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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: ALLEY IN TZFAT
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 28, 2011.
 

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography." — George Eastman
 

HOW I GOT THE SHOT:Soggy, foggy and groggy. That about sums up this photo op. I normally try to avoid exposing expensive electronic gear to even a single drop of potentially fatal moisture, but the holy, mountaintop city of Tzfat in Northern Israel runs on miracles, so I figured I was safe shooting outside in the late-evening drizzle. I grabbed my tripod, winter coat and a small towel and ventured out along the medieval, cobblestoned alleyways of Tzfat's old city.

Despite many signs that it has entered the modern era, the old city of Tzfat transports visitors back to the 17th century. I was looking for a shot that would somehow convey this feeling of having stepped into a time warp. I found it in the musk-yellow streetlights, whose color resembles the old-fashioned sepia-toned prints and adds to the sense of having entered antiquity.

What drew me to this spot, however, was the rain. Water has tremendous reflectivity. Any light source will bounce back at the camera in often magical displays of glitter and sparkle. In this image, a single street light casts its glow on the damp branches above, the street below and the sides of the stone buildings. I never let bad weather rain on my picture parade.

Technical Data: Nikon D700, 28-105mm lens at 38mm, f16@ 1.6 sec., ISO 800.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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UNITED WE CAN ACHIEVE IT!
Posted by Steven Shamrak, February 28, 2011.
 

We write good articles full of facts supporting the rights of Israel to exist and exposing lies of our enemies, protest anti-Israel media bias, sign an endless stream of petitions, call our political representatives and still wonder why nothing has changed. Meanwhile, the situation in Israel is getting worse! All of these activities are very important, but in order to defeat our enemies and bring peace to Israel, if we honestly examine the history, we have to admit that these efforts will never change the world's attitude toward Jews and Israel. It has never really worked! Only a strong Israel and a self-respecting Jewish nation will be able to change the current ugly reality.

We must set our own goals, develop plans of action and execute it. That's what people do in sports, business and in their personal life to make a difference. The biggest secret is — any goal can be achieved — one just needs to have a burning desire, followed by action, to achieve it!

Our enemies love when we squander our time and resources on a rebuttal of their stupid accusations and anti-Israel smear campaigns. This takes our attention away from the pursuit of our national goals. Hazborah is an important part of the process of defeating enemy propaganda, but it leads nowhere without action toward reunification of all Jewish land, freeing it from Arab occupation and establishing all of Eretz-Israel!

Unfortunately we have corrupt and inept current Jewish political leadership in Israel and in the Diaspora at the moment! Therefore, only the network of people dedicated to true Zionist ideals can make a difference. Idealists who are united by one goal are needed!

Currently, our most important step must be to unite and combine our efforts in order to become a more effective and formidable political force. The goal is much bigger than just promoting support for Israel, because unfortunately for quite a while Israeli governments have not been representing Zionism — the Jewish independence movement. There is another two-state solution, which may bring peace to Israel. It is the Sinai Option!

In order to achieve our goal we need less debate and more unity. Please, visit and read following links:

http://www.shamrak.com/hauma.php
http://www.shamrak.com/sh_articles/EA_The Jewish National Goal.htm
http://www.shamrak.com/sh_articles/EA_Sinai Option.htm

Let me know if you would like to be involved and make a difference. I'll try to match you with people in your area.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

From Israel's prospective, there is no difference who will come to power in the 'New Muslim World'. Because all of them be it Islamists, new dictators, military junta or 'moderate' democracy will play the anti-Israel card in order to gain popularity and consolidate power!

Peace Talks are Self-deception

The Palestinian Authority believes that regime change in the Arab world will strengthen regional support for the Palestinian cause, PA negotiator Nabil Shaath said last week. "Going to any negotiations at this phase would be tantamount to self-deception," he said. "At this stage, the Palestinians should resort to a popular struggle against Israeli occupation." (I agree! Israel must end this charade and reunite Jewish land.)

Another Idiocy of UN Exposed

The United States and European countries are initiating steps to remove Libya from the United Nations Human Rights organization. (Countries such as Libya should not be allowed to be a member of any the Human Rights organization! But international hypocrisy — the Useless Nothing — does not care about human rights. It is 'the game' they care about!)

Political Blindness Creates Bad Precedent

Israel will allow 300 Palestinians from Libya to enter the Palestinian territories in the coming days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. Those Palestinians who Israel will allow in had gone to Libya from former homes in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Hussein al-Sheikh, head of civil affairs for the Palestinian Authority said those coming from Libya would travel into the West Bank via Jordan. (Why not let them stay in Jordan? Instead of removing a fake nation, Palestinians, from the Jewish land Israel is letting more in!)

Arab 'Revolution' has Reached Israel

Gaza terrorists fired two Grad rockets at Be'er Sheva on Wednesday evening. One rocket exploded in a residential street and caused heavy damage. Beersheba is a large population centre in southern Israel, about 35 km (20 miles) east of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is trying to appear less belligerent while allowing other militant groups such as Islamic Jihad to do its bidding. Israel responded with air strikes in the Gaza Strip. (Sixty years of conflict proved that Israels response is not adequate to stop Arab terror. It will not stop them from trying to destroy the Jewish state. Only implementation of the Sinai Option will make a difference.)

Land of Jews is still Holy for Many

With revolts toppling governments across the Middle East and peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians suspended, 25 of the Chilean miners rescued after more than two months underground toured the holy sites of the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday.

Quote of the Week:

"During a week in which half the Middle-East was in flames, the diplomatic chatter over a UN condemnation of Israel's so-called "settlements" showed just how irrelevant Western diplomacy is to the real issues in the region. The riots in Bahrain, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Iran were not about a few Jewish villages on one side of a line on a map that has been redrawn half a dozen times in the 20th century. The trouble with the Muslim world does not lie in the vineyards of the Judean Hills, the glass factories of Ariel, the academies of the revived Maccabean town of Modi'in Illit, the solar panel plants of Nazareth Illit, the dairies of Carmel or the fruit orchards of Gush Etzion... Only a few weeks before the rioting started, American diplomats and journalists were being told by Arab leaders that a solution to the Palestinian problem would stabilize the region. It would be interesting to go out into the streets of Cairo, Manama, Tripoli and Tunis to find out how many of the rioters would be willing to go home if there were a Palestinian state tomorrow." — Sultan Knish

Look Who is Talking

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday expressed outrage at what he said was "unimaginable" repression in Libya, urging world leaders to listen to their people. "It is unimaginable that someone is killing his citizens, bombarding his citizens." "This is unacceptable. Let the people speak, be free, decide to express their will. Do not resist the will of the people." (Will he follow his own advice or do the same thing when his time comes?)

Separation of Church and State under Threat: Islamic Assault on Democratic Principles

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" has become a widely quoted summary of the relationship between Church and secular authority, and underlines the separate spheres of the influence of Church and State. Islam has no such distinction. What is happening across the world as Islam spreads into democracies is that this separation is merging. We are becoming the victims of this global erosion.

For example, in Texas, USA, parents found out that Arabic classes would be mandatory at some intermediate and elementary schools, as a condition for receipt of a federal grant!

On May 25 2010, educators in a Boston suburb brought sixth graders to one of the most controversial mosques in America, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. The students were told about Islam from an American women convert, who said that in the time of Mohammed, "women were allowed to express their opinions and vote" while in America, "women didn't get that right until less than a hundred years ago." The students were also told that the only meaning of Jihad was a "personal spiritual struggle" and "Jihad has historically had no relationship with holy war." Five of the Middle School boys had joined in the prayers to Allah, including one Jewish boy. The teachers did nothing to intervene!

This is happening in today's America, despite the Constitutional "separation of church and state" being taken to such extremes that students may not pray before football games. Only Islam is exempt from this separation. Why is it the only privileged one?

Moreover, if any other religion dare infringe this separation, Islamic violence is invariably the response, as happened in the UK, when four Muslim men launched a horrific attack on Gary Smith, head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, East London. They attacked him with a knife, an iron rod and a block of cement, slashing his face and leaving him with a fractured skull, because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls.

Australia has not been spared these murky boundaries. Not only are our schools and other secular institutions allowing Islam to intrude, but even our recreational and leisure pursuits have shown favoritism towards Islam. For example, in Melbourne, Port Phillip ratepayers' money is being used to fund an Islamic group using the Alma Rd Community House as a place of worship.

It is difficult to see how the use of a Community House by an Islamic group listed by Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ), an extremist organisation which supports sharia practices, is appropriate. Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, a former student of ASWJ, recently called for the implementation of sharia in Australia, declaring "I hate the parliament. I hate (democracy) with a pure hate. Moreover, it is obligatory for all Muslims to reject democracy, because it is a challenge to God's law: They must hate it, speak out against it, and if that doesn't work, take action against it."

These moves to take over communal space are part of the global Jihad. Australia is still in the early stages on the jihad continuum, where the transformation of public institutions through persuasion, deception and favoritism is part of Islam's goal to establish local sovereignty, and ultimate political dominance.

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 StevenShamrak.e@gmail.com

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PLAYING ISRAEL'S GOOD HAND
Posted by UCI, February 28, 2011.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

 

On Wednesday night, Israelis received our first taste of the new Middle East with the missile strikes on Beersheba. Iran's Palestinian proxy, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood known as Hamas, carried out its latest war crime right after Iran's battleships entered Syria's Latakia port.

Their voyage through the Suez Canal to Syria was an unadulterated triumph for the mullahs.

For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran's warships sailed across the canal without even being inspected by the Egyptian, US or Israeli navies.

On the diplomatic front, the Iranian-dominated new Middle East has had a pronounced impact on the Western-backed Fatah-led Palestinian Authority's political posture towards the US. The PA picked a fight with America just after the Obama administration forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to surrender power. Mubarak's departure was a strategic victory for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and for its sister branch Hamas in Gaza.

As part of his efforts to neutralize the threat the Muslim Brotherhood posed to his regime, Mubarak sealed off Gaza's border with Egypt after Hamas seized power there in June 2007.

The Gaza-Sinai border was breached during last month's revolution. Since Mubarak's forced resignation, the military junta now leading Egypt has failed to reseal it.

The revolution in Egypt happened just after the PA was thrown into a state of disarray. Al-Jazeera's exposure of PA documents indicating the leadership's willingness to make minor compromises with Israel in the framework of a peace deal served to discredit Fatah leaders in the eyes of the Israel-hating Palestinian public. In the wake of the Al-Jazeera revelations, senior PA leaders escalated their anti-Israel and anti-American pronouncements. The PA's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was forced to resign.

The shift in the regional power balance following Mubarak's fall has caused Fatah leaders to view their ties to the US as a strategic liability. If they wish to survive, they must cut a deal with Hamas. And to convince Hamas to cut a deal, they need to abandon the US.

And so they have. Fatah's first significant move to part company with Washington came with its relentless bid to force a vote on a resolution condemning Israeli construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria at the UN Security Council. In an attempt to avert a vote on the resolution that the US public expected him to veto, Obama spent 50 minutes on the phone with Mahmoud Abbas begging him to set the resolution aside. Obama promised to take unprecedented steps against Israel in return for Abbas's agreement to stand down. But Abbas rejected his appeal. Not only did Abbas defy the wishes of the most pro-Palestinian president ever to occupy the White House, Abbas told the whole world about how he defied Obama.

Abbas's humiliation of Obama was only the first volley in the Fatah leader's campaign against the US. Abbas, Salam Fayyad and their PA ministers have sent paid demonstrators into the street to protest against America. They announced a boycott of American diplomats and journalists. They have called for a boycott of American products. They have scheduled a "Day of Rage" against America for Friday after mosque prayers.

While excoriating Obama and the US, the PA is actively wooing Hamas. On Wednesday, the PA accepted the legitimacy of Hamas control over Gaza. Three-and-a-half years after Hamas wrested control over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup, on Wednesday Fayyad said that the PA is willing to end its objection to Hamas control over the area if Hamas agrees to participate in the general elections Abbas has scheduled for September.

At the same time as he publicly beseeched Hamas to join forces with Fatah, Fayyad announced that the PA is willing to forgo US financial assistance if that assistance continues to come with political strings attached. The only real string attached to US aid is the stipulation that no US financial assistance can be used to finance Hamas.

THE PA'S announced willingness to end its receipt of US aid is by far its boldest move to date. With the Arab world going up in smoke, Fatah officials know they cannot expect to receive any significant funding from Arab states for the foreseeable future. That makes them entirely dependent on US and Europe. And make no mistake, the PA budget is entirely a creation of foreign aid. The PA is the largest foreign aid recipient in the world. Last year, it received $1.8 billion in foreign assistance.

US direct assistance accounted for $550 million, or nearly a third of that amount. The US gave the PA another $268m. in indirect assistance through UNRWA. UNRWA is the UN agency devoted exclusively to providing welfare benefits to the Palestinians while subordinating itself to the Palestinian political agenda. Without US assistance, the PA would cease to be a political factor in the region. So by offering to forgo the aid, Fayyad, Abbas and their colleagues are essentially threatening to commit political suicide.

The Palestinians' declared readiness to forgo US aid is all the more remarkable when compared to Israel's refusal to countenance the thought of forgoing or even cutting back the assistance it receives from the US. Whereas the Palestinian economy will collapse without US assistance, were Israel to forgo the $3b. in military assistance it receives every year from Washington, the move would have little impact on the economy.

Economic analyses of US military assistance have noted that several factors degrade the value of the aid. The US requires Israel to spend 75 percent of the assistance in the US. Israel's inability to open its purchases to competitive bidding in the world market has forced it to pay inflated prices for much of what it buys. So, too, by buying US weapons systems, Israel has harmed its own military industries, which are blocked from selling or developing systems for the IDF contractors.

Moreover, because the US has tied its aid to Egypt to its aid to Israel and justified its military aid to Jordan and Lebanon through its military assistance to Israel, by accepting the aid, Israel is enabling its neighbors to upgrade their military capabilities. Their upgraded military capabilities in turn force Israel to invest still more resources in its defense budget to maintain its qualitative edge against its US subsidized neighbors.

With all the hidden costs the military assistance entails, it is reasonable to discount the actual value of the aid by 50%. That is, the actual value of annual US military assistance is about $1.5b.

The direct military cost of the Second Lebanon War is estimated at $2.2b. The direct military cost of Operation Cast Lead is estimated at $1.4b. The actual costs of both wars to the Israeli economy were several times higher.

Those who claim that Israel cannot manage without US military aid ignore the fact that neither of these wars had any discernible impact on the economy.

The political cost Israel has paid for US military assistance has been astronomical. As a recent study of US military assistance by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies demonstrated, the psychological impact of the US aid on Israeli and American leaders alike has had a disastrous impact on the relations between the two states and impaired their ability to understand the actual strategic rationale of their alliance. Israeli leaders have developed a subservient mentality towards the Americans and the Americans have forgotten that a strong Israel is the US's most valuable strategic asset in the region.
 

THE PALESTINIANS' expressed willingness to forgo their assistance from the US is no doubt a bluff. And Congress would do well to call their bluff and cancel US assistance to the PA.

Yet their behavior presents Israel with an important lesson about the fundamentals of diplomacy that appear lost on our leaders.

The Palestinians understand the rules of diplomacy far better than Israel does. Israel believes that diplomacy is about getting other governments to be nice to us. Palestinians understand that diplomacy is a nonviolent means of weakening your enemies and expanding your own power. They also understand that the starting point for any effective diplomatic strategy is a reality-based assessment of other government's interests.

As the revolutions throughout the region show, in the real world, the Arabs do not care about the Palestinians. Europeans and leftist Americans care about the Palestinians. European leaders need to support the Palestinians for domestic political reasons. US leaders support the Palestinians to maintain good relations with Europe and with the American Left.

Recognizing this, the likes of Abbas and Fayyad understand that no matter what they say or do, the West will probably not abandon them. Europeans need them to continue carrying out their political war against Israel because that is what their constituents demand. US leaders will continue to support them because they follow Europe's lead.

On the other hand, given their newfound power, PA leaders have to bend over backwards to appease Hamas and Iran if they wish to survive.

Since they rightly assess that the West needs them more than they need the West, not only are the Palestinians unwilling to pay any price for maintaining Western support for them. They are willing to initiate ugly confrontations with the US and humiliate Obama in order to win the approval of Hamas and Iran.

Facing this reality, Israel's best bet is to initiate a few confrontations of its own to demonstrate its strategic importance to the US and Europe. With the conflagrations raging in the Arab world essentially making its argument that a strong Israel is imperative for the West, Israel should be going on the offensive against the Palestinians and the international Left that supports them.

But instead of pointing out the truth, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his colleagues maintain their posture as supplicants to Washington, making concession after concession in exchange for further abuse in the hopes of avoiding a confrontation.

For instance, Netanyahu has defied his own party and broken his word to the public by maintaining an undeclared freeze on Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Since January 2010, Netanyahu has systematically denied Jews building permits in the area in the hopes of appeasing Obama.

And how has Obama repaid Israel for our government's willingness to deny Jews their civil rights? The Obama administration has branded all Jewish communities in post-1967 Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as "illegitimate," and blamed Israel for the absence of peace in the region.

As our region is consumed by the flames of rebellion and revolution, the challenges and threats Israel faces multiply by the day. In these new and trying times, our leaders must shed their failed concepts of statecraft based on weakness and adopt new ones founded on strength. The PA is playing a bad hand wisely. We are playing a good hand foolishly.

UCI — The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) — 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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HYPOCRISY EXPOSED: UN REPORT PRAISES LIBYA'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD
Posted by UN Watch, February 28, 2011.

UN Watch urges world leaders to block UNHRC resolution praising Libya's human rights record

Report hailing Gaddafi's human rights record scheduled for adoption in current session

 

GENEVA, February 28, 2011 — UN Watch, which heads the Global NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton, who are today addressing the 47-nation body in Geneva, as well as UN rights chief Navi Pillay, to urge the council president to cancel a planned resolution praising Libya's human rights record, scheduled to be adopted in the current session. (See quotes of praise below.)

Despite having just voted to suspend Libya from its ranks (expected to be finalized by the UNGA tomorrow), the UN Human Rights Council, according to the agenda of its current session, is planning to "consider and adopt the final outcome of the review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." According to the council's timetable, the lengthy report hailing Libya's human rights record will be presented on March 18, and then adopted by the council at the end of the month. The report, which the UN has published on the council website, is the outcome of a recent session that was meant to review Libya's human rights record.

Although the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism is often described by council defenders as its saving grace, the vast majority of council members used it to falsely praise the Gaddafi regime for its alleged promotion of human rights. Only a handful raised genuine issues.

The report also includes praise of Libya's record by the regime's representatives — click here for quotes. Given that Libya's UN diplomats have defected and admitted that the Gaddafi regime is a gross violator of human rights, it would be nonsensical for the UN to now adopt this false report.

UN Watch called on the council president to acknowledge that the session on Libya was largely a fraud, withdraw the report, and schedule a new session in which council members would tell the truth about the Gaddafi regime's heinous crimes, which were committed over four decades yet ignored by the UN. Libya's long-suffering victims deserve no less.

The UN report's summary notes that delegations "commended" Libya, and that they "noted with appreciation the country's commitment to upholding human rights on the ground."

Following are quotes from the UNHRC report on Libya's human rights record:

Iran noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had implemented a number of international human rights instruments and had cooperated with relevant treaty bodies. It noted with appreciation the establishment of the National Human Rights Committee as an independent national human rights institution, and the provision of an enabling environment for non-governmental organizations.

Algeria noted the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote human rights, which reflected the country's commitment to complying with Human Rights Council resolutions and cooperating with the international community. Algeria welcomed the national institutional framework that had been set up, in particular the National Human Rights Committee. It noted that the country had made some progress in the area of education, as well as social and economic progress since the lifting of economic sanctions.

Qatar praised the legal framework for the protection of human rights and freedoms, including, inter alia, its criminal code and criminal procedure law, which provided legal guarantees for the implementation of those rights. Qatar expressed appreciation for the improvements made in the areas of education and health care, the rights of women, children and the elderly, and the situation of people with special needs.

Sudan noted the country's positive experience in achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women.

The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. It commended the country for its democratic regime based on promoting the people's authority through the holding of public conferences, which enhanced development and respect for human rights, while respecting cultural and religions traditions.

North Korea praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its achievements in the protection of human rights, especially in the field of economic and social rights, including income augmentation, social care, a free education system, increased delivery of health-care services, care for people with disabilities, and efforts to empower women. It noted the functioning of the constitutional and legislative framework and national entities.

Bahrain noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had adopted various policies aimed at improving human rights, in particular the right to education and the rights of persons with disabilities. Bahrain commended the free education system and praised programmes such as electronic examinations and teacher training. It commended the country for its efforts regarding persons with disabilities, particularly all the services and rehabilitation programmes provided.

Palestine commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the consultations held with civil society in the preparation of the national report, which demonstrated its commitment to the improved enjoyment of human rights. Palestine praised the country for the Great Green Document on Human Rights. It noted the establishment of the national independent institution entrusted with promoting and protecting human rights, which had many of the competencies set out in the Paris Principles. It also noted the interaction of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with human rights mechanisms.

Iraq commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being a party to most international and regional human rights instruments, which took precedence over its national legislation. It welcomed the efforts to present a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the country based on the unity among democracy, development and human rights. It also commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its cooperation with the international community.

Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks, which showed the importance that the country attached to human rights, and for the fact that international treaties took precedence over its national legislation. It noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had become party to many human rights conventions and had equipped itself with a number of institutions, national, governmental and non-governmental, tasked with promoting and protecting human rights.

Tunisia welcomed [Libya's] national report, as well as the efforts of the National Committee, such as the website created to gather contributions. Tunisia noted progress made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, such as the adoption of the Great Green Charter, which was very comprehensive and enshrined fundamental freedoms and rights as enshrined in international human rights instruments.

Venezuela acknowledged the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote economic, social and cultural rights, especially those of children. It highlighted progress achieved in ensuring free and compulsory education.

Jordan welcomed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, including the establishment of institutions, particularly in the judiciary system. Jordan praised progress in the fields of health, education and labour, as well as the increased attention to the rights of women. Jordan noted the participation of women in public life, including decision-making, and emphasized the fact that women held one third of all judicial posts.

Cuba commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the progress made in the achievement of one of the Millennium Development Goals, namely, universal primary education. It noted that the country had also made a firm commitment to providing health care.

Oman commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its diligent efforts in the field of human rights and for making them its priority. It referred to the legal framework for the protection of human rights, and its clear commitment in that regard, which was reflected in the ratification of most human rights instruments, and its cooperation with United Nations mechanisms. The country's report focused on both achievements and challenges, which demonstrated its sincerity in addressing human rights issues.

Egypt commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for progress in building a comprehensive national human rights framework of institutions and in drafting legislation and supporting its human resources in that area. It commended the separation of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior and the development of a new criminal code, and it praised the cooperation with international organizations in combating human trafficking and corruption, and the improvement made in the conditions related to illegal migration.

Malta fully recognized the difficulties faced by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and welcomed the action taken at the national, bilateral and regional levels to suppress the illegal activities that gave rise to migration. Malta welcomed the cooperation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with the International Organization for Migration.

Bangladesh referred to the progress made in the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including in the areas of education, health care, poverty reduction and social welfare. Bangladesh noted with appreciation the measures taken to promote transparency.

Malaysia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being party to a significant number of international and regional human rights instruments.

Morocco welcomed the achievements in promoting social protection, especially for women, children and persons with special needs. It welcomed the efforts to protect the rights of children. It welcomed the establishment of a national committee for the protection of persons with special needs. Morocco also praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its promotion of human rights education, particularly for security personnel.

Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for measures taken both in terms of legislation and in practice, noting with appreciation that it was a party to most of the core human rights treaties. Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's commitment to human rights, in particular the right to health, education and food, even when the country had faced sanctions in the 1990s. Pakistan was encouraged by efforts to address the root causes of illegal migration, and noted the good practice of settling political disputes and developing infrastructure in source countries.

Mexico thanked the delegation for the presentation of the national report and the answers that it had provided. It expressed appreciation for the political will of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to address the human rights challenges facing it. Mexico hoped that the universal periodic review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya would make a positive contribution to national efforts to overcome challenges to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights.

Myanmar commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its economic and social progress, and recognized efforts in domestic legislation aimed at guaranteeing equal rights. Myanmar noted that the country had acceded to many international human rights instruments and established a national Human Rights Committee. Myanmar praised efforts to realize basic education for all and a free health-care system.

Viet Nam congratulated the delegation on the quality of the national report. It noted with satisfaction the commitment of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the protection and promotion of the human rights of its people, particularly the country's accession to the main international human rights conventions. It welcomed achievements made in the exercise of human rights.

Thailand welcomed the national report, which presented both progress and challenges. Thailand highlighted efforts made with regard to education, persons with special needs and vulnerable groups.

Brazil noted the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's economic and social progress and acknowledged the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, the free health care and the high enrolment in primary education. Brazil noted the successful cooperation with international organizations in areas such as migrant rights, judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

Kuwait expressed appreciation for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's initiative to improve per capita income and to ensure social justice and the fair distribution of wealth. It praised the measures taken with regard to low-income families. Kuwait called upon the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to continue its efforts to integrate people with disabilities into society while recognizing their positive role.


Chronology: UN Watch's Campaign to Remove Libya From the UN Human Rights Council

  • May 2010: UN Watch leads 37 NGOs in a protest on the eve of Libya's election to the UNHRC, with a widely covered media event at UN Headquarters in New York, and a mass email campaign. Countries are urged to oppose Qaddafi's candidacy. Instead, in a secret ballot, the UN elects Libya by a landslide of 155 out of 192 UNGA votes. UN Watch warns on Swiss TV that Qaddafi's government is a "murderous and racist regime." Not a single country speaks out against Libya's candidacy or election.

  • September 2010: Libya takes its seat at the council. UN Watch launches a global campaign, supported by 30 NGOs, and victims of Libyan abuses, to remove the Qaddafi regime. To confront the Libyans in the plenary UN Watch brings Bob Monetti, whose 20-year-old son was murdered in Libya's 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103; Mohamed Eljahmi, brother of slain dissident Fathi Eljahmi; Kristyana Valcheva, one of the five Bulgarian nurses who were framed, imprisoned and tortured for eight years on false charges of poisoning children with HIV; and Ashraf El-Hajouj, the Palestinian doctor framed and tortured together with the nurses. The Libyans and their allied regimes rudely interrupt the speakers. The incident and the victims' appeal to remove Libya is widely covered by dedicated stories in Voice of America and Agence France Presse, and by a cover story in Sweden's Neo magazine. "The HRC grants legitimacy to 'murderous' Gadaffi regime," reported Radio Netherlands on UN Watch's campaign. Yet the UN council and its member states stay silent.

  • November 2010: When Libya's abysmal human rights record is addressed under the council's universal review procedure, UN Watch renews its call for the Qaddafi regime to be removed. The appeal is reported by Germany's DPA, Swissinfo and elsewhere. Yet the UN council and its member states stay silent.

  • February 21, 2010: Working closely with Libyan dissident Mohamed Eljahmi — who sounds the alarm on massive atrocities being committed by the Qaddafi regime — UN Watch spearheads an international appeal by 70 human rights groups to suspend Libya. The plea for UN action is covered around the world. Later that week, by unanimous vote, the council recommends the suspension of Libya.

    UN Watch has been the leading voice at the United Nations challenging Libyan human rights abuses for many years. To see videos, click here.

UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. Visit the website at http://www.unwatch.org

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THE SOLUTION FOR LIBYA IS TO RESTORE ITS PROPER RULERS!
Posted by Steven Plaut, February 28, 2011.
 

The world is wringing its hands over the fate of Libya. It is seeking a peaceful logical solution to the regime that will govern Libya in the post-Kaddafi era.

Being a helpful sort of guy, and what with Purim coming up fast, I know just the proper and just solution. I would like to place on the international table the obvious, most logical, and most justified solution to the question of Libyan governance. Control of Libya should be returned at once to the natural and rightful owners of Libya, the people who controlled it before it was invaded and occupied by the Arab military hordes.

Libya should be returned to the Jews.

Why the Jews? Well, because the Jews controlled Libya not only before the Kaddafi era but even before the country was seized militarily and illegally occupied by the Arabs. Libya was governed by a Jewish Berber queen known to history as Kahina. Really.

Let's put Libya's history in order to see who the proper rulers of the land really are. Before the birth of Mohammed, back when there were no Arabs at all in North Africa and the Arabs were confined to the Arabian peninsula, Libya and its surroundings were home to Byzantine occupiers and to indigenous Berber tribes. The latter were the true natives of the area. The Romans called them Berbers, from which they derived the derogatory adjective "barbarian," but the Berbers called themselves Imazighen, possibly meaning "free people" or "free and noble men." Libya was Berber long before the Egyptians and their slaves built any pyraminds. Cathaginians conquered the area and were evicted by other conquerers, as were the Vandal tribes and the Byzantines. But the natives consisted of Berbers.

And Jews. The Jews had entered the area probably first during the period of the Second Temple, and Berber-Jewish ties were strengthened during the revolt against the Romans in the Land of Israel that ended with the destruction of the Temple. The North African Jews mixed with and influenced local Berber tribes. The French historian Marcel Simon claims that Tripoli, the same Tripoli in which Muammar Kaddafi pranced about and suppressed his own people, was under the rule of Jewish Berbers as early as the first century of the common era.

By the time the Arab imperialist armies entered Libya after the death of Mohammed, Berbers in Libya and North Africa belonged to Christian tribes (usually heretical heterodox Christians), pagan tribes, and at least one large Jewish tribe. And the Jewish tribe was led by a woman! No glass ceilings for her! She did not need any Reform rabbis to lecture her about egalitarianism in Judaism!

While known in most histories as the Kahina (from the root word Cohen for priestess), her actual name is given variously as Dahiyah, Dahia, or Dhabba. Her tribe was known as the Jerawa, based in the Aures Mountains in eastern Algeria and Tunisia, and whose control extended into Libya. And she was a warrior queen. The historian Charles-Andre Julien, in his History of North Africa, calls her the Berber Deborah. And her most dramatic victories were over the Arab imperialist invaders. She decided to resist the illegal occupation of her homeland by the Arab colonialists and to drive out the Arab settlers with force. She drove the first wave of Arab invaders out of Libya altogether, although they later returned.

After the Arab general Hassan ibn al Numan took Carthage from the Byzantines, the Kahina's forces defeated him on the battlefield. She was later defeated by him. Most Berber tribes were later Islamized, although retained their penchant for embracing theological heterodoxy even as Muslims.

The Kahina is not a figment of Jewish imagination like some Golem of Prague. The greatest Arab historian of all time, the medieval Ibn Khaldun, writes at length about her military campaigns. The great historian Edward Gibbon, author of the classic history of Rome, mentions her. She was a figure of fascination for the great American writer Washington Irving, better known for his tales of Rip van Winkle and Ichabod Crane. I have always wondered whether his familiarity with beheadings in Arab society inspired his headless horseman in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Here is a segment of Irving's history of the Kahina:

'After repeated battles, the emir Hossan was compelled to retire with his veteran but diminished army to the frontiers of Egypt. The patriot queen was not satisfied with this partial success. Calling a council of war of the leaders and principal warriors of the different hordes: "This retreat of the enemy," said she, "is but temporary; they will return in greater force. What is it that attracts to our land these Arab spoilers? The wealth of our cities; the treasures of silver and gold digged from the bowels of the earth; the fruits of our gardens and orchards; the produce of our fields. Let us demolish our cities; return these accursed treasures to the earth; fell our fruit-trees; lay waste our fields, and spread a barrier of desolation between us and the country of these robbers!"

'The words of the royal prophetess were received with fanatic enthusiasm by her barbarian troops; the greater part of whom, collected from the mountains and from distant parts, had little share in the property to be sacrificed. Walled towns were forthwith dismantled; majestic edifices tumbled into ruins; groves of fruit-trees were hewn down, and the whole country from Tangiers to Tripoli was converted from a populous and fertile region into a howling and barren waste. A short time was sufficient to effect a desolation, which centuries have not sufficed to remedy.'

So back when Muammar Kaddafi's ancestors were chasing camels around what is now Saudi Arabia, Jewish roots were well entrenched in Libya. So would not the most logical resolution of the current political crisis in Libya be to restore it to its proper Jewish rulers?

If the Arabs are thought to be entitled to 22 different states, why should the Jews not have at least two — one in the Land of Israel and one in Libya. Jewish high-tech know-how in agriculture would have Libya turned into a rain forest within a decade. In fact, since Purim is coming and I am feeling in a good mood, I would even be willing to agree that part of Libya be used for solving the "Palestinian problem." All the Palestinians can be moved to the southern part of Libya near the Chad border and they can even set up their own state there. Maybe even two states, one for the Hamas and one for the PLO! They can have a cut of the Libyan oil revenue if they behave themselves there.

If a brief period of Arab rule over the Land of Israel is thought to convey some sort of legitimate claim to parts of Israel for Arabs, why should the Jewish rule in Libya, older than the Arab conquest of "Palestine," not similarly confer natural rights of sovereignty?

The peace plan is simple. The illegal Arab colonial occupation of Libya must be ended! The illegal settlements must be removed. The legitimate Jewish rulers of Libya must be restored to power. And now is the right time to do so, by Dahia!

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 splaut@gmail.com His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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FROM ISRAEL: STANDING TOUGH
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 28, 2011.
 

The international community is forging ahead with those plans to advance "peace negotiations": Later this week, Quartet representatives hope to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials, in Brussels. The goal of these meetings is said to be determination of the position of each side with regard to core issues. Then it is hoped that agreement can be reached on how to resume negotiations.

According to an article in Haaretz, Prime Minister Netanyahu is still debating about whether to send his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho to this meeting.

His concern is that of being unduly pressured by the international community to restart negotiations based on the '67 armistice line (erroneously referred to as a border). A Quartet summit is scheduled for two weeks from now in Paris, and he is worried about an official statement coming from that meeting.

~~~~~~~~~~

Currently, Netanyahu is attempting to determine more precisely the purpose of the Brussels meeting via contact with the US administration. He will then call a meeting of the Septet (the inner cabinet of seven) before making a decision.

~~~~~~~~~~

And so now I think is the appropriate time for us to deliver a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He needs to know that he has enormous support if he will stand strong in making decisions that protect Israel's rights. Implore him not to cave to international pressure. Remind him that he must believe in Israel's value to the international community.

Please! Keep this very short and very direct, in a gracious manner. No speeches, no history lessons.
Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)
E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il and also pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm). use both addresses

~~~~~~~~~~

Then, if you are inclined, please send a similar message to the following members of the Septet. This must be done today, if they are meeting tomorrow. Indicate that you are writing with regard to the Septet meeting on Tuesday, at which there will be a discussion about Quartet involvement in the peace process.

In all instances, when faxing from the US: 011-972-2 followed by the regular seven digits.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Fax: 02-640-8921 E-mail: aliberman@knesset.gov.il

Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai
Fax: 02-666-2909 E-mail: eyishay@knesset.gov.il

Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon
E-mail: myaalon@knesset.gov.il (no fax number available)

Minister Benny Begin
E-mail: bbegin@knesset.gov.il (no fax number available)

~~~~~~~~~~

I continue to suspect that the PA will prove to be such a stumbling block to Quartet attempts to bring them to the negotiating table that no advance will be made. They have already decided to go another route (see below).

However, as it continues to be the tendency of the international community to lean on Israel first, there is no need to take unnecessary chances. Pressure on Israel is precisely what the PA would prefer.

~~~~~~~~~~

Fatah has come out in opposition to the attempts by PA Prime Minister Fayyad to promote unity with Hamas. This is according to Amin Maqboul, secretary-general of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, as cited by Khaled Abu Toameh.

The party, explained Maqboul, objected to two matters in particular: that Fayyad said unity would be declared before all issues were resolved (I had thought that rather strange when he said it, and an indication of Fayyad's desperation), and that Fayyad was willing to allow Hamas to continue to control Gaza (a key stumbling block between the parties previously — this was Fayyad providing Hamas with huge incentive).

Fayyad is an independent, and not a member of Fatah. Fatah has let it be known that it is within the party's jurisdiction, and not his, to determine reconciliation with Hamas.

Fayyad's rush to unity was motivated, I believe, by the desire to get them to permit elections in Gaza — something they've said they would not allow until the dispute with Fatah was resolved. Fatah, you see, is in something of a bind. Elections are past due, which makes everything a bit illegitimate (although almost everyone turns a blind eye to this). There is however, no way to allow all Arabs in Palestinian areas to participate in voting as long as Hamas is blocking the way. The election would be very truncated if held under such circumstances.

Fayyad, who has said he is aiming for a Palestinian state by September, was hoping for PA elections by then, to maximize legitimacy.

Of course, the fact that Fayyad's approach to the matter of unity was considered unacceptable by Fatah does not mean they won't have their own approach.

Stay tuned...

~~~~~~~~~

Caroline Glick's piece from last Friday, "Playing Israel's good hand," makes several important and highly relevant points.

First of all, she emphasizes precisely the message I've suggested be delivered to Netanyahu:

"As our region is consumed by the flames of rebellion and revolution, the challenges and threats Israel faces multiply by the day. In these new and trying times, our leaders must shed their failed concepts of statecraft based on weakness and adopt new ones founded on strength."

This is THE message that members of our government must hear.

She also takes a closer look at the PA-US relationship:

"The revolution in Egypt happened just after the PA was thrown into a state of disarray. Al-Jazeera's exposure of PA documents indicating the leadership's willingness to make minor compromises with Israel in the framework of a peace deal served to discredit Fatah leaders in the eyes of the Israel-hating Palestinian public.

"In the wake of the Al-Jazeera revelations, senior PA leaders escalated their anti-Israel and anti-American pronouncements...

"The shift in the regional power balance following Mubarak's fall has caused Fatah leaders to view their ties to the US as a strategic liability.

"If they wish to survive, they must cut a deal with Hamas. And to convince Hamas to cut a deal, they need to abandon the US.

"...the likes of Abbas and Fayyad understand that no matter what they say or do, the West will probably not abandon them. Europeans need them to continue carrying out their political war against Israel because that is what their constituents demand. US leaders will continue to support them because they follow Europe's lead.

"On the other hand...PA leaders have to bend over backwards to appease Hamas and Iran if they wish to survive.

"...not only are the Palestinians unwilling to pay any price for maintaining Western support for them.

"They are willing to initiate ugly confrontations with the US and humiliate Obama in order to win the approval of Hamas and Iran.

"Facing this reality, Israel's best bet is to initiate a few confrontations of its own to demonstrate its strategic importance to the US and Europe.

"With the conflagrations raging in the Arab world essentially making its argument that a strong Israel is imperative for the West, Israel should be going on the offensive against the Palestinians and the international Left that supports them."

But Netanyahu isn't doing this — he's too busy being a "team player" and trying to avoid confrontation. Thus is the message to him recommended above extremely timely.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/ Article.aspx?id=209768

~~~~~~~~~~

"The Good News Corner"

Especially because we must emphasize reasons to be proud of Israel, I would like to share some lovely observations.

The first is by Charles Moore, writing in The Telegraph (UK):

"It is often said that anti-Israeli feeling is growing in the West because Israel does not, despite its claims, live by Western values. I sometimes wonder if the opposite is the case: Israel, because of the constant threat to its existence, reminds us of the high cost of defending our freedoms. And that, to Western wishful thinkers, is intensely irritating."

~~~~~~~~~~

And then, from the Harvard Crimson, of all places, comes a piece by Lee M. Hiromoto, "My Israel":

"'Discrimination is built into Israel.' Zionism 'has at its core the replacement of one people with another.'

"These were two claims I heard at a law school panel discussion on 'boycotting the Israeli occupation'... As the speakers attempted to ascertain the best practices for attacking and dismantling the State of Israel, I thought back to the four years I spent there before starting law school last fall.

"The Israel I experienced differed starkly from the fascist dystopia of which the panelists spoke. That Israel, my Israel, hopes for peace with its neighbors and respects the rights of minority groups, sometimes to a greater extent than the U.S. does.

"My military service as a dual citizen gives me great respect for Israel's deep yearning to co-exist with its Arab neighbors...

"As part of my service, I visited hospitals in Jerusalem where Palestinian children, with Israeli military coordination, receive critical dialysis treatments several times a week (such treatment is unavailable in the West Bank). I saw a Jewish Israeli surgeon, an Apache pilot in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, treat Palestinian, Iraqi, and African children in an intensive care unit. At the crack of dawn I welcomed Palestinian workers to the Israeli community of Qedar outside Jerusalem, where they worked with their Israeli neighbors for much higher wages than they would earn in a Palestinian city.

"The upshot here is that Israel doesn't have to let thousands of Palestinians, many of whom still deny Israel's basic right to exist, into its communities for medical care or work (as happens every day). But Israel does."
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/ 22/israel-israeli-palestinian-israels/#

~~~~~~~~~~

In line with the above, see this video about Rambam hospital, in Haifa, which treats 700 Palestinian Arabs children every year. In this film we see a charming little girl from Gaza whose life was saved by Israeli doctors who did emergency brain surgery on her:
http://www.youtube.com/user/rambamhospital#p/ u/6/fUaU7cVfE0Q

~~~~~~~~~~

Israel has just brought 23 of the 33 Chilean miners, who had been trapped underground for 68 days, to Israel, with spouses. Guests of the Ministry of Tourism, they were given an opportunity to visit Christian sites, in order to celebrate their faith and offer thanksgiving.

"It is a great honor for us to be here, because the God who rescued us from the bowels of the earth is the God who brought us here, and we are so grateful," said miner Jose Enriques.

Chilean miners pose with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.
Marc Israel Sellem

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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BANK LEUMI BETRAYS THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, February 28, 2011.

Why wait until the knife is already in the back? Start today! If you have an account in Bank Leumi, move it to another bank. When you do, make it clear to the manager that this is in protest to their treachery.

To even consider a deal that would result in the transfer of Jewish land into the hands of our enemies is an act a treason against the Jewish people. This is not business, this is betrayal. If they are willing to openly engage in such an atrocious and malicious perfidy in public, who knows what they are doing in private?

This was written by Hillel Fendel and is entitled "Nof Tzion's Problems — Not Over." It appeared today in Arutz-Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/ News.aspx/142575

 

(Israelnationalnews.com) Bank Leumi, the main creditor of Jewish neighborhood Nof Tzion's developers, has rejected an offer by Rami Levy and a partner to pay off its debts — and as a result, an Arab takeover again threatens the seamline Jerusalem area. Rabbis threaten a local boycott of Bank Leumi, and American Jews threaten a boycott abroad.

In light of the Bank Leumi rejection, Palestinian Authority semi-resident Bashir Al-Masri, represented by the same lawyer who advised Ariel Sharon during the Disengagement, Dov Weisglass, has redoubled his efforts to buy the lands of Nof Tzion.

Located to the east of Talpiyot and south of the Old City, the neighborhood was originally planned as a luxury project for wealthy apartment-seekers from abroad. When this did not pan out, the project was saved by the religious-Zionist public, for which its strategic spot, in terms of both Jewish-Arab demographics and a panoramic view of the Temple Mount and the Old City, increased its attractiveness. Thus, a new religious-Zionist neighborhood arose in eastern Jerusalem.

The first phase of the project was completed several years ago, and much has been written about the 90 families' satisfaction with their new neighbors and surroundings. However, they are now greatly apprehensive that if the project falls into Arab hands, the 180 planned units of Stages II and III of the project will not only not be built, but also that their own homes will become an unsafe and unviable Jewish enclave surrounded by Arab homes.

They have therefore threatened to take Bank Leumi — the guarantor of the project — and the Digal development company to court for backing down on their much-touted plans to ensure that the project is for the national-religious public.

Bank Leumi Rejects Levy, Wants to Break Up Digal

Bank Leumi has rejected Levy's offer, saying that it prefers to break up Digal altogether and sell its assets — including the land of Nof Tzion — to the highest bidder. This once again leaves the field open to Al-Masri. Al-Masri has also taken another step, seeking to buy out the shares of Digal.

A letter of intent to boycott Bank Leumi has already been signed by top rabbis in the religious-Zionist camp. Rabbis Shmuel Eliyahu, Elyakim Levanon, Yehoshua Shapira, Zalman Melamed, David Druckman, Dov Lior, Yaakov Yosef and others issued a call to Bank Leumi customers to withdraw their monies if the project is sold to Al-Masri. The rabbis call on Bank Leumi to "support and accept the offer by Jewish interests to purchase the neighborhood lands and to save it from Bashir Al-Masri, who does not hide his intentions to build on Nof Tzion an Arab outpost in Jerusalem."

Globes has reported in the past that if Bank Leumi would enable the sale of the Nof Tzion project to Al-Masri, it would be likely to face a widespread boycott in the United States. Several apartment owners in the project wrote to Bank Leumi as follows: "I have been involved in this project ever since it was presented to the public some eight years ago, and I am in contact with many of its American investors. These people have power and are very influential in their communities. We were under the impression that Bank Leumi would never work against the People of Israel — but we are now quickly concluding that this is not true. It appears that Bank Leumi is taking part in an act of treachery in allowing secret deals that will lead to the sale of Nof Tzion properties to Arab interests."

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

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ZOA: PA DELEGITIMIZES ISRAEL WITH LIES — ISRAEL MUST DELEGITIMIZE PA WITH THE TRUTH
Posted by Paul Rotenberg, February 27, 2011.
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Morton A. Klein
Phone: 212-481-1500
http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/ pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=2007

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the Israeli Government, in the wake non-stop, continuing Palestinian Authority (PA) efforts to malign and delegitimize Israel with lies, to start publicly delegitimizing the PA by stating the truth about the PA regime's pro-terror, racist, anti-peace words and deeds.

The ZOA believes that such an effort must be led by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — it cannot be led by ministers or individual Knesset Members, valuable as their contribution can be. Imagine the impact of Prime Minister Netanyahu calling a press conference, with posters showing horrific anti-Israel statements made by PA leaders in public or to the Arab media, or with pictures of Palestinian posters glorifying terrorists, or the Fatah emblem showing Israel draped in a Palestinian headdress and labeled Palestine behind him, explaining that the PA must accept Israel's existence as Jewish state, arrest terrorists and outlaw terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder or else peace is impossible. Individual Israeli politicians can be ignored by the media, but the Israeli Prime Minister has a unique ability to place this vital issue on the international radar screen.

By taking this course of action, Israel would reduce support and sympathy for, and the credibility of, the PA. Moreover, once people better understand the actual nature of the PA and its goals, the PA's negative campaign on Israel will be much reduced in effectiveness. Such action would enable foreign governments and publics to better understand the nature of the PA regime and the war upon Israel waged by Arab states with which it has to contend. At present, however, the PA works assiduously to demonize Israel internationally and falsely present it as a rogue, oppressive, apartheid regime. Most recently, the PA violated its Oslo II signed agreements (in which they accepted the existence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria under Israeli control) by working to have Israel condemned in the United Nations Security Council for the presence of these communities by having them falsely declared illegal.

As the ZOA has already documented, just in recent months, Mahmoud Abbas said to an Arab audience that "if the Arabs want war against Israel] — we are with them"; awarded the family of a dead Palestinian terrorist who attempted to attack an Israeli checkpoint with pipe bombs a $2000 presidential grant; a senior P.A. Health Ministry official publicly accused Israel of addicting Palestinian drug users; PA TV broadcast indoctrinated children claiming Jews poisoned Yasser Arafat; the ruling Fatah's party convention was named after Munich Olympics Jew-killer Al-Hindi; and pro-terror songs and pro-terror bands broadcast in the officially controlled PA media. Also, the PA officially endorsed an absurd study with the preposterous theme that Jews have no claim of any kind to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, while Abbas himself has said that, in a future Palestinian state, "we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it."

In recent years, the PA ruling party, Fatah, produced an emblem, depicting all of Israel, labeled 'Palestine' covered in a Palestinian headdress, with a picture of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle beside it.

Streets, schools and sports teams have been named in honor of suicide bombers and other terrorists who have murdered Israelis, while thousands of posters have been produced and displayed in public squares, schools and buildings of these same terrorist figures. Official days have been designated by the PA to honor specific terrorists.

Last week, at a meeting with American Jewish leaders, Israeli Arab Muslim journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, in response to a question from ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, said that the PA has no interest in peace and that it simply wants to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

Accordingly, the ZOA is urging Israel to cease describing PA president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salaam Fayyad as peace partners and moderates when they are neither. It should cease to talk up the prospects of a peace agreement with the PA when none is possible. As Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann has argued with reference to the application of game theory to Israel's circumstances, Israel needs to avoid the 'Blackmailer Paradox,' whereby it makes concessions in the face of unyielding Palestinian demands in the belief that only thus can it gain anything at all and that the alternative of no agreement is necessarily intolerable. This leads to the false conclusion that Israel can gain something by yielding, even peace, when it is not in fact available and the concessions made merely embolden the Palestinians to move on to their next demand.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "It is long past time for the Israeli government to finally speak out fearlessly and publicly about the fraudulence as a peace partner of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which works to delegitimize Israel with lies.

"The failure of the PA to fulfill its commitments to arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror and hostilities, coupled with its international efforts to lie about, demonize and delegitimize Israel, calls for a strong, direct and sustained response from the Israeli government.

"It is unthinkable that the PA should be able to do these things without in any way being penalized by Israel, which continues to offer it legitimacy through negotiations.

"If Israel will not speak the truth about the PA, no one else will. It is high time for Israel to expose the pro-terror, anti-peace words and deeds of Abbas' PA and begin the process of denying this unreconstructed, terror-sponsoring regime the oxygen of legitimacy and credibility. This should have happened years ago. It should begin now."

Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at pdr@rogers.com

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AS THE LIES COME CRASHING DOWN
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, February 27, 2011.

As President Barack Hussein Obama continues to insist he is not a Muslim in fact or in practice, you may wish to question his support of Muslim Pakistan as it doubles its nuclear arsenal.

Then the question arises as to why Obama has done virtually nothing of consequence to force Iran to stand down perfecting its nuclear arsenal?

We watch in astonishment as America's 16 Intel Agencies, sworn to protect the nation acts only to protect Obama from exposure.

No point in commenting on the Democrats in Congress as they line up obediently behind Obama, Pelosi and Reid, accepting the weakening of America.

The world is crumbling and we have a President fiddling while America is about to go up in flames.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared February 11, 2011 in the Jerusalem Post.

 

Pakistan nukes

In the midst of the political turmoil engulfing Egypt and much of the Arab world, last month's revelation that Pakistan has doubled the size of its nuclear arsenal over the past four years has been largely ignored.

Nuclear proliferation analysts from the Federation of American Scientists and the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) assess that since 2006, Pakistan has increased the size of its nuclear arsenal from 30-60 atomic bombs to approximately 110. That makes Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power ahead of Britain and France.

As for delivery systems, according to The Washington Post, Pakistan has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles. Its Shaheen II missile, with a range of 2,400 kilometers, is about to go into operational deployment.

On Wednesday, Pakistan test-fired its new Hatf-VII nuclear-capable cruise missile with a 600-kilometer range.

The Obama administration has been silent on Pakistan's nuclear proliferation activities. As ISIS President David Albright said to the Washington Post, "The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably. They're always trying to downplay the numbers [of Pakistan's nuclear warheads] and insisting that 'it's smaller than you think.' "

Pakistan's nuclear growth goes on as its economy is in shambles, its government is falling apart and a large portion of the country's territory is controlled by the Taliban.

Pakistan is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. In 2009 Congress approved a five-year $7.5 billion civilian aid package. Last October, the Obama administration proposed supplementing the aid with $2b. for Pakistan's military.

The administration requested the supplemental aid despite criticism that economic assistance to Pakistan indirectly funds its nuclear project, since Pakistan is in an effective state of bankruptcy. Moreover, a US Inspector-General's Report published this week concluded that the $7.5b. in assistance has achieved little.

For their part, the Pakistani government and military adhere to a radically anti-American line, and Pakistan's powerful ISI intelligence service and large sections of its military continue to maintain intimate ties with al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Last month, Pakistani police arrested US diplomat Raymond Davis in Lahore after he killed two gunmen who were reportedly about to rob him at gunpoint. Pakistani law enforcement officials have charged Davis with murder and refuse to release him to US custody, despite the fact that he should enjoy the protection of diplomatic immunity. Rather than attempt to quiet passions, the Pakistani government is fanning anti-American sentiments by among other things, releasing a videotape of Davis's police interrogation.

To date, while members of Congress are beginning to threaten to curtail aid to Pakistan pending Davis's release, the administration has limited its response to this de facto act of hostage-taking by Pakistan to refusing to hold high-level exchanges with Pakistani leaders. And even this limited response has been inconsistently implemented.

For instance, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to meet with her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, at the Munich security conference last weekend, she did agree to meet with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the commander of the Pakistani military. So, too, the US ambassador in Pakistan met on Monday with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan is a textbook example of a disaster of biblical proportions in the making. Its hyperactive nuclear expansion, weak central government, impoverished, radicalized population, and pro-Islamist military and intelligence arms are sources for major concern. That concern becomes all-out alarm in light of the Taliban/al-Qaida's control over anywhere from a quarter to a third of Pakistani territory and the widespread public support for them throughout the country.

Since taking office, the Obama administration has failed to conceive of a strategy for contending with the situation. One of the main obstacles to the formation of a coherent US strategy is the Obama administration's move to outlaw any discussion of the basic threats to US interests. Shortly after entering office, President Barack Obama banned the use of the term "War against terror," substituting it with the opaque term "overseas contingency operation."

Last April, Obama banned use of the terms "jihad," "Islamic terrorism" and "radical Islam" in US government documents.

Given that US officials are barred from using all the terms that are relevant for describing reality in places like Pakistan, it is obvious why the US cannot put together a strategy for contending with the challenges it faces there.

Imagine an intelligence officer in Peshawar trying to report on what he sees. Imagine a defense attaché in Lahore trying to explain the problems with the jihad-infested Pakistani military to his superiors in Washington. Imagine a USAID officer trying to explain why the jihadist-mosque attending public refuses to work at US-funded highway programs.

The Obama administration's decision to ban relevant language from the official US policy discourse was ideologically motivated. And in choosing ideology over reality, the Obama administration has induced a situation where rather than construct policies to deal with reality, at all levels, US officials have been charged with constructing policies to deny and ignore reality.

Muslim Brotherhood

 

AGAINST THIS backdrop it becomes fairly clear why the Obama administration's handling of the political turmoil in Egypt has been so incompetent.

Upon entering office, Obama made a determined effort to ignore the political instability percolating under the surface throughout the authoritarian Arab world. US government officials were instructed to curtail programs aimed at developing liberal alternatives to authoritarianism and the Muslim Brotherhood. The justification for this behavior was again ideological.

As the world's biggest bully, the US had no moral right to judge the behavior of tyrants like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Once the dutifully ignored long-repressed popular discontent boiled over into the popular revolts we have seen over the past month in Tunisia and Egypt as well as Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and beyond, the Obama administration rushed to get on the "right side" of the issue. To avoid criticism for refusing to contend with the problems bred by Arab authoritarianism, Obama went to the other extreme. He became the most outspoken champion of unfettered popular democracy in Egypt.

Of course, to occupy this other side of the spectrum, Obama has had to ignore the danger constituted by the most powerful opposition movement in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood's hostility towards the US's most fundamental strategic interests in the Middle East has been swept under the rug by the Obama administration and its supporters in the US media.

But then, in light of the prohibition of all discussion of the reasons the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a threat to the US — its jihadist ideology of Islamic conquest, its genocidal Islamic-based Jew-hatred and hatred of America, its support for Islamic terrorism against non-jihadist regimes throughout the Muslim world and against the West — it is not surprising that the Obama administration is embracing the inclusion of the movement in a post-Mubarak Egyptian regime.

How could the administration object to something it has chosen to ignore? The Obama administration's ideologically driven strategic ineptitude is evident everywhere.

From its slavish devotion to appeasing Iran, its single-minded insistence on withdrawing from Iraq, its announced commitment to withdrawing from Afghanistan, to its tolerance of Hugo Chavez, and its infantile reset button diplomacy towards Russia, the Obama administration's foreign policy is on a collision course with reality.

But nowhere is its premeditated incompetence more evident than in its obsession with the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.

So it was that during his visit in Israel this week, Obama's recently retired national security adviser Gen. James Jones claimed that it is God's will that Israel withdraw to indefensible borders, and effectively blamed the political turmoil in Egypt on the absence of a Palestinian state.

As Jones put it, "I'm of the belief that had God appeared in front of President Obama in 2009 and said if he could do one thing on the face of the planet, and one thing only, to make the world a better place and give people more hope and opportunity for the future, I would venture that it would have something to do with finding the two-state solution to the Middle East."

Jones then argued, "Time is not on our side, and a failure to act [in establishing a Palestinian state] may trigger other Egypt-like demonstrations in other countries in the region."

The Obama administration is not alone in this completely irrational view. As the Arab world undergoes massive convulsions born of the legacy of authoritarianism and nourished by the pull of "Jihadism", all of Europe's major statesmen are lining up behind Washington in pushing Israel to agree to surrender still more land to the PLO in order to establish yet another authoritarian, jihad-infested Arab state.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Foreign Minister William Hague, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other senior officials all parroted Jones's view this week.
 

CONFRONTING THE Obama administration's assault on reason in the interest of ideological faithfulness, Israel is faced with very few good options. The threats Israel faces stem largely from the rising forces of jihad, Islamic terrorism and religiously justified nuclear adventurism embraced by Islamist politicians and religious leaders. That is, the threats facing Israel stem largely from the forces the Obama administration has elected to ignore and deny.

Moreover, the Obama administration's singular obsession with coercing Israel to surrender still more land to the Palestinian Authority means that America's central Middle East policy involves demanding that Israel further strengthen the unmentionable forces of jihad at its own expense. This fact was underlined this week with The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh's revelation that most senior PA leaders have recently applied for Jordanian citizenship. Clearly the likes of Mahmoud Abbas believe they will not be the winners if their repressive regime in Judea and Samaria is seriously challenged by their popular jihadist rivals in Hamas.

Our leaders are doubtlessly tempted to simply take the path of least resistance and join Obama and his merry band of blind men as they move from lie to lie to defend their ideology from reality.

But doing so will not protect us when the dangers sown by the US's strategic dementia provoke the next conflagration.

Israel's best option is to simply tell the truth as loudly and forcefully as it can and base our policies on it. While doing so will win Israel no friends in the Obama administration or in Europe, it will prepare us for the day when the wall of lies they are building from Islamabad to Cairo to Ramallah come crashing down.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
(http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at gwinston@gwinstonglobal.org

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J STREET/NIF CONFERENCE REFLECTS CONFUSED IDENTITY
Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 27, 2011.

Self-proclaimed "pro-Peace" and "pro-Israel" group provides forum for "one-state" incitement

This was written by Jason Edelstein of NGO Monitor. Contact him by email at jason.edelstein@ngo-monitor.org

 

JERUSALEM — Demonstrating its narrowing support, most of the speakers, sponsors, and honorees of J Street's 2011 conference are either New Israel Fund (NIF) officials, grantees or NIF's financial backers. And despite J Street and NIF's claim to back a "two state solution" and oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting Israel, the speaker slate is dominated by pro-BDS activists. Some were participants in or defenders of the "Free Gaza" flotillas; refer to Israel as an "apartheid state;" and promote lawfare cases against Israeli officials on false "war crimes" charges in Europe. This agenda, said Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, is inconsistent with J Street's effort to portray itself as a "pro-peace" and "pro-Israel" group.

"This conference is a further reflection of the confused policies of J Street and the New Israel Fund, and projects an agenda that directly undermine the values they claim to support," says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. "It also shows how fast and how far J Street has fallen — it sought recognition as a big-tent organization for the pro-Israel 'peace' movement, yet it gives voice to those whose rhetoric and actions do not promote coexistence and mutual understanding. Rather, they demonize Israel and foster an environment that makes peace less attainable. This is the antithesis of support for Israel, and explains why so many have stayed away from J-street."

NGO Monitor notes the following scheduled speakers at the J Street/NIF Conference:

  • Mustafa Barghouti, former candidate for the presidency of the PA and founder of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, took part in the "Free Gaza" flotillas and participates in BDS activities. He also uses "apartheid" rhetoric, "ethnic cleansing" and refers to "Israeli Bantustans" and "Ghettos."

  • Rebecca Vilkomerson, of Jewish Voice for Peace, is actively involved in the BDS movement and vigorously defends the legitimacy of hate-filled, if not antisemitic, BDS campaigns. Vilkomerson also states that "Jewish Voice for Peace cannot be enthusiastic about U.S.-brokered peace talks that actually perpetuate the occupation."

  • Michael Sfard, the legal representative for Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and many other NIF-funded NGOs, promotes the arrest of Israeli officials in Europe, and testified as a paid expert witness on behalf of the PLO in a lawsuit brought by victims of terror attacks perpetrated by the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. He also is a member of the "Support Committee" for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a mock court putting Israel and its allies "on trial".

"J Street alienated mainstream supporters, such as Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), and it is left with supporters who care mainly about demonizing and isolating Israel," Steinberg adds. "J Street's 'pro-Israel' credentials have been challenged since the organization's inception, but to lose its 'pro-peace' credentials — by inviting speakers that do anything but contribute to peace — is particularly telling."

Read NGO Monitor's reports on the 2011 Conference, J Street, and NIF.

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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KIMBER ROAD: A SERIOUS MUSICAL COMEDY
Posted by Marion DS Dreyfus, February 27, 2011.
 

Kimber Road is a spirited new satire on synagogue life and star [of-David]-crossed lovers in America and the Old Country. It was written by Cantor Harold Lerner and directed by Scott Klavan.

Kimber Road opens in flashback mode in 1980, as key characters Rosa Leah and her papa, Cantor Moishele Bratzker, recall events of 40 years earlier, when Rosa becomes smitten with David, the son of a rival religious leader, Reb Sholom Finkelman. With the knowing persistence of the tough, magical matchmaker, Chaye Sur'l, the two opposite-family scions are with effort affianced. Not so fast: The arduous engagement is torpedoed almost instantaneously by a dispute between the two religious factions before a wedding can transpire. From there, the dispute flares to engulf the community, when the full-blown feud is confronted with an unexpected common enemy. Each congregant must sort out his reasons for where he or she stands.

Playwright and lyricist Cantor Lerner perfected his understanding of the rhythms and vaulting melodies of Jewish cantellation in 60 years of singing in and creating soaring music for synagogues in upstate New York. Themes addressed in the satirical musical offering — and the threats such modern-day concerns pose to the survival of the Jewish people, particularly in an environment defined by contemporary cultural assaults, generational cross-currents, and ubiquitous doubt — find their robust and pleasing outlet in the play. The large issues addressed through zesty humor and delicately restructured liturgical compositions by cantorial greats of the past, good-natured chiding, and acutely observed Yiddische zeitgeist provide an insider's peek at life in a just-yesterday bygone era. These provide meaty insights into some of the strains that cleave our generations today.

Although the theme of disharmony is necessarily at the centre of these conflicted relationships, Lerner and director Klavan deviate slightly from the iconic originals to create an opposition between the modern man or woman who "loves love" and the hard-fought images and values of a religiously and ideologically strict ancien regime. With the character of the parents giving way to the modernity of their offspring in the goldene medina, America, the invocations and definitions of the past fuse with the choral invocations of the opposing synagogue members' activity, and brushes over the aesthetic of the poignant musical satire as a whole, with its own repeated dramatic, plaintive and narrative motifs of loss and redemption. Klavan casts a dozen talented actors and musicians in roles that give each a chance to shine musically and, often, dramatically.

Serviceable plays about the workings of faith and its adherents are noticeably sparse. Those that manage to dramatize intergenerational disputes without losing the cohering thread are indeed smaller still.

As entertaining as is the plight of the youngsters who seek to be with those they choose, the true target audience is parents and adults who forget that under the temporary rivalries of place or community group, it is incumbent upon grown-ups to strive for understanding of the Other, even in one's particular religious stratosphere; to listen with open hearts to those we might dismiss or impugn for less-than-exalted reasons. Kimber Road is a flash we need to heed: Though surely society is partially to 'blame' for the occasional dysfunctions of our various groups, the miraculous effort of love and open-heartedness can heal the fissures that crop up and threaten to calcify our interactions.

Though the characters do not have extensive speeches on the stage, since the staged-reading production is a swift 90 minutes, they all come across as fully dimensional, without artifice or separation from people we all know. Lerner manages to sketch a character in a few lines of potent dialogue, and extend that reality with lilting music that combines the best of Old Country nigunim, cantorial liturgies, with a satisfying awareness of Broadway and contemporary music. And for his part, the director marshals the elements of Jewish weltschmerz, poignancy, wringing Polish pathos, Russian recognition and Talmudic tradition out of the script and tapestried music.

A wee caveat is that the name of this tuneful satire does not immediately convey to a prospective audience what delights are to come. I would have preferred a name with more gemutliche resonance to tease the theatre-goer with what joyfulness, humor and perceived story lies ahead. But with inspired and inspiring lyrics, melodies that stay with one and, thanks to a cast that is top-notch and professional, and an author with so many years of musical expertise under his belt, Kimber Road offers at once a resurrection and construction of beloved sounds and imminent sense that beguile an audience, even in a reading. With a full-bore staged piece, this would be a complementary sidecar addendum to the likes of a Fiddler or even a folksy, re-purposed Oklahoma!

Marion Dreyfus is a writer and travelor; she has taught English in China on the university level. She can be contacted at dreyfusmarion@hotmail.com

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FROM ISRAEL: INSIGHTS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 27, 2011.
 

Bernard Lewis, dean of Islamic scholars, is something of a favorite of mine. At 94 he's still offering sharp analyses from an historical perspective — with a tad of humor thrown in from time to time.

On Friday, JPost editor David Horovitz ran an interview with Lewis, and I would like to share some of what he said:

"The Arab masses certainly want change. And they want improvement. But when you say do they want democracy, that's a more difficult question to answer. What does 'democracy' mean? It's a word that's used with very different meanings, even in different parts of the Western world. And it's a political concept that has no history, no record whatever in the Arab, Islamic world. (Emphasis added)

"In the West, we tend to get excessively concerned with elections, regarding the holding of elections as the purest expression of democracy, as the climax of the process of democratization. Well, the second may be true — the climax of the process. But the process can be a long and difficult one. Consider, for example, that democracy was fairly new in Germany in the inter-war period and Hitler came to power in a free and fair election.

"We, in the Western world particularly, tend to think of democracy in our own terms...to mean periodic elections in our style. But I think it's a great mistake to try and think of the Middle East in those terms and that can only lead to disastrous results, as you've already seen in various places. They are simply not ready for free and fair elections.

~~~~~~~~~~

"...I would view that [elections in September] with mistrust and apprehension. If there's a genuinely free election — assuming that such a thing could happen — the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses. (Emphasis added)

"In genuinely fair and free elections, [the Muslim parties] are very likely to win and I think that would be a disaster. A much better course would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through local self-governing institutions. For that, there is a real tradition in the region.

"If you look at the history of the Middle East in the Islamic period, and if you look at their own political literature, it is totally against authoritarian or absolutist rule. The word they always insist on is consultation.

~~~~~~~~~~

"...You have this traditional system of consultation with groups which are not democratic as we use that word in the Western world, but which have a source of authority other than the state — authority which derives from within the group, whether it be the landed gentry or the civil service, or the scribes or whatever. That's very important. And that form of consultation could be a much better basis for the development of free and civilized government.

"...[The West] should not be pressing for elections...I think we should let them do it their way by consultative groups. There are various kinds. There are all sorts of possibilities.

"...To say that [the Muslim Brotherhood is] secular would show an astonishing ignorance of the English lexicon. I don't think [the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt] is in any sense benign. I think it is a very dangerous, radical Islamic movement. If they obtain power, the consequences would be disastrous for Egypt.

"I'm an historian...But I can imagine a situation in which the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations of the same kind obtain control of much of the Arab world...I wouldn't say it's likely, but it's not unlikely.

"And if that happens, they would gradually sink back into medieval squalor...

~~~~~~~~~~

"...There's a common theme [in the region] of anger and resentment. And the anger and resentment are universal and well-grounded. They come from a number of things. First of all, there's the obvious one — the greater awareness that they have, thanks to modern media and modern communications, of the difference between their situation and the situation in other parts of the world. I mean, being abjectly poor is bad enough. But when everybody else around you is pretty far from abjectly poor, then it becomes pretty intolerable.

"Another thing is the sexual aspect of it. One has to remember that in the Muslim world, casual sex, Western-style, doesn't exist. If a young man wants sex, there are only two possibilities — marriage and the brothel. You have these vast numbers of young men growing up without the money, either for the brothel or the brideprice, with raging sexual desire. On the one hand, it can lead to the suicide bomber, who is attracted by the virgins of paradise — the only ones available to him. On the other hand, sheer frustration.

~~~~~~~~~~

"...It's not easy to define what they are for. It's much easier to define what they are against. They are against the present tyrannies, which as they see it, not only oppress them, but dishonor their name, their religion, their nationality. They want to see something better in its place. Now what that something better would be is differently defined. They are not usually talking in terms of parliamentary democracy and free elections and so on. That's not part of the common discourse. For different groups it means different things. But usually, it's religiously defined. That doesn't necessarily mean the Muslim Brothers' type of religion. There is also an Islamic tradition which is not like that — as I referred to earlier, the tradition of consultation. It is a form of government.

~~~~~~~~~~

"There are other trends within the Islamic world which look back to their own glorious paths and think in other terms. There is a great deal of talk nowadays about consultation. That is very much part of the tradition.

"The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation. They are a result of modernization. The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant. You can see this from a number of contemporary descriptions. And the memory of that is still living.

~~~~~~~~~~

"One has to understand...the differences in the political discourse. In the Western world, we talk all the time about freedom. In the Islamic world, freedom is not a political term. It's a legal term: Freedom as opposed to slavery. This was a society in which slavery was an accepted institution existing all over the Muslim world. You were free if you were not a slave. It was entirely a legal and social term, with no political connotation whatsoever. You can see in the ongoing debate in Arabic and other languages the puzzlement with which the use of the term freedom was first perceived.

"They just didn't understand it. I mean, what does this have to do with politics or government? Eventually, they got the message. But it's still alien to them. In Muslim terms, the aim of good government is justice.

"The major contrast is not between freedom and tyranny, between freedom and servitude, but between justice and oppression. Or if you like, between justice and injustice. If one follows that particular discourse in the Arab and more generally the Muslim world, it would be more illuminating.

~~~~~~~~~~

"...Corruption and oppression are corruption and oppression by whichever system you define them. There's not much difference between their definition of corruption and our definition of corruption.

"...I think one should look at it in terms of justice and injustice, rather than freedom and oppression. I think that would make it much easier to understand the mental and therefore the political processes in the Islamic world.

~~~~~~~~~~

"...There's one other group of people that I think one should bear in mind when considering the future of the Middle East, and that is women. The case has been made, and I think there is some force in it, that the main reason for the relative backwardness of the Islamic world compared to the West is the treatment of women. As far as I know, it was first made by a Turkish writer called Namik Kemal in about 1880. At that time an agonizing debate had been going on for more than a century: What went wrong? Why did we fall behind the West? (Emphasis added)

"He said, 'The answer is very clear. We fell behind the West because of the way we treat our women. By the way we treat our women we deprive ourselves of the talents and services of half the population. And we submit the early education of the other half to ignorant and downtrodden mothers.'

"It goes further than that. A child who grows up in a traditional Muslim household is accustomed to authoritarian, autocratic rule from the start. I think the position of women is of crucial importance.

~~~~~~~~~~

"[Israel should] watch carefully, keep silent, make the necessary preparations.

"And reach out. Reach out. This is a real possibility nowadays. There are increasing numbers of people in the Arab world who look with, I would even say, with wonderment at what they see in Israel, at the functioning of a free and open society...

"...here are two things which I think are helpful towards a better understanding between the Arabs and Israel. One of them is the well-known one, of the perception of a greater danger, which I mentioned before. Sadat turned to Israel because he saw that Egypt was becoming a Russian colony. The same thing has happened again on a number of occasions. Now they see Israel as a barrier against the Iranian threat.

"The other one, which is less easy to define but in the long run is probably more important, is [regarding Israel] as a model of democratic government. A model of a free and open society with rights for women — an increasingly important point, especially in the perception of women.

"In both of these respects I think that there are some hopeful signs for the future."
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/ Article.aspx?id=209770

~~~~~~~~~~

This is a longer citation than I usually provide in a posting. But there is so much wearisome gibberish out there with regard to the turmoil in our region, produced by people who understand little about Islamic culture and rejoice that democracy is breaking out all over.

I could not resist a sharing in some depth with my readers of a genuinely insightful and thoughtful perspective. I hope you have benefited from it.

