allow the practice of any religion accept Islam or who burn churches and kill Copts? Does treating women as less then human or of killing Gays meet a definition of apartheid?

Only if these surrounding countries reach a level of democracy and respect for all people can there even be a serious discussion about living together or even why they should?

Who are the Jews who were the predominant "freedom riders" in the '60's for blacks? They are the same people who as Israelis supply electricity, fresh water, fuel, food, supplies and free medical services to their half-brothers, the Palestinians who have sworn to kill them. What is your response to examples such as a Palestinian young women whose life was saved by months of free treatment in an Israeli hospital and then returned as a suicide bomber to blow up Israelis in that same hospital waiting for treatment? What are your thoughts about parents who dance in the streets and give out candy in celebration of the suicide of their own children whose life was ended in the "religious act" of killing Israelis? What are your personal reactions to a religion that promises 72 virgins as a reward for killing yourself in the act of butchering Jews? Would you tell us of your humanity to the slitting of throats of a sleeping Israeli family including their six month old infant?

Where is the humanity of the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab countries? There are "TWO STANDARDS IN PLAY HERE."

Contact Hal Rosenthal at

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Posted by David Ha'ivri, December 14, 2011.

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed makes clear in response to an inquiry that the media reports concerning violent incidents in the Shomron are an example of the media's notorious hyperbole.

From Rabbi Eliezer Melamed

Question: Rabbi, what is your reaction to the violent incidents which took place Monday night in the Shomron against the Brigadier Commander, Deputy Brigadier Commander, and soldiers?

Answer: I don't know exactly what happened, but of one thing I am sure: Whatever the media reports is extremely exaggerated.

The mainstream media and IDF spokesmen's reputation for this — and I do not mean the soldiers themselves and their dedicated field officers — has been acquired over many years. There hasn't been one story with whose facts I was personally familiar that was reported correctly.

And I'm not talking about a slight falsification due to human error, or even prejudice owing to a leftist viewpoint which misinterprets events, but of intentional bias.

The I.D.F. spokesmen undertake this method because this is the nature of an army. The army uses all the means in its possession to beat the enemy — including falsifying, exaggerating, diversion, etc.

Woe unto us if the army did not prepare itself in such a way against the enemy.

But woe unto us that in recent years the government and the Minister of Defense use the army and its methods against the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria — representatives of the Jewish nation throughout history.

The distorted reporting in the mainstream media stems from a clear mobilization to malign the 'settlers' by all possible means, in order to prepare public opinion to destroy the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Now too, the motivation to defame the 'settlers' and to spead division in their ranks by inciting a wave of condemnations within their camp is clear — to open the way for the destruction of the outposts.

And behold, the scheme has succeeded. According to reports, the Prime Minister, from the Likud Party, assembled the security forces to deal with a "hard hand" against "Jewish Terror" — in other words, to plan a wild destruction of houses in the outposts.

My position has developed out of long, personal experience. Many of you remember media slander against me when the Defense Minister decided to remove the Har Bracha Yeshiva from the Hesder program. But here I'll tell you one example among many.

The "Broken Leg" of Battalion Commander of the Paratroopers, Guy Hazut

On the eve of the last day of Pesach 2006, I was in Kfar HaRo'eh, when I heard the news on the radio that a serious confrontation had occurred between settlers in Har Bracha and soldiers, and that settlers had closed the town's gate on the commander's leg, and his leg was broken.

I was hurt and very angry: how could people from our community dare to do such a thing?

I knew that the media does not like us, but never in my mind did I think they would make-up something that didn't happen. Knowing the heavy iron gate of the entrance to the community, I thought that a group of people confronted the battalion commander, and forcefully closed the gate on his foot as he tried to enter the town.

The truth was quite different. The gate about which they wrote is a small and light three foot-tall fence, a goats' enclosure located on a hilltop two kilometers from the community. The Battalion Commander chased after a boy, whom he alleged had previously thrown stones at an Arab vehicle at a place four kilometers away from the community. During the chase, the Battalion Commander ran into a small post of the gate and hit his foot.

The allegedly injured Battalion Commander managed to move around the area for another half hour, but blamed the 'settlers' according to the media, and ordered his troops to close the two roads leading to the settlement — which at the time numbered a hundred and fifty families.

All this on the eve of the holiday. Residents of the settlement coming home from hospital stays were not allowed to return to their homes for a long time. Meanwhile, in three different incidents, Battalion Commander Hazut's soldiers threatened Jewish residents with arms.

It should be noted (as the Jews in exile would point out to prove their loyalty when they would try to persuade the authorities to go easy on them) that among the community and Yeshiva, there were more than two hundred and fifty soldiers who served in both regular and reserve duty at the time. They and their families were threatened by the instigated soldiers with cocked weapons.

The Work of Guy Hazut in the Media

Guy Hazut is media savvy.. Every event that he participated in reached the media in real time, "on line" — reported according to his anti-Yesha perspective. After concluding his altercation with the residents, he went to the hospital to check his leg, while, at the same time, spread the slander that the 'settlers' had broken his leg. At the hospital, the Battalion Commander's foot was found to be unbroken and he was released immediately. Residents from the community contacted various reporters to deny the fabricated story, but the media continued to publish it as if the 'settlers' had beaten and injured the commander.

The bad publicity that Guy Hazut gave the community and its residents was difficult to clear. There was no point in arguing — no one would listen.

The only thing to learn from this is — do not believe the leftist media and, unfortunately, the army spokesman.

Lies in Hevron

I gave this example because, as of this writing, Guy Hazut has not yet apologized.

Hazut is now the Hebron Brigade commander, and in his territory, one of his soldiers accidentally killed Rabbi Dan Marzbach ztz"l. And on that very morning, a smoke screen of lies, falsification, and defamation against Rabbi Marzbach arose, insinuating that he was guilty of his own killing.

Two months earlier, also in Hevron, I.D.F. spokesmen simply and brazenly lied about the horrific murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son Jonathan, blaming him for the car accident in which they died by claiming he fell asleep at the wheel.

Only after the stubborn struggle of family, friends and public figures who did not give up, the truth was revealed and it was admitted that they were killed due to massive stone throwing that caused Asher to lose control of his car — and that truth had already been known from the beginning.

The IDF commander and the spokesman knew it — the fact is that the army immediately canceled the vacations of the soldiers in Judea and Samaria for "fear of settler response" before admitting that the deaths were willful murder.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamed is Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and a prolific author on Jewish Law, and one of the most active National Religious leaders. This article was translated from his popular weekly column "Revivim" which appears in the "Basheva" newspaper. According to official media surveys, his column is the most widely read editorial amongst the religious and ultra-Orthodox public in Israel. Rabbi Melamed's articles also appear at:

David Ha'ivri is Executive Director of The Shomron Liaison Office. Contacct him by email at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 14, 2011.

Or perhaps I should ask, ARE they thinking?

Let's start with our prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. As I write, the Mughrabi Bridge has been opened, on his orders. One of the concerns, when the wooden bridge was shut down, was that it was a fire hazard. So, guess what? There will be a fire engine stationed near the bridge at all time, in case it catches fire.

You don't need to rub your eyes, to see if you are reading this correctly. You are.

But this doesn't address the fact that the bridge is said to also be in danger of collapsing. What? The firemen will watch if it collapses and see if they can help any of the people who tumble down?

Reportedly additional repair work will be done on the bridge — although I have no sense of how quickly. Seems there are plans to paint it with a fire-retardant substance, and to shore it up so that it will not be so unstable. But if this is the way the situation is to be handled — sidestepping for the moment the question of whether this is a wise way to handle it — does it not make sense at a bare minimum that no one should have been permitted on that bridge until that work was done?


Understand what we are seeing:

It is Netanyahu's style to walk a tightrope, trying to please everyone at once. Now this pattern has been carried to a painful extreme.

He hasn't the courage to face down the war-mongering Arabs who threaten us and accuse us of all sorts of vile things, and to proceed with plans to replace the bridge. But is under pressure from within Israel regarding the right of Jews to go up to the Mount. And apparently he wasn't interested in pursuing the option of the Chain Gate as an alternative.

What he has settled for is a ludicrous "compromise." And with this, he is doing two things:

At an immediate level, he is permitting people to walk that bridge when there is a risk to them that it might collapse. This is unconscionable. The Jerusalem municipal attorney has been yelling about this very thing. Some weeks ago, I read the comments of a tour guide who said she used to bring her clients up on the Mount, but she now declines to do so because the last time she used the bridge, she felt it shaking.


But in doing this, he has managed to undercut (or politically outflank) critics such as Rabbi Chaim Richman and MK Danny Danon, both of whom I wrote about yesterday, and both of whom were incensed by the fact that Jews were not being permitted on the Mount. What is more, he has done it without the political battle with the Wakf that might have ensued (who knows?) had he tried to open an alternate gate such as the Chain Gate.


At another level, however, Netanyahu's behavior has enormous repercussions for Israel. I wrote yesterday about cowardice, and about this being a war over sovereignty. Now our prime minister, showing himself vulnerable, has blinked. This is no small matter.

He should have faced them down.

Unfortunately he was silent while Hamas and the PA were carrying on. He should have called a press conference and stated Israel's case:

He doesn't know what all the hysteria is about. This bridge is on sovereign Israeli territory, and it is Israel's right and responsibility to maintain it properly. Any fabrication about Israeli intent to damage the Al Aksa Mosque is pure malicious incitement. UNESCO had cleared the plans for replacing the bridge. Officials of UNESCO, as well as officials of Hamas and the PA, know full well that the bridge replacement does not involve the Temple Mount at all.

Israel has two obligations: To ensure that Jews and other non-Muslims have continuous access to the Mount. And to replace the wooden bridge to the Mughrabi Gate — which was considered only temporary when it was put up and is now unsafe — with a sturdy permanent bridge. Israel fully intends to meet those obligations.

Israel's intentions are only peaceful. Therefore it is exceedingly regrettable that our responsible actions with regard to the bridge have been interpreted as "a declaration of war." War should never be mentioned lightly, but if war is intended by others, our armed forces are strong, and always prepared.


Then he should have seen to opening of the Chain Gate as a temporary alternative, so that Jews would not be prevented from going up to the Mount. He should have ordered the demolition of the bridge and its replacement with a new sturdy one, according to plans that had been drafted.

And he should have sent out the troops into eastern Jerusalem and into Judea and Samaria, to immediately quell any rioting that might ensue from his decision. The message should have been communicated clearly that Israel does not shrink from appropriate actions because of a threat of Arab violence. When the Israeli government caves in the face of that threat, there is no end. We are permitting them to be in a position of controlling us.


For the record, the meeting of the Knesset Committee of Internal Affairs is, as of today, still scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss this issue.


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat is not at all happy with the prime minister's decision, and the municipality put out a statement that read in part:

"The government's helplessness in dealing with this hazardous and dilapidated nuisance at the heart of the Western Wall and entrance to Temple Mount is regrettable."


Indeed regrettable. And so, my friends, it is time, again, for Prime Minister Netanyahu to hear from us.

As always, I implore you to keep your messages to him courteous, and short. No lectures, no history lessons.

The major issue is one of maintaining Israel sovereignty and not backing off in the face of Arab threats of violence. Let him know that what he done, with his decision regarding the bridge, has weakened Israel and made her more vulnerable.

His other responsibilities include making certain that Jews have continuous access to the Mount, and ensuring that a shaky and dangerous bridge that might collapse is not utilized, even for a short period of time.

In light of all of this, it is clear that he should have proceeded with the original plans for replacing the bridge, arranging an alternate means of accessing the Mount while the work was being done — and that he should not have let Arab threats deter him from this appropriate path. If Arab rioting ensued in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, it should have been dealt with.

E-mail: and also (underscore after pm) use both addresses

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)


And now let's turn to the US president, Barack Obama. He makes Netanyahu seem resolute and strong. Even wise. It's that bad.

It is unlikely that anyone reading this is unaware of the fact that a cutting edge US RQ-170 drone went down inside of Iran. The Iranians claimed to have shot it down, but this is not the case because it is intact. Apparently a malfunction brought it down (or there are suggestions it was jammed by equipment supplied to Iran from Russia).

The Iranians have it and have displayed it proudly. And so there is available to them both intelligence and the technology for how to build such drones. A serious matter.

According to Fox News, citing a US official, Obama "was presented with three separate options for retrieving or destroying the drone" — a special-ops team to retrieve the drone; sending in a team to blow up the aircraft; and launching an airstrike to destroy it.

However, Obama turned them all down because "it could have been seen as an act of war."

Can you stand it? I cannot.

The US is dealing here with the most dangerous nation in the world. The means to prevent it from obtaining intelligence that compromises the US is available, and the commander-in-chief declines to use it??

I think members of the American intelligence community, not to mention the military, must be beside themselves. Certainly Israeli intelligence is aghast.

Former vice president Dick Chaney tore into Obama on this, saying, 'The right response would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it. You can do that from the air and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone..."


But we're not done with the story yet. What Obama did, making himself look exceedingly foolish, is ASK the Iranians to give it back.

That is something that will not happen. Obviously. Or, as Chaney said, perhaps after they've extracted all the intelligence from it they can garner and then send it back in pieces. Ahmadinejad went on TV and bragged about having control of a plane that was once secret. He said, "The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane. We now have control of this plane."

How can Obama look at himself in the mirror? WHAT was he thinking?

This is not an idle question. Either he is naive and incredibly stupid. Or his intentions will not bear scrutiny.

Pamela Geller, writing on Atlas Shrugs, pulls no punches. "Does Obama want a universal caliphate?" she asks. In other words, which side is he on?


Everyone who is still thinking of voting for Obama the next time around needs to ask some serious questions with regard to this situation. Is this someone you truly want sitting in the Oval Office?


Speaking of the Oval Office, I will end with some comments by Daniel Greenfield, writing as Sultan Knish, on Gingrich. The name of his piece is "Anyone but Obama."

"...Gingrich is better on the issues. Gingrich currently seems better under fire but everyone keeps saying that he's bound to implode. We'll see...

"On foreign policy Gingrich wins by a landslide...

"Romney is probably a surer bet for winning the election...but I would be more comfortable with Gingrich in the Oval Office, because when the 3 AM call comes in, I don't think he'll work out a consensus and then bring the least controversial response to the table.

"Gingrich is a survivor who keeps bouncing back. He's the dog with a ball who won't let it go. There's something admirable about that. It's the attitude of a man who might be able to make it through the firestorm." 2011/12/anyone-but-obama.html

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Jerry Gordon, December 14, 2011.

Appeasement of the smirking intolerant Muslim delegations by the 'oh so' tolerant Obama Administration at this Islamophobia conference in Washington signals the demise of liberty, freedom of expression and separation of Mosque from State under our First Amendment......


When we interviewed Nina Shea, of the Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom, in the November NER, we raised the issue of the so-called Islamaphobia Conference that started yesterday, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Shea noted how foul a prospect it was for the Obama Administration to have convened this conference. Note this exchange in our interview with Shea:

Gordon: Did the Obama administration join with Egypt in furthering the agenda of the OIC?

Shea: Yes. And that's the second troubling development I had in mind. The Obama Administration has gone down a path of trying to find common ground with the OIC on this issue. One of their efforts was a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) hate speech Resolution in 2009 that the US co-sponsored with Egypt, which represented the OIC. That resolution calls for states to implement religious hate speech legislation. It was clearly directed at criticism of Islam. But the problem didn't start there. It started with the June 2009 speech that President Obama gave in Cairo. That speech had a little noticed statement to the effect that Obama understands that it is part of his responsibility as President to do everything he can to fight against "negative stereotyping of Islam" wherever it appears: Note, he was calling for shielding from critical speech the religion of Islam, not Muslims, and not any other religion. What that means we don't quite know yet. However, that speech has been a blueprint for the administration's foreign policy with the Muslim world. One of the things that grew out of it was the UNHRC resolution in 2009. There is now a new step: The Obama Administration has invited the OIC to a conference in Washington in December to discuss how to combat speech that negatively stereotypes Islam. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced this when she co-chaired an OIC conference in Istanbul, Turkey, last July. She says that the implementation measures will not include laws limiting speech but the OIC representatives make clear that that is precisely what they aim to achieve at the Washington conference. It is a scandal that the US is partnering on an issue regarding free speech with an organization like the OIC that is committed to undermining free speech.

In today's NRO, Shea addressed why this Conference in Foggy Bottom is such a bad idea in her post, D.C. Islamophobia Conference Was a Bad Idea.

Yesterday marked the opening of the international conference announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a high-level meeting on Islamophobia that she co-chaired, held last July in Istanbul and hosted by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). At the time, Secretary Clinton described this week's conference as a move to implement U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on "combating [religious] intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization."

This State Department conference, entitled "The Istanbul Process," is proving to be a very bad idea. It remains to be seen whether speech limitations to protect religion generally and Islam specifically will be officially endorsed by the conference — similar recommendations have already been adopted by the OIC and by the EU conference participants — but, judging from the opening session, at least some of my misgivings seem well founded.

The three-day conference was closed to the public, but I was invited to its opening session (as well as to the closing session to be held on Wednesday) by virtue of my being a commissioner on the official but independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. "Chatham House Rules," which State directed us to abide by, forbid releasing anything about a specific delegation or quoting for attribution.

To speak more generally, then: legal and security officials of a delegation which will remain unnamed gave a sweeping overview of American founding principles on religious freedom and how they have been breached time and again in American history by attacks against a broad variety of religious minority groups — including now against Muslims. A raft of current cases was mentioned; America's relative exemplary and distinctive achievement in upholding religious freedom in an emphatically pluralistic society was not. That same speaker reassured the audience, which was packed with diplomats from around the world, that the Obama administration is working diligently to prosecute American Islamophobes and is transforming the U.S. Justice Department into the conscience of the nation, though it could no doubt learn a thing or two from the assembled delegates on other ways to stop persistent religious intolerance in America.

Across the room, smirking delegates from some of the world's most repressive and intolerant regimes could be spotted, furiously taking notes.

The Saudi Justice Minister was recently in the U.S. but unfortunately departed before the conference opened and won't be making any presentation on how the Saudis stop religious intolerance. Nor will his delegation be making any apologetic mention of the Saudi ban on churches, its repression of its large indigenous Shiite population, its textbooks teaching that Jews should be killed, or its beheading yesterday of a woman for sorcery, in addition to another recent beheading of a Sudanese man for the same crime.

Meanwhile, at U.N. headquarters in New York, a new resolution following on 16/18 has been introduced by the OIC and will soon be voted on by the General Assembly, where it will no doubt passed with U.S. approval. It singles out for praise regarding the promotion of religious tolerance one state — Saudi Arabia.

Nina Shea is director of Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and co-author with Paul Marshall of Silenced: How Apostasy & Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 14, 2011.

Foreign states intervened in some Arab crises but not in Syria. Why the inconsistency? By now the Assad regime in Syria has killed 4,000 people and arrested thousands more.

Syria is Iran's Arab proxy and supporter of Hizbullah's domination of Lebanon in behalf of Iran. Iran has warned that it would repulse any foreign intervention in Syria and in addition would attack Turkey. Iran threatens to attack NATO radar positions in Turkey, which is intervening in Syria. That means war.

Iran also might try to block the oil shipping lane or get Shiites in other oil extracting countries to attack pipelines, as the Bedouin are doing in Sinai. That, too, would be the road to war. If the war brought down the clerical regime, its replacement might cancel agreements with China, which has invested millions of dollars in Iranian oil. Ensuing Chinese unemployment might cause a flood of Chinese migrants to Russia. Russia fears losing control of its country that way.

An economic blow to China may keep China from recycling its purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. The U.S. would become unable to finance its deficits.

The same war might damage Russian investment in Iran and Syria, including Russia's access to Mediterranean ports.

A NATO attack on Syria would jeopardize the thousands of European companies that invested billions of dollars in Iranian industry. If the war is not contained, it could spread harm to regional economies, prompting millions of people to migrate to Europe.

The fall of the Assad regime might fracture Syria into its component communities. That would remove one threat from Israel but raise others. Syrian army weapons might fall into Hizbullah hands. Deposed terrorists may go out for vengeance, picking on Israel, Turkey, Europe, and the U.S... Refugees might try to get into Israel. If Israel barred them, it would seem inhumane [or would be made to seem inhumane]. If it accepted them temporarily, the migrants might not leave. [And they are an enemy people.] Then people would tell Israel, so long as you accepted Arabs from Syria, you should take in the so-called Palestinian Arabs.

Syria gone from Iran's axis, Iran may try all the harder to replace it with Iraq.

Sadly, the UN does not help and government motives are their [perceived] economic and military interests, not ethics or human rights. The Syrian regime may get a deserved comeuppance, but most of the world is afraid to rock that boat ( 12/2/11 from The Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation)Bar-Ilan University Middle Eastern Insights No. 13) 2011/11/israel-in-increasingly- islamist-middle.html).

Some of the concerns stated by the author are ethical ones. The war, misery, and oppression liable to be unleashed by the war may outweigh the Assad regime's harm to its own people. The problems were to: (1) Investing in Iran, going into debt sold to China, and letting rogues build up into grave menaces; (2) Not to insist on firm border control and deportation of illegal aliens; and (3) Israeli ruling class' ambivalence about Zionism and the rights of the Jewish people, an ambivalence that keeps Israel from making the Jewish case and standing up to hostile foreign criticism.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Daily Alert, December 14, 2011.

This is by Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and United Press International. It appeared in the Washington Times


The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, December 13, 2011.

The saying, every cloud has a silver lining; look on the bright side of things has a greater meaning nowadays than ever.

Just peep through the window onto the world and you will understand why. The dark clouds cover any ray of sunshine.

What you see is a world in deep unrest and greatly unsettled. There are wars and conflicts everywhere. The worldwide economy is troublesome and the people are very much confused.

This week, a ray of sunshine sparked through the clouds when Newt Gingrich had finally muster the courage to call for the end of the lying about the Middle East, the courage the Israeli government haven't got yet. Indeed, in 1964, the Arabs, under the command of Noble Peace Prize Laureate terrorist Yasser Arafat invented a nation, mind you a badly devised invention, the Palestinian Nation. And where were the Israelis at that time? The Israelis conceded to call a bunch of Arabs "Palestinians" and with that they gave them the right of way to operate under the lie and deceit in order to succeed in their plan to destroy Israel. And today, the Israelis are still stubborn to call them "Palestinians," meaning, they are helping them to destroy their country. How about calling them simply Arabs and irritate the daylight out of them? Why not finally state that the Arabs are allergic to peace with Israel?

Did the world have to wait for Newt Gingrich to tell the truth? No. But a confused and, by design, misinformed world, prefers to sink in lies, well associated with its hate for Israel and Jews.

Israel or the West must end surrendering to terrorism by granting these genocidal killers just what they want and are after — an ongoing public relations triumph and a strategic victory.

Mr. Gingrich, however, came short of what he needed to say loud and clear: the USA must end funding these Arabs, as the USA does not fund terrorists, and Israel must stop all negotiations with them as, neither the USA or Israel negotiate with terrorists, and, the USA must bomb Iran now, as no other mean will stop this ruthless regime from acquiring nuclear arsenal that endangers the entire world. Never, in the history of the world, there was a greatest threat to humanity than from Iran, should it acquire nuclear weapons.

Genocidal Iran is in its advanced stage to own nuclear arsenal and the world is sitting idle by rather than stopping this ominous regime in its nuclear track. The free world is fearing to bomb this rogue state and destroy its nuclear facilities so that the world can be safe, leaving a room for a Moslem mushroom cloud.

This picture, as seen out of the window to the world, is gloomy and by far not a nice view.

The Silver Line will be drawn by the people if so they choose to draw it.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, December 13, 2011.

This was written by Evelyn Gordon. It appeared in Commentary Magazine and is archived at 2011/12/13/the-real-threat-to- peace-is-western-support-of- palestinian-rejectionism/


As Jonathan correctly noted yesterday, it's ridiculous to assert that Israeli-Palestinian peace is threatened by plans to build 40 new homes inside a settlement that everyone knows will remain Israeli under any agreement. But if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would like to see a genuine obstacle to peace, I suggest he study what happened at a conference of Mediterranean writers in Marseille last week: An Israeli author was kicked off a panel discussion because a Palestinian writer refused to sit at the same table with him.

Organizer Pierre Assouline told Haaretz that in the previous two years, Palestinian writers refused to attend the conference at all because Israelis were present. This year, poet Najwan Darwish agreed to show up, but only if he didn't have to participate on the same panels as any Israeli authors. When he discovered that he was in fact listed as speaking on one panel together with Israeli Moshe Sakal, he told Assouline he would boycott the discussion unless Sakal was ousted. And Assouline, deciding that Sakal in any case wasn't important to the issue at hand (the Arab Spring), acquiesced.

It is, of course, problematic that Palestinian authors refuse to even sit in the same room with Israeli authors, who as a group (and Sakal is no exception) are overwhelmingly critical of Israeli government policy and consistently advocate greater concessions to the Palestinians. If Palestinian intellectuals won't deign to talk even with the Israelis most supportive of their cause, it's hard to see how a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace could ever emerge.

Far more problematic, however, was the response of Darwish's Western enablers: Instead of telling him that such boycotts won't be tolerated, the conference organizers cravenly capitulated to his demands. Moreover, this decision was supported by many of the conference-goers: While half the audience was angry, Assouline related, "the other half was thrilled."

This is the problem of the entire peace process in a nutshell: Much of the Western political, cultural, and intellectual elite cravenly acquiesces in Palestinian rejectionism, and thereby encourages its continuance. What Assouline did was essentially no different from what Ban Ki-moon does when he condemns plans to build 40 houses in Efrat but never utters a peep about the real obstacles to peace — like Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any borders, or his refusal to negotiate with Israel's prime minister even during the 10 months when Israel acceded to his demand for a freeze on settlement construction. Just as Assouline and his colleagues effectively agreed that Sakal's presence, rather than Darwish's boycott, was the problem, Western leaders who routinely condemn construction in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem or major settlement blocs while remaining silent on such issues as Palestinian

refusal to recognize a Jewish state are effectively agreeing that the problem is Israel's very existence — even in areas that everyone knows will be part of Israel under any deal — rather than Palestinian opposition to this existence.

And as long as such Palestinian rejectionism continues to receive Western support, Palestinians will have no incentive whatsoever to abandon it. 2011/12/13/the-real-threat-to- peace-is-western-support-of- palestinian-rejectionism/

Contact Barbara Taverna by email at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 13, 2011.

Before I delve more deeply into subjects already discussed, I want to share the link to the latest video of Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister. You may have seen his earlier videos, which dealt with subjects such as the true nature of the "1967 border."

They were great, and so is this one, which looks at the issue of refugees in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is both with regard to the "refugees" in perpetuity, sustained in their limbo status for political reasons by UNRWA, and the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who are very rarely mentioned.

See this, please, and share it: watch?v=g_3A6_qSBBQ


The Temple Mount and the Mughrabi Bridge.

The over-riding message here is that Jewish rights are being abrogated, and the government is not acting to ensure those rights.

I spoke today with Rabbi Chaim Richman, Director of the International Department for The Temple Institute. With considerable justification, he is angry. Angry because those Jewish rights are being ignored. There is no place in the world more holy to the Jews than the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit). Yet in the morass of decisions that passes for government policy on this issue right now, the Jewish ability to ascend the Mount is relegated to the unimportant.

There is, he says, relevant Israeli legislation: The Protection of Holy Places Law of 1967. It mandates freedom of access to holy places for all groups, and the Israeli government is exceedingly scrupulous about guarding those rights — for other groups.

There is also a High Court ruling that says that Jews may pray on the Mount. But the Israeli police won't permit it because it will be seen as a provocation by the Muslims.

Where, asks Rabbi Richman, is the sense of dignity and Jewish heritage? What is being communicated is vulnerability.


Rabbi Richman said today that, while this situation could change at any moment, the police are now saying that there will be no ascent [to the Mount, by Jews or other non-Muslims] until further notice.

I asked him whether it was true, as I had read, that if another gate is opened, the Muslim Wakf has to approve its use [the JPost said the opening had to be "coordinated" with the Wakf]. "It's true," replied Rabbi Richman, "but who says so?" That is, who grants the Wakf this authority?

Good question, for which I was unable to find an answer today. I tried to imagine a scenario in which Israeli authorities unilaterally opened the alternate Chain Gate. Would Muslim police on the Mount block those who tried to enter?

This is hypothetical, because it is extremely unlikely the Israeli government would act unilaterally in this respect. But if the answer is not clear, it is because we are witnessing a turf war — a war of sovereignty, in which we find no clear cut answers, but a huge amount of political bombast.


After speaking to the rabbi, I talked with MK (Member of the Knesset) Danny Danon (Likud). He has been speaking out on this issue and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu directly to insist that the Chain Gate be opened in the interim. He didn't tell me how the prime minister responded.

Danon was cited in the JPost as saying:

"We can't let even one day pass without letting Jews on the Temple Mount. If they don't do the renovation immediately, we need at least to allow this for people. Every day is important."

When I asked Danon about the Wakf having to approve the opening of another gate, he said he didn't know about that. His understanding is that the Minister of Internal Security — Yitzhak Aharonovitch of Yisrael Beitenu — makes the decision in consultation with the prime minister.

Danon further said that he had called for a special hearing of the Knesset Committee of Internal Affairs for next Monday.


In the meanwhile, the Muslim world is playing this situation to the hilt. And it is nothing short of ludicrous.

Hamas warned yesterday that the closure of the Mughrabi Bridge is tantamount to a "declaration of war" on Muslim holy sites.

Run that by me again?

"This is a serious step that shows the Zionist scheme of aggression against the al-Aksa Mosque," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum. "This is a violent act that amounts to a declaration of religious war on the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem."

Wait. Closing a bridge used only by non-Muslims that is not on the Mount but which leads to the Mount represents a war on Muslim holy places?

But that's not what the PA is saying. The PA, while it concurs that Israel has no jurisdiction over Muslim holy places, has a different take:

PA Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh has declared that Israel decided to close the br restart the peace process.


And what we heard from Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, chairman of the Islamic Wakf Department in Jerusalem, was that there would be an "explosion" if the bridge was destroyed: "Demolishing the bridge would be seen as an assault on the al-Aksa Mosque."

The sheikh referred to the Mughrabi Gate as "one of the main gates to the mosque." That was really news to me.


Are these clowns, then, what keeps our prime minister immobilized? Rabbi Richman spoke of his vulnerability in this situation. Seems to me the Muslims can smell it.

As it is, Netanyahu has been very quiet.

Stay tuned...


Then, a return to the subject of Newt Gingrich, about whom a great deal is being said these days.

The major proviso that is being expressed with regard to Newt (and I thank those who sent me some of this material) is that he is tremendously audacious and a loose cannon, not sufficiently disciplined to speak with discretion. As Peggy Noonan, referring to him as both inspiring and disturbing, said:

"There are many good things to say about Newt Gingrich. He is compelling and unique, and, as Margaret Thatcher once said, he has 'tons of guts.'

"But this is a walk on the wild side."

While Debra J. Saunders, writing on Townhall, said that Gingrich's "career [is] capped with dazzling successes — followed by easily avoidable disasters stoked by Gingrich's supersize ego."


OK. Could be. Maybe.

Taking a different perspective, Jay Clarke, writing on American Thinker, observed:

"Newt Gingrich is a failure. A flawed, failed, weak human being. But then again, isn't everyone? When we are finally called to meet our Maker, there isn't one human being who has ever lived who can lay claim to perfection.

"...according to Newt, he's changed. He's older. Wiser. "...There are no perfect candidates just as there are no perfect people. America's Founders were less than perfect. Washington, Jefferson, and Madison held slaves. Adams was highly abrasive and had an explosive temper...

"If a 'perfect' and unblemished presidential candidate is ever found, you can be sure that he/she has been manufactured and groomed by media consultants and political operatives. What you see definitely won't be what you get.

"And is that what America really wants?"


There are no perfect candidates. Pretty much what I've been thinking. What has to be looked at is which imperfect candidate best fits the bill.

For me, as for many others reading this, the first criterion is the ability to beat Obama: He must be a one-term president, for the sake of the US, and Israel, and the western world. And my take is that Newt is best suited for this task, in part precisely because of his audacity and courage and self-confidence. Because he has "lots of guts." Obama is not going to wage a clean fight, my friends.


By speaking a truth that is not politically correct, Gingrich has stimulated a long-overdue dialogue and energized the campaign.

David Horowitz, founder and head of the Freedom Center, writing on Hudson NY, says, "Gingrich Gets It Right."

While Caroline Glick's piece today is entitled, "Gingrich's fresh hope":

"When Romney criticized Gingrich's statement as unhelpful to Israel, Gingrich replied, 'I feel quite confident that an amazing number of Israelis found it nice to have an American tell the truth about the war they are in the middle of, and the casualties they are taking and the people around them who say, "They do not have a right to exist and we want to destroy them."'

"And he is absolutely right. It was more than nice. It was heartening."

In her last paragraph she writes:

"Gingrich's statement of truth was not an act of irresponsible flame throwing. It was the beginning of an antidote to Obama's abandonment of truth and reason in favor of lies and appeasement. And as such, it was not a cause for anger. It was a cause for hope."

Please, see her full piece, which provides important historical details. e/2011/12/gingrichs-fresh-hope.php


Lastly (for now), with regard to Gingrich, I see as well that he is a man who not only understands historical truths, but is capable of generating action:

He was architect of the "Contract with America" and at the forefront of the Republican Party success in the 1994 Congressional elections that ended 40 years of Democratic majority rule. As House speaker, he worked with President Clinton to limit public welfare, pass a capital gains tax cut, and pass the first balanced budget since 1969.

His capacity to get things done and his experience would stand him in good stead, it seems to me, should he be the one to face the challenges of leading the next American administration.


Please see this very important article by Avi Goldreich, "A Tour of Palestine; The Year Is 1695."

This puts the lie to Palestinian Arab claims of an ancient heritage in the Land. goldreich.palestina.html

See also Yoram Ettinger's "Who are the Palestinians," for additional pertinent information: OpEd/OpEd---Israel-Hayom/ Who-are-the-Palestinians-.aspx

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, December 13, 2011.

Contrary to political correctness, Palestinian Arabs have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial; no Palestinian state ever existed, no Palestinian People was ever robbed of its land and there is no basis for the Palestinian "claim of return."

Most Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the 1845-1947 Muslim migrants from the Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan and Balochistan.

Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British Mandate (which defeated the Ottomans in 1917) for infrastructure projects: The port of Haifa, the Haifa-Qantara, Haifa-Edrei, Haifa-Nablus and Jerusalem-Jaffa railroads, military installations, roads, quarries, reclamation of wetlands, etc. Illegal Arab laborers were also attracted by the relative economic boom, stimulated by Jewish immigration.

According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12), "The increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas, affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent."

As a result of the substantial 1880-1947Arab immigration — and despite Arab emigration caused by domestic chaos and intra-Arab violence — the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17, 12 and 5 times.

The (1831-1840) conquest, by Egypt's Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian migrants settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tul-Karem up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. The British traveler, H.B. Tristram, identified, in his 1865 The Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine (p. 495), Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.

The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented that Egyptian neighborhoods proliferated in the Jaffa area: Saknet el-Mussariya, Abu Kebir, Abu Derwish, Sumeil, Sheikh Muwanis, Salame', Fejja, etc. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, including Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Balochis. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in Ara' Arara', Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.

Many of the Arabs who fled in 1948, reunited with their families in Egypt and other neighboring countries.

"30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants (Huranis) entered Palestine during the last few months alone" reported La Syrie daily on August 12, 1934. Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, the role-model of Hamas terrorism, which terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as were Said el-A'az, a leader of the 1936-38 anti-Jewish pogroms and Kaukji, the commander-in-chief of the Arab mercenaries terrorizing Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Moslems from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.

Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad (American Publishing Company, 1969): "Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince.... Palestine is desolate and unlovely." Analyzing Mark Twain's book, John Haynes Holmes, the pacifist Unitarian priest, the co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the author of Palestine Today and Tomorrow — a Gentile's Survey of Zionism (McMillan, 1929) wrote: "This is the country to which the Jews have come to rebuild their ancient homeland.... On all the surface of this earth there is no home for the Jew save in the mountains and the well-springs of his ancient kingdom.... Everywhere else the Jews is in exile.... But, Palestine is his.... Scratch Palestine anywhere and you'll find Israel.... There is not a spot which is not stamped with the footprint of some ancient [Jewish] tribesman.... Not a road, a spring, a mountain, a village, which does not awaken the name of some great [Jewish] king, or echo with the voice of some great [Jewish] prophet.... [The Jew] has a higher, nobler motive in Palestine than the economic.... This mission is to restore Zion; and Zion is Palestine."

The Arab attempt to gain the moral high ground and to delegitimize the Jewish State — by employing the immoral reinvention of history and recreation of identity — was exposed by Arieh Avneri's The Claim of Dispossession (Herzl Press, 1982) and Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial (Harper & Row, 1986), which provide the aforementioned — and much more — data.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at This article was published December 14, 2011 in Israel Hayom Newsletter

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 13, 2011.

At first, relatively few, small, and short-range missiles were fired from Gaza into Israel. Israelis mostly suffered quietly and developed sirens that told Jews when to hide. [Israel also spent large sums on building shelters]. Israel retaliated occasionally and modestly [mostly bombing empty buildings, pretending to protect its people]. The government aimed to make Israel not appear helpless.

There was a war on Gaza, but [like the last Lebanon War] it was aborted without having destroyed the terrorist infrastructure [or leaving forces on the ground to prevent further rocket bombardment].

Periodically rocket bombardment lessened. When that happened, people thought the menace receded. It didn't. The jihadists were making more missiles and developing superior ones. They fight according to their own timetable.

Now the missile build-up in Gaza has become a strategic threat, just as Hizbullah's in Lebanon has. The missiles can destroy parts of central Israel. No longer is terrorism restricted to border areas. Hence, Israel now is willing to spend more on an active defense.

In reaction, Israel has invested in defenses that can block about two-thirds of the missiles. The enemy is experimenting with concentrating its salvos so that some missiles are bound to get through (12/1/11,

By not retaliating effectively and strongly, Israel does make itself appear helpless.

A strategic danger had to develop from allowing Hamas to build such a danger. Precedent and logic made it easy to foresee. Apparently Israeli leaders don't foresee. They and U.S. restraint about Iran have let Israel get into a position in which Israel may have to start a nuclear war to preserve itself. Radioactive particles, like regular pollution, drift back.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, December 12, 2011.

One Rule for Them, One Rule for Us by Paul Weston

Someone holding governmental authority badly needs to tell the British public why there appears to be one rule for them, and one rule for us, when it comes to racially aggravated crime and murder.

Today's article about Rhea Page is a case in point. Kicked unconscious by a girl by agang of drunken Somali Muslims, screaming "kill the white slag": one would have thought this would be labeled a racist incident. Ms Page stated: "I honestly think they attacked me just because I was white. I can't think of any other reason." (Shouldn't they be deported to Saudi Arabia to face Sharia Law, so many of them would like to introduce in the West, judgment for drinking in violation of Islamic law?)

But no, in the eyes of the perverse British judiciary this is not a racial incident, of course. Even worse: Judge Robert Brown allowed them to walk free because he accepted that as Muslims they were unused to drinking& Judge Brown also thought the women may have felt they were the victims of unreasonable force from Ms Page's partner Lewis Moore, 23, who tried to defend her from the attack.

In the wake of the terrible Stephen Lawrence murder, the Macpherson Report defined a racial incident very clearly: "A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person." Is it not a little odd that such a straightforward statement, eagerly embraced by the British police, is open to question only when the victim is white? Ms Page clearly believes this was a racial incident, so why dont the police or the judiciary?... (This kind of duplicity and abuse of the law is common in most Western countries. The fear of Muslim riots and fake political correctness has made a mockery of democratic laws when justice is facing Muslim offenders!)

Behavior of a 'True Friend'

Assailants torched more than 20 tankers in Pakistan carrying fuel for US and NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday. Several hundred trucks have been stranded at poorly guarded terminals around the country as they wait for Pakistan to reopen its two border crossings into Afghanistan.

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

Many Jews, probably due to the Stockholm Syndrome, support the creation of the second Arab state on Jewish land. Do you know any Arab who would at least agree, I am not even asking about active support, with idea that the Jewish state has the right to exist on the entire Land of Israel, Eretz-Israel? Two extreme views — but only one is allowed to have voice in the current fake, anti-Israel, politically correct environment!

Anti-Jewish 'Sickness' of British Press

Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, condemned what he called an anti-Semitic "sickness" inside some parts of the British media. "When a leading newspaper publishes anti-Semitic words, such as we heard on the release of Gilad Shalit alleging that this deal shows that Zionists values the lives of the 'chosen' more than it values the lives of anyone else — as if we wouldn't have begged to reduce the number of terrorists that should have been released — yes, that's insulting to Israel, but more than that, it's a sign of a great sickness inside media and inside British journalism." "I can't count the number of times I've heard somebody say, 'I'm a friend of Israel and I support its right to exist'. And I wonder, can you image anyone saying that in relation to any other country?& In relation to what other country does a discussion or policy descend into a question mark over the very existence of that state?"

Kosher 'Pork'

Chief rabbi approves import of organic goose meat, which according to three non-Jewish chefs, tastes exactly like pork. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger noted that although eating pork is forbidden according to Jewish law, there is no prohibition against eating goose, regardless of how it tastes. (Let hope this is the biggest problem Jews must face!)

Israel = Ally, Iran = Adversary, Russia = Rival

The world-according-to Herman-Cain, the pizza magnate-turned-presidential candidate: Canada, Japan and Israel are "Friend and Ally". Brazil and India are "Friend" and "Strategic Partner" respectively. Britain gets the top rating of "Our Special Relationship". Then there are the bad guys — Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, described as "Adversary Regimes". China is described as "Competitor", while Russia is labeled "Rival". (Life would be easier with this simplistic approach!)

Al Qaeda Kidnapped another Jewish American in Pakistan

The US citizen is Warren Weinstein, who is about 70 years old, a development expert, who was kidnapped in the Pakistani city of Lahore in August. Al Qaeda demands for Weinstein's release included the release of all those held by the United States at the Guantanamo detention center and all others imprisoned for ties to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. (After the beheading of Daniel Pearl by Al Qaeda, one would think that those 'good doer' Jews had learnt that Muslim countries are not Jew-friendly!)

Tell Clinton to Mind your Own Business

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alleged that Israel is showing signs of becoming anti-democratic because of a recent bill proposing limits on foreign funding of local NGOs and for allegedly trying to exclude women from public life in Israel. Israel is known as the only real democracy in the Middle East, where women and Arabs have full and equal rights and who have risen to the top in politics and business. She also jumped on the issue of requests from hareidi religious soldiers to be excused from IDF events in which a woman is singing, which is considered by many to be a violation of the laws of modesty when performed in mixed company. National Union MK Uri Ariel commented Sunday that Clinton "would do well not to interfere with Israel's internal affairs and worry instead about American citizens." (This is a systematic campaign of undermining Israel and justifying anti-Semitism, waged by the United States!)

Will Jews ever Learn?

In a new poll in Israel, Mr. Obama earns a favourable rating of 54 percent from Israeli Jews — up an impressive 13 percent compared to last year. Still, he's not as popular as former US presidents Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. By contrast, Obama's job approval rating at home is stuck in the low 40's. The jump in Obama's favourability among Jewish Israelis might seem counterintuitive. (Jews have always been hopeless optimists, even when there is no reason to trust to anti-Jewish bigots!)

Muslims are Happily Killing Each Other

1. At least 30 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks targeting Shia pilgrims marking the festival of Ashura in central Iraq. 2. Twin bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed at least 58 people at Shiite shrines and wounded at least 150 more on the Islamic observance of Ashura. (There are no Jews living in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. But the need to hate and kill is so strong in some Muslims!)

Business as Usual — "Money does not Smell"

Russia has delivered anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria. The contract was completely fulfilled and is estimated at $300 million. This weapon allows coverage of the entire coastline of Syria from possible attack from the sea. The deal took place despite the growing pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been brutally cracking down on anti-regime protesters. Selling arms to Syria accounted for seven percent of Russia's total of $10 billion in arms deliveries abroad in 2010.

Muslim 'Rape Wave' in Oslo — Israel is Blamed

Norway is suffering from an unprecedented wave of rapes that are largely being perpetrated by Muslim immigrants against local women. From January to late October, 48 rapes were confirmed to have been carried out in Oslo alone, 45 of them by Muslims. In the first six months of 2011, 208 Norwegian women complained of rape and attempted rape in Oslo alone. In all of Norway, 929 rapes and attempted aggravated rapes were reported since the beginning of the year. Norway's justice minister defended the police report but also said that "Israel must be glad to hear about it." (Rape is the hate crime. It is used by Islamists as a weapon of choice world-wide. It is time to wake up and face reality — they hate Christian even more than Jews, and stop blaming Jews for everything!)

Another pre-Election Fake Promise

Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich said that as president he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a proposal designed to appeal to American Jewish voters. Rival candidate Michele Bachmann said, "I already have secured a donor who said they will personally pay for the ambassador's home to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ." (Put it in legally binding document and sign it — words are cheap!)

Israeli 'Leftist' Justice Ministry is Disrespectful to Laws

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein says if parliament approves the proposed legislation to restrict foreign governments' donations to nongovernmental organisations he won't defend them in court. Weinstein writes that the attorney general normally refrains from declaring laws unconstitutional, but said that he would make an exception because of the "blatancy" of the case.

Australian Muslim Sentenced to 500 lashes

An Australian man, Mansor Almaribe a 45-year-old father of five from Shepparton in northern Victoria, has been sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in a Saudi Arabian jail after being convicted of blasphemy. He was detained in the holy city of Medina last month while making the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj.

Quote of the Week:

"Israel is the Jew among the nations. It is the canary in the coal mine. Iran, for example, is not (only) an Israeli problem, but rather a danger to the civilized world as we know it." — Dan Gillerman, former Israeli UN Ambassador

Celebrating Israel as a Start-Up Nation

America-Israel Friendship League " extract from press release

At the America-Israel Friendship League annual Partners for Democracy Awards Dinner, held at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan on November 29, the theme was "Celebrating Israel as a Start-Up Nation" (like) an Israeli-based venture-backed company working to produce a transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles.

...Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Israel's Consul General in New York, who told the AIFL supporters that the success of Israel 's high-tech sector as well as all the other areas of endeavour is "the result of the Israeli spirit which made it possible." "It's in our DNA to ask questions and to refuse to accept political or any artificial limitations.

...the focus of the discussion was an effort to determine why, despite all Israel's efforts and tremendous achievements for its own citizens as well as the world, the Jewish state is still menaced at the UN and by much of the world with threats of boycotts and divestment. Messrs Gillerman and Koch maintained that most anti-Israel sentiments are little more than anti-Semitism dressed up in a more acceptable, politically correct package.

...Mr. Koch (former NYC Mayor) said, too often, "our greatest problem is other Jews" who attack Israel unfairly and single the Jewish state out for criticism never mentioned against other nations whose offenses in human rights make any infractions by Israel pale by comparison.

...Israel has the third largest number of companies traded on the stock market. Only the United States and China have more. Last year, Israel boasted 600 new start-up companies which succeeded in attracting venture capital. "In the entire continent of Europe, from Moscow and Oslo to the boot of Italy," there were only 700 such start-ups," said Mr. Medved. "But Europe has 700 million people; Israel only 7 million," he added.

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He publishes internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He can be reached by email at

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Posted by GWY, December 12, 2011.

This was written by Benyamin Korn, former executive editor of the Miami Jewish Tribune and the Philadelphia JewishExponent. It appeared in IsraPundit and is archived at
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What do Golda Meir, lifelong socialist and prime minister of Israel, and Newt Gingrich, lifelong conservative and current presidential candidate, have in common? The courage to tell the truth about "Palestine."

Gingrich stirred up a hornet's nest last week when he remarked that "The Palestinians are an invented people." Golda made the same point when she told the London Sunday Times on June 15, 1969 that "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people."

What could have possessed the Prime Minister of Israel and the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to say such a thing?

Simple: an appreciation of history. Gingrich has a Ph.D. in the subject. Golda lived it.

Golda left her home in Milwaukee in 1921 and moved to a country that had been known since biblical times as the Land of Israel. The Roman occupation forces, in 135 CE, had begun calling it "Palaestina" in the hope of snuffing out its Jewish connection. But that was never more than the equivalent of a nickname. Nobody ever created a state called "Palestine." Even the Muslims, who conquered the region 500 years later, never considered it "Palestine." They called it southern Syria.

The idea that there was a native "Palestinian" people in the land when Golda and other Jewish pioneers arrived in the early 1900s was laughable. The country wasn't empty, but to say that the local Arab population was sparse is putting it mildly. Mark Twain and other visitors in the late 1800s described traveling for miles and miles through the center of the country without seeing a single person. In 1850, the area's largest city, Jerusalem, had a population of 25,000, the majority of whom were Jews. The Arabs who lived in Palestine did not speak "Palestinian"; they spoke Arabic. Their religion, culture, and history were not "Palestinian"; they were identical to that of the surrounding Arab countries — because that's where many of them came from.

Perhaps Newt has been reading Golda's autobiography. "The Arab population of Palestine had doubled since the start of Jewish settlements there," she wrote of the 1920s, when Jewish development was creating a thriving local economy. "[A]ttracted by the new opportunities, hordes of Arabs were emigrating to Palestine from Syria and other neighboring countries all through those years." (p.149)

An Israeli magazine recently profiled a Jerusalem Arab chef, Sufian Mustafa, who is bent on demonstrating that there is a uniquely "Palestinian" cuisine. But after much blustering about his "exclusively Palestinian" creations ("real Palestinians would never cook with such a bland ingredient as cream," he insisted) Mustafa grudgingly acknowledged that "the Palestinian kitchen is definitely a continuation of the Greater Syrian kitchen, and bears a lot of resemblance to Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian cuisine." I wonder why!

In the parlance of the 1920s-1930s-1940s, the term "Palestine" referred to the Jews, not the Arabs. The Jerusalem Post newspaper was named the Palestine Post. The United Jewish Appeal was called the United Palestine Appeal. Arab spokesmen vehemently denied that Palestine deserved to be a separate country. Philip Hitti, historian and spokesman for the Arab cause, testified to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry (a U.S.-British commission trying to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict) in 1946: "Sir, there is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not."

After Israel's establishment (1948), the Arabs and their supporters began casting about for new lines of argument. In the mid-1960s one finds the first appearance of claims by Arab advocates that there was a separate, distinct "Palestinian" people with deep roots in the land. (The UN first used the term in 1970.) How can this claim be established? Simple: by inventing — yes, inventing — a history that predates the arrival of the Jews. According to Palestinian Authority spokesmen and school textbooks, the Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Canaanites, Jebusites, Hittites and other pre-Israel tribes.

True to form, Palestinian spokesman Nabil Adu Rodeineh was all over the news yesterday, denouncing Newt Gingrich on the grounds that "the Palestinians have been in the country for thousands of years."

Archaeologists and historians know very well that the tribes of ancient Canaan died out many centuries before Muhammad and the Muslims (precursors of today's Palestinian Arabs) arrived in the area. There is no connection between the Canaanites and the Arabs. But when was the last time an archaeologist or historian was given time on a national television broadcast to explain that Palestinian nationalism is an invention? The answer is never — until Newt Gingrich, the first presidential candidate since Woodrow Wilson with a Ph.D. in history, came along.

Contact GWY at

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Posted by Sanne DeWitt, December 12, 2011.

This is a review of a book authored by Salomon Benzimra and entitled The Jewish People's Rights to the Land of Israel. The review was written by Vic Rosenthal of The book is Kindle Edition: Canadians for Israel's Legal Rights, 2011. No ISBN


My first thought after reading this short book (about 100 pages) was: why hasn't someone done this before?

Especially when almost every mass media outlet can't mention Jewish communities outside of the 1949 armistice lines without adding "which are illegal under international law," when NGOs funded by Israel's enemies invent legal principles to suit their purposes, when the President of the US takes it upon himself to demand that "settlements must stop," when the false historical narrative of the Palestinians is more and more being accepted into the conventional wisdom, there is a need for a simple exposition of the facts, an antidote to the lies and inventions.

One does not need to agree with all of Benzimra's arguments (I don't) to benefit from his exposition. Unlike many authors of polemics — and this book is frankly polemical — Benzimra exposes his premises and his logic. The electronic format has made it possible for him to provide exhaustive and invaluable documentation with web links to the text of primary sources, treaties, minutes of meetings, etc.

The exposition is clear, without dense legalese. Each chapter includes at least one chart or map, like this one:

Benzimra's major argument, greatly simplified, is this:

The Balfour declaration, which became part of international law when it was incorporated into the British Mandate for Palestine, ratified by the Allied Powers at the San Remo conference (1922) and adopted by the US through the Anglo-American Convention (1924), became a binding international commitment to the Jewish people, based on the "historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home there," a commitment which has never been revoked.

The post-WWI mandates were intended to replace colonialism with a paternalistic system by which a people could be helped to ultimately obtain independence under the guidance of a more advanced power, which would be given temporary control of a territory:

On the strength of the concept of "self-determination" advocated by President Wilson in 1918, the Jewish people acquired legal sovereignty in Palestine, based on their historical connection to the land, even though this sovereignty was held in abeyance for the duration of the Mandate period. These national rights in Palestine were exclusive to the Jewish people, who became the national beneficiary under the Mandates System. Britain was assigned a triple role: a) as Mandatory, to secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home... b) as Trustee, to preserve the whole land in trust for the benefit of the Jewish people; and c) as Tutor... The Legal Title to Palestine was therefore transferred from the Allied Powers ... to the Jewish people. [loc 1285, emphasis in the original]

Although the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate state that nothing in them is intended to prejudice the "civil and religious rights" of non-Jewish communities in Palestine, there is a clear distinction between such rights and what Benzimra calls "collective political rights" (and I often refer to as 'national aspirations'). Arab citizens of Israel that are demanding in essence a binational state are asking for such collective rights, which are not supported by this clause.

Benzimra interprets the phrase "in Palestine" in the Mandate as meaning "in all Palestine" primarily because of Article 5, which says that "no Palestine territory shall be ceded to ... any foreign power." He interprets this as meaning that any repartition of the land, such as the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state east of the Green Line, would be illegal. I think this is uncertain, since the Palestinian Arabs — while not the beneficiary of the Mandate — would certainly insist that they are not a 'foreign power'.

He also says that "national home" must be interpreted as 'state'. While it's likely that Balfour, Lloyd George and others envisaged a Jewish state as a desirable outcome, the word 'state' is not used. In contrast, the British Mandate for Mesopotamia [Iraq], established at the same time, clearly does refer to the ultimate creation of an "independent state." Of course, the state of Israel as declared in 1948 (unlike the recent attempt to declare a state of 'Palestine') met all of the criteria for a sovereign state and rendered moot the question of whether the Mandate promised a state or something less.