The one observation I'll make here is with regard to Lewis' point that Arabs and Muslims reach beyond their own culture — to the West — when they see a greater risk elsewhere: Had Obama been tough with Iran, which terrifies the Arab nations, he might have forged a solid relationship with them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, it made news late last week that the Quartet — the US, the EU, the UN, and Russia — is planning a new concerted push to get peace negotiations going.

In fact, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has expressed hopes that a deal can be reached by September. It will be "challenging" to achieve this, she admits, but, "It's a time frame that everybody has signed up to." (Precisely who "everybody" is, I'm not sure.)

After I read this, I was searching for a word to describe this position: daft? imbecilic? witless? obtuse?

The world here is on fire and they don't let go.

~~~~~~~~~~

Their intention to forge ahead is not deterred by the fact that the leaders of the PA have made it very clear that they're not interested.

Friday was supposed to be a "Day of Rage" against the US because of the Security Council veto. Didn't pick up on much "rage," in terms of action in the street. But there are calls for boycotts of the US, which would include such things as cutting ties with the US Consulate in Jerusalem (which serves as an embassy to the PA) and barring US journalists from PA areas.

They also talking about refusing American aid, if it comes with political strings attached. (As Caroline Glick has pointed out, they say this because they know America will keep giving no matter what — I'll come back to this soon.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Today's post began with a discussion of what's happening in the Arab nations. Let's end with Caroline Glick's latest satirical Latma, which includes a very funny interview with Arab leaders and the Arab Democracy Anthem. Glick and her team get it.
http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2011/02/ the-tribal-update-brings-you-t.php

(For those in the dark about all of the Gabi Ashkenazi comments: he's just stepped down from the position of IDF Chief of Staff and is being vigorously groomed for a political career, to begin after a cooling off period.)

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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INSIDE STORY OF OBAMA'S UN VETO
Posted by Paul Rotenberg, February 27, 2011.

Clearly, the personal convictions of some very high level senators and congressmen were necessary to make this happen, but it underscores the importance of having a connection to your elected representatives. It is worth making every effort to connect with your elected representatives and establish a relationship with them. Like Esther on Purim, you never know who will become a high level politician or when it could become a vital political connection.

Paul

This comes from One Jerusalem and is archived at
http://www.onejerusalem.org/2011/02/ inside-story-of-obamas-un-veto.php

 

Israel's high level official shook his head in disbelief as he shared inside knowledge of how the United States came to vetoing a Palestinian inspired resolution condemning Israel at a session of the United Nation's Security Council.

In the days before Friday's session, Israel's Prime Minister called the Prime Ministers of Germany and Britain and the President of France to urge them not to support the Palestinian initiative. During this time Israeli officials began consulting with the Obama Administration. No one seriously considered the possibility that the Obama Administration would be a problem. This feeling was enforced when President Obama on Thursday morning called Palestinian President Abbas to try and convince him to pull the Security Council resolution off the table.

Obama's hour long call, in which Obama used numerous forms of bribery, failed to move Abbas. Instead of fortifying Obama's opposition to the resolution, Abbas' rejection flipped the President. The Administration suddenly flipped into high gear in support of the Resolution. Early on Friday, Secretary of State Clinton taped a TV interview in which she joined the Palestinian cry that all Israeli settlements are illegal.

Clinton was not just voicing her opinion but the opinion of the Obama Administration that they were prepared to back the central contentions of the Palestinian Authority even if it meant supporting the Security Council Resolution.Israel was surprised and shaken by the Obama Administration's stance.

It quickly became clear that Israel could not convince Obama to cast a veto on its own. As the Administration's support for the resolution hardened, Israel turned to its allies in Congress. Democrats Chuck Schumer and Congressman Steny Hoyer took the lead. In the end they got the United States to veto but the veto came with strong verbal support for the Palestinians by United Nations Permanent Representative Susan Rice. Israeli officials confirm that without active support from Congress the Obama Administration would have sided with the rest of the world against Israel. The Congressmen involved in this lobbying effort were taken aback by anti-Israel animus at the highest levels of the Obama Administration.

One veteran of this battle, a strong advocate of Israel doing what it had to do to appease the Obama Administration, said the struggle to get a veto convinced him that "Opposition to Israel runs very deep in the Obama White House. During the last two years Israel has given Obama what he asked for but that is not seen as being enough. It is incredible that we had to engage in all out war to get the Administration to do what it should have done naturally — veto an outrageous United Nations Security Council Resolution that endangers the State of Israel."

Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at pdr@rogers.com

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OUR ABSURD OBSESSION WITH ISRAEL IS LAID BARE
Posted by Arutz-Sheva, February 27, 2011.

This was written by Nick Cohen is a columnist for the London Guardian's Observer, where this article appeared on 27.2.11, and the New Statesman. He writes occasional pieces for many other publications, including the London Evening Standard and New Humanist.

 

The Middle East meant only Israel to many. Now the lives of millions of Arabs have been brought to Europe's attention.

The Arab revolution is consigning skip-loads of articles, books and speeches about the Middle East to the dustbin of history. In a few months, readers will go through libraries or newspaper archives and wonder how so many who claimed expert knowledge could have turned their eyes from tyranny and its consequences.

To a generation of politically active if not morally consistent campaigners, the Middle East has meant Israel and only Israel. In theory, they should have been able to stick by universal principles and support a just settlement for the Palestinians while opposing the dictators who kept Arabs subjugated. Few, however, have been able to oppose oppression in all its forms consistently. The right has been no better than the liberal-left in its Jew obsessions. The briefest reading of Conservative newspapers shows that at all times their first concern about political changes in the Middle East is how they affect Israel. For both sides, the lives of hundreds of millions of Arabs, Berbers and Kurds who were not involved in the conflict could be forgotten.

If you doubt me, consider the stories that the Middle Eastern bureau chiefs missed until revolutions that had nothing to do with Palestine forced them to take notice.

  • Gaddafi was so frightened of a coup that he kept the Libyan army small and ill-equipped and hired mercenaries and paramilitary "special forces" he could count on to slaughter the civilian population when required.

  • Leila Ben Ali, the wife of the Tunisian president, was a preposterously extravagant figure, who all but begged foreign correspondents to write about her rapacious pursuit of wealth. Only when Tunisians rose up did journalists stir themselves to tell their readers how she had pushed the populace to revolt by combining the least appealing traits of Imelda Marcos and Marie-Antoinette.

  • Hearteningly, for those of us who retain a nostalgia for the best traditions of the old left, Tunisia and Egypt had independent trade unionists, who could play "a leading role", as we used to say, in organising and executing uprisings.

Far from being a cause of the revolution, antagonism to Israel everywhere served the interests of oppressors. Europeans have no right to be surprised. Of all people, we ought to know from our experience of Nazism that antisemitism is a conspiracy theory about power, rather than a standard racist hatred of poor immigrants. Fascistic regimes reached for it when they sought to deny their own people liberty. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forgery the far-right wing of the decaying tsarist regime issued in 1903 to convince Russians they should continue to obey the tsar's every command, denounces human rights and democracy as facades behind which the secret Jewish rulers of the world manipulated gullible gentiles.

Syrian Ba'athists, Hamas, the Saudi monarchy and Gaddafi eagerly promoted the Protocols, for why wouldn't vicious elites welcome a fantasy that dismissed democracy as a fraud and justified their domination? Just before the Libyan revolt, Gaddafi tried a desperate move his European predecessors would have understood. He tried to deflect Libyan anger by calling for a popular Palestinian revolution against Israel. That may or may not have been justified, but it assuredly would have done nothing to help the wretched Libyans.

In his Epitaph on a Tyrant, Auden wrote:

"When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter

And when he cried, the little children died in the streets."

Europe's amnesia about how tyranny operated in our continent explains why the Libyan revolution is embarrassing a rich collection of dupes and scoundrels who were willing to laugh along with Gaddafi. His contacts in Britain were once confined to the truly lunatic fringe. He supplied arms to the IRA, funded the Workers' Revolutionary Party, Vanessa Redgrave's nasty Trotskyist sect, and entertained Nick Griffin and other neo-Nazis. We should not forget them when the time comes to settle accounts. But when Tony Blair, who was so eloquent in denouncing the genocides of Saddam, staged a reconciliation with Gaddafi after 9/11, his friendship opened the way for the British establishment to embrace the dictatorship.

It was not only BP and other oil companies, but British academics who were happy to accept his largesse. The London School of Economics took £1.5m from Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, money which by definition had to have been stolen from the Libyan people, despite being warned to back away by Professor Fred Halliday, the LSE's late and much-missed authority on the Middle East, who never flinched from looking dictators in the eye.

"I've come to know Saif as someone who looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration," purred the LSE's David Held as he accepted the cheque. Human Rights Watch, once a reliable opponent of tyranny, went further and described a foundation Saif ran in Libya as a force for freedom, willing to take on the interior ministry in the fight for civil liberties. Meanwhile, and to the surprise of no one, Peter Mandelson, New Labour's butterfly, fluttered round Saif at the country house parties of the plutocracy.

Last week, Saif, the "liberal" promoter of human rights and dining companion of Mandelson, appeared on Libyan television to say that his father's gunmen would fight to the last bullet to keep the Gaddafi crime family in business, a promise he is keeping. The thinking behind so many who flattered him was that the only issue in the Middle East worth taking a stand on was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the oppression of Arabs by Arabs was a minor concern.

The longevity of the regimes presided over by the Gaddafi, Assad and Mubarak families and the House of Saud ought to be a reason for denouncing them more vigorously, but their apparent permanence added to the feeling that somehow Libyans, Syrians, Egyptians and Saudis want to live under dictatorships.

The European Union, which did so much to export democracy and the rule of law to former communist dictatorships of eastern Europe, has played a miserable role in the Middle East. It pours in aid but never demands democratisation or restrictions on police powers in return. That will have to change if the promise of the past month is to be realised. If it is to help with democracy-building, Europe will need to remind itself as much as the recipients of its money that you can never build free societies on the racist conspiracy theories of the Nazis and the tsars. They are and always have been the tunes that tyrants sing.

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RADICALS SMOTHERING U.S. AND ISRAELI FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 26, 2011.
 

I. TOURING WITH PEACE NOW

Americans for Peace Now brought a group of tourists to Israel and the Israeli-administered Territories. They met with two sides of the same anti-Zionist coin — President Peres and an official of the Palestinian Authority.

Upon returning, one of those tourists concluded: (1) We must set up a Palestinian state and produce a two-state solution; (2) The Israeli Right is not open to new ideas.

The tour succeeded in reinforcing the traveler's bias. Although the tourist condemned the Right, she gives no indication of having met with Jewish nationalists in Israel. Apparently, she condemns them without having heard their side. No debates with them challenged her hosts, who had it all their own way, with the group.

Americans who depend on mainstream media for information may be unacquainted with Zionist ideology, hearing only the defamatory interpretation by the Left. Then how open is that visitor and Peace Now to new ideas?

"Right" and "Left" are imprecise terms for dedicated Zionists and for appeasers of the Arabs. The Israeli Left retains much control over the Israeli media, universities, government, and arts. But the Left has been shrinking, as decades of leftist policy have gotten Israelis murdered and wounded by the thousands and the whole country placed threatened with mass-destruction. (40,000+ rockets from Hizbullah, alone.)

Evidence of failed policies: Intifadas made possible by the Oslo concessions, attacks made possible by Israeli withdrawing from Gaza and Lebanon, a defeatist approach to the ensuing Gaza and Hizbullah wars, Netanyahu's clandestine freezing of Jewish construction and open boosting of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) economy even while the P.A. boycotts the Israeli economy.

Netanyahu, like other Israeli leaders, hardly makes a case for Zionist development of the area. He concedes much of the fraudulent case for the interim phase of the Arab jihad to conquer Israel area by area, starting with the Territories and extending to the rest of Israel. This total domination they admit and they indoctrinate in, but the Left studiously ignores their stated plans and pretend that all they want is the Territories. They have no basis for asserting that. (Yes, I include Netanyahu among he leftists, based on what he does, not on speeches that attempt to mollify critics and keep them from deposing him.)

New ideas? The Israeli Left has had one idea for decades: land for peace. Leftist Op.-Eds. in the New York Times propose one "peace plan" after another, but each one is the same product, merely repainted. Land-for -peace has failed, because Islamic doctrine rejects it. Islamic doctrine holds that Islam is superior, that all other religions must submit to it and/or be punished, and that it must take over all countries. The Radical Muslims, or Islamists, organize the killing, but the other Muslims do not oppose them and share much of their view. Nevertheless, the Left persists in its dangerous theory. When failure does not change one's ideas, then one doesn't have ideas, one has a rigid ideology and a neurosis.

The Left has radicalized as it shrinks. From contending that Arabs have certain rights, it now contends that Jews do not. From offering concessions but opposing terrorism, it now praises terrorists, assists Arabs in rioting and in usurping Jews' property, cajoles them into fraudulently suing Jews for property, and increasingly expresses hope that terrorists will kill more Jews. (I have been reporting such incidents for years.)

Gone is any semblance of ethics and morality to the Left's growing extremism. Our returned tourist may be idealistic, but she does not see her sponsors' defamatory, fraudulent, bigoted, and violent side.

Obviously, when they praise terrorists, they are not thinking of themselves as Jews and potential victims. They are too excited with hatred of fellow Jews, especially religious and nationalist ones. They describe those Jews same way as Muslim Arabs do and Communists and Nazis did. The same way, calling them "vermin," oppressors, and thieves. Do you consider such behavior emotionally healthy or over the deep end?

What we have is a radical movement subverting Israel, with fanatics manipulating fellow travelers, much as the Communists began to do in the U.S. and elsewhere in the 1930s. A similar situation is unfolding in the U.S., as part II of this article shows in one, telling respect. That aspect is American law schools, but we find a similar problem of professors in under-graduate colleges abusing their positions to bar dissent, indoctrinate students, and cultivate an authoritarian atmosphere not excluding violence.

II. CAN'T PASS LAWS? THEN SUBVERT SOCIETY

Law schools consider themselves bastions of political conscience, but act as partisans of a leftist economic ideology. Not limiting themselves to discussing judgeship nominee qualifications, they campaign against qualified nominees having a conservative philosophy.

How did that come about? Democrats outnumber Republicans at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and most other law schools by more than 20:1. Similar results hold for political and sociology departments. The more controversial the subject, the scarcer are conservatives.

Academia touts diversity. To them, diversity means by race and gender. To me that spells disunity. Law schools have set up special identity centers, which seek to favor certain ethnic groups. They more likely can keep their accreditation that way. Law schools also have a pro-union and anti-capitalist view. Some have missions for more progressive taxation, or to close a nuclear plant, or for more government regulation of private property.

Law schools welcome liberals and even reward unrepentant terrorists or other advocates of violence such as bomber Bernardine Dohrn, convicted go-between for an Islamic terrorist, Lynn Stewart, Black Panther Party member Kathleen Cleaver, Communist Angela Davis, and a former member of a violent Weather Underground faction, Laura Whitehorn. Stewart still accepts Stalin and Mao.

Academia homogeneity ideology rather than diversity. Intellectual diversity is important for education in a democracy.

How did conservatives become so scarce in law schools? Self-congratulatory liberals and radicals attribute this to a lower intelligence and poorer qualifications by conservatives. Self-serving, conceited excuse! Conservatives qualify but are not welcomed. Conservatives can less readily get their articles published than can liberals, who have a wide choice of magazines involved in race, gender, and "oppression." The explanation is not so much overt discrimination as in course selection, ethnic and ideological recruitment, and the network that promotes one's work. Law schools fear losing accreditation and being sued for discrimination. Unrepresentative hiring emerges from grants by leftist foundations such as MacArthur, Ford, and George Soros, who set up ethnic studies centers. Ford is building a "movement." And the movement seeks to influence judicial decisions from the ground up.

Academia used to conduct research to find knowledge. Law school research nowadays often is done to buttress ideology (Walter Olson, Commentary, 3/2011, p.44).

I see the whole thrust of liberalism in the context of subverting the Constitution, American business, American leadership in foreign problems, financial security, and freedom of thought, but that is for a different arena to discuss.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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CONNECTIONS
Posted by Susana K-M, February 26, 2011.

This was written by Lenny Davis.

"In every generation, the enemies rise up against us" — Passover Haggada
"Your destroyers will come from your own midst" — Isaiah

 

Israel's enemies will use any weapon they can to attack and delegitimize Israel. There's a cottage industry led by the "Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy" that reviews declassified U.S. Government documents from the 1950s and 1960s to prove that Israel deployed various groups as "foreign agents" in order to influence U.S. policy. The Jewish Agency, the American Zionist Council (AZC), and AIPAC are primary targets of the research group.

Some documents recently declassified come from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and date back to the 1960s when the committee was headed by the anti-Israel crusader, Sen. J. William Fulbright.

The committee subpoenaed records from the American Zionist Council, a pro-Israel American umbrella group formed in 1949.

One document from 1961 detailed the AZC's public relations efforts and the opposition it faced from the anti-Israel lobby.

A key component of that lobby was the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism, headed by Elmer Berger who constantly railed against pro-Israel Jewish groups.

The American Council for Judaism held as it tenets that "Nationality and religion are separate and distinct. Our nationality is American, our religion is Judaism. Our homeland is the United States of America. We reject any concept that all Jews outside of Israel are in exile..."

Here is one fascinating excerpt from the 1961 American Zionist Council report:

"The ACJ [American Council for Judaism] is today the most effective anti-Zionist and anti-Israel force on the American scene

It continues its aggressive campaign and is concentrating on the mass media and in church circles.

Its success is due primarily to the fact that being a Jewish organization (they operate under the term 'Judaism') it becomes acceptable to those in the communications field who thrive on controversy and who can now present 'another Jewish point of view'.

Its position also finds an echo among those Christians — who, either because of some degree of latent anti-Semitism or because of obligations to the Arabs — can now join the fray without fear of being called anti-Semitic; ('I am in good Jewish company')."

Sound familiar? This report, written 50 years ago, sounds remarkably contemporary; just substitute the letters "JSt" for "ACJ."

It's not surprising that the American Council for Judaism (yes, it still exists) approves of J Street's mission and activities.

Contact Susana K-M by email at suanema@gmail.com

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GERMANS SHOULD NOT HIRE MUSLIMS
Posted by Doris Wise Montrose, February 25, 2011.

This was written by Bernie and it appeared on the Planck's Constant
(http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2011/02/germans_ should_not_hire_muslims.html?utm_source= feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_ campaign=Feed%3A+PlanksConstant+% 28Planck%27s+Constant%29)
(http://bit.ly/dN6QZZ)

SPIEGEL ONLINE, br>Muslim Shelf Stockers Can Refuse to Handle Alcohol

A Muslim supermarket employee in Germany was sacked when he refused on religious grounds to stock shelves with bottles of alcohol. Now the country's highest labor court has ruled that the man's objection was justified.

It's not the first time a Muslim worker in Germany has gone to court over the right to practice his or her religion in the workplace. A number of high-profile cases in recent years have involved Muslim women who wanted the right to wear a headscarf while doing their jobs.

But the particulars of this case are unusual — and controversial: Germany's highest labor court has ruled that a Muslim supermarket employee can refuse to handle alcohol on religious grounds.

The case in question involved a Muslim man who was employed in a supermarket in the northern German city of Kiel. He refused to stock shelves with alcoholic drinks, saying that his religion forbade him from any contact with alcohol, and was dismissed as a result in March 2008.

In a ruling Thursday, Germany's Federal Labor Court confirmed that employees may refuse to perform a specific task on religious grounds. If there is an alternative task they can do which is acceptable to their religion and practical for the company, then the employer is obliged to let them do it. The firm can only dismiss the worker if there is no realistic alternative.

 

More than two years ago I warned my readers not to hire Muslims (see 13 Things to Consider before Hiring Muslims) because Muslims purposely infest non-Muslim businesses in order to force them to accommodate Muslim cultural practices.

People of other religions would never take jobs where certain functions conflict with their faith. But Muslims go out of their way to find work they cannot do on religious grounds. Take for example the poor German company that hired a Muslim shelf-stocker.

SPIEGEL ONLINE,
"Muslim Shelf Stockers Can Refuse to Handle Alcohol"

A Muslim supermarket employee in Germany was sacked when he refused on religious grounds to stock shelves with bottles of alcohol. Now the country's highest labor court has ruled that the man's objection was justified.

It's not the first time a Muslim worker in Germany has gone to court over the right to practice his or her religion in the workplace. A number of high-profile cases in recent years have involved Muslim women who wanted the right to wear a headscarf while doing their jobs.

But the particulars of this case are unusual — and controversial: Germany's highest labor court has ruled that a Muslim supermarket employee can refuse to handle alcohol on religious grounds.

The case in question involved a Muslim man who was employed in a supermarket in the northern German city of Kiel. He refused to stock shelves with alcoholic drinks, saying that his religion forbade him from any contact with alcohol, and was dismissed as a result in March 2008.

In a ruling Thursday, Germany's Federal Labor Court confirmed that employees may refuse to perform a specific task on religious grounds. If there is an alternative task they can do which is acceptable to their religion and practical for the company, then the employer is obliged to let them do it. The firm can only dismiss the worker if there is no realistic alternative.

Of course nothing in Islamic jurisprudence forbids a Muslim from handling alcohol, one simply cannot imbibe the stuff. But it is the practice of Muslims in the lands of the infidel to push accommodation to the extreme. And that is precisely why no infidel should ever hire a Muslim. Muslims especially enjoy taking jobs where certain tasks can be avoided on religious grounds. Devout Muslims will even ask for breaks to pray five times a day and thus avoid a genuine 8 hour work period.

This is not the first time a Muslim worker tried to shirk his duties using alcohol as an excuse. In my article Giving Letters of Reference to Former Employees I reported on the case of a Muslim in the UK who sued supermarket giant Tesco for religious discrimination because they had the nerve to ask him to handle crates of alcohol against his beliefs. Mohammed Ahmed's job? Driving fork-lift trucks. Yeah, that's right, his hands would never actually touch alcohol. But since much of the job involved moving crates of alcohol, Mohammed was hoping to work only half the day.

That is why you should never ever ever ever hire a Muslim.

Doris Wise Montrose is with Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Contact her at doris@cjhsla.org.

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THE WEST IS PLANTING THE SEEDS OF ITS OWN DESTRUCTION
Posted by Ted Belman, February 26, 2011.
 

Long after the creation of Kosovo was a done deal made necessary by the "war crimes" of the Serbs, Felix Quigley, aided by Nathan Pearlstein and Robert Peter North, educated me and our readers for over a year and a half on the propaganda campaign throughout the world, that labelled the Serbs the bad guys and which lead to the bombing of Serbia by NATO..

As a result I came to believe that not only was there no Srebrenica Massacre but that the Serbs were simply defending against jihad and Clinton was at fault for siding with the Jihadists.

My fear was that this was a harbringer of things to come in Israel.

Furthermore, we learned of the probability that the nice Muslims of Kosovo were really drug dealers and slave traffickers.

American Thinker had an article yesterday in which they describe the aftermath.

[...] In addition, Europe's problems have been worsened by American policies in the Balkans of the past 15 years. This is true in three important respects:

* Our mismanagement of Bosnia
* Our intervention in Kosovo
* Our policy of defaming our traditional Serb allies while ignoring the incredible mafia criminality and anti-Christian destructiveness of Albanian and Bosnian Islamic extremism

The extent of infiltration of Islamic organized crime from Albania and Bosnia into Europe is staggering. This is ignored or excused by the powerful Albanian lobby in America's Northeast and in Congress. To be fair, some in Congress, such as Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, are alert to the situation, and a fresh look is being taken at our Balkan policy within the State Department.

The Bosnia Imbroglio

President Clinton imported Al Qaeda from Afghanistan into Bosnia to counter Slobodan Milosevic, a decision facilitated in part by Madeleine Albright's vitriolic, personal hatred of Serbs, which significantly skewed our foreign policy. We did not betray the Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians, all of whom had more reactionary communist regimes than the former Yugoslavia. The irony is that Serbs rid themselves of Milosevic without Washington's help and turned him over to the Hague.

The attempt to combine the three major ethnic groups in Bosnia into one state has failed. Serbs have defensively created Republica Srpska. The Croats, who have tried accommodation with the radical Islamist leadership, have decided they have had enough. They recently asked Russia to intervene in the Security Council to stabilize their situation in the face of radical Islamist undermining of their status in the Bosnian federation.

I have carefully read the 700 pages of The Clinton Tapes by Taylor Branch. The book is based on 79 two-hour interviews, often late at night, as President Clinton sought over the years during his administration to freshly recount events of the day or of previous days.

It is remarkable how little understanding is reflected in these tapes about the history of the Balkans, especially of the strong Christian heritage in Bosnia and Kosovo and the attempts by the Ottoman Empire to restrict Christianity by forced conversions to Islam through the kidnapping of Serbian boys (who became the famed Janissaries), by brutality, and by discriminatory economic policies.

Nor was there even a hint of anxiety or regret at what his importing of Al Qaeda into Bosnia was causing as they settled down, married Bosnian women, and began the process of imposing Islamic radicalism on Bosnia, which had become significantly secular since the expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe after World War I.

From Bosnia and Kosovo we now have one of the largest and most virulent drug cartels in the world, the worst of white slavery and prostitution trafficking into Europe, and terrorist training compounds. (Several of the 9/11 hijackers spent time in Bosnia among their Al Qaeda compatriots.) It is fascinating that some, including Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the UN, wanted to re-establish Christianity as the dominant culture in the Balkans against the rising radical Islamic tide, a proposal that never got off the ground.

It is scarcely credible, but nevertheless true, that the Clinton Administration ignored the Islamic Declaration by Alija Izetbegovi?, former president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which he clearly urged Islamists in Bosnia and worldwide to take up jihad against the West. Instead they regarded him as "their boy," ignoring the proliferating terrorist cells in Bosnia.

The Devastation of Kosovo

The silence of the West about the expulsion of Serbs, Romanies and other non-Albanians from Kosovo, the terrorizing of the remaining Serbs, and the destruction and desecration of literally hundreds of churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other Christian landmarks, some of which are medieval treasures, is a tribute to the West's allowing some of the worst vandalism and repression of the Christian faith in modern times.

There are more churches, monasteries and other Christian landmarks per square kilometer in Kosovo than anywhere else on earth. Kosovo is to Serbian Orthodox Christians what Canterbury is to Anglicans and the Vatican to Roman Catholics. But Christian Orthodox populations are expendable in the political maneuvering of Western politicians.

The latest bombshell is the Council of Europe's recently adopted report from Dick Marty that Kosovo leaders, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, are complicit in crime, including organ trafficking. There is now a strenuous effort to sweep the body parts issue under the rug lest it torpedo efforts to legitimize the illegally mandated separation of Kosovo from Serbia. The data are horrific: Serbian captive youths were selected on the basis of genetic compatibility for killing in order to harvest saleable body parts.

The Marty report confirms allegations by prosecutor Carla del Ponte, of the Hague International War Crimes Tribunal, first published in 2008 (some say even earlier, in 2003). Human Rights Watch has called on the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo to appoint a special prosecutor based outside Kosovo to investigate Marty's findings. But there is an insuperable obstacle to effective judicial proceedings: Kosovo is tiny, and it is almost impossible to shelter witnesses, should they come forward. Testifying would mean signing a death warrant against oneself and one's entire family.

Few in America recognize that in the Balkans we are reaping the whirlwind of recent policy errors. In Samuel Huntington's words, we are indeed witnessing the clash of civilizations. But our adversary is not an identifiable state enemy. The strategy is to insinuate a minority Islamist population into a culture and allege discrimination while practicing it. Once they gain status or power they turn on their hosts.

In America today one cannot even begin to discuss the issues. On April 25, 2008, at the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, warned that there is:

a degree of thought control and limitations of freedom of expression without parallel in the Western world since the 18th century ... Islam and Islamic values now have a level of immunity from comment and criticism in the Western world that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had.

The West is attempting to now create a Palestinian state and advancing the notion of their "legitimate rights". It wants to carve Israel up just as it carved Serbia.

If you want to read the posts us that convined us of the alternate reality, then do a search on Israpundit of Srebrenica or Kosov

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 tedbel@rogers.com

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TROUBLESOME JEWS
Posted by Steve Kramer, February 25, 2011.
 

In the 37th year of the 1st century CE, Gaius Caligula became the Roman Caesar (emperor). Rome was the undisputed ruler of the known world, which enjoyed the Pax Romana, or Roman peace. Caligula ordered that statues of himself, a god, be installed throughout the empire. But there was one troublesome area: the Jewish kingdom of Judea. Caesar sent his foremost general, Petronius, to Judea to enforce the decree.

Petronius advanced into Judea's Galilee region, where he summoned the Jews and their notables to Tiberius, which had been built to honor a previous caesar. There Petronius emphasized Rome's power and described Caligula's wrath if the Jews refused his demands. The Jewish-Roman historian, Josephus, described the Jews' unreasonableness, given the fact that all of Rome's subjects had installed statues of him in their cities, alongside of their own gods. For the Jews alone to object to this display was tantamount to rebellion, aggravated by insult. Yet, because their cause was just, the Jews convinced Petronius to return to Rome to plead their case to Caligula.

What happened then? Caligula died and the Jews were spared. I mention this episode not because the Jews defeated Rome, because they didn't; war with Rome commenced in 66 CE. But what is significant is that all of Rome's subjects submitted, except for the Jews, the one people which stood apart.

Now, with unprecedented rebellion in the Middle East, the "holy" cause of a Palestinian state continues to occupy much of the world, including today's Rome — America. According to Europeans and Muslims, the Jewish communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines are illegal. Or, in the American ambassador to the UN's words, Israel's home-building is "folly and illegitimacy ... devastating trust ... and threatening the prospects for peace."

Recently, the widely-read "Al-Jazeera" newspaper leaked documents which showed that the Palestinians have indeed made far-reaching concessions on their demands while negotiating a peace treaty with Israel. Peace Now and other individuals and organizations distilled this from the revelations: 1) Israel definitely has an earnest, pragmatic partner for peace, willing to compromise; 2) Both sides have shown that they can come close to agreeing. However, the most significant conclusion from the "Pali-leaks" is ignored: that the Palestinian negotiators and leaders have never admitted to anyone, including the Palestinian street, that they would even dream about compromising on anything! To prove the point, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat was forced to resign, after assuming "responsibility for the theft of documents" that had been "deliberately" tampered with.

Imagine that there had been no leaks and that the negotiators had reached an agreement. Is there even a 1% chance that the Palestinians would have accepted far-reaching concessions by their leaders, when over and over they've been told that no compromise is possible or even conceivable?

Peace Now and other individuals and organizations continue to proclaim that Israeli negotiators are die-hards who demand "everything". The truth is that the Israeli government has made its concessions public, telegraphing to Israelis that a heavy price for peace will have to be made. "Die-hards" is a particularly unfortunate choice of words, because Israelis have good reason to be extra-sensitive about security, if not downright paranoid. It is the Palestinian negotiators who conceded nothing in public.

If a treaty were to be signed, everything would have to work without a hitch. Otherwise, Israel would face dire consequences. For example, extremists might overthrow the Palestinian Authority and try to redraw the borders; extremists might continue the struggle against Israel, firing rockets into our cities and downing airplanes at Ben Gurion Airport; Palestine might arm itself and dare Israel to do something about it; Palestine might join other countries in a war against Israel; Iran might take direct control of Lebanon; etc.

Though Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, proclaims that "winds of change are sweeping the Middle East," one thing is unlikely to change: that Israel will remain the scapegoat for Arab rulers. Throughout the region, despotic rulers are being challenged. It's becoming harder and harder for them to blame all their country's problems on Israel. Nevertheless, the media zeroes in on Israeli settlements as the spoiler for peace. After generations of imbibing hatred of Jews with their mother's milk, the Arabs will have a hard time attending to their urgent, real problems, because "Israel is the overarching threat (along with America)."

Jews have always been considered troublesome, because we want to preserve our heritage and to survive. We face a vast coalition against us that expends vast energies on promoting a Palestinian state, ignoring human rights disasters throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Regardless, Israel must not sacrifice itself to the idiocy of the United Nations. Despite everyone's dancing to the oil-rich Arabs' tune, the Jewish state of Israel must adamantly stand its ground when it comes to Jerusalem, secure borders, and Palestinians' "right of return."

Steve Kramer lives in Alfe Menashe. He has written a weekly opinion column for the Jewish Times of southern New Jersey (www.jewishtimes-sj.com) 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 mskramer@bezeqint.net and visit www.encounteringisrael.com

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REPRESSION IN TURKEY: TURKISH GOVERNMENT REPRESSION STEADILY ESCALATES
Posted by Barry Rubin, February 25, 2011.
 

Repression in Turkey steadily increases and is ignored by the international community. The latest event is the jailing of a famous columnist for Hurriyet, Soner Yalcin, and three journalists for a website publication called Odatv.

The crackdown came the day after Odatv reported that it had videos showing the state's case in the Ergenekon conspiracy, the made-up case used to imprison military officers and dissidents — to be false. Odatv had reported:

"These videos will change hundreds have been arrested and held without bail, including intellectuals critical of the regime and scores of people who are obviously innocent. The trial has been going on for almost two and a half years without any convictions."

The next day, the station was closed down.

Finally, the U.S. government got up the nerve to criticize mildly the ongoing repression of journalists in this case. The ruling Islamist AKP government responded sternly: "Ambassadors cannot interfere with our domestic matters, they cannot design our domestic policies."

So criticism and demand for reform is something supposed to happen in Egypt or Bahrain. The problem with unfriendly regimes is that they ignore the United States and bark back in an intimidating fashion, after which the U.S. government generally gives up. Friendly governments, in contrast, are pressured to make concessions. There's something wrong going on with this kind of policy.

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 http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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NATIONS UNITED AGAINST ISRAEL
Posted by Daily Alert, February 25, 2011.

This was written by Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. It appeared in National Review Online,
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260492/ nations-united-against-israel-clifford-d-may

The U.N. responds to multiple crises in Arab and Muslim countries just as you'd expect.

 

Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen are in turmoil. In Libya, Col. Moammar Gaddafi is using mercenaries to slaughter peaceful protestors. Hezbollah is staging a slow-motion coup in Lebanon. Iran's rulers are executing dissidents daily, developing nuclear weapons, and sending warships through Suez. The response of the United Nations to these many threats to global peace and security? Condemn Israel! Is there anything else the U.N. does as often or as well?

Here's how it went down this time: At the urging of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, temporary Security Council member Lebanon — a nation, as noted, increasingly ruled by Hezbollah, the Iranian-funded terrorist group that in 1983 murdered 241 American servicemen in Beirut — sponsored a resolution condemning Israel for constructing "illegal settlements."

In other words, the issue that the U.N. considers most critical in the world at this hinge moment in history is that Israelis have been building homes on land the Palestinians want — and might be able to have if they were prepared to negotiate a peace treaty with Israelis.

On Thursday, 110 members of Congress sent a letter to the Obama administration asking that it veto this latest attempt to delegitimize Israel, a democratic ally that has taken serious steps "to bring peace to the region." Those steps included a ten-month moratorium on new housing in the West Bank, which Israelis hoped would bring Palestinians back to the negotiating table. But why should Palestinians negotiate if they can get the U.N. to force Israel to make concessions in exchange for nothing?

In the end and to its credit, the Obama administration did veto the resolution. But Ambassador Susan Rice did not even attempt to suggest how hypocritical, counterproductive, and just plain deranged it is for the U.N. to ignore the crimes being committed by Islamist terrorists and Arab despots while demanding that Israelis surrender territory — taken in a defensive war — to those who remain committed to their extermination.

Instead, Rice meekly conceded that the U.S. agrees "about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," adding that the resolution was nevertheless "unwise."

A more honest and courageous U.S. ambassador to the U.N. — John Bolton, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan spring to mind — would have stated clearly that this resolution is a shameful attempt to deflect attention from real crises while enhancing Abbas's position within the Arab and Muslim worlds. He can take America's money and spit in America's eye? What a guy!

Perhaps Ambassador Rice would benefit from spending more time on these issues and less, as my FDD colleague Claudia Rosett has reported, lecturing Americans on "Why America Needs the United Nations." Since when did the job description of an American ambassador to the U.N. including marketing the U.N. to the taxpayers who subsidize the U.N.?

But I digress. The more important point is this: The U.N.'s leadership and most of its members are not remotely interested in securing peace anywhere. And there is no Palestinian leader who will or even can make peace with Israel so long as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and similar groups are calling the shots — in many instances literally.

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the theocratic rulers of Iran have been candid: Creation of a Palestinian state is, at best, a secondary goal. Their primary objective is the defeat and destruction of the world's only Jewish state. No serious person can still believe the core issue is housing in the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria, territories that have never been part of a Palestinian state — because there has never been a Palestinian state — territories occupied by Jordan from 1949 until 1967, when Jordan, Egypt, and other Arab nations launched a conventional war intended to wipe Israel off the map.

Islamists cannot accept the existence of a nation led by infidels in a part of the world targeted for religious cleansing, the imposition of sharia, and the establishment of a modern caliphate — one that is to be oil-rich, nuclear-armed, and dedicated to diminishing American power globally and permanently.

Were Arab and Muslim nations willing to tolerate Israel's existence — not love Israelis, just tolerate them — negotiating borders would be a piece of cake. In the absence of such tolerance, it would be a mistake for Israel to surrender another square inch of soil — as its earlier withdrawals from southern Lebanon (where Hezbollah has installed thousand of missiles under the noses of U.N. "peacekeepers") and Gaza (from which thousands of missiles have been launched at Israeli villages) have demonstrated to all but the delusional (a substantial percentage of the international foreign-policy community).

Israel also turned over the Sinai to Egypt in return for a peace treaty signed by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. His assassination at the hands of a Muslim Brotherhood splinter group soon followed. Three decades later, that peace treaty may be scrapped by whichever government comes to power in Egypt in the days ahead. That does not imply that another war with Egypt is imminent or even inevitable. It does imply that Israel cannot depend for its survival on pieces of paper signed by dictators. How often do free peoples need to be taught that lesson?

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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SAUDI ARABIA'S KING ABDULLAH PROMISES $36 BILLION IN BENEFITS
Posted by Daily Alert, February 25, 2011.

This was written by Caryle Murphy, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/ 2011/0223/Saudi-Arabia-s-King-Abdullah- promises-36-billion-in-benefits

 

After three months away, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz promised his subjects billions of dollars in new benefits as he returned home today to a region roiled by revolt.

As other leaders across the Middle East scurry to appease discontented citizens, the king introduced 19 new measures estimated to cost 135 riyals ($36 billion), according to John Sfakianakis, chief economist of Banque Sausi Fransi. The measures address inflation and housing, expand social security benefits, and ease unemployment and education costs — two areas of particular concern to Saudi youths. (Editor's note: The original version of the story underestimated the cost of the measures.)

King Abdullah's nation is seemingly moored in the eye of the epic storm howling around it. But it is also clear that the octogenarian king, who went to New York in late November for back surgery and then to Morocco to convalesce, is returning to a realm touched in significant ways by the youth rebellions roiling the Middle East.

More than ever before, Saudis are openly calling for change, including political reforms. The most vociferous are tech-savvy youths who have obsessively followed their peers' historic movements, especially in Egypt, on Twitter and Facebook.

True, King Abdullah — whose oil-rich coffers provide the country with generous benefits and material development — is genuinely liked by most of his subjects. And the government is shielded by a religious culture in which rebellion is deemed illicit and public street protest considered gauche.

But those agitating for change have made the Internet their virtual Tahrir Square, with locations like #EgyEffectSA on Twitter acting as a public forum for how they see Egypt affecting Saudi Arabia.

Demands include women's vote, younger leaders

In a move timed to the king's return Wednesday, a group of 40 young Saudis, mostly journalists and rights activists, signed an open "Letter to the King."

The signers say they were inspired by Arab youth elsewhere, and by the king's encouragement of national dialogue. They asked for elections for the advisory Shura Council, the right of women to vote and run as candidates, strong anticorruption measures, and greater fiscal transparency and accountability.

In addition, they want the cabinet reshuffled so that ministers' average age, now 65, is reduced to 40.

In another effort — albeit one that did not get very far — 10 moderate Islamists, including university professors and lawyers, defied the ban on political parties and announced they were forming the Islamic Umma Party.

"We think the royal family is not the only one who has the right to be leader of the country," Abdul Aziz Mohammed al-Wohaibi, one of the party's founders, said in an interview. "We should treat the royal family like any other group.... No special treatment."

Asked if the group had been launched because of events in Egypt, Wohaibi replied that they "had created an environment for a movement like this."

And last week, the king's half-brother, Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, said in a BBC TV interview that unless the king made further reforms the kingdom risked future revolution. Although Talal is a maverick with little support within the royal family, his remarks are being widely discussed by Saudis.

Significantly, these calls for change do not include an end to the monarchy, which most Saudis believe would spell disaster.

Most people, including the young, really do believe in the monarchy, especially King Abdullah — everybody adores him," says Eman al-Nafjan, a prominent Riyadh-based blogger. "It's just a matter of pushing for reforms" such as an elected parliament and "more transparency and accountability when it comes to the country's budget."

Chief concerns: Unemployment, corruption, detention without trial

There have been some fleeting demonstrations: By college graduates who want the Education Ministry to give them jobs; by Jeddah residents angry about flood damage, and by about 50 women demanding the release of male relatives held for years without trial for alleged terrorist-related activities.

Unemployment, corruption, and these long-term detentions are the issues fueling the most discontent here.

"We need a total reform regarding the dignity of the citizen," says Mohammad al-Hodaif, who has three male relatives detained for long periods without charges.

A religious conservative, Mr. Hodaif took his daughters to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate the fall of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Egypt, he said, was "a revolution of freedom and democracy. People are eager for freedom and democracy. Not just in Egypt. In all Arab countries."

Riyadh attorney Abdulaziz al-Gasim also avidly followed Egypt's gripping transformation on Twitter and on TV. Its affect on his own government, he says, is clear.

"It has put them in the most difficult situation in their lives because this is a clear battle," Mr. Gasim says. "The goal now is very clear.... It is for good governance and guarantees of that by a constitutional state."

No sign that government will listen

There is no sign, however, that the government is ready to listen to any political demands. Founders of the Umma Party were arrested and several remain in detention.

In a meeting last week with Saudi newspaper editors, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, another half-brother to the king and a likely heir to the throne, said that events in Egypt were the work of outsiders and would have no effect on Saudi Arabia, according to a participant and others who got reports on the seven-hour gathering.

Prince Nayef also warned his audience about liberals trying to make Saudi Arabia like the West, they said.

Many Saudis agree with Nayef. They are deeply conservative and leery of change that would dilute their religious identity. And even those who want some reforms are worried about jeopardizing their domestic stability.

"I'm afraid of chaos, like in Iraq," says Suliman Aljimaie, a Jeddah attorney who thinks change is coming too fast in the Arab world. "The United States said it would move Iraq to democracy and now you see what happened there.... Change should be [introduced] slowly, not with this speed."

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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CAMERA: CAN WE TRUST NY TIMES FOR THE FULL PICTURE?
Posted by Hillel Fendel, February 25, 2011.
 

So far in February, The New York Times has run two op-eds sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and a news story favorable to the group's leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. CAMERA says readers must demand more of the "full picture."

Excerpts of the Times reports on Al-Qaradawi: "...democracy and pluralism [have] long [been] hallmarks of his writing and preaching... He [urges] a civil government founded on principles of pluralism, democracy and freedom... Scholars who have studied his work say Sheik Qaradawi has long argued that Islamic law supports the idea of a pluralistic, multiparty, civil democracy."

In the same article, however, we read, "But he has made exceptions for violence against Israel or the American forces in Iraq."

"In fact," writes CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), "Qaradawi is a virulent anti-Semite who has called on Allah to wipe out the Jewish people." He has also defended the Iranian fatwa calling for the death of writer Salman Rushdie, and promoted a "day of rage" against cartoons of Muhammed printed in Sweden and Denmark.

Al-Qaradawi has also issued religious decrees encouraging suicide attacks against Israeli and American civilians, has defended female genital mutilation, and has affirmed Muslim teachings calling for death to homosexuals and for those who leave Islam and encourage others to do the same. He has been wanted by Israel for years, and is banned from entering the United States and Great Britain. Al-Qaradawi also heads the Union of Good, an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the globe that channels money into Hamas institutions in Gaza.

In January 2009, Qaradawi stated that Hitler was a "divine tool" sent to punish the Jewish people for their sins. He also called on Allah to "take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. O Allah, do not spare a single one of them. O Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

Two Op-Eds

Earlier this month, the Times ran two op-eds by Muslim Brotherhood apologists Tariq Ramadan and Essam El-Errian. On Feb. 8, Ramadan wrote in The Times that the Muslim Brotherhood "began in the 1930s as a legalist, anti-colonialist and nonviolent movement that claimed legitimacy for armed resistance in Palestine against Zionist expansionism during the period before World War II." The same-sentence contradiction regarding violence remains unresolved.

Just two days later, El-Errian argued on the same op-ed page that the Muslim Brotherhood "has consistently promoted an agenda of gradual reform. Our principles, clearly stated since the inception of the movement in 1928, affirm an unequivocal position against violence." In fact, however, from 1936 until 1949, when the Egyptian government cracked down on it, the Brotherhood's paramilitary wing carried out numerous assassination attempts against Egyptian and British officials, and acts of violence against Jews, both in Palestine and in Egypt.

Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff have investigated and reported on connections between Al-Qaeda and leading Brotherhood figures, calling the Muslim Brotherhood a "movement that preaches peaceful co-existence but also supports suicide bombings in Israel and offers inspiration for many violent jihadi groups."

CAMERA urges its supporters to write a letter to Times executive editor Bill Keller, urging the paper "to provide its readers with a more accurate view of the Muslim Brotherhood and its spiritual leader, Yusef Qaradawi, who is fundamentally opposed to women's rights, free speech and religious freedom."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com), where this article appeared today.

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DOWNTURN IN JEWISH-ARAB RELATIONS IN ISRAELI CITIES
Posted by Arutz-Sheva, February 25, 2011.

This is by Gil Ronen, a writer for Arutz-Sheva
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

 

Reports from Israel's largest cities, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv Yafo (Jaffa), indicate that relations between Jews and Arabs in the mixed cities are at a boiling point. In Jerusalem, Jews have been arrested on suspicion of murdering an Arab man, while in Yafo, Jewish nationalists are planning a march next week.

On Wednesday, a gag order was lifted on a report that four Jewish youths were arrested on suspicion of murdering an Arab in central Jerusalem two weeks ago. Following this news, Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language service interviewed Bentzi Gupstein, one of the leaders of anti-assimilation group Lehava.

"The situation in Jerusalem is on the verge of an explosion," Gupstein said. "Jewish girls are afraid to walk down the streets, they encounter harassment. We must put an end to this. There are Jews who decided to stop the phenomenon but it is the police's duty to do this. If the police do not act in this matter and if the phenomenon continues more Jews will get up and act. I do not want this to happen, stopping the harassment is the job of the authorities, and [if they do it] the Jews will not have to protect their sisters."

"We, at the Lehava hotline, continue to receive dozens of calls from all over the country. Girls call us and say that they cannot walk in the streets. These are girls from all sectors. The harassment must stop."

Meanwhile, nationalists headed by MK Michael Ben Ari have asked to hold a march down the streets of Yafo next Wednesday. Activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel met with officers from the Tel Aviv District and said that the march is a response to the march that radical leftists and Muslim Arabs held in Yafo last month, in which they chanted slogans against the state of Israel.

The police asked the Jewish nationalists to keep their march a low-profile event, but the activists would have none of that. "It is time to put in their place the Islamic elements seeking to carry put a revolution in central Israel, against the background of the events in Arab countries," they said.

Ben Gvir told Arutz Sheva: "If marching down a street in Yafo with the Israeli flag is a provocation, then we are carrying out a provocation. Elements in Yafo are trying to carry out a rebellion like the one in a-Tahrir Square in Egypt, and our job is not to stick our heads in the sand, and to take preventive measures. I find it hard to believe that the police will not approve the march."

The harassment of Jewish women by Arabs has become a hot topic in the past year. The subject of sexual harassment has been the exclusive domain of leftist gender-feminists for decades, and was used almost exclusively with regard to Jewish men. Only recently have nationalists realized that the term can also be used to apply to Arab abuse of Jewish women. The first known conference on the subject was initiated by the Zionist Women's Forum in 2009.

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UNFAIR TO ISLAM
Posted by Steven Plaut, February 25, 2011.

A while back a large group of "Reform Rabbis" bashed Glenn Beck for comments he had made, and he responded by comparing "Reform Judaism" with Islamic radicalism.

This week the following item was posted on a blog and has been making the rounds. I attach it here in full. It is not written by me but I do find it amusing.

It is by Jonathan Mark, associate editor of the New York Jewish Week.

 

When Glenn Beck Compares Reform Judaism To Radical Islam, He's Unfair To Islam

When Glenn Beck says that Reform Judaism is like radical Islam, insofar as both are more about politics than faith, he's being unfair to radical Islam.

Yes, both are deeply involved with politics and confuse their own politics with God's.

But radical Islamists seems to be much more serious about their religion.

Reform rabbis often lead congregations whose overall culture is indifferent to Shabbat and kashrut, indifferent to daily prayer and intermarriage, and indifferent to religious literacy. A radical Islamic leader, by contrast, is passionate and conscientious about prayer, the Islamic Sabbath, Halal food, and Islamic family purity. He would not be indifferent to intermarriage or classical Islamic teachings.

Only a Reform rabbi would officiate at an intermarriage on Shabbat itself, as did Rabbi James Ponet at Chelsea Clinton's wedding. A Radical Islamist wouldn't do that.

Not even the Ten Commandments are as important to a Reform rabbi as intermarriage. The integrity of Shabbat (Commandment Four) was considered so meaningless that the ceremony couldn't even wait until sunset. With a Reform rabbi, officiating for Clinton, a political figure, was more important than Shabbat, faith.

A radical Islamist would not have violated the Koran to perform an intermarriage for a king.

It's hard to imagine a Reform rabbi who didn't frequently take political positions. Among their political positions is that we shouldn't be Islamophobic; we should know that jihad is a spiritual struggle, not a violent one; that imams are moderates until proven otherwise, that we shouldn't tar Islam because of extremists who are violating Islam. So Reform rabbis themselves say Islam, even radical Islam (is there any other) is a religion of peace, a religion of faith.

It's had to imagine a Reform rabbi who isn't infatuated with the great Reform legends of fighting for Darfur, being part of the (imaginary) black-Jewish alliance, advocating for gay and transgender rights, hating Bush and Sarah Palin, cheering Obama's pressure on Israel, all of which these Reform rabbis will attribute to their faith but it sure sounds like politics.

Reform rabbis love "dialogue," the idea that all problems in the world — between religions and between nations — are just a big misunderstanding because we're all basically the same and want the same things.

Radical Islamists don't give a damn about dialogue. They don't think all religions or all people, infidels included, are the same, because radical Islamists take their own faith that much more seriously.

Reform rabbis are "troubled" that settlers live in Canaan, that Ariel Sharon walked on the Temple Mount, that Moses, a Jew, used disproportionate force in killing an Egyptian. Hebron is not loved for its holiness, as faith would have it, but thought an obstacle to peace, as politics would have it.

Radical Islamists have faith that the Temple Mount is theirs, and the Western Wall, too. They have faith that they are Abraham's children and belong anywhere in Canaan. Radical Islamists don't care that Moses, an Egyptian, killed an Egyptian. Hebron is loved for its holiness, as faith would have it, not something to be negotiated, as politics would have it.

Radical Islamic leaders don't go around saying that religion just means being ethical and good and voting for Democrats, the way most Reform rabbis do. Radical Islam believe that faith demands personal service to God, not just service to each other.

Radical Islamic leaders don't define their faith so singularly with one political party, as do most Reform rabbis, who seem to believe that Judaism never, ever, says no to liberal dogma. Their Reform Jewish faith, to hear so many tell it. is indistinguishable from their Reform Jewish poliitics. To many Reform leaders, the left can disagree with the Torah but the Torah can never disagree with the left. When in conflict, the Torah must adapt.

To a radical Islamist, whose faith comes before politics, the Koran doesn't adapt, everything adapts to the Koran.

Radical Islamists seem to have more fire in the belly when it comes to their faith.

Reform rabbis seem to have more fire in the belly when it comes to their "progressive" politics.

So Beck is absolutely wrong. Radical Islamists and Reform rabbis are polar opposites when it comes to balancing faith and politics.

There are many Reform Jews that I love and greatly admire. These are my people. I'd rather be the worst Reform Jew than the very best Islamist. And I wish that Reform rabbis were, in fact, more about faith than about politics.

Dennis Prager, the talk-show host and author, is a Reform Jew who actually talks more about the importance of faith and religion than he talks about politics. Debbie Friedman, another great Reform Jew, was unique in how she restored the idea of blessing and God to the Reform sensibility. There are other Reform Jews like Prager and Friedman who prioritize faith over politics, but I don't get that sense from too many Reform rabbis.

I despise, fear and fight radical Islamic politics but I love and envy their devotion to their faith. I love how even in the midst of the Cairo revolution, they stopped to prostrate themselves in prayer. When was the last time you saw Reform Jews at a political demonstration stop to say Mincha? And by the hundreds?

Here's some more on Beck, on related issues, from the Zionist Organization of America, from BigJournalism.com regarding the Jewish Fund For Justice's anti-Beck campaign, and from David Suissa, an exciting columnist for the Jewish Journal in L.A.

How many people who have opinions on Beck have actually seen him in action? Check out this clip of Beck speaking about Israel, threats to Jews, and attacking Iran.

Beck's a better man than George Soros, and he's a better Jew, too. If something bad, God forbid, ever happened to Israel, I'm convinced it would bother Beck more. One guy cares about me and the two countries I love. One guy doesn't.

I don't like it when someone who cares about us so much is hated, is laughed at, because his caring is imperfect.

2. Notice the two "rabbis" participating in the "I am a Muslim" Rally coming up for NY City
http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/02/ goonwatch-i-am-muslim-too-rally-3611.html

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 splaut@gmail.com His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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AND THEN THERE WERE 3
Posted by Fred Reifenber, February 25, 2011.
 

"I won't let a mad Muslim make my day miserable....."

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il Go to http://denjanewhome.blogspot.com/ to see more of his graphic art.

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STANDWITHUS IN HIGH GEAR TO HELP STUDENTS COUNTER "ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEKS"
Posted by Jen Kutner, February 25, 2011.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs Co-founder and CEO, 310-245-4109 — cell

 

(Los Angeles, CA) — "Israel Apartheid Week" (IAW) campaigners will be in for a surprise when they mount their seventh annual hate fest this spring. Pro-Israel students on campuses are ready for them.

Over the past year, StandWithUs campus coordinators have worked closely with students to brainstorm about the responses that would be most effective on their campuses.

"Each campus climate is different," explained StandWithUs co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein. "A hard-hitting, aggressive response might work at one school but alienate students at another school. At some schools, students feel that materials highlighting Israel's democracy and remarkable achievements would most influence the student body. Our philosophy is that the students usually know best about their campus climate, and they have many great ideas. Our mission on campuses is to empower students to educate their campus communities. We help them develop strategies, programs, and slogans for flyers and signs that we then produce, and we help with funding for speakers and other events. If they request a certain custom flyer or booklet, our graphics team designs and produces it."

StandWithUs has a big arsenal of materials for students on any type of campus. There are hard-hitting educational flyers that cover topics ranging from terrorism to the life-saving purpose of the security fence, the facts about water, checkpoints, Hamas, and Israel's peace efforts. Other materials underscore, in detail, why equating Israel with apartheid makes no sense. From the StandWithUs Web site, students can download signs with slogans such as "Israel We Stand With You," "Israel Wants Peace," and "The Fence Saves Lives."

"We are especially proud of our three colorful booklets designed specifically for Apartheid Weeks. One graphically contrasts democratic Israel and apartheid South Africa. Another calls for ending the real apartheid that does exist in the Middle East: gender, religious, sexual, political, and racial apartheid. Anyone who reads this booklet would not be surprised by the eruptions occurring in the Middle East today," said Rothstein. All may be found on the right-hand side of the homepage at www.standwithus.com.

The IAW's campaigners' goal is to marshal support for BDS — the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. In response, StandWithUs produced a new video, "Say No to BDS" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifZLk6Ei9-U&feature=player_embedded), a brilliant exposé of the true purpose of BDS. The film has garnered thousands of views, and students will be able to make excellent use of it.

Additionally, StandWithUs created a Web site specific to BDS: www.standwithus.com/BDS and a password-protected site filled with resources just for students: www.standwithus.com/divestment.

StandWithUs is also countering IAW with speaking tours. Last spring, SWU brought Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to speak on campuses. They discussed their personal experiences with the moral code of the IDF. This spring, SWU is bringing to college campuses veteran Israeli diplomat Shahar Azani, who will address the changing tides in the Middle East and the hopes for democracy, and investigative journalist Joel Mowbray, who will review the impediments to peace in the Middle East, such as the radical ideology that exists there. Moreover, StandWithUs recently sponsored a campus tour of the documentary "U.N. ME" along with its director. The film exposes the broken promises and corruption rampant in the United Nations, and students had a chance to meet the director.

"All the tours are meant to pull the camera back and address timely issues that impact all those who dream of peace. We are visiting dozens of campuses and communities with these presentations," affirmed Rothstein.

Anti-Israel speakers visit college campuses during IAW as well, so StandWithUs educates student leaders about the backgrounds of these numerous speakers, including Amir Abdel Malik-Ali, Hatem Bazian, and Alison Weir. "We are providing them with pointed questions to ask the speakers," said Rothstein. Additionally, SWU has prepared flyers about the speakers for students to hand out.

Also on tour during IAW is the "Apartheid Wall," an anti-Israel display that moves from campus to campus. At campuses where the wall will be on display, SWU is working with students to table near the wall, handing out specific flyers and StandWithUs materials that respond to the misinformation promoted on the wall.

StandWithUs' seven campus coordinators provide support for students in their region, and they work closely with the StandWithUs Emerson Fellows. (In its fourth year, the StandWithUs Emerson Fellowship selects and trains 40 student leaders on 40 campuses in the U.S. and Canada to run Israel education events and combat anti-Israel rhetoric.) During IAW, the coordinators and Fellows help students counter the anti-Israel activities.

On campuses where there are few or no IAW events planned, students are taking the opportunity to put on proactive "Israel Peace Week" educational and cultural programming.

Some examples:

  • UCLA students contacted StandWithUs to help develop flyers, signs, programming, and a full-page ad to run in the school newspaper on Thursday, Feb. 17, as IAW commenced, and again on Feb. 24. The ad read, "I Support the U.S.-Israel Relations" and was signed by 120 prominent student leaders. A contact e-mail was provided so interested students could follow-up. The students also countered the Apartheid Wall with materials and filmed the anti-Israel speakers.

  • Boston University's StandWithUs Emerson Fellow will host an Israeli soldier the night before Noam Chomsky's lecture in March. Additionally, two huge posters will be erected: a StandWithUs-produced one that advocates, "Teach Peace to Kids," featuring an image of a bombed bus juxtaposed with an image of two kids with their arms around each other. Another poster focuses on the fact that 66 percent of Palestinians have a positive view of Israel's democracy. The students will table at the Student Union, distributing different information every day about topics such as Hamas, coexistence, and the security barrier (on the day the Apartheid Wall is displayed). They will also hand out a piece ("peace") of cake.

  • San Diego State University and UC San Diego's SWU Emerson Fellows will table, counter the Apartheid Wall, and confront the IAW speakers, including Huwaida Arraf.

  • At the University of Texas in Austin, the pro-Israel group is planning an Israeli Block Party with booths where StandWithUs materials about Israel's technology, environmental innovations, and diversity will be available. The group is planning to cap the week with a film entitled "Faces of Israel."

  • At the University of Winnipeg, the StandWithUs Emerson Fellow is partnering with other campus groups for "In the Name of Democracy," a week-long event beginning March 14 that focuses on democracy in the Middle East.

  • At Case Western Reserve, pro-Israel students are bringing in Iviry Leader, a gay Israeli musician, to highlight Israel's hip and vibrant arts scene.

  • At UC Riverside, StandWithUs worked closely with Hillel to create a new pro-Israel group that will be guided by the StandWithUs West Coast campus coordinator as it works to counter the anti-Israel groups.  

    "One of the most heartening experience we've had is what happened at UC Riverside," recalled Rothstein. "We got a frantic call that IAW was starting there but that there was no pro-Israel student group. The Hillel director was trying to handle several campuses. So we sent four of our committed young staff members to visit the campus for three days. They set up a table opposite the IAW table. They distributed materials and trained students about how to respond to the lies. By the end of the three days, they had attracted over 40 students who want to start a pro-Israel group, including a Sri Lankan who said he personally knew about the horrors of terrorism. In this case, because we energetically responded, IAW ended up giving birth to a big and committed pro-Israel group. That certainly is not what they intended," said Rothstein.

"The responses are as varied as the schools," she added. "It is a pleasure to work with these pro-Israel students, whose energy, idealism, savvy, and belief in the justice of their cause prove that Israel can win hearts and minds on campuses. Our work helps them proactively educate and counter the lies and misinformation about Israel on campuses, underscoring why idealistic young people should support Israel. And we will continue to do everything we can to help empower those students."

About StandWithUs

StandWithUs is a 10-year-old, international, nonprofit Israel education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told on campuses and in communities, libraries, schools, and the media. StandWithUs hosts speakers, programs, and conferences in cities around the world, takes missions to Israel, offers Web site resources, and creates and globally distributes brochures and materials about Israel in a variety of languages and on a variety of topics.

Based in Los Angeles, the organization now has chapters and offices in locations across the U.S., Israel, and the UK, including New York, Chicago, the Pacific Northwest, Detroit, Orange County (CA), Santa Cruz (CA), San Francisco, and Milwaukee.

www.standwithus.com and www.standwithuscampus.com and www.standwithus.co.il

twitter.com/StandWithUs and www.facebook.com/StandWithUs

Contact Jen Kutner by email at jenkutner@aol.com.

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THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: THEN AND NOW
Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 24, 2011.

This was written by Jerry L. Sobel.

 

He was born the son of a pious Imam and part time watch maker on October 14, 1906 in Cairo Egypt. During the course of his 46 year life he would go on to have a profound effect on the Muslim world, an influence no less felt today. For those of you unfamiliar with Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, don't feel too bad. Based upon some gaffs coming out of the White House over the past two weeks, neither are they.

Influenced greatly by the religious teachings of his father, Shaykh Ahmad al-Banna, Hassan became deeply involved in politics at the early age of 12. An astute student of Islam, he graduated State Teacher's Training Center in 1923 and was granted admittance into Dar al-Ulum college. Later that year he came into contact with prominent Islamic scholars which helped shape his political, religious philosophy and would eventually lead to the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood five years hence.

A disciple of both Muhammad Rashid Rida and Muhammad Abduh, al-Banna was likewise vexed by the weakness of Muslim societies in the face of Western colonialism.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_Rida) He too believed the only way Islam could reverse its decline vis a vis the West was to return to true religious purity. To accomplish this he urged his followers to forgo all things Western and secular and become more proactive denouncing atheism, Christianity, and Judaism in particular. Increasingly more radical, at the age of 22, al-Banna instituted the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood in March of 1928.

Contrary to the remarks made by Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper on Thursday, Feb 10. The Muslim Brotherhood is not and never has been "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan ) Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and a host of other Islamic terror groups are a direct outgrowth of the teachings of Hassan al Banna and the Brotherhood. If Director Clapper did a bit more research before testifying so foolishly on Capitol Hill, he may have read the motto of this grandaddy of all terror organizations: "God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur'an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God's cause our supreme objective." What the Director was referring to as he steadfastly refused to label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, only he alone knows. In fact, there is not, and has never been a scintilla of secularization which can be attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In his writings, al-Banna made it abundantly clear that freeing Egypt of Western secularism was not his final goal. He states unequivocally that his plan is to invade the Western heartland and, "struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world....and all religion will be exclusively for Allah."

Most people are not aware of al-Banna but are quite familiar with the terrorist groups and methods of those that adhere to his teachings. Quotes such as the following were and are an inspiration to Muslim terrorists throughout the Islamic world. The umma; the community, "that knows how to die a noble and honorable death is granted an exalted life in this world and the eternal felicity in the next...."Therefore prepare for jihad and be the lovers of death."
(http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East- Encyclopedia/hassan_al-banna.htm) Over the past decades of homicide bombings, many Westerners have become so inured to these atrocities that few take the time to ponder where the inspiration for these dastardly acts came from. They do not have to look past the teachings of al-Banna.

Feeding off of his hateful rhetoric, al-Banna enlisted many followers during the 1930's in the hope of once again reviving the Caliphate that came crashing down following the defeat of the Ottomans at the conclusion of World War I. His two most prominent, or should I say infamous adherents were Nazi allies Hajj Amin al-Husseni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1930's, and Sayyib Qutb, a prolific writer that echoed al-Banna's anti-Semitic, anti-Western, abhorrent sentiments to a tee.

During World War II, both he and al-Husseni greatly expanded the Brotherhood by associating it with the Third Reich and its hatred of Jews. From the outset, the Brotherhood began exchanging de facto ambassadors with the Nazis and joined them in covert operations against the Jews and the British. Where al-Husseni visited Hitler and organized SS Nazi divisions of Bosnian Muslims, al Banna provided Muslim translations of Mein Kampf, and portrayed the Jew as a devil worshipping enemy of Allah.

Throughout the late 1940's the Brotherhood kept up incessant violence and agitation throughout Egypt. In one week alone 128 people were wounded during attacks mainly aimed against the British. Al-Banna himself eventually met the fate he so wantonly wrought upon others on February 12, 1949, when he was assassinated most likely by agents of the Egyptian monarchy, another object of his angst.

Some may ask, Can't people and groups change? Possibly James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence is right by refusing to label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization? Maybe today's Brotherhood is breeding a bunch of good guys?

Let's have some fun and play the famous T.V. game show, Jeopardy. Here are the answers given by the heads of their leadership followed by the questions.

Muslim Brotherhood party leader Mohamed Ghanem said on Iranian TV that Egypt should stop selling gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army for a war with the Jewish State...Name a key ingredient of the Camp David Peace treaty between Israel and Egypt?

In 2008 Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi Akef in 2008 declared that that violence against civilians of the kind practiced by Osama Bin Laden is justified against "occupiers"
(http://www.memritv.org/report/en/)2795.htm#_ednref3
...If the Brotherhood is democratically elected or otherwise takes power in Egypt, will war between Israel and Egypt become inevitable?

In June 2010 Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member Essam El Erian announced that the border of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip should be opened.....Will Egypt soon cease preventing weapons from Iran flowing freely into Gaza?

In 2008 Muslim Brotherhood Executive Bureau member Mahmoud Ghozlan insisted that"women and non-Muslims don't have the right to lead or govern Muslim states,".....What is one of the main tenets of Sharia law?

In a 2008 interview by Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi Akef insisted that Copts could not lead Islamic states such as Egypt.....Would lawmakers in Egypt begin imposing Sharia law on non-Muslim citizens, denying them full legal rights and protections?

Final Jeopardy:

In a 2008 interview Muslim Brotherhood Executive Bureau member Mahmoud Ghozlan emphasized that homosexuality needed to be outlawed.....What will happen to the Gay community if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt?.....Game over.....

So for those of you like the Obama Administration that find the glass half full from this rosy picture of the Muslim Brotherhood, here's some more good news. On Friday, to a hero's welcome, Yussuf al-Qaradawi, one of Islam's most controversial clerics just returned to Egypt after years of exile in Qatar.
(http://www.infowars.com/egyptians-return-to-street-to-push-army-on-reforms/) Not back fifteen minutes, he immediately professed to tens of thousands in Tahrir Square that the military should immediately "open Egypt's border crossing with Gaza." No doubt we will be hearing more on this issue in the days and weeks ahead as the most organized of the opposition groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, with strong support from the majority of those freedom loving Egyptians, move to the forefront of Egyptian politics.

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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THE POLITICAL SOLUTION
Posted by Moshe Feiglin, February 24, 2011.
 

"And what is your solution?" the leftist asked me.
"I don't have one," I answered.
"You don't have one?"
"I do not have a solution for your problem, but I do have a solution for mine."

When we outline a political program, we must first of all honestly define what the program is supposed to achieve. In other words, how do we understand the strategic objectives of the State of Israel? Current Israeli consciousness dictates that the most important objective is peace. Both Right and Left claim that peace is their desire and that their program will bring the longed-for peace more efficiently.

But both sides are not telling the entire truth. For the Left, peace is a means to an end; the achievement of "normalcy." For the faith-based public, peace is a result and not an objective. It is the result of the achievement of the Jewish goals that our ancestors dreamed of.

Strange as it may sound, the National Camp has never clearly defined its strategic objectives. As a result, it never managed to present a political program and to stand behind it. If you do not define where you want to go, you will never be able to explain how to get there.

The definition of the strategic objective is not the definition of the borders of Israel or the status of the Arabs. That is part of the program. The definition of the strategic objective does not answer the question, "How should we conduct ourselves here in Israel," but rather, "Why do we have to be in Israel?"

The Left answers: So that we can be like the rest of the nations of the world.

The faith-based public says: So that we can be holistic Jews.

The truth is that the faith-based public does not dare reveal its real strategic objective — but at least it has one. Nevertheless, the only objective left on the table — the objective that dictates all of Israel's tactical plans — is the objective of the Left. That is the reason that the Left always rules. Neither the media nor the justice systems are to blame for that. We are — because we never placed an alternative to the Left's agenda on the playing field.

Let us explore the strategic objectives and dreams of the Left. The Left's objective is for Israel to be a state of all its citizens that conducts itself by Western, liberal standards and that is not committed to Jewish values.

"For me, the Oslo Accords mean forgetting that I am a Jew." (Authoress Dorit Rabinian, in an interview to Israel's Channel 1 on the first anniversary of Rabin's assassination). We can say that the strategic objective of the Left is to blur our Jewish identity and to make us forget it by fashioning a liberal state of all its citizens.

All the tactical solutions and political programs proposed by the Left are the logical conclusion of its strategic objective. This is the only way to understand the apparent lack of logic of its plans. The Left strives to achieve its strategic super-objective and to detach the State of Israel from its Jewish identity. Our return to our Biblical landscape and the ideological, faith-based settlement of Biblical Israel are obstacles in its path. The Left does not desire to uproot the settlements and retreat from Hebron and Jerusalem in order to achieve peace. It desires to make peace so that it can uproot the settlements and retreat from Hebron and Jerusalem — the flagships of our Jewish identity.

What then, is the strategic objective that will dictate the tactical solutions of the faith-based public? The objective of the faith-based public is to establish a Jewish State of freedom based on the eternal values of the Nation of Israel: a state that will restore sovereignty to the Jewish Nation that was expelled from its Land, will ingather its exiles, will be a tool to develop its authentic culture, will build its Holy Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and will establish an exemplary society that will sanctify G-d's Name. In short, to create a culture and society for all humanity to emulate.

Do we think that we can achieve this entire lofty goal by tomorrow morning? That would be great, but even if there is a long road ahead of us, we will not be deterred. Our strategic commitment is to continue to march in this direction and certainly not in the opposite direction — by surrendering sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Moslem wakf, for instance, or by surrendering parts of our Holy Land to foreigners.

We do not strive to erase our Jewish identity but rather, to strengthen and develop it. This also requires that we do not surrender the Biblical Land that ties us to our identity. On the contrary, we must do all that we can to strengthen our hold on our Land.

Now that we have clarified our objective and priorities, we can outline policies that will deal with foreign claims on our Land.

But first, a question: Is the strategic objective of the Arabs clear to us? Can we embark on a political plan without examining the objectives of the Arabs? After all, if we wish to adequately respond to the challenge with which they confront us, shouldn't we examine what they want?

The person who most accurately defined the strategic objectives of the Jews and Arabs was the (anti-Semitic) Foreign Minister of Great Britain, Ernest Bevin. In February, 1947, in his speech before the United Nations in which he transferred the mandate over Palestine from Britain to the UN, Bevin shared some of the insights he had gained from thirty years of British rule over the Land of Israel: Remember — Bevin did not like the Zionists. But he did not deceive himself, as we are wont to do. He astutely observed the following:

"For the Jews, the main point is the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state. For the Arabs, the main point is to oppose Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine to the very end."

We like to deceive ourselves into thinking that the Arabs and Jews share the same objective. But that is not true. The Jews want a state. And the Arabs want to make sure that the Jews do not have it.

Nothing has changed in the 63 years that have passed since Bevin's speech. If the Arabs would have wanted a state, it would have been established long ago. Never has an ethnic group received such generous international aid to establish its state — and the state has not been born. Their objective is not to build their own state — but to destroy ours. The last thing that interests them is a Palestinian state.

Now that we understand the objectives of both sides within our nation and the objective of the Arabs, we can go to the drawing board and design our political plan.

Believe it or not, the Likud constitution clearly states the starting point for a political plan dictated by the faith-based strategy. Not only that, but it deeply understands the Arab strategy:

"The preservation of the right of the Jewish Nation over the Land of Israel as an eternal, inalienable right, persistence in the settlement and development of all parts of the Land of Israel and the application of the sovereignty of the State upon them." (From the Likud Constitution, Chapt. 4, "The Goals")

It's as simple as that. Just as we applied Israeli sovereignty to Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, so we must do for all parts of the Land of Israel that are in our hands. If we do so with confidence, if we do not leave any doubt as to our firm belief that this is our Land, if we stop nurturing the hopes of the Arabs to succeed in their strategic objective to destroy our sovereignty here — then peace will be at hand. As a result — not as an objective!

And what about the demographic problem?

The Land of Israel is the strategic foundation around which we solve the tactical problems. Herzl understood this when the Jews made up merely a few percent of the total population in the Land. Ben Gurion understood this when he declared the independence of the tiny state of Israel, with a 50% Arab population. Today, we have a solid Jewish majority in Israel of over 60% from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. According to realistic forecasts, the demographic scales are tilting in our favor.

Of course, we must encourage the Arabs who live in Israel to emigrate to any one of the 22 Arab countries or to any other place in the world. These Arabs have developed a culture of work in a modern, Western society. They have professional knowledge in many important areas. Western states are desperate for this type of immigration because they are in the throes of a negative growth pattern. The question is not "Who will build in Canada?" but rather, "Will the builders in Canada be Sudanese, who specialize in building huts, or Arab immigrants from Israel who specialize in building skyscrapers?" A simple calculation shows that if Israel takes the money that it continues to spend on the Left's false solutions of retreat and spends it instead on encouraging Arab emigration, it will have over a quarter of a million dollars per Arab family that chooses to emigrate over the next decade.

What about those Arabs who remain? Will we give them the right to vote?

An Arab who is a loyal resident and completely accepts Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel will enjoy full human rights and permanent resident status. He will not have voting rights. Today, there are American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan who do not have voting rights in the US.

The automatic connection that we are used to making between human rights and political rights is false. Every country must honor human rights, protect the life, property and honor of any minority that accepts and respects it sovereignty and power. Actually, what Israel did to its loyal citizens in Gush Katif would be forbidden to do to any foreigner or citizen in any country. Political rights, however, are a different issue. Some countries grant unchecked citizenship while other Western countries, like Japan and Switzerland, do not necessarily grant residents citizenship even if they are third generation residents of those countries.

The State of Israel is both a Jewish and a democratic state. Not the opposite. We did not return to our Land just to establish another democracy. For that, we could simply have emigrated from Russia to America. We returned to the Land of Israel to establish a Jewish state. Around this principle, a democracy was formed to serve — not eliminate — the Jewish State.

In addition, voting rights should be given to Diaspora Jews who have tied their fate to the State of Israel. For after all, we are the State of the Jews — the state of all the Jews — not just the Israelis.

Will the world accept this plan? The existing Jewish identity-blurring plan has convinced the world, and it no longer recognizes the legitimacy of the Jewish State that even the Israelis do not want. The world expects us to be our authentic selves and to conduct ourselves in accordance with our Jewish strategic objective. When that happens, it will ultimately accept this plan.

And what about the Left? I do not have the solution for the Left's problem. I do not know how to flee my identity and I have no desire to do so. Other than continuing to love them, I have no answers for the identity crisis plaguing the leftist minority. But there certainly is a solution for the large Jewish majority in the Land of Israel.

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 http://www.manhigut.org. To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit www.jewishisrael.org. Or contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

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ZOA: PA DELEGITIMIZES ISRAEL WITH LIES — ISRAEL MUST DELEGITIMIZE PA WITH THE TRUTH
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 24, 2011.
 

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the Israeli Government, in the wake non-stop, continuing Palestinian Authority (PA) efforts to malign and delegitimize Israel with lies, to start publicly delegitimizing the PA by stating the truth about the PA regime's pro-terror, racist, anti-peace words and deeds.

The ZOA believes that such an effort must be led by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — it cannot be led by ministers or individual Knesset Members, valuable as their contribution can be. Imagine the impact of Prime Minister Netanyahu calling a press conference, with posters showing horrific anti-Israel statements made by PA leaders in public or to the Arab media, or with pictures of Palestinian posters glorifying terrorists, or the Fatah emblem showing Israel draped in a Palestinian headdress and labeled Palestine behind him, explaining that the PA must accept Israel's existence as Jewish state, arrest terrorists and outlaw terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder or else peace is impossible. Individual Israeli politicians can be ignored by the media, but the Israeli Prime Minister has a unique ability to place this vital issue on the international radar screen.

By taking this course of action, Israel would reduce support and sympathy for, and the credibility of, the PA. Moreover, once people better understand the actual nature of the PA and its goals, the PA's negative campaign on Israel will be much reduced in effectiveness. Such action would enable foreign governments and publics to better understand the nature of the PA regime and the war upon Israel waged by Arab states with which it has to contend. At present, however, the PA works assiduously to demonize Israel internationally and falsely present it as a rogue, oppressive, apartheid regime. Most recently, the PA violated its Oslo II signed agreements (in which they accepted the existence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria under Israeli control) by working to have Israel condemned in the United Nations Security Council for the presence of these communities by having them falsely declared illegal.

As the ZOA has already documented, just in recent months, Mahmoud Abbas said to an Arab audience that "if the Arabs want war against Israel] — we are with them"; awarded the family of a dead Palestinian terrorist who attempted to attach an Israeli checkpoint with pipe bombs a $2000 presidential grant; a senior P.A. Health Ministry official publicly accused Israel of addicting Palestinian drug users; PA TV broadcast indoctrinated children claiming Jews poisoned Yasser Arafat; the ruling Fatah's party convention was named after Munich Olympics Jew-killer Al-Hindi; and pro-terror songs and pro-terror bands broadcast in the officially controlled PA media. Also, the PA officially endorsed an absurd study with the preposterous theme that Jews have no claim of any kind to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, while Abbas himself has said that, in a future Palestinian state, "we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it."

In recent years, the PA ruling party, Fatah, produced an emblem, depicting all of Israel, labeled 'Palestine' covered in a Palestinian headdress, with a picture of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle beside it. Streets, schools and sports teams have been named in honor of suicide bombers and other terrorists who have murdered Israelis, while thousands of posters have been produced and displayed in public squares, schools and buildings of these same terrorist figures. Official days have been designated by the PA to honor specific terrorists.

Last week, at a meeting with American Jewish leaders, Israeli Arab Muslim journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, in response to a question from ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, said that the PA has no interest in peace and that it simply wants to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