He is on more solid ground, however, when he points out that the Mandate called for "close settlement by Jews on the land" in Article 6, and argues that this implies that Jews have a right to live anywhere in Palestine, including Judea and Samaria. It can be argued that the Mandate's provisions will be operative until the Jewish home has been established with recognized borders. This hasn't happened yet, and so until it does, there can't be a limitation on Jewish communities in the area of the Mandate.

In summary, I think he has argued persuasively that the state of Israel's legitimacy in international law is unquestionable, and is derived from the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate (and the declaration of independence of 1948), which in turn are based on the Jewish people's historical connection to the land. He has also demonstrated that Jewish rights of settlement extend to all of the land of Israel, although I do not believe that it can be established that the Jewish 'home' — or state — must include all of it.

Benzimra devotes several chapters to a description of British efforts to renege on the promise of the Balfour declaration, starting with its action to lop off the eastern portion of it in the period between the final draft of the Mandate and its ultimate adoption in 1922 (this territory ultimately became the Kingdom of Jordan), and — far worse, in my opinion — its gradual abandonment of the principles of the Balfour declaration in favor of the Arabs.

He provides an instructive chart which shows how episodes of Arab violence against Jews led to British "commissions of enquiry," which then resulted in White Papers that restricted Jewish rights — culminating in the execrable MacDonald White Paper of 1939, which arguably sealed the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews trapped in Europe:

The MacDonald White Paper not only limited Jewish immigration to a trickle, it called for a "Unitary Palestine State" from the river to the sea, encompassing both Jews and Arabs, with the Jewish population not to exceed 1/3 of the total! Need I add that this is a total renunciation of the spirit and letter of the original Mandate?

Benzimra also discusses the Arabs' very effective propaganda tactic of presenting the Jewish presence as a conspiracy between European Jews and imperialists to steal and illegally occupy their land. This has been made possible, he says, by two things:

One is the fact that the legal rights of Israel have not been effectively upheld; in particular, he refers to the decision made after the 1967 war not to apply Israeli law to the conquered territories, but rather to treat it as a belligerent occupation. This was done to avoid the acquisition of a large number of Arab citizens, and in the hopes that the Arab nations would agree to negotiate a real peace in return for the territory, which did not happen.

The other is the way the historical facts about the Jewish connection to the land have been forgotten or obscured.

He concludes with a discussion of the need for any peace negotiations to include a recognition of the true facts, including the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land — which the Arabs and their supporters are doing their best to replace with what he calls their "forged narrative" — and the legal rights of the Jewish people.

I couldn't agree more, and note that one of the main reasons that this has not happened is the power of the Israeli Left, in politics, media and academe, which has somehow forgotten Israel's history and to a great extent accepted and promulgated the Arab story.

I found the book enormously useful insofar as it collects the secular legal and historical arguments and documentation for a maximal Zionist position and presents that position clearly. The electronic format is a mixed blessing: it puts supporting documentation at one's fingertips, and provides handy links to the contents of the book. You can read it on a Kindle, if you have one, or you can download a free reader for the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android phone. On the other hand, a printed book would make wider distribution of Benzimra's arguments possible.



On December 13, 2011, Salomon Benzimra clarified several points in the Review:

1. On the phrase "in all Palestine": The third recital of the Preamble to the Mandate specifies the "connection of the Jewish people to Palestine." Article 2 of the Mandate makes the Preamble operative. There is no mention anywhere of "part of Palestine", and this is in line with Article 5 (" Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign power.") You state that the Palestinian Arabs would not consider themselves a "foreign power." That is true but every attempt to carve out territory in Palestine was done with the clear intention of creating eventually an Arab state which would be "foreign" in relation to the Jewish state, as it was originally conceived. This happened in 1937 (Peel Report) and in 1947 (UN Resolution 181). Therefore, my understanding of "foreign" is not related to "distant" or "established" but actually foreign in relation to the Jewish people, who were the sole recognized beneficiary at the San Remo Conference. Otherwise, the drafters of the original Mandate would have specified the contours, within Palestine, of the area allocated to the Jewish National Home. This never happened, except when the British introduced Article 25, a move [of] dubious legality.

2. On the connection between "national home" and "state": It was the intention of Balfour to specifically mention "state" in his Declaration, but Nahum Sokolov and other members of the Zionist Organization believed it was not prudent to talk of a "state" in 1917, while WWI was still raging and the Ottomans were not yet defeated.

As you correctly mentioned, the Mandate for Mesopotamia clearly refers to a "state" but this document was drafted in 1920. The question then arises as to why the word "state" was not included in the Mandate for Palestine, as it was confirmed by the Council of the League in 1922.

From the private correspondence of Balfour, it appears that as early as 1921 (and probably even earlier) Balfour interpreted the Declaration as meaning eventually the creation of a Jewish state, in opposition to Churchill's interpretation (as reported by Sir Martin Gilbert in Winston S. Churchill: Companion Volume, Vol. 4, Part 3, April 1921-November 1922, p. 1559). U.S. President Wilson, while at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, was also aware of the prevailing position of the League of Nations: "It will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine as Jewish State as soon as it is a Jewish state in fact" (reported by J.C. Hurewitz in The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics: a Documentary Record, Vol. 2).

This is precisely the point: the Jewish National Home could only turn into a democratic Jewish State when the Jewish population became large enough, which was not the case yet in the early 1920s. A decade later, even the Peel Report recognized this fact (as mentioned in my book, in the section on the Peel Commission).

Finally, another aspect often ignored by many opponents to the Jewish State is to be found in the spirit and the letter of the fourth paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations which set up the Mandates System, specifically what is commonly known as "Class A" Mandates. The text clearly shows that for those communities which already reached a certain "stage of development", the natural outcome of the Mandate was to set up "independent nations [once] they are able to stand alone [after the Mandatory period]." Even "Class B" Mandates (applied to less developed populations of Africa) turned ultimately into independent states. This is to say that the very institution of a Mandate for Palestine explicitly anticipated the creation of a state in due time.

3. "maximal Zionist position": I do not believe the book presents a "maximal Zionist position." I have come across several positions taken by Zionists — some of them thoroughly documented — whose claims exceed what I think can be reasonably supported. A case in point is presented in the section "The Mandate: first 'partition'" where I explain my views on Transjordan. I am sure you will find that my take on the Jewish claims to Transjordan are far more moderate than what you must have read elsewhere.

Having said that, I must commend you for your selection of excerpts, especially the two tables you reprinted. I am sure your review will be useful to many readers of Fresno-Zionism who are acutely interested in the survival and well-being of Israel.

I was also very pleased to see your comments on the Kindle edition and the advantages it offers in accessing online references. Other advantages include the "dynamic" Table of Contents for easier navigation; the quick search of any word or phrase as opposed to a tedious Index; the bookmarking, highlighting and insertion of comments; and the embedded Oxford Dictionary as you double-click any word...

As to the necessity of a printed edition, I fully agree with you. Many people prefer to read on paper rather than on screen. It is our intention to issue a print edition in English and in Hebrew (which we have already translated and is ready to be launched, pending the final decision from senior officials of the Israeli Government), as well as in French and Spanish. We'll certainly keep you posted on these developments.

Sanne DeWitt publishes the East Bay IAC (IACEP) Newsletter. Contact her by email at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 12, 2011.

I'm reading about the fact that Newt Gingrich is leading the polls among the Republican presidential candidate contenders, and I'm hearing the things he's saying. And I ask myself if I dare hope that a man with great intelligence, and enormous historical and political savvy, who is not afraid to tell it like it is, might be elected president.

At this juncture my impulse is to tell everyone to pray. The contrast between Gingrich and Obama takes the breath away. Too soon to call it, but what it would mean for the US, for Israel and for the world!


Gingrich created quite a flap when he said the Palestinians are an invented people — that in the Ottoman empire there were no nation states (i.e., no "Palestinian state"), and that the "Palestinians" were simply part of the Arab people. He is quite correct and it took a great deal of courage to say it, as politically incorrect as such an observation is. Of course, it created apoplexy among PA leaders And, according to one report I encountered, Gingrich's campaign office then came out with a statement saying he was providing necessary historical context but that he now supported negotiations with the Palestinians.

Yes, we might call this damage control. But his position is roughly equivalent to mine. NOT the part about supporting negotiations. Rather, the recognition that the "Palestinians" as a people are invented, but that the world has come to perceive them as a people, and thus it's difficult not to deal with them as such today. As Dan Greenfield puts it, "The Big Lie technique has turned their existence into an established fact."

When people understand the historical context, it certainly deconstructs some widely promulgated myths: that the "Palestinians" have been in Israel longer than the Jews or that their claim to having their own state is solid. This is important. But there is something quixotic about a quest to convince the world that they are not a "people." More productive to deal pragmatically with the current issues: What are Jewish legal rights in the land, how does the PA conduct itself today, etc.


Gingrich made his comments during a Republican contenders debate on Friday, and during an interview by the Jewish Channel, a cable channel, that followed. I provide here exceedingly brief clips to offer a sense of what's going on. I particularly like what he says about how Obama is dealing with Israeli-Palestinian issues and the nature of the PA, with its inciteful textbooks. Great stuff!

A Jewish Channel interview clip about the Palestinian people with campaign office follow-up: watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=c4rQGgc110g

Jewish Channel interview clip about the nature of the PA as a peace partner and Obama delusions: watch?v=A1MhpqHYyKc&

In debate, speaking about nature of the PA: v=eRRWluoE-cs&feature=endscreen&NR=1


I want to return — yes, again — to the issue of the Mughrabi Bridge: the temporary structure that leads from the Kotel Plaza to the Temple Mount and provides the only access for Israelis and tourists to visit the Mount.

Mughrabi Bridge (photo: Shlomi Cohen)

As you may well remember, Israel has been set for many months to replace this temporary structure — which has been deemed unsafe — with a permanent one, but has held off because of vehement Arab objections and threats of violence. The issue is one of control, with the Islamic Wakf (trust) which — much to our shame and regret — administers the Mount, saying they have to sign off on this, and Israel saying that this isn't about the Mount but an area that is in sovereign Israel and subject to exclusively Israeli control.

Jordan has much influence over the Wakf, and Israel had worked extensively to include the Jordanian government in plans for the bridge. But in the end Jordan backed off entirely.

See Nadav Shragai on this: site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=992


A couple of weeks ago, Netanyahu stopped work on the bridge, which had been scheduled to begin. The delay would be for a week, he said. At that point I cut him some slack. While my back goes up at suggestions that Israel has to curtail legitimate actions because of threats of Arab violence, there was another issue. The Egyptian elections were about to take place, and there was concern that if work on the bridge had started the Muslim Brotherhood — parlaying this into heightened anti-Israel feeling (because we are going destroy the Al Aksa Mosque on the Mount, you see) — might benefit at the polls. OK, I said. A week seems reasonable.

But it's two weeks, and the elections are over. And there has been no order from Netanyahu to proceed with taking down that temporary, dangerous structure and putting up a new permanent one.


Now Jerusalem municipal engineer Shlomo Eshkol has closed the bridge because it is in danger of collapsing and a fire hazard. Acting before a tragedy happens is appropriate. But this, in and of itself, is insufficient and unacceptable. As there are no plans to follow through with a new bridge, as matters stand, non-Muslims are left without access to the Mount.

Enter the Jerusalem municipal attorney, Yair Gabbai, with a proposal to also block Muslims from access to the Mount. This will never happen.

Gabbai says the current situation constitutes discrimination against Jews, and in this he is absolutely correct. He intends to ask members of the Jerusalem Council to sign on to a letter supporting his proposal that will be sent to Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

What disturbs me is that Gabbai is quoted as saying that, "We must close all the entrances to the Temple Mount until the Wakf is so kind as to allow for the construction of a new, permanent Mughrabi Bridge." With this he is implicitly acknowledging Wakf authority.


There is a considerable call inside of Israel for utilization of another gate to the Mount for non-Muslims until the Mughrabi Bridge issue is resolved. The Chain Gate, on the western side of the Mount, which has been utilized before when Mughrabi was inaccessible, is being suggested.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union), is calling for the immediate demolition of the bridge and then the beginning of work on that new bridge.

"But even with this, it would be inconceivable if during construction Jews are hindered from going to the Temple Mount for even one minute, and the construction work should never be an excuse for this," he says.

"Israel doesn't know how to express its own independence in its own capital," said Yehudah Glick, chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation.

I concur.

Glick points out that, "Temple Mount is sacred to [Jews] and to Christians too. It has 12 gates, 11 of which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for Muslim worshipers, who can use them freely, with no security checks."

Apparently at the end of December the High Court will be visiting this issue.


Not long ago, an IDF soldier wrote a letter from the south, where he was serving, describing how kindly the IDF received Africans who came across the border from the Sinai. It was "feel good" material that made people proud of Israel, and was widely circulated on the Internet. You may have seen it.

The problem with it was not that it was, as far as it went, inaccurate. No, we do not shoot these people in the back, as Egyptian soldiers do. And yes, many of the Africans find life here better than anything they've ever known. But the letter did not tell the full story, which is now making news.


While they are represented as being "refugees," only a small percentage truly are. Most who come — largely from places such as Sudan and Eritrea — are illegal work immigrants. Times are hard where they come from, and they are seeking better lives and greater opportunity. Sound familiar? In this part of the world, the word is out that Israel is the place to come to.

But their numbers threaten to overwhelm us: We are, after all, a very small country.

There are currently more than 50,000 such illegal Africans in Israel; with some 30,000/year currently making their way in, and predictions of increases to 100,000/year coming, we are being inundated. Prime Minister Netanyahu has referred to "entire populations that are beginning to make their way [towards Israel]. This, he explains, poses a threat to Israel's security, economy, infrastructure and social welfare system.


A large number have settled in southern Tel Aviv, which looks more like an African country these days than Israel. Often at loose ends, they hang around on the streets, and light fires for cooking in the parks. As well, crime in these areas is up because of their poverty. When they work, it is illegally.

This is much less politically correct, but much closer to the truth of the situation.

Caroline Glick's satirical Latma video from this past week includes "the singing refugees from Tel Aviv," which addresses this situation: e/2011/12/singing-refugees-from-tel-aviv.php


Now the Israeli government has decided to get serious about the problem. The Cabinet unanimously decided yesterday to approve a multi-part plan by Netanyahu to deal with it, and the funds to support what he proposes:

A key part of the plan is enforcing with great stringency laws against the employment of illegal workers. Individuals who hire them will face increased fines. And legislation will be brought to the Knesset regarding corporations that hire them — who would face fines of up to 75,000 shekels and possible closure.

"We will close businesses," declared Netanyahu, "so that the enterprise known as the State of Israel does not close.

The expectation is that word will filter back to Africa that Israel is no longer an economic mecca.


The plan also includes closing of the porous border with the Sinai, via speedy completion of a 240 kilometer fence, all the way down to Eilat, and deployment of additional forces along that border until the fence is finished.

Additionally, there will be increased detention facilities built to house infiltrators until they can be repatriated. The law is to be amended so that the amount of time that illegal workers can be held will be increased from 60 days to three years.


In January, Netanyahu will be making an historic visit to sub-Sahara Africa, the focus of which will be the strengthening of ties with several nations. At the same time, he says, he will "discuss and advance procedures for returning [infiltrators] to Africa."


The opinions of journalist Dan Margalit with regard to this issue shed light on how contentious it all is, and how varied the views. (The Latma video reflects this as well.)

He concurs that, "...there is no other choice but to deport them. If the government does not deport economic migrants it will only encourage more migrants to pour into Israel. It will unleash a human tsunami. It will endanger Israel's Jewish identity and further destabilize the delicate demographic balance. It will harm not only the status of Jews in this country, but also that of Israel's Arabs."

These are significant points that go beyond economic concerns or threats to our social welfare system.


However... Margalit apparently feels that none of this might be necessary if the rabbis just wouldn't be so stringent with regard to converting the Africans. Not that he is suggesting a missionary effort, he says, but for those Africans who want to convert, the door should be open. Then they could convert and absorb into Jewish society.

But I have trouble knowing what he's talking about. I have encountered nothing about the Africans, many if not most of whom are Muslim or animist, being genuinely attracted to Judaism or Jewish culture. They just want a better and more comfortable life. And so, this is precisely when stringency in conversion is necessary. Without it we would have tens of thousands of Africans superficially converting in order to be able to legalize their status. This would most definitely not be a good state of affairs. What is more, I have no reason to believe that the occasional African illegal immigrant who is sincerely attracted to Judaism, and willing to study, and take on the commitments of a Jew, would be turned away by the rabbis.


Margalit takes pride in the fact that we take care of those illegal immigrants who have been wounded in the course of making their way into our country. And on this I agree, for what we do reflects our essential humanity.

Additionally, he proposes conditions, including that:

"Their dignity is strictly protected (unless they use violence) and they are granted a rehabilitation stipend, as Interior Minister Eli Yishai once suggested and now seeks to double to about $1,000; the governments in their countries of origin are contacted to ensure that no harm comes to them upon their return; and they are treated so well while in Israel that they become ambassadors of goodwill in their home countries despite being deported."

The intent of these conditions is humane and honorable — certainly it would be both proper and wise to treat the immigrants with essential dignity, and make an effort to avoid provoking bitterness in them against Israel. But the rest is pie in the sky. The notion that we can "ensure" that no harm comes to returnees once they are repatriated is unrealistic. And precisely how "well" does he imagine we should treat them so they return as goodwill ambassadors?

Lastly, those return stipends amounting to a hefty $50 million dollars — do we owe this to illegal immigrants? A thousand dollars is a huge amount of money in many places in Africa. What message would be broadcasting if we provided this sum to each of those returning? I suggest the message would be that even if Israel will send them back, it's worth it for additional Africans to try to get into the country for that return stipend.

Pity Margalit is so harsh in his judgment on those who see more stringent conditions as necessary. site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=997


The Quartet is coming back here on Wednesday, and it's a ho hum situation that should not be belabored. Israel is saying this presents an opportunity for direct negotiations, and the PA is saying no way, until (and we all know the details). The PA is saying, in fact, hey, the Quartet didn't say anything about direct negotiations.

The PA recently submitted negotiation requirements for borders and security, while Israel, which did not, is saying such requirements should be submitted only at the negotiating table.

Self-deluded Quartet representatives will run between Jerusalem and Ramallah and the same "nothing" result will come of it.


Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum is saying that the committees working on reconciliation have made little progress, reports the Palestinian news agency Maan today. Major issues such as the structure of the PLO have yet to be resolved. What is more, Fatah is still detaining members of Hamas and this may sabotage the accord.

If Fatah were serious about seeing through this reconciliation with Hamas, it would not be continuing to detain its people. Seems pretty obvious from here.


Meanwhile, Hamas has set up bases and rocket production facilities in the Sinai, assuming that Israel would not hit them there for fear of weakening ties with Egypt. Both Hamas and Egypt are denying that these facilities exist.


Yaakov Amitai, Israel's new ambassador to Egypt, has arrived in Cairo.

Because a new secure location for the Israeli Embassy has not yet been found, he will operate from his own home. Only a small number of staff are in Egypt.


Matters are heating up again in the south, with 19 missiles having been launched over the last few days. The Air Force has responded with four air strikes, three against terrorist cells and one against a weapon manufacturing site.


The good news for today is that on Saturday night Professor Dan Shechtman of Israel's Technion won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystal patterns of atoms.

His work on quasicrystals, which began almost 30 years ago, led to the discovery that atoms in rigid crystals can be packed together in unusual ways; this changed the way chemists look at solid matter, and enabled the development of extremely strong materials. Quasicrystals do not rust or become oxidized and have almost no surface friction.

Dr. Shechtman is Israel's tenth Nobel Laureate.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 11, 2011.


Hamas is setting up arms factories and military bases in the Sinai. Hamas assumes that Israel will not attack them, lest this embroil the Egyptian Army. Indeed, Israel is striving to catch the plotters in Gaza, before they complete plans to attack Israel from Gaza.

Egyptian troops in the Sinai hardly can cope with Bedouin smugglers. The Army has not cracked down on Hamas. Israel has asked it to (In IMRA, 12/11/11 from Yaakov Katz The Jerusalem Post Article.aspx?id=248948).

As Hamas' Sinai bases grow, they could take over more of Hamas military planning. Israel would not be able to block such planning from Gaza. This is another dire result of Israel withdrawing from Gaza. Had Israel kept its presence there, it could have blocked arms smuggling and destroyed Hamas.

Legally, the government of Egypt is obliged to repress armed forces that use its territory to attack over the border. But Egypt does not follow international law on that, though it makes false claims that Israel breaches international law. This hypocrisy indicates that Muslim Arab complaints about Israeli violations of international law are propaganda, not sincere.

Israel has the right to attack terrorist bases in Sinai. It can't, in a practical sense, because it likely would trigger a bigger war with the Egyptian Army. That is another dire result of Israel withdrawing from the Sinai.


First, the Obama administration censored photographs of Osama bin Laden. Didn't want to offend Muslims. Okay. But now the Administration had rescinded training materials for national security, because some Muslim groups claim they are offensive, too.

Which Muslim organizations? Some are the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), closely aligned with CAIR, warned the FBI it would halt cooperation from U.S. Muslims, unless those training materials are revised and the U.S. apologizes and vets trainers and materials differently [probably meaning by asking Islamist permission].

The U.S. apologized. Dwight C. Holton said that "; materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated."

What does President Obama stand for? Early on, he had said, "Words matter...because one of the ways we're going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds." He also ordered NASA to make Muslims "feel good" about themselves.

In 2008, the Administration ordered employees not to describe terrorists as "jihadist" or "mujahedeen," because they approve of holy warriors in a just war, and "jihad" has other contexts. If we use those terms, we legitimize them.

The government definitions are misleading. So is its notion that Muslims take their legitimacy from what the U.S. says. They go by Islamic law, on that.

What does the curriculum of U.S. military studies describe about Islamic war doctrine? Already too little, now there would be less. Last year's Quarterly Defense Report foresaw climate change as accelerating instability, but did not mention Islam or Radical Islam.

The government should accurately inform intelligence agents and U.S. citizens accurately about the menace of jihad. How can intelligence analysts operate without words related to Islam? "What are the goals and motivations of the jihadists? What are their methods? Who might be "radicalizing" them? With whom are they affiliated? Who supports them? These and a host of other questions are unintelligible without free use of words related to Islam."

Our defenders must study Islamic law and war doctrine, not get fired, as was Pentagon counter-terrorism strategist Stephen Coughlin, who did study Islamic doctrine (Raymond Ibrahim, Hudson New York, 11/30/11 from Middle East Forum obama-administration-bans-islam-knowledge).

Muslims, and not just the more Radical ones, have a sense of superiority and entitlement to dominate that they consider any defense against them and any criticism of their offense against others as an insult. Nevertheless, our government consults Radical Muslims about what they consider offensive, even though doing so lets the enemy tie our hands.

Our government leaves us defenseless. Everything Pres. Obama does of significance about Radical Islam favors it. But to be fair, Pres. Bush did not stop Iran and his Administration also consulted Islamists about how to deal with Islamists.

Our government and much of our media misunderstand the Islamists. They also assume that the protests mis-labeled "Arab Spring" all are political. Much of it also is economic. As economies fail, people protest, in the U.S. and Russia, too. I read an explanation that people expect their government not only to solve their problems but to take care of themselves. Imagine, depending on dysfunctional governments!

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Frank Salvato, December 10, 2011.

Former US House Speaker and GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich was instantly assailed by a plethora of people for statements critical of the modern-day understanding of the Palestinian history. From Palestinian Authority leaders, to mainstream media political analysts and even those who share the GOP presidential primary debate stage with the former Speaker, each offered denunciation ranging from outright condemnation of Mr. Gringrich's statement to disagreement based on its diplomatic political incorrectness. But, the fact of the matter is this: Mr. Gingrich's history on the matter is solid.

In the interview with The Jewish Channel, Gingrich said:

"Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community...And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940's, and I think it's tragic."

He went on to say that it is "delusional to call it a peace process," pointing out that the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority and Hamas "represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel."

Anyone debating the base declaration of Mr. Gingrich's assertion — that there has, through history, never been a Palestinian state — is either disingenuous or an extremely poor student of World History.

Increasingly, many Americans are coming to understand the facts surrounding the origins of the "Palestinians." Understood is that at its genesis, Palestine — derived from the word "Peleshet", English for "Philistine" — did not refer to a nation state but, instead, to a geographical location; a land with no governance. So, too, is the American public — as well as many informed peoples around the world — coming to understand that the use of the term "Palestinian," as a label for an Arab ethnic group, is a modern political creation with no basis in historical geographical fact, never having had any international or academic credibility before 1967.

Dr. Daniel Pipes, a medieval Middle East historian who heads the Middle East Forum, wrote in 1988:

"The Romans introduced the word Palestine as a way to expunge the name Judea from the map — a punishment for the Bar Kochba rebellion suppressed in 135 C.E. Naming the region after the Philistine residents of the coast, they called it Palaestina."

Rabbi Joseph E. Katz, a Middle Eastern political and religious history analyst, notes:

"The word itself derives from 'Peleshet,' a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as 'Philistine.' The Philistines were Mediterranean people originating from Asia Minor and Greek localities. They reached the southern coast of Israel in several waves. One group arrived in the pre-patriarchal period and settled south of Beersheba in Gerar where they came into conflict with Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Another group, coming from Crete after being repulsed from an attempted invasion of Egypt by Rameses III in 1194 BCE, seized the southern coastal area, where they founded five settlements (Gaza, Ascalon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gat). In the Persian and Greek periods, foreign settlers — chiefly from the Mediterranean islands — overran the Philistine districts. From the time of Herodotus, Greeks called the eastern coast of the Mediterranean 'Syria Palaestina.'

"The Philistines were not Arabs, nor even Semites, they were most closely related to the Greeks. They did not speak Arabic. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The name 'Falastin' that Arabs today use for 'Palestine' is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Greco-Roman "Palastina"; which is derived from the Plesheth, (root palash) was a general term meaning rolling or migratory. This referred to the Philistine's invasion and conquest of the coast from the sea."

Again, Dr. Pipes:

"Not only did the border [vacillate] during Roman and Muslim rule, but Palestine never constituted a single political unit between the fall of the Second Jewish Commonwealth in 68 C.E. and 1917 — with the one exception of the Crusades. Therefore, it is nonsense to speak of "historic" Palestine as if it were a single long-standing polity. Palestine lived in the hearts of those who loved it, and that was in a realm without boundaries. In medieval Europe, for example, "Palestine" referred to that area occupied by the Hebrews before the Diaspora, but since this area had changed size many times, the definition implied no precise boundaries on a map."

In addition to these facts, it is becoming common knowledge among those who have attempted a cursory examination of the issue, that the contemporary boundaries, circa the creation of the now-recognized State of Israel, have the overwhelming bulk of recognized "Palestinian lands" in the nation of Jordan, an Arab-Islamic country.

With the end of World War I came the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. The League of Nations (the precursor to the now dysfunctional and corrupt United Nations) and the occupying powers mandated — by virtue of the spoils of victory — new borders for the countries and territories of the Middle East. The results: the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which gave birth to the French Mandate for Syria and the British Mandate for Palestine. More than 70 percent of the British Mandate for Palestine territory was east of the Jordan River and was known as "Transjordan," or what is today known simply as Jordan.

Even Jordanian officials — royalty and politicos alike — have maintained that the bulk of recognized "Palestinian lands" are in the nation of Jordan, as is evidence by a number of quotes:

  • "Palestine and Transjordan are one." — King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo, 12 April 1948.

  • "We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine." — Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza' al-Majali, 23 August 1959.

  • "Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate." — Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970.

  • "Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations." — Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980.

  • "The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan." — King Hussein 1981

Thus, many who have expunged the politically correct, pro-Palestinian propaganda from their knowledge base are asking the legitimate question: Why aren't the Palestinians as violently caustic towards the Jordanian government, since the bulk of their land claim rests within sovereign Jordanian boundaries?

But, perhaps the most damning evidence to date that the "State of Palestine" never existed comes from the mouth of Hamas leadership.

In 1977, Zahir Muhsein, a PLO Executive Committee member, said:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."

During the nationally televised Republican Presidential Primary Debate on December 10, 2011, hosted by ABC News, Speaker Gingrich stood by his original statement exhibiting the authority of the historian that he is, saying:

"Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. We are in a situation where everyday rockets are fired into Israel while the United States — the current administration — tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process...Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists, they teach terrorism in their's fundamentally the time for somebody to have the guts to say enough lying about the Middle East."

Imagine that: a politician putting the truth ahead of political opportunism; ahead of political correctness; and ahead of advancing a commonly held belief based on an exquisite propaganda campaign...and on a subject that almost every other political figure in modern times runs from like coward.

The facts, from a historical point of view, support Speaker Gingrich. It is the politically correct in Washington — and among the GOP primary field — who, by attacking the former Speaker, are advancing a lie; who are facilitating the status quo politically correct fallacy.

If we are to base our foreign policy on sound, solid facts — and we need to, it would be time for not only the Palestinians to seek peace in a way that dispenses with fiction, but for American politicians to embrace truth over political opportunism and political correctness. On this notion Mr. Gingrich has crossed the proverbial "Rubicon."

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative Contact him by email at

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, December 10, 2011.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared in the Daily Mail (UK). It is archived at the-algorithm-of-malice


Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, has just released the third of his little information videos setting out certain essential facts about Israel and the Arabs to counter the lies of the delegitimisation campaign. You can watch it here. g_3A6_qSBBQ&feature=channel_video_title

Those who dismiss this as just more Israeli propaganda should think again. For it states truths which are absolutely fundamental to the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, but which have been turned on their heads and replaced by equally fundamental lies.

There are two big and connected points made by this little video. The first is that the widely-held belief that the Arabs were the only refugees from the Arab war against the newly reconstituted country of Israel (a war which started in 1948 and continues to this day) — is totally untrue. There were many more Jewish refugees from Arab countries. As a result of the 1948 war, some 500,000 Arabs left Palestine — most of them as a result of having been told to do so by Arab regimes certain of destroying the new Jewish state. But some 850,000 Jews were then attacked, stripped of their citizenship and ethnically cleansed from their homes in Arab states — causing the destruction of ancient Jewish communities in those countries which had well predated the arrival of Islam in the Middle East. And what happened to those refugees? They were absorbed without fuss into Israel (picture above, 1950), where they form around half of the population, and into other countries.

The second point which is crucial to an understanding of this conflict is that the Palestinian refugee issue is entirely artificial and bogus. Not only were the Arabs from Palestine deliberately refused access to other Arab countries in order to turn them — as a UN refugee official admitted — into an open sore as a weapon to be used against Israel. Even more astonishingly, the UN itself was a party to this malevolent strategy.

For it chose to treat the Palestinian Arabs differently from any other refugee group. All other refugees are dealt with by the UN Refugee Agency, whose goal is to re-settle them. But for the Palestinian Arabs, the UN set up the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — whose goal was to maintain the Palestinian Arabs as permanent refugees.

To that end, while in every other conflict refugees are defined merely as people who flee their homes, the UN decided that amongst the Palestinian Arabs refugee status would be transmitted from generation to generation. As a result, the number of Palestinian Arab 'refugees' has not diminished but risen over the years from 550,000 to 4.7 million. These are the people who are now said to deserve the 'right of return' to Israel.

Of course, the idea that 4.2 million of these people are actually refugees is totally absurd. If that standard was applied generally, the entire Jewish diaspora — not to mention untold millions around the world who have been settled for generations — could suddenly claim refugee status. The UN bestowed this unique status upon the Palestinian Arabs for one reason only — to create an algorithm of malice that could be used as a weapon against the Jews.

Now at long last Israel has begun to realise that yes, incredible as it seems, sentient people do actually believe such lies and that if the free world is to be restored to the axis of reason, they must be countered head-on by the true facts of history.

Contact Barbara Taverna by email at

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 9, 2011.

I received this article from a friend in Connecticut that appeared in today's edition of Inside Higher Education. It confirmed that some of the faculty and students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts are self appointed monitors supporting the OIC agenda of punishing blasphemy. That translates to any criticism of Islam is grounds for dismissal.


The Inside High Education article, "Over the Line: Harvard kills courses by controversial summer school instructor" is indicative of how dhimmified the groves of academia at elite American universities can be when the subject of Islam comes up. In Prof. Subramanian Swamy's case it is because he has nationalistic views on how to deal with Muslims in his native India. The Harvard Faculty, while professing support for freedom of speech, doesn't think it applies in the Swamy case, because he is "destructively" attacking another of India's great faiths, Islam. This despite the fact that the Economics faculty at Harvard thought him eminently qualified to teach his courses. It was left to the Harvard faculty Indian religious expert to press for a faculty vote to cancel Swamy's summer school courses.

Note these aspects of the controversy as reported in the Inside Higher Education article:

In an unusual move, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted this week to eliminate two summer school courses in economics because of anti-Muslim statements the instructor made in an op-ed published in India. When word about the op-ed spread in July, some Harvard students demanded that Subramanian Swamy be fired. At the time, Harvard pledged to look into the situation, but noted that it is "central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy (pictured above right) and of those who disagree with him." But faculty members this week cited the nature of his statements as justifying the move to kill his courses rather than permit him to return to Cambridge.

The op-ed ran in Daily News & Analysis (and while that newspaper no longer has the piece online, "How To Wipe Out Islamic Terror: The Moment Of Truth Has Arrived" written in May 2010 can be read here.) It was reprinted in July 2011 after the bombing by Muslim terrorists in Mumbai. The piece asserted that India could wipe out terrorism by taking certain steps, such as declaring India a Hindu state where "non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus," or demolishing mosques, or banning conversion from Hinduism to any other faith. Swamy was once an economics professor at Harvard, but he returned to his home in India, where is an outspoken nationalistic politician. But he has come back to Harvard each year to teach in the summer school.

[. . .]

An account of the meeting in Harvard Magazine said that the economics department chair, John Y. Campbell, told the faculty that his economics colleagues considered Swamy to be "competent" to teach the courses, and that none of the students who took his courses last summer had complained about him. The only student who mentioned the op-ed in a class evaluation rated the course favorably. The department had "expressed its view that it would not take a collective position on academic freedom or on matters of speech, hate speech, or Harvard's reputation — issues on which there were a wide range of views, in this case, within the department," Campbell was quoted as saying.

The proposal that eventually carried — to decline to authorize Swamy's courses — was made by Diana L. Eck, a scholar of India's religions. According to the Harvard Magazine account, she stressed that this was much more than an issue of a professor having some controversial views. She called Swamy's views "destructive" and said that his ideas involved limiting the human rights of others and denying freedom of religion. In light of the nature of his comments, she also wondered why his courses hadn't been "quietly dropped," rather than included in the proposed offerings for the coming summer.

She also quoted from a letter she and other Harvard faculty members sent to President Drew Faust last summer.

The letter said in part:

"Freedom of expression is an essential principle in an academic community, one that we fully support. Notwithstanding our commitment to the robust exchange of ideas, Swamy's op-ed clearly crosses the line into incitement by demonizing an entire religious community, demanding their disenfranchisement, and calling for violence against their places of worship. Indeed, India's National Commission for Minorities has filed criminal charges against Swamy, whose incendiary speech carries the threat of communal violence. When Harvard extends appointments to public figures, it behooves us to consider whether the reputation of the university benefits from the association. In this case, Swamy's well-known reputation as an ideologue of the Hindu Right who publicly advocates violence against religious minorities undermines Harvard's own commitment to pluralism and civic equality."

At least one American group, Philadelphia-based Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has risen to Prof. Swamy's defense.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has spoken out against Harvard's taking any action against Swamy on the basis of his op-ed. The organization's blog noted that Swamy's op-ed calls for radical social change in India, but FIRE noted that American principles of free expression extend to calls for radical social change. As an example, it cited the legal right for people to call for the United States to become a communist country.

"We tolerate the widest possible range of political, social, cultural, and religious views because, for one thing, we trust in the marketplace of ideas to eventually sort it all out," the blog post said.

Unfortunately at Harvard, that marketplace of ideas has been censored by philo Islamic dhimmis like Professor Eck.

In effect, she and others like her are violating traditional faculty department control over curricula and appointment of scholars to teach based on their credentials and evaluations.

Sic ignominy dhimmitude in American academia.


EDITOR'S NOTE: It is sad to think that a university we rely on to produce brilliant leaders has a student body (and apparently some faculty) with the collective brains of a well-cooked turnip. They seem unable to breathe in reality, masked as they are with the thick gauge of political correctness. Dr. Subramanian Swamy sees clearly how to handle Muslim terrorism in India, before it destroys the country. The Hindus are still attempting to appease the Muslims, who are determined to take control and continue to massacre the Hindus. (If this sounds like what's happening in Israel, substitute Jew for Hindu, Muslim for Arab, and the same dynamics apply.) That the Harvard students can be so simple-minded as to understand nothing except that Professor Swamy isn't saying nice things about Islam is worrisome. To better understand the Muslim-Hindu conflict, I suggest you read the book The Long March of Islam by RK Ohri, which we serialized, chapter by chapter, beginning in the September-October 2009 Issue of

Incidently, Professor Swamy is also a leader in the current controversy in India about whether or not voting machines are reliable. Rather than indulging in vague notions about the wonders of democracy, Swamy and many others have looked at the practicalities of voting. They understand that if an election can be rigged by manipulating the voting machines, then glowing speeches about democracy are worthless. The result will be a simulacrum of democracy, not the real thing.

Harvard students have deprived themselves of an first-rate instructor that would have helped them understand the world they are about to inherit. They have condemned themselves to a set of moldy mantras on love and hate and correct behavior — a poor guide to what's happening in the world that resurgent Islam is attempting to dominate.

Contact Susana K-M by email at

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Posted by Ralph Rubinek, December 9, 2011.

Ralph Rubinek writes an open letter to Abe Foxman

Dear Mr Foxman:

It is rather disturbing how Hitler was able to compile a catalog of American Jews in regards to Jewish populations of America.

Do you Mr. Foxman still support firearm registration and licensing as it was in Europe. So much easier for those who seek to murder our people as well.

With lists like below and a visit to licensing centers by future killers of the Jewish people would redirect their attention of those Jews who own legal firearms first, just as it was in Europe. How about the public safety of society in regard to all licensees?

My parents as survivors were disgusted at the silence of American Jews during the Holocaust and I can see this phenomenon occur once again. Quite disturbing. The below mentioned Hitler document is clear evidence.

Rather disgusting and diabolical I would say Mr. Foxman.

Perhaps preventative action on your part would be a good first step by ADL as to licensing agencies agreeing to destroy all records of lawful gun owners to include retired law enforcement should the USA ever be invaded or the question of safety in relation to this nation ever be compromised by foreign/internal enemies. Safeguards must be in place to protect these records from being accessed nevertheless.

It is my understanding as of today, all firearm licensing information is of public record.

Very dangerous Mr. Foxman and must be addressed.

Ralph J. Rubinek, 2/G

Jeff Epstein writes, "Foxman is nothing but a political hack — a Judenrat at best. You're appealing to a leftist scoundrel. The ADL should be de-funded. In case you missed the following article," it is titled "Concern about rise of Islam is bigotry?" and is archived at index.php?pageId=309809


left: Pat Robertson

A counter-terrorism specialist is defending TV evangelist Pat Robertson against a charge of bigotry toward Muslims by Anti-Defamation League boss Abraham Foxman.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University, was criticized by Foxman for expressing concern on CBN's "The 700 Club" show about the growing construction of mosques in Europe. Foxman called Robertson's statements "troubling," based on "hateful stereotypes of Islam."

In an open letter, Jeffrey M. Epstein, president of America's Truth Forum, pushed back at Foxman for defending "a seditious enemy that's not only sworn to the death and destruction of the Jewish People but one that is determined to undermine the very fabric of western society — and you have the chutzpah to do so with Jewish funding."

Epstein, recalling his upbringing in a community of Jewish holocaust survivors, told Foxman that the Jewish leader's "pro-Islamic initiatives have paved the way for synagogues to promote interfaith dialogue with terrorist-friendly, Muslim Brotherhood front organizations."

The Muslim Brotherhood is the worldwide Islamic movement launched in Egypt in the 1920s to restore the Islamic caliphate, or empire, after the fall of the Ottoman Turkish empire. It has spawned most of the major terrorist organizations in the world, including al-Qaida and Hamas.

On the May 31 edition of "The 700 Club," Robertson asked why it would be considered bigotry if one speaks out "against an institution that is intent on dominating us and imposing Shariah law and making us all part of a universal caliphate? That is the goal of some of these people."

"Why is that bigoted?" Robertson asked. "Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say that we don't want to live under Nazi Germany?"

Foxman replied that "the notion that Islam is something that needs to be opposed in the same manner as people resisted Adolf Hitler and the Nazis is outrageous and offensive."

He insisted "it is bigoted to suggest that the Islamic faith has nefarious and sinister plans to take over majority Christian nations when this is false at its core."

Epstein charged that Foxman is empowering "the enemy camp by allowing it to control the discourse."

"By insulating American Jews from the truth regarding the rising green tide at their doorsteps, the potential for future resistance is being undermined," Epstein said.

Epstein asserted to Foxman that Robertson "honestly portrayed the threat for what it is."

Calling Islam a "genocidal political movement," Epstein encouraged Foxman to "study the Quran, for Islam is a genocidal political movement that calls for world domination through Jihad and Dawah (proselytizing)."

"To condemn Dr. Robertson's comparison of Islam with Nazism, as being outrageous and offensive, blatantly ignores the historical ties between Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem," Epstein said. "It was the Mufti who germinated Hitler's final solution and provided two SS divisions from the Balkans."

The story of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the leader of Arab Palestine during the British Mandate period, is told in the book The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism, by Chuck Morse. Al-Husseini met with Adolf Eichmann in Palestine in 1937 and later went on the Nazi payroll as an agent.

Contact Ralph Rubinek by email at

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Posted by Robin Ticker, December 8, 2011.

Dear Esteemed Rabbanim, Media Personnel and activist list,

The subject of this email is from today's news on Arutz7.

Calling upon all RABBIS FOR TORAH. Please make the time to come on Sunday morning at 11:00 in front of the Israel Consulate on 42nd Street and 2nd Ave run by AFSI. (see details below) There will be a Sefer Torah. Tenu Kavod LaTorah. Bring Honor to the Torah! Bring your congregations.. Don't ask who else will be there. It doesn't matter even if you are the only Rabbi that comes. G-d will take note. The most important thing is our Hishtadlus, our willingness to try to do what we can. Deep down you know that we must proclaim what it says in the Torah or else there is a Chillul Hashem. Rejoice around the Torah! Let us be proud Jews and proclaim our entitlement of Yerushalyim, Har Habayit, Yehudah and the Shomron based on Torah. We are the Chosen People for good reason. We are a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation. Our Sovereignty in Israel, whose boundaries include all of Judea and Samaria brings peace and prosperity to mankind. We are the seed of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov and we pride ourselves in studying and keeping the Commandments of the Torah. This is what sets us apart. This is what makes us a Holy Nation!

Will these "RABBIS for Human Rights" set the tone??? Surely our enemies will publicize their message. In today's world, inaction while our enemies are proactive is our greatest danger.

It is no wonder that these Arabs feel empowered following the demolition and destruction of the newly established shul in Givat Aryeh, near Itamar authorized by Israel. Equally upsetting is the support these Arabs are receiving from "Rabbis for Human Rights" !?!

This shul was established in answer to the Pogrom against the Fogel family from Itamar. Recently they celebrated a Hachnosat Sefer Torah. This was their answer to the atrocities against them. (Apparently, according to these "Rabbis", the Fogel Family and the residents of Itamar aren't human so they are not candidates for Human Rights. Chopping off heads of babies 3 months old and murdering the parents and the siblings in cold blood is not a problem. The Synagogue is a problem. Jews that settle the Land of Israel is a problem). Did I miss the condemnation by these "Rabbis of Human Rights" of the inhuman animalistic behavior by terrorists who show no remorse! If so please enlighten me.

So much for these "Rabbis" engaging in interfaith dialogue and twinning with Muslim groups affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood. Rabbis for Human Rights — North America and Rabbis for Human Rights Israel. Check them out or rather X them out!

This was written by David Lev and is from today's Arutz-7
( News.aspx/150540#.TuExhWOzX1R).


Arabs from the village of Akraba infiltrated an agricultural area in the town of Itamar on Thursday morning, beating residents.

Arab rioters in Itamar (Photo: Samaria Residents' Council)

Arabs from the village of Akraba infiltrated an agricultural area in the town of Itamar on Thursday morning. The Arabs came looking for a fight — equipped with metal bars and sticks, stones and other items. The entered an area where some Jewish residents of the town were grazing a flock of sheep and attacked them, inflicting injuries on some of the shepherds. The Arabs also threatened to come back later that night for another attack — this time with guns.

The shepherds called for help from IDF troops, who were attacked as well when they arrived. Two Arabs who attacked residents and soldiers were arrested. A resident of the town managed to take video of the attack. Security staff of the yishuv filed a complaint with police Thursday afternoon over the attack.

Residents said that they saw the Arab attackers taking instructions over the phone from leftist groups — including the "Rabbis for Human Rights Groups," which consists largely of Conservative and Reform rabbis who have made it their mission to help Arab villagers in Judea and Samaria fight against Jewish residents.

Only two weeks ago, a spokesperson for the Samaria Residents' Council, officials of the Civil Administration denote the specific borders of the area belonging to Itamar — which Arab agricultural workers are not allowed to use, or even to enter. Nevertheless, the Council said, Arabs continued to seek ways to sneak onto Jewish land in Itamar, and Thursday's attack showed just how far they were willing to go — with a premeditated attack on Jewish shepherds who had done nothing to provoke them.

In the wake of the incident, Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika said that the incident was "serious, consisting of an attack on civilians and soldiers. I call on police and the IDF to act against these rioters and criminals — both for the attack, which could have ended in tragedy, and for their illegal entrance into Itamar," he said.


Editor's Note: One reader, Shlomo Wollins underscored the Israeli Administration's appeasement of the Arabs (or maybe it's just afraid of flak from the "world's media"):

Anyone has to ask themselves: "How did soldiers arrive (armed) and were beaten and the arabs got away.." How do armed Israeli soldiers come to a scene where mob of arabs are using deadly weapons (iron bar) to attack law-abiding Israeli citizen — get attacked themselves — and not shoot to wound or kill the arabs? Well — if you live in Israel — you will know that the govt, police, media, courts are so completely arab appeasers — that the idea of shooting violent arabs is against the "real laws"

Contact Robin Ticker at

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, December 8, 2011.

Sheikh Muhammad Hassan

The totalitarian nature of Sharia law can only be grasped when one appreciates how thoroughly it permeates and dictates everything in a believer's life — including when and to whom a Muslim may smile.

Popular Islamic TV preacher Sheikh Muhammad Hassan appears in this video clip asserting that, according to Sharia, it is "not at all permissible" for Muslims to smile at non-Muslims, "except in cases of da'wa."

Often translated as "missionary work," the word da'wa means to "call" or "summon" non-Muslims to Islam. Because it shares the same goals of jihad — empowering and spreading Islam — da'wa is often seen as jihad's nonviolent counterpart.

In fact, Sheikh Hassan himself asserts that "da'wa mode differs from jihad mode. Jihad mode requires power, zeal, manliness — basically, a stern face and such. But when in da'wa mode, you must smile, you must be gentle."

As proof, he pointed out that when Allah ordered Musa and Harun (the biblical "Moses" and "Aaron") to go and persuade that great infidel, pharaoh, to submit, Allah commanded them "to speak to him gently" (Quran 20:44).

Further demonstrating the stealth nature of da'wa, Hassan made abundantly clear that if a Muslim smiles to a non-Muslim "by way of heartfelt friendship, this is wala' which Islam has forbidden, and which contradicts faith according to Muslim consensus."

As proof, he quoted Quran 60:1: "O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?"

All of this naturally leads to Islam's infamous doctrine of wala' wa bara', or "Loyalty and Enmity"; the verse quoted by Hassan is but one of many that portray non-believers as enemies to be shunned and subjugated (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22).

For instance, Quran 3:28 commands "believers not to take infidels for friends and allies instead of believers... unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions." According to mainstream exegete Tabari, "taking precautions" means:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them ... [but know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers — except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

After interpreting Quran 3:28 as meaning that Muslims may "protect" themselves "through outward show" when under non-Muslim authority, Ibn Kathir, perhaps Islam's most celebrated exegete, quotes a close companion of Muhammad saying: "Let us smile to the faces of some people while our hearts curse them."

Such Islamic texts and teachings provide one with new appreciation for smiling, stealth jihadists operating under non-Muslim authority. Soon after watching the video clip of Sheikh Hassan, I came across the following picture of various CAIR characters, some of whom were convicted of terrorism, and wondered:

Is that what a da'wa-smile looks like (minus, of course, Siraj Wahhaj, whose "stern face" suggests he is in "jihad mode")?

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article is archived at sharia-sinister-smiles

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Posted by Kaufman, December 7, 2011.

This was written by Kevin J. Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard. He is the author, with Jon Levenson, of "Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews" (Yale University Press, 2008). His last article for Commentary, "Two Popes, One Holocaust," appeared in the December 2010 issue. It appeared in Commentary Magazine, December 2011. This article is redacted from the original Commentary article and is archived at the Israel-Commentary website at


SHORTLY AFTER THE END of the Second World War, an Austrian, Franz Stangl wandered into Rome looking for a Catholic prelate. He needed the help of a bishop he thought was named Hudal. After a short walk, the Austrian arrived at the episcopal residence he was seeking. "You must be Franz Stangl" the bishop said, warmly holding out both his hands. "I was expecting you."

Stangl had been commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka concentration camps. Wanted for the murder of nearly a million Jews, he was desperately seeking to escape the clutches of Allied forces justice. He had come to the right man. Bishop Alois Hudal (1885-1963) was rector of a college in Rome known as the "Anima," a seminary for German-speaking priests. He was also a profound sympathizer with National Socialism and dedicated to extending papal charity to Nazi war criminals. After finding Stangl a job at the German College, the bishop eventually supplied him with travel documents, a steamer ticket, and a factory job in Syria. Later, Stangl was extradicted to Brazil, where he would bring his wife and family.

While it would be consoling to suppose this act of benevolence was an isolated incident, in the deliverance of ex-Nazis, SS men, and known criminals, it was repeated hundreds of times by prelates and priests. Their actions were not only known to diplomats in the highest echelons of the Catholic hierarchy, they were morally and financially supported by them — and, horrifyingly, supported by unknowing American Catholics and some of their all-to-knowing leaders.

With so much attention given to the conduct during the Shoah of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and Pius XII, there has been little attention paid to the social role played by men like Hudal in the immediate aftermath of the war. As it happens, a recently published book by another Austrian, the brilliant young scholar Gerald Steinacher, lays out in powerful detail, how and why the Catholic church, through its personnel, financing, and aid from institutions, committees, and priests, protected Nazi war criminals.

The Catholic priests and prelates who helped spring the Nazis were part of an organization called the Vatican Relief Commission (Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza, or PCA). They supplied invaluable, indeed, crucial aid in sheltering Nazi war criminals, SS men, and ordinary Nazis. Steinacher tells us that the PCA viewed itself as a sort of papal mercy program for National Socialists and Fascists. The most stunning, and well-supported, claim in Steinacher's book is that enthusiasm for the general mission of the PCA went to the very top of the Vatican hierarchy. "Pope Pius XII supported this aid organization whole-heartedly."

By far the most influential figure of the National Welfare Conference that supplied the major portion of funds was the redoubtable archbishop of New York, Cardinal Francis Spellman. Spellman was a close confidant of the pope and owed the pontiff for a major boost up the ecclesiastical career ladder. This debt he paid back with munificent contributions to the organization that would free the Pontif's beloved Germans. Spellman directed the flow of money from the United States into the Vatican coffers.

Among the men aided by Catholic prelates, diplomats, and priests, and supported by papal funding, was not only Stangl but Auschwitz "doctor" Josef Mengele, who was already wanted (according to a contemporary warrant) for "mass murder and other crimes." Also supported was Adolf Eichmann, the SS lieutenant colonel and the principal organizer of the Holocaust.

Authors Gerald Steinacher and David Cymet emphasize that not only Germans and Austrians were aided by the Catholic organizers of the so-called rat-line. Cymet estimates that some 30,000 Croatian Ustashis and roughly a similar number of Slovak Hlinkas, nominal Catholics, all were hurried along the rat-line with the help of Catholic clerics.

STEINACHER is not much interested in the controversial issues surrounding Pius XII, but Cymet emphatically is. He is also quite angry with Pius's defenders. Indeed, the title of his book, History vs. Apologetics, says it all. What Pius's defenders are doing, in Cymet's view, can be classified as apologetics, in the cruder sense of the word. But Cymet goes much further in his criticism of the untruths and deception expressed in the writings of those who would vindicate Pius XII. Cymet finds it reprehensible, first of all, that Pius, who acted neutrally during the war and never intervened vigorously on behalf of victims of the Shoah, actually sought leniency after the war for Einsatzgruppen and death-camp commanders. According to the private diaries of Muench, who was his personal representative in occupied Germany, Pius sought pardons for Einsatzkommando Otto Ohiendor, a close associate of Hummer. Cymet rightly calls this "one of the saddest chapters of his postwar activities."

The second issue was Pius's heartless intransigence in preventing Jewish war orphans, many of whom had been baptized for protection (and many, less nobly, for the purpose of being saved in a religious sense), from being released from Catholic institutions and individuals after the war's end. In stories that appallingly resemble the heartbreaking case from the 19th century of Edgardo Mortara,* we hear, to our amazement, Pius's refusing to allow any child who had been baptized to return to his Jewish parents or to parties who "had no right to them" — that is, to Jewish organizations requesting the care of these children.

We are indebted to Steinacher and Cymet for bringing this shameful record to the light of day. As is now painfully obvious, the very top of the Catholic Church, in the postwar years, cared more about the perpetrators of the atrocity than thir countlesss victims. Hardly a priest can be identified in the PCA who was his Jewish Brother's keeper. For the mortal sins of its priests, for the monstrous evil of which they were guilty in collaborating with Nazi male factors, the church wll bear an ugly blemish, one that no amount of extenuation or special pleading can erase.


Editor's Note: A reader, Eva Deutsch Costabel, wrote:

The money to save the war criminals, the rat line was the money plundered from Croatian Jews. Ante Pavelic, the Hitler of Croatia, was a very devout Catholic, and went to church every day, while he murdered 75 thousand Croatian Jews. We were eighty thousand Jews before the war, I am one of the survivors. The dirty little secret of the Balkans. Pavelic was a close friend of the pope and was saved by him as well. The pope could have saved thousands of Jews in the catacombs of Rome, but he did not want to do so. As a survivor I detest everything European, I refuse to visit this continent soaked with Jewish blood.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (

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Posted by YogiRUs, December 7, 2011.

This was written by Arthur Herman and it appeared in the December 2011 issue of Commentary Magazine
( how-israels-defense-industry-can-help-save-america/)

Arthur Herman, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of Freedom's Forge: How American Business Built the Arsenal of Democracy that Won World War II, which will be published by Random House in April, 2012.