Accordingly, the ZOA is urging Israel to cease describing PA president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salaam Fayyad as peace partners and moderates when they are neither. It should cease to talk up the prospects of a peace agreement with the PA when none is possible. As Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann has argued with reference to the application of game theory to Israel's circumstances, Israel needs to avoid the 'Blackmailer Paradox,' whereby it makes concessions in the face of unyielding Palestinian demands in the belief that only thus can it gain anything at all and that the alternative of no agreement is necessarily intolerable. This leads to the false conclusion that Israel can gain something by yielding, even peace, when it is not in fact available and the concessions made merely embolden the Palestinians to move on to their next demand.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "It is long past time for the Israeli government to finally speak out fearlessly and publicly about the fraudulence as a peace partner of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which works to delegitimize Israel with lies.

"The failure of the PA to fulfill its commitments to arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror and hostilities, coupled with its international efforts to lie about, demonize and delegitimize Israel, calls for a strong, direct and sustained response from the Israeli government.

"It is unthinkable that the PA should be able to do these things without in any way being penalized by Israel, which continues to offer it legitimacy through negotiations.

"If Israel will not speak the truth about the PA, no one else will. It is high time for Israel to expose the pro-terror, anti-peace words and deeds of Abbas' PA and begin the process of denying this unreconstructed, terror-sponsoring regime the oxygen of legitimacy and credibility. This should have happened years ago. It should begin now." (ZOA press release, 2/23/11.)

Well put, but ZOA implies a false assumption about PM Netanyahu, as does Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA make in his otherwise logical exhortations of Netanyahu. This assumption is that Netanyahu is patriotic and Zionistic. He is not. His speeches to Israelis may differ from that of those known to be on the Left, but his policies are not so different. He believes in appeasing the U.S. and the Arabs with territorial and other concessions to the Arabs. He is building up the economy of the P.A. enemy. He represses legal construction by Jews, tolerates illegal construction by Arabs, and lies to Israelis about it.

Similar assumptions about patriotism underlie media exhortation to President Obama. Nevertheless, Obama often condones terrorists and terrorism, and often condemns anti-terrorists or authoritarian rulers who oppose terrorists. He lets Iran develop nuclear weapons. He lets Ghadaffi slaughter his own people. His domestic policies would wreck the U.S. economy and freedom, as well.

ZOA's prior press release pointed out many problems with Obama. The press release just asked why Obama does nothing much against terrorism. It did not consider whether he favors them. If he does, appealing to him would be blocked by his radical perceptions. He does not want the US to exert leadership.

ZOA's advice not to call P.A. leaders moderate should also be applied so as not to call Netanyahu patriotic or to assume that he serves the Jewish people.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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THE MESSAGE OF THE ARAB REVOLTS FOR PROGRESSIVES
Posted by GWY, February 24, 2011.

This was written by Ami Isseroff and it is archived at
http://www.zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2011/02/ 24/the-message-of-the-arab-revolts-for-progressives/

 

There are still a great many things that are unclear about the Arab revolts. Israelis, for example, watch nervously to find out if the new Egyptian government will honor the peace treaty. One message, however, is shouted out loud and clear to "progressive" opponents of Israel in Europe and the USA. Unbelievably, nobody is talking about it:

The revolts exposed the dirty little secret of most Arab and Islamic regimes. It is a "secret" that almost everyone in the Middle East knows, and it turns all the dogmatic cant about "Zionist imperialism" and "Apartheid Israel" into ludicrous drivel.

The dirty little secret of the Middle East is that most of the regimes of this region are repressive despotisms that would make Fascist Italy look like an enlightened democracy. Government-controlled media and Western ignorance shield Arab and Muslim despots from the truth. They have mounted a propaganda war against Israel, based on spurious rhetoric and charges of human rights violations and channeled their message though naive idealists in UC Berkeley, London's SOAS and other respected institutions. Aided by oil-hungry Western powers, they have extended the farce to the United Nations.

Libya, a member of of the Human Rights Council, bombed its own citizens. Saudi Arabia, another member of the UNHRC, does not allow the most elementary rights to women or citizenship rights for its guest workers. Non-Saudis are not second class citizens. They are not any sort of citizens. They have no rights at all. How's that for Arab "apartheid?" The same pattern is repeated in many Arabian Peninsula countries.

Iran hangs about two opposition leaders each day. Its leaders crow about imaginary Islamic revolutions in other countries, but are merciless in putting down domestic opposition in their own country. Bahai and other minority members cannot preach or practice their faith.

Syria is ruled as a caliphate of the Assad dynasty, Assad II succeeded Assad I. This government is very stable; we can be sure of election results. 100% of the voters will vote for Basher Assad, because nobody else is on the ballot. Opposition may be hazardous to your health. Syria's Kurds have no rights, but nobody cares. The most "downtrodden" Arab in "apartheid" Israel has more civil liberties that any of the victims of "Arab democracy" in Egypt, Libya or Syria. He or she can publish their opinions, worship as they please and run for office in free elections. Israeli Arabs are guaranteed a fair trial and freedom from arbitrary arrest. These elementary freedoms are absent in the Arab and Islamic despotisms championed by American and European progressives, and that is why people are demonstrating. These rights are denied to Arabs living in the Palestinian territories, but they are denied by the Palestinian governments, not by Israel.

The Egyptian government was mild and orderly compared to most of these regimes, yet Egyptians loathed Hosni Mubarak with good reason. Corruption, incompetence, sham elections and persecution of the Coptic Christian minority characterized this "good" Arab country.

The "progressives" found an excuse that will distract everyone from the ugly reality: Egyptian tyranny can be blamed on the American imperialist colonialists or the Zionist imperialist colonialists. Take your choice. Of course, the despotism of Muammar Gaddaffi and the Iranian regime or the Assad dynasty cannot really be blamed on Israel or the United States.

Progressives would do well to save their compassion for the hapless victims of Arab and Muslim regimes, rather than the Hezbollah and Hamas. Those who are so eager to replace Israel with a "secular democratic state" should remember: There is really only one such state in the entire Middle East, Israel.

Contact GWY at gwy123@aol.com

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ARAB UNREST PROPELS IRAN AS SAUDI INFLUENCE DECLINES
Posted by Daily Alert, February 24, 2011.

This was written by Michael Slackman, and it appeared in New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/middleeast/24saudis.html?_r=1. Nadim Audi contributed reporting.

 

MANAMA, Bahrain — The popular revolts shaking the Arab world have begun to shift the balance of power in the region, bolstering Iran's position while weakening and unnerving its rival, Saudi Arabia, regional experts said.

Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz, left, Saudi Arabia's interior minister, with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, where they greeted King Abdullah.

While it is far too soon to write the final chapter on the uprisings' impact, Iran has already benefited from the ouster or undermining of Arab leaders who were its strong adversaries and has begun to project its growing influence, the analysts said. This week Iran sent two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time since its revolution in 1979, and Egypt's new military leaders allowed them to pass.

Saudi Arabia, an American ally and a Sunni nation that jousts with Shiite Iran for regional influence, has been shaken. King Abdullah on Wednesday signaled his concern by announcing a $10 billion increase in welfare spending to help young people marry, buy homes and open businesses, a gesture seen as trying to head off the kind of unrest that fueled protests around the region.

King Abdullah then met with the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, to discuss ways to contain the political uprising by the Shiite majority there. The Sunni leaders in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain accuse their Shiite populations of loyalty to Iran, a charge rejected by Shiites who say it is intended to stoke sectarian tensions and justify opposition to democracy.

The uprisings are driven by domestic concerns. But they have already shredded a regional paradigm in which a trio of states aligned with the West supported engaging Israel and containing Israel's enemies, including Hamas and Hezbollah, experts said. The pro-engagement camp of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia is now in tatters. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has been forced to resign, King Abdullah of Jordan is struggling to control discontent in his kingdom and Saudi Arabia has been left alone to face a rising challenge to its regional role.

"I think the Saudis are worried that they're encircled — Iraq, Syria, Lebanon; Yemen is unstable; Bahrain is very uncertain," said Alireza Nader, an expert in international affairs with the RAND Corporation. "They worry that the region is ripe for Iranian exploitation. Iran has shown that it is very capable of taking advantage of regional instability."

"Iran is the big winner here," said a regional adviser to the United States government who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Iran's circumstances could change, experts cautioned, if it overplayed its hand or if popular Arab movements came to resent Iranian interference in the region. And it is by no means assured that pro-Iranian groups would dominate politics in Egypt, Tunisia or elsewhere.

For now, Iran and Syria are emboldened. Qatar and Oman are tilting toward Iran, and Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen are in play.

"If these 'pro-American' Arab political orders currently being challenged by significant protest movements become at all more representative of their populations, they will for sure become less enthusiastic about strategic cooperation with the United States," Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, former National Security Council staff members, wrote in an e-mail.

They added that at the moment, Iran's leaders saw that "the regional balance is shifting, in potentially decisive ways, against their American adversary and in favor of the Islamic Republic." Iran's standing is stronger in spite of its challenges at home, with a troubled economy, high unemployment and a determined political opposition.

The United States may also face challenges in pressing its case against Iran's nuclear programs, some experts asserted.

"Recent events have also taken the focus away from Iran's nuclear program and may make regional and international consensus on sanctions even harder to achieve," Mr. Nader said. Iran's growing confidence is based on a gradual realignment that began with the aftershocks of the Sept. 11 attacks. By ousting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and then Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the United States removed two of Iran's regional enemies who worked to contain its ambitions. Today, Iran is a major player in both nations, an unintended consequence.

Iran demonstrated its emboldened attitude this year in Lebanon when its ally, Hezbollah, forced the collapse of the pro-Western government of Saad Hariri. Mr. Hariri was replaced with a prime minister backed by Hezbollah, a bold move that analysts say was undertaken with Iran's support.

"Iraq and Lebanon are now in Iran's sphere of influence with groups that have been supported by the hard-liners for decades," said Muhammad Sahimi, an Iran expert in Los Angeles who frequently writes about Iranian politics. "Iran is a major player in Afghanistan. Any regime that eventually emerges in Egypt will not be as hostile to Hamas as Mubarak was, and Hamas has been supported by Iran. That may help Iran to increase its influence there even more."

Iran could also benefit from the growing assertiveness of Shiites in general. Shiism is hardly monolithic, and Iran does not speak on behalf of all Shiites. But members of that sect are linked by faith and by their strong sense that they have been victims of discrimination by the Sunni majority. Events in Bahrain illustrate that connection well.

Bahrain has about 500,000 citizens, 70 percent of them Shiite. The nation has been ruled by a Sunni family since it was captured from the Persians in the 18th century. The Shiites have long argued that they are discriminated against in work, education and politics. Last week, they began a public uprising calling for democracy, which would bring them power. The government at first used lethal force to try to stop the opposition, killing seven. It is now calling for a dialogue while the protesters, turning out in huge numbers, are demanding the government's resignation.

But demonstrators have maintained their loyalty to Bahrain. The head of the largest Shiite party, Al Wefaq, said that the party rejected Iran's type of Islamic government. On Tuesday, a leading member of the party, Khalil Ebrahim al-Marzooq, said he was afraid that the king was trying to transform the political dispute into a sectarian one. He said there were rumors the king would open the border with Saudi Arabia and let Sunni extremists into the country to attack the demonstrators.

"The moment that any border opens by the government, means the other borders will open," he said. "You don't expect people will see their similar sect being killed and not interfere. We will not call them."

But, he said, they will come.

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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LIBYA: 2,000 REPORTED KILLED IN BENGHAZI, 1,000 IN TRIPOLI
Posted by Daily Alert, February 24, 2011.

This is from Associated Press and Jerusalem Post Staff.

 

"They carried out a real massacre," French doctor says; Fighter pilots crash planes rather than strike protesters.

(Associated Press)

Militiamen loyal to Moammar Gaddafi clamped down in Tripoli, with the sound of gunfire ringing in the air, while protesters who control much of the eastern half of Libya claimed new gains in cities and towns closer to the heart of Gaddafi's regime in the capital.

Protesters said they had taken over Misrata, which would be the largest city in the western half in the country to fall into their hands. Clashes broke out over the past two days in the town of Sabratha, west of the capital, where the army and militiamen were trying to put down protesters who overwhelmed security headquarters and government buildings, a news website close to the government reported.

A French doctor working in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi told Le Point Magazine that over 2,000 people were killed in that city alone in the past days of fighting, AFP reported.

"From Tobruk to Darna, they carried out a real massacre... In total, I think there are more than 2,000 deaths," he said.

The 60-year-old anesthetist who has been living in the Libyan city for over a year, said that one the first day of fighting in Benghazi, "out ambulances counted 75 bodies...200 on the second [day], then more than 500." On the third day, he added, "I ran out of morphine and medications," according to the report.

Two air force pilots jumped from parachutes from their Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and let it crash, rather than carry out orders to bomb Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, which is now in opposition hands, the website Quryna reported, citing an unidentified officer in the air force control room.

One of the pilots was from Gaddafi's tribe, the Gadhadhfa, said Farag al-Maghrabi, a local resident who saw the pilots and the wreckage of the jet, which crashed in a deserted area outside the key oil port of Breqa.

International outrage mounted after Gaddafi on Tuesday went on state TV and in a fist-pounding speech called on his supporters to take to the streets to fight protesters. Gaddafi's retaliation has already been the harshest in the Arab world to the wave of anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said estimates of some 1,000 people killed in the violence in Libya were "credible," although he stressed information about casualties was incomplete. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at nearly 300, according to a partial count.

Gaddafi's speech appeared to have brought out a heavy force of supporters and militiamen that largely prevented major protests in the capital Tuesday night or Wednesday. Through the night, gunfire was heard, said one woman who lives near downtown.

"Mercenaries are everywhere with weapons. You can't open a window or door. Snipers hunt people," she said. "We are under siege, at the mercy of a man who is not a Muslim."

During the day Wednesday, more gunfire was heard near Gaddafi's residence, but in many parts of the city of 2 million residents were venturing out to stores, some residents said. The government sent out text messages urging people to go back to their jobs, aiming to show that life was returning to normal. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

But Libya's upheaval, just over a week old, has shattered the hold of Gaddafi's regime across much of the country. Protesters claim to hold towns and cities along nearly the entire eastern half of the 1,000-mile Mediterranean coastline, from the Egyptian border. In parts, they have set up their own jury-rigged self-administrations.

At the Egyptian border, guards had fled, and local tribal elders have formed local committees to take their place. "Welcome to the new Libya," a graffiti spray-painted at the crossing proclaimed. Fawzy Ignashy, a former soldier, now in civilian clothes at the border, said that early in the protests, some commanders ordered troops to fire on protesters, but then tribal leaders stepped in and ordered them to stop.

"They did because they were from here. So the officers fled," he said.

Protesters have claimed control all the way to the city of Ajdabiya, about 480 miles (800 kilometers) east of Tripoli, encroaching on the key oil fields around the Gulf of Sidra.

That has left Gaddafi's power centered around Tripoli, in the far west and parts of the country's center. But that appeared to be weakening in parts.

Protesters in Misrata were claiming victory after several days of fighting with Gaddafi loyalists in the city, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli.

Residents were honking horns in celebration and raising the pre-Gaddafi flags of the Libyan monarchy, said Faraj al-Misrati, a local doctor. He said six people had been killed and 200 wounded in clashes that began Feb. 18 and eventually drove out pro-Gaddafi militiamen.

An audio statement posted on the Internet was reportedly from armed forces officers in Misrata proclaiming "our total support" for the protesters.

New videos posted by Libya's opposition on Facebook also showed scores of anti-government protesters raising the flag from the pre-Gaddafi monarchy on a building in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli. Another showed protesters lining up cement blocks and setting tires ablaze to fortify positions on a square inside the capital.

The footage couldn't be independently confirmed.

Further west, armed forces deployed in Sabratha, a town famed for nearby ancient Roman ruins, in a bid to regain control after protesters burned government buildings and police stations, the Quryna news website reported. It said clashes had erupted between soldiers and residents in the past nights and that residents were also reporting an influx of pro-Gaddafi militias that have led heaviest crackdown on protesters.

The opposition also claimed control in Zwara, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Tunisian border in the west, after local army units sided with the protesters and police fled.

"The situation here is very secure, the people here have organized security committees, and there are people who have joined us from the army," said a 25-year-old unemployed university graduate in Zwara. "This man (Gaddafi) has reached the point that he's saying he will bring armies from African (to fight protesters). That means he is isolated," he said.

The division of the country — and defection of some army units to the protesters — raises the possibility the opposition could try an assault on the capital. On the Internet, there were calls by protesters for all policemen, armed forces and youth to march to Tripoli on Friday.

In his speech Tuesday night, Gaddafi defiantly vowed to fight to his "last drop of blood" and roared at supporters to strike back against Libyan protesters to defend his embattled regime.

"You men and women who love Gaddafi... get out of your homes and fill the streets," Gaddafi said. "Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs."

Gaddafi appears to have lost the support of several tribes and his own diplomats, including Libya's ambassador in Washington, Ali Adjali, and deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi.

International alarm has risen over the crisis, which sent oil prices soaring to the highest level in more than two years on Tuesday and sparked a scramble by European and other countries to get their citizens out of the North African nation. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting that ended with a statement condemning the crackdown, expressing "grave concern" and calling for an "immediate end to the violence" and steps to address the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also pressed Wednesday for European Union sanctions against Libya's regime because of its violent crackdown on protesters, and raised the possibility of cutting all economic and business ties between the EU and the North African nation.

"The continuing brutal and bloody repression against the Libyan civilian population is revolting," Sarkozy said in a statement. "The international community cannot remain a spectator to these massive violations of human rights."

Italian news reports have said witnesses and hospital sources in Libya are estimating there are 1,000 dead in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, alone.

"We have no complete information about the number of people who have died," Frattini said in a speech to a Catholic organization in Rome ahead of a briefing in Parliament on Libya. "We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible."

Libya is the biggest supplier of oil to Italy, which has extensive energy, construction and other business interests in the north African country and decades of strong ties.

Frattini said the Italian government is asking that the "horrible bloodshed" cease immediately. Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive news updates directly to your email

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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SHOMRON HONORS FALLEN DRUZE SOLDIER AT TAPUACH JUNCTION
Posted by David Haivri, February 24, 2011.
 

Memorial for, First Lt. Ihab Chatib z"l, Mer'ar, murdered 10/2/2010.

In the presence of hundreds of Shomron residents, soldiers and Druze residents from Mer'ar village, an unveiling ceremony took place at Tapuach Junction, of the monument in memory of First Lt. Ihab Chatib (Badar) who was murdered at the site a year ago.

About a year ago, an IDF officer, First Lt. Ihab Chatib of Mer'ar village, was murdered at Tapuach Junction. Ihab Chatib was stabbed by a terrorist, a captain of the Palestinian security service who, arriving from the Jenin area, crossed through the barriers that were opened slightly beforehand and committed the murder.

Over the course of the year, communication has been taking place between Shomron residents and the grieving family. During the days of mourning, Council head Gershon Mesika arrived in Mer'ar on a condolence call, together with Deputy Min. Ayoub Kara.

Members of the Chatib family participated in the moving ceremony, as well as dignitaries from the Druze community, Deputy Minister for Galilee and Negev Development Ayoub Kara (a member of the Druze community), head of the Shomron Regional Council Gershon Mesika, senior officers and IDF soldiers.

Prior to the ceremony, family members of the deceased toured Shomron settlements.

During the ceremony a certificate of appreciation was issued by the Division Commander of the Shomron, Col. Nimrod Aloni and by Shomron Council head Gershon Mesika, to the security coordinator of the Rechalim settlement who overpowered and captured the terrorist after the attack.

After the unveiling of the monument, placed by Shaika Rosenfeld of the Shomron Council, the Chatib family planted a grove of trees nearby in his memory.

Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said at the ceremony: "The Druze community and Shomron residents are alike, and share a covenant of blood between them. Both of these groups symbolize the spirit of volunteerism and ideology — you can't buy them off. They fight for the most important things — for the land. We have not forgotten the justice of our cause."

Mesika addressed the members of the grieving family, saying: "I'm sorry we're meeting under such circumstances, and hope we can meet only on happy occasions. We are brothers, there is a covenant of blood between us, and we in the Shomron love you and salute you."

Ayoub Kara, Deputy Minister of Negev and Galilee Development, also from the Druze community, said to the crowd: "I've come just now from a ceremony inaugurating an access road to the grave of the prophet Jethro — a sacred site for the Druze community. The connection between the Jewish People and the community dates back to the dawn of history, and regretfully, so does the covenant of blood between us. The heroic soldier Ihab Chatib did not fall as a Druze soldier, but as a soldier who was equal among equals, a fallen IDF soldier, a hero of the Israeli armed forces.

"Unfortunately, today we hear voices criticizing the settlement enterprise. They don't understand that this is a critical national interest of the first order, in order to firm up our hold on Eretz Israel and the State of Israel. I would like to call on members of the government and the Prime Minister to change the policy of settlement freezes to a policy of growth and construction, and to build, right here on the site of our fallen and beloved son Ihab, a new settlement named after him, which will constitute a banner and symbol in his memory.

"I hope to meet all of you at the ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the new settlement soon to be built here in his memory."

Chairman of the Judea and Samaria Council, Danny Dayan, told the family of the deceased:

"You lost a son, we also feel like we have lost a son. Every IDF soldier who comes here to the Shomron to defend the State of Israel and to defend the settlement enterprise, also makes sure that attacks on the coastal cities, the North and the South, don't come from here.

"We feel the sacrifice that Ihab made as a son of a town who fell in the line of duty, also as a son of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria who fell in the line of duty."

A representative of the family, Cap. Ala Chayar, said at the ceremony:

"A year has already passed since the murder of Ihab, and we come today to bow our heads at the unveiling ceremony at the scene of Ihab's murder. Ihab, the hero who fought alone in a clash with terrorists and saved his friends' lives, was suddenly murdered by a villainous terrorist, may his name be erased.

"It's doubtful he would have carried out his scheme if he had said a few words to Ihab beforehand. Then he would have understood that the man standing before him loved life and had no hatred in his heart.

"Ihab's face was always shining, and he was always ready to help everyone. A feeling of shock and pain has been with us since Ihab was murdered, and we feel as if this happened just a few days ago. Ihab, here your heart goes on beating in our hearts, and your blood flows in our veins. You still live inside us."

David Ha'ivri is Executive Director of The Shomron Liaison Office.

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: FIELD OF ANEMONES
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 23, 2011.
 

"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

HOW I GOT THE SHOT:Hard to disagree with the poet Emerson, especially since I beheld this field earlier in the week and found it was devoid of flowers. Now the only way back is via the pictures I shot four years ago. Still, it is a way back.

I discovered this field of anemones about one month after and 100 meters away from the photograph I featured two weeks ago. So much effort goes into scouting locations for good landscapes that I often return to places where I had earlier success, hoping to tap the treasure trove again. I am not always so fortunate.

This shot is an example of how to layer a scene with zones of depth that enrich the composition. While the area had great shooting potential in several directions, the photograph needed a strong foreground element to anchor the viewer and clarify what is seen in the distance. This cluster of flowers worked nicely and had the added attraction of the pair of pink-petalled anemone.

Using an extreme wide-angle lens (12mm) while standing upright, I pointed the camera slightly downward which had the effect of bending the foreground just a bit so that it pops out the frame. This is a delicate process, as too much distortion will give the photo an unnatural look.

Again I saw, again I heard;
The rolling river, the morning bird; —
Beauty through my senses stole,
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.

From Each and All by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Technical Data: Nikon D200, 12-24mm zoom at 12mm, f11@ 1/320 sec., ISO 400.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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RE-EXAMINING U.S. ARMS SALES TO ARAB REGIMES: AN IDEA LONG OVERDUE
Posted by Sarah Stern and Kyle Shideler, February 23, 2011.
 

"The depiction of Khomeini as a fanatical reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false. What is encouraging is that his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals." — Richard Falk, The New York Times, February 16, 1979

The Middle East is in the midst of a massive political earthquake, stretching from Tunisia to Iran. On the streets of Tripoli today, Libyan fighter planes shot and killed scores of protesters in the streets. U.S. allies Tunisia and Egypt have seen their dictators ousted by popular revolts, and three key issues remain unclear: who will rule in their place, whether the new governments will be pro-American and (in the case of Egypt) whether the new government will maintain the peace treaty with Israel.

Thanks to U.S. taxpayers' dollars, the Egyptian military went from a grade C-, Soviet-equipped one to a grade A, American one. Egypt has been receiving around $1 to $2 billion worth of advanced American weaponry every year for the last 32 years. This arsenal has included F-15 and F-16 advanced fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

Major weapons sales have also been made over the years to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, all of which are struggling with the unrest that threatens the stability of the region — not to mention the administration's planned $60 billion weapons deal to Saudi Arabia.

What will happen with the billions of dollars in advanced weaponry the United States has provided without any clear national security policy? Who will control those weapons? As the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual mentor Yusuf Qaradawi makes a triumphant return to Egypt — preaching for the "conquest of Al-Aqsa" in Cairo's now iconic Tahrir Square as secularists such as Google executive and Internet activist Wael Ghonim are shunted aside — we have reason to believe that the fingers on the trigger will not belong to friends of ours much longer.

We have been here before. In 1979, the fall of the Shah of Iran left billions of dollars in military hardware in the hands of the Khomeini regime. Between 1969 and 1979, Iran received more than $1 billion annually in arms transfers, hitting a peak in 1975 with a $5.4 billion package that included such high-tech equipment as AWACS aircraft. Iran, it was argued, was a major component of our regional plans against the Soviet Union. It was at peace with Israel, and, while riddled with corruption and oppression, it was relatively secular and westernized. But in just a few months, all that suddenly changed. Eventually, U.S. sanctions would be placed on Iran. In the long run, Iran's need for U.S. military parts and equipment created a cat and mouse game of sanctions busting that goes on to this day. But in the first years after the Iranian revolution, U.S. weapons, especially aircraft, provided decisive, as seen in the role of the Iranian air force in the early years of the Iran-Iraq war.

We cannot predict what will occur in the months to come, but the early signs coming out of Egypt and Tunisia (where an ancient synagogue was attacked by crowds shouting ancient Islamic battle cries against the Jews) are not encouraging.

Although Hosni Mubarak has been gone only 10 days, the street in Cairo is already beginning to rise up against the military's control. Six months is far too short a time for Egypt to develop the institutions of a democracy, including an independent judiciary, an independent and free press, freedom for religious minorities to practice their faiths, and freedom of assemblage.

All of the above means that the United States ought to place an immediate hold on all weapons deliveries to Arab regimes in the region, most especially to Egypt until the dust settles after the scheduled September election.

In the long view, the era of billions of dollars' worth of American sales of conventional weapons systems to Arab regimes must come to an end. We should have surely learned by now that battle tanks, helicopters and fighter jets offer no defense against the infiltration of the dedicated Islamist and do little to prop up these regimes.

If we continue with business as usual, there will be a very strong likelihood that one day American GI's may find themselves on the wrong side of the weapons we have been delivering to these regimes for years.

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AMERICAN PUNDITS AND POLICYMAKERS DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT DEMOCRACY ISN'T NECESSARILY MORE MODERATE
Posted by Barry Rubin, February 23, 2011.
 

What must be written in order to promote one's career in Washington or popularity in the Western world, and what must be written in order to understand the Middle East are two very different things.

Consider the following theme, as expressed by a president, a former secretary of state, and a leading pundit. I could have added dozens of other examples including newspaper editorials. All agree on a certain principle that makes sense in established Western democracies (and thus appeals to their audiences) but is totally at variance with history and reality in the Middle East.

The theme is this: The people are inevitably moderate. They are mainly concerned with material well-being (fixing pot-holes in the street, collecting garbage, providing good schools and jobs) that thus makes it impossible to have a radical or ideologically driven government. Thus, if radicals do take power in a country they will inevitably become more moderate.

In fact, every example shows the exact opposite. A brief list of forces that weren't moderated by taking power include: the Free Officers in Egypt, 1952; the Ba'th party in Syria, 1963 and in Iraq, 1968; Iran's Islamist revolution of 1979; the Taliban in Afghanistan; Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority starting in 1994; and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That is a very partial list and we can add to that Hizballah's new regime in Lebanon, the Sudan, and others.

But this isn't what we're told by people who cannot account for all of those real-world examples. Former Secretary of State C. Rice:

"The Brotherhood...should be forced to defend their vision for Egypt. Do they seek the imposition of sharia law? Do they intend a future of suicide bombings and violent resistance to the existence of Israel? Will they use Iran as a political model? Al-Qaeda? Where will Egypt find jobs for its people? Do they expect to improve the lives of Egyptians cut off from the international community through policies designed to destabilize the Middle East?"

Rice's implication is that of course Islamists cannot make attractive arguments. But what if no government of Egypt can raise living standards because the country lacks resources and money? Then sharia law at home and suicide bombings abroad sound attractive. If Rice knew anything about Egypt — and this statement reveals she doesn't — she would know that Iran and al-Qaeda are not factors on the agenda for the Brotherhood. Oh, and where will jobs come from? The government will create them, which means a statist Egypt is pretty inevitable.

By the way, if one has any doubts about Rice knowing anything about Egypt, she writes: "Egypt's institutions are stronger and its secularism deeper" than Iran before its revolution. Actually, I think the truth is the exact opposite. Egypt is an extremely religious country.

Next, as the Washington Post put it: President Obama warned Middle Eastern nations, including longtime U.S. allies, that they need to "get out ahead" of surging aspirations for democracy.

One of the most basic factors in Middle East politics is that precisely when people think the government is weak and giving way, they escalate demands. This is what happened in Iran in 1978 and in Egypt now. If governments don't show a strong face, they can disintegrate. All the leaders who hate America understand this principle. If the army had been willing to put down demonstrations from the start, there would have been no revolution in Egypt. And that's why there will be no revolution in Iran or Syria.

The idea that the popular is always the more moderate fails to comprehend a great deal of world history.

This is why nonsense like this by Thomas Friedman is dangerously false:

"The Arab tyrants, precisely because they were illegitimate, were the ones who fed their people hatred of Israel as a diversion. If Israel could finalize a deal with the Palestinians, it will find that a more democratic Arab world is a more stable partner. Not because everyone will suddenly love Israel (they won't). But because the voices that would continue calling for conflict would have legitimate competition, and democratically elected leaders will have to be much more responsive to their people's priorities, which are for more schools not wars."

Now nobody has written more than I have — in books like The Long War for Freedom, The Tragedy of the Middle East — about how this system worked. Yet the "voices that would continue calling for conflict" would include Hamas and a large portion of Fatah. Indeed — and read this carefully — the most obvious successor to Mahmoud Abbas as leader of the Palestinian Authority is Muhammad Ghaneim, who opposes any deal with Israel and would tear up any such agreement made by Abbas.

Logic has nothing to do with how people write about these issues. Hasn't the "Palestine Papers" affair once again shown how angry is the reaction to even the slightest compromise with Israel?

The head of the negotiations' unit, who dared suggest some concessions, had to resign. Isn't it democratic Egypt, not autocratic Egypt, threatening to abrogate the treaty with Israel? Of course. Would there be any possibility of a democratic Jordan, after overthrowing the monarchy, keeping their treaty with Israel? Of course not.

Let us assume for the moment that the peace treaty Israel and Lebanon came close to signing in 1982 was completed. Would the Hizballah-dominated regime, that came to power in free elections, abrogate that treaty? Of course it would.

If democracy is established in Arabic-speaking states there will be Islamist, leftist, and radical nationalist parties that will use demagoguery to get votes. In no Arabic-speaking country is there a strong liberal party, and that includes places where there is a relatively open political system like Kuwait, Iraq, and Lebanon.

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 http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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RENEGOTIATE THE CAMP DAVID ACCORDS
Posted by David Isaac, February 23, 2011.
 

The leaders of Egypt's revolution, from the secular to the Islamist, have stated that the Camp David Accords should be renegotiated. Muslim Brotherhood leaders say "there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel," and that "We cannot respect such agreements..." The head of the secular party declares, "The Camp David Accords are over. Egypt has to at least conduct negotiations over conditions of the agreement."

Those who know a thing or two about the Camp David Accords will view these statements with amazement: After all, how do you "dissolve" a treaty you never complied with, never implemented, and had nothing but contempt for in the first place?

Still, if it's a renegotiation they want, Israel should oblige, provided Egypt agrees to start at the beginning, with the Sinai Peninsula in Israel's hands.

Israel has as much right to the Sinai as Egypt. A noteworthy historic fact, as Shmuel Katz points out in this video, is that the Sinai did not, in fact, belong to Egypt.

It's important to tell the world that Sinai was not part of Egyptian territory. People thought that Sinai was Egyptian territory. It wasn't. Most people don't know that to this day. Sinai was what you might call no man's land, politically speaking. In an agreement between Britain and Turkey [in 1906], Egypt was given the job of administering Sinai, but it wasn't given sovereignty over Sinai. It meant that if Egypt used this administered territory to make a war on Israel, there was certainly no historic reason for us to give back Sinai. ... And the few Bedouin who lived in Sinai, if they wanted to visit Egypt, they had to get a visa.

Shmuel derided Egyptian President Sadat's preposterous proclamation that the Sinai was "holy" soil. Eliezer Livneh, a long-time member of the Labor Party and a founder of the Land of Israel Movement in which Shmuel took part, examined Egypt's claim.

"The Egyptians saw Sinai as a foreign territory, at the most a border colony, and they treated it accordingly," Livneh wrote. In all the years that Egypt administered the Sinai, "the Cairo government did nothing to populate and develop the peninsula, in spite of Egypt's overabundant population and the tremendous birthrate in the Nile Valley."

"With the rise of the Nasser regime Cairo's attention turned to Sinai and Sinai was to some extent 'developed': developed as a base of aggression against Israel," he wrote.

While Israel is making its case for the entire Sinai, it should, at the very least, as author Victor Sharpe suggests, immediately retake the Philadelphi Corridor, a stretch of border running between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt did little to stop arms smuggling into Gaza under Mubarak. In all likelihood, a "government of the people" — an extremely anti-Zionist people — will do still less to police that area.

Shmuel Katz would have viewed Egyptian calls for renegotiating the Camp David Accords with some amusement, as he made similar demands years ago, albeit for far different reasons.

As Shmuel wrote in "Into the Jaws of Catastrophe" (The Jerusalem Post, April 3, 1981):

It is preposterous and hypocritical to suggest that any valid reason remains for Israel to consummate the remaining territorial terms of the treaty.

An international agreement remains valid only as long as there has been no change in the substantive circumstances prevailing at the time of signature. The maxim is famous: Rebus sic stantibus. And circumstances have changed radically, even derisorily, since March 1979.

The circumstances affecting the peace treaty with Egypt have changed not only by the algebraic increase in the offensive capacity of all the Arab states, especially of Saudi Arabia and of Iraq, nor only in the dramatic implications of the events in Iran and Afghanistan, but precisely in the fact that the peace treaty itself has been, and is being, flouted by Egypt, and that it has become what the prime minister once described as a "sham" and "a treaty for war".

Reason and its plain duty to its people dictate that the government halt the so-called peace process, and call for re-negotiation of the treaty.

Shmuel noted more than once that the only reason the Egyptians entered into a treaty with Israel was in order to get back the Sinai Peninsula they lost in the Yom Kippur War — a war the Arabs started in an attempt to wipe out the Jewish State. Once the Egyptians had the Sinai down to the last grain of sand, they no longer had any use for the treaty and proceeded to ignore its other provisions. Israel's political class in turn ignored Egypt's disregard for the treaty and continued hailing it as a success.

As Shmuel wrote in "Cairo's True Position" (The Jerusalem Post, December 23, 1983):

Again and again in these near-five years the believers — or pretending believers — in the pure motives of the Egyptians have been offered grim reminders that for Egypt the peace treaty was a heaven-sent instrument — initiated by Menachem Begin, not by Anwar Sadat — for Israel's surrender of Sinai; and that surrender brought Egypt one step nearer to the next phase of the projected shrinking of Israel: its withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Lines. That withdrawal is the essential condition for the future goal, to be sought in cooperation with the other Arab states, of the elimination of the Jewish State from the map.

Those who believe, who indeed still delude themselves, that Egypt intends a living Israel to enjoy peace, should remember Egypt's behaviour — not just the recent past when Cairo used the "invasion of Lebanon" as the excuse for breaches or non-fulfillment of various operational clauses of the treaty, but all that has happened since Sadat signed the treaty in March 1979: vicious government-controlled media, uninhibited world-wide propaganda, the record at the UN, and even Cairo's military preparations — all tell the same story — of abuse, denigration, contempt, condemnation and hatred of Israel, not to mention good old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

It's worth noting that the Camp David Accords had the effect of increasing anti-Israel attitudes among the Egyptian people. As Daniel Pipes revealed in an article in the New York Sun in 2006, "I lived for nearly three years in Egypt in the 1970s, before Sadat's dramatic trip to Jerusalem in late 1977, and I recall the relatively low interest in Israel at that time. Israel was plastered all over the news but it hardly figured in conversations. Egyptians seemed happy to delegate this issue to their government. Only after the treaty, which many Egyptians saw as a betrayal, did they themselves take direct interest. The result was the emergence of a more personal, intense, and bitter form of anti-Zionism."

It appears that the Egyptians lacked the sophistication (not that it would take much) to understand the true nature of the Camp David Accords. Shmuel wrote in "The Bare Realities" (The Jerusalem Post, March 30, 1979):

[Sadat] inserted in the heart of the treaty a legitimation of Egypt's future adherence to the all-Arab purpose of making war on Israel when the time is ripe. ...

Article Six of the treaty denied him that legitimization. As it stood, Egypt could not in any circumstances claim that going "to the aid of an Arab state attacked by Israel" was sanctioned by the treaty. Then, acting boldly as usual, and knowing that even his most outrageous demands on Israel would be backed by Washington, Sadat made this most outrageous demand that the treaty be suitably tailored and turned into a sham, a treaty for war. ...

Now we have a supplement to Article 6, which denudes it of any coherent meaning. This is how it reads: "It is agreed by the parties that there is no assertion that this treaty prevails over other treaties or agreements or that other treaties or agreements prevail over this treaty. The foregoing is not to be so construed as contravening the provisions of Article 6 (5) of the treaty which reads as follows:

Subject to Art. 103 of the UN Charter, in the event of a conflict between the obligations of the parties under the present treaty and any of their other obligations, the obligations under this treaty will be binding and implemented".

The plain effect of this document is to replace the unequivocal ban on Egypt's making war on Israel by an ambiguous mishmash which will enable Egypt, when she makes war on Israel in concert with other Arab states, to flaunt this document.

It is true that Israel's prime minister will then be entitled to take the first plane to Washington, together with his legal advisers, and there, meeting the President with his legal advisers, complain bitterly.

Israel will be complaining bitterly, sorry that it ever signed the agreement. Violence is on the rise in Sinai as the Bedouin there assert themselves, most recently attacking an Egyptian police station with rocket-propelled grenades. These Bedouin make a living smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip for Hamas to hurl at Israel, as well as smuggling African migrants across Israel's southern border — more than 35,000 are said to have entered in the last few years — transforming Israeli neighborhoods and overwhelming social services.

Israel's response has been to revisit the Egypt-Israel treaty, but not in the way one would hope. Israel has agreed to allow more Egyptian troops into Sinai to restore order, itself a repudiation of the treaty which stipulates that the peninsula remain demilitarized.

The Muslim Brotherhood must be pleased.

David Isaac is editor of the Shmuel Katz website: www.shmuelkatz.com. Contact him at david_isaac@shmuelkatz.com

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MY BOOK IS OUT!
Posted by Fred Taub, February 23, 2011.
 

It's official, my new book, Boycotting Peace, is out!

I recently spoke at the Scholars for Peace conference in Miami where my book was well received by top scholars from around the world, including Professor Alan Dershowitz. My publisher, Balfour Books, also published books by Benzion Netanyahu, Iddu Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky and more.

Boycotting Peace details how the Arab boycott of Israel and its associated divest-from-Israel campaign are about destroying Israel, not bringing peace as the promoters claim. The fact is, you can't have peace with someone who will not sit down with you for a cup of coffee, and that's what boycotts are about — separating people.

The Arab boycott of Israel was created to starve out the Jews before Israel could be created, and today it is manifested in a the divest-from-Israel campaign which recruits people based on the lie that boycotting Israel is pro-peace. It is an effort to export the official Arab foreign policy to weaken and eventually bankrupt Israel. There is breaking news in the book as I expose the direct connection between the divest-from-Israel campaign to the PA/PLO's rejection of a Palestinian state and to the UN Goldstone commission. As such, I prove how the divest-from-Israel campaign is about destroying Israel, not creating peace. It is a real eye opener to what is happening behind the scenes.

I just received my first shipment and they are selling fast. They should be posted on Amazon.com soon, and are available now at www.BoycottingPeace.com where you will see a very nice comment by Ambassador Moshe Arens.

Thanks,
Fred

Contact Fred Taub at taubf@boycottwatch.org

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COMMENTARY ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Posted by Jerry Poz, February 23, 2011.

A propos the Tzvi November article below:

 

Not affording women the same rights and respect as men is not only cheating women, but denying society of half of all human endeavor. The notion that women are inferior in any capacity is medieval.

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AMNESIA ON THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Posted by Daily Alert, February 23, 2011.

This essay was written by Arnaud de Borchgrave and is entitled "Gullible amnesia." It is archived at
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/ de-Borchgrave/2011/02/22/Commentary- Gullible-amnesia/UPI-47511298374510/ #ixzz1EjRvmENI. There is a summary below.

 

* The Muslim Brotherhood, under a different name, still managed to pull 20% in elections rigged to favor Mubarak's party. Now the Brotherhood plans to enter candidates under its own name — and straw polls indicate it may muster up to 40% of the vote.

* Like Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood has camouflaged its strategic objectives in charitable social work, sports clubs and prayer meetings. Its disinformation arsenal contains the political equivalent of dental laughing gas, designed to elicit lightheadedness as well as warm and fuzzy feelings.

* Sheik Yussuf al-Qaradawi, 84, the Muslim Brotherhood's chief theoretician, returned to Egypt after a 50-year absence to address a million-plus crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The hero of Egypt's revolution, Wael Ghonim, the head of Google marketing in the Middle East whose Tweets and Facebook postings were credited with laying the groundwork for the popular uprising, was barred from the stage by Qaradawi's bodyguards.

* The Muslim Brotherhood's official Web site says Jihad is Islam's most important tool in a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim nations and moving on to restoring the caliphate over three continents for a conquest of the West.

* For the immediate future, the Muslim Brotherhood remains closely linked to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Muslim Brotherhood's second in command, Rashad al-Bayumi, said in a recent interview that the Muslim Brotherhood's would join a transitional Egyptian government with one objective: Canceling the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

* The Muslim Brotherhood's platform says that government rule in Egypt "must be republican, parliamentary, constitutional and democratic in accordance with Islamic Shariah law that ensures liberty for all."

The Muslim Brotherhood's greatest asset: Gullible Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic.

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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IS THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT THE AXIS OF GLOBAL CONFLICT?
Posted by Daily Alert, February 23, 2011.

This was written by James Kirchick, a contributing editor of The New Republic. It appeared February 18, 2011 in Haaretz
(http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/ from-god-s-mouth-to-his-ears-1.344143)

 

From God's mouth to his ears

James Jones, and countless others, believe with religious fervor, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the axis of global conflict.

In the Holy Land, it's not unusual to come across tourists who, so affected by the weight of religious history, lose their mental bearings. Psychologists have devised a name for this state: Jerusalem Syndrome. According to CNN, the condition occurs when visitors "become so overwhelmed with the power of the place that they dissociate from reality and believe themselves to be biblical figures."

Over the past 25 years, some 500 cases of Jerusalem Syndrome have been recorded. Last week witnessed the emergence of one of the more prominent victims to succumb to this condition since its first clinical documentation in the 1930s. Addressing the annual Herzliya Conference, former U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones uttered the following: "I'm of the belief that had God appeared in front of President Obama in 2009 and said if he could do one thing on the face of the planet, and one thing only, to make the world a better place and give people more hope and opportunity for the future, I would venture that it would have something to do with finding the two-state solution to the Middle East."

It's not the first time Jones has expressed such a sentiment.

"If there was any one problem I'd tell the president he should solve," he declared at the inaugural conference of the dovish J Street in 2009, "this would be it."

Like many a retired general, Jones is conflating the Lord's priorities with his own. But it's hard to imagine that God shares Jones' apparent belief that poverty inflicts less misery on the world than Palestinian statelessness, or that curing cancer would not do more to "make the world a better place" than creating another Arab country. What about that favorite bogeyman, global warming, which, we are constantly told, will soon bring about the end of humankind?

In Jones' eyes, not even the abolition of nuclear weapons — an impossible dream that the Obama administration has nonetheless made a diplomatic priority — is considered as important as resolving the Arab-Israeli issue.

Never mind these global dilemmas. As far as regional conflicts go, surely liberating the North Korean slave state, or fixing the dysfunctional mess that is Pakistan, would materially benefit far more lives, and to a far greater degree, than the creation of a Palestinian state. Of course, we don't know what God thinks, and Jones' presumption to speak on his behalf is no more legitimate than the ranting of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, or any of the countless Muslim clerics who purport to speak with celestial authority.

What we do know, however, is that Jones and countless others in the diplomatic, journalistic and "human rights" firmament believe, with religious fervor, that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the axis of global conflict. This messianic dogma of "linkage" is the prevailing attitude of an otherwise secular foreign policy elite.

The notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the deus ex machina of global politics — that most of the problems in the Muslim world will be easier to solve, or will solve themselves, once it is fixed — is something that has been drummed into the heads of Westerners for decades by Arab propagandists. Deal with the Palestinian issue, they say, before telling me how to reform my own decrepit and corrupt political system. The obtuseness of these instructions is now on full view in the streets of Cairo, where a sclerotic and oppressive political order is facing an existential challenge, and the protesters who brought it down have done so for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with their Arab brethren in Gaza or the West Bank.

To fully appreciate the silliness behind linkage, ask yourself, every time a suicide bomb goes off in Karachi, Baghdad or anywhere else in the Muslim world: "Would this not have happened if the Palestinians had a state?" The Palestinians are a mere talking point for Islamists, who have far greater grievances. If Jones has a direct line to God, perhaps he could ask him if the Iranians will stop arming Hezbollah and Hamas if Israel would just return to the 1967 borders.

None of this is to say that the Palestinians do not deserve statehood, or that it would not be in Israel's interests to end the occupation. But the condition of Palestinian statelessness is a symptom of both Iran's hegemonic ambitions and Arab rejection. Deal with these first-order problems and the Palestinians would have a state in short order. To mistake the consequence for the cause, and to invest Palestinian statehood with monumental importance by trumpeting it as the world's most pressing concern, is no less delusional than the mutterings of those pilgrims who imagine themselves to be Christ resurrected.

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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ISRAELI ARAB LEADER ARRESTED FOR ARSON
Posted by Steven Plaut, February 23, 2011.

Remember how the leftist Moonbatocracy in Israel was screaming about all those allegations of arson by Arabs being behind the massive fires in Israel this past fall? And how they were nothing more than Jewish paranoia and, of course, Jewish anti-Arab "racism?" Leftists in Israel these days cannot complete a sentence without inserting the word racism into it, and often without inserting the word fascism. It is part of the growing fascism within the Israeli Left itself.

Well, Heavens to Murgatroyd, look at what has just been revealed about those forest arsons:

This was written by Maayana Miskin and it appeared in Arutz-7 (Israelnationalnews.com)
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/ News.aspx/142464

 

The leader of a major Muslim movement in Israel is suspected of setting fire to a forest less than three months after the worst fire in modern Israeli history. Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, has been arrested in connection to an arson attack in southern Israel.

Salah allegedly set fire to a Eucalyptus forest in southern Israel. The attack was allegedly in protest of a Jewish National Fund project in the area.

The Jewish National Fund is working to forest parts of the Negev, a plan opposed by some Bedouin residents of the region. Residents of the illegal town of El-Araqib in particular have condemned the project out of concern that it will use land that they hope to use in the future to house Arabs "returning" to Israel from the rest of the Arab world.

Salah was arrested while driving on Highway 1, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and was subsequently questioned by officers in the police's minority affairs bureau.

He was released from jail just two months ago after serving five months for attacking a police officer. Upon release he told his supporters, "Someday we will celebrate the end of the Israel occupation of Jerusalem and Al-Aksa [the Temple Mount — ed.]. We will continue with all our activities, without fear, until we reach that goal."

The arson attempt in the south came just weeks after the Carmel fire, a massive forest fire in northern Israel that killed 44 people. During the Carmel fire an Arab arson offensive led to firefighters being called away from the main blaze to battle smaller fires.

Despite the offensive, the Knesset voted down a bill to impose a mandatory minimum sentence on arsonists.

[Sheikh Salah is the same bloke who appeared at the University of Haifa a couple of years back in a lecture hall from which the university officials prevented Jews from entering. Salah there called on Arab students to become suicide bombers. Unlike some Rabbis who praised a rabbinic treatise on the Halakhic rules of warfare, Salah has never been investigated of prosecuted for "racism." In post-survivalist Israel, Islamofascist terrorists can never be racists.]

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 splaut@gmail.com His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

This article was published in the Jewish Press and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/47254.

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CLEOPATRA WASN'T ALONE IN DE NILE!
Posted by Norma Zager, February 22, 2011.
 

"When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,
There arises the recognition of ugliness.
When they all know the good as good,
There arises the recognition of evil...
" Lao-tzu, the Founder of Taoism

I wasn't born until after World War II was over for a year. I imagine I am the quintessential baby boomer. As a child, I don't remember my parents speaking much about the war. My mother seemed eager to forget the whole episode and my father's painful memories and loss of his mother and sister were palpable whenever the subject was broached.

From time to time when prodded, my mother would mention rationing, how difficult it was at home and the difficulty of being married for such a short time to a man who was quickly sent overseas.

One of the civilian contributions to the war effort was rationing. Staples like sugar, gasoline, butter and other things we take for granted were in short supply. Those on the home front understood the soldiers came first, and the war was a collaborative effort by every American.

One story my mother did tell however, without any qualms, was about her vivid recollection of the early Movietone newsreels, pictures depicting the earliest days of the war in Europe.

She recalled whenever Hitler's image appeared on the screen, his goosestep and mustache evoked giggles and laughs from the audience. Like some comic character designed to elicit that which is silly and stupid in us all.

Even as a child the message of her tale did not fall on my deaf ears...no one recognized the devil they saw before them.

Understanding this at a young age, I was quickly made aware that the adage about "the devil wearing a pleasing face" wasn't just conversation, but a serious factor of human existence.

I was also cognizant of the fact my friends' fathers had endured great hardships as soldiers. One of my parents' good friends had won a Purple Heart for bravery, but it had left great emotional scars. He never spoke about it, and when asked, he eluded the subject.

My father and mother obviously believed the war was over and it was something to be left in the past, along with those who had paid the ultimate price. Looking back, I imagine that was the right mindset, for indeed it is vital we all move forward from pain and loss, and forge ahead into an unknown future.

However, watching what is happening in the world today, I am stunned by how many have forgotten that moving ahead must not entail forgetting the lessons of the past, even if we have left the experiences behind.

There is a reason man endures pain and suffering. Hard times are meant to encourage growth and wisdom. It is the only way one can become elevated to higher levels of consciousness and forgiveness.

Forgetting the mistakes of the past dooms us to repeat them, and it is proven we consistently do exactly that.

There have been many men throughout the ages who have warned of impending disasters much as Baron Robert Vansittart cautioned against appeasing Hitler.

No one heeded his words, as is usually the case when civilization is in the state of denial and hell bent on self-destruction.

I am amazed that, despite the degree of frustration I currently possess, I am somehow quite calm. This frightens me greatly as my passion is usually as evident as a black man at a KKK meeting.

Yet witnessing the events of the last few weeks unfold, I remain stoic. I wonder that it is perhaps pure disbelief that prohibits me from absorbing my anger. Can I be experiencing denial myself? The very thing I castigate others for so consistently. Or am I afraid to deal with reality fearing I will become victim to its very enormity?

A woman journalist is assaulted and beaten and I hear no cry from Gloria Steinham or the leaders of NOW.

The very women who burned their bras and marched for equal pay, equal work and the ability to determine their own destinies are suddenly silent and walking through life like perfect Stepford Wives ignoring the harsh realities. Hilary Clinton, the consummate feminist, guards her words as she asks evil to behave itself? How does one even begin to absorb such craziness?

I believe what scares me most is the fact that the world is blaming those who are safe and offer no resistance.

By that I mean, they are simply frightened to speak the truth and would rather rail against those who offer no threat.

We are in the midst of the Islamic Revolution. A holy war that is designed to abolish Christianity and any religion save Islam and rule the world through Sharia law.

The United States blames Israel when Israel is not the problem at all. The problem is simply the fact that Islam cannot tolerate a democratic state in the midst of an Islamic world. The very existence of a Jewish State is intolerable to their leaders and must be eradicated at all costs.

Yet the world plays into their insanity and says, "Yes, it is Israel, blame them. They are not cooperating." Indeed they are not, because cooperation would assure capitulation, to hand the keys of the only democratic and western country in the Middle East to the warriors at the door. Pure madness.

The West should thank God every day Israel is still there. When she is gone, Islam will be one step closer to destroying them as well.

The world is watching, yet they refuse to see.

We are in a holy war and yet there is only one side fighting. Who do you think will win? The side that is sitting and sucking their thumbs, or the side that is engaging in a vicious battle?

Is it true that radical, insane extremists have hijacked the Islamic religion? Yes. But what difference does it make if a madman hijacks your car and drives it over you? You are still dead although it not the fault of your car. Although your car is a benign object, when the evildoer takes the wheel it becomes an instrument of destruction and murder. This is what is happening to Islam and despite its origins, it has been corrupted and is even turning against Muslims who defy the extremism.

It is not only the United States' attitude that frightens me, but the entire Western World.

Strangely, and I say this with emphasis and shock, Germany and Australia seem to be the only countries that have accepted the fact they are in imminent danger from the new armies of Islam.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke after Mubarak was cast out of power in Egypt, she emphasized the fact there must be certain expectations for any new government, and one of these was to keep the peace treaty with Israel.

Why in the name of all that is holy was that not important to the United States who is supposed to be Israel's ally and friend?

With friends like the U.S. who needs enemies? Not Israel.

No one is blameless, not women groups who are silent about the ongoing brutality against women around the world. Not the West that is shaking and quaking in its collective boots. Not us, the people who choose to ignore the unpleasant facts of life that stare us full in the face every minute of every day.

We content ourselves that by keeping busy with mundane tasks, turning on only news channels that tell us what we want to hear and skirt the truth and whitewash the facts under the guise of political correctness, we can stem the coming tsunami of destruction.

This appeasement philosophy did not work in the past and cannot work now. The proactive nature of evil will always land the first blow. It is the nature of life. Evil attacks and goodness defends.

Who will have the upper hand? Those who are on the offensive or on the defensive?

Perhaps it is a fact God designed the world so goodness will win in the end. I can accept that truth. What I can't accept is that millions will die before good overcomes. So in a way, evil does actually win in the end. Until innocence and denial are seen not as virtues, but the surest paths to destruction and chaos, our children and their children will pay the price for our foolishness with their lives.

My life, the life of those I love and the lives of every man, woman and child on this earth are of far greater importance to me than political correctness.

It is time to peel away the mask of foolish disregard for reality.

This is not peacetime, it is wartime, and the only commodity we are being asked to ration is our denial. Is that too much to ask to save our loved ones and the entire world?

The series "Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel" by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover.

This point — and often — counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Contact Ari Bussel and Norma Zager at busselari@gmail.com

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FAKE NATION NIGHTMARE
Posted by Steven Shamrak, February 22, 2011.
 

According to all reputable anti-terrorist experts, negotiation with terrorists is a bad practice. It gives them legitimacy and encourages raising of the level of terror. The aim of terrorists is to destabilize society and facilitate the change of public opinion in support of their cause, whatever it is, regardless of its legitimacy.

Basque, Tibetans and Kurds have legitimate national claims. All of them have historical connections with their land, as well as the language, cultural and national heritage. In spite of this, neither Spain, France, China, five Central Asian countries, nor the United Nations have made any attempt to address their grievances. Strong legal and military measures are used to discourage any independence tendencies.

The idea of a Palestinian people was born in the middle of the 1960's, after Arab states realized that it was impossible to destroy Israel using military force. The plan for destruction of the state of Israel through political maneuvering, propaganda campaigns and diplomatic arm-twisting was drawn and put into action.

After forty years of well-designed and persistently executed plans, the 'Fake Nation' is becoming real in the minds of many. Even Jews, exhausted by Arab terror and desperate for at least an illusion of peace, began to lean toward the idea. It has only become possible due to the weak and complacent leadership in Israel and Western leaders' lack of understanding of Islam's real goal.

It is time to return to basics, scrutinize the facts of history and wake up from this mesmerizing nightmare!

Gutless Policy Creates Ugly Reality!

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejected a bill that would have placed the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty. The bill would have removed the threat of "construction freezes" and similar steps from the communities in Judea and Samaria, by taking them out of the jurisdiction of the Defense Ministry.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Some people, with good intentions, make apologetic justifications like "Israel needs Judea and Samaria to be secure". This sends the wrong message of weakness. Jews need to reclaim all parts of Eretz-Israel, land of Israel — ancestral Jewish land, as integral parts of the Jewish state. We must not apologise for wanting what is rightfully ours!

Another 'Friend' of Israel

Israel summoned Jordan's envoy on Tuesday to express anger over the Jordanian justice minister's call to free a soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997. Israel's foreign ministry expressed "revulsion and shock at the statements of the minister, especially since they were made by the person entrusted with law and justice."

No More Lies. We're Keeping Hevron

Israel must make it clear that Jews will remain in the city of Hevron, Education Minister Gidon Saar said. "We must not mislead the Arabs into thinking that one day there will be no Jews living in Kiryat Arba and Hevron." A Jewish presence in the Biblical city is crucial "in order to maintain our ability to visit and pray in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, one of the most important places to the Jewish people," Saar explained. (And, it is Jewish land!)

Drums of War

Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, told the Iranian-backed group's members on Wednesday to be prepared to invade northern Israel if war breaks out. "I tell the holy warriors of the Islamic resistance to be ready for a day when, if war is imposed on us, your command might ask you to control the Galilee area," the leader said in a televised speech, calling northern Israel "the Galilee".

Rewarding Terrorists

Shawan Jabarin, whom Israel's Supreme Court has described as a "Jekyll and Hyde" of international terrorism has been appointed by Human Rights Watch (HRW) to its advisory board. The board oversees the sensitive reporting on Arab-Israeli affairs. In 1985 he belonged to a Birzeit University student group associated with the PFLP, indicted as a terror group, by 30 countries. It's a selection that has angered leading figures within HRW. Robert Bernstein, the founding chairman and now chairman emeritus stated, "I am of course shocked but even more saddened that an organization dedicated to the rule of law seems to be deliberately undermining it." (The Human Rights Council does it all the time, when Israel is concerned! People like me, dedicated to the Zionist dream of the Jewish people, are never invited or asked for advice!)

Nobody Cares when Arabs Snub the US

On February 18 Arab nations called for a vote in the United Nations Security Council on a draft resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement construction, it produced the Obama administrations first UN veto. The PA and Egyptian envoys said the group decided to put the measure to a vote after rejecting a US offer to increase pressure on Israel to stop settlement activity in exchange for the withdrawal of the text. "Too little, too late," Egyptian Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz said. (Arabs can ignore, snub and reject the US ideas, then so can Israel. We must start working toward reunification of all Jewish land, Eretz-Israel!)

Another Challenge to Obama

In a stunning move, the US Supreme Court has scheduled another 'conference' on a legal challenge to Barack Obama's eligibility to occupy the Oval Office. The court has confirmed that it has distributed a petition for rehearing in the case brought by attorney John Hemenway on behalf of retired Col. Gregory Hollister and it will be the subject of a conference on March 4.

Political Incorrectness of Israel's Enemies is Ignored by Press

Jordan's new Justice Minister Hussein Mjali called Israel an "enemy and terrorist state" in an interview with Jordanian Arabic-news daily during protest in support of a convicted terrorist who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997. (Just imagine how much noise would be created by 'non-bias' international media if a similar statement was made by Israel about Jordan or Egypt!)

Quote of the Week:

"All of us recognize that this great religion (Islam), in the hands of a few extremists, has been distorted." — Barack Hussein Obama

"Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those (who say this) are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!" — Ayatollah Khomeini — I am aware that President Obama studied Koran in a high school, while he was living with his family in Indonesia. But who is a better authority on Islam, him or Ayatollah? Political blindness and inaction only facilitate more Islamic terror!

Egypt is Conniving Peace Partner

Two Iranian warships transited the Suez Canal and have reached the Mediterranean, Iran state TV announced Sunday, Feb. 20. Tehran and Cairo have connived fake delays to obscure the ships' movements. The region was beset with a sandstorm on Sunday, which would have masked the flotilla from spy satellites.

WORLD CONFLICTS — Why Focus on Israel?

Researchers have calculated that since 3600 BC, there have been 14,531 wars resulting in 3 billion deaths over the years (current world population is 5 billion). Peace prevailed for a total of only 292 years on earth, about 5% of the time.

Most of the major conflicts in the world are sparked and sustained by extreme Muslim ideology. Islamic expansionistic drive, disrespect toward beliefs of others that is what motivates modern day barbarians. Millions have been killed and displaced by those conflicts. This is a short list of some of the main current world conflicts inspired by Islam:

Algeria vs. Islamic Groups — Religious vs. Secular Rule
Iraqis: Sunni vs. Shi'ite vs. Kurds — Religious and Territory
India vs. Kashmir, Pakistan — Territory and Religious
Indonesia vs. Irian Jaya and Aceh — Autonomy and Religious
Philippines vs. Muslim Separatists — Territory and Religious
Russia vs. Chechens — Independence, Religious
Thailand vs. Muslim Separatists — Religious and Territory

For a list of Ongoing World Conflicts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_military_conflicts

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 StevenShamrak.e@gmail.com

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THE RAPE OF THE WEST
Posted by Ari Bussel, February 22, 2011.
 

The Rape of a Reporter by Ari Bussel
In the News:

LARA LOGAN'S ASSAULT DETAILED IN LONDON TIMES : What happened to CBS News' Lara Logan in Tahrir Square? She suffered a "brutal and sustained sexual assault," according to the network, and over the weekend the Times of London offered the first details on exactly what she went through: A source tells the paper Logan was stripped of her clothing by a crowd of 200 men, punched, slapped, and then pinched in a way that left red marks all over her body. She was also whipped with flagpoles and taunted with jeers of "Israeli" and "Jew." A group of soldiers and women protesters rescued Logan and brought her to the Four Seasons, where she was treated by a doctor who sedated her.

There is so much violence on TV and so much sex on the Internet filled with horrors and make-belief scenes: People's parts being sawn off, brutal and senseless shootings, drug consumption, perverted sexual scenes, a seemingly endless supply. One does not have to wander far from the major networks or the evening news. It is all there for us to witness.

As the Middle East is being reshaped, we were abhorred to learn that CNN's Anderson Cooper was attacked, "punched in the head," and that CBS' Lara Logan was sexually assaulted. How dare anyone defile the holy status of a journalist, especially those from Mount Olympus? They tell millions what to think, shaping the global opinion on matters including such items as Mubarak's faults.

They do their holy work, believing themselves immune, and then pronounce their verdicts and opinions, rather than report the news. Anderson Cooper was accosted ("roughed up" to use the language of the reports), yet he sustained no damage other than, possibly, his bruised ego. "How dare anyone have even approach him with anything other than reverence, appreciation and gratitude? HE, after all, was leading the fight against Mubarak!

No one wished for Anderson Cooper to be sexually assaulted or beaten the way Lara Logan was. Perhaps if he felt a real taste of Middle Eastern "peaceful protest," he would have changed his tone and demeanor.

There is nothing benign in all these Middle Eastern Muslim countries. They have no understanding of what freedom or democracy entails. Theirs is a savage mentality, a culture of hatred and death. Thus, Anderson Cooper should be going to Church, even if he is not a religious person, and counting his many blessings multiple times a day.

Lara Logan must find the strength to return to normalcy, to have the courage to look at herself in the mirror, or even closing her eyes without the sounds, feels, tastes and smells that refuse to leave her. Hers is a long journey of recovery, possibly never to be achieved.

There were other previous cases, Daniel Pearl, who was Jewish and an American (Lara Logan is NOT Jewish), his head separated from his body on a live Internet feed. The list goes on and on, but the real question is: what have we learned?

We still engage in "interfaith activity," in "building bridges," in "discussions and dialogues." It is always the Christians and Jews who go with a hand extended to the Muslims. The latter, though, are neither interested nor initiate these activities.

Possibly if we only listened and looked closer, we would see and realize what we are up against. The savagery knows no bounds. Lara Logan was guilty because she is a woman. She represents the West. She is an American (the very manifestation of the Devil). Thus, to beat her, to mutilate her body, to use her as a sexual object among all the men and women in the crowd is nothing short of ordinary.

It matters not she is not Jewish. She is guilty if not for one reason than for another. More importantly, she served a purpose, satisfying the crowd's craving for action, for a sheep to be slaughtered, her innocence and blood letting for all to smell and incite the senses.

It is not much different than parading the bodies of American soldiers in the streets, then setting them on fire (whether or not any breath remained in them) and then hanging them up on a bridge for the world to see.

It is exactly what they hear weekly in the mosques, from the pulpits: Non-believers are pigs and apes. The Sword is the only remedy. There must be no place for non-believers to hide. Their fate is to die. America and Israel are the Devils. The Jews are responsible for all the ills of the world.

It is no different from what their democratically elected officials and representatives are calling for. Whether it is Ahmadinejad's call to wipe Israel off the map, Nasrallah's call to conquer the Galilee (what does one think will happen, an orderly transfer of power?) or Hamas' Charter's instructions to destroy Israel?

Theirs is a culture of death and deceit, cruelty the likes of which our refined taste cannot fathom, going beyond anything we see nightly on the news, every hour on cable or constantly on the Internet.

Anderson Cooper's righteous indignation should be translated into action: Expose Islam for what it really is — and by no stretch of the imagination can be it called "a peaceful religion." Tell the truth the way it really is — and Tahrir Square was not a "youthful, peaceful revolution." Protect all that is dear to your heart: honesty, integrity, journalistic professionalism, ethics, foresight and responsibility.

Some may mistake the transformational wave sweeping the Middle East to be the greatest hour of Al Jazeera and Anderson Cooper. Both forgot their duty as media and journalists to report.

Anderson Cooper and Lara Logan experienced first hand what Israelis have grown accustomed to facing: the unimaginable, a real life inferno.

Their "peace partner" has kidnapped Israeli soldiers and butchered them, returning their body parts in exchange for hundreds of terrorists going free. Their "peace-loving Palestinians" went into their hotels and restaurants, auditoriums and shopping malls, markets and stores and exploded themselves to bring as much mayhem and murder as possible. They perfected their methods, adding AIDS-tainted blood and little sharp metal objects to the mix. So one can find the wounded in Israeli hospitals in a much worse state than Logan. Why are these methods and activities going unreported and being glossed over by "reputable" journalists?

The "peaceful Arab Muslims" who claim they believe in "THOU SHALL NOT KILL" have no problem lynching innocent bystanders whose only crime was getting lost, right in the very police station to which they were brought, throwing their bodies out the window to the blood-thirsty mob below to finish the job.

These "rightful owners of the land, the victims" of this story like to shoot pregnant women and young men, only because the men wear yarmulkes and the women look Jewish.

The Arabs who want to live "side by side" take axes and go to the neighboring Jewish towns and crash the heads of 13 year-old boys out playing near their homes or smash the skulls of younger children against rocks. Their fault: being Israeli Jews.

Israelis somehow have learned to live with the impossible and still advocate and yearn for peace. Peace with whom, I ask.

Mistake not — this has nothing to do with Israel. In Europe women were attacked, mistaken (or believed) to be Jewish. Like Logan, facts mattered not. Clearly, the women "instigated trouble," and deserved what they got. The sheer disregard for human life is abhorrent.

In Paris, a young Jewish man was kidnapped, lured by a beautiful woman, to be tortured for days. His screams could be heard day and night, for the durations he was conscious, and his capturers felt the joy of mutilating him. Not one of the hundreds of families who lived in the same building bothered to notify the authorities. In their warped minds, he DESERVED WHAT HE GOT. Finally, when they were somewhat satisfied, they threw his body, still alive, to die on a road.

The brutality and savagery are all excused. Muslims need to stand up and speak against it, but they do not. The "THOU SHALL NOT MURDER" only applies to Believers. Thus, homicide bombings at Jewish weddings are perfectly acceptable, the same at a Jordanian (Muslim) wedding is not ok.

There will be a day when Muslims will stand up to speak, but that will only come after tens or hundreds of millions of Muslims die in the hands of other MUSLIMS.

In the meantime, dozens or hundreds of Muslims die each day in "free, liberated and democratic" Iraq — all at the hands of Muslims.

We look and do not see. We experience and we deny. We avoid the obvious. We refuse to hear. We live in a world that is all good, until it "suddenly" crumples upon us and buries us under our own foolish denial. But things do not happen suddenly, we simply ignored the warning signs all along.

Open your eyes and look around. We are at war against our very existence, and we do nothing. As if we live elsewhere. The Middle East is reshaping in front of our very eyes and we — with great stupidity — call it "Democracy."

The only "Democracy" one can find in the Middle East is Israel, and she is ailing, possibly on her deathbed as well. Like us, she too ignores the obvious, oblivious to the signs.

Let us wait a little longer, we will find ourselves looking directly at the abyss, as a shout of horror escapes our throats, a nano-second before we are no more.

The series "Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel" by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover.

This point — and often — counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Contact Ari Bussel and Norma Zager at busselari@gmail.com

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BACKGROUND TO THE LARA LOGAN ATTACK
Posted by Zvi November, February 22, 2011.
 

Yesterday (21 February 2011) I visited the 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair and picked up a copy of The Global Edition of The New York Times (also Feb. 21). The first two editorial essays relate to the assault on CBS's Lara Logan in Cairo last week.

A few months ago former president Moshe Katsav was convicted on two counts of rape. Today (Feb. 22) his lawyers are debating the state prosecutors regarding an appropriate sentence that will be pronounced next month. Feminists and the media have played a key role in advocating Katsav's prosecution over the years.

These news items reflect the western world's dedication to the principle of female equality which embodies the notion that women should be respected, not relegated to an inferior status and not beaten up.

About six month's ago I attended a conference which included a presentation by Ben-Dror Yemini, an independent-thinking Israeli investigative journalist who advanced the thesis that societies which promote women's rights are more stable and successful than societies that deny equality to women and oppress them. To prove his point, Yemini described a comparative study he conducted. He compared the Moslem immigrant experience in England to that of the Hindu newcomers. Racially and culturally, the two communities come from similar milieus in South Asia.

Hindus today are super-achievers. In just one or two generations they have moved into the upper middle class, attained financial security, send their children to university in significant numbers and are integrated into British society as doctors and professionals. The Moslem community, on the other hand, remains isolated and antagonistic to British society, is economically 'disadvantaged' and some of its younger members identify with and take part in jihadi terrorist activities (e.g. the London bus bombings).

Yemini made the point that Hindus greatly value their womenfolk and show them much respect while Moslem culture does not.

One night, some twenty-five years ago, when I was on duty as an IDF liaison officer at the Taba border crossing into and out of Sinai a young lady and her manager/companion came into our office at around 5:00 a.m. after having been detained on the Egyptian side of the border for about five hours. The girl was totally distraught.

The couple had come from Tel Aviv to put on a fashion show at the Taba-Hilton hotel (which was subsequently car-bombed about seven years ago by al-Qaeda associates, killing over 30 people). After the show, they packed up to return to Eilat but the Egyptian customs officials decided to thoroughly search them. The tall, attractive young lady was manhandled from head to toe. None of her protests made any difference.

About fifteen years ago I read a book by a female Norwegian anthropology student who did research in Cairo. She examined the role of women in a poor neighborhood. She found that women were confined to their homes to care for the children, prepare meals and do the wash. Husbands normally gave their wives a daily allowance to buy food. It is considered disgraceful for a man to allow his wife to work outside.

In the introduction to her book, this anthropologist described her field work situation. She writes about the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of men in the crowded buses she rode to and from her study locale. She says that men would touch her and feel her at every opportunity.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book Infidel goes into more detail about how Islamic societies restrict and abuse women. Indeed, anyone interested in understanding the full cultural context of the attack on Lara Logan should read Ali's book. By extension, the treatment or mistreatment of women in Arab societies helps explain why Arab countries lag behind others in socio-economic development.

Our "Palestinian" "peace partners" are always ranting on about justice. But they generally fail to see that justice for their womenfolk begins at home.

With very best wishes,
Zvi November

Contact Tsvi November at tsvinov@gmail.com

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THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT
Posted by UCI, February 22, 2011.

This was written by Dr. Mordechai Kedar and is archived as a BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 131, February 21, 2011.

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a 25-year veteran of Israeli military intelligence, is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In Egypt, there is almost no social contract to govern the conduct of its citizens — as there is in democratic societies. The norm, then, is to behave without inhibition, and violent confrontation is usually the standard response to conflict. With Mubarak out of the picture, and with the behavior of democratic society not yet learned, it seems likely that in the near term Egypt will be a society plagued by political intrigue and instability — providing alarming headlines almost daily. The governments of the world must be alert and vigilant for developments that could threaten the Suez Canal, the peace with Israel and regional stability.

I was once told by an Egyptian friend — a wise diplomat who served at the Egyptian embassy in Israel for several years — that democracy is in fact a strict dictatorship, since each citizen is his own dictator. The citizen in a democracy imposes upon himself a strict etiquette: not to push; not to steal; not to harass women and girls; not to harm or insult others; to stop at a red light, even if it is three o'clock in the morning; not to cheat in business; to hold the door open for the person behind you; to stand in line; not to behave in a socially unacceptable manner; and other such dos and don'ts which the citizen in a democratic society feels obligated to abide by at every moment. He upholds these rules not out of fear of the regime (which is in no way intimidating), but out of self-discipline and conviction that only thus can a society run smoothly.

Thus, a democratic society is one that is based upon the self-restraint of its citizens, and this self-restraint allows society to live a life of freedom and comfort. In Israel, said my Egyptian friend, there exists an unwritten "contract" between all citizens, which sets the rules of conduct in all areas of life: in the street, on the road, in economics, in politics and in the family.

In Egypt, however, he said that there is no such social contract — no rules, no laws, no restraints and no self-dictatorship. Each person does as he chooses at any given moment with no self-restraint or consideration for others, unguided by even the most basic rules of conduct. A red traffic light is a mere recommendation; bribery is the norm; anyone can build what he wants where he wants; any manager can appoint his sons, daughters and brothers-in-law to any position under him, irrespective of their qualifications; and resorting to violence against the weak is widely prevalent. The individual feels free to act on his impulses and is not required to answer for his actions and misdemeanors.

And so, after completing many years of service at the Egyptian embassy in Israel, this friend felt that he was "leaving an orderly democracy and returning to a country of confusion and chaos."

All this was when Hosni Mubarak was still in power, which goes to show that his influence over Egyptian societal conduct was minimal. Egyptian society operated all these years by rules of its own, without the self-restraint that is the basis of conduct in democratic societies. The reasons for this are clear: When the individual lives under the pressure of a dictatorial regime, he seeks any outlet — legitimate or otherwise — to act as a free person, unlimited and uninhibited. An individual living in a free state, however, does not have a similar urge to break free from the pressure of the regime. Therefore, he develops a system of self-restraints that allow citizens to live side by side, taking care not to step on one another's toes.

The same is also true of group behavior. In democratic societies, groups evelop codes of conflict management through legitimate means such as debate, public organization and peaceful demonstration. Everyone abides by the same "rules of the game" which enable all groups, even if they differ in worldview and agenda, to coexist and conduct open, fair and non-violent public debate among themselves. In contrast, in a society lacking democratic experience there are no political rules, no limitations, no restraints or constraints. Groups tend to enter into violent confrontation on every issue. In fact, the Egyptian regime executed heads of the Muslim Brotherhood, while the Brotherhood and other organizations assassinated President Sadat, ministers of the Interior and police officers.

Egyptian society has just been released from the grip of Mubarak's regime. The current situation in Egypt resembles a pressure cooker whose lid has been suddenly removed. The general population's awareness of legitimate tools for conflict management have yet to form, and each group sets demands, develops expectations and is prepared to launch a struggle — sometimes violent — to realize its aspirations.

Instances of assault on police stations, looting of museums, government offices and supermarkets and even sexual assault (as CBS's Lara Logan experienced) are the result of such lawlessness, and such behavior may prevail in Egypt for some time. This is similar to what we witnessed in Iraq after the ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Terrorist attacks by Islamic groups should not be ruled out either.

The army has now suspended the constitution for six months in order to impose order; in other words, to put the lid back on the pressure cooker. Nevertheless, Mubarak's National Democratic Party, the Wafd party, the Nasserites, the Socialists, the Communists, the extremist religious groups, of course, and the various "Muslim Brotherhood" Islamists will all attempt to pull in their own direction. Street clashes between the rival groups are likely. Such internal struggles could create a political vacuum, drawing in foreign interference. Iran, Hamas, Hizballah and al-Qaeda are all waiting to be "called-in" for assistance by one or another Egyptian faction. Much the same happened in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam's regime in April 2003, and to this day the Iraqi domestic political system has not yet stabilized.

The army will endeavor to lower the flames, or smother them, should they get too high. While the army has thus far not expressed any desire to take power into its hands permanently, it is certainly possible that after whetting its appetite the army will "discover" a taste for ruling, and Egypt will revert to the rule of generals.

The Muslim Brotherhood have now demanded a repeat of the elections for the Legislative Council (Majlis a-Sha'b), held last November, whose results were clearly "fixed" by Mubarak's regime. The Brotherhood won only one seat out of 454, when their electoral strength might have earned them over half the seats. If the army responds to their demands and holds fair elections, we might see an Egyptian parliament with an Islamic majority, such as in Turkey, which will appoint a government with an Islamist agenda. An Islamist president elected in fair elections together with an Islamist parliament might change the constitution to prevent the passing of the country into secular hands, as was done in Iran after the 1979 Islamist revolution.

The coming period could indeed be one of social and political unrest in Egypt, with governments rising and falling, an elected parliament unable to function, a military refraining from taking power despite its authority to do so and politicians forming and rapidly changing allies within a short period. We may also witness a series of political assassinations, as the quarreling camps seek ascendancy.

This situation of unrest could awaken within many Egyptians the wish to bring to Egypt a strong and dependable figure, with a clear, unwavering agenda. The choice will probably be one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Sheikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Al-Qaradawi is a celebrated Egyptian in the Arab and Muslim world, an eloquent speaker, well-read and knowledgeable, and a practically-permanent guest on the "Shari'a and Life" program on Aljazeera TV. Already this past weekend, he was back preaching in Cairo, and could yet be called upon to rescue Egypt from chaos, leading the country in the Islamist direction.

In the near term, then, Egypt will likely be a society plagued by a whirlpool of political intrigue and instability — providing alarming headlines almost daily. The governments of the world must be alert and vigilant for developments that could threaten the Suez Canal, the peace with Israel and regional stability. Bookmark and Share

UCI — The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) — 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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FROM ISRAEL: AT THE VORTEX OF A WHIRLWIND
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 22, 2011.
 

We've had the blessing of heavy rain and now there is bright sunshine. I walk outside and the world seems lovely indeed. But a little voice inside of me asks, "What will be?" and I have no answer. This is part of my report from Israel today: There is anxiety, and there is anger. Oh, and add incredulity — because things are happening that we would have thought impossible. And perhaps more than a little grief.

The world seems on fire all about us, and one horrific disappointment follows another.