Kibbutz Sasa sits one mile from Israel's Lebanese border. Founded in 1949, it is the site of the tomb of the second-century rabbi Levi ben Sisi. It hosts groves of fruit trees and a dairy farm and has 210 members. Kibbutz Sasa is also the home of the main factory of Plasan, a company that started out making hard plastic containers like garbage cans in 1985. For four years now, American soldiers have driven more safely in Iraq and Afghanistan, thanks to Kibbutz Sasa and Plasan's CEO, Dani Ziv.

It was Ziv who, in the 1980s, urged the company to take up the manufacture of protective ballistic vests for soldiers and police. In 1989, Plasan won its first contract to make body armor for the Israel Defense Forces, and then for IDF vehicles. When war came to Afghanistan and then Iraq, orders went through the roof, especially from the United States. Plasan's profits soared some 1,500 percent, from $23 million in 2003 to $330 million in 2007. Today they stand at over $500 million, with 90 percent of the company's orders coming from Europe and the United States.

Plasan specializes in a very dense plastic composite product that affords ballistic protection without significantly adding to the weight of the vehicle. "Their work is exceptional," says a senior Israeli defense industry executive about Plasan. "To convince the U.S. military that you are a reliable outfit is no mean feat. They did it all alone, without any help from a former ambassador or defense ministry director general."

Plasan-armored mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) have been serving in Afghanistan since August 2009, and contractor Oshkosh Company has another 8,800 on order. In 2009 Plasan even opened a factory in Bennington, Vermont, to do the work for its American contract. But while the 350 or so workers there are American, the technology is decidedly Israeli.

That applies to an even smaller company in Netanya, Israel, called Camero. Its engineers have come up with a way to use ultra-wideband wireless transmissions to see through walls — literally — and detect armed men and explosives on the other side. The Xaver 400 is barely the size of a laptop computer, but it's dramatically shifting the odds in urban fighting in favor of the technology user, whether he's an IDF soldier or a United States Marine. Indeed, in December 2010, one of Camero's top clients became the Department of Defense.

What's happening at Plasan and Camero is part of a silent revolution sweeping the defense establishments of the United States and Israel. After decades of being the Pentagon's dependent in terms of military technology, Israel's defense industry is now gaining a competitive advantage over its overregulated, bloated and lethargic American rival. Indeed, the United States is becoming one of its best customers. Goliath is finding shelter under the shield of David.

This situation is fraught with irony. It's not only that America is now fighting the kind of wars Israel has been fighting for decades — small-scale, low-intensity, against an elusive terrorist enemy — and needs the skills and equipment Israel has to offer, including remote-detection devices such as unmanned drones, an area in which Israel has been on average 10 years ahead of the curve. Nor is it simply the fact that as U.S.-Israeli relations have cooled during the Obama years, Israelis are realizing that a strong and independent high-tech defense sector may be more crucial to Israel's future than relying on U.S. help.

The Israeli way of doing defense business is changing the shape of the military-industrial complex. Smaller, nimbler, and entrepreneurial, Israel's defense industry offers a salutary contrast to the Pentagon's way of doing things. With the spending and budget crisis in the United States already putting immense pressure on the Pentagon, with all-but-certain declines in the percentage of the U.S. economy that will be devoted to defense in the coming decade, a second "revolution in military affairs" is going to be necessary. We are going to have to get more for less — much less. Israel points the way.

A good example coming from the more expensive end of the military-technology spectrum involving high-tech missiles is Rafael Advanced Systems. They're the Israeli makers of the Iron Dome missile defense system, built to protect Israeli towns from mortars, rockets, and 155-millimeter artillery shells. Each Iron Dome unit fires four to eight missiles and is equipped with a Battle Management computer system designed by another Israeli company, MPrest Systems. It's an all-weather mobile system with a range of 70 kilometers (about 43.5 miles).

For the Pentagon, developing and deploying a major new system like this can take more than a decade. By contrast, the Israel Defense Ministry gave Rafael the contract for Iron Dome in 2007, and by March 2009 the system was fully ready for testing. The first true shoot-down test had to wait until July that year. More tests followed in 2010, and by March 2011 Iron Dome was declared operational and has been deployed in towns near the Gaza strip to protect against Hamas's attacks.

To intercept bigger ballistic missile, Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) developed the Arrow antimissile system in cooperation with the United States as part of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. The agreement to build Arrow came in 1989. The first missile, the Arrow 1, got its first test launch in August 1990. Less than four years later came its first test interception.

Although Arrow began as an American-Israeli joint initiative, the irony is that Israel's interest in developing Arrow sprang from the failure of American-made Patriot antimissile batteries to intercept Scud missile attacks during the First Gulf War. Arrow relies on a coterie of Israeli companies to provide the interception system's components. Elta, a division of Israel's biggest private arms firm, Elbit Systems, provides the Green Pine early-warning radar. Tadiran (another Elbit division) makes the Communication, Control, and Command center. IAI devised the Hazelnut launch controls. Altogether, they have constructed one of the world's most sophisticated defense systems. In 1995 the Arrow 1 was replaced with an even faster, more lethal version, Arrow 2, which, according to its developer, Dov Raviv, has a 90 percent probability of knocking out a ballistic missile — and can tell a warhead from a decoy.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency considers itself fortunate when it gets any successful missile shoot-downs from its land-based system. The first successful test interception from the American version of Star Wars came in August 2005 — more than 10 years after the Israelis had done the same thing. Now Israel is looking to sell Iron Dome in the United States. And Rafael's American marketing partner? Raytheon, the same company that developed the Patriot.

For decades Israel has been seen as the United States' junior partner in all matters military and strategic. American defense companies were the unquestioned leaders in developing sophisticated modern weaponry, while Israelis focused on more standard items such as small arms (the classic Uzi) or weapons built to suit their unique battle conditions (the Merkava tank). The Patriot missile deployment in the First Gulf War only reinforced the perception that Israelis needed American military technology, and American military aid, in order to survive. Now it may be Israeli technology, in the shape of Iron Dome and Arrow, that ends up defending American cities instead.

The changing situation has also affected the American attitude to technology transfers between the two allies. General Uzi Eilam, former head of the Israeli weapons research-and-development agency MAFAT, remembers that when F-15s and F-16s from the United States arrived in Israel, "they came with systems in locked boxes, which we were not allowed to open." The rule was, the closer the Israelis were to attaining the same technical breakthrough, the more willing the United States would be to share the technology. Today the Pentagon is speeding up the cooperation process, if only to prevent Israeli advances from heading them off at the pass.

It is striking how the Israeli defense sector keeps steadily leapfrogging from one challenge to the next. This is especially true for the acid test of any strong defense industry: foreign sales. Ten years ago Israel ranked 15th. In 2007 it surpassed the United Kingdom to rank fourth, behind the United States, Russia, and France. The day when it takes France's place is not far off.

This is a remarkable achievement for a country of some six million people that is treated as a virtual pariah by much of the world. But virtual is the mot juste — for even though Turkey virtually froze relations with Israel two years ago, it's still among Elbit's best customers.

Of course, it will be a long time before America's defense establishment, with its huge government-supported research-and-development resources and armies of engineers, will be outmatched by Israel's. It is also true that Israel's military doesn't use big-ticket items like aircraft carriers, stealth aircraft, and nuclear submarines that are the major money pits of Pentagon procurement; nor does it maintain the kind of global presence that requires them. Israel also spends much more of its GNP on defense (roughly 6.7 percent), and having a conscript army avoids the high personnel cost problems that are the fastest growing expense of our all-volunteer force. Nor can it be denied that much of Israel's high-tech weapons success has come with America paying a large portion of the research-and-development bill, as with both Iron Dome and Arrow. Still, that money is looking less and less like a way to prop up a beleaguered ally, and more and more like a capital investment in future systems for ourselves.

How the Israeli defense industry, with a fraction of our capitalization and far fewer workers and engineers, has managed to move ahead at a time when our biggest defense contractors seem stalled offers some important lessons for a Pentagon beset by cost overruns and shrinking budgets. Indeed, learning from the Israeli way of doing things just might make the difference between a leaner, meaner U.S. military and hollowed-out collapse.


Israeli defense companies owe their success to a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Having to fight for survival has always tended to focus Israeli energies and concentrate efforts. Terrorist-launched missiles raining down on civilian neighborhoods remain merely a conjectural possibility in the United States, but not in Israel. There is little margin for error in making major decisions about what kinds of weapons to develop and invest in, and even less for needlessly dragging out the timeline for the development of weapons systems that may be vital to national existence.

Another advantage is that virtually everyone working for an Israeli defense firm has served in uniform. As Dan Senor and Saul Singer note in their book Start-Up Nation, thanks to military conscription, the Israeli Defense Forces — "particularly elite units in the air force, infantry, intelligence, and information technology arenas" — have been the spawning ground for a myriad of Israeli technological companies. And the IDF experience has also led some of Israel's best minds toward designing and developing military technologies.

Indeed, it's difficult to find a defense engineer or executive who doesn't have some battlefield experience to draw upon. "We know what it means to sit in a military vehicle," a Plasan employee told a reporter in 2008, "what it's like to hit an explosive device or take a burst of gunfire." It's not unusual for a defense company engineer called up for reserve service to find himself at the controls of a weapons system he himself designed.[*]

Other habits from the IDF experience rub off as well. One is its bias against hierarchy. In sharp contrast to the Pentagon, junior officers enjoy more responsibility and feel free to challenge their superiors. As Senor and Singer note, that makes for a chain of command flexible enough to adapt to unexpected changes and opportunities, whether it's on the battlefield or in the boardroom.

Another is a bias toward improvisation. Virtually every piece of equipment purchased from the United States, from F-16 fighter planes to Blackhawk helicopters, goes through immediate changes by its personnel and crews to fit Israeli battle conditions. When this happens in the American military (as when American soldiers in Iraq began self-armoring their thin-skinned Humvees), the result is confusion and panic. But accepting the reality of on-field modification means Israeli designers don't have to worry about a weapon system that anticipates every contingency. They know the users will take care of minor problems along the way, which speeds up both development and deployment time — and gives important feedback for future improvements. It also reduces learning curves and provides unexpected opportunities for making lemonade from lemons.

A good example is the Lavi in the 1980s. Israel's Air Force was determined to get its own attack fighter after years of modifying American or French planes. Jointly funded by the U.S. and Israeli governments, produced by defense giant IAI and nicknamed the Lavi, the plane took four years and billions of dollars to develop — until the program was cancelled in 1987, in large part because the Pentagon became worried that it was funding a plane to rival its own top export fighter, the F-16.

The cancellation sent shockwaves through the Israeli Defense Ministry: Some still say the decision was a mistake. But "the project drove the whole industry towards the cutting edge of technology," notes defense analyst Yiftah Shapir, no fan of the Lavi. "We still sell the sub-systems that were developed [specifically] for the Lavi," especially in computer avionics (some of them are in the unmanned airborne vehicles, or UAVs, Israel makes for customers such as India, China, and Turkey). In addition, the 1,500 engineers working on the sophisticated Lavi systems soon found jobs in other Israeli defense companies, taking their experience and expertise with them.

In short, what would have seemed a failure and giant waste of money to a risk-averse Pentagon and its congressional overseers became the springboard for still bigger advances, including, in 1988, the launching of Israel's first communications satellite in space.

The Lavi project and the space shot set the stage for the next major step for the Israeli defense industry, its radical reorganization in the 1990s. A combination of downsizing, deregulation, and privatizing forced the country's major defense contractors to start thinking about new ways to make money, as well as weapons, and to see the high-tech frontier as an opportunity to get the jump on big international competitors, including the United States.


As the 1980s ended, the Israeli defense industry found itself bloated, overregulated, and too costly, like the rest of Israel's economy. The end of the Cold War forced change. Foreign buyers had liked Israeli defense products because they had been battle-tested against the Soviet-built systems of Israel's Arab antagonists. With the end of the Soviet threat, that marginal advantage vanished. Israeli companies saw American defense firms, flush from the success of Desert Storm, grabbing those contracts instead.

From 1985 to 1995 Israel's defense spending fell by 37 percent. Declining global demand was matched by falling domestic demand, while a dysfunctional corporate culture made it hard for Israel's major government-owned firms to adjust. If Israel's ability to develop and produce its own weapons was to survive, a drastic change in how companies operated and what they made had to take place.

Major firms had to downsize their workforce and excess capacity; many smaller companies disappeared in a wave of consolidations. Elbit Systems emerged as a major contractor after absorbing smaller high-tech rivals like Elisra and Tadiran and old-line companies like Soltam Systems (founded in 1950), which made advanced artillery and mortars.

As part of a larger shift of Israel's economy to a more deregulated model, there was also a wave of privatization of government-owned enterprises. Rafael Advanced Systems, which had been a research lab working at the behest of the Israeli Defense Ministry, spun off as a private company. Other government-owned companies like IAI were encouraged to spin off separate commercial projects from their defense units, even when the research and development had begun in those divisions. After some false starts, most of those spin-offs have done well; and as defense exports rose, the commercial exports of spin-offs rose even faster.

This was the other leg of the 1990s reorganization. It became clear that while Israel defense companies would continue to make Israel-specific weapons systems, there was a real future for the Israeli defense industry in the global marketplace, especially in the high-tech area that included retrofitting and upgrading older platforms built by the Cold War giants, Russia and the United States. Having a diversity of customers, beyond the IDF, would not only lower production costs and enhance economies of scale, it would also stimulate more technical innovation and more opportunities to sell Israeli products.

The result was a steady climb in Israeli exports, starting in 2000 and then breaking through in 2007, when Israeli arms sales abroad passed the $4 billion mark. Elbit, the maker of the Arrow, saw a 38 percent growth in revenue in that year alone. In 2009, Israel's defense exports reached $6.9 billion; in 2010, $7.2 billion. With defense budgets declining worldwide in 2011, those numbers may be hard to surpass. But the Israeli way of doing defense business is here to stay.

Reorganization did not come cheap. In the end, Israeli taxpayers had to put up some $3 billion, the equivalent of one-third of the 2001 defense budget, to pay for the overhaul. The investment paid off. As Giora Eiland, one of Ariel Sharon's national-security advisers, puts it, Israel found the right balance between, on the one hand, government support and oversight and, on the other, private creativity and incentive, including encouraging independent research and development. When the country needs big conventional platforms like planes and helicopters and submarines, it buys overseas and then modifies the purchases to fit IDF systems and battlefield profiles. When the IDF needs high-tech weaponry, Israelis develop it themselves with an eye toward commercializing it abroad.

That has caused some friction with Israel's big brother. The United States views the advance of the Israeli David with some trepidation, especially when sales might mean transfers of sensitive technology. When Israel tried to sell four $250 million Phalcon early-warning systems to China, the Pentagon and Congress blocked the sale. When Israel agreed to upgrade the Harpy UAVs it had sold Beijing back in the 1990s, the United States retaliated by downgrading Israeli participation in the F-35 program.

On the other hand, American defense companies are increasingly seeing cooperation with Israel as the key to their own future. In addition to Iron Dome, Raytheon has signed on with Rafael Advanced System for development of another antimissile missile, the so-called Magic Wand or David's Sling. A two-stage interceptor, the Magic Wand is designed to take out the long-range rocket and cruise missiles possessed by Hezbollah. To Raytheon, the Israeli technology is helpful for its own future systems; for Rafael, the deal with Raytheon is largely a way to get U.S. funding. The technology they have; it's the money and customers they need.

One of those customers is the United States. Elbit makes 80 percent of the IDF's UAVs and trails behind only the United States in the global marketplace for the craft we now all know as drones. Israel is not a player in the U.S. market — yet. "I don't know why they don't simply import UAVs," says Elbit CEO Joseph Ackerman, including, of course, his own.

It seems a good question. And since the United States has emerged as Israel's single biggest arms customer in the last decade, with systems like Iron Dome and David's Sling on the way, surely drones won't be far behind.


So does the future of American security have "Made in Israel" stamped on it? In one sense, it already does. At the Plasan plant in Kibbutz Sasa, the hallways are covered with poster-size copies of thank-you notes from American GIs. One of them is signed by Brian, an Army sergeant serving in Afghanistan who wrote that the Plasan armor saved him from a bullet that would have blown off his head if it had gone through the door.

"American soldiers come up to us at exhibitions, and tell me that they won't get into any vehicle that's not been armor-protected by Plasan," a Plasan employee says. To date, there's not been a single soldier killed by fire while in a vehicle that we armor-protected."

The idea of Americans protected by Israel, however, may have broader applications than vehicle armor or antimissile defense, or even weapons systems in general. It could extend to the entire way Israeli military contractors give far more bang for the buck — and all with a Defense Ministry supervisory force of fewer than 300 people. Our Pentagon, by contrast, relies on some 30,000 bureaucrats to do the same oversight — the equivalent of two full Army divisions.

Of course, Israeli companies take advantage of their niche selection and their concentration on the high-tech sector, with its relatively expensive development curve but low production costs, and ability to skip the big-ticket platforms. But can anyone doubt that if Dani Ziv or another Israeli defense contractor were asked to build the next-generation aircraft carrier, it would cost far less than the $1.3 billion currently slated — and be delivered much more quickly? With the final cost of our coming fleet of F-35 fighters approaching $1 trillion, it seems a highly relevant question.

While the number of Pentagon bureaucrats continues to grow, the number of American students graduating with engineering degrees is steadily falling to less than 5 percent of the world's total (China graduates more than half). Right now America's leading defense contractors spend twice as much on lawyers than they do on research. There is a very real danger that in the next decade, if they are asked to arm America for the next major strategic challenge, as they did in the 1980s and again after 9/11, U.S. defense contractors will be unable to meet it. It's time for the Pentagon and the American defense industry to develop a new way of doing business. They must look to Israel.


[*] Streamlining that process is the Israeli Defense Ministry's Talpiot unit, which targets very talented youths, some when they are in high school, for training in both high technology and military science, and on the necessary connections between them, before putting them into service with the IDF. Talpiot creates "a group unmatched anywhere in the world," George Gilder writes in The Israel Test — with "its students designing [weapons] systems for 10 years before entering college" and with its former alumni serving as an unprecedented talent pool for Israel's own defense companies.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 7, 2011.

When I wrote two days ago about what Alan Dershowitz said at the Begin Center, I expressed some surprise, relative to one particular issue.

What Professor Dershowitz said was that the ICC (International Criminal Court) has no jurisdiction with regard to states where there is an independent judiciary that will handle the situation. And, that the most important weapon in defending Israelis in this venue is Israel's strong judiciary.

What I wrote was that, while I am not a human rights lawyer, I found his comments surprising in light of what I know is Israeli concern about the ICC — concern that the Palestinian Arabs, if they are recognized as having the authority of a state, might press charges for war crimes via the ICC against those who fight Israel's wars (minister of defense, generals, etc).

I said I wanted to check further.


Dershowitz also said that Israel allows the best access to its high court in the world. This is absolutely the case. Anyone in Israeli can petition the court (which decides whether or not to hear the case).

And then he extrapolated, carrying this thought one step further: Don't change this system, he warned, as it might weaken Israel's ability to defend herself in the ICC.

At that point I felt an uneasy sense that Dershowitz might be mixing the legal and the political: drawing on a particular legal take on the matter to reinforce his political position. Or, putting it differently, perhaps allowing his political position to color his legal take. But on Monday I was not yet prepared to consider this in writing.


Israel is currently deeply embroiled in discussion with regard to limiting access to the court (along with other discussions involving the court in which legislators and others are now engaged). Legislation is being proposed that would limit ability to petition the court to individuals with standing in a case.

This, which is being decried in certain quarters as "undemocratic," is precisely how the US Supreme Court works. Let me provide an example. Recently the US Court heard a case regarding the right of American citizens born in Jerusalem to have "Israel" on their birth certificates. The case was brought in the name of a child to whom this situation adheres. No one would have been permitted to come to the Court and say that he or she, even though not affected personally, demands a certain outcome as a general principle.

But what we have here is a situation in which, for example, Peace Now can go into the Court and protest against a particular settlement in Judea or Samaria when no one directly involved, no one who would be affected by the outcome of the case, has protested or registered a claim.

Does it make sense to refrain from modifying this system — which in the opinion of many badly needs modifying — because of the ICC?


Today I consulted with an international lawyer of considerable experience.

Leaving aside a number of legal particulars, he said, first, that an "independent judiciary" in and of itself is not enough to insulate us from prosecution by the ICC.

The State (i.e., Israel in this case) has to be willing and able to investigate and prosecute. What this means is spelled out within the Statute of the Court: If there is an unwillingness to prosecute because of a desire to shield an individual from criminal responsibility; or if there is an unjustified delay; or proceedings are not being conducted impartially, the State is not insulated. And so proceedings within our system might provide protection, but the situation is not entirely clear cut.

Would it matter in the slightest if the Israeli court system were adjusted so that only those with standing could petition the court? Well, most probably not, would be the attorney-general who would have to investigate and prosecute. As matters stand now, if the a-g refused to prosecute, in theory, someone might petition the court in order to challenge that decision.


At this point my legal expert paused, and said this would be a very unlikely state of affairs. Then he paused again and made a statement of another sort:

The current debate regarding the Court and the relationship between the Court and other branches of the government is a healthy process that is part of the democratic system. It is dangerous to that democratic process and to the sovereignty of Israel as a nation to bring in international opinions and facts in the course of that debate. It is, in fact, "wrong" to bring in international issues.


We are seeing a triumvirate working on behalf of Obama, attempting to weaken Israel. I've already mentioned Defense Secretary Panetta and Howard Gutman, the US Ambassador to Belgium. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must be included.

Clinton spoke at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center last Friday night along with Panetta.

Caroline Glick, in her yesterday's column, "An Ally No More," described at least part of the situation:

"The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women's rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton's righteous feminist wrath.

"In the IDF, as in the rest of the country, religious coercion is forbidden. Jewish law prohibits men from listening to women's voices in song. And recently, when a group of religious soldiers were presented with an IDF band that featured female vocalists, keeping faith with their Orthodox observance, they walked out of the auditorium. The vocalists were not barred from singing. They were not mistreated. They were simply not listened to.

"And as far as Clinton is concerned, this is proof that women in Israel are under attack. Barred by law from forcing their soldiers [to spurn] their religious obligations, IDF commanders were guilty [says Clinton] of crimes against democracy for allowing the troops to exit the hall." Columnists/Article.aspx?id=248256


This is not the whole story: there is more being reported with regard to what Clinton said, although I've been unable to locate the text of her speech on the Internet. Her words were delivered at a "closed" session that was not supposed to be public. But public it is!

According to one report, she said that what went on with the women singers reminded her of Iran. Iran?

Another issue she raised was the efforts of ultra-Orthodox haredim in certain limited communities here to promote separate seating for men and woman on the buses they patronize extensively (something not mandated by Jewish law, it should be noted, and not in any way mandated by Israeli law!)

Making a very inept and insulting comparison, she said this called to mind the situation of Rosa Parks (during the time in 1955 when black people were pushed to the back of the bus in Alabama).


Clinton professed "concern" about the "erosion of democracy" in Israel. Heaven forbid that she might praise the strength of Israel's democracy, especially in the face of growing radical Islamist control in surrounding nations. Nope! The name of the game is weakening Israel.

And in this respect, there is yet one other issue she raised: efforts by members of the Knesset to limit the foreign funding of NGOs here.

First of all this is none of her business. We are a sovereign nation, even if she would prefer not to see it that way.

And the fact is that limiting that foreign funding actually makes our system more, not less, democratic. I alluded to Peace Now, above, and its ability to petition the Court. Well, Peace Now receives funding from foreign nations predisposed to establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria (which is not how a majority of Israelis are predisposed right now). There is a strong feeling that NGOs registered in Israel should work on behalf of the Israeli populace and not have a sense of being beholden to foreign governments that do funding.


Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has co-authored with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) a proposal to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank by cutting them off from US financial institutions. In spite of lobbying against it by officials from the administration, it passed the Senate unanimously last week. And a similar proposal is pending in the House.

Now, however, Kirk is saying that some legislators' offices have received a communication from the Obama administration that "proposed what they describe as technical fixes."

Says Kirk, "They are not fixes at all. They are meant to undermine the amendment." The administration was suggesting a grace period three times what the original proposal allowed, and "watering down of penalties."

The argument of the administration is that "threatening allies is not the best way to get cooperation." The old Obama line. Be nice. Ineffective, but nice.

But zero hour is approaching with regard to Iran's nuclear capabilities, and hitting Iran's Central Bank is essential. So I have to ask: Just which side is Obama on?



Just days ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu — in a statement that was both bewildering and absolutely maddening — explained that there seemed to be a moderating tendency in the PA, and so it was time to release tax funds that Israel had withheld since the PA applied for full membership in UNESCO. Maddening, because of the lack of genuine evidence of PA moderation.

But in light of some new information, it seems possible, if not probable, that he was motivated by some significant additional factors, beyond the normal push by Obama. It appears that he was operating under duress — subtly blackmailed, is perhaps an accurate description.

According to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, as reported by the JPost, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened to stop delivery to the Israeli navy of a dolphin-class German submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads unless he released funds to the PA. Israel has three such submarines now, and they could play an important role in a second strike; possession of yet a another is not an insignificant matter.

No one has come forward to testify publicly to exactly what Merkel said to Netanyahu. But the report by the German paper indicates that the announcement by the German government that it would build for Israel and pay up to one-third the cost of the submarine came immediately after Netanyahu announced the release of the PA funds. What is more, says the paper, the Merkel administration "informed the heads of parties...and leading foreign politicians that Israel made concessions."


Another "hmmm..."

I read what I wrote above, which I will let stand, and I wonder about the cost to us of conceding something — even for a good purpose — if "foreign politicians" are told that "Israel made concessions." Hey, if we can make concessions in one situation, there will always be more expected of us down the road. And yet it is probably not possible to function in the real world without concessions sometimes. The trick is deciding when to make those concessions and how — considering the trade-off and the ramifications.

I would not want to be in Netanyahu's shoes.


Please see the markedly different interpretation of Daniel Pipes on the election in Egypt.

"If the military colludes with Islamists to remain in power, obviously it, and not Islamists retains ultimate control. This is the key point that conventional analysts miss: the recent election results allow the military to keep power." egypt-sham-election


Within the next five years, 20 million African men and youths will undergo circumcisions. The goal is a reduction in the spread of AIDs: it is anticipated that this will save 3.4 million people from becoming HIV positive and save $16.5 billion in funds that would be needed to care for them. Studies show that the risk of contracting the disease can be reduced by up to 60% if circumcisions are performed.

Israel has been a significant participant in this program — both advocating this, and providing the expertise on doing the surgery. Israel's expertise with regard to doing circumcisions on adult males is extraordinary because of some 100,000 men — many from Russia — who came into the country without having been circumcised and but sought to be fully Jewish. This is now helping to save many lives and enhance medical knowledge in the Third World.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Dr. History, December 7, 2011.

This was written by Henry Mark Holzer, Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn Law School.


In the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, and from time-to-time since then, it has been said that the day was akin to the one about which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke: December 7, 1941. The comparison is apt-but not completely. Despite the similarities, the differences in what followed each of those days are profound and the aftermath of September 11, 2001, may well portend far worse consequences than did World War II for the United States of America.

The esteemed historian Samuel Eliot Morrison, in his The Oxford History of the American People, has written of December 7, 1941:

"At the end of this sad and bloody day, 7 December 1941, the 'day that shall live in infamy,' as President Roosevelt said of it, 2403 American sailors, soldiers, marines, and civilians had been killed, and 1178 more wounded."

In Hawaii, nearly 150 planes had been destroyed on the ground, at least six battleships had been sunk or rendered non-operational.

Soon, American air assets in Manila would be destroyed. The Japanese would roll over the Malay Peninsula and take Singapore. Guam and other islands in the Pacific would fall. Hong Kong would be taken. The fate of Bataan and Corregidor would be told by the Death March and hellish prison camps. And more. Much more.

Morrison, again, about December 8, 1941:

"To millions of Americans, whether at breakfast in Hawaii, or reading the Sunday paper in the West, or sitting down to dinner in the East, this news of disaster after disaster, seemed fantastic, incredible. As the awful details poured in, hour after hour, incredulity turned to anger and an implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks. On 8 December, Congress with but one dissenting vote declared a state of war with Japan . . . President Roosevelt, in his war message . . . declared, 'Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization'."

Yes, on December 7th and September 11th there were sneak attacks. Yes, each day was one of infamy. Yes, there were considerable losses of American (and other) lives. Yes, substantial symbols of American power-the Pacific Fleet, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon-were destroyed. Yes, Americans fought back at Pearl Harbor and on United 93. Yes, the news on those days was "fantastic, incredible."

And yes, then, as now, "Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization."

And yes, on December 8th and September 12th there was among our people "an implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks."

But with these comparisons, the picture changes.

In 1941, and for nearly four year after, we saw full mobilization of our great nation's resources: military, economic, social, spiritual, political. Every sector of our society was engaged. Men and women volunteered for the armed services.

Women went into factories.

Rationing was imposed.

Religious leaders prayed, and went into combat with their flocks.

Politicians joined hands, giving FDR what he needed to fight ruthless enemies.

Civilians willingly endured shortages and blackouts.

Kids (like me) collected newspapers, tin cans, used fat and grease-all for the war effort.

The radio, newspapers, and magazines supported the war effort, and exercised. Celebrities, who hadn't enlisted, sold War Bonds and entertained the troops.

Images kept patriotic spirits high: Joe Rosenthal's photo of the Iwo Jima flag raising; MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines; repatriation of emaciated POWs from Japanese prison camps; Patton, with his pearl-handle revolvers; the London blitz; the liberation of Paris. VE-Day. Then, VJ-Day. Times Square overflowing with joy.

And the man-in-the-street, and his wife, and his children, and all other Americans, knew that we were fighting Germany and Japan (and Italy) because, as FDR said, they posed a grave threat to "life, liberty and civilization."

As do the radical Islamists who on 9/11 showed us a preview of their nihilism-driven corrupt religion's vision for mankind, and who, before and since, have maimed and murdered thousands of innocent men, women, and children throughout the world.

But after President Bush's rousing post — 9/11 speech to Congress and the American people, after flags flew everywhere for a few months, after passage of some useful but inadequate legislation, do we see within our country Morrison's "implacable determination to avenge these unprovoked and dastardly attacks"?

Sadly, we do not.

Indeed, we see the opposite.

We see a narrow Supreme Court majority, infatuated with the romance of international law at the expense of American sovereignty, giving due process rights to terrorists, ignoring established precedent to nullify military tribunals, and treating irregular enemy combatants as if they were mere burglars to be dealt with by our domestic criminal law system.

We see international busybody organizations inspecting our detainee facility at Guantanamo, and solemnly pronouncing a verdict on our treatment of Islamic murderers who would make American citizens their next victims.

We see those murderers coddled-uninterrupted sleep, prayer time, outside recreation, nutritious food, health care-by a soft administration bent on mollifying these international busybodies and their domestic crybaby cousins.

We see America-hating organizations such as the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Center for Constitutional Rights enlisting thousands of lawyers whose task is to monkey-wrench the terrorist adjudicatory system, as if they were representing O.J. Simpson in a Los Angeles courtroom.

We see leading newspapers disclosing top secret defense information-surveillance, money tracing, secret interrogation facilities-not only with impunity, but to the cheers of America's left and those in the world who would destroy us.

We see a mostly partisan Democrat Party-in Congress and at the National Committee-playing politics with laws essential to our national security.

We see a weakened Republican president proffering legislation for military tribunals that provides for terrorists process at once unnecessary and dangerous, only to be trumped by the likes of grandstanding Republican Senators McCain, Warner, and Graham, who, not content to provide Islamic murderers with all the due process enjoyed by domestic criminal defendants, want to provide them, as well, with classified information about "sources and methods." We see this senatorial quartet also determined to prohibit the time-tested "good cop/bad cop" technique of interrogation, sleep deprivation, loud music, dietary manipulations — apparently believing that our military and CIA are dealing with some Chicago street gang, not savages out to destroy us and our way of life.

We see public officials acquiescing to the demands of homegrown Muslim organizations, in an effort not to offend-blinding themselves to that religion's core belief in jihad, martyrdom, and its ultimate triumph.

We see in America, according to a nationwide Scripps Survey Research poll, that more than one-third of our countrymen suspect the government "assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East." Worse, if that be possible, is that sixteen percent of those polled attribute collapse of the World Trade Center towers not to the jet planes hijacked by Islamic terrorists, but to agents of George W. Bush who somehow, clandestinely, blew up the buildings.

We see in our colleges and universities an inbred corps of fanatic intellectuals whose life's purpose is to brainwash the young minds entrusted to their care into believing that the enlightenment, Western values, and the political philosophy that created and sustained our nation are all malevolent, and that Islam, the religion of nihilism and murder, is mankind's true aspiration.

We, who at the Battle of the Bulge shot captured German troops wearing American uniforms and on Guadalcanal incinerated Japanese defenders with flame throwers, we who firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, we who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, now send Senators to Washington who fight the president over "harsh" interrogation of terrorists who often have information that can save American lives. We see the recruitment of radical Islamists in our prisons, aided and abetted by radical Islamic clergy — paid for by the American taxpayer.

We see politicians willing to turn over America's national security, and perhaps the ultimate survival of our civilization, to unelected judges, responsible to no one, many of whom have been cloistered for so long that they lack an adequate understanding of the real world.

We see the much heralded publication of the Army Field Manual, providing Geneva Conventions protection barring "outrages against personal dignity" like "hooding," forced nudity, and duct-taping eyes, to Islamic terrorists who behead, dismember, and disembowel captured Americans.

We see, in short, an utter, indeed a frightening, lack of understanding of the principles that animated our creation as the freest most successful nation ever to exist on this earth, principles that carried us through revolution, civil war, world wars, and a cold war.

We see that too many Americans have become ignorant and complacent, and thus broken the faith with those who fought at Yorktown, died at Gettysburg, survived the trenches, landed at Normandy, froze at Chosin, and were imprisoned in Hanoi.

We see our country in thrall to pernicious ideas that have sucked from us the understanding of what we face and the will to face it.

And time is running out.

Unless America wakes up fast-parents, clergy, intellectuals, workers, educators, veterans, celebrities, students-one day, perhaps sooner than later, we will look up and no longer see Ronald Reagan's "shining city on a hill."

We will see a Mosque.

Editor's Note:

World War 2 Poster: Rosie the Riveter

See the Rosie the Riveter video here on the Family Security Matters website. It includes a recording of President Roosevelt announcing the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.

Contact Dr. History by email at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 7, 2011.


Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) director Steven Stalinski released a study itemizing many of the UTube videos and their creators involved in jihad. Islamists are promoting terrorism more on videos than on websites.

The videos include much advocacy by the slain Al-Awlaki and bin Laden, among others. They air false accusations against the West and threats to exterminate their enemies.

Mr. Stalinski has warned Congress and Google. UTube formerly permitted viewers to report videos that offended sexually but not those that offended by promoting terrorism. Now it permits reports against terrorism. But there is no organized effort to shut down those videos (, 12/7/11 from IMRA

The U.S. has not defined the enemy and has no strategy to dealing with the enemy, unless that strategy is appeasement, subsidy, and retreat plus after-the-fact policing and rear-guard military action on the way home.


The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) still is utterly dependent upon foreign subsidy. Its touted, recent economic growth is temporary and illusory. The growth was in spending, financed by foreign subsidy. Now that the subsidy is falling, so is the touted P.A. economy.

The Prime Minister did eliminate many of the no-show jobs, but the P.A. economy remains bloated with government workers. The economy did not shift to manufacturing or other creators of tangible wealth (MEMRI, 12/7/11 from IMRA

PM Fayyad's stewardship of the P.A. was supposed to be building an independent economy as well as institutions as a requirement for sovereignty. However, the P.A. remains a welfare racket, getting foreigners to pay for keeping the people mostly on government payroll.

Fayyad has not changed the centrality to the P.A. of jihad and bigotry, so the P.A. remains undeserving of subsidy, much less of statehood, which has other requirements the P.A. does not meet. It does not comprise a discrete nationality and it has a poor claim to the territory.

The P.A. dependency upon foreign cash places Israel in a key position to let that enemy entity and its jihad collapse. PM Netanyahu lacks the will to be firm. Instead, he postures but bolsters the P.A..


For months, politicians and commentators have been demanding that PM Netanyahu unilaterally release funds it usually transfers to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). Meanwhile, the Chancellor of Germany was being pressed not to sell Israel a new submarine without major Israeli concessions to the Arabs. The chief concession: a complete freeze on Israeli construction beyond the Green Line, including parts of Jerusalem.

The submarine's importance to Israel is that it would constitute a significant proportion of Israel's small fleet of subs capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Such subs give Israel a second-strike capacity, important in deterring first strikes. The sub was to be one-third discounted by Germany, which is another important consideration.

It seems as if they made a deal: sub for funds release, "for the time being." The deal demonstrates how poor was the advice that Israel make unilateral concessions to the Arabs, according to Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA. He suggests that those kibitzers stay out of negotiations.

Iran's storming of Britain's Embassy may have been another motive for Germany's agreement to go through with delivery of the sub (Benjamin Wienthal And Jpost.Com St 12/04/2011 20:02 DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx? id=248084 from

Why should Israel give something for nothing, especially to enemies determined to conquer Israel? What kinds of friends suggest that Israel give away its resources and bargaining chips?

The deal may have relieved the immediate pressure on Germany and Israel, but not the long-range pressure. Israeli strategists should recognize the importance of dealing with the long-range pressure. To deal with it, they must identify its causes — I suppose media bias and general ignorance and antisemitism. Very soon, the same demands for Israeli concessions will be raised, again.

What kind of public relations would they recommend to overcome the ignorance and the bias? Have they noticed that Israel rarely makes its case for Jewish rights and seldom denounces the P.A.?

A P.R. campaign would have to explain: (1) Jewish rights; (2) Muslim Arab aggression and Israeli innocence; (3) Arabs' contempt and raising-the-ante reaction to concessions; (4) The injustice of concessions to aggressors; (5) The impossibility of peace with jihadists; and (6) Threat of those jihadists to Europe and the whole world, which therefore should put most of the world on Israel's side. Many more points should be made, as about international law on "occupation" and "war crimes," which the Arab side commits, and the solidarity of the Palestinian Arab civilians with the terrorists.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Ted Belman, December 7, 2011.

This was written by Soeren Kern and it appeared yesterday in Hudson NY Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.


A Christian worker in Britain has filed a lawsuit after losing her job when she exposed a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims.

In a landmark legal case, Nohad Halawi, a former employee at London's Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that Christian staff members, including her, were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

Halawi's case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), an organization that provides legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom. CLC says the case raises important legal issues, and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

Halawi, who immigrated to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, told the London Telegraph "that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross."

Halawi worked at the airport for 13 years as a saleswoman at World Duty Free, where she sold perfumes. Halawi was dismissed in July, following complaints by five Muslims that she was being "anti-Islamic."

Halawi says her problems with the Muslims began after she defended a Christian friend who worked with her at the same store, and who was being harassed by the Muslims for wearing a necklace with a cross.

Matters got worse after Halawi described a Muslim staff member as an "allawhi," or "man of God" in Arabic. Another worker, however, who overheard the remark, thought she said "Alawi," his branch of Islam. The misunderstanding led to a heated argument, after which Hawali was suspended and then fired.

Halawi says she persistently complained to management that she was being subjected to personal religious abuse and harassment from Muslim staff, some of whom went so far as to mock her about "shitty Jesus," according to the CLC. She says a group of "extremist" Muslims were the perpetrators, and that other employees are now worried that their jobs could be at risk if the Muslim group turns on them.

"One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees," Halawi told the London Telegraph. "They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam...This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims," Halawi said.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the CLC, said in a statement that Halawi's case is the most serious she has pursued, and that "it raises huge issues."

"First there is the level of Islamic fundamentalism prevalent at our main point of entry to the UK. Secondly, there are very real issues of religious discrimination, which it would appear those in authority are turning a blind eye to, using the current loopholes in employment law as an excuse," Williams said.

The Halawi case comes amid concerns that Christianity is being marginalized in Britain at the same time that Islam is spreading rapidly and Muslims are becoming more assertive.

British MP David Simpson, for example, has warned that Christianity is seen to be fair game for criticism and abuse while Islam receives special protection in the United Kingdom.

During a debate in the House of Commons in May 2011 about the treatment of Christians around the world, Simpson said: "In the United Kingdom, the policy seems to be that people can do whatever they like against Christianity — criticize it or blaspheme the name of Christ — as long as they do not insult Islam."

In London, the Harrow Council has provoked a storm of protest after announcing plans to offer Islamic halal-only menus in the borough's 52 state primary schools. Parents are outraged that meat prepared according to Islamic Sharia law is being pushed on non-Muslim children. Meanwhile, most of the in-flight meals on British Airways could soon be halal. The airline also says Muslim staff may wear veils, but Christian employees may not wear crosses.

Across Britain, Muslim bus and taxi drivers are telling blind passengers that they cannot bring their "unclean" dogs on board. The problem of prohibiting guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was recently raised in the House of Lords.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has criticized politically correct officials who remove carols and Nativity plays from Christmas celebrations in an effort to appease Muslims. He wrote: "The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage Nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message."

The politically correct enhancement of Islam at the expense of Christianity in Britain has been institutionalized by the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which was enacted by the British government in an effort to ease religious tensions in the country amid a rapidly growing Muslim population. (Britain now has an estimated 2.5 million Muslims, giving it the third-largest Muslim population in Europe, after German and France.)

The new law makes it a crime intentionally to stir up religious hatred against people on religious grounds, and has led to zealousness bordering on the absurd.

In Nottingham, for example, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas nativity play because it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims. In Scotland, the Tayside Police Department apologized for featuring a German shepherd puppy as part of a campaign to publicize its new non-emergency telephone number. The postcards are potentially offensive to the city's 3,000-strong Muslim community: Islamic legal tradition says that dogs are impure.

In Glasgow, a Christian radio show host was fired after a debate between a Muslim and a Christian on whether Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life." In Birmingham, two Christians were told by police "you cannot preach here, this is a Muslim area." In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class. Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.

In Liverpool, a Christian couple were forced to sell their hotel after a female Muslim guest accused them of insulting her during a debate about Islam. In London, Rory Bremner, a political comedian, said that every time he writes a sketch about Islam, he fears that he is signing his own death warrant. At the same time, Scotland Yard says that Muslims who launch a shoe at another person are not committing a crime because the practice is Islamic symbolism.

In Kent, police have been banned from asking for a person's "Christian" name, as this request might offend Muslims. The Kent Police Department's 62-page 'Faith and Culture Resource' guide tells officers to use "personal and family name" instead of "Christian" name. In East London, all elected members of Tower Hamlets town council were told not to eat during daylight hours in town hall meetings during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Special arrangements were also made to disrupt council meetings to allow for Muslim prayer. Meanwhile, the council renamed a staff Christmas party as a "festive meal."

Elsewhere in Britain, a foster mother has been struck off the social services register for allowing a Muslim girl in her care to convert to Christianity. Officials insist the woman, who has who has looked after more than 80 children in the past ten years, failed in her duty to preserve the girl's religion and should have tried to stop the baptism. They ruled that the girl, now 17, should stay away from church for six months.

In some British prisons, radical Muslim gangs are imposing Sharia law on non-Muslim inmates, who have been forced to stop playing Western music, take down pictures of women from their cells and stop eating sausage. The gangs are also targeting non-Muslim inmates for forced conversions to Islam.

In Leeds, more than 200 Muslim inmates at a high security prison are set to launch a multi-million pound claim for compensation after they were offered ham sandwiches during the month of Ramadan. They say their human rights were breached when they were offered the meat, which is forbidden by Islam. At the same time, Muslim sex offenders in British prisons are asking to be exempt from a prison treatment program because the idea that "criminals should not have to talk about their offenses" is a "legitimate Islamic position."

In West Yorkshire, an electrician working for a housing association in Wakefield was told he would be fired for placing a small palm cross on the dashboard of his van. His employer said the cross could be offensive to Muslims: "Wakefield and District Housing has a stance of neutrality. We now have different faiths, new emerging cultures. We have to be respectful of all views and beliefs."

In London, the BBC in September dropped the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (which translates from Latin to 'the year of our Lord') and replaced them with the "religiously-neutral" BCE and CE. In BBC justified the move this way: "As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians."

Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who resigned as the Bishop of Rochester amid death threats from Muslim extremists in Britain, says the BBC's move "amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history."

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at

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Posted by Robin Ticker, December 7, 2011.

The latest craze of Conservative and Reform Rabbis across America, (Orthodox Rabbis tend to be Silent and not take a stand) is to foster Interfaith Dialogue between Jews and Muslims and promoting tolerance, moderation, diversity, and pluralism which is the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference. It ends up promoting Islam. For a realistic understanding of Islam, read the article by Bosch Fawstin here.

These are some of the participating organizations.

  • Americans for Peace Now invents right wing violence, labels Knesset bills to limit funding to NGO's that hurts Israel as antidemocratic, promotes the boycott of Israeli products based on false claim of Israel's occupation of the Palestinians, full of lies and distortions of Torah, history and fact

  • Families of Abraham presents Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion when they are anything but.

  • The Pluralism Project assumes one can engage those out for Israel's destruction with actively seeking understanding in dialogue and communication.

  • Clergy for Tolerance same as above

  • ILJB Institute for Living Judaism in Brooklyn features Koran Events is a mini-series of classes on Islam and Judaism. classes taught by Jewish and Muslim scholars will explore some common religious rituals of the two faiths, their origins, meaning, variations in observance, etc. They present themselves as pluralistic but in the one event I attended they had full control of who speaks in their audience and what is said at their events by not allowing freedom of an attendee to express oneself. Questions are submitted on index cards and presented by their moderator and not by the one with the questions. There is no way to respond in debate mode to lies and distortions presented by the panelists.

  • Global Jewish Muslim Alliance, headed by Rabbi Marc Schneier, twins Mosques with Synagogues promoting an illusion of tolerance, moderation, diversity, and pluralism. Learn about the joint efforts to build a global movement of Jews and Muslims committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation. This event kicks off the fourth Weekend of Twinning (Nov 18-20), an annual event in which mosques and synagogues, Jewish and Muslim students, young leadership and women's groups hold face-to-face encounters in cities around the globe to celebrate commonalities in the two faiths and undertake social action projects. Brief Biographies: Rabbi Marc Schneier is founding rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU). Imam Muhammad Shamsi Ali is spiritual leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York (96th Street Mosque), the largest and most influential mosque in New York City. Dr. Mehnaz Afridi is director of the Manhattan College Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center.

Contact Robin Ticker at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 6, 2011.

Gaza GDP rose 30% this year. Unemployment fell to a 10-year low. Israel claims responsibility for the boost. Israel explains the boost as a results of its policy distinguishing between civilians and terrorists.

How did Israel accomplish this goal? For one thing, trucks entering Gaza [from Israel] doubled in the year.

Israel approved and facilitated Gaza exports of agricultural goods. It was doing the same with furniture, but the furniture factory burned down.

Israel approved scores of private and public construction projects. [This is a sensitive matter, because in the guise of civilian construction, Hamas used to divert the materials to building bunkers]. Israel also helps transfer equipment to Gaza for generating its own electricity [vital for manufacturing weapons, among other things].

Israel has enabled thousands of Arabs to enter Israel temporarily for medical treatment, a hundred businessmen a day to enter, and many experts to travel to conventions or for religious purposes.

Israel raised its transfer of water to Gaza from 3 million cubic meters to 4 million cubic meters (IMRA,12/5/11

Israel also does much to boost the economy of the Palestinian Authority in Judea-Samaria. An example is the employment fair Israel held to get more Arabs living there to work in Israel (IMRA, 11/9/11).

Both parts of the P.A. are dedicated to jihad, especially against Israel; neither half of the P.A. wants peace. Both encourage terrorists to murder Israelis. Israel's policy is not rational. It is left-wing ideological and appeasement-minded. That ideology assumes that all people are alike, and that if they prosper, and if they are treated civilly, they will behave civilly. Appeasement policy sometimes is set under pressure from foreign governments and media.

Little evidence supports that ideology's assumption and mountainous evidence refutes it. All cultures alike? Bosh!

For all the income-boosting and goodwill gesturing by Israel, Palestinian Arab society does not behave civilly. How can it? Its people are gripped by a barbaric ideology. They spurn follow Western norms. Too bigoted to stop hating Jews, they prefer religious dominance and war to economic prosperity.

As for foreign governments and media that Israel tries to appease, appeasement does not work. The foreign antipathy toward Israel and foreign appeasement of jihad is impervious to evidence of Israeli goodwill. Indeed, Israel's goodwill is not appreciated. In fact, Israel remains accused of keeping the P.A. Arabs poor or of stealing "their" water. Some anti-Zionists still try to send ships to Gaza claiming Gaza needs humanitarian aid, without the world laughing those phony humanitarians back to port.

Nevertheless, Israel spends its own money boosting its enemies, and even makes its own water shortage worse by giving those enemies some of Israel's water.

The problem is that policy-makers, whether in Israel, the U.S., the EU, or Russia do not confront issues before they balloon, or make far-sighted choices that self-indulgent populations resent, or analyze problems rationally.

Israel's premise that it can distinguish between civilians and terrorists in Gaza largely is mistaken. Yes, Israel does not pursue civilians in its retaliation against Hamas. But Israel's boost to the Gaza economy does not differentiate.

Who gets credit for economic improvement? Not Israel. What Israel does for the Arabs, the world overlooks. Hamas get the credit, from its own people, at least to the extent that popular discontent wanes. Israeli subsidy of the P.A. in general bolsters Hamas rule, which shares in funds turned over to the P.A..

What would be a rational choice for Israel? First, do not turn Israel's own resources over to the enemy. That would include, for starters, not sacrificing Israel's water for the enemy, not letting enemy Arabs enter Israel for business, work, or medical treatment usually free, not sending funds to the P.A., and not teaching Gazans agriculture.

Further measures would mean returning to at least partial blockade. Israel rescinded its blockade of non-military items under pressure of foreign criticism. After Israeli troops left Gaza, arms poured in, making Gaza part of the strategic rocket threat to Israel. Wonderful! How humanitarian Israel is! I think that is inhumane. I think it helps inhumane people against innocent Israelis.

Foreign criticism of Israel is unrelenting and unfounded. It derives from the general anti-Zionist, pro-Muslim, even antisemitic attitudes increasingly devoted to destroying Israel in favor of the jihadists who want to conquer those purportedly well-meaning foreigners. It also derives from the ignorance of the rest of the world. In my opinion, Israel should take whatever action provides security, and try to put it in the best light. By putting it in the best light, it sterilizes some hostility based on ignorance. It removes some excuses for foreign trouble-making against Israel.

What light can Israel shine upon the issues? Israel has to explain the nature of jihad and that the Palestinian Arabs are thoroughly behind their leaders' jihad. That means Israel must stop pretending that Abbas is moderate and that the P.A. culture permits peace. Israel has to annul Oslo and declare a kind of war against the P.A.. This war, Israel would explain, gives Israel the right to attack militarily when it needs to, but won't do so all the time. Israel must re-enter Gaza and P.A. cities, and deal a great blow to jihad. Unfortunately, this is complicated now by the great rise of Radical Islam, called by Westerners Arab Spring, and fostered by our suicidal President.

Along with some such action, Israel would have to explain that the P.A. Arabs are not a nationality, have a poor claim to the area, and follow an ideology seeking to commit evil against the whole world. Isn't it about time that Israel makes its case? Instead, Israel protests how nice it is, which nobody cares about. And the Arabs make their unjustified and fraudulent case.

Having declared war in response to war, Israel then would be more justified in partial or full blockade of the P.A.. I've proposed a program for squeezing the Arabs out of the Territories and gaining real security and the core of the Jewish homeland. This would help preserve civilization. War is tragic; but self-preservation is imperative.

A similar explanation needs to be done by the U.S.. As Caroline Glick explains, President Bush was afraid to do so, and Pres. Obama refuses to do so. In his leftist bent, Obama slants his policies against Israel and in favor of the Islamists. Israel should expose him too.

But who in Israel would do this? PM Netanyahu is weak under foreign pressure and deceitful toward his own people. For all we praise democracy, our Jewish people and our

American people are not selecting leaders who defend them.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, December 5, 2011.

Hevron is the Jewish City

Hevron is the first Jewish city in the land of Israel, home of our patriarchs and matriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. King David ruled from Hevron for more than seven years before moving the capital to Jerusalem.

Jews have lived in Hevron almost continuously for thousands of years. At Tel Hevron, commonly known as "Tel Rumeida," artifacts were discovered dating to the era of the Patriarch Abraham. "L'Melech" (King) seals, 2,700 years old, inscribed with the word "Hevron" in ancient Hebrew were uncovered there by archeologists.

Jewish presence in Hevron came to an abrupt end only in August 1929, when Arab riots led to the murder of 67 Jews and the wounding of 70. All Jewish survivors were exiled from the city by the ruling British.

Following the riots, massacre and exile in 1929, a small group of Jews returned to Hevron in 1931. About thirty families lived in the city until just after Passover, 1936, when they were expelled by the British.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews again had access to the first Jewish city. It must be clearly understood: when returned to Hevron in 1967, Jews did not occupy a foreign city; rather, they came back home.

NOTE: In honour of "Shabbat Hevron", when Abrahams's purchase of Mearat Hamachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs) is in the Torah reading, thousands will make their way to the second holiest city in Judaism to spend an uplifting and spiritual Shabbat praying at the Meara and learning about the city.

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

Throughout history there were few kingdoms where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in peace and mutual respect, creating an atmosphere of relative harmony, cultural and financial prosperity. Unfortunately, idiotic need for world domination by main streams of Christianity and Islam would not allow this "heresy" to last long.

Israel Can't Afford Not to Strike Iran

The world does not have much time left to act on Iran, former Mossad head Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom warned, adding that "there is an evaluation that they have crossed the red line. They have the knowledge to make the bomb. All that is needed now is the decision to do it.... The world has a year in which to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program, probably less." Yatom also doubted that sanctions or covert operations could stop the Iranians. "We have only two options: to let Iran get the bomb, or to use military force against their military nuclear program. I think that force will have to be used. But I don't think Israel should lead. This is, after all, a global problem...."

Words are Cheap!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told French Jews this week that his country "is at the forefront of the struggle against the Iranian nuclear weapon" and reiterated his "commitment and his friendship" towards Israel. Sarkozy reportedly made the remarks to a delegation of CRIF, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish organizations. Sarkozy also spoke of "his relation of friendship and respect" with Netanyahu. (This is after he called Netanyahu "a liar". French elections must be close!)

'Reconciliation' did not Last Long

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar said Abbas "is not interested in achieving" a unity government. "Reconciliation will not be achieved at all," Zahar told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat. After a meeting two weeks age Abbas and Mashaal hailed a "new era of cooperation," but observers noted no key points of division between the rival movements have been resolved. Earlier last week, Abbas moved a step further, setting May 4 as the date for elections. Hamas maintains that "resistance" is the only path to statehood and that any peace agreement reached with Israel will only serve as a prelude to furthering its agenda of destroying the Jewish state.