~~~~~~~~~~

So let us begin with a piece of good news:

Yesterday, the Knesset passed a bill — co-sponsored by coalition chair Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) and Knesset law committee chair David Rotem (Yisrael Beitenu) — that requires NGOs to declare funding they get from foreign governments in quarterly reports, and to make this information known on their websites.

This is an important piece of legislation because there are foreign governments funding left-wing, pro-Palestinian NGOs here that function in a manner that is destructive to Israel. When an NGO is not purely Israeli, but is taking funds from foreign governments that have agendas inimical to Israel, that is something that must be public knowledge. If, for example, Peace Now goes out to monitor "settlement" activity, and it turns out that this project was paid for by the government of Norway, this would be something we would need, and have a right, to know.

It is unfortunate that a stronger version of the bill that had been brought forward was shot down, but this is a start, and begins to shine light on an important issue. NGOs will be fined heavily if they do not adhere to the new rules.

~~~~~~~~~~

What won't go through is a piece of legislation that is even more important: this is with regard to applying civil law to the communities in Judea and Samaria. I had said that the sponsors were not optimistic, but this is one of those matters that evokes deep disappointment, because it would have been so right.

Yesterday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation met and most members voted against the bill. This guarantees a defeat when it is brought before the Knesset tomorrow.

What is so distressing is that Netanyahu himself, and several of the ministers who had voted against it, had been for it when the issue was raised previously. I'm convinced that they are running scared now. "The world" wouldn't like it, you see. It would cause anger. Condemnations.

But this is precisely the time when we must be strong for ourselves. For — beyond faith in Heaven — there is nothing else.

~~~~~~~~~~

And I would like to explore this issue of our standing up for ourselves a bit more here.

The other day I alluded to Netanyahu's statement, following the US veto in the Security Council, that included the phrase, "the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for statehood," and I winced. In that same posting I also alluded to the dangers of making concessions as a "gift" in return for the veto. I mean, you could see the US expectation that we would pay for that vote coming. As I wrote, I was wondering what we were going to be asked to do, to "help" with the "peace process."

Well, a good deal is being said with regard to this, and the suggestion is that Netanyahu's statement was not a "gift" of appreciation that he proffered to Obama because of the veto. Rather, it is being seen in some quarters as the quid pro quo — what was agreed upon in advance in return for the veto. I know of one American Jewish leader who is convinced there was a deal. Herb Keinon in today's JPost, noting that this is Netanyahu strongest statement ever with regard to Palestinian Arab statehood, simply says, "Netanyahu himself said Sunday he had been in contact with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both before and after the vote." Draw your own conclusions.

~~~~~~~~~~

Either way, this is troubling, and, yes, frightening, because that strength of leadership is so important now.

We're at risk of sliding down that slippery slope. Although I still believe that when Netanyahu qualifies his statement with reference to Israel's security needs, he intends this as the break on that slide: Yes, I have acknowledged your legitimate aspirations, but unless Israel's security is assured, there will be no deal. (With "no deal" just about guaranteed.)

~~~~~~~~~~

As usual with such matters, however, there is also another point of view. Because the other piece of what I'm hearing is that there is a concerted campaign — beyond what has transpired previously — within the international community (read the US and EU) to utilize pressure to unseat Netanyahu, who is seen as a stumbling block to peace. The hope is that Livni might come forward. If they can get rid of him, you see, a Palestinian state can follow. (This suggests that, our concerns aside, the world does see him as a hardliner.)

I am not prepared to venture a guess as to how serious a prospect this is. It would involve some fancy political footwork and some betrayals within the current coalition. But one might wonder if some of Netanyahu's conciliatory gestures represent an attempt to forestall a Livni premiership — to show the world that he's on board too.

This is not by way of excuse. Because too much conciliation by Netanyahu might bring him no more than a pyrrhic victory. The consequences are so significant. And ultimately there is no way to "appease" Obama.

~~~~~~~~~~

Caroline Glick delivers the same message regarding our need to be strong, in her article, "Obama's devastatingly mixed signals": "We can only rely on ourselves and so we'd better strengthen ourselves as much as possible as quickly as possible in every possible way."

The US sent seriously mixed messages last week, says Glick. On the one hand, under duress of Congressional pressure, he did finally veto the Security Council resolution on "settlements." But Susan Rice then put out a statement that in essence criticized the veto — saying that "settlements" indeed were "illegitimate" and a roadblock to peace.

"...the [Obama] administration...sent four deeply problematic messages to the region.

"First, it signaled that it is deeply unserious.

"Second, it signaled to the Palestinians that, while blocked by popular US support for Israel from joining them, the administration supports the PA's political war against Israel. That is, Obama told the Palestinians to continue this war against Israel.

"Third, the administration told Israel — and all its other allies — that in the era of Obama, the US is not a credible ally. Not only does this message weaken America's allies, it emboldens the likes of Iran and Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood who are increasingly convinced that the US will not stand by its allies in a pinch.

"Finally, by standing by as Abbas pushed forward with the resolution despite Obama's repeatedly stated opposition, the president showed all actors in the region that there is no price to be paid for defying the US."
http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2011/02/obamas- devastatingly-mixed-sig.php

~~~~~~~~~~

One analyst after another has pointed out that if Obama had been serious about stopping the resolution in the Security Council, he could have advised the Palestinian Arabs of his intentions, clearly and unequivocally, many weeks ago. They might have backed off. As it is, he waffled until the last moment.

This, undoubtedly, was a reason for the Arab fury regarding the veto.

~~~~~~~~~~

From this cheerful subject, let's move to another: Egypt.

Dr. Moti Kedar, a veteran of Israeli military intelligence, writing for the BESA Center, has this to say:

"In Egypt, there is almost no social contract to govern the conduct of its citizens — as there is in democratic societies. The norm, then, is to behave without inhibition, and violent confrontation is usually the standard response to conflict. With Mubarak out of the picture, and with the behavior of democratic society not yet learned, it seems likely that in the near term Egypt will be a society plagued by political intrigue and instability — providing alarming headlines almost daily. The governments of the world must be alert and vigilant for developments that could threaten the Suez Canal, the peace with Israel and regional stability."

Kedar believes, "This situation of unrest could awaken within many Egyptians the wish to bring to Egypt a strong and dependable figure, with a clear, unwavering agenda. The choice will probably be one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Sheikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi...Already this past weekend, he was back preaching in Cairo, and could yet be called upon to rescue Egypt from chaos, leading the country in the Islamist direction."

I confess, the willingness of the Egyptian military to allow al-Qaradawi back into the country, after Mubarak had banned him for years, has increased my unease a great deal. One begins to wonder precisely where these military rulers, who, we've been told, prefer the status quo, are really headed. Let's stop pretending about democracy. The best to be hoped for would be, as Kedar writes, that:

"While the army has thus far not expressed any desire to take power into its hands permanently, it is certainly possible that after whetting its appetite the army will 'discover' a taste for ruling, and Egypt will revert to the rule of generals."
http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/docs/perspectives131.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~

Barry Rubin, in his article, "Egypt gets its Khomeini," paints al-Qaradawi in terms that are far more dire:

"Until now, the Egyptian revolution has lacked a charismatic thinker, someone who could really mobilize the masses. Qaradawi is that man. Banned from the country under the old regime, he is returning to his homeland in triumph.

"Through Internet, radio, his 100 books and his weekly satellite television program, he has been an articulate voice for revolutionary Islamism. He is literally a living legend. It was Qaradawi who argued that Islamists should always participate in elections because they would invariably win them."
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=209102

~~~~~~~~~~

I had hoped to deal today with that anti-Israel organization J Street — but have decided to table it until tomorrow. How much unpleasantness can my readers deal with at one time?

~~~~~~~~~~

Let me note, however, that the Iranian ships have now passed through the Suez Canal and are in the Mediterranean. The consensus here seems to be that this is a deliberate provocation but presents no real military threat, even though one of the ships is armed with Chinese-made missiles: the ships could be sunk quickly. Said one Israeli official, "From the military and marine perspective, the moment the ships enter the Mediterranean, they're entering a trap."

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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ABBAS'S INTIFADA: ISOLATING ISRAEL AND UNILATERAL STEPS
Posted by Barbara Sommer, January 21, 2011.

This was written by Khaled Abu Toameh. It appeared in Hudson NY. It is archived at
http://www.hudson-ny.org/1899/abbas-intifada

 

Palestinian President Abbas has reached the same conclusion as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat — that he will not get all of what he wants from Israel at the negotiating table; also the reason he opposes a third intifada [uprising] against Israel — he has instead decided to take the battle to the international arena.

His Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, is basically hoping that by September, the plan's deadline, the Palestinians will have created new facts on the ground that will convince the US and the Europeans to support their unilateral declaration of statehood.

To achieve their goal, Abbas and Fayyad have chosen to embarrass and isolate Israel through a series of resolutions. Abbas's Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank and he have decided to launch a different kind of an uprising — a diplomatic one, designed to isolate Israel in the international arena and force it to submit to all Palestinian demands.

First, they are seeking to convince many countries to back the Palestinian Authority's efforts to press war crime charges against Israeli political and military leaders.

Second, the Palestinian Authority is now making huge efforts to have the United Nations Security Council issue a resolution condemning settlements as illegal.

Third, Abbas and Fayyad have been working hard to persuade many countries to declare their recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital. Their efforts have so far been successful in South America, where several countries, including Brazil, have complied.

It is not clear at this stage how Israel, or the US, would react to the Palestinians' planned unilateralism. Israel could always argue that unilateral steps are a violation of the Oslo Accords with the PLO — a move that could pave the way for the abrogation of the agreement. In such an event, Israel would be free to reciprocate with its own unilateral measures, including annexing parts of the West Bank.

Abbas and Fayyad hope that in the next few months, they will be able to win enough support for it. These measures coincide with Fayyad's two-year plan to establish state institutions.

Israel and the US should already now state their position regarding this issue, and explain how they intend to respond.

When Arafat reached the conclusion that he would never get what he wanted from Israel through negotiations, he resorted to violence, unleashing the "second intifada" in September 2000.

His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has since learned from the mistakes of the past. Abbas knows that the violence has been counterproductive and has caused the Palestinians huge damage.

Abbas has therefore chosen a different approach to achieve his goals. Abbas's diplomatic intifada, or offensive, is ultimately aimed at circumventing the Oslo Accords by winning the international community's recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines.

The Palestinian Authority needs to watch its steps carefully and consider the consequences of its actions. Some Palestinians have already expressed concern that the policies of Abbas and Fayyad could have a boomerang effect on their constituents.

Those who think that a Palestinian state could be established without negotiations with Israel are either naïve or have no idea what they are talking about. Why would any country ever again sign any international agreement if it can so easily be abrogated?

Although it is true that the peace talks are currently facing a crisis, it would still be better to wait than embark on unilateral steps that would only further complicate the situation.

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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RABBI MEIR KAHANE: BEYOND WORDS
Posted by Barbara Ginsberg, February 21, 2011.

If you did not receive this article personally, and would like to be on my weekly Rabbi Meir Kahane article e-mail list, contact me at: BarbaraAndChaim@gmail.com

To view previously sent Rabbi Kahane article go to:
www.barbaraginsberg-barbara.blogspot.com

Beyond Words Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, 1960-1990, Volume 5 — 1985-1988.

"Beyond Words" is a newly published 7-volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings in The Jewish Press, in other serial publications, and in his privately-published works. "Beyond Words" was compiled by David Fein, with introductions by Rabbi Baruch Kahane and Herbert B. Sunshine.

If interested in buying Rabbi Meir Kahane writings in this 7-volume collection write to Levi Chazan at: Levi1@hotmail.com

This below on Jonathan Pollard was written March 20, 1987.

 

As the storm over Jonathan Pollard swirls about nervous Israeli and American Jewish heads and both look warily over their shoulders, the Israelis watching for Weinbergers and the American Jews for less famous, though far more numerous, hostile types, the time has come for normal Jews to spread a normal view of the affair.

The time has come to put an end both that acute manifestation of Jewish "AIDS" — guilt — and the despicable calling for Pollard's head by American Jewish leaders, whose fear of anti-Semitism makes them hope to deflect Jew-hatred by being more patriotic than the patriots, more American than all the rest. Let us get certain things clear.

1. I am convinced that high military and political circles in Israel knew of the affair and I wish that the Israeli government would stop treating both the Jews and Americans as if they were imbeciles. No such matters would ever by handled by lower echelon levels without consultation with top Israeli officials. Certainly, a disciplined military man like Aviem Sella would never have decided to run a "rogue" conspiracy. There is no one who believes the absurd protestation of the Israeli government, any more than Americans believe the initial nonsense spouted by the President and Administration officials in Washington over the Iranian affair.

2. Having said that, and calling on the Israelis to be frank and open, the more important point is that there is nothing for the Israelis to feel guilty about except an enormous, horrendous stupidity. All the guilt and hand-wringing and investigation and charges and counter-charges are absolute madness. All countries spy, and all countries spy against any country from which they feel it would be in their interest to get information. There have been a number of instances in which U.S. diplomatic personnel have been caught spying in Israel and the pity is that Israel, through fear of offending America (sic) — fear of the shtetel Baron — simply closed the book on the incident, quietly. Had Israel made the proper fuss and noise, the Pollard affair would have assumed a very different character.

And so, while Israel's action falls not one whit from those of other countries, what is different about the affair is the incredible stupidity of the Israeli decision to spy on a country that is, at the moment, its closest interest. (I make haste to point out the use of the word "interest" because in the real world of realpolitik there are neither real "allies" nor "friends.") What in the world could Israel have gotten through Pollard that was worth jeopardizing the present relationship between her and the U.S.? If there would be a tribunal of judgment for Israel, the Jewish state would be guilty, not of all the wild charges made by less-than-friendly American types, but of the most basic and most amazing form of crude stupidity.

But that is a form of political disease that the Americans, certainly at this particular stage of world affairs, would be well-advised not to raise. People who live in stupid glass houses of their own should certainly not throw rocks of the same inane, gross weight.

3. The overwhelming difference between Pollard and the whole host of recent spy revelations in the United States lies in the basic and fundamentally important fact that, while all the others spied for nations essentially hostile to America — states that are essentially enemies of the United States — Pollard spied for a country that is close to America, shares basically the same interests and that would never harm the U.S. in any substantial manner. In a word, the other spies that have been apprehended over the years were spying for the enemy and against the U.S.. Jonathan Pollard would never have dreamed of spying against America; his sole purpose was to aid Israel, a country he saw and sees as her ally.

4. Because of that, the life sentence and the orgy of vicious attacks on Pollard are outrageous. Of course, Pollard should have been given a jail sentence, and a harsh one. He is an American citizen and revealed his country's secrets to Israel. That is a crime in America and one that should be punished. But life imprisonment? For a man who never gave secrets to an enemy state? Who never intended to harm America? Whose primary motive was concern for Israel's security? Should those things not have been taken into consideration? And had they been, would Pollard have ever received the horrendous sentence that he did? Of course not.

5. And that leads, inevitably, to the next point. The entire Pollard affair is pregnant with hostility to Israel and with anti-Semitism. Then news media, comprising so many cultural anti-Semites of the Fifth Estate (whose aberration stems from a deep, seething jealousy of the number of Jews who are in the journalistic and literary world), saw in the Pollard affair — as in the Lebanon war — an opportunity to safely give vent to their hatred. There was not even a modicum of the same venom against those like the Walker family and others who spied for the Soviet Union and China. The reason is all too obvious.

The leader in this venomous surge of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bile is the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, who adds yet another page to his "book" on Israel. The man never loses an opportunity to attack the Jewish state. The most anti-Communist of the Reagan hawks, he has never had a bad world to say about Chile, the Contras, South Africa or other such paragons of virtue, but he is obsessed with Israel. His outrageous comment that Pollard should be hanged and that too strong an Israel is bad for the United States can only be commended to all students of abnormal psychology. A fascinating doctoral study could be made on the subject of apostate Jews and the self-hate and guilt that lead them to being even greater anti-Semites than the authentic gentile kind.

6. Aviem Sella was given the job, ordered to work with Pollard. He is a soldier and a good one, who carried out the orders of his government. There is no conceivable way that his career should be ruined and he made scapegoat for the crudity and stupidity of the Israeli government. It is up to the Israeli government to admit to its mistake, to its stupidity; to regret that the action was ever taken and to regret that it was discovered. And then?

And then, promote Sella, who is a good and brilliant soldier. America will be upset? Perhaps. But by the same token, Sella was never as dangerous to America as Weinberger is to Israel, and I have yet to hear Israel express its dismay at Weinberger's continued promotion.

7. And, finally, Jonathan Pollard spied for Israel and revealed American secrets. For that he should be punished, fairly and without malice. But he acted for Israel and on its behalf out of support for the Jewish state. For that, Israel owes him something. That something is called loyalty. A state does not throw over and turn its back on someone who sought to help it and who, indeed, was guided and directed by it. Israel should have helped Pollard before this and it should not throw him to the sharks now, no matter how upset this may make American non-Jews OR JEWS of the Establishment persuasion. I happen to think that while Pollard behaved as a bad American — and for this he should be punished fairly — he acted out of motivations of a good Jew, no matter how misguided he was.

Indeed, I think he is a much better Jew than the impossible executive director of the impossible organization known as the American Jewish Congress. That gentleman, by the name of Henry Siegman, exploded in wild attacks on American Jews who seek to explain Pollard's side of the affair and thus, mitigate the circumstances. Siegman (who incidentally, is a yarmulke wearer, Heaven help us) said, concerning this, that he was "disturbed." I could not have put it better.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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MAKING ISRAEL MORE POLITICS-RIDDEN
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 21, 2011.
 

Israel bans certain conflicts of interest by government executives whose conduct in office may have been corrupted by the prospect of outside jobs affected by their conduct. [In the U.S. we call it "turnstile" employment, as people shuttle between industry and government.[

Ranking security personnel have to wait three years before they can vie for the Knesset. Finance Ministry directors have to wait a year before taking jobs in industries they had regulated. Independent journalists do not have to wait.

Some leftist politicians, looking for a big name candidate, call the wait unfair to the military. They introduced a bill reducing the waiting period for the just retired Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, to 18 months (IMRA, 2/21/11).

High-level military positions do give enterprising individuals executive experience. It also gains them name-recognition. The Left long has groomed top generals and Chiefs of Staff to lead their parties to victory, regardless of their ability or inability.

The prospect of becoming Prime Minister can influence generals to espouse leftist solutions. This can corrupt them. Israeli defense can suffer when a Defense Minister or general distorts military considerations into political ones. Incumbent Defense Minister Ehud Barak uses his military authority to approve or deny building applications to freeze Jewish construction in Judea-Samaria for political reasons. He abuses his military power to win applause from his leftist constituency in the Labor Party.

The same kind of prospect affects U.S. diplomats, a Saudi prince once mused. In office, they temper their stance so as to qualify for lush post-government service as consultants for Saudi Arabia.

One of the positions Ashkenazi espouses is to trade the Golan Heights, now part of Israel, for a treaty with Syria. Ashkenazi contends that once Syria has the Heights, which it has been demanding, it would have no reason to attack Israel. He thinks it would have no reason to retain its alliance with Iran.

He has not restrained this contention in favor of caution, as regimes with which Israel has agreements falter, violate, or consider abrogating them. Reality does not enter into politicians' calculations and ideology.

What is the basis for his contention? According to a recent piece by IMRA's Dr. Aaron Lerner, no basis. Ashkenazi's assumption that Syria Has only one goal is more than naïve, it is false. Syria long has coveted Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. Its forces invaded all three.

Imagine, an Israeli Chief of Staff ignorant of the motives of its surrounding enemies, blind to the build-up of an evil axis!

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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J STREET RABBI BREAKS WITH LEFTIST ZIONISM
Posted by Alexander Dymshits, February 21, 2011.

This was written by Moshe Phillips (AFSI) and Eleonara Shifrin (Yamin Israel)

 

At the end of February J Street will be holding its second national conference in Washington. Some of its leadership (and much of its base) have shown that they have lost patience with its program and are taking a much more radical stance. They even started using the language of the PLO and Hamas to attack Israel.

J Street is the controversial George Soros-funded Jewish pressure group that was created to lobby for a Palestinian state. Writing in the Washington Jewish Week, Richard Greenberg accurately depicted J Street's current situation: "As the organization gears up for its second national confab later this month, J Street continues to generate buzz — but much of it has been unwelcome.

Steeped in controversy since its inception in 2008, the group recently has become embroiled in a succession of political and ideological feuds that have sharply eroded whatever credibility and clout it may have accumulated. "I have previously written about the radical rabbis that comprise much of J Street's Advisory Council. Rabbi Brian Walt is a leading voice in the Advisory Council and in the most recent issue of Tikkun Magazine he offers a very stark reminder of the anger toward Israel and Zionism that is harbored by the radicals that make up the core of J Street's base.

Here are some excerpts from Walt, my comments appear in brackets: "I still love the rebirth of Hebrew culture in Israel and I still believe Jews desperately needed safety after the Holocaust. But neither our cultural renewal nor the Holocaust justify the immense suffering imposed on the Palestinian people. [Here Walt totally dismisses the founding ideas of Zionism which predate the Holocaust by half a century; the First Zionist Congress was held in Switzerland in 1897.] Over the years I have come to realize that progressive Jews, despite being deeply immersed in moral anguish about the state of Jewish values, often take actions that perpetuate the suffering of the Palestinians. We do so in several ways: by our refusal to fully acknowledge the Nakba [Walt uses the terminology of Fatah and Hamas and labels the creation of Israel as a catastrophe in Arabic]; by not acknowledging that the Occupation of the West Bank is directly related to what happened in 1947... [1947? Israel was created in 1948. Is he denying that a Jewish State of any size should exist? In 1947 the U.N. voted to partition the British Mandate and create a Jewish State. Does Walt now consider that a mistake?]I once was a liberal Zionist, but now I see myself as a religious American Jew in solidarity with justice for the Palestinian people. Israel's security and our liberation as Jews are both tied to justice for the Palestinians. [Here Walt abandons Zionism. He rejects the Zionist label for himself.

Let's be clear, Walt's religiosity is not Orthodox. He fails to connect "justice for the Palestinian people" to any Jewish religious law, Halacha. He is now closer to the ideology of the tiny American Council For Judaism than any other viewpoint on the American Jewish scene.] Greenberg writes:N oah Pollak (is the) executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, which was formed last year. (Pollak states) "J Street's veil of credibility is gone. It's just another left-wing fringe group; it's really very marginal now."I caution against Pollak's optimism. J Street may be perceived as a "left-wing fringe group" by many in the Jewish community, but it is still incredibly well financed and has extremely high level connections to the Obama Administration. These facts make it clear that J Street cannot be so easily dismissed while President Obama still sits in the Oval Office.

Consider that "White House officials (have) confirmed" that Dennis Ross will address the J Street conference. J Street seems committed to move in a direction that further alienates it from the mainstream Jewish community. J Street should ask Rabbi Walt (and those that agree with him) to resign from their Advisory Council immediately. J Street has given Tikkun and the Rabbis for Human Rights-North America (RHR-NA) "Participating Organizations" status at their conference. Tikkun's Michael Lerner is a confirmed speaker. J Street has partnered with Tikkun many times since its inception. Walt was the founder and first Executive Director of RHR-NA which exists only to criticize Israel.

J Street has no place in the pro-Israel community if it works with these foes of Zionism. If J Street fails to rid itself of Walt and Lerner and company and set a significant course correction then the Jewish community must treat them with the same contempt that we reserve for American Council For Judaism and the Neturei Karta.

Article printed from NewsReal Blog: http://www.newsrealblog.comURL and http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/17/ j-street-rabbi-breaks-with-liberal-zionism-and-israel/

Contact Alexander Dymshits at alex8well@yahoo.com

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TIMMERMAN REPORTING FROM NORTHERN IRAQ
Posted by Kenneth Timmerman, February 21, 2011.
 

Dear friends,

I have just returned from a reporting trip to northern Iraq and have been able to post my first stories from Newsmax at kentimmerman.com Please have a look. They include stories on the status of Iraqi Christians in the Nineveh Plain, as well as the protests that turned violent on Thursday in Sulimaniyeh that appear to have been triggered by agents provocateurs, possibly Iranian agents. (I was sitting with the Kurdish prime minister about to start an interview when the first reports came in).

I will be posting more later this week as my latest stories become available. This will include more on the status of the Nineveh Plain, and an on-scene report with Iranian Kurdish guerillas in the Qandil mountains just beneath the Iranian border.

So stay tuned!

Best,
Ken

PS: One of the new contacts I made during this reporting trip was an Iraqi Christian interpreter who had worked for U.S. Special Forces in Iraq who could have been model for the narrator in St. Peter's Bones — yet another case where art precedes life.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is Author of St. Peter's Bones, a novel of the Persecuted Church in Iraq and ributing editor, Newsmax.com. Contact him by email at timmerman.road@verizon.net

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PRETENDING THE ARAB REVOLUTIONS ARE DEMOCRATIC?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 21, 2011.
 

When the mainstream Western media adopts an ideological line, does that line distort its reporting?

Diana West ( http://www.dianawest.net/ in Arutz-7, 2/20/11) contends it does. The ideological line or hastily reached conclusion by the Western media is that the massive Mideast uprisings are secular, materialistic, and democratic, but not Islamic. She perceives a strong element of Islamic bigotry that the mainstream media studiously ignores or downplays.

Her example is the assault on CBS correspondent Lara Logan by part of the crowd in Cairo, February 11. A couple of hundred men attacked Ms. Logan brutally, sexually, and religiously. Logan is not Jewish, but the mob thought she was, taunting her as "Jew, Jew." [Mobs do not verify facts. Islamic mobs in particular adopt false grievances they are told, such as that Jews are attacking the Mosque in Jerusalem.]

Ms. West cites this case as a strong example of the brutality and bigotry against women and Jews, with which most of the people of Egypt are imbued, in line with their Islamic indoctrination. "And that's the Koranic truth, as copiously expressed by the late Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, approximately Sunni Islam's 'Pope.' As he put it, and with plenty of canonical support: Jews 'are the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.'"

The victim was saved by some Egyptian women and soldiers. She was flown to a U.S. hospital. CBS and other news agencies sat on this sensational story for four days, until a rival was about to release it. When released, West observes, the point of the story was ignored or muted. She thinks the media did not want to contradict its hope-filled line about democracy arriving in Egypt.

COMMENT

Exposing pretense about the Mideast is my new theme. This make-believe is an old story, but not well known.

Years ago, Syria and the Palestinian Authority used to murder or intimidate journalists. Arafat had four American journalists kidnapped, but their employers, including the New York Times, withheld the story. The story emerged eventually, but without much protest nor challenge to the prevailing myth that Arafat was a man of peace rather than an Islamist, terrorist thug. The same myth has been attached to his successors.

Israel almost was conquered by Egypt and Syria in 1973, largely because Israeli intelligence agencies believed that the Arabs could not and would not try to invade Israel. The agencies screened out data that would contradict their established theory.

The whole "peace process" arises from studied ignorance of Islamic influence and from the mistaken notion that all religions are tolerant. It is more comfortable to cocoon oneself in a belief that all is well than to take difficult action to protect oneself from ills.

Did the media censor the story about Logan? The answer is not totally clear. The New York Times reported the sexual aspect of the attack, but I did not see reference to the antisemitic motive. About the same time, the Times featured a story about sexual attacks on female journalists in general. The conclusion was that such attacks are a constant risk and more so in some non-Islamist countries. I think this is a major story deserving of a moral crusade by civilized countries.

If wanting to reinforce its theme, the mainstream media could have highlighted the heroism of the women who helped rescue the reporter.

Many news articles discussed what is driving the Mideast uprisings. Most conclude that they are democratic in spirit. The prevailing assumption is that there is some risk from the well organized Moslem Brotherhood. The U.S. government presses for early elections, though elections require as prerequisite a democratic society. The U.S. views democracy narrowly — just free elections.

What does democracy mean? Having deified democracy, Americans fail to define it. If democracy merely is majority rule, then in Egypt a democratic government might well enforce Islamic law, oppress, and invade. Democracy really means not only majority rule but protection of minority rights. Thus it includes tolerance and civility.

Under the theory that the uprisings are democratic, reporters claim the Moslem Brotherhood had little influence on it, was unprepared for it, and tries to go along with it so as not to lose influence. Other reports, however, reveal that the Brotherhood has its agitators dress like the crowd in order to influence it. While the Western Establishment expresses relief that El Baradei became spokesman for the Egyptian uprising, a few dissidents reminded readers that El Baradei ran interference for Iran's nuclear weapons dash, has made bigoted statements, and slights Egypt's non-aggression pact with Israel. Some of the secular organizations behind the uprising also want to scrap the treaty. And Moslem Brotherhood demonstrators call El Baradei their "useful donkey," meaning he is the needle to which their thread is attached and will bind the garment and then discard the needle.

Times are parlous, but Egyptian culture is perilous.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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THE LAND-GRAB COMPETITION IN JUDEA/SAMARIA
Posted by Hillel Fendel, February 21, 2011.
 

IDF Central Command officers — whose jurisdiction includes Judea and Samaria — say that in the coming months, Arabs will step up their efforts to take over lands in the region. Similarly, they predict, land disputes will occur more frequently — and all this, the Arabs hope, will help them grab more land for the state they would like to unilaterally establish later this year.

Correspondent Haggai Huberman reports that army officers describe the situation as a "competition" between Jews and Arabs as to who can grab more land. The PA is reportedly making efforts in many directions to prepare for the establishment of a state — including fighting terrorism, building their infrastructures and institutions, and cracking down on law and order.

Jews Fight Back, Despite Odds

The land-grab competition cards are stacked against the Jews, for Arabs build wherever they want with barely any fear that their construction will be considered illegal, and even less concern that it will be razed. Despite this, Jews are fighting back where they can. In the Shomron (Samaria) and Binyamin, efforts are being made to save Jewish state-owned lands, though the organizers do not wish to discuss them in detail. "Suffice it to say that we are saving thousands of dunams throughout the Shomron," one source said, "firstly by protecting against Arab infiltration, and secondly via Jewish farming."

In Gush Etzion, Women in Green has succeeded on its own in redeeming 40 dunams (10 acres) of land in Netzer, between Alon Shvut and Elazar — and has plans to redeem another 70. "But the problem is, of course, money," says Nadia Matar, co-organizer of the efforts.

"In 2008," she told Israel National News, "[PA chairman] Mahmoud Abbas publicized his plan to take over all of Judeaand Samaria by planting a million saplings. A year and a half later, [PA prime minister Salam] Fayyad said they would plant ten million. A few days ago, Aaron Lerner of IMRA disseminated a speech by Fayyad in Tul Karem in which he said straight out that the war at present is for Area C." [Area C, as defined by the Oslo Accords, is the area of Judea and Samaria that remains under total Israeli control; Area A is under total PA control, and Area B is controlled militarily by Israel and administratively by the PA.]

Fayyad also called in his speech for increased Arab farming of these areas, "as well as international help with the specific purpose of creating a state of Palestine, Heaven forbid," Matar said.

"We have been fighting this fight in Netzer for the past two years," she added, "and we call on everyone to save all State-lands in Area C that have not yet been stolen by the Arabs. We have many people who want to help, including from the Galilee, but this work needs to be funded — tractor work to clear the area, planting, connecting to water, etc. Every dunam [quarter-acre] costs $3,000 a year for water, upkeep, saplings, tractors, and the like... Most of the lands that are still available — that have not yet been stolen by the Arabs — are in mountainous areas, and much tractor work is necessary to straighten it."

"This is work that the government should be doing — saving State-owned lands for the future of the Jewish People. But in the meanwhile, we have to depend on good Jews to help fund us."

"Every town and community should get a map of the State-owned lands in their area," Matar says, "and should organize themselves, go out, guard the area, plant it, and then work the land. Otherwise, Heaven forbid, our Jewish areas will become isolated enclaves and we will be choked in a sea of Arabs. We have to recognize our power to change reality; we can do it!"

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com), where this article appeared today.

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THE SETTLEMENTS ARE NEITHER, "ILLEGITIMATE' NOR "ILLEGAL
Posted by Ted Belman, February 21, 2011.
 

Secretary Clinton delivered a speech at the Brookings Institute in December 2010 in which she said, "We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity."

In her recent interview with Christine Amanpour, she said, "I think it is absolutely clear to say, number one, that it's been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate".

So America's position has progressed from considering "continued settlement activity" as illegitimate to considering the settlements themselves as illegitimate. Is this a change in US policy? Time will tell.

One must ask whether there is a distinction to be made between settlements and settlement activity and between illegal and illegitimate.

The Oslo Accords was silent on the settlements other than to say they were a final status issue. No mention was made of "settlement activity".

The Roadmap provides, "GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001." and "Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)". Clearly the settlements themselves are not illegal or even illegitimate.

But what about, "settlement activity"? To be "consistent with the Mitchell Report" for this recommendation to be adhered to, the Palestinians would have to adhere to Mitchell's' recommendations for them, namely,

— "The PA and GOI should resume their efforts to identify, condemn and discourage incitement in all its forms.

— "The PA should make clear through concrete action to Palestinians and Israelis alike that terrorism is reprehensible and unacceptable, and that the PA will make a 100 percent effort to prevent terrorist operations and to punish perpetrators. This effort should include immediate steps to apprehend and incarcerate terrorists operating within the PA's jurisdiction."

Clearly the PA which includes Hamas has not in any way complied. Thus Israel has no obligation to comply.

Dictionaries do not make a distinction between "illegal" and 'illegitimate" and in fact define 'illegitimate' as 'illegal' or 'unlawful'. To be so, there must be a law that makes such activity unlawful or illegal or illegitimate. But there is no such law. And why is Obama and everyone else placing so much significance on a non existing difference? The rest of the UN including Europe has no such qualms.

The Road Map describes itself as a process, a roadmap if you will. Even if acceptance of it amounts to a contract, which it doesn't, the failure to perform or the violation of any obligation would never be anything more than a breach of contract. It would never be called unlawful of illegitimate.

Nor are the settlements or settlement activity, illegal or illegitimate by international law. (See: The Truth about 'the Occupation' and 'the Settlements' and Alan baker and the Government of Israel Concede too much.)

Both the Oslo Accords and the roadmap required a negotiated solution Amb Susan Rice agrees. In defense of the veto, she did not take a stand on whether the settlements were illegal, but did say,

"It is the Israelis' and Palestinians' conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them,"

"Therefore, every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: Will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement?

"Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse."

This is bottom line. So why doesn't Obama take her advice and leave it to the parties. Instead he has inserted himself into the negotiations and has predetermined the outcome save for minutia to be negotiated.

Borders, settlements and Jerusalem are all final status issues to be negotiated.

The problem has been that the Quartet keeps supporting the demands of the PA and financing it, and thereby removes any incentive the PA might have to compromise. In effect, they make it possible for the PA harden its demands.

The Quartet used to argue against any steps by Israel which would predetermine the issues. But they are continually doing so by calling the settlements "illegal" and supporting the armistice lines as the borders and requiring Jerusalem to be divided. Is not the act of bringing this matter to the Security Council such a step by the PA? And they voted for it making them complicit.

The truth of the matter is that the Arab world, supported by the Quartet, wants no part of a negotiated settlement. They want Israel to accept the Arab Initiative, otherwise known as the Saudi Plan.

Although Obama vetoed this resolution, he also doesn't really want to leave it to Israel to decide what to hold out for in negotiations. He wants to pressure Israel to make concessions in its negotiations to make an agreement more likely. Its just like an imposed solution, only better. It certainly isn't what is meant by a 'negotiated settlement".

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 tedbel@rogers.com

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WATCHDOG CONDEMNS GERMANY'S VOTE FOR SETTLEMENTS RESOLUTION
Posted by Sacha Stawski, February 21, 2011.
 

BERLIN (JTA) — A German pro-Israel watchdog is condemning Germany's vote for a failed United Nations Security Council resolution against Israel's settlement policy, calling it part of a worrying trend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has made pro-Israel policy a cornerstone of her administration, "presented herself very well initially and now is the time to remind her of what she promised and try to make her turn back," Sacha Stawski, founder of the Honestly Concerned watchdog organization, told JTA. His group is circulating a petition criticizing Germany's stand on the resolution.

The Security Council resolution, which Germany and 13 other council members supported, called settlements illegal and condemned Israel for continuing to build in the West Bank. The resolution was vetoed Feb.18 by the United States, one of five permanent members of the Security Council, killing the resolution.

Germany, which traditionally has been supportive of Israel, won a non-permanent seat on the council last fall. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose administration openly criticized Israel's settlement policy last year, has otherwise been viewed as a strong ally.

The resolution, though it failed in the end, is part of an alarming trend, Stawski told JTA in a telephone interview from Frankfurt. His group's online petition criticizes Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for giving in to "a Palestinian propaganda campaign, instead of urging the Palestinians to negotiate an amicable agreement with their partner in peace talks, Israel, regarding the borders of the future Palestinian state."

Stawski told JTA that "if Germany proclaims they are a friend of Israel, then it is their job at least to prevent such a vote, or say no... They did not even abstain."

Sacha Stawski is with the Honestly Concerned organization. Contact him at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org This article is archived at
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/02/21/2743048/watchdog- condemns-germanys-vote-for-settlements-resolution

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MUSLIM CLERIC GUILTY OF RAPING TWO BOYS
Posted by Jim Kouri, February 21, 2011.
 

Mohammed Hanif Khan, a Muslim Imam in Britain, was found guilty on Friday of two counts of rape and one count of sexual activity on two young boys in incidents occurring in 2009. He had been arrested on February 2 and his trial was fast-tracked at the request of the defense attorneys.

Don Knapper, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "This is a case of abuse on young boys by a man whom they and their families trusted.

"Khan was in a position of trust and exploited the access he was afforded as their teacher to abuse the boys, said Knapper,

The prosecutor proved that the 42-year old Khan, who was once honored at Buckingham Palace for his work as a cleric, preyed on the children when they went to his Mosque for religious instructions.

According to court testimony, Imam Khan wrestled with a 12-year old boy after prayers then raped him. He told the child: "You're my bitch."

That boy told his father, and then a 15-year-old cousin came forward and revealed to the family he too had been sexually abused. Relatives of both victims attacked Khan just prior to his arrest.

The twice-married cleric, whose Mosque is one of the largest in England, was arrested and charged with rape and a sexual activity with minors. He is the first Imam ever jailed for such charges in the U.K.

"The Crown Prosecution Service has worked closely with Staffordshire Police throughout this case, from the giving of initial advice to the Police when the allegations were made, through the preparation of the case papers, to the presentation of the case in court. I would like to thank the Police for the thoroughness of their investigation, which has enabled the case to be robustly and successfully prosecuted," said prosecutor Knapper.

Khan's sentencing hearing is scheduled for next month.

Jim Kouri, CPP, is Fifth Vice-President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police (copmagazine@aol.com). This article is archived at

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HILLARY SLAMS SETTLEMENTS — AGAIN
Posted by P. David Hornik, February 21, 2011.
 

As if UN ambassador Susan Rice's tongue-lashing of Israel at the Security Council on Friday wasn't enough, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also had some choice words in an interview to ABC's Christiane Amanpour shortly before the Security Council vote.

"I think it is absolutely clear to say," Clinton enunciated, number one, that it's been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two-state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians.

"Illegitimate" is supposed to be just short of "illegal" while still being, of course, a very strong condemnation.

It's an idiom for which the secretary of state is already well known. Last March, when the Obama administration publicly skewered Israel over plans for Jewish housing in Jerusalem, Clinton called the plans a "deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the [U.S.-Israeli] relationship" that "had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process."

And in May 2009 she was even more emphatic, saying that Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions." The clear implication was that even babies should not be born in Israeli West Bank communities, or perhaps should be relocated immediately thereafter.

Official Israel had little choice, of course, but to praise the U.S. veto of Friday's Palestinian-initiated Security Council resolution on settlements — led by a statement from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office that "Israel deeply appreciates the decision." A veto accompanied by abusive language from the UN ambassador and the secretary of state is, no doubt, better than no veto. But to say that it is a lesser evil is not to excuse it. <

The Israeli communities in the West Bank — or Judea and Samaria, locus of much of the Bible, and cradle of the Jewish people and of the Judeo-Christian component of Western civilization — now comprise about 300,000 inhabitants. If one adds to these the 200,000 Jewish Israelis now living in northern, eastern, and southern parts of Israel's capital city, Jerusalem, that the Obama administration also consistently calls "settlements," the total comes to about half a million.

Is all this illegitimate? Of course not — not according to that earlier Security Council Resolution, 242 of 1967, which sets the basis for Arab-Israeli diplomatic processes and never mentions settlements; nor according to the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords, which leave settlements as an issue for final-status negotiations and in no way proscribe them.

Nor were settlements illegitimate according to Eugene V. Rostow, the late legal scholar who helped draft Resolution 242 and, in 1991, asserted in the New Republic that Israel's right to settle the West Bank is "unassailable" and that "the Jews have the same right to settle there as they have to settle in Haifa." Nor according to Stephen M. Schwebel, the international-law expert who wrote in 1970 that

As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem....

And what of the implications of the U.S. secretary of state publicly branding communities comprising half a million people as "illegitimate"? They're clearly very negative, at a time when Israel is subject to a worldwide delegitimization campaign that seeks to drum home big lies about it being a "rogue," "apartheid" state that consistently flouts international law and deserves "BDS" (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) if not violent attack.

And from what does Clinton's "illegitimate" calumny stem? It stems from a bowing and scraping before the Palestine Authority's demand, representative of Arab and Islamic supremacism, that Judea, Samaria, and the most historical parts of Jerusalem be Judenfrei, and the claim that this is somehow a condition for "peace."

But Jews will keep living in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, and those with an elemental sense of justice, and an honest awareness of the facts, will see it as a good thing. P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator in Beersheva, Israel. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com.

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MY HEBRON BY BEN ZION TAVGER
Posted by Alexander Dymshits, February 20, 2011.
 

 

My Hebron
by Ben Zion Tavger
Format: Paperback
To order online:
myhebron@gmail.com


Ben Zion Tavger, originally from Borisov, White Russia, was a prominent scientist in the field of Solid State Physics. In 1972, he made aliyah to Israel from Novosibirk where he was doing his research at the time, becoming the first scientist from Novosibirsk — and the first of such a status — who succeeded in obtaining permission to leave the Soviet Union. Once he arrived in Israel, Tavger contributed greatly to the Aliyah movement, was a leading professor at Tel Aviv University, led tours in Hebron, and personally supported new immigrants. His focus, however, was on helping to protect and restore the Jewish sites of the holy city of Hebron.

Before his death in July 1983 at the age of 53, he wrote the book My Hebron, which is published in Russian and Hebrew, and has recently been translated and republished in English. In the book, Tavger speaks about the significance of Hebron to the Jewish people, and tells readers about his experiences while involved in various activities in attempting to restore the Jewish presence there and protect and restore its Jewish holy sites. Specifically, the book focuses on his struggle in helping the residents of Kiryat Arba in executing their right of return to Hebron, his involvement in the opposition of the desecration of sacred Jewish sites, his work with the excavation of the Avraham Avinu synagogue, and the struggle for the Cave of the Patriarchs. Tavger's wife, Nava Bella Tavger, who helped get the book published, spoke with Israel National Radio's Yishai Fleisher about Tavger's life and the sacrifices he made for the Jewish people (click here to listen to the interview).

After taking up an offer as a guard for the ancient cemetery of Hebron, Tavger began to busy himself with cleaning up the cemetery, finding broken pieces of the tombstones of the 1929 martyrs, and reconstituting the tombstone of the "Reishit Hochma" (Rabbi Eliyahu Davidash). At the same time, Tavger also initiated the excavation of the remains of the Avraham Avinu synagogue, eventually managing to reconstitute it. "When he began all these things, everyone was against him," relates his wife Nava. "They asked him, 'why don't you ask permission from our Jewish authorities?', and his position was that to ask permission to do real, necessary things is immoral. There was no sign of Jewish life there, so it was a very wrong, shameful situation, and he had to do something about it."

During this time, movement restriction orders were issued against Tavger, and he was arrested and brought to trial numerous times. However, throughout his arrests and trials, his position remained that, "we have to do what we can do", Nava explains. "He always said, 'I am not a criminal. I don't do anything that is not good and that is why I have to do it.'"

His most publicized trial was in Beersheba and lasted 21 months. The verdict in this case was complete exoneration for Tavger and his partner, Eliezer Broyer. The judgment, in effect, praised their dedication and strength of spirit. Nava relates how Tavger held a little bitterness towards the state of Israel after his trial in Beersheva because, "at the same time he was doing everything for Hebron, he also fought the problems of theoretical physics too. He would have preferred if the situation was different, but he was a scientist. He did not do anything spontaneously. He thought about things, and when he was sure that it was a real, necessary thing, he did it — even if it went against our Jewish government."

Tavger published over 45 scientific papers, mostly in the field of Solid State Physics. His last research, which he was unable to complete, was published after his death in June 1986 in one of the world's most prestigious science journals, Physics Letters. Nava speaks about how Tavger used his scientific mind to strengthen his Jewish roots, eventually coming to the conclusion that Torah and science are indivisible. "In Russia, he wasn't religious," she says, "but his parents always kept the Jewish tradition in their home. In a very natural way, he became religious because he saw the logic and methods of thinking of the Torah, seeing that nature and human beings are very close — he thought that the Torah and science were very close."

Read more about this remarkable man at
http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=581.

Contact Alexander Dymshits at alex8well@yahoo.com

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NEW BID TO REMOVE DE FACTO FREEZE ON JEWS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA
Posted by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, February 20, 2011.
 

A Knesset ministerial committee is discussing on Sunday a new bill to grant Jews in Judea and Samaria the same rights that other citizens enjoy by extending Israeli civil sovereignty, instead of the present military civil administration, to the area.

It would also, in effect, remove the authority of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to impose a de facto building freeze on construction for Jews.

The proposed legislation is sponsored by National Union party chairman Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz along with more than two dozen other MKs. A similar bill in the previous government was backed by 12 legislators who now are Cabinet ministers or deputies and not allowed to sponsor a ministerial committee bill. Also backing the former attempt was Binyamin Netanyahu, who now is Prime Minister.

MK Katz said that he expects the Likud officials to support the new legislation, just as they did previously. The former backers include Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz of Likud, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov of the National Union, and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, a veteran Likud member.

"The time has come to begin to bring the 350,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria under Israeli government law" and not under military rule, MK Katz said. "It is not reasonable that they should be Class B citizens who are dependent on the whims of the Defense Minister, who decides the fate of building for Jews in Judea and Samaria."

Passage of the bill would virtually block a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria, a policy officially rejected by Israel but in partial effect due to Defense Minister Ehud Barak's refusal to approve hundreds of building requests. The bill removes his authority and transfers it to the Housing Ministry.

However, the proposed law would not officially annex Jewish communities as part of Israel, as has been done in the past for United Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a writer for Arutz-7, where this article appeared today.

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MAINSTREAM MEDIA MUM ON LARA LOGAN
Posted by Arutz-Sheva, February 20, 2011.

If a Mob Screams 'Jew, Jew!' in a Cairo Square, Do MSM Hear It?

This was written by Diana West and is archived at
http://www.dianawest.net/

 

Why CBS kept mum for four days about the brutal sexual assault of network correspondent Lara Logan by a Tahrir Square mob on Feb. 11 we just don't know.

Did Logan, flown out of Cairo by a network-chartered jet to a U.S. hospital hours after the attack, request secrecy as a brutalized victim?

Were news executives, or even Logan herself, concerned that the bombshell news of the assault, which took place almost exactly as Hosni Mubarak was relinquishing all powers, would detract from the "jubilant" crowd's "democracy" drama? Such a news blackout is hard to imagine if, for example, a star correspondent had been similarly violated by a mob of tea party-goers at, say, a massive Glenn Beck rally — and particularly if other correspondents had previously suffered unprecedented assaults and threats from the same crowd. A keening outcry would have arisen from the heart of the MSM (mainstream media) against the mob, accompanied by a natural zeal to investigate cultural or other reasons for the brutality. Not excuses. And not disinterest.

But in this singular Logan case we've seen both. First, only after news queries indicated the story was breaking did CBS on Tuesday release a brief rap sheet on the Friday crime. We were told of Logan's accidental separation from her crew in the crowd. The prolonged assault by over 200 people "whipped into a frenzy." The rescue by a group of women and 20 soldiers. What CBS didn't mention — what was later attributed to an unnamed network source — was that as the thugs assaulted the 39-year-old journalist and mother of two, they shouted, "Jew! Jew!"

This essential piece of the story, this clue to the hysterical, obsessive anti-Semitism of the Islamic world including Egypt, was broken by the New York Post. It has sparked little comment, which in itself is worth comment. Imagine, again, if a tea party mob were implicated in such an assault, and, as if in answer to fervent leftist fantasy, it came out that 200 Constitution-loving thugs had been yelling racial slurs. The MSM would directly attribute it the fact that George Washington owned slaves.

But Islam, even with its Koranically enjoined anti-Semitism and misogyny, isn't considered a factor here. Islam might as well not exist. Islamic misogyny might as well not exist. Islamic anti-Semitism might as well not exist. But imagine further if the foundational documents of the tea party movement, its official leaders and heroes, were steeped in equivalent hatred and misogyny. There would be no instinctive reaction in the MSM to universalize the attack and strip away all possible cultural or (considering those shouts of "Jew! Jew!" in the Logan case) religious context.

But that's exactly what happened here. It took a tweet from a movie critic even to broach the misogyny topic in the MSM when Roger Ebert wrote, "The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus." (Given that Israel is in the otherwise Islamically dominated "Middle East," Ebert is employing the quasi-accepted euphemism for Muslim.)

Those few reports that even discuss the anti-Semitic angle do so without comment, or let it go slack, as when Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, noting the "undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism," only concluded that "not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind." (The light might have dawnethed more brightly had the MSM actually reported on the widespread anti-Semitic iconography visible in the demonstrations, as amply archived by John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media.)

Missing is any acknowledgement of the fact — the overwhelming, highly upsetting but nonetheless unavoidable fact — that Islam's teachings on women and particularly Jews are literally hateful. And that's the Koranic truth, as copiously expressed by the late Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, approximately Sunni Islam's "pope." As he put it, and with plenty of canonical support: Jews "are the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs."

Rather than consider the sources of violent animus that appear to have been manifested in the assault on Logan, who, by the way, is not a Jew, the MSM let it all go. The crowd was "whipped into a frenzy" just as CBS said. But was the frenzy cultural? Religious? Don't ask, and certainly don't tell.

That would spoil the story.

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NGO-MONITOR FAQ ON GOLDSTONE REPORT
Posted by David Meir-Levi, February 20, 2011.

Since Goldstone is now at Stanford, and has begun a speaking tour of the Bay Area and beyond, I thought that the information below may be helpful.

Please respond to me with some brief words on whether or not you found this material helpful. If so, how, and if not, why not.

The original FACT SHEET in the NGO-Monitor has live links to additional information.

thanks.
David Meir-Levi

 

FROM: NGO Monitor www.ngo-monitor.org

  • The Goldstone report accused Israel of "war crimes," "crimes against humanity," and deliberately targeting "the people of Gaza as a whole ...in furtherance of an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas" (para. 1681, et. al.). It largely repeats unsourced and unverified NGO claims, including false casualty figures.

  • Established by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on January 12, 2009 (Res. S-9/1) "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip."

  • Funded by the Arab League; supported by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

  • Mission members: Richard Goldstone, Desmond Travers, Hina Jilani, and Christine Chinkin

  • Goldstone continues to falsely claim that he was given a revised mandate by the UNHRC President and that the mission's investigation was even-handed, addressing violations by both Israel and Hamas:

    • "It is well known that initially I refused to become involved with what I considered to be a mandate that was unfair to Israel by concentrating only on war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Israel Defence Forces. When I was offered an even-handed mandate that included war crimes alleged to have been committed against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, my position changed."

    • The UNHRC never changed this mandate and the "36 incidents" (Annex 2) investigated by the mission only involve allegations against Israel. Not one incident relates to alleged Hamas war crimes.

    • The UNHRC continues to refer to the original one-sided mandate in its resolutions and reports.

  • Each of the mission members issued prejudicial statements against Israel regarding the Gaza War prior to their appointment by the HRC.

    • Chinkin, in a joint statement to the Sunday Times (January 11, 2009), wrote that "Israel's actions amount to aggression, not self-defence," were "contrary to international humanitarian and human rights law," and constituted "prima facie war crimes."

  • The Mission members had close personal connections to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International prior to their appointment. These NGOs played central roles in creating the mission, shaping the report, and lobbying for acceptance.

    • Goldstone was a board member of HRW until NGO Monitor pointed out the conflict of interest.

    • Amnesty International provided the mission with the outline for the report, as well as a list of 36 incidents to investigate — none relating to Hamas war crimes.
  • Goldstone worked closely with politicized NGOs including PCHR, Al Haq, Adalah, B'Tselem, PHR-I, PCATI, and the Alternative Information Center.

  • Faulty methodology and failure to adhere to ethical and investigatory standards, including the UN rules for fact-finding missions and the Lund-London Guidelines by the International Bar Association.

  • Goldstone report was widely criticized across the political spectrum for its "biased HRC mandate," "the nature and confused conclusions reached," "application of incorrect legal standards," and "tentative" criticisms of Hamas.

  • Judge Fausto Pocar, former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Fomer Yugoslavia, criticized the Goldstone report for its one-sided and discriminatory call for universal jurisdiction solely against Israel officials.

  • Since the report's release, Goldstone has generally refused to debate his critics. He will only respond to pre-screened and vetted questions.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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WHOSE VOICE SHALL SPEAK FOR ISRAEL?
Posted by Norma Zager and Ari Bussel, February 20, 2011.
 

"There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat." James Russell Lowell

In our last postcard ("Jews Speaking Civilly to One Another?") I bemoaned the fact Jewish people cannot agree, even about those things that speak to their own survival.

I even sought wisdom from my Rabbi, and while he saw clearly through to the crux of the issue, sadly, he could offer no definitive solution to the dilemma.

One reader of the article posed an interesting question and asked, "Whose voice shall be the one that is spoken in unison?"

And that is at the heart of the very dilemma the Jewish people now face.

Perhaps it is imperative we examine these voices and what they are actually saying before selecting a point of view for the Jewish people.

One group seems to be saying Israel is the problem. She is not acting in accordance with the values she espouses, not behaving in a Jewish liberal fashion and by protecting herself she is harming innocent victims. They would ask that Israel give back land and stop oppressing what they see as a poor, innocent Palestinian population.

The second group sees Israel not as a problem, but a blessing. Are many within this second group aware and acknowledge that Israel does possess "problems?" Indeed. But that is a far cry from the other's belief system.

The second group takes solace in the fact the land of Israel was returned to us, the rightful owners. It is like losing a precious diamond given to you by a parent and suffering until it is once again in your possession.

This is what Israel is to many Jews. A precious gift returned to the Jewish people. It is incumbent on this generation to ensure that gift be passed down to those who come after.

It is important to understand how many Jewish people have suffered at the hands of evil, pogroms, mass murders and all those who believed, and still do, that the Jew is a disposable commodity.

But indeed, we are not the only people who have suffered. Evil is not choosey when it needs to prey and feed. Sadly, too many Jews and all humanity have fallen into the devil's clutches too readily and conveniently.

Interestingly however, since the State of Israel came into being, there have been no Holocausts, no pogroms nor any Inquisitions. Yet, there have been numerous attempts.

Still evil feeds ravenously across the planet. Darfur, Rwanda, throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

When the Russian Jews were oppressed and finally allowed to leave, they fled to Israel. When the French Jews realized their lives were in danger and they must speak in hushed tones to keep their religion a secret, they made aliyah and bought properties in Israel. This surge in French ownership greatly contributed to Israel's economic regrowth after the Second Intifada and leading into the Second Lebanon War.

Oddly, there was no problem for these Jewish people who were in harm's way to find a safe haven within the tiny Jewish State.

At one time, there was no safety, no place to run.

In the Jewish ghettos of Europe in the early 20th century, Jews were forced to stay inside locked and gated streets. They could not own land and possessed no rights as citizens or human beings. They were treated like animals at the mercy of a cruel master.

There was no Jewish homeland to run to, only a life of hardship and misery.

Now there is Israel, and those who recall the past see her as a blessing, a gift to the Jewish people to be back in their own land.

I compare Israel to a parents' home after one has left for college or set out to make their way in the world.

If times are hard or life becomes intolerable, one can always return to their parents' home to find comfort and nurturing.

Although the second group sees Israel as a great gift, they are realistic about the problems that confront the tiny country on a daily basis.

They watch with trepidation as the world gathers the storms of controversy against her, and they seek answers that will end the constant tirades of hatred. Would two states be the solution? Has giving away land in the past solved problems? Could it work or would this be merely the strategic position her enemies seek to ultimately destroy her once and for all?

Until these questions can be answered rationally and logically without political spin, neither group can truly speak with certainty. There is great frustration in the lack of definitive answers to such a crucial dilemma. Perhaps without the sound of Jewish people arguing, the voice of the enemy and their intentions will become clearer and more easily understood.

Listen to Hamas, for instance. Democratically elected Hamas claims to be the real and only representative of the Palestinians.

Can having a bordering state run by Hamas be safe for Israel and her people? These are the very same people who are lobbing rockets and missiles into Israel daily, placing innocent children and citizens in harm's way. They kidnap soldiers and refuse to let the International Red Cross access. Jews say to trust that Hamas wants peace while Gilad Shalit sits in a prison, hidden away from any watchful eyes to guard his safety. Can they be trusted to keep peace? To be mindful of Israel's borders? Of Israel's safety?

This is indeed a conundrum.

As a Jewish person, I have two great problems with this "solution."

First, is it my right to give away land that rightfully belongs to the Jewish people?

Second, can those to whom I am giving this land be trusted? Has their previous behavior, and those who are paying for and influencing their politics, put me at ease about their future behavior toward Israel?

These are not insignificant questions.

The answers are in fact what stand between life and death for the Jewish Homeland.

How can any Jewish person buy into hype and hateful propaganda and use that misinformation to make critical decisions about the future of Israel?

It seems madness to me.

I am not prepared to use my voice to demand Israel do anything until I am convinced it would be in her best interest and only her best interest.

Once the pertinent question is answered and I am assured that the every Jewish child and citizen in Israel is safe and secure, I may then decide what course is best for Israel to follow.

We cannot rely on flawed political rhetoric or ideologies to decide the fate of something as important to the Jewish people as Israel.

I cannot ignore the ranting of a madman who pronounces to the world Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth along with the bigger Satan, the United States.

Evil is allowed to speak openly, because good cannot accept evil's "truth." The devil's strongest weapon is denial by good people and their refusal to face the reality that when evil speaks and we refuse to listen, we will pay the ultimate price in blood.

We suffer for our short memory of past madmen who spoke their intentions and followed through on their promises.

Evil is proactive, and sadly goodness is reactive. That is why the price in human life will always be so high.

May I strongly suggest the rest of my fellow Jews likewise refrain from judgments? Perhaps the question we may all ask in unison is: What is good for Israel and her survival? And how does she arrive at a safe and secure position?

Once sufficiently answered, a more intelligent choice may be made. Until then, perhaps it is best we remain silent and for once we all hold our collective tongues.

In the absence of the Jewish people offering a multitude of opinions and remedies, one might be struck at the silence from the other side. It may alert all to the reality the enemy does not want two states, living side by side. Their final "solution" may be to shed Jewish blood and destroy the State of Israel. Perhaps we may hear their intent to finish a job they began so long ago. Shush, if we listen, we may actually hear their "truth."

The series "Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel" by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover.

This point — and often — counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Contact Ari Bussel and Norma Zager at busselari@gmail.com

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FROM ISRAEL: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 20, 2011.
 

On Friday the US vetoed the resolution that had been advanced in the UN Security Council by Lebanon, on behalf of Palestinian Authority, that would have condemned the Israeli "settlements" as illegal; the other 14 members of the SC voted for this — which, according to Abbas made his venture a success.

OK. Good. Better that it was vetoed. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed appreciation to President Obama. Certain members of Congress, who had called on the president to cast that vote, did the same.

But from me Obama gets no thanks. He wasn't doing this to support us. The US government has made it clear that it is opposed in principle to the "settlements." It's just that it is still committed to getting parties to return to the negotiating table.

As US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, put it, "This draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations, and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse."