No More Waiting Game

Major US-Israel differences surfaced suddenly on Thursday, Dec. 1, over the timing and circumstances of an attack on Iran 's nuclear facilities, when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, said: "I don't know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to take military action against Iran."

Kadima is on Its Way Down and Out

MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) told Arutz Sheva that his party, Kadima, is on its way down and out. "The Kadima party is in a very complex crossroad," he said, "first of all because of (a lack of) moral rectitude in the way the party conducts itself. In addition there are investigations, the treasurer is under arrest&" (This is the second self-hating party on its way out. Traitors should be banned from politics)

Israel Bashing is the UN Official Spirit

The United Nations on Tuesday continued to demonstrate it is not an honest broker in the Israeli-Arab conflict as senior UN officials marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that a Palestinian state was "long overdue," in an official statement released by his office. Ban praised the accomplishments of the Palestinian Authority, claiming that the Ramallah government is "institutionally ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood." (What accomplishments? Support for the fake Arab nation is pure and unadulterated hypocrisy, bordering with anti-Semitism!)

Israel Booming Despite Economic Downturn

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Israel is on track to avoid recession despite the global economic downturn. Israel's economy remains strong despite the deep debt crisis in Europe and worsening economic situation in the United States.

Money Europe does not have

Amidst Europe's worst economic crisis in recent memory, the European Parliament (EP) has just decided to raise Europe's aid to the PA by 100 million euros — 30 percent more than previous years. An extra 100 million euros may not seem like that much compared to an overall budget of 147 billion euros for 2012, but it cannot be ignored that this is money the EU does not have.

Quote of the Week:

"A principal pillar of Israel's deterrence is the IDF's maneuverability, and the enemy knowing that the price it will pay for attacking us is losing the land we took defending ourselves. But (for this deterrence to work) they must not believe the land will simply be returned to them afterwards." — Major General Eyal Eisenberg of the IDF Home Front Command

Feeding the Enemy is the Gutless Stupidity!

Under heavy international pressure, Israel said that it will release withheld tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. A statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he had approved the transfer of the tax funds, about $100 million each month, "following the cessation of unilateral steps by the Palestinian Authority." (One cant change the nature of the wolf! PA will never abandon its goal — destruction of Israel)

Cash for PA Encourages Murder

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he would oppose intentions to release funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA). He called such a move "irresponsible" and said it would encourage murder.

No Tax Money — No More PA. Good Riddance!

Salam Fayyad warned that if Israel does not resume the transfer of tax revenues it collects for the PA, the entity will collapse economically and thus cease to exist. A recent World Bank report, while admitting that the PA is undergoing a financial crisis, said the crisis was primarily due to the lack of donor countries fulfilling their pledges to fork over billions of dollars to Ramallah. (Lies and lies again. They have money to buy and smuggle the Grad rockets and pay salary to the terrorists. Why must Israel help the enemy?)

Enemies of America in UN


How they vote in the United Nations. Below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations records:

Kuwait votes against the US 67% of the time

Qatar votes against the US 67% of the time

Morocco votes against the US 70% of the time

United Arab Emirates votes against the US 70% of the time

Jordan votes against the US 71% of the time

Tunisia votes against the US 71% of the time

Saudi Arabia votes against the US 73% of the time

Yemen votes against the US 74% of the time

Algeria votes against the US 74% of the time

Oman votes against the US 74% of the time

Sudan votes against the US 75% of the time

Pakistan votes against the US 75% of the time

Libya votes against the US 76% of the time

Egypt votes against the US 79% of the time

Lebanon votes against the US 80% of the time

even India votes against the US 81% of the time

Syria votes against the US 84% of the time

Mauritania votes against the US 87% of the time

Foreign Aid to those that hate US:

Egypt after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2,000,000,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Pakistan votes 75% against the United States receives $6,721,000,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

In 2010 Israel voted with the United States in the UN 91.8% of the time! In 2010 it was 97% ! (Well, who is the best friend of the United States?)

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He publishes internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He can be reached by email at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 5, 2011.

Last night I attended a multi-part event at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, with the theme "Defending Israel and International Law":

It was, first, a book launch, as NGO-Monitor introduced its new book, "The Goldstone Report 'Reconsidered' — A Critical Analysis."

Professor Gerald Steinberg — NGO-Monitor Director and co-editor, with Anne Herzberg, of the book — explained the genesis of this work, which has been three years in the making.

As it was also a panel discussion, the experts gathered provided additional information regarding the situation that Israel regularly confronts with regard to international law — the situation that made the writing of this book so very important.


The war in Gaza known as Cast Lead was initiated by Israel at the very end of 2008, and ran into the first weeks of 2009. It was a necessary response to the barrage of rockets — each a human rights violation if not a war crime in and of itself — being launched by Hamas against Israeli civilians.

As Major General Avichai Mandelblit, outgoing Military Advocate General of the IDF, explained, in this war Israel confronted asymmetric warfare. This does not mean that one side was more powerful or better equipped than the other. Rather, it means that one side played by the rules of international law and the other did not. This places the law-abiding side, in this instance Israel, in a very difficult if not impossible situation.

Hamas put civilians in the way of military targets. Either the IDF refrains from firing at the targets, or fires and runs the risk of also hitting civilians. Hamas is likely to come out a winner whatever Israel does.


If Israel does fire, accusations are then leveled against Israel: Israel is aiming at civilians and is guilty of war crimes! Israel deliberately hit a UN school that had students inside! Says General Mandelblit, a war can be lost this way, whatever victories are achieved in the field. For, today fighting a war has to include the legal and media fronts as well as the military and the political.

Because of experiences in the past with regard to this sort of thing, the situation was anticipated. And so, the general, in consultation with appropriate persons within the government, made the decision that every single incident during Cast Lead in which an accusation against Israel was made had to be checked.

Said General Mandelblit last night, "This was first for ourselves, to be sure we are what we claim to be." Please mark this well, as it's a point of enormous pride and should be understood by all.

And then, of course, it's a matter of defense with regard to the legal and media fronts. The investigations prepared Israel to fight the accusations.


After the war, the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council mandated a mission to investigate the charges against Israel; South African Justice Richard Goldstone accepted the role as head of this mission. After an "investigation" was held, a major report was released under the aegis of the Human Rights Council.

In a word, it was horrendous. Politicizing international law, the report accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians, while it made no charges of war crimes against Hamas. Often there was not even an attempt to verify or document charges against Israel made in large part by hostile NGOs.

Professor Avi Bell, who was a member of the panel last night and is a contributor to the book, said that this report infuriates him as a Jew and an Israeli. But also as a professor of law. The evidence it presented was turned upside down and great damage was done to the rule of justice.

Professor Bell said he is asked what Israel might do to forestall such situations as this in the future.

His answer: Nothing. When you look at the institution that mandated the report and those who headed and participated in its mission, that becomes clear.


Professor Steinberg pointed out that Goldstone had prior connections with Kenneth Roth, who heads the NGO Human Rights Watch.

(The founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert L. Bernstein, no longer with the agency, went public in 2009, in the NY Times, with his criticism of what HRW under Roth had become: "with increasing frequency, [HRW] casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies... The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.")

In addition, members of the commission, before they were appointed, had signed a letter spearheaded by Amnesty International accusing Israel of war crimes; their bias was apparent but did not disqualify them.


The government of Israel, understanding that no justice would derive from the Goldstone investigation, officially declined to participate. However, NGO-Monitor did submit information, all of which was ignored.

Richard Goldstone, in a Washington Post op-ed in April of this year, was said to have submitted a "retraction," but it was highly qualified. What is more, his excuse for why there were inaccuracies was disingenuous: he claimed that the report erred in some measure because Israel had not provided necessary information. But, as mentioned above, there was information provided that was completely ignored.

The members of the Goldstone Commission — Christine Chenkin, Desmond Travers, and Hina Jilani — totally disassociated themselves from the Goldstone op-ed and declared that no changes in the report could be made.

The UN did not retract the report or any part of it. It stands on the record.


Thus is the NGO-Monitor book — which examines the process of the Goldstone investigation and provides a step-by-step rebuttal — so important. It is now part of the historical record and will be placed in law libraries for reference. Professor Steinberg speaks about restoring morality to human rights activism. He advocates speaking truth to power.

See here for more information on the book including a list of its contributors, their subjects, and how it can be ordered: article/the_goldstone_report_ econsidered_a_critical_analysis


Also a member of the panel last night was Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a contributor to the book.

I have saved mention of him for last because he played two roles during the evening, as he was also the recipient of the Begin Award of Honor for his work on behalf of Israel. He actually spoke twice — and about various matters (such as his recollections of Menachem Begin's strong defense of human rights) and not just about the Goldstone report.

A staunch defender of human rights himself during the course of his career as an attorney, he shared several observations. Some I will write about here, others I hope to return to at another time.

The issue of human rights, he said, is used as a weapon against democracies that adhere to human rights. And the biggest censors of free speech are on the left.

He expressed particular scorn for the International Court of Justice, which dispenses nothing resembling justice.

(The Court is the primary judicial organ of the UN, and its judges are elected by the Security Council and the General Assembly. It is supposed to settle legal disputes between states and provide advisory opinions on various questions.)

The Justices, said Professor Dershowitz, make decisions in accordance with the foreign policy of their respective nations. This is so blatant that the way a particular judge will rule can be predicted by considering the stance of the country he comes from.

(Some seven years ago, the Court provided an advisory opinion on the matter of the Security Fence built by Israel to keep out terrorists, calling it a violation of international law. This despite the fact that Israel's High Court had ruled that the fence was legal according to international law and consistent with Israel's security needs, that Israel had not consented to the involvement of the court, and that fences are built in many places in the world. While the ruling of the Court is not binding, it influences international public opinion.)


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is different, however, says Professor Dershowitz, and he himself argues before it.

(The ICC, established by Statute in 2002, is a permanent tribunal that can prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.)

In the case of this court, there is no jurisdiction in states where there is an independent judiciary that will handle the situation. In fact, the most important weapon in defending Israelis in this venue is Israel's strong judiciary.

(I am not a human rights lawyer, but I find his comments here surprising in light of what I know is Israeli concern about the ICC — concern, for example, about the intention of certain parties to attempt to prosecute in the ICC for war crimes those who fight Israel's wars. I will check further.)


As to Alan Dershowitz's defense of Israel, it is clear that he is a passionate and very articulate advocate of Israel — something greatly to be valued. I acknowledge much appreciation for his efforts, even as I do not agree with several of the positions he holds, as, by his own definition, someone who is "center-left."

To be a supporter of Israel is to never rest, he says.

He does not believe that democracy in Israel is threatened by some of the legislation now being proposed. And I will come back to this. Some of the limits being proposed, he observed, would bring Israel in line with practices of countries such as the US and Canada.

Lastly, he observed that no issue in Israel is domestic. The world holds such a magnifying glass to our actions, that everything becomes the subject of international comment. He mentioned Secretary of State Clinton in this regard, and this, as well, I would like to return to.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Helen Freedman, December 5, 2011.

Readers of our AFSI emails are aware of the fact that we have been decrying the craven, cowardly, destruction of the Jewish homes and synagogue at Givat Aryeh by order of the Bibi/Barak Israeli government. The community, built near Itamar, was created in reaction to the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family by Arabs from the nearby town of Awarta. In an act of desecration, the Destructo squad was sent in to demolish the newly built synagogue and the small tent homes of the pioneers.

The AFSI Chizuk mission had visited Itamar and Givat Aryeh in May/June 2011, when we had a picnic lunch in the barely framed out synagogue structure. We returned in November for a joyous celebration of a Torah dedication in the completed synagogue. You can imagine our disbelief and horror when we learned of the demolition on Dec. 1.

Below, please find a letter written to PM Benjamin Netanyahu by one of our Christian members of the AFSI Chizuk mission, who joined us in May and again in November. Please feel free to copy this letter and send it out yourself to the media as an open letter to the Prime Minister.


Contact AFSI: 212-828-2424 with questions or comments. Please take it upon yourselves as a personal responsibility to alert as many people as possible to attend.

This below was written by Ann and John Stacy.


Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We are wondering where the man is that stood up to President Obama as we proudly watched him address our American Congress.

A number of years ago we saw you, a man who simply wanted to start his day with a workout at the Anatole Hotel Gym in Dallas, Texas. Yet on that morning you were interrupted by a horrific phone call regarding yet another murderous bus bombing in Jerusalem. We personally watched your face and the pain that was evident in your heart. Where was that man December 1, that either directly or indirectly ordered the demolition of Givat Aryeh?.

The week after the Fogel Family was butchered we took all our children and grandchildren to see Irving Roth, a survivor of Buchenwald. As we were discussing Eretz Israel and how to impart this to our family, Mr. Roth suggested, "a trip like no other trip would be with Americans For a Safe Israel". My husband suggested I take our 15 year old grandson, Matt.

Mr. Prime Minister, Matt was at Givat Aryeh in June of this year. He saw Eretz Israel in the eyes and heard it in the voices of these people. He stood in the yet unfinished synagogue that would soon hold the holy Holocaust Torah scroll.

Again,I went back to Givat Aryeh just a few weeks ago with Americans For a Safe Israel. As a Christian I cried as I watched the unmitigated joy of these Jewish people as they sang and danced up the hill to the synagogue at Givat Aryeh. My grandson rejoiced with me through email pictures, and video.

Sir, respectfully, what do I tell him now? As Zionist Christians we have taught our children, our grandchildren, and will teach our great grandchildren

Genesis 12:3. Mr. Prime Minister, G-d says, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you". I have to ask you where that now puts you and the Israeli government this week? Of all times and people you and the government have to have G-d's blessings right now, this day, this month, this year!

I told Matt that I had given a copy of his favorite child's book, I AM A HOLOCAUST TORAH, to the Mayor of Itamar, Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith. It is a little book written by Rabbi Alex Goldman about the 1564 Czech Torahs stolen by the Nazis. It is written in the first person through the mind, heart and words of one of these Torahs. Mr. Prime Minister, if this precious, holy Polish Torah scroll survived the Holocaust could talk, what would it say to you today?

In this book the author says, "some scrolls live fortunate happy lives. They are carried around during services...rabbis dance, holding them aloft. Still other scrolls are unlucky, pushed to the back of the ark, unloved, silent. Still other scrolls suffer a tragic fate and go through fire and suffering, die, or survive in a damaged condition. Yet all contain the same sacred Words, all are holy in the eyes of the beholder".

Prime Minister Netanyahu, has the last word been written over this particular Torah scroll, or will you allow it to return to its rightful and final home? G-d has given you the position to be able to change the ending of this story.


Ann and John Stacy

Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI is a pro-active pro-Israel advocacy group. AFSI may be contacted by mail at 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128 (Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717); by email at; or by accessing its website: Helen Freedman is Executive Director.

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, December 5, 2011.

This was written by Spengler, who is channeled by David P Goldman, the author of How Civilizations Die And Why Islam is Dying Too), published in September by Regnery. His collection of essays from First Things magazine and Asia Times Online, It's Not the End of the World — It's Just the End of You (Van Praag) also appeared in September.


Israel's immigration ministry stopped running television ads exhorting Israelis living in America to come home after American Jewish organizations complained, the New York Times reported December 2: One video advertisement shows a Jewish elderly couple distraught that their Israeli granddaughter in the United States thinks Hanukkah is Christmas. Another shows a clueless American boyfriend who does not get why his Israeli expatriate girlfriend is saddened on Israel's memorial day. A third shows a toddler calling "Daddy! Daddy!" to his napping Israeli expatriate father, who finally awakens when the child switches to Hebrew: "Abba!"

"While we recognize the motivations behind the ad campaign," the Jewish Federations remonstrated in a December 1 statement, "we are strongly opposed to the messaging that American Jews do not understand Israel. We share the concerns many of you have expressed that this outrageous and insulting message could harm the Israel-Diaspora relationship." The Jewish organizations complained after a liberal blogger, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly, denounced the ads.

The message that Jewish life in America is deficient is "outrageous" and "insulting", to be sure, but it has a single redeeming quality, namely truth. The vehemence of the official Jewish response to the Israeli advertisements betrays a guilty conscience: Jewish life in America is dying, as the same Jewish organizations warn in ever- gloomier studies of Jewish demographics. It seems inconsistent of the Jewish organizations to bewail the inexorable decline of American Jewish life on one hand, and condemn the Israelis for pointing to their manifest achievements in sustaining Jewish life.

The tragedy is that Jews have stopped being Jews because America has stopped being America. The Pilgrim Fathers founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in conscious emulation of the people of Israel, undertaking a new Mission in the Wilderness to found a new Chosen People in a New Promised Land. From this emerged what Abraham Lincoln called an "almost-chosen people", a secular and democratic nation defined by the biblical concept of covenant.

Mainstream American culture holds in contempt the idea of a divine grantor of rights who has established individual freedom beyond the prerogative of any government to impinge. For the minority who understand the American founding as a continuation of the covenant of Mount Sinai, the survival of the Jewish people is proof that God's promises never attenuate; for mainstream culture, the Jews are a curious remnant of antique superstition. That is how most American Jews see the matter, and that is why most of them do not much trouble to be Jewish.

In principle, Jewish life should flourish in the United States. As Eric Nelson of Harvard demonstrated in his 2010 book The Hebrew Republic, the political theory by which America was founded drew on post-biblical rabbinic sources. Nowhere (except in the State of Israel) should Jews feel more at home than in America, whose founding drew on their classical sources.

Sadly, American Jews stand out as a horrible example of demographic failure. In the United States, secular and loosely affiliated American Jews, that is, the vast majority, have the lowest fertility rate of any identifiable segment of the American population.

As I wrote in my book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying, Too): ''Nowhere is the fertility gap between religious and non- religious more extreme than among American Jews. As a group, American Jews show the lowest fertility of any ethnic group in the country. That is a matter of great anguish for Jewish community leaders. According to sociologist Steven Cohen, "We are now in the midst of a non-Orthodox Jewish population meltdown. ... Among Jews in their 50s, for every 100 Orthodox adults, we have 192 Orthodox children. And for the non-Orthodox, for every 100 adults, we have merely 55 such children."

Half of the non-Orthodox children, moreover, marry non-Jews, and very few children of mixed marriages will remain Jewish. As Reform Rabbi Lance J Sussman wrote in 2010, "With the exception of a number of Orthodox communities and a few other bright spots in or just off the mainstream of Jewish religious life, American Judaism is in precipitous decline ... the Reform movement has probably contracted by a full third in the last ten years!"

In Israel, by contrast, the Jewish fertility rate stands at around 3 children per female, by far the highest in the industrial world. Aside from the ultra-Orthodox minority, which has seven or eight children, the non-Orthodox Jewish fertility rate is around 2.6 children per female.

Jewish Fertility by Religious Current Average Number of Children per Woman

Ultra-Orthodox 6.72
Modern Orthodox 3.39
Conservative 1.74
Reform 1.36
Secular 1.29

Source: Anthony Gordon and Richard Horowitz, National Jewish Population Survey (2000)

Israel's Jews identify with Jewish nationality more than American Jews, but they also observe the Jewish religion more than their American cousins. Daniel J Elazar of the Jerusalem Institute for Public Affairs observes: Israel's Jews are not divided into two groups but into four: ultra-orthodox, religious Zionists, traditional Jews, and secular. Some 8 percent are ultra-Orthodox. These are the strangely (to Western eyes) garbed, black hatted Jews who are featured in all the pictures, despite the fact that they represent only 8 percent of Israel's Jewish population. Another 17 percent are religious Zionists... similar to the modern or centrist Orthodox Jews in the diaspora, partaking of most or all aspects of modern civilization, except that they maintain Orthodox observance of Jewish religious law and tradition. The third group consists of the vast majority of Israeli Jews, some 55 percent, who define themselves as "traditional." ... They cover the whole range of belief and observance from people of fundamentalist belief and looser practice to people who have interpreted Judaism in the most modern manner but retain some of its customs and ceremonies.

Most Israeli Jews are not secular, but are partially observant. In a Jewish state where everyone speaks Hebrew, public school students have 12 years of Bible study, and Jewish holidays also are official holidays, it is easy to maintain a loose affiliation to Jewish observance. In the United States, nothing but the comprehensive commitment of Orthodox life sustains the Jewish community over the long term.

If present trends continue, Orthodox Jews will form the majority of a much-diminished American Jewish presence within a generation or two. And it is the Orthodox who identify most with the State of Israel; their children often spend a year at an Israeli yeshiva before college, and many serve in the Israeli army. None of the Orthodox organizations seem to have objected to the expat-come-home videos, and for good reason: living in the land of Israel is one of the most important commandments, and the Orthodox respect those who observe it.

On reflection, American Jews should reconsider their umbrage at Israel's Immigration Ministry. Their own organizations are painfully aware that loosely affiliated Jews of all shadings are falling away from the Jewish community, failing to bring enough children in the world to replace their existing numbers, and failing to raise them as Jews.

The controversial videos, in short, did nothing to insult American Jews. But the fact is that the Israelis run circles around their American co-religionists. One sees this in their accomplishments in a number of fields, for example, classical music, about which I know a bit.

Last year, I spent some time in Israel for The Tablet, a Jewish webzine where I write music criticism, to investigate the improbable success of Israelis in the classical music world. At New York's Mannes Conservatory, where I taught music theory a generation ago, there always seem to be one or two Israelis among the top 10 pianists — but rarely an American. The others are mostly Asian or Eastern European. Considering that China alone has more than 30 million piano students, five times' Israel's Jewish population, the Israelis punch 10 times above their weight.

Two generations ago, half of American music students, perhaps, were Jewish. Americans today, Jews included, lack the drive and discipline to practice eight hours a day. Not so the Israelis. The head of the piano department at the Tel Aviv Conservatory, Tomer Lev, explained why: This country, its existence, its continuity cannot be measured by realistic and rational gauges. Everything that happens here has a component of a miracle. The way people think here is not completely rational. It's a very interesting blend of rational modern thinking and quasi- religious mystical thinking. People here take the risk of trying a musical career even if they know on a rational basis that there's little money and security. Taking risks in Israel is part of life. You are taking a risk simply to live here. Life in Israel is perhaps too intense. Art creates an outlet to this intensity. For sensitive people, the artistic outlet is a necessity; you need it or you go crazy. And we are a society of individualists, perhaps the most individualistic in the world, perhaps to an extreme. In such an atmosphere, the individual spirit has a great deal of freedom to be unique, to be special, not to be suppressed.

After interviewing a cross-section of Israel's top musicians, I concluded, "The sense of a future in Western classical music evokes the basic emotions with which human beings regard the future, namely hope and fear. When Israeli musicians speak of performing with a sense of risk, they mean the capacity to sustain hope in the presence of fear. It takes a certain kind of personality to do this on the concert stage, with all the attendant artistic and technical demands. Israel, whose existential premise is the triumph of hope over fear, incubates a disproportionately large number of musicians with this sort of personality."

Of course, music is only a small corner of Israeli life. As I wrote earlier in this space, Israel today occupies the position of the Dutch Republic during the Thirty Years War. It is the most entrepreneurial economy in the world. The 2009 bestseller Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer asked, "How is it that Israel — a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources — produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?"

Israelis grow up with sense of urgency for excellence; in their neighborhood, First Prize is the chance to compete for First Prize once again, and Second Prize is, you're dead. American Jews live under no threat whatever; having made good in America, they have all the room in the world for indolence and self-deception.

Whatever the Jews are, they are not stupid, and American Jews knew perfectly well in 2008 that the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, was a more reliable supporter of Israel's security than Barack Obama. Yet 78% of American Jews voted for Obama, in part because the liberal social agenda mattered more to them, and in part because they continued to believe in the Rabin-Arafat handshake long after the Israelis had written it off. (Audience: If you believe in the Peace Process, clap your hands!)

Liberalism is a self-liquidating proposition, and there are no liberals like Jewish liberals, who are a soon-to-be- endangered species. The sad thing is not that the liberal leadership of American Jewish organizations is complaining about Israel, but that they won't be around much longer to complain about anything.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit ( which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 4, 2011.

Dark days are here again, as more and more severe problems are not confronted by politicians who lose elections by proposing austerity to prevent calamity. On the other hand, what days now are darker than when Genghis Khan, Attila, Hitler, and Stalin seemed to be throttling civilization? We pulled out of such crises, before; we can do so again.

Fortunately for us Americans, we do not face the danger of collapse that Yemen does. With wisdom, we need not be sucked directly into Yemen's quandary, but its strife must be taken into account in our strategy.

Yemen's multiple problems are laid out for us brilliantly by the Institute for National Security Studies. We summarize them here.

Yemen already is a failed state, dangerous. The question is whether the agreement by its President Saleh to escape prosecution by transferring authority to his Vice-President will head off civil war. That agreement does not meet most o the protestors' demands.

Saleh ruled for 33 years. By subsidy and fear, he maintained a balance of power among the tribes, who have four times the number of weapons the national forces do. His absence may end that balance and lead to rivalry for control by tribes, militias, and religious factions.

Young people [probably urban youth] called for democracy. Now the old power brokers, including high-ranking deserters, vie to replace Saleh. Members of the old order will play a caretaker role that may obstruct democratic reform, leading to more youth violence. [Sounds like Egypt.]

As a result of these struggles, the economy of this impoverished country has lost $10 billion. Oil exports have practically ceased. Oil and water reserves may not last another decade, thanks to government profligacy and failure to plan for economic development. Why should Yemen spend its money for development when it could get subsidy from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. taxpayers?

The central government has been losing control of many regions, including parts of the capital. Southern separatists threaten to declare independence. Shiite rebels have expanded their control, seeking access to the Red Sea and a greater supply of Iranian arms than they already get. Al-Qaeda has expanded its area of control, too. It may threaten shipping in the Bab El Mandeb Straits, the regional oil shipping lane. Al Qaeda remains the focus of U.S. interests there, rather than engage in expensive nation-building.

Saudi Arabia wants to keep Yemeni refugees from flooding in.

His people may hate him, but Salel held the country together against all those destabilizing forces. Other Mideast countries are experiencing similar problems. Somalia also has a struggle between a weak central government, tribes, and Islamists. Syria may be headed that way.
(INSS Insight No. 298, 12/1/11, Guzansky, Yoel and Striem, Erez,Institute for National Security Studies, php?cat=21&incat=&read=5783 from www.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, December 4, 2011.

Begging his or her pardon in advance, the reader is asked to imagine a Muslim cemetery alongside the Western Wall. Horrific? Inconceivable? Yet this is precisely what is happening before the very eyes of the police and Jerusalem municipal authorities just across the Temple Mount, at its Eastern Wall.

The gloomy story is as follows.

The Ophel is the biblical name given to the hilltop just south of the Temple Mount, from which the City of David slopes downward. It is mentioned several times in the Bible: twice in Chronicles II as the site of Jewish royal construction, and also in Nechemiah as a place that was resettled during the Return to Zion after the First Exile.

Its Jewish history is also traced to the times of the Mishnah, as it is mentioned in the Tosefta of Taanit in connection with the neighboring Kidron Brook and prayers for rain.

Keren HaOphel, or the Ophel Corner, is the present-day area that features the southeastern corner of the Old City and the Temple Mount. Its upper half towers 20 meters (six and a half stories) above the hill; its lower half is buried another 20-25 meters deep in the ground.

As anyone standing across the valley on the Mt. of Olives can see, most of the 800-meter long Eastern Wall is already dotted with Muslim graves, marring the presence of two prominent Old Jerusalem entrances there: Lions' Gate, through which the Israeli forces entered and liberated the Old City in the Six-Day War, and Golden (Mercy) Gate, which has been sealed up for nearly five centuries.

However, the southernmost 80 meters are still mostly untouched, and are in fact protected, by law, from being built up or upon. Yet over the past several months, Muslims have been flagrantly violating the law and long-time custom by holding funerals there and adding new graves.