~~~~~~~~~~

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the very best friend we have in Congress, put it most aptly:

"The administration's display of angst and its hesitation to use its veto is a major victory for those extremists elements who relish in demonizing Israel. And for the administration to go as far as calling the choice to veto regrettable is simply shameful."

Oh, right on, Ileana!

~~~~~~~~~~

What I want to examine is that American "angst" and the fallout that has ensued.

Obama had begun by making an alternative offer to the Palestinian Arabs. He had his reasons for not wanting to declare the "settlements" illegal in the Security Council, but his alternative proposal contained a good number of items that would have been troublesome: A statement by the Quartet, a statement by the President of the Security Council, an official visit to Judea and Samaria by the Security Council.

~~~~~~~~~~

Definitely not a position that was friendly to us. And with regard to Obama's relation to Israel, this is what must be kept in mind:

In a time of severe unrest in the area, with Obama professing support for the people in the street who are ostensibly seeking democracy, Israel, the only genuine and stable democracy in the Middle East, is being undercut by America.

~~~~~~~~~~

When the alternative offer was rejected by the PA, with the backing of the PLO, Obama placed a phone call to Abbas, which, I have read, lasted the better part of an hour. Reportedly, he told Abbas that he had done more for the PA than any other American president. Sounds about right.

But what we're seeing is that even this didn't carry the day with Abbas. So little is Obama's influence.

~~~~~~~~~~

The PA news agency Sama has additionally carried a report from a senior member of Fatah saying that Secretary of State Clinton threatened to cancel aid to the PA if Abbas didn't withdraw the resolution.

Didn't make a dent with Abbas, either. He simply said he had to act for the good of his people.

~~~~~~~~~~

What we are seeing, my friends, is a US that has lost all clout, an America that is going, going down.

It's a painful, pathetic sight, with manifold implications and repercussions — none positive.

But it is hardly unexpected. Being "nice" does not work with the Arabs. Remember how Obama called Abbas first after becoming president?

All of it is for naught, if you're not tough. The more you give, the more they expect, and ultimately, the more disappointed they are.

~~~~~~~~~~

Israeli MK Ibrahim Sarsour, a member of the United Arab List, wrote a letter to Abbas yesterday. It gives us an idea of what the Arabs are thinking:

"After the exposure of lies from the US, we must say frankly to Obama,'You no longer scare us and you can go to hell.' Obama cannot be trusted...The time has come to spit in the face of Americans....

"[The veto] proves for the thousandth time that Obama is worse than his predecessor Bush in his loyalty to Israel, his bias...and in ignoring the ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, land and holy places."

Incredible! Bush never demanded that settlements be frozen, and Bush, whatever his failings, was certainly more supportive of Israel and tougher with the PA than Obama. There's the lesson.

~~~~~~~~~~

Nor is this the end of it:

The PA has threatened to reconsider its position on negotiations. Abbas is saying he may bring a similar resolution to the General Assembly.

While yesterday Palestinian Arabs were calling for a "Day of Rage," to take place next Friday, to express anger at the US for the veto. This was proposed by Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee.

A PA "Day of Rage" against the US. Imagine...

~~~~~~~~~~

And then, in news just out, we have this further wrinkle: PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has approached Hamas with a unity deal. Don't know that it's much of a deal, actually. What he proposes is that the PA continue to rule in Judea and Samaria, with Hamas — pledged to maintaining a cease fire with Israel — continuing to rule in Gaza. The two parties would then work out a way to place both areas under one governing body.

But the devil really is in the details. Hamas demands for control have been such that there has been no understanding with the PA forthcoming despite multiple efforts towards unity. Until this were to be worked out, there would be no "unity," no matter what the parties might choose to call it.

~~~~~~~~~~

So far, there has been no comment from Hamas. And it is far too soon to speculate on the obviously negative impact some unity deal would have on "the peace process."

The PA is constantly doing a dance between the two poles of the US and Hamas. On this occasion, as I see it, Fayyad is thumbing his nose at the US, by demonstrating intention to waltz towards Hamas. Likely more gesture than reality. But we'll see...

~~~~~~~~~~

We'll never hear about it, but could it be that Obama is so furious at the conduct of the PA that he has smoke coming out of his ears? Or is he thinking about how he can offer more concessions to appease them and bring them around?

Does it dawn on him at all that a party as intransigent as the PA is not going to sit at a negotiating table and make the compromises requisite for peace? Is he planning to keep on pushing for the impossible? Or has he silently thrown up his hands in resignation?

~~~~~~~~~~

The only thing that makes sense at all is a tough stance with the PA now — which, in any event, is what we are least likely to see from Obama.

~~~~~~~~~~

Closer to home, what matters most is that Israel should stand tough:

No making concessions to Obama, to show "gratitude" for his veto.

No backing off on our rights to live and build in Judea and Samaria in order to "help" jumpstart negotiations.

I understand that Netanyahu felt it necessary to thank Obama. And I even understand that he has resorted to his role-playing: his efforts to show the world how eager Israel is to make peace, while the PA remains a stumbling block.

But did he have to say this: "We seek a solution that will reconcile the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for statehood with Israel's need for security..."

Ouch! There is nothing legitimate about Palestinian Arab aspirations.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is another approach that brings with it the comforting prospect that Israel will stand strong:

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is considering a bill that would apply Israeli civil law to all communities in Judea and Samaria, where military law now applies. (This is not annexation.)

It should have been done many years ago, for as matters stand, Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria have all the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship without the full benefit of the civic system. This would make clear that all people who are Israeli citizens are to be treated the same, and would send a powerful message.

Most significantly, the authority to approve, or fail to approve, construction would no longer fall to Defense Minister Ehud Barak — this would be within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Housing and Construction and would pretty much preclude a freeze on building.

The bill is being sponsored by National Union; the 27 MKs who support it come, as well, from Likud and Yisrael Beitenu.

~~~~~~~~~~

I'm not terribly optimistic that this will pass. As I understand it, the sponsors of the bill are realistic about its slim chances of succeeding.

But it is an important beginning: putting issues on the table and demonstrating a position of strength.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow is another day...

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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ISRAEL — AMERICA'S UNIQUE ALLY
Posted by Yoram Ettinger, February 19, 2011.
 

The seismic developments in Egypt and throughout the Arab Middle East highlight Israel's unique contribution to vital US interests.

The significance of Israel's strategic added-value is underlined by uncertain and shifty Arab ideologies, policies, alliances and allegiances, by the increasing vulnerability of pro-US Arab regimes, the intensifying unruly nature of Arab societies, the exacerbation of Islamic terrorism, the Iranian nuclear threat, the deepening penetration of the Arab Middle East by Russia and China, the recent erosion of the US posture of deterrence and the expected US evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel's reliability, capability, credibility, stability, democracy and non-conditional alliance with the USA are anomalous in the Middle East.

Egypt — a beneficiary of billions of dollars and state of the art US military systems — enhances strategic ties with North Korea, Russia and China, agitates the Horn of Africa and Sudan, consistently votes against the US at the UN and institutionalizes hate-education. A post-Mubarak regime could overtly join an anti-US axis.

Iran's Shah had access to the most advanced US military systems. However, the Shah was toppled; from a staunch US ally, Iran was transformed into the most effective anti-US regime in the world.

Libya's King Idris granted the US, in 1954, the use of Wheelus Air Base, which became the largest US Air Force base outside the USA. In 1969, Colonel Qaddafi overthrew King Idris and Wheelus serviced the Soviet Air Force.

Turkey shifted, in 2002, from a corner stone of the US and NATO posture of deterrence to a major pro-Russia supporter of the anti-US Iran-Syria axis.

Jordan — a recipient of US foreign aid — was one of only two Arab regimes which supported Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Jordan's port of Aqaba became Saddam's most critical route of supplies during the preparations for the 1991 US-Iraq War.

Iraq was pro-Western until the1958 anti-Western coup. However, Saddam Hussein — who ruled Iraq since 1979 — gained the confidence of the US. Therefore, he benefitted from a shared-intelligence agreement, the transfer of sensitive dual-use American technologies and $5BN loan guarantees, until his invasion of Kuwait.

Yemen was assisted by the US in its war against Aden and has benefited from US foreign aid. Still, Sana'a supported Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and hosts anti-US Islamic terrorists, while occasionally fighting them.

Saudi Arabia depends on the US for its survival in the face of lethal regional threats. The 1991 and 2003 US Gulf Wars were largely induced by the concern of a Saddam takeover of Saudi Arabia. However, Riyad bankrolls the operations of anti-US Islamic organizations in the US and anti-US Islamic terrorists.

Israel, on the other hand, was described by the late General Alexander Haig, who was a Supreme Commander of NATO and a US Secretary of State, as "the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State."

For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded Jordan, threatening a domino scenario into the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The US military was preoccupied with Vietnam and could not deploy troops to Jordan. Israel was asked to mobilize its military, and the Syrian invasion was rolled back. Thus, Israel denied the USSR a major coup and spared the US a potential economic disaster, without deploying a single US soldier.

General John Keegan, a former chief of US Air Force Intelligence determined that Israel's contribution to the US intelligence was "equal to five CIAs."

Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and former Chairman of the Intelligence Committee: "The intelligence received from Israel exceeds the intelligence received from all NATO countries combined." He assessed that Soviet military hardware which was transferred, by Israel, to the USA (P-12 Soviet radar in 1969, Mig-21 and Mig-23 Soviet fighter aircraft in 1966 and 1989 respectively, etc.) tilted the global balance of power in favor of the USA and amounted to a mega-billion dollar bonus to the USA.

In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor, thus sparing the US a nuclear confrontation with Iraq in1991 and 2003. In 1982 and 2007, Israel demolished Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries operated by Syria and a Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. The battle tactics — which were the first ever to penetrate such advanced Soviet/Russian defense systems — were shared with the US Air Force, enhancing the US military edge over Moscow.

In 2011, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan benefit from Israel's experience in combating Improvised Explosive Devices, car bombs and suicide bombers.

The Jewish State constitutes the most advanced battle-tested laboratory for US military systems. The F-16 jet fighter includes over 600 Israeli-induced modifications, which saved the manufacturer billions of dollars and many years of research & development. Hundreds of additional US military systems, operated by Israel, generate similar benefits, according the US defense industries a global competitive edge and expanding US export and employment.

Upgrading the current mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation is required in light of the aforementioned benefits, and in response to the turmoil in Egypt and its potential regional ripple effects, while the US lowers its military profile in the region. For example:

*Upgrading the port facilities of Ashdod for use by the Sixth Fleet; *Pre-positioning, in Israel, US homeland security systems, combat aircraft, missiles, tanks and armed personnel carriers, which would expedite US missions to preserve pro-US Arab regimes; *Constructing, in Israel, US military facilities; *Establishing a bi-national defense industrial cooperation fund, leveraging each country's competitive edge.

Enhancement of US-Israel strategic ties is natural and imperative in light of Israel's capabilities and the unique US-Israel common denominator: shared-values, joint-interests and mutual-threats.

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 yoramtex@netvision.net.il This article was published in Ynet News
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4030523,00.html

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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STEPS UP WAR ON ISRAEL
Posted by One Jerusalem, February 19, 2011.
 

On Friday, Susan Rice, the Obama Administration's Ambassador to the United Nations, vetoed a Palestinian inspired draft resolution which designated as illegal all territories occupied by Israel after the Six Day War. That includes the Old City of Jerusalem — The Western Wall, The Temple Mount, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, etc.

While Rice's veto was welcome she used her remarks to the Security Council to emphatically state that the Obama Administration agrees with the resolution's policy. Rice told the Security Council:

Our opposition to the resolution before this Council today should therefore not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity. On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel's security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel's international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace.

Her definition of "settlement activity" and "territories occupied in 1967" includes Jerusalem, the Old City.

Secretary of State Clinton reiterated this policy on Friday.
Watch video.

Jerusalem and Israel are under attack by the Obama Administration. Sends this post to friends and family who care about Israel and Jerusalem. Ask them to sign the united Jerusalem petition.

We must alert our friends and family now. Post to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This article is archived on the One Jerusalem website at
http://www.onejerusalem.org/2011/02/ obama-administration-steps-up.php

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LARA LOGAN: "UNCOVERED MEAT" ANY BUCK JIHADIST WAS FREE TO "TAKE"
Posted by Ted Belman, February 19, 2011.
This was written by Nonie Darwish, an ex-Muslim, who has been exposing the incompatibility of Islam and the Western way of life..
 

Islam's "Uncovered-Meat" Excuse for Sexual Assault
by Nonie Darwish,
Front Page Magazine
http://frontpagemag.com/2011/02/18/islams-uncovered- meat-excuse-for-sexual-assault/

The news that 60 Minutes journalist Lara Logan had been brutally sexually assaulted and beaten in Egypt among chants of "Jew" really hit home. As a teenager and young woman in Egypt, I remember having to endure the humiliation of being pinched and groped in crowded buses and streets of Cairo. Onlookers are usually indifferent, some even laugh, leaving women in Muslim society even more ashamed of their bodies. Women who do not wear Islamic clothes, such as Christians and foreigners, are even more vulnerable. In Cairo, hearing a passing car yelling the "f" word or "whore" to a woman and then speeding up in the busy traffic is not uncommon.

In times of uprisings and revolutions, it is not uncommon for the mob mentality to take over, resulting in assaults and even killing of journalists. But what happened to journalists in Egypt, including Logan, was an outrageous violation of police duty; instead of helping the foreign victims, the police added to the abuse by hours of unnecessary and abusive interrogation of the victims themselves.

Egypt and many Muslim countries have a terrible record of sexual harassment. According to a survey conducted in 2008 by an Egyptian Women's rights group, 83% of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed. The numbers for foreign women is a staggering 98%. Most of the men in the survey admitted they have harassed women and most of them blamed it on women for dressing provocatively. What is worse is that the majority of women in the survey believe that women who dress immodestly deserve the harassment.

Muslim culture has succeeded in turning women against each other and away from defending their human rights and dignity. The system rewards women who turn on other women who do not follow Sharia. A Muslim woman is given her much-craved respect only when she reports and condemns immodest women, turns against her sisters and agrees with a misogynist culture that blames the female victims and not the predators.

It was also reported that crowds yelled "Jew" at Logan. That does not surprise me, since a call that someone is a Jew has a meaning in Muslim countries. It means they are fair game for assault or worse; it means they are subhuman and deserve whatever happens to them. Muslim scriptures are full of commandments to kill Jews wherever they are and according to Islamic law, female captives in battle are automatically divorced from their husbands and can be sexually enslaved by their captors. Mohammed himself, who is viewed as the ideal example for men, in all his battles against non-Muslims allowed sexual enslavement of women captives. Such Islamic history lessons send the wrong message to Muslim men and influence how they view and relate to women and take away any feeling of guilt or shame.

From birth, Muslim boys are excused and defended for misbehaving towards their sisters and women in general. The message is that uncovered women are to be loathed and disrespected. Muslim preachers often rush to blame women as having "asked for it" or being "uncovered meat". Even in Australia, an Egyptian Muslim preacher, Sheik al-Hilali, used the "uncovered meat" excuse to defend Muslim men who raped Australian women wearing bikinis on the beach. These kind of religious teachings are the reason behind honor killing, female genital mutilation and abuse, all of which are designed to tame women and set an example to the rest of society.

The anti-Jewish propaganda in Muslim countries is sickening and must be seen in relation to female abuse in general and to the assault of Logan in particular. Even I who was born and raised Egyptian once had a scary experience. On the way to Alexandria, an uncle wanted to stop in a village to meet a friend but got lost. As he went to look for directions, my siblings and I, who were wearing jeans and T-shirts and speaking English, attracted a village crowd around us yelling "Jews." My sisters and I rushed inside the car. In no time the village police came to check us out but thank God by then my uncle showed them his ID and we left after some questioning. I can only imagine how Jews feel walking the street in any Muslim country.

Egyptian paranoid propaganda against Westerners and Jews is not only manifested in streets but affects every aspect of relationships between the ordinary Egyptian and foreigners in general. Foreign women are often called "Israeli agents" who are coming to 'seduce' Egyptian men. As to foreign men, they are often accused of being — what else? — CIA agents.

Many Egyptians describe the behavior of men who sexually harass women as un-Islamic and they believe this is a good enough explanation to end the conversation. They refuse to look within and see the truth behind the Islamic upbringing of men, how women are viewed both culturally and religiously and how Islamic teachings views non-Muslims. Muslims need to view themselves and the reality of their religious education more critically. Living in denial about one's religion and the consequences of its teachings is toxic.

Nonie Darwish is the author "Cruel and usual Punishment" and the President of FormerMuslimsUnited.org.

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 tedbel@rogers.com

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WE'RE LOSING THE BATTLE AGAINST ISLAMISM
Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 19, 2011.

This was written by Rachel Lipsky who was a faculty member at the University of Buffalo for 23 years. It appeared in Pajamas Media
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/were-losing-the-battle- against-islamism/?singlepage=true

Where is the principled leadership among Jewish and Christian clergy?

 

One positive outcome to draw from Egypt's crisis is the public's elevated awareness about the Muslim Brotherhood. It is now clearer to many that the Brotherhood's members are exploiting our open societies and political system right here in our own communities.

The media's role in deflating the Brotherhood's dangerous agenda is profound. But other segments of our society are equally guilty. And so, to learn how steadily and consistently the West is losing to a totalitarian political doctrine, read this account. On the surface it may seem an insignificant episode, but assuming it is the model for interfaith or "twinning" devotees, it should be illuminating.

On Dec 4th I attended an interfaith event about which I wrote an article on Pajamas Media, "Where Islamism starts, Interfaith Dialogue Stops."

At the event, I wanted to share a quote from a document stating the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S: "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within [...]."

To my dismay, as I was about to read the quote, the host, Rev. Yorty, wouldn't allow me to do so, stating that he did not want to discuss politics. However, he and his cosponsor guest, Reform Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld, allowed other participants to defame Israel with impunity. For them, criticizing Israel did not seem to fall under the rubric of "discussing politics."

I left the room, not imagining that within weeks I would face these individuals with such low moral standing yet again. But on January 29th, two Muslim Brotherhood affiliate organizations — the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) — invited and sponsored Imam Rauf as a keynote speaker at the University of Buffalo. And who do you think participated in the interfaith panel session along with Imam Rauf? You guessed correctly. The same Presbyterian Pastor Thomas Yorty and his cosponsor Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld, who joined Imam Rauf to discuss "how Americans of all faiths can work together for lasting peace." They both spoke favorably of Imam Rauf and supported the work of MPAC. Overall, the interfaith session was devoid of any theological substance. Instead, the same superficial clichés often repeated during these events were offered yet again with petty statements like "We need to improve our knowledge of other people's religions." Of course, during the first event I tried to "improve our knowledge" of the political

tenet of Islam, but to no avail. They sabotaged critical thinking and rejected any dissent from their rigid narrow-minded creed.

In the Q&A last session with Imam Rauf, a question was asked about persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Pastor Yorty responded: "Christian persecution is not a topic I know much about." If the pastor knows nothing about his fellow Christians (hundreds of thousands of murdered Christians in the past three decades), how can he be trusted on interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians?

The rabbi's response to the same question was that Christian persecution in the Middle East is NOT religiously oriented; rather, it's all political. For example, he stated that Christians who left Beit Lechem did it because of "political fear." Unfortunately, this stunning response was not followed with any evidence.

Next, a question was asked about the rise of the new anti-Semitism. Rabbi Rosenfeld responded that "lousy economics" has been the reason for the hatred, assuring the mostly Muslim audience of some 150 individuals that anti-Semitism is currently "much less than ever before." The rabbi also blamed the media for exaggerating anti-Semitism. Surely, the "rabbi" is unaware that his statement is strongly contradicted by the FBI, the CIA, and the U.S. State Department.

The same Rabbi Rosenfeld showed no inhibition in mocking his political opponents. He referred to those who raise the alarm on the supremacist doctrine of Islam as "wacko" and "extremists" and even asked his embracing audience: "don't you have to laugh at some of these people?" The rabbi's partner, Pastor Yorty, used the word "haters" to describe opponents of his views.

I primarily attended this event to hear what the controversial Imam Rauf had to say. Yet I found the comments of the pastor and the rabbi more distressing. This is not because Imam Rauf has gone through an epiphany and now displays a drastic change of heart. After all, I have heard the imam a few times throughout the years, at the Chautauqua Institution, and I am used to his polished tone and deceptive language.

What I did not anticipate was the eagerness of Jewish and Christian clergy leaders to capitulate to a mostly Muslim audience who believe in a doctrine of Islamic world conquest supported with a dogma which aspires to destroy our way of life, a real threat to our liberties in our Western civilization.

These two clergymen ignored and belittled the horrific suffering of their own people. The persecution of Christians by Muslims was not an issue the pastor "knew much about," and new anti-Semitism, instigated mostly by Muslims, was "much less than ever before," merely exaggerated by the media. Of course, anyone who follows world affairs, even occasionally, knows how ludicrous their claims are. These two individuals preferred ingratiating themselves in front of their Muslim counterparts rather than challenging this particular audience to defend the rights of religious freedom and stand up against persecuting people with differing religious views. These clergymen and those who support them betray their communities by ignoring the looming issues and declaring platitudes, all under the name of progressiveness and multicultural understanding.

The organizer of this program is the president of MPAC Western New York chapter and on their national board. In Feb. 2008, Dr. Khalid J. Qazi ran a similar program titled "Understanding Islam," together with the aforementioned Rev. Yorty. There, Mr. Qazi falsely asserted that Israeli laws institute hate, that Jews rejoice when Palestinians are murdered, and that Jews "got all the goodies after World War II." While he persistently attacked Israel and Jews, he barely addressed the topic of "Understanding Islam." Additionally, in the MPAC newsletter of April 2009, Qazi asks "how and why the world could stand by while the state of Israel is subjecting Palestinians to a Holocaust in their own homeland."

In spite of these outrageous and offensive statements by Dr. Qazi, he still has been accepted by his Jewish and Christian counterparts — while, at the same time, they demonstrate contempt toward their opponents, who are genuinely concerned about what Dr. Qazi and his like really are all about.

Lt. Col. Allen West, newly elected Republican congressman from the state of Florida, shared his concise assessment of political Islam during a panel discussion on the topic. "This is not a religion," he said, that "you are fighting against. You are fighting against a theo-political belief system [... and] until you get principled leadership in the United States of America that is willing to say that, we will continue to chase our tail, because we'll never clearly define who this enemy is."

The question for Rabbi Rosenfeld, Rev. Yorty, and their supporters is: how can they label people with differing viewpoints, or anyone challenging their views, as "extremists" and "wackos"? Is this an honest dialogue? Where is the "principled leadership" among Jewish and Christian clergy who would take the politically incorrect stand and clearly spell out what we are up against? We need ordained religious leaders with intellectual honesty to come forward and let their voices be heard.

If individuals like these clergymen, who are enamored with their alleged "partners for peace," genuinely want to know "how Americans of all faiths can work together for lasting peace," for a start, why not discard the politically correct drivel and deal with the vital issues no matter how unpleasant and disturbing they are? I question whether there would be interfaith sessions and "twinning" projects if educated people of courage seriously challenged many of the thorny issues related to the political doctrine of Islam.

For now, interfaith dialogues provide quenching Kool-Aid for spineless leaders as the innocent masses remain oblivious and in danger — while the Islamists laugh all the way to Mecca.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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AN ANTI-ISRAEL PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER
Posted by Sanne DeWitt, February 18, 2011.
 

Editor's Note: For good reasons, The Never Again for Anybody campaign has also been called The Never Again for Anybody except the Jews. Its (known) sponsors are American Muslims for Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and the Middle East Children's Alliance. They are sympathetic to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sadly, they include Jews such as Hajo Meyer and Hedy Epstein, who are Holocaust survivors who use their Jewish birth to lend credence to their anti-Jewish Marxist agenda.

 

Report: Last evening I joined with about 30 pro-Israel demonstrators to protest the program presented at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 27th and Broadway in Oakland. The name of the program was "Never Again for Everyone" and it featured Auschwitz Survivor, Hajo Meyer, and Hatem Bazian, lecturer at the Center For Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley. Their point was to draw a comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

We assembled at 6 pm in front of the church and held posters proclaiming that Israel has the right to defend itself. We also held Israeli flags. The weather was blustery, cold and there were occasional downpours.

We stood in front of the church until people started arriving for the program. Among them was Paul Larudee, one of the organizers of the Gaza Flotilla. The church-goers were fairly ordinary, no-one stood out in terms of attire except one "guard" with a bull-type nose-ring which I wanted to yank.

I parked my car on 27th street, near the corner of Broadway, and went to the car to feed the meter. On my return to the sidewalk in front of the church I walked on a cement pathway which linked 27th street to the sidewalk in front of the church. I was immediately accosted by a very tall man who yelled at me accusing me of being on church property. All he needed to distinguish himself from a concentration camp guard was a Swastika arm-band.

In order to get off the walk and proceed to the sidewalk I had to walk approximately 20 feet along the path but he kept screaming at me "Get Off Church Property!" There were no signs denying anyone access.

Now, I ask you, is that a Christian thing to do? What would Jesus think? Is walking on a path by a church a sin or is it illegal?

I was born in Munich, Germany, during the Nazi times and in 1938 Jews were forbidden to walk on the sidewalk and so we had to walk in the gutter. The Nazi rules stated that we had to register with the police on a weekly basis but, in order to do so, we had to cross the sidewalk to the station office. The dilemma was that by complying we had to cross the sidewalk. We could be arrested for lack of compliance or for crossing the sidewalk. Take your choice. I was deported to Poland!

Anyhow, to get back to last night: I found myself screaming at this man asking him by what authority he had for giving me that order. He may have been part of the church's security guard or simply a hateful person. What was clear was that Jews were not welcome on church property.

I find it disturbing and disgraceful that Jews can be excluded from church property and I will write to the minister of the First Presbyterian and make a complaint.

Please send letters to the Minister of the First Presbyterian Church, criticizing Rev. Jack Shriver who has been promoting an anti-Israel message to his congregation.

Rev. Jack Shriver
First Presbyterian Church
2619 Broadway
Oakland, California 94612

One musician played music on a Shofar, we sang and chanted, some of "ours" paid the $15 to go into the program but were then escorted out (money refunded). So the message was: "Never Again for Everyone but the Jews!"

We stood shivering outside the Church until 7:30 pm, sang Hatikvah and declared victory.

Sanne (Spitfire) DeWitt

Sanne DeWitt publishes the East Bay Israel Action Committee (IACEB) Newsletter. Contact her by email at skdewitt@comcast.net

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A LETTER FROM A FEARFULLY CONCERNED MUSLIM
Posted by Bill Narvey, February 18, 2011.

This brilliant piece by Mansur Salim, while critical of Obama, is more a plaintive critique of America's current state of being and a sorrowful prediction of where that state of being is taking America and thus the free world.

One sad aspect of that state of being, is that Democrats and all who see in Obama a great leader, will summarily and derisively dismiss Mansur's views, without specifically engaging on the issues and points Mansur raises, just as they have regarding anyone critical of Obama and his thinking.

That really must change, if Mansur's hope can be realized that America, the leader of the free world, can once again turn things around as she has in past.

It was posted on Pajamas Media: and is archived at
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ a-letter-from-a-fearfully-concerned-muslim/

 

Since 9/11 I have been mulling over the words of Georgi Arbatov pinned on the wall above my desk. I don't believe in conspiracies, and I strive to keep my distance from the sophisticates of the Chomsky school of conspiracy-peddlers. But I do believe in what Barbara Tuchman described so well in The March of Folly. Folly, it seems to me, is the most severe and unforgiving sin of politicians, especially politicians responsible for the security of societies in advanced cultures of relative freedom, such as ours at this time in history. As Martin Walker, then the Moscow correspondent for the Guardian, reported in August 1992, Arbatov said to him: "We are going to do the worst thing we possibly can to America — we are going to take away their enemy." Arbatov, you might recall, was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, responsible for keeping track of Soviet-American relations.

Arbatov — now looking back nearly twenty years later in deconstructing his words — seemed to possess a piercing understanding, as student of history, of the American scene, and how it could likely unfold over time in the post-Soviet and post-Communist era. His words to Walker were more insightful than any offered by just about all the left-leaning talking heads and commentators, in the U.S., Canada, and Europe put together. Arbatov understood, given his experience sitting in the privileged seat of the party in Moscow during the Brezhnev period, how the existence of Communist Russia checked the forces of the left in the West, keeping them from gaining influence and power. Now, as Arbatov reflected, since the Soviet Union as a military superpower had collapsed and the threat of Soviet Communism was discarded in the so-called dustbin of history, the spoiled children and beneficiaries of the West's longest and strongest economic expansion and technological achievements, unparalleled in history, would set forth to do what the Soviet Union could not do — to advance the aim of Communism to wreck liberal capitalism from the inside.

Just ponder how a third-rate community organizer — from the most incestuously corrupt political region in the U.S.; with a record of participation in the most vulgar gathering of Jeremiah Wright posing as a reverend, spouting Fanonian rhetoric and bigotry; with mentors such as the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; channelling the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Rashid Khalidi of the Chomsky school of self-loathing and sophistry — could advance through the ranks of American politics at an astounding speed, with little or no record of experience in government, to become the 44th president. In one of my columns from 2008 for the Sun Media in Canada, I had written in disbelief, as I watched the primaries unfold, of how American voters could be so beguiled by a charlatan of the Harold Hill type from The Music Man and vote for Obama. I was wrong in my overestimation of reason and experience among American voters as a check on the naivete of the university crowd and the duplicity of Lenin's "useful idiots" in free societies. One of the lessons from 2008, for me, is this: how can I now scold Egyptians for wanting freedom and democracy behind the banners of the Muslim Brotherhood when their experience with electoral politics is negligible, and their history of 7,000 years offer little guidance for what freedom requires — respect for the other and not mistaking freedom for licentiousness?

There is not a very long arc connecting the joyful news of Soviet disintegration with the painfully distressing slide of American politics framed for posterity in the election of Obama. Arbatov did not nor, even if he had indulged in irresponsible speculation, could have predicted such an eventuality in American politics. But he had it right, it seems to me, for what he meant was the presence of the Soviet Union placed upon liberal democracies, led by the U.S., a discipline and a check upon the excesses and follies of democracy. But once this discipline was removed it would lead to a bacchanalia in the West, the near instant raising of the slogan "end of history" even as the dust from the tearing down of the Berlin Wall had not settled, and this lack of discipline combined with the "flower children" of the sixties coming of age and grasping for power, would bring about a situation, Arbatov imagined, that would do more damage than the old men of the Communist plutocracy could ever deliver without committing suicide of their own.

It is on account of the circumstances in which we find ourselves since 9/11 that I fear the West is precariously tilting at the edge of terminal decline. The situation today is dramatically different than the one in 1979. Then, Ronald Reagan, with Thatcher and Pope John Paul II on either side, reversed the slide of American politics and the West — from the debacle of defeat in Vietnam, brought by the fecklessness of the Democrats, to the hostage crisis in Tehran.

The Soviet Union did discipline the West and, ironically, the existing reality of the Soviet Empire gave Reagan the measure needed to re-group and deliver the coup de grace. But after 1992 we have been in the state of enjoying our unrestrained appetite for endless orgy, the zeal that comes to declining bodies from the artificiality of induced eroticism by pills which give to narcissists of the "sixties" generation the pathetic sense of immortality. These are the folks the people have elected to run their lives, protect their cultural legacy, hold back the enemies of freedom, maintain balance of power in strategic and vulnerable regions of the world and, as Burke reminded his own generation, maintain the promise of the present and inheritance of the past as trustees for the unborn generations of the future.

Ten years after 9/11, we, the broad public of liberal democracies, still have not fully grasped the meaning of that horror-filled morning, or understood without any apologetics or polemics the evil nature and ideology of the men who planned and executed the deed. We remain more or less preoccupied with re-litigating the debate over the decision by the Bush administration to take the war declared upon the West into the heartland of the enemy and expunge them; and instead of faulting Bush for not going far enough at home and abroad in defeating the Islamist jihadi assault on the West, for reasons that have everything to do with the nature of our corrupted polity, we have contorted ourselves to find the right mix of appeasement. From the ashes piled high at the end of the Second World War to the re-grouping that was essential to contain the Soviet Union, the passage of time was barely twenty-four months. Ten years after 9/11, the West has as leaders Obama and Cameron, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, and Merkel still clinging to the fantasy that Islamists are merely a Middle Eastern version of Milton and Locke, Tocqueville and Mill, leading the reform of the Islamic civilization that once gave us Alhambra and the Taj Mahal, Omar Khayyam and the tales from the Arabian Nights.

The fault, as Cassius reminds Brutus, is in ourselves, a decaying civilization that will be saved (if it will be) not by the snobs in Washington and New York, London and Paris, Rome and Berlin, but by our version of the unsophisticated children of truckers who are now waking up from the drug-induced stupor of their parents' and grandparents' generation. I have hope, the eternal hope of a fearful heart, that the West will survive and yet again gather speed, but how sad are the losses and tears that have piled up — with more to come. They could have been avoided if we, as a people, were not so irresponsible or unfaithful to our history as to place at the head of our societies leaders so unworthy and clueless as the one who so unfittingly occupies the seat of Washington and Lincoln, at the head of this great republic.

Cordially,

Salim

Contact Bill Narvey by email at wpnarvey@shaw.ca

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OBAMA'S PAINFULLY OBVIOUS AGENDA: Godfather of Islamic Revolution?
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, February 18, 2011.

This was written by Dr. Mordechai Nisan and appeared in Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com).

 

Barack Hussein Obama may be the godfather of the Islamic revolution. The tempo and turmoil of regional events fit his agenda, and may be a result of his policies.

Radical transforming political developments in the Middle East and North Africa have given rise to criticism over the failure of President Obama's foreign policy. Pro-American regimes, as in Tunisia and Egypt, have virtually been toppled by mass protest in the name of ending corruption and nepotism, and demanding liberty and democracy, economic justice and social welfare for lower impoverished classes.

Other regional leaders, like King Abdullah in Jordan, are targeted by popular opposition, and in Lebanon the Western-oriented Hariri government has been brought down. The U.S.-supported Palestinian Abu Mazen regime has come on hard times, with the Qatari Al-Jazeera campaign undermining its political legitimacy. Iran-supported Hamas is the beneficiary of this development.

This political collapse in the Middle East is seen as a colossal defeat for Obama and American interests. Washington's allies have fallen, or are tottering, and hopes for moderation and stability seem to be shattered.

Obama's True Agenda

Since entering the White House, Obama has been transparent in promoting his views and policies. In the domestic arena, he favors construction of a large mosque near Ground Zero though a majority of Americans oppose this controversial step; he favored a civilian trial for 9/11 terror planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammad despite popular views to the contrary; and he refused to describe the Fort Hood killing spree of thirteen soldiers by Muslim major Nidal Malik Hasan as a crime inspired by Islam.

The elevated status of Islam in America was already announced at Obama's inaugural address when he referred to America as a nation of "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus." The Jews had been surpassed by Muslims in the politico-religious hierarchy, while later Obama speaking in the name of America stated that "We are no longer a Christian nation." A clear instance of Islamic prioritization occurred when NASA's new mandate was ordered by Obama to be outreach to Muslim countries, and to make them feel good about their contribution to science.

In world politics, Obama promised that America will never go to war against Islam. His first presidential visits to Cairo and Ankara illustrated his exceptional friendship for Muslim countries; he avoided visiting Jerusalem. His sanctions campaign against Iran was sluggish and his support for the reformist protest following the June 2009 elections muted. The ayatollahs could relax with Obama in the White House.

Meanwhile, Obama has now sent an ambassador to Damascus to restore relations with that rogue state that has been allowing Iran and Hizbullah to freely engage in weapons smuggling across Syria's border into Lebanon. Recently on Obama's watch, the Iranian republic's surrogate terrorist subsidiary brought down the elected pro-Western government in Beirut.

And now we have reports that Washington was even involved earlier in supporting anti-Mubarak forces in Egypt, and when the massive street protests erupted in late January, Obama's administration advised him to act with restraint and initiate reforms. This is a historical playback to Carter helping deliver Iran under the shah into the hands of ayatollah Khomeini.

Obama's Islamic Paradigm Policy

There are different explanations of Obama's policies and goals in the region. Some say he is poorly advised or that he is politically naive. Perhaps he lacks judgment on strategic and political affairs in this rough Middle Eastern arena of precarious relations and duplicitous promises.

But a paradigm which fits Obama's record suggests that the tempo and turmoil of regional events fit his agenda, and may be a result of his policies. As a son of a Muslim father, Obama is on course to promote Islamization at home and abroad. In the Middle East, where popular religious forces threaten authoritarian regimes, Obama has placed America on the side of Islam. His is a historical role in furthering the expansion of radical Sharia Islam from his Oval Office in Washington. Hamas, while defined as a terrorist organization, received U.S. aid for the Gaza Strip under its rule.

Obama's agenda is succeeding brilliantly with the very list of events considered his failures in foreign policy in fact, highlighting his successes. Islamic takeovers in Lebanon and perhaps Egypt, maybe in Tunisia and Yemen, then Jordan, fulfill his vision in full glow. Thus, Egypt as a base of American strategy in the Middle East may be replaced by Egypt as a foundation for the spread of radical Islam in the world. When Obama bowed before the King of Saudi Arabia in April 2009, he was not showing respect for the monarchy but deference to the Guardian of the Holy Cities of Islam. Maybe over a few generations Washington will be added, along with Rome, to the list of Islamic sacred sites.

It is Obama's radical liberalism and political leftism that bamboozle an appreciation of his Islamic agenda. After all, his support or sympathy for homosexuality and gay marriage, certainly abortion, is incongruent with Islamic law and custom. Yet President Obama stands simultaneously for Islamand liberalism, and the radical rupturing of traditional America can dialectically advance the process over the long-run for the victory of Islam. A morally fractured and spiritually distraught America will lead more of its young people, as is already happening, to embrace Islam. So too, Obama's call for liberty and democracy in the Arab world, as in Egypt, can enable the revolution by Islam.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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HAPPINESS
Posted by Teresinka Pereira, February 18, 2011.
 

HAPPINESS

is the smile of a child
breaking the silence
of tears
His joy is a slice
of heaven!

Contact Teresinka Pereira at tpereira@buckeye-express.com

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YOU HAVE MADE A VERY TERRIBLE MISTAKE!
Posted by Wake Up Americans, February 18, 2011.
 

What is ICNA?

The Muslim Brotherhood document, "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" refers to ICNA as one of the Brotherhood's 29 likeminded organizations who teach "that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions. "The Brotherhood's creed is: 'God is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.'"

Who is Siraj Wahhaj?

* The Muslim Brotherhood calls Wahhaj the "American Imam."

* In 1993 he was named as an Unindicted Co Conspirator in World Trade Center Bombings Investigation.

* Believes in converting gang members to Islam for "day America will crumble." Wahhaj says for the faithful to go into the hood and prisons and convert disenfranchised minorities, and then arm and train them to carry out an Uzi jihad in the inner cities.

* Wahhaj says "You know what this country (USA) is? It's a garbage can." He snarls. "It's filthy." He prays it (USA) "crumbles" and is replaced by Islam.

Who is Anur-Abel Malik-Ali?

* At the Universal Heritage Foundation's December 2003 Islamic Conference in Florida, he warned moderate American Muslims that their desire to be "liked" was turning them into "'house slaves.'"

* He said, "Sooner or later, today's Muslim students will be the parents of Muslim children. And they should be militants."

* At the Sixth Annual Muslim Student Association Conference held at UC Berkeley in February 2004, Malik-Ali denounced "the white man, who is the enemy."

Contact Wake Up America at Wakeupamericans@comcast.net

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A POSTSCRIPT ON ISLAM
Posted by Professor Paul Eidelberg, February 18, 2011.
 

Anyone who has read a fraction of what the present author has written about Islam and Islamic theology during the past 30 years — in books as well as in articles — would know that his essay, "How to Democratize Islam," was intended to make people think out of the box. Unlike Daniel Pipes, Benjamin Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky, and legions of other commentators and politicians who fear being marginalized or labeled as "Islamophobes" by telling the unvarnished truth about Islam and its resurgence in this age of weapons of mass murder, the present author, a reader of countless books and articles about Islam and its monotheistic form of idolatry manifested in Islam's 1,400-year history of warfare, slaughter, savagery, plunder, hatred, dissimulation, treachery, and self-glorification — the present author, I was saying, who stood at the ruins of the New York Trade Center when one could still smell the horrible odor of its human remains, and then read with revulsion how the Muslim street exalted this tragic loss of innocent men, women, and children with the mindless and paganistic chant of Allahu Akbar — the present author, a political scientist and philosopher of history, confidently declares that Islam has no more chance of being democratized than his becoming a Zulu warrior.

This was written by Paul Eidelberg, an Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer. He is President of the Foundation For Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. Contact him at list-owner@foundation1.org

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IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 18, 2011.
 

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il Go to http://denjanewhome.blogspot.com/ to see more of his graphic art.

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THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS BROADCASTER
Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 18, 2011.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared in the Spectator (UK)
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/ 6709665/the-worlds-most-dangerous-broadcaster.thtml

 

I have only just caught up with the BBC1 documentary on the Dutch politician Geert Wilders that was transmitted on Tuesday evening. Did I say documentary? 'Europe's Most Dangerous Man' was a vicious hatchet job that was a disgrace to journalism. More than that, it could be argued that by presenting Wilders as a latter-day Nazi who was likely to foment war in Europe between Muslims and non-Muslims, it was in effect inciting violence or the murder of a politician who is already under armed guard 24/7.

There were several aspects of this programme that should have caused any responsible broadcaster to sling it straight into the trash. First and most fundamentally, it simply turned the people threatening the free world into victims and the politician who is trying to defend the free world against that threat into a fascist. Muslims were presented as universally peaceful people signed up to democracy and human rights; Wilders was the presented as the extremist threat to democracy and human rights. Yet as Wilders himself was quoted as saying — even while the script was telling us that these words were 'extremist' — he was defending freedom against the threat from Islamists to extinguish those freedoms.

Worse still, look at the two individuals the film-makers used to level the most inflammatory charges against Wilders — individuals who were described as democrats assigned up to human rights. The first, Ibrahim Mogra, is from the Muslim Council of Britain — described by the programme as 'an organisation seeking to promote a distinct Muslim identity in tune with British cultural norms and values'.

Yet this is the organisation with which the British government has twice broken off relations on account of its extremism. The first occasion was when it refused to take part in Britain's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. The second occasion was in response to the MCB's deputy general secretary, Dr Daud Abdullah, signing the Istanbul Declaration, a public declaration of support for Hamas and call for violence against the British Royal Navy and Jewish communities.

The film made no mention of this whatever. Instead it used the MCB man to attack Wilders as a dangerous extremist.

The second of these 'moderate' individuals wheeled on to attack Wilders was Sheikh Khalid Yasin. The film described Sheikh Yasin as 'an American Muslim teacher extremely popular among young European Muslims' who 'has embarked on a mission to de radicalise them.' Yasin denounced Wilders for 'fanning hatred'.

Yet in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme 'Undercover Mosque' transmitted two years ago, Yasin was recorded saying:

'We Muslims have been ordered to do 'brainwashing' because the kuffaar [non-Muslims] ... they are doing 'brain defiling' ... You are watching the kaffir TVs, and your wife is watching right now, and your children are watching it right now, and they are being polluted, and they are being penetrated, and they are being infected, so that your children and you go out as Muslims and come back to the house as kaffirs...The whole delusion of the equality of women is a bunch of foolishness. There's no such thing.'

And Wilders is called 'Europe's most dangerous man'?

Worse, the film then adduced as the final proof of Wilders's perfidy that he was a passionate defender of Israel. His crime, apparently, was to believe that Israel was 'the last line of the defence of Europe' — which indeed it is — and that to solve the Middle East impasse, Jordan should become Palestine — which indeed it originally was.

Worse again, however, the film suggested that Wilders was an Israeli spy — and, in the words of Sheikh Yasin, that it was doing Israel's dirty work for it:

'I think that he [Wilders] has taken and embraced the idea of modern Zionism. And he is using the platform of modern Zionism to espouse the same concepts about Muslims in the world and the Koran, that the Jews cannot afford to say in Israel. But Mr Wilders can do them a favour. He can go outside of Israel with those same feelings and he can characterise the way that the Zionists characterise the Palestinians to legitimise their power. Mr Wilders can characterise Islam in the same way. This is what is taking place.'

So the film suggested, in effect, that Wilders was the front man for a kind of Nazi-Jewish conspiracy — thus defaming both him and Israel in one go. Others smeared by association with him were the distinguished scholar of Islam (and indefatigable supporter of true Islamic reformers) Daniel Pipes, and the heroic Danish defender of freedom of speech Lars Hedegaard — who recently only narrowly fought off an attempt by Denmark's pusillanimous prosecutors to silence him through a criminal prosecution for raising concerns about violence within some Muslim family life.

This travesty of a documentary was made by two radical Dutch film-makers for a production company called 'Red Rebel'. Questions need to be asked how the BBC could transmit something on such an inflammatory subject which ignored the most basic standards of journalistic fairness, — and was effectively the broadcasting equivalent of a flier distributed by the Socialist Workers' Party.

But of course, we all know the answer to that already. BBC 'group-think' means that BBC executives will have assumed the lazy and vicious left-wing demonisation of Wilders is axiomatically true and unchallengeable. They will thus have suspended any critical faculties or professionalism to which they might ever have laid any claim.

We are living in truly evil times.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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DEAR HELEN: FROM ONE AMERICAN LEBANESE JOURNALIST TO ANOTHER...
Posted by ABC Zada, February 17, 2011.

This was written June 10, 2010 by Brigitte Gabriel and it appeared on Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism website:
http://bigjournalism.com/bgabriel/2010/06/10/ dear-helen-from-one-american-lebanese-journalist-to-another/

 

Dear Helen Thomas:

With a great deal of disappointment I watched your interview, replayed over and over on television, in which you said that Jews should "go back home to Poland and Germany." I find it both appalling and unsettling that someone with your level of journalistic accomplishment would lack a basic knowledge of Middle Eastern history.

So please allow me to make the case as to why Israel has a historical, legal and moral right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East.

According to the Arab-Palestinian-Muslim narrative, Israel is an alien colony recently planted in the Arab world by American and European imperialism. This narrative recognizes no history prior to the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, and emphatically denies any ancient historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. This is the central lie, offered to justify uncompromising opposition to Jewish national rights. It's almost as if they actually expect people to think the word "Israel" was invented in modern times. What is alarming is that their increasingly successful rewrite of history has taken hold in minds supposedly as informed as yours.

The Temple of Solomon

The historical truth is carved in Egyptian stone. According to a well-known hieroglyphic inscription, the tribes of Israel were a significant, established presence in Canaan no later than 1212 BCE. There is a vast body of archaeological evidence that demonstrates the ancient Israelite/Jewish presence in Israel/Judea as far back as 925 BCE. This historical presence is verified in the ancient records of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Moslem Empires. The Arab conquest did not occur until 638 CE (AD). An exercise in elementary arithmetic reveals that the Jewish people were there eighteen and one-half centuries before the arrival of the Muslim Arabs.

Despite being conquered many times, the Jewish people have had a constant, uninterrupted presence in the Land of Israel for over thirty centuries. The Arabs and Islam have been there less than fourteen centuries. It has conveniently been forgotten that the Jews and Christians were there first.

Furthermore, in the thirty centuries preceding the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, there have been only two periods when there was an independent, internationally recognized state in the area that now comprises Israel. Both of them were Jewish states. Even when this land was part of the Arab empire (638 CE/AD through 1099 CE/AD), there was never an independent Arab state in "Palestine," by that name or any other.

No wonder Arabs are donating millions of dollars to U.S. colleges for Middle Eastern schools of study. They have a lot of hard historical evidence to rewrite in the young minds of students, most of whom enter college with little or no knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern history.

The Jewish people have a distinct national identity. Religion is only one of the unique characteristics that defines this national identity. In addition, the Jewish people have a separate and distinct language, culture and customs, with a documented history of development over the past three thousand years. The Jewish people have created a vast body of art and literature, both secular and religious, which reflects the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls, written when the descendents of the Maccabees ruled an independent Judea, demonstrate that the Jewish people, both in the Holy Land and in exile all over the world, have been reading and writing secular and sectarian literature in the same distinct language for over two thousand years.

In contrast, the Arabic language and culture and the Muslim religion of the Palestinians are essentially indistinguishable from the wider Arab world. Prior to the mid 1800's there is no trace whatsoever of uniquely "Palestinian" art, literature, music, or any other manifestation of a distinct culture. If you find this hard to believe, try to think of one "Palestinian" book, or author, or artist, from the year 1300 through the year 1800. That's a period of 500 years.

There must be one book written by a "Palestinian" Arab author. There must be one painting by a "Palestinian" Arab artist. Guess what? There are none.

If you still don't believe it, ask a Palestinian nationalist or a Columbia University professor of Middle Eastern history to name one. The most honest response you will get is silence. The most likely response you will get is a lie.

Beersheba

People can propagate lies but they cannot erase historical facts. For more historical facts about the Palestinians and how they destroyed your own country of heritage, Lebanon, and how the Israelis helped and protected the Christians during the war, I invite you to pick up a copy of my New York Times bestseller Because They Hate. It's never too late to learn and catch up on history, even at 90.

Contact ABC Zada by email at abczada@123@aol.com

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REVIEWS OF U.S. REACTION TO MIDEAST UPRISINGS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 17, 2011.
 

Most people get their news and its analysis through a single ideological strainer. I find it far more fun to scan opposite views and wonder how each side misses the better points of the other.

What a contrast between the New York Times and the Wall St. Journal on assessing the Obama administration's reaction to the Mideast uprisings!

The New York Times approves of the Administration for initial silence, then for demanding reform, and then for demanding regime change. Its approval takes the form of the adjective "rightfully," whereby the editors pose as the final arbiter of right and wrong. How valuable their judgment is may be gauged by their almost knee-jerk approval of what liberals say or do, their constant partisan campaigning instead of reporting, and their record of having been favorable or blind to the rise and repression by the Soviets, Nazis, Castro, Sandinistas, Chinese Communists, and Islamists.

What appears to me is the usual foreign policy and especially Obama stumbling to catch up to reality, his self-contradiction, and his smoke and mirrors. This goes for foreign and domestic policy. Obama proposed budget comprises guaranteed, major, and mostly immediate tax and spending increases and unlikely, minor, and mostly deferred spending decreases. Precedent was set for that deception in Obamacare.

The Administration professed to be taken by surprise over the Mideast uprisings, but later was revealed to have been apprised of the coming storm by intelligence reports. Glad to hear that our intelligence agencies were alert; sad to hear that our President was not. Nor did the Obama apostle of transparency, share the intelligence report with America. What is transparent is his opportunism.

Further revelations indicate that the Administration was, to some extent actively supporting protest organizers in Egypt, even while it was proclaiming its loyalty to President Mubarak. As the Wall St. Journal mused, what ally will feel it can count on U.S. loyalty after that and other betrayals by the U.S.?

Although President Bush realized we were at war with terrorism, he nevertheless supported foreign aid for Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists and allies. He and his FBI director courted Radical Muslims. They cannot differentiate or do not want to differentiate between more dangerous and less dangerous Muslims. Therefore, Administration tinkering with Mideast stability may be more ominous than merely risky.

The Wall St. Journal reminds us that President Bush spoke out forcefully about the need for democracy in the Mideast and elsewhere. It praised that. One of its correspondents, however, worries that the focus is on free elections, which is a later stage in democratic development of a civil society capable of sustaining democracy. Free elections without a civil society set the stage for Islamist takeover. Apparently neither incumbent nor predecessor President understood the whole situation.

One commentator contrasted President Obama's near silence about Iran's protestors, who needed U.S. moral support and were pro-American, with his broad support of Egyptian protestors, who are not pro-American. Iran's regime would be replaced by a less menacing one. Egypt's is likeliest to be replaced by a more menacing one.

Is this Obama contrast due to his usual incompetence or to his radicalism? A conservative Op.-Ed. in the Wall St. Journal warned Republicans not to criticize Obama personally, lest they be impaled on his popularity. The article denied that Obama is trying to bring the U.S. down.

Obama's policies would bring the U.S. down. It would do so by a combination of overtaxing and overspending and appeasement of Radical Islam. Are his policies intended to undermine the U.S. or just do so out of ignorance and misplaced ideals?

His advocacy is full of misrepresentation and reversals to suit prevailing political winds. His friendships with radicals, that he tried to hide, his drawing on anti-Zionists for advisory positions, and his refusal to acknowledge policy failure just political setbacks indicate a subversive tendency. However, we do not have proof he is anything more sinister than an ignorant, egotistic, "unrealist."

Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA parses Presidential and State Department statements about the uprisings, the way Kremlinologists used to analyze the wording of Soviet leaders to surmise their policy. He justifies this reliance upon wording by citing the great craft with which the State Dept. words its communiqués and press releases to give a certain ambiguity, vagueness, and impression.

Although Obama and entourage have been very specific about what they want from Israel, they were very general about they want from the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). In supporting the P.A. unconditionally, the incumbent and past Administrations supported dictatorial imperialists. Notice that the P.A. is against the Mideast uprisings, fearing it is ripe for similar targeting by people fed up with its own corruption and repression.

Dr. Lerner noticed that U.S. statements urge that the new Egypt honor its international obligations. The U.S. does not specify honoring the treaty with Israel. Why not?

Egyptians may get the impression that Obama does not care, so long as Egypt seems democratic. Considering the explanations in the Mideast Quarterly that Egyptian protestors overwhelmingly approve of the oppression and mutilation of women, and disapprove of the treaty with Israel, a democratic Egypt may well war on Israel. This would be a war that Abbas offered to join. The U.S. Establishment will call Abbas a man of peace right up until that war.

My liberal sources welcome el Baradei's leadership of the Egyptian uprising. My conservative sources recognize that el Baradei is a front man for Hamas. Islamist protestors refer to him with scorn as a "useful donkey," the way the Soviet's Lenin referred to Communist fellow travelers as "useful idiots." El Baradei shielded Iran from strong investigation by the International Atomic Energy Association he headed. He made it difficult for international sanctions to be imposed on Iran. He hates Israel. Are the real Egyptian reformers aware of their peril from his initial leadership? Some reports indicate that the Moslem Brotherhood has been manipulating the protests already.

But the New York Times is full of claims that the Moslem Brotherhood has reformed and moderated. They say it is non-violent. The Wall St. Journal, ZOA, and other sources itemize the violence advocated and committed by the Brotherhood. Sure, under Barak's police scrutiny, the Brotherhood had to watch its step. Upon gaining power, however, it would be free to act out its ideological hatred and violence.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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FROM ISRAEL: IT NEVER STOPS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 17, 2011.
 

My approach yesterday of providing good news first seemed to be well received. But today I must start with the bad news, because I don't want to chance some of my readers just reading the good stuff and not getting to the rest.

~~~~~~~~~~

News has broken of willingness by the Obama administration to allow criticism of Israel with regard to "settlements" to go through in the Security Council, if the tone is softened.

Omri Ceren has written an article in Commentary about this that should be seen. It includes a citation from the publication Foreign Policy, which says:

"The U.S. informed Arab governments Friday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body 'does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,' a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal. But the Palestinian's rejected the American offer. ... [US Ambassador to the UN, Rice] outlined the new U.S. offer in a closed door meeting on Tuesday with the Arab Group. ... [I]n exchange for scuttling the Palestinian resolution, the United States would support the council statement, consider supporting a U.N. Security Council visit to the Middle East, the first since 1979, and commit to supporting strong language criticizing Israel's settlement policies in a future statement by the Middle East Quartet."

Adds Ceren:

"In a way, this is a natural follow-up to the administration's bumbling in Egypt, where they managed to alienate all parties in the Middle East except the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, and Iran's assorted proxies. This gesture won't win us any lasting goodwill from Arab elites. WikiLeaks showed that they care far more about geopolitical stability than they do about the settlements, such that the spectacle of the White House abandoning a second ally for the second week in a row would be met with worried chagrin, regardless of what they say out loud...

"...our [US] UN mission...seems to believe that 'bargaining' means 'getting progressively closer to the other side's position.' We're negotiating with the likes of Libya and the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon over whether we should protect one of our last Middle East allies against a biased UN lynch mob."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/02/16/ u-s-offering-to-join-in-security-council-condemnation-of-israel/

~~~~~~~~~~

OK. We have a radical-Muslim loving enemy in the White House. This is not news.

Seems, once again, that we may be saved by the Arabs, who are refusing to compromise and are pushing for that full Security Council resolution. Which, by the way, will be debated tomorrow (and very likely past Shabbat time for me, here in Israel). For, in spite of everything, the US may still veto this full tougher resolution (albeit reluctantly) because it contradicts US policy, which is that issues must be dealt with via negotiations. If the US had no problem accepting the full resolution, it would not have tried to soften it. As it is, the US now has to decide whom to anger.

~~~~~~~~~~

However, we are not without friends in the US, and I am receiving word about members of the House speaking out about this — though I do not have details as I write.

What I ask is that each of you speak out as well. It must be today:

Communicate to Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama your demand that the US not betray the only friend it has in the Middle East, and that the resolution on settlements in Israel to be brought before the Security Council be vetoed.

We need huge numbers on this. Flood them with your messages. No rudeness — it's counterproductive. No long sermons or history lessons. Keep it short, clear and direct.

For Secretary Clinton
Contact the State Department Public Communication Division:
Phone 202-647-6575 Fax 202-647-1579

For President Obama
Fax: 202-456-2461 White House Comment line: 202-456-1111
e-mail form via: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact (This is the least effective option.)

~~~~~~~~~~

I had predicted that, because of the unrest in Egypt, Israel would not be permitting any further Egyptian troops into the Sinai, following the 800 we agreed to allow in, primarily in the south and at Rafah, in January.

I was wrong. The Sinai is in chaos, and it's not just the Bedouins who are the trouble: Egyptian police have been holding mass demonstrations in the northern Sinai because they are attacked by the Bedouin: police have been killed recently. They want better pay, and better conditions.

And so we've said yes to some "small number" (not quantified) of additional army troops to deal with the terrorist-supporting Bedouins, who are not being dealt with by the police, and to guard the natural gas pipeline to Israel. Bedouin near St Catherine's monastery, Sinai, Egypt

Reportedly, the Egyptian military has agreed not to deploy near the border with southern Israel, and to leave if requested to do so. There may be good reasons for the decision made in Israel — with regard both to protection of the gas line and prevention of terrorism — but there's a danger, a certain perverse logic, here. The promises made by the Egyptian military are only good if they wish to honor them. If a situation arose in which we would feel the need to ask them to leave, we then might be facing precisely the sort of situation in which the Egyptian troops were no longer amenable to respecting our demands.

Obviously the betting in Jerusalem is that the military in control in Egypt presents no threat to Israel now. And the following article helps us understand why this may so.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thoughts of George Friedman, writing for the Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report, are below. I have reproduced a good deal of what he wrote, but stay with it because it's a fascinatingly different perspective:

"On Feb. 11, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned. A military council was named to govern in his place. On Feb. 11-12, the crowds that had gathered in Tahrir Square celebrated Mubarak's fall and the triumph of democracy in Egypt. On Feb. 13, the military council abolished the constitution and dissolved parliament, promising a new constitution to be ratified by a referendum and stating that the military would rule for six months, or until the military decides it's ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

"What we see is that while Mubarak is gone, the military regime in which he served has dramatically increased its power...

"At this point, we simply don't know what will happen. We do know what has happened. Mubarak is out of office, the military regime remains intact and it is stronger than ever...but the reality of what has happened...and the interpretation that much of the world has placed on it are startlingly different. Power rests with the regime, not with the crowds. In our view, the crowds never had nearly as much power as many have claimed.

"Certainly, there was a large crowd concentrated in a square in Cairo, and there were demonstrations in other cities. But the crowd was limited. It never got to be more than 300,000 people or so in Tahrir Square, and while that's a lot of people, it is nothing like the crowds that turned out during the 1989 risings in Eastern Europe or the 1979 revolution in Iran. Those were massive social convulsions in which millions came out onto the streets. The crowd in Cairo never swelled to the point that it involved a substantial portion of the city.

"In a genuine revolution, the police and military cannot contain the crowds. In Egypt, the military chose not to confront the demonstrators...because it agreed with the demonstrators' core demand: getting rid of Mubarak. And since the military was the essence of the Egyptian regime, it is odd to consider this a revolution.

~~~~~~~~~~

"The crowd in Cairo, as telegenic as it was, was the backdrop to the drama, not the main feature. The main drama began months ago when it became apparent that Mubarak intended to make his reform-minded 47-year-old son, Gamal, lacking in military service, president of Egypt. This represented a direct challenge to the regime. In a way, Mubarak was the one trying to overthrow the regime.

"The Egyptian regime was founded in a coup led by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser...It was intended to be a secular regime with democratic elements, but it would be guaranteed and ultimately controlled by the military.

"...Each successive president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, while formally elected in elections of varying dubiousness, was an officer in the Egyptian military...

"Mubarak's decision to name his son represented a direct challenge to the Egyptian regime. Gamal Mubarak was not a career military officer...Mubarak's desire to have his son succeed him appalled and enraged the Egyptian military, the defender of the regime. If he were to be appointed, then the military regime would be replaced by, in essence, a hereditary monarchy — what had ruled Egypt before the military...Mubarak's insistence on Gamal and his unwillingness to step down created a crisis for the regime. The military feared the regime could not survive Mubarak's ambitions.

~~~~~~~~~~

"This is the key point to understand. There is a critical distinction between the regime and Hosni Mubarak. The regime consisted — and consists — of complex institutions centered on the military but also including the civilian bureaucracy controlled by the military. Hosni Mubarak...was increasingly seen as a threat to the regime, and the regime turned on him.

"The demonstrators never called for the downfall of the regime. They demanded that Mubarak step aside...The military did not like the spectacle of the crowds, which is not the way the military likes to handle political matters. At the same time, paradoxically, the military welcomed the demonstrations, since they created a crisis that put the question of Mubarak's future on the table. They gave the military an opportunity to save the regime and preserve its own interests.

"The Egyptian military is opaque... Who was on what side is a guess. What is known is that many in the military opposed Gamal, would not push the issue to a coup, and then staged a coup designed to save the regime after the demonstrations in Cairo were under way.

"That is the point. What happened was not a revolution. The demonstrators never brought down Mubarak, let alone the regime. What happened was a military coup that used the cover of protests to force Mubarak out of office in order to preserve the regime.

"We now face the question of whether the coup will turn into a revolution. The demonstrators demanded — and the military has agreed to hold — genuinely democratic elections and to stop repression. It is not clear that the new leaders mean what they have said...But there are deeper problems in the democratization of Egypt. First, Mubarak's repression had wrecked civil society...Second, the military is deeply enmeshed in running the country...and it is not clear that, in the end, the military will want to leave the position it has held for more than half a century.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Of course, there is the feeling...that something unheard of has taken place, as U.S. President Barack Obama has implied. It is said to have something to do with Twitter and Facebook. We should recall that, in our time, genuine revolutions that destroyed regimes took place in 1989 and 1979, the latter even before there were PCs. Indeed, such revolutions go back to the 18th century. None of them required smartphones, and all of them were more thorough and profound than what has happened in Egypt so far. This revolution will not be 'Twitterized.' The largest number of protesters arrived in Tahrir Square after the Internet was completely shut down.

"The new government has promised to honor all foreign commitments, which obviously include the most controversial one in Egypt, the treaty with Israel... [however], the crowds in the square seemed to have other thoughts, not yet clearly defined. But then, it is not clear that the demonstrators in the square represent the wishes of 80 million Egyptians.

~~~~~~~~~~

"The Egyptian government is hardly in a position to confront Israel, even if it wanted to. The Egyptian army has mostly American equipment and cannot function if the Americans don't provide spare parts or contractors to maintain that equipment...Egypt is not going to war any time soon.

"It is not that nothing happened in Egypt, and it is not that it isn't important. It is simply that what happened was not what the media portrayed but a much more complex process...

"...An 82-year-old man has been thrown out of office, and his son will not be president. The constitution and parliament are gone and a military junta is in charge. The rest is speculation."
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0211/stratfor021611.php3

~~~~~~~~~~

Prime Minister's brief comment on the situation in Egypt was, in essence, that while we hope for the best for the people of Israel, we must prepare for the worst.

~~~~~~~~~~

The predicted entry of two Iranian ships into the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal has not transpired. At least not yet. I'm getting conflicting reports on what may have happened:

The reports that the ships were coming through the Suez Canal may have been premature, for there were claims that the officials at the Canal never received from Iran the requisite application for permission to pass. (Those claims, of course, not necessarily proving anything.)

Or Iran may have been intending to move on this, but then been dissuaded by messages that we'll never know about.

Or, as Al Arabiya TV reported today, Egyptian authorities may have prevented the two Iranian ships — currently docked at the Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia — from crossing the Canal.

From one unnamed Egyptian source came a report that the planned crossing was postponed to an unknown future date.

At any rate, for the moment, the knowledge that an Iranian missile ship is not in Mediterranean waters qualifies as good news in my book.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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EYE-WITNESSES TO ISRAELI POLICE BRUTALITY
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 17, 2011.
 

Background:

Jews hiking in the Gush Etzion hills, earlier in February, were set upon by Arabs throwing stones at them. Elderly ones could not run fast enough. But some companions had guns, and fired warning shots.

Police came and automatically arrested all of those Jews possessing guns, however responsible they were with their weapons. They questioned no Arabs, however criminal they were with their weapons. This is a pattern.

Police released two detainees shortly afterwards, another five days later, and charged two others with homicide. Absent dead bodies, the charge of homicide had no basis. It seems a political rather than a criminal matter. Police admitted lack of evidence against the pair charged with homicide, suggesting they be freed. The judge concurred.

The harassment of innocent Jews and the failure to criminally prosecute Arabs demonstrates the Israeli government's political theme. This theme is that Jews are not supposed to defend themselves. [The leftist media claims that terrible "settlers" attack Arabs who cannot defend themselves. People think that Establishment reporting is factual. Actually, it is propagandistic.]

New story:

The arrested hikers were supported by a peaceful rally with permit, at the courthouse in the Russian Compound section of Jerusalem. Speakers praised hikers for not simply letting victims be murdered. The crowd shouted approval. They were orderly.

Police ordered the crowd to move. Veteran rally leader Nadia Matar read aloud from the permit, which specified the location she was at. A policeman grabbed, crushed, and pocketed the permit. Police also seized the loud speakers and any cameras they saw filming their brutality which they continued against camera wielders.

Police shoved others against cars for even less excuse. They pulled and then carried Matar to the new spot, and violently pushed the crowd there. [Iran and Egypt are not the only countries to squelch communication about police brutality.]

Like the hike, the rally included people in their seventies. One started to fall from the impact of others being pushed. Bones were at risk, trampling probable but narrowly missed. Strain and pain ensued.

After Matar was taken away to be arrested, a small group of demonstrators remained and where police had ordered them. The violent police now outnumbered the non-violent demonstrators.

What do you think Arabs make of these Israeli policies? They must feel encouraged to commit more violence with impunity. They level false charges with immunity. (Considering how brutally Israeli police treat Zionist witnesses, I cannot name my source, for whose reliability I vouch.)

What to make of this:

Consider how brutally Israeli police treat Zionist witnesses, how lax they are with anti-Zionist assailants, and how unreliable and propagandist are the major Israeli and foreign media, which rarely report this. This prevailing anti-Jewish brutality is not understood, at least not abroad, which often denounces unnamed religious and nationalist Jews as extremist and refrains from describing as extremist Muslim Arab marchers literally calling for Jewish blood. No wonder Europeans think ill of Israel!

The theme of many earlier reports has been that police often delay leaving or do not leave their posts to rescue Jews under attack by Palestinian Arabs. Police are not spared for repressing Jewish nationalist demonstrations or self-defense.

What good and how democratic is an Israeli Establishment that is humane to the Arabs and inhumane to Jews?

The false charges are a form of harassment. Disarming Jews who defend themselves with arms is unconscionable. These Jews generally try to avoid actually shooting anybody. If they weren't afraid of being punished for taking a more active defense against jihad, they might. The government would try them for murder, but cannot rationally justify the indictments.

Why do Israeli police do this? It is no coincidence that they are brutal under an Establishment that, whether it calls itself leftist or rightist, and contrary to decisive evidence, thinks that withdrawing Jews from another part of their homeland besides Jordan, and letting fanatical terrorist jihadists rule there, would bring peace or at least foreign praise. Israeli government brutality can be traced back to the original socialists fending off a conservative, nationalist rival, by using thugs and defamation. Then, too, the Left was fascistic, but denounced the non-violent Right as fascistic.

Israel lacks a certain justice, fair reporting, and a government that pursues the national interest.

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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CONFUSING DEMOCRACY WITH ELECTIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Posted by Dr. Richard Swier, February 17, 2011.
 

I keep reading report after report about the so called "populist movements" taking place across the Middle East. The media, government off officials and pundits all liken this change as good. They believe there is a wave of democracy sweeping across an area ruled by despots, kings and dictators. I believe there is great room for pause as we see government after government toppled by those in the streets.

The key question is: What form of government will replace them?

History tells us that whenever there is a toppling of government the people in the streets demand a restoration of order. When that happens the most powerful forces tend to take control (e.g. a military junta, another dictator or totalitarian regime). As we know history always repeats itself and it is in the Middle East. The problem is we are not and will not see constitutional republics spring up across the Middle East. Why not? Religion and culture.

The religion and cultures in the Islamic civilization are the opposite of and are in perpetual conflict with those in Western civilization. As I said in my column "Islam Rising", I believe we are witnessing the beginnings of a much more militant and radical civilizational Islam. Those replacing existing governments will be just as totalitarian, just as despotic and just as ruthless. What will be the difference? The new government will be even more Islamic.

Samuel A. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, said, "Western nations will lose predominance if they fail to recognize the irreconcilable nature of cultural tensions." The new states that will emerge in the Middle East will increase, not decrease, cultural tensions with the West.

Islam is becoming more modern, more militant, more anti-West, and more dangerous.

As the Islamic civilization has modernized it is becoming more religiously fundamental and has rejected the Western ideals of democracy, free markets, civil rights, the rule of law, decentralized government, the prohibiting of a state religion and freedom of worship.

All civilizations are not created equal, all civilizations are not good and all civilizations are not our friends.

It is Islam against the West

I believe it is extremely dangerous to confuse democracy with elections in the Middle East. Examples abound: Hamas won an election in Gaza but continues to suppress its own people and attack Israel and the West.

Hezbollah won an election in Lebanon but continues its war like call for the destruction of Israel and the West.

Elections are held in Iran yet the ruling government cracks down on its citizens and rejects all overtures by the West to stop its nuclear program, while calling for the 12th Imam to return and conquer the world. Even Iraq is an Islamic state.

Afghanistan, well need I say more?

Democracy in Islam has a much different meaning than it does in the United States or France or Germany.

What is happening today does not bode well for the West.

Time to smell the coming tyranny and stop it in its tracks.

The expected control of the Egyptian government by the Muslim Brotherhood in September elections must be prevented at all costs.

The United States and the West must realize this and take the necessary action to support the Egyptian Army. To do otherwise will lead in six months to a Muslim Brotherhood majority government controlling the second largest military in the Middle East.

I believe we will see a more aggressive and militant Islam demanding even more concessions from the West and giving less in return.

Tolerance in Islam is a one way street.

I see Islam rising, bad news for us all.

Contact Richard Swier by email at drswier@gmail.com

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GAZA BORDER ZONE SHOOTING: CONTEXT VANISHES IN NO-MAN'S LAND
Posted by Hands Fiasco, February 17, 2011.

This was written by Simon Plosker and it appeared on the Honest Reporting website. Simon Plosker is Managing Editor of HonestReporting.com

 

The UK's Sunday Times featured a dramatic sounding story "Morpurgo sees child shot in Gaza border wasteland" (subscription only).

According to the article:

The children's writer, Michael Morpurgo, has described how he witnessed the shooting of a 15-year-old boy during a visit to Gaza. ...

The incident happened while Morpurgo, the former children's laureate, was waiting to cross back into Israel with a group of sick children and elderly Palestinians in need of hospital treatment. He was told the border had been closed after two other young Palestinians had been shot.

"Either side of me I saw hundreds of kids, with carts and donkeys picking up rubble to be recycled as building blocks with which they could rebuild their shattered city," he said.

Suddenly shots rang out. "A cry went up from all over the wilderness of the rubble; I heard lots of screaming and saw the children running towards one spot. A minute later they came pouring past me and on the last cart there was a kid bleeding from his leg, his trousers soaked through with blood, screaming."

The boy, named Shamekh, from Jabalia in northern Gaza, had been collecting rubble with his two brothers and his father in the hope of earning some money.

The article contains criticism from Save the Children of alleged Israeli shooting of children near the Gaza border and claims that "The shootings are often carried out by remote-controlled weapon stations based in unmanned watch towers containing machineguns."

Nowhere in the article was the IDF given the chance to respond or explain the situation surrounding the border area with Gaza. Had the journalist bothered to investigate further, perhaps she would have addressed some very relevant issues. Where The Sunday Times failed, we consulted with a senior IDF military source to find out the missing context.

Holes in the Story

According to the article, the incident happened while Morpurgo was waiting to cross back into Israel. This would imply that he was at Erez, the main crossing for pedestrians, including Palestinians with permits to enter Israel for medical treatment. Did Morpurgo actually witness the shooting incident or did he see only the aftermath?

Is Sara Hashash, The Sunday Times journalist playing loose with the Morpurgo's account when she states that "Suddenly shots rang out"? The fact that the youth was injured in the leg and not killed by multiple bullet wounds tallies with how the IDF operates on the border. Warning shots are fired some 10-20m away giving Palestinians in the buffer zone ample time to leave the area without any further incident. In addition, the only soldiers qualified to open fire, after first receiving permission from their commanders, are highly trained snipers who aim for the legs with the specific purpose of preventing fatalities.

This reality is also very different from the impression given by the article's statement concerning remote-controlled weapons stations and machineguns.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the entire incident would have occurred as suddenly as Hashash suggests. But why then would the IDF open fire on someone supposedly collecting materials from the rubble in the first place? Again, had the journalist bothered to ask, she would have found out that bags that may be used to carry the scavenged materials can also be used to transport IEDs. And someone crouching amidst the rubble may just as likely be planting an IED as picking up concrete slabs.

Sunday Times Plays Loose With the Truth The Sunday Times article was based upon a short film of Michael Morpurgo's visit to Israel and Gaza sponsored by Save the Children and broadcast on BBC Newsnight. The alleged shooting incident described in the article is actually covered in the Morpurgo's footage (see from 7:10 in) and shows that Morpurgo certainly did not see the shooting itself but rather the aftermath. He says:
I've never seen anyone shot before. The doctor from Medicins Sans Frontieres tells me the Israelis use remote-controlled guns operated from miles away. It's difficult for me to confirm this has happened here but the doctor says it happens a lot.

So Morpurgo openly states that cannot confirm what The Sunday Times claims to have happened and that this is only backed up by a non-governmental organization (NGO) worker, something that can never be relied upon in light of false statements from Palestinian doctors and NGOs in the past.

Put simply, The Sunday Times journalist has not only failed to include any context but has seemingly embellished an incident to derive maximum damage to Israel.

Border Security and the Buffer Zone

Why is there a need for a buffer zone and a security fence in the first place? The media has, over the years, failed to adequately portray the reality of the Gazan terror threat. On a daily basis, the IDF is confronted with attempted terror attacks involving not only Qassam missiles but also mortars, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

With only a security fence separating Gazan terrorists from Israeli territory, it does not take a military analyst to see the need for a minimum amount of strategic depth to protect Israeli communities. This is particularly the case as the fence is constantly under attack from terrorist elements seeking to enter Israel.

This is why there is a buffer zone of some 300m from the border fence that Gazans are prohibited from entering for their own safety as well as that of Israelis. This buffer zone is regularly checked by the IDF using armored vehicles and bulldozers, particularly for IEDs which can destroy IDF patrol vehicles and kill soldiers from up to 50m away from the fence.

Each day, there are several instances of IEDs in the buffer zone. These IEDs are regularly planted by terrorists disguised as civilians during daytime hours.

Abuse of Children

Michael Morpurgo is a children's author. It is unsurprising that he is concerned for the welfare of young people. However, in what amounts to a form of child abuse, Hamas and other terror organizations have no compunctions against using children to get close enough to the border fence to plant explosives.

While a 15 year old may appear to be a child in the eyes of Morpurgo, minors have often been used as combatants by Palestinian terror groups during the past decade. Palestinians also bear responsibility for exposing children to the obvious risks of entering a prohibited military zone as the father of this boy did.

The Sunday Times has deliberately embellished an incident to produce an article full of lazy journalism, conjecture and missing context that leaves the false impression that Israelis open fire on innocent Gazan children for no justifiable reason.

Send your considered comments to The Sunday Times — letters@sunday-times.co.uk

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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AN ISRAELI CONSPIRACY THAT NEVER EXISTED
Posted by Boris Celser, February 17, 2011.

This was written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim and it appeared February 7, 2011 in Arab News
(http://arabnews.com/opinion/article253715.ece).

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, is Commodore (Retd.), Royal Saudi Navy. He is based in Alkhobar and can be contacted at: almulhimnavy@hotmail.com

 

I have, since childhood, been hearing about an invisible thing called the Israeli conspiracy.

It is always said that Israel did this and Israel did that. What is worse is when I hear that Israel is planning to do that. So, if we already know what Israel is planning to do, then why not either stop it or avoid it. The biggest conspiracy I heard regarding the Arabs and the Israelis is the humiliating defeat of June 1967. The Egyptians blamed everybody but themselves for the defeat. They insisted on speaking about why some planes came from the north and not from the east. They insisted that they were American Navy planes attacking Egypt. Did not the military analysts hear about evasive maneuvers, or did they expect the air force to fly like commercial airlines by taking the shortest and direct routes.

It turned out that the Egyptian forces were commanded by Gamal Abdel Nasser who only held the rank of major. Hours before the Israeli attack, all air defense sites were told to be on hold because Field Marshal Abdulhakim Amer's plane was in the air. So, it was not an Israeli conspiracy that defeated the Egyptians, it was the poor planning and having a tired army coming back from Yemen tasked to go to a war that even Nasser did not know how to manage.

That was Egypt in 1967, but what about the Egyptian uprising of 2011? Was it the Egyptians or outside forces? The Egyptian leadership used to call Al Jazeera the match box. The channel's media center in Qatar is so small that people used to wonder why regional leaders were worried about such a small media building, one that is small as a match box. It turned out that the Egyptian authorities had Al Jazeera on the top list of places to close. There was also no Israeli media center and Israel has no interest in seeing an unstable Egypt. Thomas Friedman once said that Al Jazeera should have been established in Egypt, not Qatar.

Egypt is a country whose media should have been at the front of providing information. However, Egyptians living inside the country and abroad are glued to foreign news outlets. Let us not doubt the Egyptians in their sincere request for change. We cannot accuse 80 million Egyptians of being toys in foreign hands.

To this day, I see Arabs blaming Israelis for young Arab drug addicts, their poor education, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, bad roads, corruption, lack of democracy, unemployment, 9/11, the division of Sudan, the upheaval in Tunisia and the unrest in Egypt. If Israel can do all these things, then the Israelis are either super humans or we simply enjoy blaming others for our failings.

The books of history indicate that the Arabs would have been able to get back the Golan Heights, Sinai, the West Bank and all the 1967 boundaries if Gamal Abdel Nasser made just one phone call to Israel and admitted defeat two days after the June 1967 war. And fewer Palestinians would have been scattered all over. But, we the Arabs never admit defeat.

The Arab world is in a state of unrest nowadays. Egypt is the largest country in the Arab world with 82 million people. If it shakes, then the whole Arab world will shake. It is not time to point fingers at either the West or Israel. Each country has an agenda to benefit its people. Arabs must think what is best for their people, not their leaders. Israel did not open a European bank account for Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. He did, and where did the money come from? Israel did not hide the billions of dollars in Iraq used by Saddam Hussein while the Iraqis were starving. Saddam did.

You can agree or disagree, Israel is a country that has the best education system in the Middle East and a per capita income of more than $28,000.

The Arabs and Muslims must get rid of the notion that the whole world is conspiring to destroy them. The Arab world is rich in raw materials, rivers, fertile land, wealth and educated people. We must concentrate on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency and open channels between the rulers and the ruled. It is very sad to see Iraq, one of the richest countries in mineral resources, water and educated people, having millions struggle like refugees. It is also sad to see Yemen wasting 40 percent of its water resources to grow qat, just as it is sad to see a country like Lebanon that has the potential to be an attractive tourist spot being fractured because of vested interests, not national interests. Why have we failed to solve the flood problem in Jeddah with all the time and money our government has allocated for the city?

Linda Heard wrote an article in Arab News on Nov. 8, 2010, titled "Israel is digging its own grave." Yes, the Israelis are digging a grave. But for whom is the grave being dug for? I am sure it is not for the Israelis. Boris Celser is a Canadian. He has an MBA, and is a lifelong traveler and avid reader. He invites comments to this article — please address them to celser@telusplanet.net

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AHMADINEJAD AND THE STENCH OF THE MEDDLING MULLAHS...
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, February 16, 2011.
 

How anyone could give support to Iran's current rulers — in many ways worse than the autocratic Shah Iranians traded him for in '79 — is a truly disgusting thought. Yet, Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs have their fan club...Hamas, Hizbullah, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, North Korea, and so forth. Notice anything in common here?

It's a game that others have played too — especially in the Middle East...

Point the finger elsewhere, while your own pot is blacker than the kettle you're excoriating.

Hypocrisy is its name — and the stench emanating from the mullahs' Iran is a disgrace to that ancient nation's once proud past.

Hard to believe these days, but it was Iran of Cyrus the Great which freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 B.C.E. and allowed their return to the land of Israel (Judah, to be exact). Here's the account in Iran's own words from the Kurash (Cyrus) Prism...

I am Kurash ( Cyrus ), King of the World, Great King, Legitimate King, King of Babilani,King of Kiengir and Akkade, King of the four rims of the earth, Son of Kanbujiya...I returned to these sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris the sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time, the images which used to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I also gathered all their former inhabitants and returned them to their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk, the great lord, all the gods of Kiengir and Akkade whom Nabonidus had brought into Babilani to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their former temples, the places which make them happy.

Here's the Jews' own version of this same account in Ezra 1: 1-8 in the Hebrew Bible...

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: "Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: "All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him! Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt, be assisted by the people of that place with silver, gold, and goods, together with free will offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.

Jews were grateful to their powerful Iranian liberators and served in their armies throughout their empire. At the fortress in Elephantine, Egypt, for example ancient documents testifying to this were discovered, along with a synagogue built there for Jewish soldiers serving under the Iranian ruler.

Centuries later, when Judea fought for its freedom and independence against the Roman Empire in the first and second centuries C.E., it was Iran, again — for whatever its reasons — which still came to the Jews' aid. And centuries later still, close to the eve of the Arab explosion out of the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century C.E., ancient documents record a Jewish army of tens of thousands aligning itself with Iran against the hated Byzantines.

While there were some problems between Iranians and Jews prior to the Arab jihad which brought Islam to both of their nations (as recorded in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible, for example), it was the Arab Islamic conquest which ushered in the intolerance and fragility which exists to this very day between these two ancient peoples with a long prior history of good relations.

While the fate of Jews under both major branches of Islam was tenuous, to say the least, in some ways it was even worse at the hands of the Shi'a which became dominant in Iran.

Thus, as the centuries progressed, Jews would soon find themselves in an awkward position. Their very lives and livelihoods depended upon a powerful, more secular political ruler — the Shah — who could act more on their behalf against the force of the hostile religious establishment, the mullahs. And since Jews were largely dependent on the political power of the Shahs, if the latter were unjust, then the masses, stirred up by the mullahs, frequently took it out on the Jews.

It was thus interesting that, among the signs being held up and slogans being chanted in the current protests against Ahmadinejad and the mullahs, were some stating, according to Shayan Ghajar of insideIran.org, "Not Gaza, not Lebanon, but Tunis, Egypt and Iran." Years ago I recall similar signs being held up by protesting Iranian students saying such things as no to Palestine, yes to Iran.

Perhaps there is still hope for a better tomorrow...

Keep in mind that the folks who once again took to the streets in Iran over the last few days in large towns all over the country showed an especially amazing brand of courage. Many others had been beaten, slaughtered, and jailed back in 2009 after protesting the stolen election which returned Ahmadinejad to office — even though the ayatollahs will still run the show regardless of who is elected president.

Kurds in the northwest of Iran have increasingly been hung for simply standing up for their rights. Arabs in Ahwaz in Khuzistan aka Arabistan in the southwest have been likewise suppressed... open here to find out why. You'll love the irony, I promise...
http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/GeraldHonigman60512.htm.

Here's how the British Ahwazi Friendship Society reported the situation back on July 29, 2005...

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) released a statement condemning the recent violent repression of ethnic minorities in Iran following the election of right-wing hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ... Pointing to clashes between security forces and Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds, Nicola Dell'Arciprete, UNPO Assistant General Secretary, said: "The UNPO condemns the Government's repressive policies against all the Iranian citizens. Iran is a multi-ethnic country in which half of the population belongs to ethnic minorities such as Azeri, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Kurds, Arabs, Lurs, Balochis, Turkmen...

Things have gotten only worse since those days, and the list of the tortured, murdered, and abused grows daily in the country largely responsible for the Hizbullah and Syrian rape of Lebanon, grossly endangering Israel at the same time by arming both Hizbullah (more so, due to Syria's collaboration) and Hamas to the teeth.

The list of Iran's own martyrs for freedom grows daily, all while Ahmadinejad lectures Egypt, Israel, and others, with just average Iranians also bearing the brunt of the mullahs' oppressive hypocrisy.

Unlike in Tunisia, in Iran there was no question what the response of the ruling elites would be. And when millions poured out onto Egyptian streets, unlike the connections with the Egyptian people which made Egypt's military cautious in its approach to the will of the people, the murderous hold of Ayatollah Khomeini's successors over the Islamists of the Revolutionary Guard and the volunteer Basij militia (ten to fourteen million of them) was not in doubt.

The struggle of the people for freedom in Iran will thus be far more complicated because of the stranglehold of those using religion to hold onto and wield power.

Unlike the military which has run the show in Egypt since 1952, Iran's will have no qualms at slaughtering thousands of its own people if need be. Its cause is sacred — like that of the Ikhwan and its offshoots if ever given a chance in Egypt. Indeed, unlike Iraq, where Sunni routinely blow Shi'a apart, Egypt's Sunni Muslim Brotherhood loves Iran's Shi'a ayatollahs. Think about what an alliance of those two would mean...

While it is an admittedly dangerous thought, I have an urge to express it anyway...

If ever there was a case for massive outside help needed for regime change, just follow the stench coming from the land of the meddling mullahs to find out where that should occur.
http://q4j-middle-east.com

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 honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php

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THE VOICE OF EGYPT'S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Posted by Laura, February 16, 2011.

This was written by Alexander Smoltczyk and it appeared in Der Spiegel
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ 0,1518,745526,00.html. It was translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

 

He is a hypermarket of dogma, dispensing advice on subjects ranging from mother's milk to suicide bombing. But few have as much influence on Sunni Muslims as the Muslim televangelist Youssef al-Qaradawi. He says what the Muslim Brotherhood in Egpyt thinks — and he provides clues to how they might act.

This man is a word machine, a one-man talk show that leaves no subject unexamined. Youssef al-Qaradawi has to talk: about former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, about mothers' milk banks, and about the right of Palestinian women to blow themselves up.

He is a hypermarket of dogma, dispensing advice on subjects ranging from mother's milk to suicide bombing. But few have as much influence on Sunni Muslims as the Muslim televangelist Youssef al-Qaradawi. He says what the Muslim Brotherhood in Egpyt thinks — and he provides clues to how they might act.

This man is a word machine, a one-man talk show that leaves no subject unexamined. Youssef al-Qaradawi has to talk: about former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, about mothers' milk banks, and about the right of Palestinian women to blow themselves up.

He is a driven man. There are so many decisions to be made in this godforsaken modern age, and yet there is only one mufti, only one Islamic scholar like Qaradawi, who knew the Koran by heart by the time he was 10, only one man who can help the faithful understand the world.

Qaradawi is the father figure of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's best-organized opposition group. The Brotherhood is sure to play a part in deciding what path Egypt will now take.

The Islamist group asked Qaradawi to be their leader in 2002, but he turned them down. Such a position would have been too limiting. He has a different mission. He feels compelled to talk.

The Al-Jazeera television network has been broadcasting Qaradawi's program "Shariah and Life" every Sunday for the past 15 years. Some 60 million Muslims watch him as he talks imploringly about the genocide in Gaza or the unique dangers of female masturbation ("the hymen is very sensitive and could tear").

'Every Last One of Them'

Qaradawi advocates establishing a "United Muslim Nations" as a contemporary form of the caliphate and the only alternative to the hegemony of the West. He hates Israel and would love to take up arms himself. In one of his sermons, he asked God "to kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them."

In January 2009, he said: "Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler."

Will this man encourage his brothers in Cairo to uphold the peace treaty with Israel, should the Muslim Brotherhood become part of a government now that Mubarak has resigned?

The 84-year-old is the president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He has written more than 120 books and penned countless doctrines, which he distributes internationally via his website IslamOnline.net.

He is a blend of pope and service hotline, a spiritual "Dear Abby" for all instances of doubt in Muslim life.

Should a mothers' milk bank be established? Especially since the Koran forbids marriage between two people who were nursed by the same woman? "Yes," says Qaradawi, pointing out that the Koran's prohibition of incest applies only to the mother's breast, not its contents.

Hypermarket of Dogmas

He talks about everything, which makes him exhibit A for anyone seeking to demonize Islam. A justification for every stupidity can be found in Qaradawi's words, as long as one searches long enough. On the other hand, Muslims refer to the search for the appropriate dogma as "fatwa shopping." To them, Qaradawi is a hypermarket of dogmas.

During a visit to London, then Mayor Ken Livingstone asked the sheikh how he felt about the rights of homosexuals. "He told me that he was against attacks on homosexuals," Livingstone recalls. But the mufti isn't opposed to 100 lashes for gays and lesbians if that is the punishment imposed by a Sharia judge, at least according to statements he has made on his program.

It is the responsibility of any scholar to lead the faithful, and only the scholar can interpret the scriptures correctly. This is Qaradawi's mission.

He attended Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he met Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Banna offered an Islamic alternative to the alleged ills of modern life: corruption and gambling, insolent women and provocative writings, alcohol and the neglect of the poorest members of society. In a word: godlessness.

Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser imprisoned the sheikh three times because of his Islamist activities. In 1961, Qaradawi went into exile in Qatar, where he still lives today. With the protection of the Emir of Qatar, Qaradawi was able to build his fatwa empire, a realm of schools and various forms of media. "We too are modern," he said in a SPIEGEL interview, "and we too benefit from the great inventions of the West, from the revolution of the information age."

Equal Rights

The title of a study recently published about Qaradawi in Denmark refers to him as the first "global mufti." Qaradawi specialist Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen believes that the TV imam was behind the protests following the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper — unrest which led to the Danish embassy in Beirut being set on fire. The sheikh has been barred from entering the United States since 1999.

The imam has also developed a reputation for himself as a moderate. Many see him as a symbol of an enlightened Islam. When speaking to the Western media, in particular, Qaradawi likes to point to Muslims' tolerance of non-Muslims and condemns the attacks of al-Qaida.

He also speaks out against the systematic castigation of wives. He calls the practice unwise, saying: "Blows are not effective with every woman, but they are helpful with some." In other cases, the sheikh insists on equal rights. For example, he says, a woman does not have to ask her husband's permission to blow herself up in an Israeli café.

Compared with this guardian of the faith, Pope Benedict XVI is positively enlightened.

Otherwise, however, the two elderly men have a few things in common. Qaradawi and the pope were born within the same six months from each other, both in rural areas, one in Lower Egypt and the other in Upper Bavaria. Both feel that the Western world is godforsaken. Both have written enough to fill an entire theological library. And both are determined not to be what they are perceived to be: stern teachers. Qaradawi says that he merely wants to offer "alleviation" in a world of confusion. Benedict XVI says more or less the same thing.

Both Devout and Modern

But many feel that the TV imam is more dangerous than those like the Taliban who teach the Koran to the letter. Qaradawi does not demand anything impossible from his contemporaries. Instead, he stresses that his followers can be devout and modern at the same time.

Critics see Qaradawi's caution as nothing but a ruse. In the German blog "Die Achse des Guten" ("The Axis of Good"), Christoph Spielberger writes about the "Islamic principle of Taqiyya, or misrepresentation to achieve a higher goal." According to Islamic tradition, concealing one's faith is permissible, but only in the face of a massive threat.

The TV imam's followers in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood share his intangibility. For some, they are the dyed-in-the-wool Islamists, while others see them as champions of democracy on the Nile.

"There is no question that true democracy must gain the upper hand," Mohammed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, wrote recently. "The Brotherhood adheres to its roots in Islamic thought. It refuses to accept any attempt to impose any ideological line on the Egyptian people."

This sounds good. But as an underground organization, the Muslim Brothers had no opportunity to try out their religious principles on everyday political life, and on tolerance and the balance of interests. They experienced the meaning of human rights firsthand during the years of repression. It changed them.

"Caution is the watchword," writes Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, referring to the tactics of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Ramadan, its leaders know that "now is not the time to expose itself."

Now everyone wants to know who the Muslim Brothers really are. The question is as pointless as asking whether Yusuf al-Qaradawi is moderate or not. He is both himself and the opposite of himself, depending on one's perspective — and the circumstances.

But what is acceptable in quantum physics can be extremely dangerous in the business of politics.

Contact Laura by email at lel817@yahoo.com

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: ACHZIV BEACH AT TWILIGHT
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 16, 2011.
 

Achziv Beach At Twilight

"Photography provides an intersection of time, space, light, and emotional stance. One needs to be still enough, observant enough, and aware enough to be able to 'hear through the eyes'."
— Paul Caponigro

HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

The human mind has a great ability to conjure images, including things we've never actually seen. In photography, this technique is called previsualization and it is of great help at times when you have an idea floating around in your head but haven't quite found it in the field. By imagining certain images I want to create, I improve my chances of seeing them when I am out shooting.

In this week's photo, previsualization helped me in two distinct ways. The shot was taken as twilight merged with night. It was so dark where I stood above Achziv Beach on Israel's northern coast that I could barely make out the forms offshore that I had seen earlier in the day. Darkness prevented me from seeing the image, so I had to rely on my mind's eye. Likewise, my camera couldn't see well enough to lock on focus, so I switched to manual mode and turned the focus ring to infinity.

I waited until nightfall because I wanted a very long exposure to smooth out the tidal action and give the image a lustrous, more serene feel. I also knew from experience, and I could see in my mind, that the long exposure would whiten the moving water and boost the contrast between the rolling sea and the rock silhouettes, thus making a more dramatic image. Even when there is very little light, we are not limited to simply shooting in the dark.

Technical Data: Nikon D300, 28-105mm zoom lens, 32mm@ f13 for 30 seconds, ISO 100.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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THE ABSOLUTE, UNBELIEVABLE AND STUNNING STUPIDITY OF ANTI-SEMITIC JEWS
Posted by Ralph Rubinek, February 16, 2011.

I'm so happy goyim can tell the difference between a righteous Jew and a self hating rat. I'm not sure what the future holds for Israel and my beloved faith. For sure I will not embrace the apologists if the next Holocaust becomes a reality.

Perhaps this time we can expel our self loathing ones to a nation who will love and care for them... Iran comes to mind.

Thank you Irish Examiner!

This below was written by Alicia Colon and it appeared in the Irish Examiner
http://www.irishexaminerusa.com/mt/2011/02/15/ the_absolute_unbelievable_and.html

Alicia Colon resides in New York City and can be reached at aliciav.colon@gmail.com and at www.aliciacolon.com

 

For many years my husband and I were friends with an Egyptian man, Ali, who never failed to bring back a wonderful souvenir from his country on his return to the states. He was kind and generous but it was not until after September 11, 2001 did we discover how ingrained was his antipathy to Israel. Ali worked with my husband and during the chaotic months that followed the attacks he appeared to be as much in shock as the rest of us yet his explanation for the attacks was typical among many in the Arab community. "You know," he said, "the United States really has to rethink its support of Israel." What I always find shocking, however, is that this same absurd sentiment is being repeated by some Jewish rabbis and liberal commentators.

In 2007, I wrote a column condemning Mayor Bloomberg's proposed Arab language public school whose designated principal, Dhabah Almontaser had also blamed the attacks on U.S. foreign policy. She was quoted as saying that the 9/11 attack "can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East, and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator."

One of the first calls I received at the New York Sun was from a Rabbi who said he had worked with Ms. Almontaser and told me she "is a wonderful woman." When I told him what she had said about 9/11, he told me he agreed with her. "Are you saying that 9/11 was our fault?" I asked him. He said that in some ways it was because of our ties with Israel. My first thought was, "so much for that theory that Jews are smarter than any other group."

There have been recent studies claiming that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ of any ethnic group for which there's reliable data, perhaps as much as a full standard deviation above the general European average. That theory obviously is flawed if we judge by the number of Jews who still don't know how important Israel is to this country and how dangerous it is to underestimate the threat by Islamic fundamentalism.

When Iran's president Ahmadinejad was coming to New York, most sane people objected to his visit and yet one group released a statement welcoming him. It read, "It has been our honor and privilege to meet with President Ahmadinejad ... we have found the Iranian President to be a deeply religious man, dedicated to a peaceful world, based on mutual respect, fairness and dialogue. Out of great respect to the Iranian Nation and their leadership we proudly welcome the Honorable President Ahmadinejad to New York, WELCOME!"

Who could have said this? Why the religious leader who said this was, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta which is a vehemently anti-Zionist group with roots in Satmar and other like-minded hasidic groups and in ultra-orthodox Judaism. I had never heard of this sect but apparently this cult believes that Israel is not a legitimate nation until the Messiah comes. So they welcome a man who hates Jews and wants to destroy Israel.

With all the turmoil in Egypt it's distressing to hear the mainstream media dismiss the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood as merely a secular society. Wishful thinking perhaps but the truth is far more frightening. Many Iranian dissidents are issuing warnings to Egyptians and reminding them what happened to their own country when the Shah was deposed. Their loathing for President Carter is monumental because he did nothing to prevent the mullahs from turning their country into a theocracy. They see the Muslim Brotherhood poised to take over Egypt. They call President Carter's actions during this period the "worst case of treason, disloyalty and betrayal in history of the Iranian people". Their case is stated plainly on the website iransara.info.

I cringe when I hear a supposedly intelligent political figure or journalist dismiss the warnings against the Muslim Brotherhood as right wing paranoia. If they did their homework they'd know that this organization promotes Sharia as the rule of law. The best word to describe this group is sneaky. On the surface they preach peace and community good will (The Ground Zero mosque imam was associated with this group) and ingratiate themselves by pretending they are secular but their ultimate goal is to establish a caliphate in this country.

Last July, Robert Spencer wrote an article in JihadWatch.org that warned about the group's goal in Egypt. He wrote, "The Islamic supremacist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated, according to a captured internal document, to eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, has its best chance in years to take power in Egypt, with implications for the Middle East and beyond." Remember this was written last year.

The problems with militant Islam have been around since its creation. When Thomas Jefferson was ambassador to France he met with a Muslim ambassador to discuss a peace treaty and came away with the reason for the Muslim's hostility towards America. He wrote: "...that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

In a letter written in 1843, historian Alex de Tocqueville wrote: "I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself."

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and the Middle East and it is being called the new anti-Semitism because it is Jew hatred targeted at the State of Israel and is practiced by noted academics. Noam Chomsky, the darling of liberals, has been called the "intellectual godfather" of the anti-Israel campaign by Alan Dershowitz. Chomsky has called for the abolition of Israel and he's not the only Jew who likens Israel as evil as apartheid South Africa.

Here's the real deal, Mr. Intellectual. Israel is a tiny country surrounded by nations determined to wipe it off the face of the earth. Given the opportunity they'd wipe you out first. If you can't understand that you're not as bright as you think.

Contact Ralph Rubinek by email at rrubinek@aol.com

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ISRAELI DEFENSE BURIES ITS HEAD IN DOLLARS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 16, 2011.
 

Israel is spending billions of dollars on inadequate anti-missile defenses.

Experts have contended that some anti-missile defenses cannot hit their target. Suppose they could. They still could not accomplish their mission. Simple — the enemy has more missiles than Israel has anti-missiles. Israel's array of anti-missiles has not even been fully deployed. Its Iron Dome [limited range] anti-missiles cost $100,000 each, its Magic Wand missiles cost $1 million, and its Arrow missiles cost $3 million. After Israel's enemies were to launch a few hundred or even a few thousand missiles, all of Israel's anti-missiles would be spent. The enemies would have tens of thousands of missiles left, with which to devastate Israel, especially its northern area. Massive casualties would ensue, if not conquest.

Obviously, Israel lacks a reasonable anti-missile defense. Its first failure was from its defeatist policy that let Hizbullah, Hamas, if not also Syria and Iran, surround Israel with a innumerable missiles. Its second failure was to squander a fortune on questionable defense systems that when in the future are deployed, probably would have to deal with an even greater number of enemy missiles than at present, and depends on a supply that soon runs out of ammunition. The people think they are protected, but the enemy knows better.

Proponents of current policy admit that they intended to intercept only the first few hundred enemy missiles. [They don't admit why they intend that]) How can they assume that the enemy would refrain from launching tens of thousands more that cannot be stopped? (IMRA, 2/8/11. By Reuven Pedatzur, February 12, 2010, Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/missile- defense-systems-won-t-protect-israel-1.328331).

How did Israel devise a defense strategy so blatantly illogical? Nor is Israel the only irrational actor here. The U.S. has made much of its dispatching a couple of Arrow units to Israel,(kept under U.S. control). Why hasn't the U.S. pointed out the futility of such defenses?

The article, written by a far-leftist newspaper, is valuable as far as it goes. However, it does not answer those important questions. One has to wonder why such questions take so long even to be asked by the Establishment.

In Israel, the limited capability Iron Dome seems to have been selected as a result of lobbying by vested interests (as reported a few months ago). The U.S. Defense Dept. is sales hungry. Those explanations do not seem sufficient.

Israel policy is dominated by defeatists and by politicians who defer difficult decisions sure to produce criticism. Viz.: Israeli policy to stalemate the Lebanon war and to minimize the Gaza war mission. U.S. policy long has been anti-Israel in action, less so in publicity so as not to attract critics. This policy precedes the ascent of Obama, though one can see the Administration's growing pattern of appeasement of Islam and Radical Islam.

Another question is what should Israeli policy be, besides not wasting those billions on a numerically inadequate interception? One might say that as soon as the enemy is about to fire the first missile, the Israeli air force should blast the others. However, tens of thousands of targets, some underground, cannot be destroyed in the few minutes it would take for the enemy to fire them. Another problem could be the couple of hundred U.S. fighter planes that the U.S. gave Egypt (for what do you suppose?).

Have the Israeli and U.S. governments boxed in the Jewish state, so that the only way to break out is an almost unthinkable, pre-emptive, all-out nuclear attack? Too bad Haaretz did not pose an alternative!

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 richardshulman5@aol.com.

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OUR SURVIVAL AND OUR HUGE DEBT
Posted by Sanford Aranoff, February 16, 2011.
 

Jewish people need to educate themselves and other Americans on the influence of the Hebrew Bible on the American founding fathers. This is the literature and traditions of the bloody revolution of the Israelites against Egypt. Too many of us, including people who know history, do not properly appreciate this. Ben Franklin proposed the crossing of the Red Sea for the Great Seal. Some suggested Hebrew be the national language.

This was not a religious question, for all the founding fathers were Christians. Instead, they noticed the similarities between the ancient Israelite struggle and the struggle against Britain. Our founders were concerned with the question how the terrible slavery in Egypt began, and how the new government can avoid this trap.

Jews celebrate the exodus from Egypt annually by having the Seder meal for Passover, where the story of the exodus is related. This story is how the Israelites were "mortgaged". The slavery was caused by debt and excessive central government control. On the Seder table, Jews say that threats to survival arise in every generation. Americans must realize the threat to our survival in our generation is from the huge debt and powerful central government. Jews have the responsibility to remind others about this, and not be shy as Jews usually are. Jews must not fear scorn for saying the truth about our founding a few centuries ago.

Once we realize that debt causes slavery, we will rise up and demand and end to the debt. We must insist the government be shut down until they agree no social security or Medicare for those under 50, stop the new health care entitlement, elimination of Dept. of Education and other government agencies, elimination of federal aid to states, and other drastic measures.

Americans will rise up, demand all these changes, and these will happen. The question is whether it will happen peacefully and now, or else in a bloody revolution as history and current events suggest.

Jews must lead in this challenge due to traditional Jewish ideas of independence and small government. Tevye the milkman in Fiddler on the Roof says that the Czar is great and wonderful, as long as he is far away. Tevye exemplifies the Jewish dislike of government telling us what to do.

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 aranoff@analysis-knowledge.com

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THANK YOU MR. EDUCATION MINISTER, MR. GIDEON SAAR
Posted by David Wilder, February 16, 2011.
 

Hebron and Ma'arat HaMachpela have again sprung into the headlines. This time by the graces of Education minister Gideon Sa'ar. Visiting in Gush Etzion and Kiryat Arba, Sa'ar also paid his respects to his great grandparents. You know, Abraham and Sarah, who've been lying in eternal repose at the caves of Machpela for almost 4,000 years.

This time the sirens are sounding as a result of Minister Sa'ar's comments concerning children and Hebron. More specifically, about school children visiting Ma'arat HaMachpela. He managed to wake up the Israeli left, who are desperately searching for a seemingly substantive issue to yell and scream about. Sa'ar provided them with what they've been looking for.

What could be so earth-shattering? Simply, the education minister expressing the necessity for Jewish-Israeli kids to visit Machpela within the framework of the official education ministry's curriculum.

Why would the head of the education pyramid so risk his political career to make such an offensive remark? Well, when you think about it, maybe it really isn't so offensive. Perhaps the opposite is true. Might it well be odious not to allow kids to visit such a site? Why?

I don't think there's too much I can write that hasn't been written before, by me and many others, even before I was born. But I guess some things have to be repeated until they eventually sink in.

Many years ago, opposition leader Ariel Sharon stood next to the steps leading up to the 2,000 year old building atop the caves of Machpela. There he proclaimed: "What other people has such a monument where all the founders of our people are buried, together, at one place. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah! Every tourist should come here, every ambassador should be brought here, every school child should visit here, because this is our roots, the roots of the Jewish people!

Why the opposition to visiting Hebron? The espoused reasons usually focus around a couple of points, those being safety factors and politics. There are those who say that Hebron is dangerous. Why is it so dangerous? Because of the great number of 'hostile forces' aka Arabs, in the area. But those on the left who so supported Oslo and the Hebron accords also believe that the era of peace has arrived. The 'hostile forces' aka Arabs are no longer hostile. To the contrary, they are Israel's best friends. So why be scared of them?!

But, of course, they know the truth. The 'hostile forces' aka Arabs are still hostile. Why be afraid? Because the Israeli left prefers to acquiesce to Obama's demands and ease up security measures, even if they endanger people's lives. But then, of course, the question is, whose lives. If it's only us measly 'settlers,' so who cares if we live or die. But should it be the children of the new left, clearly their blood is redder than ours.

However, in all actuality, last year some 700,000 people visited the 'Jewish side' of Ma'arat HaMachpela. In order to do that, they all had to come into Hebron. They all arrived home safe and sound, just as they arrived. Well, not really. Spiritually anyone and everyone who visits this holy site leaves uplifted, on a real spiritual high. So in body, all those hundreds of thousands remained as is; but spiritually they'd all changed; people cannot help but be affected by the sanctity of this wondrous site.

Thank G-d, the security forces work hard, night and day, ensuring that anyone and everyone can visit anywhere in Hebron's 'Jewish zone,' and of course at Machpela, without any fear or apprehension.

And, what if...? And what if... is a question that can be asked when swimming in the Kinneret, mountain-climbing in the Negev, snorkeling in Eilat, or sleeping in your bed in Sderot or Kiryat Shemona. Or getting on a bus in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv for that matter.

So much for security issues.

Then, there are others who say that Hebron is synonymous with politics and the education ministry cannot force a 'political view' down anyone's throat. I guess that's true. After all, if Abraham lived today and tried to by the caves from Efron the Hittite, the deal couldn't be completed until Efron had received a permit from the PA and the Israeli Civil Administration allowing him to sell the property. Abraham couldn't conclude the purchase before receiving an OK from the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister. Can you imagine the headlines: 'Abraham gyps the Hittites: steals caves for only 400 shekels! (That's about $700,000 in contemporary currency.)

Others would later write: Attempt to occupy Hittite land. Efron forced out! Abraham's army threatens world peace!

And someone would surely demand: What's in those caves? Why did he buy them? What's behind the purchase? Don't let him establish facts on (in) the ground. Don't allow Sarah's burial in Hebron. Send them back to Beer Sheva! Or "Dig her up! NOW"

This chapter in the Torah, Parshat Chaye Sarah, would become the subject of national and international debate, with certain Israelis demanding that it be removed from the scriptures: "Incitement against the Hittites." Any rabbi who dared to read these verses in the synagogue on Shabbat would be arrested and interrogated. "Do you believe in transferring the Hittites out of their homeland?!"

And undoubtedly, such a provocative subject must be kept from the pure, innocent children. A new internet provider would offer automatic censorship of such blasphemy.

Enough of the sarcasm and bad jokes. Really, it isn't a joke at all. It's very sad. It's very sad that Jews, Israelis, refuse to recognize our glorious, magnificent past, the pillars, not only of Judaism, not only of monotheism, but of humanity. A belief, not of human sacrifice, but of prayer, to one G-d. This is our heritage, our gift to mankind. And it began here, in Hebron. This is the roots of our life in Israel. Anyone who condemns Jews living in Hebron, also rejects the rights of Jews to live anywhere in Eretz Yisrael, decimating the legitimacy of the State of Israel. You can cut off the branch of a tree and it will continue to live. But if you chop off the roots, it dies.

Perhaps there are those here in Israel who believe in suicide, or assisted-killing. That is the definition of removing Jews from Hebron and abandoning our roots, Ma'arat HaMachpela. The best way to prevent such a horrible death is to educate our children about who we are, revealing our true identity, teaching them, from an early age, the essence of our existence. That essence begins at Machpela, in Hebron. Any attempt to deny our children this most basic education is similar to demanding that a fish live out of water.

This is why, our enlightened education minister, Mr. Gideon Saar, wisely decided to begin sending Israeli school children to visit Ma'arat HaMachpela. Not to make them good Likudniks, not to make them 'crazy, extremist settlers,' rather to expose them to their heritage, their culture and the pedigree from which they originate. Avraham Avinu and Sarah Emenu, our patriarchs and matriarchs, our great grandpa and great grandma.

Thank you, Mr. Education Minister, Minister Gideon Saar.

David Wilder is spokesman of The Jewish Community of Hebron. You can contribute directly in Israel to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB105, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, email: hebron@hebron.org.il or phone: 972-52-431-7055. In USA, write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, email: hebronfund@aol.com or phone: 718 677 6886.

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FROM ISRAEL: SEEKING THE RAYS OF LIGHT
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 16, 2011.
 

The news is so abysmal that I've chosen to begin with good things. It's important to be grateful for all that is good, and to take time to pay attention to what is positive. If we don't do this, we run the risk of feeling overwhelmed.

~~~~~~~~~~

It poured here this evening. Over much of the last several weeks — after an alarmingly dry winter — we've been having rain. For Israel, this is a bracha, a true blessing.

It's the beginning of spring, and I can tell because — even in the heavy rain — the almond blossoms are out. Trees in flower are all over the countryside and it lifts the heart to see them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Gideon Sa'ar, Minister of Education, has announced a new program, "Let's Go Up to Hevron," which would bring thousands of school students to Hevron, starting next year, to visit the Machpelah — the Cave of the Patriarchs.

This would permit students to be in touch with their Jewish heritage. That appreciation of their roots is essential to their understanding of what it's all about.

~~~~~~~~~~

An anti-boycott bill — submitted by coalition chair Ze'ev Elkin and sponsored by 27 MKs from Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas, Habayit Hayehudi, United Torah Judaism and Kadima — has passed its first reading in the Knesset. It would fine anyone who initiates, encourages or provides assistance to boycotts against a person because of his ties to Israel.

A sign of fighting back. May it pass through to the third reading.

~~~~~~~~~~

Maybe, just maybe (if the objections don't become too vociferous and everything else pans out), the IDF's academic campus is going to move to Jerusalem, beyond the Green Line. The projected site is south of the Hebrew University Campus on Mount Scopus, extending into the neighborhood of Wadi Joz.

A spokeswoman for the municipality said Jerusalem does not differentiate between lands on different sides of the Green Line because, "as is widely known, Jerusalem was united in 1967."

Love it!

There is much process to see through, including final determination of the ownership of the land in question. In point of fact, the area around the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University remained an Israeli enclave between 1948 and 1967. But we're going to hear plenty from those who accuse us of "occupation."

~~~~~~~~~~

A poll done for Israel Television Channel One's Politika program and released yesterday shows that right wing parties would garner 66 seats and left wing parties, 54, if elections were held now. Kadima would lose three seats and Likud would gain one. Netanyahu's ratings were better than Livni's. No one polled said he or she would vote for Ehud Barak's new party.

~~~~~~~~~~

OK, that's enough good stuff for one posting.

Now, I share the not-good stuff — although this first item qualifies as far more serious than simply "not-good":

According to a report from Yediot Aharonot, Israeli security officials are saying that Iran plans to deploy warships in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Iranian officials have announced plans to deploy warships to areas near Israel and to dock at a Syrian port for a year. An Israeli official says this move would be a "serious provocation," and would be considered "a change in the situation" that "Israel will know how to deal with."

Reports coming out following this report indicate that Iranian ships may be headed for the Suez Canal.

~~~~~~~~~~

Some of the student leaders of Egypt's popular "democratic" uprising — from the "April 6 Movement" — are calling for Egypt to cut off gas supplies to Israel. The gas is supplied as part of our peace treaty with Egypt, because we returned the Sinai, which is where the gas reserves are located.

~~~~~~~~~~

Richard Falk, that despicable anti-Israel UN special investigator, has said that the International Court of Justice in the Hague should issue an advisory opinion on Israeli acts of "colonialism," "apartheid," and "ethnic cleansing" in the West Bank. This recommendation is included in a report which he will be delivering to the UN Human Rights Council next month.

Admitting that he was recommending strong "emotive" language, he said he thought it was necessary, in order to highlight Israel's denial of Palestinian rights.

It's important to remember that the Human Rights Council is one of the most vociferously anti-Israel agencies within an anti-Israel UN.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hezbollah's Nasrallah, mocking our new IDF Chief of Staff Gantz, said that "I want to assure you and tell the Israelis that they should be careful because the blood of Imad Mugniyeh will not go to waste."

It is now the third anniversary of the assassination of Mugniyeh, a key Hezbollah military commander.

This week Israeli embassies have been on high alert because of possible retaliatory terrorists acts and four embassies were closed (i.e., not open for business during this interval) because of concrete warnings regarding terrorist attacks. No information has been provided on where these embassies are located.

~~~~~~~~~~

Please see Barry Rubin's latest piece, "What is the Real Meaning of Egypt's Revolution?"

"'The People Toppled the Government,' is al-Ahram's headline, and the general interpretation of the Egyptian revolution around the world. That's true but only partly true. Mubarak's pedestal was shaken by the people but he was pushed off it by the army and the establishment.

"Let's remember something that nobody wants to hear right now. The revolution in Egypt succeeded because the army didn't want President Hosni Mubarak any more...

"...without stinting the courage and efforts of the urban, middle-class, young, Facebook crowd, the Muslim Brotherhood had more to do with this event than Western observers realize. It was in close touch with the Facebook crowd and knew what was going on at every moment. It was not caught by surprise but simply held back to avoid committing itself to a devastating defeat that would end in harsh repression. (Emphasis added)

"...history has not ended in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood will continue to maneuver patiently for power. The military will set limits and implement them. All the radical dictatorships and movements that hate America, the West, Israel, and real democracy are still working all-out (and far more cleverly than their Western opponents) around the clock.

"If one side is sophisticated and realistic while the other engages in fantasies, who do you expect to win?"
http://www.gloria-center.org/gloria/2011/02/ real-meaning-of-egypt-revolution

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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THE GRAND "END OF CONFLICT PROCLAMATION" DELUSION
Posted by Steven Plaut, February 16, 2011.
 

For the past twenty years the quest for a Middle East peace and for resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict has rested largely upon one specific strategy. We'll call it the "End of Conflict Proclamation."

The key to ending hostilities, so goes the theory, and the formula for bringing about an acceptance of Israel by the Arab and Muslim world, is this: Israel must strike a deal with the Palestinians that will result in the Palestinian leadership proclaiming the conflict has ended.

Israel would need to buy such a proclamation from those claiming to speak in the name of the Palestinians. But the "purchase" would result in the Palestinians declaring that, as far as they were concerned, there was no longer any basis for conflict with the Jews.

Once they proclaimed they no longer had any residual grievances or claims against Israel, this proclamation of the End of Conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would neutralize anti-Israel hostility among Arabs and Muslims. Peace would be achieved.

According to the plan, such a proclamation would de-fang even the worst Islamists and Arab fascist regimes. True, believers in this fantasy concede, the Arab regimes have never really cared very much about the welfare of Palestinian Arabs. But that will not matter once the End of Conflict Proclamation is issued. Arab regimes and non-Arab Muslim regimes like Iran and their clients would be forced by the rule of logic to end their own belligerence toward Israel.

Since their anti-Zionism had always been founded upon the supposed mistreatment of Palestinians by Israelis and the alleged denial of Palestinian rights by the Jews, the moment the Palestinian leadership itself declared that Palestinian expectations had been satisfied, the rug would be pulled out from under the feet of those other regimes in the most dramatic way. Those regimes could not logically continue to war against Israel in the name of the Palestinians once the Palestinians themselves proclaimed themselves satisfied.

Belief in the prospect of buying such an End of Conflict Proclamation has dominated Israeli policy ever since the early 1990s. It has been the driving force guiding the thinking of all Israeli governments since then, including those of the Likud and the so-called right. The immediate policy implication of the fantasy is that it is thought to be ultimately in Israel's interests to "pay" for such a proclamation in the currency of concessions. This is true even when "payment" consists of granting to the Palestinians things no reasonable person could think they deserve.

The End of Conflict Proclamation was regarded as so important that it made no sense to quibble about its price, just as long as that price was something less than the total annihilation of Israel. The rationale for making concessions was that it was all part of the pursuit of Israeli self-interest. Even granting to the Palestinians concessions to which they clearly were not entitled would pay off because it would induce them to cooperate in the ultimate gesture to end the entire war — the Grand Proclamation.

Getting to the proclamation was the strategy pursued by the entire Israeli political spectrum, except perhaps for the far left, which has long demanded endless Israeli concessions not as a way to buy an End of Conflict Proclamation but as a means of weakening Israel, period. If a Palestinian conflict-ending proclamation ever became a feasible option, Israel's radical left, led by the country's tenured academic extremists, would protest against it.

* * * * *

The distance to which Israeli governments have been willing to go to barter for the enticing promise of a proclamation has been nothing short of mind boggling. Successive Israeli governments, including the current one led by Benjamin Netanyahu, have agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state in territories west of the Jordan river.

Perhaps more amazingly, they have agreed to acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian people — one entitled to self-determination, to a homeland, to political independence, and even to armed security forces.

I emphasize this point because I doubt there are any serious people in Israel, even on the left, who believe the Palestinians are a people according to any historical standard. Certainly the Palestinians themselves, rhetoric notwithstanding, have never considered themselves to be a people. Palestinians are Arabs, part of the Arab nation that already controls 22 sovereign political entities spread over a territory nearly twice that of the United States.

The Arabs of Palestine are no more a separate and distinct people than are the Arabs of Detroit or of Marseilles.

Palestinian "nationalists" themselves concede the point. In an interview several years ago on Israeli television, Azmi Bashara, at the time a Knesset member but now in hiding because he is wanted by Israel for espionage and treason, said:

I don't think there is a Palestinian nation. I think there is an Arab nation. I think that this [the term "Palestinian nation"] is a colonial invention. Palestine, up to the end of the 19th century was southern Syria.

In an earlier interview, Palestinian nationalist Zuhair Mohsentold the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian stateis only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israelfor our Arabunity. 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. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifaand Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

But Israeli political leaders were so enthralled at the prospect of settling the conflict with a dramatic End of Conflict Resolution that they were willing to accept the historicity of a distinct Palestinian people. For if none existed, how could the Palestinians play the role that had been assigned to them and proclaim the end to the conflict?

The prospect of ending the conflict was so important that no one wanted to let any scruples about pretense stand in the way. If the Grand Proclamation could be obtained by means of Israel's declaring that space aliens in flying saucers had landed on the roof of the Knesset, Israeli leaders would have been only too happy to comply.

The acknowledgement of the existence of such a Palestinian nation was not kept by Israeli leaders in reserve, as the currency for the final payment for the Grand Proclamation. It was, instead, the down payment, the first installment paid in advance by Israel, with no quid pro quo whatsoever.

* * * * *

The obsession with a proclamation was so thorough that Israel's governments were willing to go well beyond the pretense that Palestinians are a nation.

Successive Israeli governments abandoned all of the Gaza Strip, down to the last inch, to Hamas terrorists after expelling every single Jew living there.

And, denials notwithstanding, a surprising number of Israeli politicians are open to accepting at least in principle some sort of Palestinian "right of return," quibbling only over the numbers involved. Meanwhile, Israel has repeatedly offered to grant the Palestinians the bulk of the West Bank — the term "bulk" usually ranging anywhere from 90 to 100 percent of the land — in exchange for a Grand Proclamation.

Israeli politicians have also made it quite clear that they are willing — as they were in Gaza — to expel most and perhaps all of the Jewish "settlers" living in the West Bank as part of the deal. And Israeli leaders have refused to challenge the axiom that any Palestinian state need be judenrein, containing no Jewish minority at all.

Challenging that notion would upset the grand strategy of ending the conflict via a Grand Proclamation. Why question the illogic of those who insist Arabs should have the right to live as a political minority within Israel after a peace settlement is achieved — while no such settlement can be sought unless Jews are expelled from any future state of Palestine?

Even more incredible is the fact that Israel's pursuit of the Grand Proclamation has been so obsessive that Israeli politicians have expressed a willingness to divide Jerusalem and grant control over the shrines of East Jerusalem to terrorists and their enablers.

Even the Likud has turned a blind eye to Palestinian encroachments in Jerusalem, and, for a period of time, limited Jewish construction in Jerusalem, signaling its openness to considering Arab claims to the city as part of a deal. If the Likud has not yet gone on public record with an offer to abandon East Jerusalem, it is not because Likud leaders rule that out as a basis for a deal but rather because they know the Israeli public is not yet ready to accept that as the price for a proclamation.

The infatuation with the prospect of a grand End of Conflict Proclamation was based on shaky foundations from the start. First, it was not at all obvious that even if Israel were to strike a deal with the Palestinians that would culminate in a proclamation, the Middle East conflict would really end.

It is true that Arab regimes had long based their hostility toward Israel upon their supposed concern for the rights of the Palestinians. But if the basis for that pretense were really removed through a Grand Proclamation, who is to say Arab leaders could not find some other excuse to take its place?

Hitler's Germany went to war supposedly out of concern for the "oppressed" ethnic German minorities in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Lithuania. But had the respective regimes managed to strike deals with their own ethnic German minorities, leading to End of Conflict proclamations by those Germans, does anyone seriously believe Hitler would have abandoned his plans to conquer Europe?

Similarly, what would stop the Arab world from finding a new cause requiring Israel's eradication?

But the more serious problem is that the grand fantasy of an End of Conflict Proclamation is totally unworkable because the Palestinians understand perfectly well what Israel is up to. They know Israeli strategy makes them, the Palestinians, the brokers of the deal — the lynchpins, strategically the critical players, with veto power over the entire situation.

Since Israel's approach to conflict resolution with the Palestinians involves buying a Grand Proclamation at almost any cost, the cost will always rise. If someone needed to buy a particular Chevy from a used car dealer no matter the sticker price, the price would be raised without limit.

Knowing they have ultimate veto power over Israel's ability to buy a proclamation that supposedly would end the conflict with the rest of the Arab and Muslim world, the Palestinians have no motivation to sell the Chevy. To the contrary, the rational strategy for them is just to let the Israelis keep making higher and higher bids, especially when those bids involve growing down payments and up-front installments.

The problem is even more severe than that. The Palestinians understand that delivering to Israel the Grand Proclamation it seeks would, for all intents and purposes, remove the Palestinians from world attention and interest. In exchange for the deliverance, the citizens of a state of Palestine would end up with a flea-bitten Third World impoverished mini-state, ruled by a kleptocratic oppressive government and raked by internal violence and barbarism.

Indeed, this clearly explains Palestinian strategy. Because Israel is willing to make virtually any concessions short of outright instant self-annihilation, the only demands the Palestinians are willing to consider as payment for the Grand Proclamation are those that would end Israel's existence — not instantly, of course, but over a period of time.

Essentially, the Palestinians' position is that they are willing to issue that Grand Proclamation only on the condition that Israel ultimately be governed by an Arab government; that Israel be flooded with Arab "refugees" to create an Arab population majority; that Israel be stripped of any symbols suggesting Jewishness; and that Israel change its name to Palestine.

The "two states for two peoples" formula is part of this game of pretense. It has long been the fundamental basis for seeking a peaceful resolution, but one accepted only by the Israeli government, not by the Arab world.

The Arab world is willing to consider the "two states for two peoples" formula only so long as neither of those two states is Israel and so long as neither of those two peoples is the Jews.

It is impossible to overstate the universal rejection by the entire Arab world, including by Israel's own Arab population, of the very idea of acknowledging the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.

The Arabs will continue to reject that idea even if Israel withdraws to its 1967 "Green Line" borders and turns East Jerusalem over to the Arabs, and even if a Palestinian state (or perhaps two, one dominated by Fatah and the other by Hamas) is formed in the West Bank and Gaza.

An Israeli politician with an ounce of common sense would understand that the Arabs' refusal even to pay lip service to the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state nullifies the dubious promise of extracting a grand End of Conflict Proclamation from them.

The constitutional incapability of the Palestinians — and their string-pullers in the existing Arab states — to proclaim an end to the conflict with an Israel that is a Jewish Israel exposes such a hoped-for proclamation as nothing other than a dangerous, and quite possibly suicidal, fantasy.

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 splaut@gmail.com His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

This article was published in the Jewish Press and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/47254.

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EGYPT: RECIPE FOR REVOLUTION OR MORE OF THE SAME?
Posted by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, February 16, 2011.

This was written by Col (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah and it appeared in JCPA's Jerusalem Brief Vol. 10, No. 30, February 16, 2011.

The Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Under Field Marshal Tantawi: A Recipe for Revolution or More of the Same?

 

    Egypt is ruled today by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, under the leadership of Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi. The country is now ruled under military law, something which the masses did not expect and which does not fit in with the idea of democratic reform.

    * WikiLeaks documents describe the Egyptian military as a parallel economy, a kind of "Military Inc." Military-owned companies, often run by retired generals, are active in water, olive oil, cement, construction (building roads and airports), hotel and gasoline industries. The military produces televisions and milk and bread.

    * Egypt has become a firm ally of the U.S. since the end of the 1970s, assisting it in many facets of its anti-terrorist policy. Tantawi himself and his troops fought alongside American troops in Operation Desert Shield in Iraq in 1990.

    * At 76, Tantawi is no revolutionary. He and his colleagues have a lot to lose if they accede to actual demands for change. A transformation of the regime into a civilian democratic regime will not be viable for the military, and he will likely try his best to maintain the advantages his class has always enjoyed.

    * In the strategic field, it seems that Tantawi will remain loyal to Egypt's American ally, even though he may have to rethink the totality of the country's commitment in view of the behavior of the U.S. administration toward Mubarak.

Egypt is ruled today de-facto by a military team nominated for this task by former President Hosni Mubarak in order to administer the affairs of the state. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, under the leadership of Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi, did not receive any instructions regarding the way to rule Egypt or the transition process from an authoritarian regime to a democracy, as demanded by the masses and the various political groups. More important, none of its members have ever received training in preparation to meet this challenge. Indeed, none of its members have experienced democracy and understand how to implement its principles in an Egyptian context. The Council is a team of career army officers who have been catapulted by events into a position they never dreamt of and were never prepared for.

In 1952, a group of Egyptian army officers led by Lt.-Col. Gamal Abd el Nasser staged a coup that ousted a nearly two-century-old existing monarchy. The group chose a more experienced officer, Mohammad Naguib, to head the group in order to gain more credibility with the Egyptian people. The military ruled at the beginning through a Military Council, which was in fact a supervisor of the civilian authority that was supposed to govern Egypt. But by 1954, Nasser eclipsed Naguib, was elected president, created a one-party system that was supposed to encompass all political forces (including Communists and Muslim Brothers), and ruled Egypt with an iron fist until his sudden death in 1970.

Comparing Nasser's Military Council and Tantawi's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, we find:

a. The Ruling Body: Whereas Nasser created the Military Council to control the government and rule the country, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is a body mentioned clearly in the now suspended Egyptian Constitution. It is meant to be temporary and transitional. Tantawi has decided to leave the last government nominated by Mubarak in place until a new government is nominated by the Supreme Council.

b. The Age Factor: Nasser was 34 when he staged his coup, and his fellow officers were more or less the same age. Naguib was chosen to head the group because he was 51. Tantawi is 76, his chief of staff, Sami Hafez Anan, is 63, and his colleagues on the Supreme Council are all in their early sixties. Nasser's Free Officers were at the beginning of their military careers, whereas Tantawi and his colleagues are at the end of theirs.

c. Experience: Nasser and his colleagues were barely battalion commanders, whereas the only officer with more military experience was Naguib. Tantawi and his colleagues are more experienced. They include 14 generals, the commanders of the 10th largest army in the world. Except for Tantawi, all the others are relatively unknown. They include Chief of Staff Anan, Air Force Commander and Council spokesman Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohammad, Navy Commander Mohab Mamish, and Air Defense Commander Abd el Aziz Seif el Din. They know how to run an army and how to protect its economic interests. They do not know how to run a state.

d. The State: Nasser and his colleagues replaced a monarchy with an authoritarian regime under the semblance of a republic in which military men were given a clear advantage in the economy and were nominated to lucrative jobs and positions. This system was perpetuated under subsequent presidents of Egypt to the point where one could say that the military possessed a country and not vice versa. WikiLeaks documents refer to U.S. officials describing the Egyptian military as a parallel economy, a kind of "Military Inc.," involved in the production of electronics, household appliances, clothing and food.1 One cable describes "its wide commercial network, and that military-owned companies, often run by retired generals, are active in water, olive oil, cement, construction (building roads and airports), hotel and gasoline industries. The military produces televisions and milk and bread." The Free Officers had nothing to lose and everything to gain, whereas the Supreme Council officers have everything to lose if they are not careful in the transition process.

e. Egypt's Strategic Setting: Nasser transformed Egypt into a regional power, creating new strategic alliances and new alignments. He associated himself with the former USSR after having been rejected by the West, was among the leaders of the non-aligned countries, established the defunct United Arab Republic with Syria, conducted a fratricidal war in Yemen, staged numerous coups d'etat in the Arab world by the means of subversion, and lost two wars with Israel (1956 and 1967), the last one ending with the loss of the Sinai Peninsula to Israel.

Tantawi comes from a different reality. Egypt has reversed its strategic alliance and has become a firm ally of the U.S. since the end of the 1970s, assisting it in many facets of its anti-terrorist policy. Egypt is present in the international field and its troops serve under the UN flag. Tantawi himself and his troops fought alongside American troops in Operation Desert Shield in Iraq in 1990. For many years, Egypt has received a subsidy of $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid. Egypt has signed a peace treaty with Israel, which restored Sinai to Egyptian sovereignty. Egypt sells gas and oil to Israel and maintains a "cold peace" with the Jewish state. Egypt has paid the price of its separate peace with Israel by suffering a setback in its relations with the radical Arab world. Since Sadat's presidency, Egypt has been on the defensive and stopped its subversive activities in the Arab world.

Nevertheless, there are two areas where Tantawi will have to confront the issues as his predecessors did before him:

a. The Domestic Political Scene: The Egyptian military has been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since 1954. Allies in the beginning, they turned enemies very quickly. After a failed assassination attempt against Nasser, he cracked down on the Brotherhood and arrested more than 20,000 of its members. Several were put on trial and executed. Sadat also enjoyed a brief honeymoon with the Muslim Brotherhood before cracking down on them. Ultimately, an extremist, fundamentalist organization succeeded in assassinating Sadat in October 1981. The Brotherhood did feel Mubarak's heavy hand, but unlike his predecessors, he allowed them to run for Parliament as "independents." Their success in getting almost 20 percent of the seats convinced Mubarak to restrain them under the emergency laws established since Sadat's assassination. All four presidents of the post-1952 era have ruled Egypt with an iron fist. All four ignored civil rights, human rights, freedom of speech, and manifestations of protest by justifying their policy as necessary to provide security, law, and order for reasons of state.

b. The Economy: This is Egypt's Achilles' heal. A high birth rate coupled with a low death rate has transformed Egypt into one of the most populous countries in the world. Some 80 million people living on a strip of land that represents barely 6 percent of the surface of Egypt. As one observer put it, Egypt is like a man who is running all the time in order to remain in the same place. All governments have tried to tackle the problem with no real success. A policy of diminishing subsidies has always provoked protest, unrest, and revolt. Tantawi has been a witness to these events and surely will have to tackle these issues as well as the problem of job creation, which are at the heart of the present crisis.

Analyzing his conversations with the Americans as they appear in the WikiLeaks documents, Tantawi is very much a conservative, reluctant to embrace change and reform.2 A WikiLeaks document refers to a disgruntled mid-level Egyptian officer who described Tantawi as being "Mubarak's poodle." The Americans noted that "Tantawi has opposed both economic and political reforms...has opposed policy initiatives he views as encouraging political and religious cleavages...[and] signaled on more than one occasion his willingness to use the military to control the Muslim Brotherhood." According to this report, Tantawi believes that economic reform fosters social instability by lessening Egyptian government control over prices and production.

Tantawi was opposed to any conditioning of American aid on human rights or any other grounds. He claimed that any conditions on military assistance are counter-productive.

In conclusion, the American analyst stated that Tantawi was "change resistant." "Charming and courtly, he is nonetheless mired in a post-Camp David military paradigm that has served his cohort's narrow interest for the last three decades. He and Mubarak are focused on regime stability and maintaining the status quo through the end of their time. They simply do not have the energy, inclination, or world view to do anything differently."3

Yet a more cautious and modest approach is recommended in this context. Sadat was once described as a drug-addicted officer and a Nasser "yes-man." Reality proved the opposite. Mubarak was described as "the laughing cow" and it was predicted that he would not last long in power. He succeeded in staying in power for 30 years. Even Nasser had been described as a man of the CIA. It was reported that with money received from the agency, he built the Radio Tower in Cairo which became an instrument to fight the U.S. in the Arab world.

At 76, Tantawi is no revolutionary. He and his colleagues have a lot to lose if they accede to actual demands for change. A transformation of the regime into a civilian democratic regime will not be viable for the military, and he will likely try his best to maintain the advantages his class has always enjoyed.

In the strategic field, it seems that Tantawi will remain loyal to Egypt's American ally, even though he may have to rethink the totality of the country's commitment in view of the behavior of the U.S. administration toward Mubarak. Tantawi knows the Americans and they also know him from up close. Tantawi has already reaffirmed Egypt's commitments to all of its international treaties and agreements, which means that no change is expected in Israeli-Egyptian relations for the time being.

Whether Tantawi will be a transitional figure remains to be seen. His age works to his detriment. Nevertheless, it cannot be ruled out that he will remain in charge for the coming months and maybe more. No doubt, if change comes, it will come from within the Council and not from outside. For the moment the Council has given itself six months.

The Mubarak regime has been replaced by the military. Whether or not this was a military coup does not matter. The fact is that the country is now ruled under military law, something which the masses did not expect and which does not fit in with the idea of democratic reform. Tantawi has already dissolved Parliament, suspended the Constitution, and declared that a referendum will be conducted on a new, revised Constitution in two months time. Most probably, the next steps will be to allow political parties, establish the rule of law in the country, and organize elections.

Notes

1. Elisabeth Bumiller, "Egypt Stability Hinges on a Divided Military," New York Times, February 5, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/world/middleeast/06military.html

2. http://www.wikileaks.la/us-embassy- cables-tantawi-resistant-to-change-in-egypt/

3. Julian Borger and James Ball, "WikiLeaks Cables: Egyptian Military Head is 'Old and Resistant to Change'," Guardian-UK, February 14, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/ world/2011/feb/14/wikileaks-cables-egyptian-military-head

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

This document was posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 It is available at
h ttp://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp? DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=6087

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EREKAT: MEDIA'S FAVORITE LIAR RESIGNS
Posted by Honest Reporting, February 15, 2011.

This was written by Simon Plosker and it is archived at

 

What is the media going to do now that its favorite go-to-guy is no longer the Palestinian Authority's most visible spokesperson? Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has resigned as a result of the leak of the so-called Palestinian Papers to the media. Referring to Al-Jazeera's role in the Palileaks saga, Erekat attacked the network:

What Al-Jazeera did was the most unfair smear campaign of taking things out of context, taking half-sentences, to score a point.

It's odd that Erekat should accuse the media of distorting the truth. Over the years, Erekat himself has been the source of numerous distortions about Israel that have appeared in the media.

Seems that what went around finally came around for Erekat. Here are a few examples:  

The Jenin Libel

Most (in)famously in 2002, as Israel mounted Operation Defensive Shield in response to the Palestinian terror campaign, Erekat falsely accused Israel of carrying out a "massacre" in the Jenin refugee camp:

The numbers of killed could reach 500 since the Israeli offensive began. Thousands of wounded. The Jenin refugee camp is no longer in existence, and now we've heard of executions there. — Erekat on CNN, April 10, 2002

A few days later, Erekat again appeared on CNN, interviewed by Bill Hemmer:

HEMMER: OK. You brought up Jenin, and you used the word massacre there. Earlier this week, you said 500 Palestinians were killed there. Do you still stand behind those numbers in the refugee camp?

EREKAT: I said 523 were killed actually since the incursions began throughout the West Bank, and I asked you a question, Bill.

HEMMER: But you said specifically and others said 500 in Jenin. Where are you getting the evidence that shows 500 people were killed there?

EREKAT: I don't have evidence. I really can not (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but I ask one question. What do the Israelis have to hide?

...

HEMMER: ... Back to my question though, Israelis say the number of dead is less than 100, closer to 70. The defense minister said that on Sunday morning. If their numbers are right and your initial numbers are wrong, will you come back here on our network and retract what you said?

EREKAT: Absolutely. Absolutely, Bill, and I hope that the numbers will be nothing. I hope the numbers will be zero, because every human life (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and count for me. I have 1,600 names, missing people from the refugee camp. I have mothers calling me speaking about missing their daughters, their sons. I have husbands missing their wives. I have parents missing their grandparents.

Nine years later and we are still waiting for Erekat's retraction. Despite this, the media continued to call upon the camera-friendly, English-speaking and well-presented Erekat for comments that regularly reinforced the demonization of Israel, responding to events with unsubstantiated accusations and libels.  

Demonization

Erekat was always prepared to employ the language of demonization, referring to Israel as "an apartheid regime worse than that of South Africa."

Only recently, Erekat accused Israel of carrying out a "war crime" following the death of a Palestinian woman allegedly as a result of Israeli tear gas — an allegation that was, like the Jenin "massacre", a libel.

Demonstrating his penchant for never letting verifiable facts get in the way, Erekat also accused Israel of carrying out a "war crime" over its handling of the Gaza flotilla.  

Outright Lies

Here, Erekat, back in 2002, claimed in a live interview on CNN that Israeli forces were attacking Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound, describing the shooting, shelling and the injury to a Palestinian policeman that the Israelis were preventing from being evacuated by ambulance. During the interview, CNN crossed over live to its correspondent some 200 meters from the Ramallah compound to find out what was going on there ... absolutely nothing.

Indeed, Saeb Erekat is an habitual liar and offers a prime example of how the media favors charismatic personalities at the expense of integrity and credibility. We hope that the resignation of Erekat will also mark the end of his regular appearances on screen and in print although we doubt it. No longer accountable to the PA, perhaps Erekat's lies and spin will become even more pronounced. Will the media even care?

So it's goodbye to Saeb Erekat — you will not be missed. If indeed it was an Al-Jazeera smear campaign that forced you out then all we can say is: What goes around comes around.

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. Contact them by email at action@honestreporting.com

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THOMAS FRIEDMAN, COURT JEW
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, February 15, 2011.

We Jews still have among us many of the same unwilling Jews being led out of slavery by Moses who, being pursued by Pharaohs army, demand to return to slavery in the fleshpots of Egypt. They were called the "Erev Rav" (the mixed multitude).

Unaccustomed to freedom, they tried to adopt the pagan ways of Egypt and they built a golden calf idol to dance around and worship. Moses returned down from Mt. Sinai with the Holy Tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. When he saw the pagan ritual around the golden calf, Moses ordered the miscreants killed, however, some escaped and blended in as "worthy" Israelites.

These creatures are still with us today, calling themselves "Leftists". They still dance around today's idols, determined to weaken and, thereby, destroy the Jewish people, returning to the slavery they once felt so comfortable within.

This below was written by MK Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, National Union.

 

In his New York Times columns, Thomas Friedman the Jewish columnist, carries on an ongoing feud with the Jewish state. His articles on the current Egyptian crisis are no exception.

It doesn't take much intellectual prowess or professional psychological training to realize that Mr. Friedman is actually attacking and denying his very own Judaism. Playing the role of the negative exemplars of the stereotypical Diaspora court Jew, he is filled with self-loathing, ashamed of his origins — and aims to ensure that this is common knowledge.

From his position, this is understandable. The steady Jewish population growth of 6% in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, presently nearing 650,000, actively threatens his hopes to shrink the Jewish state to narrow ghetto proportions. Those borders were aptly described by Israel's eloquent foreign minister and UN ambassador, the late Abba Eban, who said that the pre-1967 state in its narrow borders "has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz."

Facts, such as the recent political developments in the Middle East, including the overthrow of regimes and the obvious fragility of Arab leaders, do not confuse Thomas Friedman. Had we hearkened to this prophet's exhortations over the years, we would have put our futures in the hands of these same Arab rulers. That may be what Mr. Friedman is hoping for, a continuation of the Diaspora life led by our forebears for thousands of years.

Friedman attempts to call on the world to force the Jewish people and its state to return to the atmosphere of the days of submission and oppression in the ghetto. After all, he makes his home in the ghetto of a foreign land, lives as a Diaspora Jew, and perhaps would like to get us to join him.

The Jewish people, however, have healthy instincts, an inherited survival wish. A people who knew how to go from the valley of the shadow of death into light, from exile to redemption, and succeeded in building an independent, democratic state after 2,000 years of Gentile persecution, is wise enough to ignore the deleterious advice of Thomas Friedman, court Jew.

However, when the day comes that Mr. Friedman joins us in our mutual homeland — and if he doesn't, perhaps his children will — I promise to welcome him with open arms, and to help him make his home in our ancestral land, near Hevron, Shechem, or Ramallah.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
(http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at gwinston@gwinstonglobal.org

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EGYPTIAN DEMOCRACY MAY BE BAD NEWS
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, February 15, 2011.