Dozens of graves have even been illegally dug with nothing but tombstones atop them — "saving" the space for future bodies.

"Keren HaOphel is a key site for studying the ancient remnants of the Temple Mount," according to veteran Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, "[in terms of] history, architecture, topography, Hasmonean construction.... As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the seven wonders of the world. We cannot allow ourselves to lose this treasure."

Jerusalem lands activist Aryeh King told us that in 2004 he filed a court suit against allowing Muslim burials there — "and in 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that I was right. It also stated that the area must be preserved as the National Park that it is, and in fact, appropriate steps were taken in this direction."

"But of late," King continued, "shortly after Niso Shacham became police chief in Jerusalem, things started to change for the worse. It's interesting that Shacham was responsible for holy sites in Jerusalem around the time of my original court suit — and now that he is police chief, the situation has again deteriorated."

According to King, the problematic situation has caught the eyes of the residents of Givat Assaf, Migron, and the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El. What's the connection?

"The Supreme Court set a date for the demolition of their communities," King said, "and the government seems prepared to follow the ruling, down to the last letter. [Editor's Note: The destruction, thought to be imminent last month, has been put off at least until another hearing, to be held by next summer.]

"But the same Supreme Court has also determined that graves must not be dug at the Ophel, and so these people are asking why there is no date for the implementation of that decision. The graves should be dug up and relocated, just like occurred in Gush Katif."

This option has barely been considered, as even just enforcing the law on no funerals and no new graves is not done, due to fear of Arab riots. Many feel this will lead to a "weeping for generations," as Mazar put it.

Yaakov Yaniv, a former Arab Affairs Department head in the Shabak, has written, "The authorities are totally mistaken in enabling the Arabs to continue to take control of the Keren HaOphel via illegal burials. Without enforcement of Israeli laws there, lawbreakers are liable to sell burial plots elsewhere as well. Via burials of this nature, the entire Ophel and promenade area there is likely to lose the status of National Park and archaeological site."

Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech invites you to do your part in keeping Jerusalem united under Jewish sovereignty. Fax your concerns regarding Keren HaOphel to Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovitch at 02-6496188, and/or visit or send e-mail to to receive updates on our bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem and more.

Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National He and Chaim Silberstein reside in Beit El..

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 4, 2011.

Last week I responded to the ludicrous statement of Obama, that "this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration..."

But I missed the last line: "And that's not just our opinion, that's the opinion of the Israeli government."

But it ain't so. Not by a long shot. While Obama is talking about joint military exercises, sale of weaponry, and the like, he's willfully neglecting the larger context of the ways in which the US position has weakened Israel — a context that the Israeli government is keenly aware of.


Commentator Charles Krauthammer says that Obama is "delusional" if he imagines that the Israeli government thinks he has done for the most for Israeli security, because the fact is that "Obama has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel's position in the world than any other president."

In a brief video clip, he alludes to Obama's undermining of the negotiation process by virtue of his unprecedented demands and his failure to support revolutionary forces inside of Iran: krauthammer-obama-has-done-more-to- undermine-israels-position-in-the-world- than-any-other-president/

I would add, once again, Obama' courting of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has done us great damage.


But all of this is just for starters, folks. Defense Secretary Panetta — who is either as delusional as his boss, or intelligence-challenged when it comes to analyzing the situation in the Middle East — addressed the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy on Friday night. And he did everything he could to place the onus for growing chaos in this part of the world on Israel. You know what they say: With friends like these....

First, Israel has to do more to get negotiations going again. We need to take risks, and we should "get to the damned table." In order to get there, we should "lean forward" towards the PA, strengthening it and pursuing avenues of cooperation. Let's forget about the fact that Abbas's current unyielding position was stimulated by Obama's unprecedented demands on Israel. Let's forget Abbas's courting of Hamas, and the fact that the PA still venerates terrorists.


And then, Panetta expressed concern about Israel's growing isolation in the world. Now, he conceded, there is an international campaign to isolate Israel (and I'll back to that in a minute). However, Israel should "reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability." Countries such as Turkey and Egypt and Jordan.

Say again???

How difficult it is, my friends, at moments such as this, to maintain my professional demeanor. But I will try.

Turkey has been tilting increasingly towards an Islamist position and has exhibited considerable hostility to Israel.

And Egypt? Even delusional and intelligence-challenged as he may be, is it possible that Panetta truly believes that those winning the election in Egypt are interested in "regional stability"??? The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to defeat the West and establish a world-wide caliphate? And the even more radical Salafists, which make the Brotherhood seem moderate?

Panetta says Israel should address concerns about Egypt's political revolution through increased communication and cooperation with Egyptian authorities, and "not by stepping away from them." Heaven help us, that this man is US Secretary of Defense. His position, of course, echoes Obama's policy of "engagement." You have undoubtedly observed how successful the president was in getting Iran to abandon its nuclear development, utilizing this policy.

What the US — whose president claims he is concerned about Israeli security! — is asking is that we scrape and bow, and make concessions, and thoroughly weaken ourselves in the process. Just, I will note, as the US has been weakened. Except we know better.


Apparently, Panetta also mentioned Jordan, but why is unclear to me. Didn't Jordan's King Abdullah just host Israel's president in Amman, in what was a public gesture of readiness to maintain a peaceful relationship with Israel? And didn't I just write about the fact that communication between the governments of Jordan and Israel were good?


As to Israel's isolation, I just wrote, as well, about all of the new ties that are being forged between Israel and other nations with similar concerns regarding a growing Islamic threat. I had quoted a piece by Herb Keinon, worth repeating here. The new ties involve:

"[Nations] in the eastern Mediterranean circle, made up of Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. These countries, historic rivals of Turkey, are concerned about Ankara's widening reach and intentions, and this has brought them into a much closer relationship with Israel than existed in the past.

"The second cluster is a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa — Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Sudan — whose concern about Islamic terrorism at home has led to growing political and security cooperation with Israel. This cooperation was evident in South Sudan's opening diplomatic ties with Israel soon after it gained independence earlier this year, and the leaders of both Kenya and Uganda visiting here last month.

"The third cluster includes countries in the region — as yet unnamed — that government officials say are in contact with Israel on issues regarding Iran and the sweeping changes in the region.

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently made a couple of opaque references to ties with these countries, believed to be Persian Gulf countries."


So much for our isolation. But there is one other Panetta statement in this regard that I cannot let pass. The US, he said, has "stood steadfastly in the way of that effort [to isolate Israel], especially in the United Nations."

Poppycock! Double poppycock! The Obama administration has given the Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council increased credibility by joining it. And as to the declared readiness of the US to veto PA unilateral efforts in the Security Council, that was not a gesture designed to protect Israel, but rather Obama's own policy with regard to negotiations. Let's tell it like it is.


Panetta also reiterated his opposition to an Israeli attack on Iran.

In a TV interview yesterday, Defense Secretary Barak responded that, "It would be excellent if we could stop their nuclear program through diplomacy. But all options are on the table. [Israel] cannot free herself from the obligation to make sovereign decisions." (Emphasis added)


Lastly, Panetta suggested that Israel has a responsibility, as an ally of the US, to build regional support for the allies' regional objectives. But Israel's responsibility is to stay strong and protect her people. Panetta be damned.


Literally, as I was writing these words, Barry Rubin's assessment of Panetta's talk, which was a major policy speech, came through. I invite you to see his full analysis here: 12/secretary-of-defense-panetta-shows- how-the-obama-administration-is-selling- out-israel-and-us-interests/

Rubin minces no words (All emphasis added):

"U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave us a clear picture of the Obama Administration's view of the region. When taken along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent speech on the same subject, we now know the following regarding Obama's policy:

"It is dangerously and absurdly wrong. This administration totally and completely, dangerously and disastrously for U.S. interests misunderstands the Middle East. They are 180 degrees off course, that is heading in the opposite direction of safety.

"Despite the satisfactory state of relations on a purely military level, the Obama Administration is not a friend of Israel, even to the extent that it was arguably so in the first two years of this presidency.

"It is now an enemy; it is on the other side. Again, the issue is not mainly bilateral relations but the administration's help and encouragement to those forces that are Israel's biggest enemies, that want to rekindle war, and that are 100 percent against a two-state solution. And I don't mean the Palestinian Authority, I mean the Islamists.

"And the Obama Administration is also a strategic enemy of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. It is also a strategic enemy to the democratic opposition forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt.

"Having analyzed and studied the Middle East for almost four decades I say none of this lightly. And these conclusions arise simply from watching what the administration says and does...."

Rubin ends with this:

"These are harsh words about the Obama Administration and for those who don't understand the current situation in the Middle East they will no doubt seem partisan, extreme, and alarmist.

"This is the worst tragedy of all: sadly and regrettably they are quite true."


And this is not the end of it:

Howard Gutman, the US Ambassador to Belgium, a major Obama fund-raiser and Obama appointee, spoke at a conference on anti-Semitism last week, sponsored by the European Jewish Union.

And he said, "A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."

His position was that anti-Semitism is not increasing, and that if Israel were to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority it would reduce what appears to be anti-Semitism.

Gutman, who — I am ashamed to say — is a Jew, showed a short video of himself being warmly received at a Muslim school in Brussels. At one point he said that the Arab world appreciates Obama — which happens to not be the case, as the Arab Muslim world laughs at him and has distain for him. His implication seemed to be that a Jew who represents Obama's policies can receive a warm reception, so it's a question of politics and not real anti-Semitism.

The man makes me sick to my stomach.


I will return in another posting to the issues of political anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred by Arabs that predates the Palestinian Authority and issues of a Palestinian state.

Here I simply want to urge everyone to share this material very broadly. Every American Jew, at a bare minimum, needs to see this — although I know, and mourn the fact, that not every American Jew will be ready to grapple with this information.

America must wake up before it's too late. Obama needs to be soundly defeated the second time around.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Paul Lademain, December 4, 2011.

Seems like Israel is a bargaining chip currently used by Germany to gain use of the arab deserts they need for their solar power projects. If Israel learns how to connect the dots more swiftly and finally gets rid of its elderly politicians (who put their vanity and self-aggrandizement above the needs of the state) then it will be able to bargain more effectively in the poker game currently played by using Israel as the chips.

Here is but one example of how Israel loses in this game: Germany sold Israel a submarine in exchange for Israel releasing funds to its arab enemies at the same time Germany is bargaining with the Saudis to use arab land for solar power projects and perhaps using it for something else as well. Study this: EU_takes_key_step_in_solar_energy_project _in_Arab_deserts_999.html

Question: Any rich Jews getting into this deal under the blankets? Any rich Israeli muslims or Jews involved?

Doesn't this deal explain why Panetta is pressuring Israel to undo itself and lose its land with the effect that Jews can be compressed into smaller and easier targets?

So a few can get rich on the loans that most assuredly fund this deal?

Germany gets credit for aiding Israel's enemies (the arabs who pretend they are "palestinians") and in exchange is rewarded with the use of arab desert deserts. (We believe the cunning arabs will get the best of this deal when they eventually nationalized Germany's capital investments, same as they did to the foreign oil companies.)

We suspect Germany will prevail on the bow-down-man to get OPIC (that is, the US Taxpayer) to guarantee the loans made to this deal by the Saudis. Remember, the Saudis got the US State Dept. to make the same arrangement vis-a-vis the Enron-Norwegian-Bahraini-Gaza power plant with Yasser Arafat getting a big cut of the deal and it is our opinion that Yasser's "dearest friend in peace" the Polish Jew who entered Israeli politics got cut into that deal in exchange for helping Arafat take Israel's land attached to the offshore gas fields. That deal more or less blew up. The But the scheme remains to be enacted again unless the people of Israel "occupy their own government" and put a stop to Israel's politicians letting Israel be used so cheaply.

We hope Israel has the sense to dribble the funds to its enemies and to stop the fund-flow outright and "pull a Yasser" should the arabs lob even one more missile into Israel or its territories. Here is what we think and we can only "hope" we are wrong: The bow-down-man is either naive or perhaps evil. One cannot tell. But the effect is just the same: If the US loses Israel as an ally either by helping the arabs destroy Israel or defeat Israel then the Saudis and the French and the Germans will supplant US influence throughout the middle east leaving the US beholden to the oil pots in the Western Hemisphere subject to the vagaries of Chavez and Iran. Are the lives of US and Israeli citizens regarded by its own pols as cheap chips in the poker game? .

Paul Lademain is a Secular Christian for Zion (SC4Z). Contact him by email at

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Posted by Barry Rubin, December 4, 2011.

Charlie: "You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast."

Terry: "It wasn't him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, `Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson.'....I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit...."
— Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront.

In a major address on U S. Middle East policy to the Brookings Institution U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave us a clear picture of the Obama Administration's view of the region. When taken along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent speech on the same subject, we now know the following regarding Obama's policy:

It is dangerously and absurdly wrong. This administration totally and completely, dangerously and disastrously for U.S. interests misunderstand the Middle East. They are 180 degrees off course, that is heading in the opposite direction of safety.

Despite the satisfactory state of relations on a purely military level, the Obama Administration is not a friend of Israel, even to the extent that it was arguably so in the first two years of this presidency.

Leon Panetta

It is now an enemy; it is on the other side. Again, the issue is not mainly bilateral relations but the administration's help and encouragement to those forces that are Israel's biggest enemies, that want to rekindle war, and that are 100 percent against a two-state solution. And I don't mean the Palestinian Authority, I mean the Islamists.

And the Obama Administration is also a strategic enemy of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. It is also a strategic enemy to the democratic opposition forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Having analyzed and studied the Middle East for almost four decades I say none of this lightly. And these conclusions arise simply from watching what the administration says and does.

In his speech, Panetta has bashed Israel based on a ridiculously false premise. Here it is:

"I understand the view that this is not the time to pursue peace, and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view." Nevertheless, Israel needs to take risks and particularly, "The problem right now is we can't get them to the damn table, to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences."

First, there is a peculiar phrase that I have not seen used even once to describe the Middle East events of 2011, "Arab awakening" instead of "Arab Spring." This apparently comes from the title of a new book about these events.

But what is the origin of this phrase? The Arab Awakening was the famous book written by George Antonius (subsidized by a U.S foundation to do so, by the way) advocating Arab nationalism and opposition to Zionism in 1938. The Arab Awakening began a half-century pan-Arab struggle against Israel's creation or existence might this not give us a hint of what the new "Arab Awakening" is going to do? Oh, and 1938 marks the year when Great Britain desperately tried to sell out the Jews in order to gain Arab support (for the coming war with Germany and Italy). Within two years of Antonius's book the form the Arab Awakening took was an alliance with Nazi Germany. One of the main allies of Berlin was the Muslim Brotherhood, now coming into power in Tunisia and Egypt.

Interesting parallels.

But there are three other major questions raised in Panetta's statement.

First, does the current "Arab Awakening" imperil Israel? Yes, of course it does. By changing a reasonably friendly Egyptian government into a totally hostile Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi dominated political system closely allied with Hamas, the Gaza Strip's ruler, and by helping establish Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya allied with this Muslim Brotherhood International; the changes create a four-member alliance intent on wiping Israel off the map.

Add to that Islamist domination of Lebanon by Hizballah, an Islamist regime in Turkey, and the continuing threat from Iran and you've got quite a regional situation.

Second, and more interestingly, why is the above true?

The answer is as follows:

  • Democracy in theory is admirable but when you have masses imbued with very radical views, strong Islamist movements, and weak moderate ones, the election winners will be extremely radical Islamists. By winning massive victories, facing a weak (even sympathetic) United States, and seeing even mor extreme forces becoming so popular (the Salafists in Egypt) the Islamists are emboldened to be even more radical in their behavior. Who's going to stop them?

  • We are thus not facing a springtime of democracy but a springtime of extremism.

  • The Islamists don't want peace with Israel on any terms. They want its destruction. They will not be dissuaded by a peace agreement. They will do anything possible — starting with demagoguery and ending with terrorism or even war — to block such a diplomatic solution. How can Israeli action reconcile those who don't want peace?

As of now, the following are governed or will soon be governed by Islamists who want Israel's destruction and genocide against the Jews there: Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

The following are governed by those who want peace with Israel: Jordan.

  • Not only is the United States not opposing this development it is supporting it. In other words, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.

Third, why are there no negotiations? As the history of the issue since January 2009 shows, it is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel. If Panetta and the Obama Administration were either wise or honest they would acknowledge this fact. Instead, they blame Israel. Once again, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.

Consequently, Panetta's statement that Israel has a responsibility to build regional support for Israeli and United States' security objectives is nonsense. Let me put it in the form of a lesson in logic:

  • Israeli security objectives and the U.S. national interest are consistent.

  • But Israeli security objectives and Obama administration objectives are not consistent.

  • And Obama administration objectives and the U.S. national interest are not consistent.

Consider Panetta's statement:

"I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, we've seen Israel's isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow."

But why has it grown? Because of the advance of Islamist radical regimes and movements which are not tolerant of Israel's security needs or in fact of Israel's existence.

This is the equivalent of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain making the same statement in 1938. "I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, we've seen Czechoslovakia's isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow."

Panetta's suggestion, like that of Chamberlain in 1938 is that Israel should mend relations with such "traditional security partners." Specifically, he stated, "Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability — countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan,"

That statement is false. Israel can't reach out and mend fences with Turkey and Egypt because they do not share an interest in regional stability. They are no longer status quo powers; they are countries that want revolutionary change in the Middle East. And this claim takes on special irony since Israel must now not just mend the fence but build an entirely new fence to protect itself from cross-border attacks from Egypt.

Turkey today is not the Turkey of the past. Israel had good relations with Turkey when it was governed by center-right or social democratic parties. Today Turkey is governed by Islamists who hate Israel. Doesn't Panetta understand the difference? No! Now that's scary.

Here's the truth: The Islamist regime in Turkey has replaced Israel as the number-one Middle East friend and advisor. And this is a government about which a half-dozen years ago Israel's ambassador told an American counterpart (as we see on Wikileaks) that this regime hates Israel and hates Jews. That message is in a State Department cable.

What about Egypt? Well, the Obama Administration helped get rid of that security partner. And as for Jordan, it is understandably scared stiff. In the environment of Islamist advance it is trying to appease its own Islamists and is moving closer to Hamas as a way of surviving. And last month the king of Jordan said in a Washington Post interview that nobody could depend on America any more.

Panetta said, "It is in Israel's interest, Turkey's interest, and US interest for Israel to reconcile with Turkey, and both Turkey and Israel need to do more to put their relationship back on track," But it is not — repeat not — in the interest of the current government of Turkey to reconcile with Israel. We saw this in the Israel-Turkey negotiations over the flotilla in which the Turkish prime minister wanted to ensure there would be no deal.

There are two more shockingly absurd pieces of advice Panetta has for Israel.

"This is not impossible [for Israel to try to mend fences]. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them."

What does an Israeli audience think of when it reads this? Of the same old message from the West to Israel: make gestures, give concessions, take risks, and when they are rebuked "the world will see." This is precisely the same advice given regarding the 1990s' peace process, the freeze of construction on settlements, and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. And every time the world doesn't see. After the risk is taken (and Israel's security suffers), and the concessions are made (and Israelis die), the world is even more critical of Israel and repeats, as Panetta does, that Israel has done nothing for peace.

These are harsh words about the Obama Administration and for those who don't understand the current situation in the Middle East they will no doubt seem partisan, extreme, and alarmist.

This is the worst tragedy of all: sadly and regrettably they are quite true.

Normal president reality check: Imagine a normal president of either party. Wouldn't that person, or the secretary of state, say something like this: We are aware that Israel now has to deal with an increased number of hostile governments in the region and we will do our best to help it meet this challenge.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at Contact him at The website of the GLORIA Center is at and his blog, Rubin Reports,

This article was published today and is archived at 12/secretary-of-defense-panetta-shows- how-the-obama-administration-is-selling- out-israel-and-us-interests/

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, December 4, 2011.

The New Mid-East school of thought underlines political correctness, but undermines the stability of the Real Mid-East. This has been recently verified by Western support of the "March of Democracy," which has unleashed rampant violence on the Arab Street.

In defiance of an unpredictably raging Mid-East, the New Mid-Easterners call for a quick transition to democracy in Egypt and in other Arab countries. In spite of intensified intra-Arab violence, non-compliance, shifty policies and unreliability, the New Mid-Easterners call for Israel to assume more risks for peace and concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which tower over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel's infrastructure.

On September 15, 2000, a few days before the eruption of another wave of Palestinian terrorism (the 2nd Intifada), President Peres highlighted the central thesis of his book, The New Middle East, his blueprint of the two-states-solution. Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Peres stated: "I doubt very much if the Palestinians will go back to terrorism.... I do not see Arafat, a person whom I respect, endangering what he has achieved .... I believe that the previous borders, made of barbed wire, of mine fields, of military positions, are irrelevant to our life. ... [A] good hotel on the border will provide more peace and security than a military position.... Once a nation turns its focus on land to a focus on brains, borders are irrelevant." According to Peres, the role model of New Mid-Easterners, the Mid-East would become an integrated economic region with open borders, shared natural resources, military technologies converted into peaceful technologies — a Mid-East devoted to the pursuit of democracy, peace, cooperation, mutual-gain and prosperity.

However, The Real Mid-East, through the horrifying turmoil afflicting Arab lands — irrespective of the Palestinian issue — has demolished Peres' New Mideast. It has devastated the contention that the security threshold could be lowered significantly, because military forces, sectarianism, nationalism, borders and territorial sovereignty have supposedly lost their primacy.

Moreover, the underlying geo-political currents, which have dominated the Real Mid-East for the last 1,400 years — e.g. no intra Arab comprehensive peace, compliance, or democracy — magnify the irreplaceable role of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria in securing the survival of the Jewish State, a sliver along the Mediterranean Sea.

The New Mid-East delusion traumatizes contemporary Arab regimes. They witness its impact on Western policy-makers, who approach the stormy Arab Winter as if it were an Arab Spring, seeing the resurrection of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Lech Walesa in the merciless Arab squares and streets. Therefore, the West has provided tailwind to the replacement of pro-Western ruthless dictators with anti-Western ruthless dictators, rendering Arab regimes increasingly concerned about Western reliability and their own survivability. They are horrified by the recurrence of the 1979 "Iranian Debacle," when Western policy-makers and public-opinion molders were bewitched by the "Youth Revolution" and the "March of Democracy" on the streets of Teheran, lending support to Khomeini's battle against the staunchly pro-Western Shah of Iran. However, the Mullahs hijacked the "Iranian Spring;" they excluded all moderate elements from positions of power, instituted a repressive reign of violent and imperialistic Islam, and intensified terrorism, intolerance and anti-Western sentiments throughout the Middle East.

In October, 2011, Marwan Muasher, a Vice President at the Carnegie Endowment and former Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan, and Muhamm ad Faour, a senior associate at the Carnegie Mideast Center, served a wake-up call to New Mid-Easterners: "People in the Arab world will discover that their societies are not equipped with the skills and values needed to accept different, pluralistic norms of behavior.... Any romantic notions in the West that the 2011 Arab uprisings could create instantaneous democracy, in countries that have succeeded at toppling their leaders, are already shattering.... Democracy will thrive only in a culture that accepts diversity, respects different points of view, regards truths as relative rather than absolute, and tolerates — even encourages — dissent."

The frivolous nature of the New Mid-East school of thought was exposed on October 28, 2011 by Raghida Dergham, the senior diplomatic correspondent for The London-based Arab daily Dar al-Hayat: "The obsession of some Westerners with the so-called 'Turkish model' of 'moderate Islam', able to rule with discipline and democracy, seems naïve.... There is also some naivety in assuming than the "Iranian model" of religious autocratic rule that oppresses people, forbids pluralism and turns power into tyranny, can be excluded as a possibility."

In 2011, the clash of civilizations — between Western democracies and Islamic imperialism — has shifted to a higher gear. In order to win the battle, it is incumbent upon Western democracies to disengage from the spell of the New Mid-East and reengage with the Real Mid-East.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at This article was published November 29, 2011 in Israel Hayom Newsletter newsletter_opinion.php?id=919

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Posted by Dave Nathan, December 3, 2011.

This was written by Eric Trager and it appeared in The New Republic. Eric Trager is the Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


The big story from Egypt's parliamentary elections, the first round of which concluded on Tuesday, will likely be the Muslim Brotherhood's impressive victory. But the Brotherhood's anticipated rise from outlawed organization to parliamentary power won't be surprising: the Brotherhood's strong mobilizing capabilities are well known, and Hosni Mubarak often warned the West that its choice was between his autocracy or the Brotherhood's theocracy.

The real surprise is the emergence of the Salafist Nour party, a deeply theocratic organization that bases its ideology on a literal reading of the Qur'an and Sunna and, most astoundingly, didn't exist until a few months ago. Although Salafist political activity was, unlike the Brotherhood, completely banned under the Mubarak regime, the Nour Party is giving the Brotherhood a run for its money in some districts. Not only is the Islamist Alliance, in which the Nour Party is the major player, running 693 candidates — but those candidates' banners and images have been ubiquitous, even in Egypt's least religious neighborhoods. It is now expected to place second when the final round of elections is completed in January, perhaps winning as much as 30 percent of the vote.

The Nour Party's strong campaign was particularly noticeable here in Fayoum, a rural governorate 81 miles southwest of Cairo that is home to 2.5 million people. Based on my experiences covering various Cairo polling places on Monday, I fully expected a strong showing in Fayoum for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Islamist ideology is very much at home in this traditional countryside region. And, indeed, the Brotherhood was quite visible. But the Nour Party was, without question, much more visible. From the moment we entered the governorate, Nour banners — and often only Nour banners — were everywhere: atop light poles, along traffic islands, and even on mosques. (One aspect of the Nour's campaign particularly impressed me: To get around the ban on using the Islamic crescent as a party symbol, Nour chose to be represented on ballots by another Islamic symbol: the fanous, a decorative lamp that Muslims display during Ramadan.)

My first stop was at a polling station along a major road, a schoolhouse that was one of the few structures in an otherwise pastoral setting. Although there was little foot traffic, approximately two dozen enthusiastic Nour party supporters — again, only Nour party supporters — were milling about, apparently waiting to help voters. "I voted for the Nour party yesterday," Ahmed Kamel, sporting the bushy-beard-sans-mustache look that is typical of Salafists, told me. "They are honest and I trust them a lot. They depend on the Holy Qur'an and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him."

At my second stop, a very busy polling station towards the center of Fayoum city, the Nour Party and Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice — and no other parties — manned nearby voter assistance kiosks. But here, the Nour Party's presence was notably more advanced: whereas the Brotherhood was using an old desktop with a boxy monitor to tell people which voting box was theirs, the Nour activists were working off of two sleek, new-looking laptops and handing out impressively concise copies of their platform.

Yet the most impressive scene came at my third stop, in front of the Nour Party's Fayoum headquarters, where I found a number of activists clad in yellow, Nour-emblazoned, reflective vests. They had been collecting voters from centralized locations and bringing them to the polling places all day. "We announce where [voters] should meet," Mohamed Abdel Rahman Mahmoud, a 32-year-old electrician, told me. "We have a microphone on our cars, and we move around to tell them." The Nour Party's voter-roundup operation was hardly unique to Fayoum: a colleague of mine also spotted yellow-vested Salafists in the city of Luxor, and it is likely that they used this technique in similarly traditional settings where they have wide support.

When I asked these bushy-bearded politicos how they had emerged from obscurity to omnipresence in a matter of months, they insisted that the Nour Party had organically grown from the bottom-up. "As Salafists, we are part of the Muslim community and we connect with Muslims as brothers, and there is a private connection as Salafists," Mohamed Abdel Tawaq, the Nour Party's 31-year-old Fayoum coordinator, told me.