Democracy is a good thing when it evolves with the people accepting the real life ways of a democratic state. When predators use the fairness of democracy from within to create laws that benefit themselves, then democracy is turned on itself.

Islam, in its many forms cannot ever be a democracy because its life blood is domination, war, forced conversion and certainly killing their women (wives, daughters) for honor or what passes for honor in a primitive culture that wishes to be regarded as superior to all others.

Perhaps we have forgotten other cultures who wished to enslave their world. They are now gone: Genghis Khan, Rome of the Caesars, Hitler of the Third Reich, Turkey of the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire where the sun never set. Now a people who have contributed nothing to civilization — (except the "zero") — has arisen like entitled conquerors of the past, demanding honor, recognition and submission by all others. (Islam means "submission").

Can democracy in our time, unwilling to face the savagery of Islam, possibly survive — within the evolved rules of actual civilized behavior called "Democracy"? I suppose we may see a book sometimes soon in the future entitled: "The Rise and Fall of the Once Democratic Free West."

This below was written by John Bolton and is entitled "Egyptian Democracy May Be Bad News."

 

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. ambassador John Bolton said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that Americans should be wary of the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, arguing that it could lead to the country falling in the hands of anti-American Muslim extremists.

It is the "responsibility of our government to protect our interests and our values and our friends and our allies," Bolton said. Referencing former President Theodore Roosevelt, he added that "first and foremost we must make the world safe for ourselves."

Mubarak's fall may end up making America less safe, Bolton said, because in a democracy a radical group like the Muslim Brotherhood may end up in power. He warned of the threat of "rising radicalism in the Middle East" and said Sharia law could soon be imposed on Egypt's citizenry.

"We have to have a careful and prudent approach to these developments, because we've seen revolutionary situations go wrong too many times before," said Bolton, pointing to the Nazis, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Bolton, who is considering a GOP presidential run, said that democracy is "a way of life," not simply a political system. "We have to acknowledge that a Democratic election can produce illiberal results," he said.

The former ambassador argued that allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in Egyptian elections is putting the country on the "road to disaster," and suggested the Obama administration has been "hesitant, inconsistent, confused and just plain wrong" in its handling of the situation in Egypt.

To a standing ovation from the conservative activists gathered for the conference, Bolton described President Obama as "weak, indecisive and apologetic."

Bolton said he does not believe Mr. Obama cares about foreign policy because it gets in the way of his priority of "nationalizing our health care system." He attacked the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, for suggesting the Muslim Brotherhood is a largely secular organization, saying the reason he opposes Clapper's resignation is because "in this administration, we could get somebody worse to replace him." Bolton also attacked the administration for its handling of Russia and its passage of the New Start missile treaty.

John Bolton answers questions from reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Feb. 12, 2011. See here.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
(http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at gwinston@gwinstonglobal.org

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FROM ISRAEL: TELLING IT STRAIGHT
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 15, 2011.
 

Enough, a part of my brain keeps telling me. Take a rest from the writing. And yet I find myself compelled, again and again, to make points that must be made.

What I'm seeing in too many quarters is a simplistic rejoicing at what has happened in Egypt, for — according to those who rejoice — we're witnessing a new day, with the flowering of democracy. The people have spoken.

Coupled with this is criticism — both implicit and overt — of Israel for being the "spoil sport." Why are we not joining the celebration? Why are we so stuck in our old thinking, and so negative?

And it's not just that old Israel-basher Tom Friedman, either.

~~~~~~~~~~

Coupled with this, of course, is the push for us to take advantage of this wonderful new time and quickly sit down with Mahmoud Abbas and forge a peace treaty.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thus have I decided to write: To reinforce the points that need to be made, yet again.

~~~~~~~~~~

The notion that we must quickly achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinian Arabs (which, in fact makes the erroneous assumption that they'd even sit down with us now) can be dispensed with quickly. For the fact that a government with which we had a peace treaty was overturned in a little over two weeks, so that the treaty is now at risk (with some potential future leaders calling for its cancellation), is sobering and provides a very salient lesson in caution.

Precisely how dumb does everyone think we are?

Mubarak maintained a sort of control in Egypt that Abbas would never achieve were he to stay in office until 100. And yet Mubarak went down. Abbas cannot be sleeping well at night. Before all of this unrest, he was afraid to venture into certain PA areas, and he already knew Hamas was breathing down his neck. And now?

What would it avail us, to withdraw (Heaven forbid!) from major parts of Judea and Samaria in the name of "peace," only to find that the PA had fallen and Islamists were at our (vastly more vulnerable) border?

And this concern does not even factor in another unease: We now know, as the world knows, that the American administration cannot be counted on when the going gets tough.

So let's move on...

~~~~~~~~~~

To a person, I think, we here in Israel would rejoice if there were to be true democracy in Egypt. But the modest chances of this happening are further diminished by the very rush to see it happen quickly.

Yesterday I cited an Egyptian in exile who pointed out that 30% of Egyptians are illiterate — they cannot sign their own names, never mind read their nation's constitution. They have never been exposed to written political analyses or proposals for platforms. They are likely to go with what they know and what has made them comfortable. And for many, this is the Muslim Brotherhood — a Brotherhood, by the way, that has provided food and medical care for many of those struggling Egyptians..

This is the simple fact of the matter.

~~~~~~~~~~

We here in Israel have a better understanding of the radical Muslim mind, and Islamist subterfuge, than most in N. America do. It's born of hard experience, and we are not so quickly taken in.

Fervently do we wish that our words might help others — starting with the White House — to fashion a more cautious, and thus ultimately more successful, approach. But I see scant chance of this happening.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bret Stephens, writing today about the Muslim Brotherhood in the Wall Street Journal, begins his piece thus:

"...On Feb. 16, 1979, the New York Times ran a lengthy op-ed by Richard Falk, a professor of international law at Princeton, under the headline "Trusting Khomeini."

"'The depiction of [Khomeini] as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,' wrote Mr. Falk. 'What is also encouraging is that his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals.'

"After carrying on in this vein for a few paragraphs, the professor concluded: 'Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may yet provide us with a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.'"

Wake up world!

~~~~~~~~~~

Continues Stephens:

"The Times is at it again. Last week, the paper published an op-ed from Essam El-Errian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Council, who offered this soothing take on his organization: 'We aim to achieve reform and rights for all: not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians.'

"It's easy to be taken in by the Brotherhood: Eight decades as a disciplined, underground organization, outwardly involved in charitable social work, have made them experts at tailoring messages to separate audiences.

"...Today the Brotherhood has adopted a political strategy in keeping with [founder] Banna's dictum that the movement must not over-reach on its way toward '[subjugating] every unjust ruler to its command': 'Each of these stages,' he cautioned his followers, 'involves certain steps, branches and means.' Thus the Brotherhood has gone out of its way in recent weeks to appear in the most benign light, making an ally of former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and forswearing any immediate political ambitions.

"But that doesn't mean the Brothers don't have an idea of what they're aiming for...

"Nor should there be any doubt about what the Brotherhood is aiming against. 'Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny,' Muhammad Badie, the Brotherhood's supreme guide, sermonized in October. 'The improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained ... by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.' (Emphasis added)

"...unless Egypt's secular forces can coalesce into serious political parties, the people for whom Islam is the solution won't find the fetters of democracy to be much of a problem."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870358 4804576143933682956332.html

~~~~~~~~~~

For the non-radical or reasonably democratic opposition parties in Egypt to get their acts together will take time, and guidance and funds. Education of the populace regarding various party positions, and what their choices are, is part of what must be done to foster democracy.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which does have its act together, is now in the process of preparing application to be a legal party.

Understand, they have been outlawed until now and have succeeded in winning elections and achieving seats in the parliament via persons affiliated with the Brotherhood who ran as independents. And once they are a party?

~~~~~~~~~

Khaled Abu Toameh explains why a group like the Brotherhood is better organized than moderate groups:

"For decades, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other Arab dictators used to tell Americans and Europeans that if they did not support them, the result would be Muslim extremists coming to power.

"This is why these dictators never took drastic measures against Islamic fundamentalist groups in their countries.

"This pattern gave the Muslim Brotherhood a chance to grow and win over more supporters, as the local people became more and more disgusted both with their dictators and the Western governments who supported them.

"Instead of focusing their attention on the Islamists, Arab dictators chose to chase secular reformists, liberals, democrats, newspaper editors and human rights activists; by suppressing the emergence of these people, the Arab dictatorships paved the way for the rise of radical extremists."
http://www.hudson-ny.org:80/1877/arab-dictators-radical-islam

~~~~~~~~~~

I encourage you to also hear the fantastic interview of Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson, who touches all the important bases:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9sMo-LTdSc

~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly, I wish to raise an issue that I have not taken the time to look at before, with all that had to be reviewed: That is, the damning of Mubarak in the street demonstrations by painting a Star of David on his face.

I provide a couple of photos showing this, below. There are many more. Not only is this blatantly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, please note the "moderate" garb of the people carrying the signs.

There would be something wrong with us in Israel, if we were not very worried about what comes next.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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LSE CANCELS EVENT WITH GERMAN CRITICS OF RADICAL ISLAM
Posted by Sacha Stawski, February 15, 2011.
 

This was written by Jonny Paul (in London) and Benjamin Weinthal and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
(http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx? id=208396).

Henryk Broder: 'You in England have long since begun to do away with yourselves.' School faced opposition from German students.

A panel discussion addressing the integration of Muslims in Europe, scheduled to be held at the London School of Economics on Monday, was canceled after the school said it could not provide adequate security for planned student protests.

A group of mainly German LSE students and academics opposed the decision by the school's German Society to invite two sharp critics of political Islam and Germany's integration policies: Thilo Sarrazin, a former member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank and a former head of finance for the State of Berlin, and Henryk M. Broder, a well-known German-Jewish journalist.

The protesters circulated a petition headlined "Integration instead of clash of the cultures."

A spokesman for the university told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that as it could not guarantee protests being peaceful and that extra security would be needed to stop largescale disruption, hence the event was moved off campus.

The German Society, one of the largest and most active such groups at LSE and one of the largest German student groups outside Germany, hosted the event, "Europe's Future: The Decline of the West."

Sarrazin authored last year's best-selling Germany Abolishes Itself, which dissected flawed integration policies in the Federal Republic.

Broder said at the event: "You in England have long since begun to do away with yourselves. Your top bishop has already called for the introduction of Shari'a law."

Sarrazin has referred to Muslims as "dunces" and said that Jews all "share a certain gene."

After an outcry by students, the university canceled the event and informed the German Society that it could not host it on campus.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice chairman of the UK's Zionist Federation, told the Post on Tuesday that by canceling Sarrazin's talk while allowing speakers such as Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor Abdel Bari Atwan to go ahead — with anti-Semitic content — "LSE is being craven and utterly hypocritical."

The Gaza-born Atwan spoke at LSE last year.

Speaking about Iran's nuclear capability on Lebanese television in 2007, he said: "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight."

In 2006, Atwan was quoted by the BBC as saying that the events of September 11, 2001, "will be remembered as the end of the US empire."

Responding to the criticism from protesters about the alleged anti-Semitic statement from Sarrazin, Hoffman said the statement that Jews share a particular gene was not wholly accurate.

"One, because it is possible to convert to Judaism and because not all Jews share a particular gene. But certainly some do. That was shown by, for example, peer-group reviewed DNA research by Dr. Karl Skorecki which showed that the same array of chromosomal markers was found in 97 of 106 Kohens tested.

Sarrazin's statement may have been inaccurate, but it certainly was not anti-Semitic. Anyone who says it was is plain wrong."

Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a London-based organization that tackles extremism on campuses, said, "It is disappointing that the LSE canceled the event only on the threat of disruption and a lack of resources. They should be tackling the real issue of intolerance and hatred."

He added that "if mob rule is all it takes to shut down a speech, it is easy to see how freedoms may not be protected, but extremist speakers may still use the university as a platform if enough people fail to protest."

Sacha Stawski is with the Honestly Concerned organization. Contact him at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org

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JEWISH-ARAB DEMOLITIONS: CIVIL ADMINISTRATION'S 2:1 RATIO
Posted by Hillel Fendel, February 15, 2011.
 

Statistics are finally released, showing that 25% of official Jewish demolition orders are carried out — compared to half that much in Arab sector.

In 2010, 167 demolition orders of illegal structures were enforced among Jewish outposts and the like in Judea and Samaria, out of a total of 668. This rate, 25%, is nearly twice as much as that for the Arabs of the same areas; only 172 out of 1,265 demolition orders were carried out, a rate of 13.6%.

The numbers were reported by the Civil Administration, said MK Aryeh Eldad, "only after a lengthy, year-and-a-half long struggle against Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who tried with all his might to hide them. The Supreme Court has ruled more than once that selective enforcement is a crime."

Attorney Yehuda Shimon of the Gilad Farm told Israel National News, "These numbers are just a trap. They issued 1,265 demolition orders against illegal Arab structures? I can tell you for a fact that there are at least 30,000 illegal Arab structures here! There are more illegal Arab houses in Judea and Samaria than there are legal Jewish homes! Every single hour, another illegal Arab building is begun."

MK Eldad, of the National Union party, told correspondent Haggai Huberman that the Defense Ministry tried to avoid publicizing the numbers "even to a secret subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, using the lying excuse that the information was 'sensitive.'"

MK Eldad said he would not let up on Minister Barak: "I will force him to divulge all the information he has on this topic, and to reveal who is responsible for giving the order for selective law enforcement against the Jewish residents of Judeaand Samaria."

At the Gilad Farm near Kedumim yesterday (Monday), police forces confiscated a truck bringing concrete for the floor of a new home. The police learned of the truck from soldiers at the site, who had been instructed to report on the entry of any truck bringing building materials to the farm, which is located on private Jewish property in the Shomron (Samaria).

Itai Zar, "mayor" of the village, called on the army to stop trying to strangle it: "We have young couples here who need homes, and we want to build. The Arabs build illegally on every single hilltop and no one stops them; but we are driven crazy for every truck... We do not accept the use of IDF soldiers as 'informers' against other Jews; soldiers should not be used as tattle-tales or policemen."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com), where this article appeared today.

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EGYPT'S OPPOSITION FIGHTS ITSELF AS ARMY TIGHTENS CONTROL
Posted by HandsFiasco, February 15, 2011.

This was written by Shashank Bengali and it appeared today in Jewish World Review
(Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2011 / 11 Adar I, 5771).

Reports that all of that jubilation may have been a wee-bit early

 

Cairo — (MCT) Three days after Hosni Mubarak's resignation, Egypt's political opposition was bitterly divided over its next moves as the army expanded its near-total control over the country with no overt signs that it has included anti-government protesters in its decision-making.

A major meeting of opposition leaders and protesters on Monday quickly devolved into arguments and diatribes, underscoring how difficult it will be for the diverse, leaderless revolutionary movement to coalesce around a political platform before elections that Egypt's military caretakers have pledged to hold.

While one set of opposition figures battled itself, a group of seven young, middle-class democracy activists said that they had met with senior members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The protesters said the generals voiced their "sincere intention to preserve the gains of the revolution."

But the army, which Friday took power from Mubarak and since has issued only brief statements of its plans for the transition to a democratically elected government, made no mention of the meeting in its only statement of the day — a call for an end to growing labor protests.

The army has met some of the key demands of the protesters who ousted Mubarak. It has dissolved his rubber-stamp parliament and suspended the flawed constitution. Many Egyptians consider the military the country's most credible public institution after it remained neutral during the 18-day popular uprising and refused to fire on protesters.

But the military leadership — which includes former members of the Mubarak regime and is headed by his defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — so far has emphasized stability over transparency.

Two army major-generals told the protesters they met Sunday — including Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google executive who was held in secret detention and since has become the best known face of the uprising — that they had appointed a committee of people "known for integrity and honor" to draft constitutional amendments.

In a Facebook post, Ghonim said the amendments would be voted on in a referendum in two months and that he took the military at its word, noting that "for the first time we are sitting with an Egyptian official who listens more than talks."

Others, however, expressed worry at the army's statement Sunday that it would run the country "for six months or until parliamentary and presidential elections are held," which seemed almost purposefully vague.

The army Monday accused labor protesters of "disturbing and disrupting" the country with their demands for better salaries and called on them to return to their jobs. In Cairo, a protest of about 200 workers outside the state-controlled Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions devolved into window smashing and shoving.

The army's moves so far were criticized at Monday's raucous meeting of opposition members, but participants failed to agree on any next steps and said they would reconvene Tuesday.

"The statement by the military (Monday) was a real threat," said Abdel Khalek Farouq, a member of the National Association for Change, an opposition umbrella group. "The old guard is still in power and they are strong. ... Authority is tempting, and they might stay in power."

The two-hour gathering at the offices of the Democratic Front party in a middle-class section of western Cairo was one of several such meetings that have been held by various opposition groupings over the past three days. It was called to nominate committees to open negotiations with the military — which the military hasn't explicitly asked for — but instead it demonstrated Egypt's polyglot opposition scene at its most disjointed and chaotic.

The popular uprising that occupied downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square, beat back pro-Mubarak gangs and transfixed the world for nearly three weeks is at best only tangentially affiliated with Egypt's formal opposition, which is made up of establishment figures and never seriously challenged Mubarak's grip on power.

The opposition parties have stepped in to negotiate on behalf of the uprising, which never appointed a leader.

In the meeting, the difference between the two populations was obvious, with the younger, fresher-faced protesters wearing Palestinian-inspired keffiyehs and looking bored while the older opposition figures in suits and ties bickered about committees.

Several dozen participants couldn't agree from the start on the size or composition of the committees, and a request for nominees ballooned to more than 340 names. After 45 minutes, more than half the room was standing up to ask a question, with many people shouting over each other, and the chairmen asked television cameras to be turned off.

"This is a closed meeting," one said.

Several attendees said that the chairmen — including Mohamed al Beltagi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest formal opposition group — appeared to disregard complaints that the group included a disproportionately high number of people from Cairo and very few from the provinces.

"It's a mess. What happened in there was a rape of the revolution," said Alber Saber Zaki, a 26-year-old who slept much of the past three weeks in Tahrir Square. He learned about the meeting through a friend, but left halfway through.

"The people here are just elites," he said. "They don't represent the popular revolt."

That rift is perhaps not surprising. The protest movement was largely organized via Facebook and other social media by middle-class Egyptians, while the less privileged masses formed the vast majority of people in Tahrir Square and other protest sites.

The labor movement, which is expected to defy the military and return to striking Tuesday, also has little in common with people such as Ghonim, and their demands for better pay and working conditions weren't addressed by Mubarak's resignation.

"The meeting (Sunday) night was to try to break us apart," Ahmed Salah, a founder of the April 6 youth movement that helped to organize the recent protests, said of the meeting between the army officials and Ghonim's group.

Some worried that if elections were held in six months, the same opposition figures who contested and lost past elections — or members of a reconstituted National Democratic Party, Mubarak's party — would rise again and the protest movement would fail to consolidate the gains of the revolution.

"The opposition is always divided," Salah said. "It's part of the old system that includes the regime. It's the way Egypt has been the last four decades — corrupt to the core."

It didn't take long before some of the younger faces in the crowd grew frustrated and left. The cramped, low-ceilinged meeting room must have felt a long way from the freewheeling idealism of Tahrir Square.

After an hour, one man in his 30s stood up from the back of the room to leave. He turned to the young man seated behind him and said, "See you at the next revolution."

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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THE LEGACY OF A TEETERING PEACE
Posted by HandsFiasco, February 15, 2011.

This was written by Caroline B. Glick and it appeared in Jewish World Review
(http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0211/glick021511.php3)

 

As Israel moves into the uncharted territory of managing its relations with the post-Mubarak Egypt, it is imperative that the lessons of the past be understood

One of the first casualties of the Egyptian revolution may very well be Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. The Egyptian public's overwhelming animus towards Jews renders it politically impossible for any Egyptian leader to come out in support of the treaty.

Over the weekend, the junta now ruling Egypt refused to explicitly commit themselves to maintaining the treaty. Instead, under intense American pressure they sufficed with stating that they would maintain all of Egypt's international obligations.

According to news reports, the generals themselves are split in their positions on Israel. One group supports maintaining the treaty. The other supports its abrogation.

Ayman Nour, the head of the oppositionist Ghad Party and the man heralded as the liberal democratic alternative to Mubarak by Washington neo-conservatives has called for the peace treaty to be abrogated. In an interview with an Egyptian radio station he said, "The Camp David Accords are finished. Egypt has to at least conduct negotiations over conditions of the agreement."

For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood has been outspoken in its call to end the treaty since it was signed 32 years ago. Whatever ends up happening, it is clear that Israel is entering a new era in its relations with Egypt. And before we can begin contending with its challenges, we must first consider the legacy of the peace treaty that then prime minister Menachem Begin signed with then Egyptian president Anwar Sadat on March 26, 1979.

What was the nature of Israel's agreement with Egypt? What was its impact on Israel's strategic vision? What were the strategic assumptions that formed the basis of its component parts? How did all of these issues impact Israel's perception of the long-term prospects for its relations with Egypt?
 

WHEN BEGIN and Sadat signed the peace treaty, their act was the culmination of 15 months of negotiations catalyzed by Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and his speech before the Knesset on November 20, 1977. Sadat's visit to Israel's capital was an extraordinary gesture. Here was the man who just four years earlier had waged an unprovoked, brutal war of aggression against Israel that placed the country in mortal danger and killed some 2,600 of its finest sons.

Here was the leader of the country that had fought five unprovoked wars of aggression against Israel in 29 years.

And yet suddenly, here was this man, Israel's greatest foe, standing before the Knesset and declaring that he was not seeking a ceasefire, but peace.

As he put it, "I have not come to you to seek a partial peace, namely to terminate the state of belligerency at this stage...I have come to you so that together we might build a durable peace based on justice, to avoid the shedding of one single drop of blood from an Arab or an Israeli."

The effect of Sadat's visit on the Israeli psyche generally and on Begin's mindset in particular was profound. A new book of the two leaders' correspondence, Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin-Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence edited by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad of the Begin Heritage Center presents readers with a portrait of the Israeli leader enthralled with the belief that he and Sadat were embarking their nations on the road to a peaceful future.

But it was not to be. Whether Sadat was purposely deceptive or whether he was simply blocked from implementing his vision of peace by an assassin's bullet in 1981is unclear. True, he committed Egypt committed to peace. The peace treaty contains an entire annex devoted to specific commitments to cultivate every sort of cultural, social and economic tie imaginable. But both Sadat and his successor Mubarak breached every one of them.

As the intervening 32 years since the treaty was signed have shown, in essence, the deal was nothing more than a ceasefire. Israel surrendered the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and in exchange, Egypt has not staged a military attack against Israel from its territory.

The peace treaty's critics maintain that the price Israel paid was too high and so the treaty was unjustified. They also argue that Israel set a horrible precedent for future negotiations with its neighbors by ceding the entire Sinai in exchange for the treaty. Moreover, they note that Palestinian autonomy agreement in the treaty was a terrible deal. And it set the framework for the disastrous Oslo peace process with the PLO 15 years later.

For their part, supporters of the treaty claim that the precedent it set was terrific for Israel. The treaty cites the borders of the Palestine Mandate as Israel's legal borders. And since the Mandate envisioned a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan River, at a minimum the peace treaty sets a precedent for a future annexation of the west bank of the Jordan.

Whatever their relative merits may be, in the end, both sides of the argument are largely irrelevant. Precedents don't matter in politics. Interests, not precedents determine how states and non-state actors operate. As for whether or not the deal was justified given the exorbitant price, it is unclear what choice Begin had.

In 1977 Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States. And Carter was the most hostile president Israel had faced. His negative attitude towards Israel made it all but impossible for Begin to walk away from the table. When Carter's antagonism is coupled with Sadat's romantic pledges of everlasting peace and brotherhood, it is easy to understand why Begin agreed to overpay for a ceasefire.
 

WHILE BEGIN'S behavior during the negotiations is relatively easy to understand, Israel's behavior since the peace with Egypt was signed is less comprehensible, and certainly less forgivable. Since Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1981, it has been the state's consistent policy to ignore Egypt's bad faith. This 30-year refusal of Israel's leadership to contend with the true nature of the deal Israel achieved with Egypt has had a debilitating impact both on Israel's internal strategic discourse as well as on its international behavior.

As the US-backed demonstrators in Tahrir Square gained steam, and the prospect that Mubarak's regime would indeed be overthrown became increasingly likely, IDF sources began noting that the IDF and the Mossad will need to build intelligence gathering capabilities towards Egypt after 30 years of neglect. These statements make clear the debilitating impact of Israel's self-induced strategic blindness to our neighbor in the south.

Under the ceasefire, with Israeli approval and encouragement, Egypt has built a modern, US-trained and armed military. And for 30 years, that military has been training to fight Israel.

On the other side, Israel stopped training in desert warfare and stopped gathering intelligence on the Egyptian military. As far as IDF commanders and successive defense ministers have been concerned, there was no reason to prepare for war or care about Egypt's preparations for war because we were at peace.

On the international stage, our leadership's refusal to acknowledge that Egypt had not abandoned its belligerent attitude against Israel was translated into an abject refusal to admit or deal with the fact that Egypt leads the international political war against Israel. Rather than fight back when Egyptian diplomats at the UN instigate anti-Israel resolution after anti-Israel resolution, Israeli diplomats have pretended that there is no reason for concern.

The same is the case regarding Egyptian anti-Semitism. Before the peace treaty, the Foreign Ministry prepared regular reports on anti-Semitism in the Egyptian media and school system. These reports were distributed at embassies and consulates throughout the world. After the treaty was signed, the reports were filed away and never spoken of.

In his speeches Sadat repeatedly claimed that he was channeling the hopes and beliefs of the entire Egyptian people. But the fact is that Sadat was a military dictator.

Israel failed to consider the implications of signing a deal with a military dictator on the prospects for the deal's longevity. In an interview with Der Spiegel last week the Muslim Brotherhood's puppet Mohammed ElBaradei explained those implications. As ElBaradei put it, Israel has "a peace treaty with Mubarak, but not one with the Egyptian people."
 

THE ADVANTAGE of having a good relationship with a dictator is that he can deliver quickly. The disadvantage is that once he is gone no one is bound by his decisions because he doesn't represent anyone. There are other problems with making deals with dictators. Due to the repressive nature of authoritarian regimes, they have no mechanisms in place for peaceful changes. And yet change in dictatorships, like change everywhere else, is an historic inevitability. In the absence of a mechanism for peaceful change, as a general rule, change in authoritarian regimes is revolutionary rather than evolutionary. The revolution in Cairo is the clearest example of this.

Another problem with the deal that Israel made with Sadat the dictator is demonstrated by the current unrest in the Sinai. In 1977 Egypt's was the strongest regime in the region. So when Israel thought about the threat emanating from Egypt, it thought about the Egyptian army barreling toward Beersheba. That is why the Egyptian military was barred from operating in the Sinai.

The last thing on Israel's mind in 1978 was the Bedouin tribes in the Sinai. Back then Sinai's Bedouin were pro-Israel and bitterly disappointed when Israel withdrew. But a lot has changed since then.

Over the past 20 years or so, the power of Egypt's central authority in its hinterlands has weakened. The strength of the Bedouin has grown. And over the past decade or so, the Bedouin of Sinai, like the Bedouin from Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Israel have become aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and its al Qaida and Hamas spinoffs.

The Bedouin attacks on Egyptian police and border guard installations in al Arish and Suez over the past three weeks are an indication that the fear of a strong state, which was so central to Israel's thinking in during the peace process with Egypt, is no longer Israel's most urgent concern. Transnational jihadists in the Sinai are much more immediately threatening than the Egyptian military is. But the peace treaty — signed with a military dictator — provides neither Israel nor Egypt with tools to deal with this threat.
 

AS ISRAEL moves into the uncharted territory of managing its relations with the post-Mubarak Egypt, it is imperative that our leaders understand the lessons of the past.

Fantasies are no match for reality. Aggression must be fought, not wished away. And the world is a dynamic place. Today's solutions will likely be irrelevant tomorrow as new challenges eclipse the current ones. Our strategies must be rational, flexible and sober-minded if we are to chart a forward course rather than be thrown asunder by the coming storm.

And we must never put all our eggs in anyone's basket.

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SEEKS GLOBAL ISLAMIC CONQUEST
Posted by Steven Shamrak, February 15, 2011.
 

<Muslim Brotherhood Seeks Global Islamic Conquest by Oren Kessler

Pundits have portrayed the Brotherhood as uncompromising zealots or beneficent providers of social services that long-deprived Egyptians desperately need.But a translation released Tuesday of a 1995 book by the movement's fifth official leader sheds light on just how Egypt's Brotherhood views itself and its mission. Jihad is the Way is the last of a five-volume work, "The Laws of Da'wa" by Mustafa Mashhur, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002.

They detail the Brotherhood's objectives of advancing the global conquest of Islam and reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate, the public and private duties of jihad and the struggle Muslims must wage against Israel.

Elsewhere, it exhorts Muslims, "Know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation." The movement differs from international terror groups like Al-Qaida only in tactics, but not goals. "One should know that it is not necessary that Muslims repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but only when ability and the circumstances are fit it."

Jihad is the Way explicitly endorses the reinstatement of a worldwide Islamic regime. "It should be known that jihad and preparation towards jihad are not only for the purpose of fending off assaults and attacks of Allah's enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world."

Mashhur wrote, "The problems of the Islamic world — such as in Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea or the Philippines — are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are the problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole, and therefore there is no other option but jihad for Allah, and this is why jihad is the way."

US have Freed Islamist Terrorist — Pollard still in Jail!

An American jihadist, Mohammed Junaid Babar, who set up the terrorist training camp where the leader of the 2005 London suicide bombers learned how to manufacture explosives, has been quietly released after serving only four and a half years of a possible 70-year sentence. (This is another amazing exhibit of the US hypocrisy, if not governmentally sponsored anti-Semitism!)

Home Grown Jihad in the US — 35 Al Qaeda training camps in USA — Nothing is done to stop it!

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Once again president Obama and his administration are humiliated for not being in touch with reality. The White House said, "Transition must begin now", ignoring the danger of Islamisation of Egypt by the rapid removal of the Mubarak regime. Egyptian general's answer was: "We can on no account permit an Egyptian general, Hero of the October (1973) War against Israel, be humiliated, whatever the political price may be." They have already started playing the anti-Israel card to calm the mob on the streets! By now the army, which is integral part of the regime, took over and will implement Mubarak's transitional plan.

Turkey: Enemy that NATO and EU Refuse to Recognise

1. A Turkish official said no action is planned against two Turkish associates of an Iranian businessman who has been charged in the US with helping Iran's missile program by smuggling materials from the United States in violation of a trade embargo.

2. Iran and Turkey signed a trade pact on Sunday, which could be worth $30 billion over five years. Tehran especially, played up the deal as evidence of a new era in relations. "Iran and Turkey are two countries that complete each other," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. (We must admit, while it is not too late, that the current government of Turkey has managed to undermine its country's secular constitution and has been successfully implementing a transition towards Islamic rule!)

Test of US Resolve

The demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's government in Egypt are rocking the relationship between the United States and its most important Arab ally. The unsettled outlook in Egypt has also scrambled American calculations about nurturing peace talks back to life between Israel and the Palestinians. American and Israeli diplomats are wondering about a broader regional realignment in which Israel would be left feeling more isolated and its enemies, including Iran and Syria, emboldened. (Ignoring all those considerations, the Obama administration, like many before him, is abandoning another friend' of the US — fast!)

Even Germans Know Better

57 percent of Germans would oppose a Palestinian State, according to a new poll released by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner institution for The Israel Project. (But not US administration!)

Predictable 'Revolutionary' Development

On Thursday a political leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called on any government that replaces Hosni Mubarak's regime to withdraw from the 32-year-old peace treaty with Israel. "After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel," said Rashad al-Bayoumi, a deputy leader of the currently outlawed Islamic movement.

Basic Democratic Freedom under Attack

The Israel Police have issued an arrest warrant against Rabbi Dov Lior, one of the most prominent Zionist rabbis and halakhic decision makers. The warrant was issued after the rabbi refused to come in for questioning regarding the halakhic approbation he wrote at the beginning of a book called Torat HaMelech, which was written by another rabbi. The book discussed the theoretical attitude of Jewish Law toward killing a non-Jew in wartime. The purpose of the investigation, like the investigations against dozens of rabbis in recent months, is to silence people.

It is Always about Money

About 10 percent of the 1,500 tunnels that link the Gaza Strip to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula were operating but Gazans prefer the cheaper and better-made products from Israel rather than from Egypt. As a result, Hamas has suspended shipments of Israeli diesel fuel and other products to the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants to maintain the smuggling tunnels as a source of revenue for the Islamic regime. (Anti-Israel politic, same as Anti-Semites, is always about money first! Religion and other arguments are just a camouflage of ugly greed.)

Quote of the Week:

"For years, the Nation of Israel has been abandoned to an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel justice system that has been nurtured since the Six Day War. It is the product of symbiotic political and legal decisions that represent the values of pseudo "enlightenment", a euphemism for the support of assimilation and the abandonment of the Biblical Land of Israel." — Professor Hillel Weiss

Treaties are Good, but Deterrent is Better by Leo Rennert

The ongoing turmoil in Egypt has focused attention on whether Israel can continue to rely on its peace treaties with Cairo and Amman. Military analysts have described these treaties as the main 'linchpin' of Israel's security in a hostile neighbourhood. Some have gone so far as to suggest that, without an ability to rely on these treaties, Israel would be left without an effective defence to ensure its very existence.

Yet, while peace with Egypt and Jordan has indeed been a keystone of Israel's security during the last several decades, one shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Israel has an even greater ace in the pack, a deterrent transcending all the other arrows in its quiver — its undeclared nuclear arsenal.

Israel's alleged arsenal of nuclear weapons hovers over the direst of threats that can be conjured by military planners.

Such as,

  • Regardless of its peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, what happens if Hezbollah, with its tens of thousands of rockets in Lebanon, and Hamas, with its tens of thousands of rockets in Gaza, were to launch all-out simultaneous attacks against the Jewish state?

  • Or how would Israel confront an even greater peril — if radical regimes in Jordan and Egypt were to join the fray?

  • Adding even greater complexity to such eventualities — how could Israel respond with nuclear weapons against attacks using conventional weapons?

  • How could Israel, under such circumstances, justify a first-strike nuclear strategy?

As important are Israel's highly valued and rightly appreciated peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, Israel's enemies should be reminded of a much more formidable deterrent to Arab hostilities waiting in her wings.

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 StevenShamrak.e@gmail.com

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EGYPT REVOLUTION PRODUCES NEW, AND VERY UNIMPROVED, MIDDLE EAST
Posted by Barry Rubin, February 14, 2011.
 

How have the events in Egypt affected the regional situation in the Middle East? And should they be presented as a defeat or victory for U.S. interests. The way to deal with that question is to approach it with an open mind, saving one's conclusions for after the evidence is presented.

Almost universally in the U.S. debate, it is seen as a victory, as the triumph of democracy and people power showing, at least in the end, that the United States is on the side of history. There is an expectation that the Muslim Brotherhood is weak, moderate, or both and thus there is no threat of an Islamist Egypt. Those who are more sophisticated expect that the army will keep the country within reasonable bounds. It is assumed that a stable, democratic Egypt will result.

This assessment has some good points to make. The removal of an individual named Husni Mubarak by itself changes nothing. The issue is what Egypt's next government looks like, and we don't know anything about that yet

What is most striking is the almost total absence from the American and Western debate — and even from the public pronouncements of the U.S. government — of strategic thinking about the region. Issues like how U.S. policy and the events in Egypt would affect U.S. allies (and American deterrence or credibility) or other regional issues were almost totally absent. When discussed, they seemed to focus around utopian assumptions that can be summarized as: Everything is going to be fine.

It is on the regional level, though, that this analysis should be challenged. Some of the points being made are not very logical. One claim is that now al-Qaida is miserable because it has been shown that there are ways other than violent Islamist revolution to change the existing regimes. But, in fact, al-Qaida was never the threat. It is a small group that can stage bloody terrorist attacks but it cannot seize state power anywhere. If one views al-Qaida as the principal enemy in the Middle East then one understands nothing.

Moreover, let's assume that the elected Egyptian government will have more legitimacy and be better able to reduce an internal Islamist challenge — something that cannot be taken for granted by the way. How does that help the United States on a regional level?

The real issue is on one hand the Iran-led alliance consisting of Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, the Iraqi insurgents, and increasingly the Turkish government, to which is now added Lebanon. This powerful anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Western coalition now controls four countries plus the Gaza Strip, which is for all practical purposes, the anti-Islamist side has had just three real Muslim-majority countries left: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

To say that Egypt would follow the Turkish model, something that those using this term don'tunderstand, is not a good thing. It means that there would be an Islamist government in power more friendly to America's enemies than to its friends. A Turkish model in Egypt would be a disaster for E, gypt. I expect that at least in the short run even a bad result in Egypt would be better than that.

But let's assume that Egypt is more moderate than the current Turkish government, more neutralist than pro-Iran, which seems a reasonable.expectation. That is still a major loss for U.S. policy. Egypt would not be a reliable anti-Islamist force abroad, even if the army kept the Islamists at bay at home. Moreover, it seems likely that the Egyptian government would view Hamas favorably, which would be a major blow to the Palestinian Authority and one more factor making the peace process dead.

While a wave of attempts at popular revolution will spread, that doesn't mean they will succeed. In large part, by the way, the world is under an illusion over Egypt. Mubarak did not fall because people went into Tahrir Square, Mubarak fell because the army wanted him out, in part because it was tired of him and angry that he had not retired or prepared for the succession; in part because he was a useful scapegoat for all the regime's sins.

Thus, the army stood aside and did not lift a finger against the protesters. Uninformed observers will say that it did not want to shoot its own people but that has never stopped the army before. More accurately, it did not want to shoot its own people on behalf of Mubarak. The people's revolution was actually a very cleverly engineered coup.

Keep that point in mind because it is very important to understand other countries. The conditions prevailing in Egypt are not present elsewhere. The security forces in Iran, Syria, and the Gaza Strip will not hesitate to shoot. That's why the dictatorships on the other side are stronger than the authoritarian regimes that — give a wider margin of freedom on the anti-Islamist side. And while I don't expect a revolution in Jordan, if one does come there have no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood will run it.

The confidence of the remaining anti-Iran governments is shaken by what they perceive as the unreliability of the United States as an ally. For them, the Egyptian revolution is not a reason for rejoicing and they also know that they cannot depend on an elected government in Cairo. For Israel, even with the Egyptian army saying it will keep the peace treaty, it is a source of strategic stress. Additional money and manpower must be used to build up the southern front, the border with Egypt, and there is a heightened possibility of a future war with a better-armed Hamas.

Thus, despite the happiness and enthusiasm, the Egyptian revolution marks a strategic loss for the United States and its allies in the region and a gain for the opposing side, though not as big as the other side claims. The nature of the new Egyptian government will determine whether it is going to be a bigger loss but it is most unlikely that it will become a smaller one.

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 http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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MIDDLE EASTERN DEMOCRACIES
Posted by Ari Bussel, February 14, 2011.
 

The recent wave sweeping the Middle East has been overwhelmingly non-violent. As if an invisible force, visible only to corrupt or autocratic heads of state, has been advancing and bringing down decades-long regimes within a matter of days. It seems that almost no one is immune to this force, except those that outwardly and actively fight democracy like Syria and Iran.

The public has cried "Democracy," and the youth has repeated and reiterated the call, over and over again: "Democracy," they chant, "Democracy," something we know nothing about, have never experienced (other than what we see in movies-made-in-Hollywood) but we want it nonetheless. They cried and waved, twitted and blogged while the world held its breath and whispered then shouted: D E M O C R A C Y!

Democracy is the hallmark of the two most despised countries for any Middle Eastern: the United States of America, otherwise known as the Big Satan, and Israel, also known as the Small Satan. Why would the masses want to be more like what they hate?

The real problems throughout the Middle East can be characterized not by the autocratic dictatorships, rather by a very high birth rate, a huge segment of the population under the age of 30, predominantly unemployed and uneducated, and surging food prices.

Thus, when the masses go out to the streets and demand an improvement of their living conditions, we join the choir: DEMOCRACY, we chant, the miracle medicine that will make poverty go away with the swipe of a wand.

In Egypt, about one out of three is on the Government (military) payroll. In Gaza, Hamas hands out the money the European Union and others generously donate and the UN maintains a whole structure just to support the eternal "refugees."

Those of us in the United States are discovering there is a cost to things, and not all of us can be on the Government payroll. In fact, our President tried to do just that and discovered that even his administration cannot handle the mounting US Debt.

What will we be shouting in the streets when the economy deteriorates once again, like in late 2008, but this time around the Government would be unable to borrow anymore for no one, China included, will lend us more money?

America already has a democracy. What will the masses in our streets be chanting when they are faced with the real cost of Obama's plans?

Although the situation is seemingly better in the United States than in the Middle East, as the Government becomes unable to provide services and continue paying Social Security, the elderly will go out to the streets chanting "Away with Obama!" It is the reverse of the "youth revolution," although the very same path may be followed.

The other contributing factor for the unrest is the rising cost of food (e.g. corn and wheat) and other commodities (e.g. cotton). When there is not enough to eat, or when one cannot afford basic necessities, the masses are galvanized to demand change.

In the Middle East "Change" was called "Democracy," although there was no intention for our kind of Democracy. It was simply the opposite of the status quo, so the masses used the word, soon they will replace it.

There is a beacon of light in the Middle East, touted as "the only Democracy in the Middle East," Israel. But even in Israel there was almost a general strike due to the rapidly rising costs of water, gasoline and food. The Government was on the verge on a non-confidence vote, averted at the last minute by Netanyahu stepping in and overriding his Finance Minister's actions.

Essentially, the very same process of people going to the street, voicing their deep discontent with a life becoming more and more difficult, almost unbearable, while a very thin crust of society lives in unfathomable wealth. In Egypt people called for the removal of the President while in Israel people were ready to topple the coalition government.

Is there much a difference between President Mubarak's rule and Netanyahu's rule, both the final decision makers? Or that of a former general Barak, now the Minister of Defense, who clings to his Ministerial seat at all costs (including his party and their ideology) while having amassed millions? For Mubarak it is billions, in Israel millions, but they are equally despised.

There are demands being voiced now to investigate corruption at the highest levels of the Egyptian governing elites, starting with the billions that Mubarak had in Switzerland, transferred over the last few days to Saudi Arabia. Apparently, there are those in Israel who may be somewhat uncomfortable with the results of such investigations.

In Gaza, where democratically-elected Hamas just announced a boycott of Israeli products, a worrisome news item for there is no counter response by Israel, the following element was elegantly weaved:

Documents revealed by WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website, showed that as early as 2006, US officials had complained of "widespread corruption at Karni crossing," including demands for bribes.

"The deeply problematic procedures and allegations of endemic corruption at Karni terminal constitute a major non-tariff barrier to trade," a US diplomatic cable read.

The cable said Coca Cola distributor Joerg Hartmann informed embassy officials that trucks were stalled at the crossing if firms did not pay bribes, in a scheme largely run by a high-level Israeli official with the help of others, including two soldiers.

Gaza's ministry of economy said the bans would be in place "until further notice."

Note that the corruption pointed out is by Israelis, not Hamas. Not only is it outrageous, it is deeply disappointing and saddening. Apparently, Democracy is neither the remedy for corruption nor a fulfillment of the needs of the masses.

In Israel, corruption starts at the President's level, via the Prime Minister, Ministers and on down the hierarchy. It has become more and more pronounced in recent years: "Ein Din ve'ein Dayan," there is no law and no one judging or enforcing it. Democracy is not a cure. The grass just around the border may seem greener, but it is as infested as in the rest of the entire Middle East.

In Israel one still finds values, integrity, honor, responsibility and accountability within a very small segment of the population. If one wanted to generalize this sliver of hope, one would use the label "religious Zionists," "modern Orthodox" otherwise known as "knitted yarmulkes" or the dreaded "Settlers" (those living in Judea and Samaria).

There is no intention by them to influence others to change their habits, no attempt to control or establish their ideology and belief. Theirs is leading and living by example. Theirs is a belief in God and Country. Theirs is goodness in a cocoon, emanating light and energy from the inside.

In Lebanon, Gaza and soon in Egypt, those who represent hope for the masses are Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. They provide social and medical services, schools for the young (where they are brainwashed with hatred for the Jews) and care for the elderly. No one goes hungry. But it comes with a cost: the Islamization of society to the point of no return.

Theirs is a long-term control and the use of hatred as a galvanizing force. Their aim is one: Destroy the Jewish State. There is not even an iota of goodness to be found, unless it is outwardly self-serving. There is nothing beyond the day of destruction, just an all-absorbing focus on getting there and doing everything possible to eliminate the Jews.

This is the main difference between the Israelis cultivating their garden to be green, to bear fruit and provide shade and to allow children to play and enjoy, and the Gazans and other Middle Eastern fanatics who crave one thing, and one thing only: destroy the enemy, crush their skulls, rape their women, conquer their land. Yes, a small difference indeed.

Contact Ari Bussel and Norma Zager at busselari@gmail.com

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EGYPT: INSIDE THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Posted by Sanne DeWitt, February 14, 2011.
 

The following was written by Tarek Heggy, an Egyptian, liberal political thinker and writer. He is an Egyptian liberal political thinker and international petroleum strategist. His extensive writings advocate the values of modernity, democracy, tolerance, and women's rights in the Middle East — advancing them as universal values essential to the region's progress. As one of the contemporary leading Egyptian liberal theoreticians, he has lectured at universities throughout the world, including Oxford University, the University of Tokyo, the University of Melbourne, Sydney University, Princeton University, Columbia University, King's College London, Erasmus University (The Netherlands), the American University in Cairo, and the University of California Berkley.

Tarek Heggy's main themes are the need for economic, political, cultural and educational reforms in Egypt and the Middle East. His liberal voice calls for self criticism and massive reforms and frankly admits the failures of the political ideologies/dogmas dominating Egypt and the Arab world. Moreover, this voice calls the conspiracy theories and overblown rhetoric that pervade the region signs of a cultural crisis that needs resolution. Finally, he advocates the imperative need to develop a genuine ending to the Aarb-Israeli conflict and therefore establish a true peace between Egypt, the Arab countries and Israel. Tarek Heggy castigates a large portion of Egyptian and Arab media for their promotion of a hate culture and criticizes this media for reintroducing the radical rhetoric of the 1960s that led many Arab countries to catastrophe.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood was launched in 1928 to restore a caliphate, a global religious government aimed at fighting the "non-believers" (specifically, Christians, Hindus, and Jews) and at spreading Islam. The group opposed the existence of any secular states in all Muslim societies throughout the Middle East.

The Brotherhood killed Egypt's Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi in 1948 and plotted to kill President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the early 1950s. An offshoot group, Islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, later Osama bin Laden's number-two man, assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat in 1981 and tried to kill President Hosni Mubarak in 1995.

I. Muslim Brothers' Political Thought

The Brotherhood remains extremely opposed to Western civilization and to a political peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Hamas is a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This group's political thinking can be summarized as follows:

* Political Freedoms: Unlike Western democracies, which guarantee the political participation of every citizen regardless of ideology, opinion, or religion, the Muslim Brothers make the political participation of individuals in society subject to the principles of Islamic Sharia.

* Freedom of Belief: The Muslim Brothers guarantee freedom of belief only for the followers of the three revealed (Abrahamic) religions, otherwise known as "the people of the Book."

* Personal Freedoms: While Western democracies guarantee the absolute freedom of the individual as long as it does not impinge on the freedom of others, the Muslim Brothers set freedom of thought within the strict parameters of a moral code derived from the Sharia. They call for the restoration of hisbah, which allows a private citizen to prosecute any individual who commits an act he considers a breach of the Sharia even if the plaintiff himself has not been personally injured by such an act. The right of hisbah was recently exercised by a private citizen in Egypt against the respected intellectual Dr. Nasr Hamad Abu Zayd, whose writings he considered as running counter to the teachings of Islam. The court ruled for the plaintiff, branding Dr. Abu Zayd an apostate and ordering him to divorce his wife on the grounds that a Muslim woman cannot be married to an apostate. Dr. Abu Zayd fled with his wife to the Netherlands.

* Women's Rights: In Western democracies, women enjoy the same political rights as men: they can hold public office and participate in political life without any restrictions based on gender. But as far as the Muslim Brothers are concerned, women's political participation would be limited to municipal elections; there is no question, for example, of a woman ever becoming head of state. To further marginalize women and exclude them from any meaningful role in public life, the Muslim Brothers call for educational curricula to include material that is appropriate for women, tailored to suit their nature and role, as perceived by them. In addition to special curricula for girls, they insist on a complete segregation of the sexes in the classrooms, in public transportation, and in the workplace. The Islamist perception of women as lesser beings was illustrated in Kuwait, where Islamists temporarily blocked passage of a bill granting political rights to women

* The Economy: The Muslim Brothers call for the establishment of an economic system based on the respect of private property. At the same time, however, they insist that it be based on the principles of Islamic Sharia, which criminalizes bank interest. They also call for state ownership of public utilities.

* System of Government: Contrary to the system of government applied in a democracy, which is based on the peaceful rotation of power through elections, the Muslim Brothers call for a system of government based on the principles of Sharia and the revival of the Islamic Caliphate.

* Civil Society: The freedom of movement enjoyed by civil society organizations in a democracy would, in an Islamist system, be conditional on their adherence to the strictures of Sharia.

* Government: The Muslim Brothers oppose the notion of a state based on democratic institutions, calling instead for an Islamic government based on the shura (consultative assembly) system, veneration of the leader, and the investiture of a Supreme Guide. In this they are close to Iran's system.

* Political Freedoms: While the legislative branch of government monitors the actions of the state to ensure that they conform to the rules of democracy, the actions of the state are monitored by the Muslim Brothers to ensure that they conform to the rules of Islamic Sharia.

* The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Muslim Brothers were the first to send volunteers to fight Israel when it was founded in 1948. They have opposed all attempts to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in particular the peace agreements between Egypt and Israel initiated by the late President Sadat. It would be true to say that the Muslim Brothers will never recognize the existence of Israel as legitimate.

* Religious Minorities: Although the Muslim Brothers of Egypt do not go as far as their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, where the construction of houses of worship for non-Muslims is prohibited, their position on the question of religious minorities include the barring of any non-Muslim from becoming president and the subjection of non-Muslims to the principles of Sharia on which the entire legal system is based.

* The Legal System: The Muslim Brothers call for the establishment of a constitutional and legal system based on the principles of Sharia, including the application of corporal punishments in the penal code (stoning, lashing, cutting off the hands of thieves, etc.)

* Violence against Civilians: The Muslim Brothers have never condemned the use of violence against civilians, except if it is directed against Muslim civilians and even that only selectively.

Finally, "progress" in today's world is realized by two tools, "science and modern management"; two qualities that the Muslim Brothers have neither access to nor interest in.

II. The Necessity to Dialogue

Nevertheless, the harsh and often illegal treatment to which the Muslim Brotherhood is subjected is both unacceptable legally and self-defeating in that it hardens attitudes on both sides. In fact, the only way to resolve this problem with the Islamists is through dialogue, by opening channels of communication and engaging in a frank interchange of views. Debating the issues is the only way to transform a religious party, in the long term, into a civil political party that subscribes to the main tenets of democracy: acceptance of the "Other", rotation of power, and respect for other religions and for women. The transformation will be complete when political Islam abandons its distorted understanding of our religion from one rooted in the Middle Ages and reflecting the mentality of Bedouins bred in a harsh and unforgiving desert environment. Civil society is entitled to protect itself from any group that remains locked in a time warp and would have us all retreat with it into a distant past.

As reform in Egypt is a thousand times better than its takeover by any of a number of alternatives so too is reform in Saudi Arabia a thousand times better than its takeover by alternatives that could plunge the entire region into unprecedented chaos. Maintaining the stability of Saudi Arabia and all its neighbours is imperative. But guaranteeing stability is impossible without a historical operation against the extremists. The question is whether the sane elements in Saudi Arabia will follow a course similar to the one taken by their famous forbearer eighty years ago or whether they will continue to coexist with them until the ship sinks with everyone on board.

III. The Requirements of the Dialogue

Dialogue with Islamists should be based on seeking the answers to the following questions:

1. Some of the Muslim Brothers (MB's) now expound the idea that Copts (Egyptian Christians) are "Fully First Class Egyptian Citizens." Would this imply that a Copt could be, in principle, elected president of Egypt?

2. Would the Muslim Brothers follow the Saudi model of segregating girls from boys in educational institutions such as schools and universities as well as all other organizations?

3. Non-History-Related-Tourism (i.e., beach tourism) generates in excess of 75 percent of Egypt's tourism revenues. What are the Brotherhood's views on the sale of alcoholic beverages, gambling, and casinos, and women dressing in any way they choose?

4. What is the Brotherhood's opinion concerning the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel, and between Jordan and Israel?

5. What do the MB's think of the different forms of economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel (the Qualifying Industrial Zones [QIZ], in which joint enterprises receive special privileges for exporting goods to the United States, for instance)?

6. How do the MB's describe the killing of Israeli civilians in Hamas or Islamic Jihad suicide operations?

7. Do the MB's believe that Sayyid Qutb's doctrine known as al-Hak'imiyya — that government must be based exclusively on Allah's law and which rejects democracy and human law as apostasy — is still the basis of their political system?

8. What are the views of the Brotherhood on women holding high government offices including ministries, the prime ministership, and Supreme Court judgeships?

9. What are the group's views on the vision of a "two state" solution for Israel and Palestine to live peacefully next to each other? Would they then accept and recognize the right of Israel to exist? Would they also accept that the Jewish section of Jerusalem is Israel's capital?

10. Egypt's legal system since 1883 has been based on the juridical notions of the European legal system. What are the Brotherhood's plans with this regard? And what do they think of physical punishments, such as the sanctions applicable in Saudi Arabia?

11. Like all modern societies, the Egyptian banking system is based on the notion of interests for lending and savings. Will the Brotherhood keep it?

12. Is Iran a factor of stability (or instability) in today's world?

Finally, one must know that the Brothers are likely to use taqqiyya, a principle which — according to some clerics such as Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyya — allows Muslims to lie if so doing assists them in ultimately defeating the infidels!

Contact Sanne DeWitt by email at skdewitt@comcast.net

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FROM ISRAEL: HOLDING OUR OWN
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 14, 2011.
 

I'm starting this posting with a call for assistance for a tzedakah project. If a sufficient number of you respond — and I'm not asking for money — it might make a difference.

A Bar Ilan student by the name of Dovid Levine, working with other students, wants to start a homeless shelter in Jerusalem, where people will be given assistance in changing their lives. Quite an undertaking.

Dovid has entered his organization, Matzav, in the Dell Social Innovation Competition, which is seeking university students "with innovative ideas to solve a social or environmental problem." Matzav is the only Israeli entry.

Entries are rated by votes (which is where you come in). Those in the top 10 by February 18 have a run-off; the winner receives $50,000 to kick-off the proposed project. Right now the Matzav project is within the top 10, but it must continue to receive votes for the next few days to hold its place.

You can read about the project here: http://www.jpost.com:80/NationalNews/ Article.aspx?id=207182

If you are inclined to help, go to the Dell page: http://www.dellsocialinnovationcompetition.com/ and click on "vote now." (You will have to register.) To find Matzav, click on "top ideas" and scroll down.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then a housekeeping matter:

The URL I provided yesterday for the Raman analysis of the Egyptian situation does not work, which is strange, because the page exists.

To find it, go to http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com and scroll down to the posting for February 11. It's called "Egypt: An Uncertain Transition."

~~~~~~~~~~

Well, the military council has been in place in Egypt for three days now, and it's still in control — as well we might expect it to be. Tahrir Square is being cleared of protestors by the military police; union gatherings and other group meetings that might foment unrest or promote strikes are being forbidden.

Repeatedly the message being reinforced via news reports is that Field Marshal Tantawi is committed to the status quo.

There is some criticism here of his refusal over the past few years to crack down on weapons smuggling into Gaza. However, as he is described as "change-resistant" and dedicated to stability in the nation, he is not going to sabotage the peace treaty with Israel or support sudden changes that open the door to radicals.

It is my understanding that he has a cordial relationship with Defense Minister Barak. Remember that Tantawi has been functioning as defense minister, and has had occasion to meet with Barak.

~~~~~~~~~~

I think it's important here to clarify a point: Those in Egypt who do support the peace treaty with Israel do so because it serves Egyptian needs, not because of an innate reluctance to attack us, or an even middling affection for Israel. We all know that the peace is a cold peace.

Egypt is a miserably poor country, with the poverty having contributed to the recent uprising. A war is a costly, terribly disruptive business, and Egypt cannot afford it — especially since the uprising. What is more, the considerable largesse bestowed on Egypt by the US — totaling more than $1 billion per year — depends on maintenance of the treaty.

Any Egyptian leader who seeks stability for his nation will be loathe to cancel the peace treaty.

~~~~~~~~~~

That does not mean no one advocates for cancellation. Certainly radicals, and most notably Muslim Brotherhood, do.

And, it seems, so does Ayman Nour, chairman of Egypt's Ghad party. He's not a member of the Brotherhood, and his party is described as secular and liberal, but at very least he thinks the peace treaty is outmoded and needs to be renegotiated. "The Camp David Accords are finished."

And so we should not be too complacent. Nour may be a candidate for the presidency when (and if) elections are finally held; although there is little indication that he is likely to be a winner, we don't really know what will happen.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yet another aside of interest: From those in Egypt protesting the status quo, I've picked up comments about the "unfairness" of the peace treaty because it requires a demilitarized Sinai. This was, and is, essential, as it provides us with a buffer against attack. Yet apparently some on the left are chafing at this, even referring to the terms of the treaty as "colonialism" (a radical buzz word).

~~~~~~~~~~

There was some negative response here when the Israeli government recently gave permission for some hundreds of Egyptian troops to be stationed at the south of the Sinai. The main reason permission was granted was because of unrest among the Sinai Bedouins, who are not committed to Egypt and foster terrorism. This entire situation has become quite worrisome; Egyptian police have vacated some of their stations in the Sinai because of Bedouin attacks.

Particularly in light of the unstable situation, we would have to be totally crazy to allow more Egyptian troops into the Sinai — and I do not believe we will. And certainly it is exceedingly dubious that we could, or would, enter the Sinai to take on some of these Bedouins — for this would badly upset that Egyptian status quo and threaten the peace treaty. So what we're left with is a large area adjacent to the Negev that is not sufficiently policed and will become a nest for terrorism.

The fence being erected at the Negev-Sinai border to prevent infiltration will help somewhat. But it won't be completed for over a year, and won't stop smuggling of weapons or the shooting of rockets, in any event.

The main target from the Sinai is Eilat, a major tourist attraction with huge high-class hotels.

~~~~~~~~~~

Majed El-Shafie was once an Egyptian Muslim, but converted to Christianity — for which he was tortured and condemned to death. Now he lives in Toronto, and heads an Egyptian human rights organization, One Free World International. Rhonda Spivak, Canadian journalist, had a sizeable article about him today in the JPost.

Shafie's organization monitors human rights violations against Christians in Egypt and other Arab lands. In all, he has thousands of people inside of Egypt who report to him on the situation on the ground.

~~~~~~~~~~

Shafie says that "the Muslim Brotherhood has used the demonstrations in Egypt to advance its agenda. They are going street to street to get people out...They want a hand in the new government. They are being more aggressive, more active are coming out in full power."

The Muslim Brotherhood is popular with the poor people of Egypt "because they provide the basic food and necessities to them... The Muslim Brotherhood is very wealthy. They own supermarkets in Egypt and they get funds from countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia."

Shafie believes that if elections are held soon, the Brotherhood would probably come to power.

"I am concerned that under the current circumstances, Mubarak's abrupt departure will create a political vacuum, which will be filled by Islamic extremists. The West appears to be embracing Mohammed ElBaradei, a former head of the UN nuclear inspection agency, as a replacement for Mubarak. This is of serious concern as ElBaradei, in addition to betraying heavy anti-Israel sentiment through his actions at the UN agency, is communicating with the Muslim Brotherhood...in order to actively involve the Brotherhood in the future political landscape of Egypt."

ElBaradei, Shafie notes, referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as "an integral part of Egyptian society"... and has called the Brotherhood "a conservative group that favors secular democracy and human rights."

"This is a very serious matter and we cannot, under any circumstances, allow the Muslim Brotherhood to increase its influence in Egypt. To do so would be to condemn the Egyptian people, from Christians and other religious minorities to moderate and secular Muslims, to a regime of oppression and religious tyranny that will make Mubarak's repressive regime seem like a beacon of freedom."

"Democracy," he declares, "can't occur tomorrow."

"The regime needs to be supported until Suleiman can reform the constitution and educate the people, and allow freedom of the media, freedom of speech and work toward a free election."

He believes there should be an election in five years:

"Democracy in Egypt is an infant — it needs to learn to crawl before it can learn to walk.

"Thirty percent of the population is illiterate — they can't read and write their own name — you can't give them absolute democracy in the beginning, because it's easy for them to turn to extremism. The United States and other countries should support Omar Suleiman. We need slow change.

"Democracy as we know it in the West cannot simply be transplanted into Egypt, a country that has never experienced any form of true democracy.

"Democracy cannot survive where people cannot read their own constitution. It must be taught, nurtured and brought to maturity so that it can flourish."
http://ww.jpost.com/MiddleEast/ Article.aspx?id=208104&R=R3

~~~~~~~~~~

He's right, he's right, he's right. We proceed at our own risk if we fail to heed this informed voice. Please share this broadly. I'm told that in the US there have been those who have picked up on Clapper's theme of the Muslim Brotherhood as secular and so there is much educational work to be done.

This is a time when contacting your elected representatives in Congress would be a good idea. Share the link to the entire article, and the summary I provide. Implore them to do their very best to keep the Obama administration on track with regard to the situation: The Muslim Brotherhood should have no role in transition, and elections should be delayed until the people can learn the rudiments of democracy.

For your Congresspersons:

http://www.house.gov/house/ MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

For your Senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/ senators_cfm.cfm

~~~~~~~~~~

The entire region — Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, etc. — is in a state of flux and unrest. And so, as I've mentioned before, the PA is feeling the heat too:

Saeb Erekat, chief PLO negotiator, has announced his resignation. The reason is gave is the fact that material damaging to the PLO/PA that was publicized by Al-Jazeera had been stolen from his office. He thus felt responsible. It's difficult not to wonder if there isn't more behind this story.

Meanwhile, the PA Cabinet has resigned, at the request of President Salam Fayyad, who will be selecting new ministers as part of reform within the PA.

And the PA has announced upcoming elections for president, possibly as early as September. Abbas says he won't run again. Naturally, Hamas is saying, not in Gaza.

~~~~~~~~~~

I feel a bit as I've been neglecting happenings within Israel of late. But the information I've been providing is of such import that it has to have priority. Perhaps things will quiet enough soon for me to be able to focus a bit more on Israel.

Here I wish to make just one announcement of significance:

Lt. General Benny Gantz was officially appointed as the 20th IDF Chief of the General Staff today, replacing a retiring Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. The unrest in our part of the world makes this position one of particular importance now. The IDF must be strong, focused and prepared — and all of this calls for the very best in leadership.

The General, among his several positions, has been a commander of the forces securing Operation Shlomo, bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel; Commander of the Paratroopers Brigade; Commander of the Liaison Unit with Lebanon (and the last IDF commander to leave Lebanon); Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division (during the second intifada); and Commander of the IDF Northern Command.

He also served as an IDF military attache in the US. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College and the National Security College and a US Military Special Forces course, and holds a Masters degree in political science.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was here for two days and met with Gantz.

" G-d should watch over him," Mullen said. "He will be good for Israel and the region."

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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SHARANSKY'S NAIVETÉ
Posted by Yaacov Levi, February 14, 2011.

This was written by Paul Eidelberg, an Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer. He is President of the Foundation For Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. Contact him at list-owner@foundation1.org

 

Inasmuch as Natan Sharansky is optimistic about the upheaval in Egypt, and since his "bottom-up" concept of democracy is being cited by the media, some cautionary remarks are necessary. For this purpose I will cite a Jerusalem Post article of June 26, 2002, a time Arab suicide bombings were commonplace.

In that article, and despite those bombings, Sharansky expressed the optimism that Palestinian democracy is "possible." In the domain of quantum physics, almost anything is possible. In the world of politics, however, responsible commentators ought to substantiate their prognostications with evidence. After all, the Arab-Muslims Sharansky is referring to have known nothing of democracy since Islam's inception 1,400 years ago. To the contrary, they have been mired in an autocratic culture. What is more, Islamic theology rejects the primacy of reason as opposed to the primacy of force, a fundamental precondition of democracy.

Few observers trouble to examine Islamic theology, the greatest obstacle to the democratization of the Islamic world.

Theology aside, what empirical evidence does Sharansky adduce to support his optimistic speculation about the Palestinians, and which he and various pundits are now hastily, if not thoughtlessly, applying to the Egyptians?

Sharansky was quoted in the aforementioned article as referring to American experts "who say that democracy is foreign to Islam." To this Sharansky countered: "I can bring you quotes from American experts who said Japan would never be democratic, because it is a different world, that Russia would never be democratic, that Spain would never be democratic, that Latin America would never be democratic."

These utterances of Sharansky are nothing more than rhetorical assertions. First of all, it is arguable that neither Russia nor much of Latin America has in fact metamorphosed into democracies. As for Spain, it required a civil war to induce democracy in that country. In the case of Japan, it required not only Hiroshima and Nagasaki to eviscerate that country's autocratic and bellicose heritage; also required were years of U.S. occupation and the imposition of an American-styled constitution to transform Japan into a peace-loving democracy.

The jury is still out regarding Egypt, and it would be foolhardy to make decisions on the basis of Sharansky's naïveté which goes back to Oslo.

Contact Yaacov Levi by email at jlevi_us@yahoo.com

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US ISRAEL-ARAB POLICY IS INSANE... OR SOMETHING
Posted by Errol Phillips, February 14, 2011.

This comes from FresnoZionism
(http://fresnozionism.org/2011/02/ us-israel-arab-policy-is-insane-or-something/).

 

Yaakov Lozowick has an interesting short piece on the Yehuda Avner book, The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership. I haven't read the book yet (my pile of unread books only gets taller), but Lozowick said this, worth quoting:

Ever since the Six Day War, we learn, American leaders (not to mention all the others) are fixated on this version or that of having Israel hand over the territories it acquired in that war in return for peace. There is never (as told in this book) any discussion of what will keep the peace going once the agreement has been reached. There's this puzzle, and it can be resolved by moving these pieces in these ways... and what happens afterward? Well, there will be peace,of course, and nothing will threaten it ever, so no-one needs to think much about it; it will be gloriously boring. No-one in the book ever brings up the possibility that the conflict can't be resolved by Israel giving back those territories because the conflict was always about much more than them. It's not mentioned, not considered, not part of the discourse.

I mentioned this to my son, who reads a lot of military history. It struck him that while people commonly think most wars are about territory, often — maybe most often — they are not. Human emotions and ideology (usually religious ideology) play a large role in pushing nations to war and in shaping the course of conflict. Who can deny that Hitler's racial theories and hatred of Jews caused him to take decisions that were suboptimal from a military point of view? Historian Lucy Dawidowicz went so far as to write a book about the war in Europe called The War Against the Jews, in which she argued that Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union was driven by his desire to wipe out the Jews of the world.

The Israeli-Arab conflict is infused with emotion and ideology. The Arab culture which places great importance on honor and shame — and these concepts are not identical with the way they are usually understood in the West — has had a great deal to do with the conflict. It's not unreasonable to say that Sadat attacked Israel on Yom Kippur in 1973 as much to regain Arab honor as to repossess the Sinai.

Islam demands that Muslims rule over all the lands in Dar al Islam, and even among secular Arabs there is a belief that there is something upside down about a Jewish state in the midst of the Arab world. Jews ought to be inferior, particularly in warfare — which the Arabs see as the most masculine of endeavors — and their inability to defeat Israel is a stinging wound to their honor, a source of shame.

Indeed, probably one of the reasons that even a 'cold' peace with Egypt held firm for so many years is the widespread belief among Egyptians that they were victorious in 1973!

Palestinian Arabs see the nakba as a massive loss of honor, an emasculation, and will not be satisfied by anything less than a full reversal of it, preferably accomplished in a violent way. Yasser Arafat was expert at pulling these strings, often leading crowds in chanting "with blood and fire we will redeem Palestine..."

Ideology is strongest among Islamists, such as Hamas. The Hamas covenant explains the need for jihad to get Palestine back to its rightful owners, Muslims, and quotes Koranic scripture calling for the extermination of Jews.

None of this should be a big surprise to anyone who pays attention to what Arabs say, even what they say in English.

This is why, for example, that no Palestinian Arab leader has ever agreed that a 'peace treaty' would end the conflict. This is why the Arab League peace initiative (the 'Saudi peace plan'), which the US President and others trot out regularly, only promises 'normal relations' but does not say that the Palestinian Arabs have no further claims on Israel.

The point is that the conflict is not primarily a conflict over land, and certainly not just over the land Israel conquered in 1967. And if this is true — and it is — then what Lozowick calls the long-running 'fixation' on getting Israel to let go of the rest of the land it captured in 1967 (it has already relinquished the major part of it and the conflict has gotten worse) as a path to peace is clearly irrational. I would even use the word 'insane', considering the amount of effort and prestige that the US administration has invested in it.

Of course they are not insane, or blind and deaf. They are aware that a technocratic adjustment of borders will not put an end to the emotional and ideological forces that drive the conflict. And therefore I conclude that the goal of American (and European) policy is not to end the conflict, not to obtain a lasting peace. It is limited to forcing Israel to give up the rest of the territory taken in 1967.

This includes, by the way, the Golan Heights (US spokespeople often mention this). A reasonable assessment would assert that the cause of peace would be best served by leaving this highly strategic area in Israel's hands, since 1) Syria has attacked Israel several times while Israel has not attacked Syria, and 2) the belligerent attitude and behavior of the Syrian dictator makes his intent suspect. But yet, the US and Europeans push for a 'peace' treaty here too.

So what is driving the 'fixation'?

Contact Errol Phillips by email at ep@pinehurst2.com

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THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND THE FELLOW TRAVELING LEFT AT SLATE
Posted by Marcia Leal, February 13, 2011.

This was written by David Horowitz and it appeared today in Front Page Magazine
(http://frontpagemag.com/2011/02/14/the-muslim- brotherhood-and-the-fellow-traveling-left-at-slate-2/).

 

On Saturday morning, Feb. 12, I gave a speech at CPAC warning of the dangers posed by the infiltration of the conservative movement by the Muslim Brotherhood in the person of Suhail Khan and his sponsor Grover Norquist. Both Khan and Norquist are board members of the American Conservative Union, and both spoke at CPAC. The facts about Norquist and Khan which I discussed in my speech were taken from an elaborate dossier presented to the board of the American Conservative Union and posted on Frontpagemag.com.

Yesterday morning SLATE, which is published by the Washington Post, rose to the defense of Khan. This was reminiscent of the past when liberals defended the Soviet spy Alger Hiss and attacked conservatives like Richard Nixon who were attempting to expose Hiss — a parallel I mentioned in my speech.

Slate's defense of Khan is typical of the reactions of the soft left — compulsively mislabeled "liberals" throughout the (also mislabeled) "war on terror." When I organized Islamo-Fascism campus weeks on 100 college campuses two years ago my efforts were savagely attacked by such leading lights of the (also mislabled) democratic left as Joshua Micah Marshall, who produced a satiric video ridiculing my efforts. I am about to launch a campaign this spring to oppose the "Israel Apartheid" weeks organized by the Muslim Brotherhood through its campus front, the Muslim Students Association. I am sure the liberal chorus will be out there defending the genocidal efforts of the Left as well

Suhail Khan's defense against the detailed charges against him, only a few of which I was able to mention in my 15 minute speech, is as disingenuous and lame as it has been since the first of these were leveled against him by Frank Gaffney in Frontpagemag.com several years ago.

As in all of Khan's defenses, he offers no specifics in his statement in Slate and the claims that he does make are false — e.g., I was never a communist, I despised Saul Alinsky when I was on the left and never read his book, and neither Gaffney nor I ever said he he was a member of al-Qaeda. What we said was that in 1995 his father Mahboob Khan held a fund-raiser at a the mosque he founded for Ayaman Zawahiri, the number two man in al-Qaeda. Suhail called me to deny that his father was anything more than a member of the mosque and said he couldn't remember any fund-raiser for Zawahiri. So I emailed Suhail the Washington Post story which said that Mahboob Khan was a founder of the mosque and had held a fund-raiser for Zawahiri at the mosque in 1995 and asked him to respond. I haven't heard from him since.

In my speech I made the specific charge that Suhail Khan was a protege of his father and of the convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi. (Readers can view the video evidence here.) I also charged tht Suhail Khan, along with his patron Grover Norquist, was instrumental in getting President Bush to agree to ban the use of secret evidence in trials of terrorists. This was a campaign launched by the terrorist Sami al-Arian (whose brother, also a member of Palestine Islamic Jihad, was deported on the strength of secret evidence.) Grover Norquist and Suhail used their influence to get al-Arian a face-to-face with George W. Bush who then attacked the use of secret evidence in his campaign and was about to implement al-Arian's proposed ban when 9/11 took place. Al-Arian who, as the head of PIJ in North America, and its chief financier was responsible for the suicide murders of over 100 people in the Middle East,was also supported in this campaign by the ACLU, The Nation magazine and the American Left. (The ACLU was also one of his chief defenders when he was indicted for terrorist activities and eventually deported.) Suhail Khan has no response to these (or any other) facts because they are true.

Contact Marcia Leal at marcia.leal.eejh@gmail.com

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RABBI KAHANE "ISRAEL WILL SURVIVE WITHOUT U.S. AID"
Posted by Barbara Ginsberg, February 13, 2011.
Beyond Words

Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, 1960-1990, Volume 5 — 1985-1988.

"Beyond Words" is a newly published 7-volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings in The Jewish Press, in other serial publications, and in his privately-published works. "Beyond Words" was compiled by David Fein, with introductions by Rabbi Baruch Kahane and Herbert B. Sunshine.

If interested in buying Rabbi Meir Kahane writings in this 7-volume collection write to Levi Chazan at: Levi1@hotmail.com

This below was written by Rabbi Meir Kahane and published October 2, 1987.

 

The long article by Robert W. Gibson. "Israel: An Economic Ward of the U.S." (Los Angeles Times, July 24), highlights the main thrust of the anti-Israel elements in the United States who, quite correctly, understand that the most direct and easiest way to fuel anti-Israel feeling is to dramatize the amount of economic aid the Jewish state receives from Washington. Not only does this tactic play on the economic resentment of Americans in financial straits but it incites, too, the very strong, though latent, feeling within many, many Americans that "Israel and the Jews" run the policies of the United States. And so it is time, long overdue in fact, to lay down a clear political axiom: If the citizens the of the United States do not feel that their interests are being served by Israel, then their obligation is to stop this economic aid. If, on the other hand, they believe that Israel serves a vital interest of the U.S. they should then put an end to their whining and deal with Israel as one would an equal partner who gives as much as he gets.

Of course, the nonsense about helping Israel because it is "the only democracy in the Middle East" has to be stopped. Nations do not help other states because they are "democracies" or "progressive" states, or "good." Nations have self-interests that lead them to ally themselves with other states. Those self-interests, and not the "morality" of the state, are what determine foreign policy decisions. That is why "socialist" China sells weapons to Khomeinlist Iran and why the Soviet Union, not to mention various African states, do business with South Africa. That is why the U.S. had military and/or economic ties with such "democracies" as Franco's Spain, the colonels of Greece and a whole host of other "worthies." And that is the reason, the only reason, why the United States should have an alliance with Israel — and then pay for what it is getting.

The most urgent U.S. interest in the Middle East is a strong and reliable anti-Soviet ally. It has a wide range of choices. If not Israel, it can always choose from such reliable powers as Oman, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Jordan, or Lebanon ...

It is Israel alone that gives the United States a guaranteed and safe base whenever needed. It is the Haifa naval harbor that is open to the U.S. Sixth Fleet regularly. It is in the Negev that the U.S. stores tons of military equipment for use when needed. It is Israel that provides the Voice of America an area in which to build new, powerful transmitters. It is Israel that works hand in hand with the U.S. to, actively, crush terrorism. It is Israel that flies U.S. F-16 planes, in real combat, to tell the Americans what defects exist. It is Israel that puts Soviet missiles given to the Syrians out of commission and then explains to Washington how it was done. It is Israel that captures a Soviet T-72 tank and shows it to the CIA for the first time. It is Israel whose Jericho missiles makes Moscow nervous enough to protest a weapon that can reach its territory. It is Israel that has the brains, the technology, the ability to create; things that no nation in the region has. And it is Israel that has the innate common hostility to the Soviets and other anti-Western totalitarian states, shared by America.

If all that is not worth the money — then by all means stop it. Indeed, the Administration has an obligation to stop "wasting" American money. But if all that adds up to a priceless asset, then let the weepers and wailers shut up and pay for what they are getting and count themselves fortunate.

And know that the State of Israel's survival is in no way dependent on the United States or any other human agency. The incredible saga of the Jewish return to the Holy Land is, of course, preceded by the miraculous survival of that Jewish people through 1,900 years of persecution, wanderings and Holocaust. How? Why, because they are, indeed, the Chosen People. They are, indeed, capable of suffering terribly but never being destroyed. They are, indeed, the people of G-d who, just as Divinely promised, have come home, never again to be exiled. That is the immutable fact of history, whether one cares to believe or not. Not by American bread does the Jewish state live but by the word of G-d. Let that be clear.

And a final world. The Kach Movement is committed to putting an end to U.S. economic aid. Not only does it not help us, it perpetuates the economic basket case that Israel is today — a state that, like some beggar, lives off Washington and German reparations and the United Jewish Appeals or Israel Bonds. Normal countries do not survive on charity, which only petrifies economic initiative and intensifies possible political pressure on the part of the donor nation. And Israel, which is a pathetic victim of its own bureaucratic and socialist system that strangles free enterprise and initiative, receives U.S. economic aid as some drug addict needing his annual "fix." That "fix" does not aid Israel, it keeps it from taking the difficult, painful steps needed to achieve economic independence. Let the aid be gradually stopped and let the bureaucrats be thrown out and let free enterprise and economic initiative rule. Then, Israel will grow and thrive — without U.S. or any other human assistance. Then Israel will be able to respond to intolerable American pressure and interference in internal affairs with a clear and respectable: No. Israel and the U.S. must be partners. Equal partners. If there are Americans who do not want this — fine. Stop giving; but then accept the consequences of not receiving.

The awesome fly in this Jewish ointment is, of course, that the people in the world who will most strenuously object to all the above will be Jews. The People of the Book, who cast it aside for Philip Roth and other moral-cultural-secular pornography, is also the people of ultimate faith that cast that away to suckle at the breasts of the nations. The Jew of our times simply does not believe in G-d, despite all the piously fraudulent protestations. Too lacking in courage to admit his lack of belief and preferring to create a G-d that is safe and in his own image, the Jew will build his temples and hire (at munificent costs) his priests and priestesses (a.k.a. rabbis), paying expensive lip service to Divinity. But that Divinity is most limited by the new Creator-Man. He has His place, but He had better well know it.

The Jew absolutely rejects the idea of a G-d who is stronger than Caspar Weinberger or Ronald Reagan. He may pray to G-d, but he quakes before Washington. Israel can certainly survive in his pragmatic little mind without the G-d of Israel, but it can never last a week without the American savior. That is the result of the centuries of Jewish religious corruption, the decadence of Western Hellenization and secularism. We have evolved from a holy nation that once worshipped at the footstool of G-d to one that prays at the armpit of the American president.

And the Orthodox Jew is not a whit better. The Orthodox Jew, he who evolved from the religious one. From a Jew who once fearlessly proclaimed, "these may come with horses and these with chariots, but we shall call in the name of the L-rd" (Psalms 20:8), we have emerged a people who, following the morning prayer when we mouth that very verse, remove the tallit and teflin, gulp down a bit of schnapps, and speaking "politics," venture: "Of course we believe in G-d, but be practical. If Israel does not compromise, Reagan will not give us horses and chariots."

We pray and hear nothing of what we say. We swiftly mumble and slur not only the words, but, far worse, the very thoughts. We are not a religious people, and two yarmulkas and all the kaftans in the world can never cover the nakedness of the Jew who has lost his real faith in the G-d of Israel — who simply does not believe that the All Mighty is stronger than Ronald Reagan.

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FROM ISRAEL: REALLY FAST TRANSITION
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 13, 2011.
 

February 13, 2011

Well, I wasn't off the mark when I wrote briefly on Friday. I acknowledged readily enough that the situation was very much in flux and that no one knew what was coming; I saw matters pointed in the direction of military control.

And yet...I did not imagine that by the time I had removed myself from computer and TV, and had lit my Shabbat candles, Mubarak would already be gone. Really fast, indeed!

~~~~~~~~~~

Thank G-d for Shabbat, which gives me rest and perspective, and nourishes my being.

By the time I had rejoined the on-going secular world last night, the army was firmly ensconced.

The military that had originally spoken about protecting Mubarak had (apparently) reversed itself and told him that he had to leave. (Perhaps the fact that this was coming accounts for the ambiguity of Mubarak's remarks last Thursday night.) Mubarak and family are said to be resting safely in Sharm el-Sheikh at the tip of the Sinai, where he hopes to live out his days; it may be in this respect that the army will "protect" him because young people who are part of the uprising would prefer to gather evidence against him with regard to his rule, and then prosecute or pursue him.

Mubarak's money is resting, presumably also "safely," out of the country — I'm reading that he started sending his funds out of Egypt months ago. Whether this money will also be pursued as not legitimately his is yet another question.

~~~~~~~~~~

So, where are we, in this situation that is still so much in flux?

I would like to cite B. Raman, who is Former Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division of India's Intelligence Agency. His material comes to me by e-mail from time to time (with appreciation to Judith N.) and I find it helpful. You can find his comments here:
http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/2/ egypt-uncertain-transition.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Raman has provided not just an overview of the situation in Egypt, but some very specific details:

"Some have termed the departure of President Hosni Mubarak from office on February 11, 2011, as a resignation. Some others have called it waiving the office or powers of the President. The Egyptian Constitution provides for both contingencies. When a President resigns, the Constitution requires that he should address his letter of resignation to the [Speaker] of the Parliament.

"When he stops exercising the powers of the President, he addresses his letter to the Vice-President. Article 82 provides for this interesting contingency of the President leaving office without formally resigning. It says: "If on account of any temporary obstacle the President of the Republic is unable to carry out his functions, he shall delegate his powers to a vice-president.

"...Mubarak, while leaving office...did not inform the [Speaker] of the Parliament and submit a formal letter of resignation...Nor did he ask the Vice-President Omar Suleiman to take over. Instead, he asked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to take over. It is a coup without seeming to be a coup."

~~~~~~~~~~

Continues Raman:

"Egypt is now in a state of transition under the leadership of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," and he lists its members:

* Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Minister of Defense and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces since 1991. He has been a Field Marshal since 1989. After the protests broke out...Mubarak promoted him to Deputy Prime Minister and asked him to continue to hold the defense portfolio. He is the Chairman of the Supreme Council.

* Air Marshal Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohamed, the chief of the Air Force since March 20,2008.

* Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan, Chief of Staff of the Army.

* Lt. Gen. Abd El Aziz Seif-Eldeen, Commander of Air Defense.

* Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, chief of navy.

These are names we are likely to become familiar with.

Raman then asks, "Is Lt. General Omar Suleiman, the Vice-President, who made the televised announcement regarding Mubarak leaving office...a member of the Supreme Council?

"The position is not clear. Al Jazeera says he is. Others do not say so. However, since he is only a Lt-General and...the Supreme Council is headed by a Field Marshal...Suleiman may have to work under the orders of the Supreme Council and not vice versa."

Not seeing a great deal about Suleiman at the moment.

~~~~~~~~~~

Raman explains that: "The present Constitution has become untenable since the post-Mubarak transitional arrangements are not in accordance with the Constitution."

Then there is the question of duration of a transition. Originally the thought was that it would last until September, when elections for president are supposed to be held. But already there is talk about a transition that takes a year, and certainly it is more complicated if the transition includes parliamentary elections and a new constitution.

Raman cites El Baradei in this regard:

"...We will have a provisional constitution. We'll have a transitional government, hopefully a presidential council, including a person from the army and a couple of civilians. The main idea is that the army and the Egyptian people will work together in a systematic way for a year to reach the point where we can hold a genuine free and fair election, a parliamentary election and a presidential election. I think the people of Egypt, who have been suppressed for at least 30 years, are ready to wait for a year as they see things are going in the right direction."

~~~~~~~~~~

And indeed, what has now been announced by the army is that the parliament has been disbanded and the constitution has been suspended. The Supreme Council will remain in control for six months or "until elections are held," which makes it rather vague. The prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, while promising reforms that respond to the people's demands, declared that right now the Cabinet's main concern is security.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is said that the people trust the army.

But I have to ask, how often in history has it happened that there has been a military coup and that the military has then voluntarily relinquished power to a civilian government (democratic or quasi-democratic)? I'm having trouble thinking of any instances, which is why I consider a good deal of what is being promised moot.

~~~~~~~~~~

Nor is it at all clear to me, El Baredei notwithstanding, that the people who have been protesting in the street will wait a year (or however long) for such a turnover to take place. They had been told to go home and return the nation to normalcy. This is no small matter, for the toll on the nation during the time of protest has been horrendous. Many had done so, but some remained in the square and military police began to move in on them, arresting leaders.

Other people then began streaming back into the street, declaring that they would stay there until the military kept its promises. In addition, police are starting to protest for better salaries. We are still talking about a state of unrest, then, with the possibility that the military, which is said to be "with the people," will get tough. This is why the prime minister talks about security, and this is what may be considered necessary if Egypt is not to collapse entirely.
Fox News

~~~~~~~~~~

I've written about the fact that the people of Egypt have no tradition of democracy, and I believe what's going on in the street provides evidence for this. Even if the military's intentions are golden, it will take time to plan elections, write a new constitution, etc. Doesn't happen in a day. Or a week. Or a month. But the people in the street have tasted power — they have seen Mubarak chased from office. Now they seem to think that their continued presence will guarantee their rights and fulfillment of all their demands. There is no talk about respect for law or due process or negotiated arrangements. Or patience. Or beginning the process of grooming leaders and defining platform issues.

As Ilan Berman — expert on regional security in the Middle East — has put it:

"Egypt's democratic forces, meanwhile, are still inchoate. Without clear leaders or a defined set of demands, the protesters on Cairo's streets may know what they are against, but they don't yet know what they stand for. And because they don't, their democracy drive could be co-opted by more organized elements (like the Brotherhood), or wither under the pressure of its own internal contradictions..."

~~~~~~~~~~

The Supreme Council of the military has said that it would lift the country's emergency law only "as soon as current circumstances end." The greater the unrest, the more likely that the military will in the end come down hard.

~~~~~~~~~~

Other issues to monitor: Will El Baradei — a frightening man — play a significant role in the transition process? And what about the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed El Baradei? Raman says the youth leaders are not opposed to involvement of the Brotherhood, which rings alarm bells for me, as well.

The opinion of the Supreme Council on this matter is not yet known.

I note here that the Brotherhood has said it doesn't want to be involved in the transition process or put up a candidate for president. But lest you imagine that this means that there is no cause for concern, think again. The Brotherhood knows how to move slowly, and wait for the right moment to pursue its agenda.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is what Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is in the US, said on ABC TV today with regard to the Brotherhood:

The Muslim Brotherhood ... could be the "real winners" of [an election that's held too quickly], "they are already ready to jump."

"Usually [in] revolutions, if they are violent, there is an eruption of idealist sentiment at the first moment. Later on, sooner than later, the only group which is coherent, focused, ready to kill and be killed, if necessary, takes power.

"That should be avoided in Egypt. That could be a catastrophe for the whole region."

Asked if he believed claims by Muslim Brotherhood leaders that they did not seek to take power in Egypt, Barak said he tended "not to believe radical Muslim movements."

"I should admit, to the best of my understanding, they did not initiate [the revolution]." However, "they are always deployed to take advantage of it."

~~~~~~~~~~

One of the pieces of good news, at this point, is the announcement by the Supreme Council that it will honor Egypt's past agreements, including the peace treaty with Israel. This news was greeted warmly in Jerusalem.

According to a US diplomatic cable from 2008, Muhammed Tantawi, who is now the boss man, lived through several wars between Egypt and Israel, and is "committed to preventing another one ever."

And on TV today, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry said that the Israeli peace treaty has been beneficial to his country for 30 years and he expected it to remain in place:

"We have derived a peace dividend from the treaty. We've been able to establish security and stability in the region. And I believe it is a main element in terms of our foreign policy."

~~~~~~~~~~

John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN, spoke about Egypt and the US response, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, yesterday. He's one of the straight-talking good guys in my book. Hear what he had to say:
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4536261/ bolton-assesses-egypt-situation

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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BLOODLUST OF ISLAM
Posted by Ted Roberts, February 13, 2011.
 

Judaism is under dual attack. Never have we been so threatened. Love on one side — hate on the other. Love, because never has integration — the lights and music of the secular carnival — been so easy. And desirable. The prophets of Baal, now civilized, call our name and hold out registration forms. Innocently, they beckon to us. To paraphrase: Come to the cabaret, they say. Drink the wine, enjoy the music, join the parade. They love us — they want us. I t seems like the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites have been resuscitated. Via some time warp beyond our understanding, they have awakened from their three millennium nap and waving shield and sword, they assault us with a savagery of old. Not over ownership of boundaries, water, resources, but our existence. Clearly, incredibly, in the first century of the second millennium they would like us dead.

We are the thin-shelled pecan in the jaws of the nutcracker. The lure of the cabaret, we understand. It has always been there, but never as strong. It has always been a danger to the Chosen People (Remember?) to those who would bring the bright goodness of Zion to a dark world. Long ago they rejected us — who would invite the teacher's pet to participate in playground games? But at least in the New Zion, the U S of A, they smile on us. A threat disguised as a blessing. But under freedom's blue skies the choice is ours. We can retain our mission with no ill will. I say this even though the numbers seem to show some decline. But maybe purity, not numbers, is the measure of victory.

The other jaw of the nutcracker is not as easily understood. The revived Canaanites want to kill us and anyone associated with us. There is no dialogue, no negotiation, no gifting that will quench their blood thirst. they worship death as did their Egyptian neighbors. Make no mistake. They thrive on death. And maybe their goal is not to kill Jews — it is simply to kill. They kill each other zealously. Death by rocket attack on Israel is declining. Why? Because it's much easier for a suicide bomber to kill fifty fellow Muslims at a wedding in Baghdad than to kill fifty Jews. And lately they've been fully occupied killing their fellow Arabs in Gaza, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. (and now Egypt). And it's so much simpler than killing Jews. Lazy murderers shun elaborate plots. Why not just spray a crowd of shoppers with AK-47 fire? Motive? None needed. You can always find some excuse in the Holy books. It's not quite as much fun as killing non-Islamic infidels, but oh so easy. Israelis should rejoice at this vacation from death and hope that Islamic terror continues to be oblivious to the national, cultural, religious identity of its victims.

The world has such a short memory. Well before the current Israeli/ Arab conflict thousands of Hindus were killed annually over the issue of Kashmir and its ownership. Legally partitioned after World War 2, Islam used it as an excuse to kill Hundus. Thousands of them. They imagined injustice in India proper too. It never made he headlines but the killings were ghastly. It should have been a clue. Islam needs victims — Jews, Europeans, Americans, other Muslims. Anybody will do.

What a weird duality of threat faces us.

  1. In the U.S — "Come, join the Country Club, welcome Jews".
  2. In the cold world beyond American borders — "Jews, we will obliterate you!"

Ted Roberts' essays appear in the Jewish press, web sites, and magazines. He is author of The Scribbler On The Roof, a book of short stories and commentary. Visit his websites at
http://www.wonderwordworks.com and
http://www.scribblerontheroof.typepad.com

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TIME FOR A NEW ALLIANCE OF NATIONS
Posted by Norma Zager, February 12, 2011.
 

Anyone who missed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's first visit to the White House when he was ushered in the back door and allowed a few minutes of President Obama's time missed the ultimate example of body language.

The President's disdain for the Israeli Prime Minister and Netanyahu's palpable discomfort were as obvious as a heart attack. The only one who could not see this outrageous example of the chill factor was the one who chose not to.

Watching this train wreck of a political meeting, I was struck with the thought that Israel's days were numbered.

It was a certainty Israel was no longer a welcome ally, but now she would be forced to sink or swim on her own merits as a nation. So far she has sunk, with a great deal of help from her former friends in the United States.

She has been castigated by Washington, and vilified by her own people in the United States.

Israel has been stabbed in the back by Hilary Clinton whose campaign American Jewry funded generously, and they have witnessed the rise of a regime in Washington that is as happy to see Israel as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan would be at a backyard barbecue on a Fourth of July.

In case anyone witnessed the slow and methodical destruction of the Jewish State, and you would have to be either blind or a fool not to have noticed, it is progressing beautifully.

The State Department's spokesman, who publically announced the other night that the Muslim Brotherhood is a peaceful bunch, probably forgot they murdered Anwar Sadat, as he effectively drove one more nail in Israel's coffin.

So what should Israel do now that she is persona non grata in the U.S.?

Two words. Grow Up!

A nation is a work in progress.

Israel despite her youth has managed to be an overachiever.

Contributions to the world of science, medicine and technology are vast in proportion to her size and age, and if her maturity level grows, she will also learn to make her way in the world as an honest — to-goodness grown up.

However, when one's emotional growth is stunted, one's achievements and existence take on a resonance of doom.

Let us place this in a context that is easily understood so even the brainpowers-that-be in Israel will fathom the issues I address.

If what the existentialists believe, that life is a process of meeting, is true, then friends are necessary for growth.

Through interactions with others, we mature and learn, change and evolve, and it is our destiny to do so.

Israel has had one friend for too long and now that friend has moved on. What should she do? Stand there on the playground of nations sitting on a lonely swing waiting for a new friend to come?

How healthy is this? Would any parent advise their child to sit alone and wait for the world to come to them? Or would they encourage them to go out and make new friends? Bingo!

Okay, Israel, get out there! You have a great opportunity to forge new bonds because the United States is no longer the A-lister on the playground.

The Arab and European nations are not oblivious to the fact that we screwed over Mubarak. His character aside, he stood with the United States, kept the peace with Israel and contributed to the small amount of peace that exists in that region.

We gave him billions, which I am sure like Papa Doc, the Shah of Iran and the other dictators we supported throughout the years, he stashed away and became extraordinarily wealthy.

Suddenly with the first sign of revolution, we throw him under the bus.

We cannot even be certain whose fingerprints are on that uprising and who will ultimately benefit. One may wish it will be the people of Egypt, and we all must pray that is what occurs, but history points to a different outcome.

One day Mubarak with all his flaws may seem far more advantageous to world peace than the Mullahs of Iran.

This is the perfect time for Israel to reach out to China, India and numerous others as a strong ally.

After all, they possess a strong military, they can offer protection and protect the neighborhood. However, they ask no extortion money for their efforts, only a guarantee of peace.

Israel has proven over and over again she is not an aggressor, despite the lies and fabrications of her enemies.

Now is the time to come together with the Saudis, Dubai and numerous others and form an alliance of Middle Eastern Countries, that eschew violence and tyranny and want to co exist in peace and prosperity.

It is time for Israel to grow up and be a leader instead of cowering under the skirts of a former friend who no longer wants any part of her friendship.

I will not pretend to know the motives of our President. I have my opinions, as do so many others about where his heart lies, but that is irrelevant now.

As long as President Obama is in office, the U.S. will no longer be a friendly nation to Israel. No matter how much rhetoric is espoused to the contrary in the coming months before the next election. After all although he is not concerned with Israel, he is definitely concerned with Jewish money and Jewish vote.

He will once again say whatever is necessary to pick the pockets of every stupid Jew who writes him a check after seeing what he has done to Israel for the last two years. What does it matter what he says, after we have witnessed with our own eyes what he has done, fools?

But that is their prerogative. Jewish people excel at many things, but none so greatly as self-destruction. Talk about a pitiful bunch of wimpy, victimized sissies trying to buy their way in with their checkbook. That is a discussion for another time.

This is the time for strength, for growth and for leadership.

If American Jewry is too weak to speak up for itself, I pray that Israel will have the courage. If not, if Israel does not open her arms to forge new friendships, she will die alone and miserable through no fault of anything, save her own immaturity and folly.

It is not only Egypt who must free itself from the bonds of a dictator, but also Israel. The United States does not want to play with you anymore. Get over it and get out and make yourself some new friends.

Speaking as a mother, that's the best advice I can give you!

Contact Ari Bussel and Norma Zager at busselari@gmail.com

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HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, JERUSALEM!
Posted by Boris Celser, February 12, 2011.

This is a letter written today by a friend of mine in the US. I am omitting his name and e-mail address, but he did not when he sent it. I have his permission to show the letter below.

 

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 11:16 AM
To: Navi Pillay
Subject: Happy Valentine's Day, Jerusalem!

Honorable High Commissioner Pillay,

I understand that you were recently in Jerusalem, where you declared that East Jerusalem is "occupied territory".

According to what credible source?

"East" Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem that was illegally seized by Jordan during Israel's 1948 war of independence, in direct violation of the UN 1947 partition plan that Israel accepted, and the Arabs rejected.

This occupation by Jordan was not recognized as legal by anyone outside of Jordan, except for Britain and Pakistan.

At this time, Jerusalem's Jewish majority — who held this status since at least the mid-19th century — was ethnically cleansed by Jordan (I have photos of this, if you are interested).

Then, not even twenty years later, Jordan attacked Israel without provocation from occupied Judea-Samaria (what you and Jordan call the "West Bank", a strange name since even before modern Israel was established, maps referred to this area as Judea/Samaria).

Thus, Israel seized J&S — along with "East" Jerusalem, in response to aggression.

Never before in history has any country that has acquired land in a defensive war, been compelled to surrender all said land by a third party. Israel won't do it, either.

I know that your petrodollar-stuffed Swiss bank account prevents you from acknowledging elementary history and related precedents. I know the fact of your being an Islamist whore makes it impossible for you to see this reality for what it is.

All the same, I say to you now, Lady Jerusalem is WHOLE, she is JEWISH, and I'm sending her flowers for Valentine's Day (even though this really isn't a Jewish holiday).

As for you, enjoy your Valentine's Day with your Islamic cohorts on the UN Human Rights Commission, if they in fact celebrate this holiday (I understand Iran just banned celebration of the same). I'm sure your friends there can spare a kiss and a box of chocolates for one of their favorite concubines. Boris Celser is a Canadian. He has an MBA, and is a lifelong traveler and avid reader. He invites comments to this article — please address them to celser@telusplanet.net

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TREE BIRTH
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 12, 2011.
 


 

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il Go to http://freifenberg-newblog.blogspot.com/ to see more of his graphic art.

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EGYPT: MY JOB IS TO ANALYZE, NOT CELEBRATE
Posted by Barry Rubin, February 12, 2011.
 

I hate to say this but please allow me to do my job and try to be a useful observer of these historic events. My position from the beginning has been to make a distinction between Mubarak's fall — which doesn't matter — and the total fall of the regime with its being replaced by something totally different and unknown.

Now think about this: Millions of Egyptians hated the regime. So the regime blamed everything on Mubarak. Mubarak resigns. Now everyone loves the regime. For sixty years, Egypt has gone through variations but nothing essential has changed.

Will there be free elections and the choice of a government that will change everything? We will see but it hasn't happened yet.

But why not have a more open system? What's critical is that no one touches the army's privileges, money, and business enterprises plus doesn't go after the rich establishment. Who needs to repress people if they aren't causing you any trouble?

We are not well served if everyone does nothing but celebrate the fall of a dictatorship. It is important to ask questions and give warnings. History does not end today, no more than it ended in Russia in 1917, Cuba in 1959, or Iran in 1979. Those were all negative examples. There are also positive ones: in South Korea, Central Europe, and Latin America.

A central element in determining whether the celebrations continue is whether there is a material base for stability and continuing democracy. Does Egypt have that basis, being in an unstable region, with a large Islamist movement, a proportionately tiny middle class, and lacking the resources for raising living standards higher?

That's hard to see. Since I live a little over one hour's drive from the Egyptian border, nobody would benefit more than me from a moderate, stable, democratic Egypt. I have friends there who are celebrating today and many friends among Arab reformers who are celebrating because they hope it means something better for their countries.

But if I just join everyone else in just saying how great everything is, there would be no point in your reading this article and I would not be doing my job.

Discussions of Egypt are at present dominated by people who don't know much about Egypt and who make the most elementary errors. And that applies both to the celebrators and those who are saying that this is bad.

When people make the most basic factual mistakes over and over about Egyptian history and the political scene there, one has reason to doubt what they are saying.

The way it is being portrayed, 30 years ago an evil dictator named Husni Mubarak seized power in Egypt — some wrongly think with U.S. help — and repressed the people until this week. In fact, the military — the same military in charge at this moment — has ruled Egypt for 60 years. This was not a one-man dictatorship. Egypt is not a small Latin American country. Mubarak was more chairman of the board than emperor.

Today, the dominant narrative is that Egypt was going on as a nice democratic country, then suddenly this money-hungry monster seized power. But now this one bad man has left and so things can get back to normal. Indeed, though, when Mubarak came to power Egypt had already gone through thirty years of dictatorship. And before that, there was overwhelming dissatisfaction with the multi-party democratic system under the monarchy. The end of democracy was celebrated with celebrations in 1952 as big as the ones we're seeing now.

I just heard a report from an American radio reporter claiming that the only reason Mubarak stayed in power so long is because the United States backed him, as if the army and elite wasn't running the country the entire time. For Egypt's ruling circles blaming everything on Mubarak is a sensible strategy. From this point on, it does make sense for U.S. policy to support the new government, which President Barack Obama is going to do. The question is what the United States will ask of the new government and how to judge it.

But will the establishment view itself as needing to keep the Americans happy — money and weapons — or will it think that to preserve its wealth and power it needs to ride a radical nationalist (or even, further in the future) Islamist wave to popularity?

We should remember that as of this moment the regime is still in power, merely having shed its leader. The regime would have been happy to get rid of Mubarak a couple of years ago, not because he was oppressive but because he was getting too old and trying to foist his son on them.

In a sense, the regime has pulled off one of the greatest public relations' operations in history. By getting rid of one man is had transformed itself from being incredibly unpopular to wildly popular. If the regime can hold on — and the army isn't going to give up easily — the results might not be so bad as long as the army isn't radicalized. And by radicalized I don't mean Islamized but moving to a radical nationalist position.

During its 60 years in power the regime has gone through different phases but it has responded to conditions. When, in the 1970s, for example, President Anwar al-Sadat faced a leftist faction within his regime, he allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to reemerge as a counterweight. Sadat was assassinated by Islamists — though not by Muslim Brotherhood members — and this gave Mubarak (who was sitting next to him) the feeling that Islamism might just be a problem.

So the question is this: are we at the end of a 60-year-long period of rule by a regime based on the military or are the names merely changing?

There has been much talk about how much money Mubarak stole, yet that is only a small portion of what military officers have made through various business and other activities. Would any government dare investigate their corruption? Of course not.

Or consider the issue of repression. Arguably, the Egyptian regime had become less repressive in many respects over the years but the degree of repression corresponded with the perception of threat. A handful of free-thinking bloggers were rounded up and beaten up; hundreds and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood cadre have faced the same fate. The Islamist threat is not a myth.

Another point to keep in mind is that Egypt is not comprised only of the Muslim Brotherhood and moderate democrats. A key question is whether radical nationalists will emerge as a force also. This has, after all, been the dominant ideology in Egypt for a long time.

Remember the Muslim Brotherhood will not run a presidential candidate. They will support ElBaradei. So many will say during and after a presidential elections that this proves the Brotherhood is moderate and harmless. That is, of course, its strategy.

There was a time when Egypt was a democratic country, from the 1920s until 1952, under the monarchy, there were elections. And in 1952 when the monarchy was overthrown and multi-party democracy was ended, the Egyptian people were just as joyous as they are today. The old system was seen as a failure: deadlocked, corrupt, too pro-Western, unable to destroy Israel, and incapable of bringing rapid development to higher living standards.

A word about foreign policy, of which I will have more to say in the coming days. The United States has just lost Egypt as an asset in confronting Iran and its nuclear program. Would ElBaradei, a man who as arms' inspecting chief said it wasn't clear that Tehran was even trying to get nuclear weapons, support sanctions against Iran?

Will the new Egypt continue sanctions against Hamas? The army might want this but it is hard to believe that the Egypt-Gaza border remains closed. If it does, you will know that the army is supervising things. But I predict another joyous celebration as Egyptians and Gazans hug each other followed by the flow of weapons across the border. This would also open Egypt to increasing Islamist subversion.

The best that can be expected would be that Egypt might move from a "pro-U.S." to a "neutral" position in the region. The theory is that this will be counterbalanced by democratic upheavals elsewhere. Yet unless these take place in Iran, Syria, and Gaza that will not benefit U.S. interests.

So will a democratic system work this time in making life in Egypt better and helping to stabilize the Middle East? Perhaps. Egypt has changed, yet not all the changes are on the positive side. We must, then, keep an open mind and watch developments.

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 http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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IDEOLOGICALLY-DRIVEN STRATEGIC INEPTITUDE
Posted by Laura, February 11, 2011.

This was written by Caroline B. Glick and it appeared today in Jewish World Review
(http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0211/glick021111.php3).

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her book "The Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad," is available at Amazon.com. Visit her website at www.CarolineGlick.com. Contact her by email at caroline@carolineglick.com.

 

Many believe that the Obama administration are just screw-ups. If only that were the case

In the midst of the political turmoil engulfing Egypt and much of the Arab world, last month's revelation that Pakistan has doubled the size of its nuclear arsenal over the past four years has been largely ignored. Nuclear proliferation analysts from the Federation of American Scientists and the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) assess that since 2006 Pakistan has increased the size of its nuclear arsenal from 30-60 atomic bombs to approximately 110. That makes Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power ahead of Britain and France.

As for delivery systems, according to the Washington Post, Pakistan has developed nuclear-capable land and air-launched cruise missiles. Its Shaheen II missile, with a range of 1,500 miles is about to go into operational deployment.

Wednesday Pakistan test-fired its Hatf-VII new nuclear-capable cruise missile with a 600 kilometer range.

The Obama administration has been silent on Pakistan's nuclear proliferation activities. As ISIS President David Albright said to the Washington Post, "The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably. They're always trying to downplay the numbers [of Pakistan's nuclear warheads] and insisting that 'it's smaller than you think.'"

Pakistan's nuclear growth goes on as its economy is in shambles, its government is falling apart and a large portion of the country's territory is controlled by the Taliban. Pakistan is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. In 2009 Congress approved a five-year $7.5 billion civilian aid package. Last October the Obama administration proposed supplementing the aid with $2 billion for Pakistan's military.

The administration requested the supplemental aid despite criticism that economic assistance to Pakistan indirectly funds its nuclear project since Pakistan is in an effective state of bankruptcy. Moreover, a US Inspector General report published this week concluded that the $7.5 billion in assistance has achieved little.

For their part, the Pakistani government and military adhere to a radically anti-American line and Pakistan's powerful ISI intelligence service and large sections of its military continue to maintain intimate ties with al Qaida and the Taliban.

Last month Pakistani police arrested US diplomat Raymond Davis in Lahore after he killed two gunmen who were reportedly about to rob him at gunpoint. Pakistani law enforcement officials have charged Davis with murder and refuse to release him to US custody despite the fact that he should enjoy the protection of diplomatic immunity.

Rather than attempt to quiet passions, the Pakistani government is fanning anti-American sentiments by among other things, releasing a videotape of Davis's police interrogation.

To date, while members of Congress are beginning to threaten to curtail aid to Pakistan pending Davis's release, the administration has limited its response to this de facto act of hostage taking by Pakistan to refusing to hold high-level exchanges with Pakistani leaders. And even this limited response has been inconsistently implemented.

For instance, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to meet with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Munich security conference last weekend, she did agree to meet with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the commander of the Pakistani military. So too, the US ambassador in Pakistan met on Monday with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan is a textbook example of a disaster of biblical proportions in the making. Its hyperactive nuclear expansion, weak central government, impoverished, radicalized population, and pro-Islamist military and intelligence arms are sources for major concern. That concern becomes all-out alarm in light of the Taliban/al Qaida's control over anywhere from a quarter to a third of Pakistani territory and the widespread public support for them throughout the country.

Since taking office, the Obama administration has failed to conceive of a strategy for contending with the situation. One of the main obstacles to the formation of a coherent US strategy is the Obama administration's move to outlaw any discussion of the basic threats to US interests. Shortly after entering office, President Barack Obama banned the use of the term "War against terror," substituting it with the opaque term "overseas contingency operation."

Last April Obama banned use of the terms "jihad," "Islamic terrorism," and "radical Islam," in US government documents.

Given that US officials are barred from using all the terms that are relevant for describing reality in places like Pakistan, it is obvious why the US cannot put together a strategy for contending with the challenges it faces there. Imagine an intelligence officer in Peshawar trying to report on what he sees. Imagine a defense attaché in Lahore trying to explain the problems with the jihad-infested Pakistani military to his superiors in Washington.

Imagine a USAID officer trying to explain why the jihadist-mosque attending public refuses to work at US-funded highway programs.

The Obama administration's decision to ban relevant language from the official US policy discourse was ideologically motivated. And in choosing ideology over reality, the Obama administration has induced a situation where rather than construct policies to deal with reality, at all levels, US officials have been charged with constructing policies to deny and ignore reality.

Against this backdrop it becomes fairly clear why the Obama administration's handling of the political turmoil in Egypt has been so incompetent. Upon entering office, Obama made a determined effort to ignore the political instability percolating under the surface throughout the authoritarian Arab world. US government officials were instructed to curtail programs aimed at developing liberal alternatives to authoritarianism and the Muslim Brotherhood. The justification for this behavior was again ideological.

As the world's biggest bully, the US had no moral right to judge the behavior of tyrants like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Once the dutifully ignored long repressed popular discontent boiled over into the popular revolts we have seen over the past month in Tunisia and Egypt as well as Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and beyond, the Obama administration rushed to get on the "right side" of the issue. To avoid criticism for refusing to contend with the problems bred by Arab authoritarianism, Obama went to the other extreme. He became the most outspoken champion of unfettered popular democracy in Egypt.

Of course, to occupy this other side of the spectrum, Obama has had to ignore the danger constituted by the most powerful opposition movement in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood's hostility towards the US's most fundamental strategic interests in the Middle East has been swept under the rug by the Obama administration and its supporters in the US media.

But then, in light of the prohibition of all discussion of the reasons the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a threat to the US — its jihadist ideology of Islamic conquest, its genocidal Islamic-based Jew hatred and hatred of America, its support for Islamic terrorism against non-jihadist regimes throughout the Muslim world and against the West — it is not surprising that the Obama administration is embracing the inclusion of the movement in a post-Mubarak Egyptian regime.

How could the administration object to something it has chosen to ignore?

The Obama administration's ideologically-driven strategic ineptitude is evident everywhere. From its slavish devotion to appeasing Iran, its single-minded insistence on withdrawing from Iraq, its announced commitment to withdrawing from Afghanistan; to its tolerance of Hugo Chavez, and its infantile reset button diplomacy towards Russia, the Obama administration's foreign policy is on a collision course with reality.

But nowhere is its premeditated incompetence more evident than in its obsession with the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.

So it was that during his visit in Israel this week, Obama's recently retired national security advisor Gen. James Jones claimed that it is G0d's will that Israel withdraw to indefensible borders and effectively blamed the political turmoil in Egypt on the absence of a Palestinian state.

As Jones put it, "I'm of the belief that had G0d appeared in front of President Obama in 2009 and said if he could do one thing on the face of the planet, and one thing only, to make the world a better place and give people more hope and opportunity for the future, I would venture that it would have something to do with finding the two-state solution to the Middle East."

Jones then argued, "Time is not on our side, and a failure to act [in establishing a Palestinian state] may trigger other Egypt-like demonstrations in other countries in the region."

The Obama administration is not alone in this completely irrational view. As the Arab world undergoes massive convulsions born of the legacy of authoritarianism and nourished by the pull of jihadism, all of Europe's major statesmen are lining up behind Washington in pushing Israel to agree to surrender still more land to the PLO in order to establish yet another authoritarian, jihad-infested Arab state.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Foreign Minister William Hague, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other senior officials all parroted Jones's view this week.

Confronting the Obama administration's assault on reason in the interest of ideological faithfulness, Israel is faced with very few good options. The threats Israel faces stem largely from the rising forces of jihad, Islamic terrorism and religiously justified nuclear adventurism embraced by Islamist politicians and religious leaders. That is, the threats facing Israel stem largely from the forces the Obama administration has elected to ignore and deny.

Moreover, the Obama administration's singular obsession with coercing Israel to surrender still more land to the Palestinian Authority means that America's central Middle East policy involves demanding that Israel further strengthen the unmentionable forces of jihad at its own expense. This fact was underlined this week with the Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh's revelation that most senior PA leaders have recently applied for Jordanian citizenship. Clearly the likes of Mahmoud Abbas believe they will not be the winners if their repressive regime in Judea and Samaria is seriously challenged by their popular jihadist rivals in Hamas.

Our leaders are doubtlessly tempted to simply take the path of least resistance and join Obama and his merry band of blind men as they move from lie to lie to defend their ideology from reality. But doing so will not protect us when the dangers sown by the US's strategic dementia provoke the next conflagration.

Israel's best option is to simply tell the truth as loudly and forcefully as it can and base our policies on it. While doing so will win Israel no friends in the Obama administration or in Europe, it will prepare us for the day when the wall of lies they are building from Islamabad to Cairo to Ramallah come crashing down.

Contact Laura by email at lel817@yahoo.com

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EGYPT AFTER MUBARAK
Posted by Micky Boyden, February 11, 2011.
 

As Egypt enters the third week of demonstrations against President Mubarak, much of the world looks on in trepidation.

The dictators and monarchs of the Arab world, from Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya and Bashar al-Assad of Syria to King Abdullah II of Jordan and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, must indeed be wondering what the future holds for them.

Meanwhile, the United States, leader of the free world, is caught in a cleft stick. On the one hand, it has come out in support of the protesters, but, on the other hand, it has also come to recognize that the call for democratic elections in Egypt will not necessarily result in the formation of a government that will espouse its values and maintain the peace treaty with Israel.

Many hope that things will now begin to settle down with the appointment of a largely military government under Omar Suleiman and the suspension of emergency regulations. However, the real test will come if and when elections are held.

Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are living proof of the fact that the right to vote does not necessarily guarantee democracy, or result in the formation of a government that respects its values.

In this respect, it should be noted that, while the free world looks on anxiously at what is happening in Egypt, Iran's President Ahmadinejad, in a speech marking the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution is his own country, has come out in support of the demonstrators and called for an Egypt free of U.S. and Israeli interference.

His backing of the protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square stands in marked contrast to the manner in which anti-government demonstrations were crushed in his own country in the summer of 2009 and should serve as a stark warning to the free world. Iran has already taken a hold of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip through the agency of the Hezbollah and Hamas. Few will doubt that it now has its eyes on Egypt.

Micky Boyden is a member of We Are For Israel, an advocacy forum which rejects the current delegitimization of Israel. Visit its website at
http://weareforisrael.org/mission-statement/

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THE EXPERTS WERE WRONG, AGAIN
Posted by Cyber Dissidents, February 11, 2011.

CyberDissidents.org is thrilled at today's news that Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has stepped down after three decades in power. We hope this encourages oppressed nations throughout the world to demand greater freedom. We are also overjoyed to report that Egyptian blogger and CyberDissidents.org blogger board member, Kareem Amer, was released late last night after nearly a week in prison.

This below was written by David Keyes and posted today on the Cyber Dissidents website
(http://cyberdissidents.org/bin/content.cgi?ID=579&q=3&s=24). The piece originally appeared on Reuters.

 

Moments ago, Egypt's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, stepped down after 30 years in power — following on the heels of Tunisia's dictator who fled his country after ruling for 23 years.

At this remarkable moment in Middle Eastern history, it is worth recalling what scholars, diplomats and pundits said in years past about stability in Egypt and Tunisia. This jog down memory lane is one of those delicious moments where the experts are yet again proved ignorant of the present and incapable of predicting the future.

In 2007, then US ambassador to Egypt, Francis Riccardione, declared that the country was the "rock of stability in this region." Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said, "the Egyptian government is stable" and State Department spokesman PJ Crowley echoed that Egypt was an "anchor of stability."

To any student of history, all of this was eerily reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's pronouncement on the eve of the Iranian revolution that the country was an "island of stability." At midnight on December 31, 1977, Carter raised a glass of champagne and toasted Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, proclaiming that the Shah enjoyed "his people's total confidence." Just before the Iranian autocrat was toppled, Britain's ambassador in Iran said, "There has been little or no evidence of unrest among the urban poor." That year, Pahlavi boasted,"Nobody can overthrow me. I have the support of 700,000 troops, all the workers and most of the people."

Days ago, as over a million people fearlessly gathered to protest corruption and dictatorship in Egypt, Al Jazeera declared without a hint of irony that the Egyptian people were famous for their apathy. The New York Times described the Egyptian public as "apolitical and largely apathetic." There were, of course, elements of truth to these caricatures, but much greater humility was called for. The Egyptian people were apathetic — until suddenly one day they weren't. Egypt was a rock of stability — until suddenly one day it wasn't.

Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations was not exaggerating when he wrote recently that "many of my colleagues considered Ben Ali's Tunisia as among the most stable of stable political systems." Journalists who covered the region were fond of saying that despite his heavy-handed tactics, censorship, rampant corruption and authoritarianism, Tunisia under Ben Ali was stable, moderate, literate and relatively prosperous. They also claimed that Ben Ali was here to stay. In late 2009, The Economist confidently asserted that even after more than two decades in power, the dictator's reign "is by no means over yet."

In 2003, renowned foreign correspondent, Georgie Anne Geyer, wrote a book titled "Tunisia: A Journey Through a Country That Works." On one of her many visits to the country, Geyer sat in a cafe in Sidi Bou Said. For several hours she relaxed and was "as happy as the black and white cats that were leaping from rooftop to cafe and from cafe to exquisite doorway in the magical city." Charming.

Tunisians were "admiring all the lovely things in the shops and lingering over coffee and drinks in the picturesque little restaurants and bars. I looked, but I did not see any revolutionaries marching down the streets promising the perfect society, nor any utopian dreamers who would either be crushed by the tanks of the righteous when the revolution came or be destroyed by their own grandiosity. I saw no-one who looked even a bit afraid and no-one who looked remotely persecuted."

Geyer saw no revolutionaries, no fear and no persecution for the same reason that Walter Duranty saw no famine in the Soviet Union in the 1930s — he did not want to see it. There is no limit to man's ability to deceive himself. Tunisia was a "country that worked" — until one day it didn't. Simmering beneath the facade of stability were decades of repression and marginalization. Tunisians loathed the corrupt and pompous gang that ruled over them.

All one really needed to know about Tunsia is that it was ruled by just two men since its founding 55 years ago. Ben Ali treated his people as children, unworthy of political freedom and incapable of choosing their leader. So did Mubarak who eliminated opposition and ruled for three decades. Both dictators fought jihadists and so the West showered them with praise. Professors, pundits and the press were all too eager to explain in exquisite, lofty rhetoric why Arabs weren't quite ready for pesky democratic rights and inherently unstable liberty.

"[T]he Tunisia experience," wrote Geyer in 2003, "spoke a daring truth — that not all people are immediately ready for democracy ... [Tunisians] didn't need any revolutions, nor even any rebellions; and unless every indicator was wrong, Tunisians were still willing to give their leaders a long political leash as they continued to make their way through the minefields of development and change." What she ignored, along with almost everyone else, is simple truth that the number of double thinkers in closed societies is almost always higher than we imagine and the number of true believers lower.

One month ago, few would have entertained the thought that Mubarak's regime was about to collapse. Almost no one saw the fall of the Soviet Union coming either. In 1982, Sovietologist Severyn Bailer proclaimed that the USSR "will not go bankrupt ... like the political system it will not collapse." John Kennith Galbraith spoke of a thriving Soviet economy and E.A. Hewett claimed in 1988 that Soviet citizens enjoyed "massive economic security."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confessed that "virtually no one in the defense or intelligence business predicted that the Soviet Union was bound for the dustbin of history until it hit bottom." It was left to imprisoned poets like Andre Alamrik to presciently ask "Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?"

There has been much talk — and will be much more — about what exactly toppled Ben Ali and Mubarak. Why now and not last year or a decade ago? The short answer is that we haven't a clue and probably never will. The mighty Black Swan emerged from her shadowy nest and once again made fools of everyone. We should learn from this experience — although if history is any indicator, we won't.

Visit the Cyber Dissidents website: http://cyberdissidents.org.

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WHERE ARE THE ISRAELI RIGHTS GROUPS?
Posted by Paul Lademain, February 11, 2011.
 

Why do Jews legitimize their antagonists by referring to all those organizations of arab thieves (who made it clear they intend to dismantle Israel) as "Palestinian Rights Groups." Palestine Rights Groups? Are you kidding?

Why don't Jews legitimize themselves? Where are the Israeli "Rights Groups"?

Why are Jews, who love to play utopian lawyer and who enjoy debating endlessly about "obeying the law" so incapable of fashioning laws that will offer protection to themselves and protect Jews from being exploited, stolen blind, losing their farms and lands to the Islamic invaders? Why do Israelis imagine that arabs, who hate them, will suddenly love and respect Israelis if Israelis insist on disrespecting themselves? Jewish seditionists behave as if they believe they own God and that their God will give them an "A" for selflessness if they honor the enemy's father instead of their own. Why is this? Are all Jews too dumb to pack sand in a rat hole? (Nod to KIngsley Amis)

Where are the Israel Rights Groups? Why aren't there dozens of them? Heroically-named Israeli Human Rights Organizations, dedicated to restoring Human Rights for Jews, clamoring for the restoration of the lands stolen from them by the British transients who tore the Jewish Homeland in half and gave most of it to the Hashemites? Why are the big-breasted cows sitting on Israel's High Court so willing to spray their milk of Jewish Wonderfulness only into the greedy mouths of the arab infiltrators?

Why are Jewish males so weak-minded and many of them simply unprincipled? Shimon Peres and Neve Gordon and Yosi Beilin come to mind. Why did Jewish males ever allow a Polish immigrant, Shimon Peres, to usurp power? Did they mistake him for a "benevolent shepherd" because he yodels for peace while ripping the shirt from his brother's back for to clothe the wandering arab in "palestinian" garb? Peres waltzed gaily with Yasser Arafat while Arafat's heroically-named goon gangs attacked women and children. Why was he allowed to do this? Do Jews rationalize Peres' motives because they are so shamelessly unfathomable? What if Peres is sniggering at Jews to their faces the same way Muslims snigger at Peres behind his back?

Curious minds want to know.

Viva to the Patriots of Israel from the SC4Z. Not Left. Not Right. Just 4 Justice 4 Israel.

Here's what set us off:

From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Palestinian Rights Groups praise Israeli NGOs
Palestinian Rights Groups Stand Up for Their Israeli Counterpart
Date: 9/2/2011 Time: 14:52
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=15127

RAMALLAH, February 9, 2011 (WAFA — PLO news agency) — A number of Palestinian human rights organizations defended in a recent press release the work of the Israeli human rights organizations accusing the Israeli government and parliament of attempting to hide the truth by investigating the work of these organizations.

"The Israeli radical right has recently endorsed a new act which establishes a parliamentary commission to investigate the transparent Israeli human rights organizations' work and funding," said nine West Bank and two Gaza-based Palestinian human rights organizations.

"This act represents a direct attack on these organizations as well as the Palestinian victims (Victims? Who's kidding who?) whom they work with," they said.

"Israeli human rights played an integral, significant role in exposing the truth about the Israeli practices against Palestinians; including during and after Israel's military attack on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead). They were able to do so through their honest and professional documentation of the grave breaches committed by the Israeli army of International law," said the press release.

The Palestinian groups said the Israeli occupation authorities had for years "instituted policies that violated Palestinians' human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory."

They said the Israeli human rights organizations had won respect of the world community because of their "clear voice that embraces peace and believes in the premise that human rights are for all humans, regardless of their nationality, gender or religion."

The Israeli organizations have "worked diligently to help the victims," said the release. "The contributions of these organizations were very important when the international community failed to secure the conditions for the Palestinians to enjoy their human rights through bringing an end the Israeli occupation and securing protection for them."

The Palestinian organizations said, "We consider the Knesset (Israeli parliament) decision to investigate Israeli human rights organizations, or enact legislations restricting their work, as a means to conceal the truth and prevent them from acting on their roles in combating the violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws."

"We condemn the arbitrary measures against the Israeli human rights organizations, assert our firm intention to support and continue to work with them to secure respect for human rights and challenging their violators," they said.

The release was signed by Gaza Community Mental Health Program and Palestinian Center for Human Rights, both based in Gaza. It was also signed by Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Al Haq, Al Dameer Association for Human Rights, Al Dameer Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, Defense for Children International- Palestine Section, Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Ramallah Center for Human Rights, and Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights. M.A.

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

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AL-JAZEERA IS THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD CHANNEL
Posted by Ted Belman, February 11, 2011.

This was written by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org). It appeared February 6, 2011in America's Survival, whose website address is
http://www.usasurvival.org. Or write them at P.O. Box 146, Owings MD 20736.

 

Three years ago Accuracy in Media warned of the advent of "Terror Television," noting that Al-Jazeera Arabic and English were fanning the flames of anti-Americanism and undermining U.S. allies in the Middle East. Our "Stop Al-Jazeera" website identified how, through clever manipulation of words and images, this was being accomplished. We released a major report on Al-Jazeera and produced a documentary on the subject.

Terror Television: The Rise of Al-Jazeera and the Hate America Media featured evidence that Al-Jazeera inspired foreign Muslim fighters to go to places like Iraq and Afghanistan for the specific purpose of killing U.S. service members.

Our efforts gave many cable and satellite TV providers second thoughts about carrying the English version of the channel in U.S. media markets. Soon, one of Al-Jazeera's Western faces, former ABC News reporter Dave Marash, resigned from the channel, citing its anti-Americanism.

"Al Jazeera makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel," Bill O'Reilly of Fox News has pointed out. "And any Arab leader who supports America is barbequed on the network, while those who hate America are praised." He added, "Any fair-minded person who follows Al Jazeera knows it is anti-American and anti-Semitic. Only on the far left can it find acceptance."

But now, as a result of what is happening in Egypt, Al-Jazeera and its media allies are leading a "Demand Al-Jazeera in the U.S.A." campaign, as if the channel's coverage is somehow objective and worthwhile. Newsweek gave valuable column space to Wadah Khanfar, director-general of Al-Jazeera, to argue that U.S. cable and satellite providers should make a special allowance for Al-Jazeera English to be carried in more media markets so that "alternative viewpoints" can be presented about "the human realities of war" in the Middle East. He complained about the Egyptian government-owned satellite company having blocked Al-Jazeera's broadcast signal after turmoil emerged in that country without noting that Al-Jazeera is itself owned and financed by an Arab regime in Qatar that is just as authoritarian as Egypt's. The channel is notorious for sparing Qatar's ruling monarchy the scrutiny it selectively applies to other Arab regimes.

In fact, as AIM has reported, Al-Jazeera is already carried on the MHz Networks in the U.S. by the Comcast cable system.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which effectively controls Al-Jazeera, gave rise to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department. However, the Muslim Brotherhood is not an officially designated FTO.

The Muslim Brotherhood wants Egypt to unilaterally open the border with Gaza, a move that would facilitate arms shipments to Hamas and increase military pressure on Israel. A Congressional Research Service report noted, "Egypt sealed the border out of concern for the possibly destabilizing effects of Hamas's relations with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which the government of President Mubarak considers a threat."

Al-Jazeera consistently and misleadingly describes the Muslim Brotherhood as a "non-violent" organization. In return, the Muslim Brotherhood describes Al-Jazeera as "the greatest Arab media organization" and has published an interview with Wadah Khanfar, Al-Jazeera's General Manager.

In the interview, Khanfar said, "We do not have any tense relations with the Egyptian government. We have an effective office in Egypt which is sending news from all viewpoints, whether from the government or the opposition..."

Citing inflammatory and biased coverage, the Egyptian government has since closed Al-Jazeera's offices. Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman declared, "I actually blame certain friendly nations who have television channels, they are not friendly at all, who have intensified the youth against the nation and the state. They have filled in the minds of the youth with wrongdoings, with allegations, and this is unacceptable."

One of those "friendly nations" is Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based.

We noted in a 2008 column, "Al-Jazeera for Obama," that the channel promoted Barack Obama's candidacy for the presidency and that one of its reporters actually contributed financially to the Obama campaign.

We had published an August 24, 2006 commentary, "Al-Jazeera 'Hijacked' by Pro-Terrorist Muslim Brotherhood," noting that Dr. Khaled Shawkat, director of the Netherlands-based Center for Promoting Democracy in the Arab World, said that Al-Jazeera was an historic opportunity to advance democracy in the Arab world but the opportunity has been lost.

This helps explain why Al-Jazeera has played a role in the rise of Hamas in the Palestinian territories and why its employees were arrested in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hezbollah. It also explains why the channel was infiltrated by and became a mouthpiece for al-Qaeda. Al-Jazeera correspondent Tayssir Alouni was actually imprisoned in Spain for being an agent of al-Qaeda.

For these and other reasons, as Bill O'Reilly mentioned in his commentary, it is mind-blogging that Sam Donaldson, the former ABC News anchor, said to a representative of Al-Jazeera: "Thank you for what you're doing."

Mamoun Fandy, an expert on the Arab media, has called Al-Jazeera "the Muslim Brotherhood channel." His book, Uncivil War of Words: Media and Politics in the Arab World, notes that Al-Jazeera glorified Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Bannah, in a two-part documentary in 2006.

In 2003 testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, he said Al-Jazeera's reporters and correspondents constitute a "who is who in the rank and file of the [Muslim] brotherhood."

"The Muslim brotherhood was the first Islamic organization with global reach," he noted. "It currently has offices in Germany, France, Malaysia, and throughout the Arab world. Offices in the US can be found in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The record of destruction of the Muslim brotherhood leaves no doubt about their intentions."

Looking at this record, he explained, "Their man in Algeria, Abbasi Madani, sowed the seeds of the civil war there. Members of FIS (the Islamic Salvation Front) and its offshoots like the GIA provided bin Laden with his core fighters. In Sudan, the leader of the Muslim brotherhood International, Hassan al-Turabi, brought Sudan to its current state of infamy. Another brotherhood leader, the Tunisian Rachid al Ghanoushi lives in London, where he leads the organization's European branch. Sheikh Yaseen, the head of Hamas in Gaza is another Brotherhood member. Yousef al-Qaradawi in Qatar created the TV channel known as al-Jazeera that has amongst its reporters and correspondents who is who in the rank and file of the brotherhood. This is of course in addition to Sheikh Abdullah al-al Mutawai' of Kuwait whose school gave us the spokesperson for al-Qaeda, Soleiman Abu Gheith, as well as financing radical movements from Bosnia to Africa to Chechnya."

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the regular personalities on Al-Jazeera, encourages suicide bombings against Americans and has been banned from entering the U.S.

Fandy traced the 9/11 terrorist attacks to ideas propagated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood such as Sayid Qutob. "Currently, intellectuals of the Muslim brotherhood champion the Arab campaign of denial of responsibility for the September 11th attacks," Fandy testified. "Their writings in the Arab world and even in this country have always argued that this is a proper response to US actions in the world."

However, Al Jazeera bureau chief Abderrahim Foukara appeared on ABC's "This Week" program on January 30 and quoted former President Clinton Bill Clinton as saying that Al Jazeera was "a beacon of democracy."

This prompted ABC's Sam Donaldson, a panelist on the show, to say, "...thank you for what you're doing. People say Al Jazeera fanned the flames here by bringing the fact that democracy is in existence and that people are being suppressed. That's what we need; we need more communication in the world. It's not Al Jazeera's fault..."

Now, under pressure from Al-Jazeera and the Obama Administration, the Egyptian government is ceding some degree of power to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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 tedbel@rogers.com

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FROM ISRAEL: BRIEF THOUGHTS ON EGYPT
Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 11, 2011.
 

The situation is very much in flux as I write, and preparations for Shabbat prevent me from doing more than make these brief, but not unimportant, comments now. There will be no further posting until after Shabbat, and who knows what the situation will be by the time people in N. America and elsewhere read this. However...

I wish to emphasize something I've certainly written about before but which merits repeating, and repeating:

There is no such thing as instant democracy. Democracy requires preparation of a populace and institution of values that will support it — freedom of speech, respect for the individual and for minorities, etc. etc. There is no tradition of these things in Egypt.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is also no such thing as democracy by mob. There is a vision of this mob in the Cairo square representing "the people" such that their gaining control of the situation would lead to a popular democratic government. Utter and dangerous nonsense.

If this mob was (in the main) of one mind and one moderate ideology, headed by a charismatic leader, having consolidated and planned over a period of time, and in possession of funding, and a solid platform and specific democratic principles they would want to institute if governing, then maybe. Just maybe.

But the reality is that disparate groups are within the mob. They are represented by no strong leader. They have no one set of guiding principles and seem in the main just set on seeing Mubarak go (and, if he went, I suspect Suleiman and everyone else tainted by the old regime).

But following this would be chaos. (And I'll come back to this.)

~~~~~~~~~~

I emphasize this because Obama yesterday made a statement about a speedy transition in Egypt to a genuine democracy.

My friends, these are buzz words that reflect either a serious misunderstanding of the situation or an attempt to represent a certain stance for political purposes — or a little of each.

~~~~~~~~~~

Back to the issue of chaos. Within that mob there is the Muslim Brotherhood.

In testimony yesterday to a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, referred to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as "largely secular." Don't know how many of you will have heard about this.

I saw a video of this testimony on Fox news, and when Clapper made his statement, I was sure I had heard wrong. In fact, I called a friend who I knew was also following events on TV and asked her, and she said, yes, he said it. Later I saw it in print.

That is beyond stupid.

I have a granddaughter who says, about something very special, "it's awesome-er than awesome." Well. Clapper's statement is stupider than stupid.

Either that, or he's serving as a shill for an administration that prefers to have the Brotherhood seen as harmless.

~~~~~~~~~~

Whatever the case, I am urging you not to be influenced by this dangerous line of thinking. I don't know everything. But here I am absolutely on solid ground.

I've presented to you over the past few days a large amount of material regarding the true intentions of the Brotherhood — from intelligence people and analysts here in Israel. I believe here we, who are closer to the situation, understand better.

The Brotherhood guys are not dummies. They are laying low for now, and they are presenting a face of relative moderation and peacefulness, so as not to alarm. It's just a matter of time. And chaos or a "speedy transition" would serve their purposes well.

It's the students in the mob, who have written the e-mails some of you have seen about freedom and democracy, who are least organized, least prepared in terms of the many criteria for solid transition I wrote about above. The Brotherhood, on the other hand, has money, a guiding ideology, and leadership and a written charter of their purposes. They hate Israel and the US, they are for sharia, which is draconian law and permits no tolerance of "infidels" (putting Coptic Christians at great risk), and they are for the creation of a caliphate.

The Egyptian Brotherhood, I remind you, spawned both Hamas and al-Qaeda.

They are the ones who would come to the fore in a situation of chaos. They would do it slowly, so as not to alarm, but they would do it. In case after case in this part of the world "popular revolution" has led to take over by the radicals.

~~~~~~~~~~

It seems exceedingly likely at this point that the army will be in control, and possibly institute military rule, but my crystal ball is broken at the moment, so I cannot be sure. There is no tradition in Egypt for democracy, but there is a strong military tradition: both Mubarak and Suleiman are military men.

In my opinion, this is the best of several bad alternatives for Egypt right now, for chaos may be avoided (although I suspect bloodshed will not be).

I think that what has been offered by Mubarak and Suleiman, in terms of dialogue with different groups, changes in the constitution, an open election in September, etc. offers the best (if meager) hope for something resembling democratic process in Egypt. A transition, if it is be meaningful, must be done slowly because so much preparation is required. From now until September is actually a very small amount of time. The mob that seeks instant turnover has, of course, no interest in due process or preparation.

But even in September, if there are open elections, and the Brotherhood — which is technically outlawed in Egypt — is permitted to take part, things are likely to go badly after a period of time.

Remember please what happened when former-president Bush pushed for " — look at Gaza today.

Here in Israel, we are rooting for Suleiman.

Shabbat Shalom.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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HUCKABEE FOR PRESIDENT!
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, February 10, 2011.

This was written by Aron Heller for the Seattle Times

 

Potential 2012 U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Tuesday that if Palestinians want an independent state, they should seek it from Arabs not Israel. The evangelical minister and Fox News host said Jews should be allowed to settle anywhere throughout the biblical Land of Israel, an area that includes the West Bank and east Jerusalem. He called the demand on Israel to give up land for peace an unrealistic, unworkable and unreachable goal.

Most of the international community including President Barack Obama considers Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegal because they are built on occupied land Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians claim both areas for a future state. Huckabee suggested that if a Palestinian state were to be established, it would come at Israel's expense.

There are vast amounts of territory that are in the hands of Muslims, in the hands of Arabs. Maybe the international community can come together and accommodate them in their own vast areas, he said in a meeting with reporters.

Huckabee makes frequent trips to Israel to voice support for Jewish settlements.

He is currently being hosted by The Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a group that promotes settlements in an attempt to bolster a Jewish presence in mostly Arab areas. Joined by actor Jon Voight on the three-day visit, Huckabee's itinerary includes tours of Jewish settlements and meetings with Israeli leaders.

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and a presidential contender in 2008, is expected to seek the Republican nomination to run against Obama in 2012.

He said that as president he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, affirming Israel's position that the city should be its undivided and eternal capital and said he would not pressure Israel into making any territorial concessions. He was critical of previous U.S. attempts to broker a peace agreement with Palestinians, who he says have yet to truly recognize Israel's right to exist within secure borders.

"I know my view on this may be seen as the minority, out of the mainstream of the more politically correct idealistic view that we can just have a conference or a meeting and bring the diplomats together, toast marshmallows, build a camp fire and sing Kumbaya. It has not happened and I am not confident that it ever could or would," he said.

He said any peace agreement has to recognize that the Jewish people have indigenous rights to the land in which they occupy and live and it goes back not 60 years or 80 years but it goes back 3,500 years.

(JSK: The reporter shows a tremendous lack of knowledge relative to the history resulting in the present state of affairs. (of course, he is not alone). He writes as if Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Jerusalem were rightfully Arab territory and simply recently conquered by Israel in the Six Day War and the Arabs had a prior claim. Nothing could be further from the truth. As we all know, there never was a Palestinian state of the Arabs nor was there ever a Palestinian Arab nation. These are all Arabs that immigrated into the area after the Jews started coming back to develop the land in the 19th century. And, after Britain took over the area as a temporary Mandate after WWI and deliberately kept Jews out and encouraged Arabs to come in by the thousands without quotas of any kind. Hence what became a preponderance of "Arab land." If you get a chance read Joan Peter's great history, From Time Immemorial, this is all confirmed in great detail from British records.)

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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RECKLESS IN CAIRO
Posted by Nurit Greenger, February 10, 2011.
 

Weak leaders make all the trouble in the world surface faster. That what happened when Obama came to be the United States president, all the muck has been surfacing, nonstop.

Respect is a critical key word in the Moslem world and Obama, who has no tact, humiliated Mubarak, a USA ally no matter what! By putting as much pressure on him, but behind the scenes, Obama could helped Hosni Mubarak to save some face and leave with his respect intact.

The Democrat Party supports its Obamassiah and they went along with Obama's own irresponsible narcissistic behavior that drove him to stand in front of the cameras — for the world to see — and with his condescending rhetoric he watered down whatever remained of Mubarak's credibility, deteriorating further the respect the world used to have for America.

And, as usual for the Left, the opposite of their intentions occurred. Mubarak reacted and sent in agents provocateurs to raise the heat, and now the conflict is infinitely more intense, violent and volatile than it was likely to have been.

Yes, Egypt needs a change; the entire Moslem world needs a change but it will not be the one the American people want to see!!! The beginning of whatever change millions of Egyptians are calling for, could have been much better choreographed, in secret, and made to appear as if it was "made in Egypt". Instead, Obama's narcissism and his constant NEED for adulation wrecked any chance for "natural" change and only intensified the anti-Israel and anti-American factors in this crisis.

Today, that "shining city on a hill", as a TRUE President once referred to, sure looks a lot more dull to way too many Americans and rest of the world as well.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com. Visit her blog:
http://ngthinker.typepad.com. This article is archived at
http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2011/02/10/ reckless-in-cairo-nurit-greenger/

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THREE MIDDLE EAST MYTHS EXPLODED
Posted by David Harris, February 10, 2011.

First it was the myth about linkage between Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

According to the logic, without progress on the Palestinian front, it would be impossible to mobilize Arab countries to face the Iranian nuclear threat.

The notion had shelf life, sustained by some diplomats and the commentariat until it was blown out of the water by the WikiLeaks revelations.

Of course, it was no secret that Arab leaders feared Iran's growing power and made not the slightest connection between the two issues. Anyone who met with an Arab official from Riyadh to Rabat heard the same dread about the looming prospect of a nuclear-armed Shiite theocracy in Tehran.

But in today's world, facts don't necessarily have any claim on fiction, until they become so incontrovertible that there's no easy way around them.

And that's just what WikiLeaks proved.

Lo and behold, the cables revealed that from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, from the United Arab Emirates to Egypt, Arab leaders were imploring the United States to stiffen its spine and confront the Iranians. Linkage to the Palestinian question? Not even close. No mention whatsoever.

To the contrary, several Arab countries have looked to Israel, with or without a peace agreement, as a stealth ally in the face-off with Iran.

Another myth was about settlement-building in eastern Jerusalem.

According to that one, the peace process was going to wither on the vine and die because Israel indicated its intention to continue construction within Jewish neighborhoods.

Israel was criticized, pilloried, and pummeled for its actions, accused not only of being an obstacle to peace, but the obstacle. The reality on the ground seemed not to matter. The world was led to believe that the very future of the Middle East hinged on Israel's alleged misbehavior.

Israel attempted to explain that both sides understood there would be border adjustments in a peace accord reflecting demographic realities on the ground, but this mattered not a whit. And it had even less success when it reminded the world that settlements, certainly an issue for negotiations, was by no means the only one — and certainly not a sufficient explanation for more than six decades of overwhelming Arab refusal to come to terms with Israel's very right to exist.

Then came PaliLeaks, and the myth was blown out of the water.

The documents showed there was indeed tacit agreement on certain land swaps, including, yes, Jewish areas of eastern Jerusalem. The papers showed that the gap between the two sides was less than imagined, but, sadly, the uproar over the leaked documents proved that the Palestinian Authority has failed even to attempt to prepare its population for the concessions needed for an end of conflict and lasting peace.

And last it was the myth loudly stated by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that the root of all problems in the Middle East lies with Israel's intransigence.

To accept the Turkish leader's premise means throwing truth to the wind. Even a cursory study of the Arab world reveals deep-rooted problems having nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with political, economic, and social stasis. But that would have spoiled the appealing narrative.

After all, it is much more reassuring for the Erdogans of the world to lift responsibility from Arab shoulders and place it squarely on Israel's! And for the Israel-bashers, of whom there is no shortage, anything suggesting Israeli culpability is greeted with endless expressions of glee and gratitude.

Who needs critical-thinking skills when criticism of Israel is so much more effortless and satisfying?

Yet this myth, too, has been exposed in recent weeks for all the world to see.

The streets of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen filled with crowds rising up against domestic repression, the absence of opportunity, and the culture of cronyism and corruption.

Though none of the "after-the-fact experts" foresaw it, why, Erdogan aside, should that have come as a surprise?

All it took was a casual reading of the UN Arab Human Development Report, compiled by Arab scholars and published regularly by the world body, and other relevant material. I draw below from an article I wrote 13 months ago in The Huffington Post entitled "It's not about Israel."

 

They [the report's authors] have spoken of three overarching explanatory factors for the region's unsatisfactory condition: the knowledge deficit, the gender deficit and the freedom deficit.

Unless these three areas are addressed in a sustained manner, the Middle East, which ought to be one of the world's most dynamic regions, is likely to continue suffering from instability, violence and fundamentalism, irrespective of what happens on the Israeli-Palestinian front.

Consider some of the important findings in recent Arab Human Development Reports and related studies:

* The total number of books translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years is fewer than those translated into Spanish in one year.

* Greece — with a population of fewer than 11 million — translates five times as many books from abroad into Greek annually as the 22 Arab countries combined, with a total population of more than 300 million, translate into Arabic.

* According to a Council on Foreign Relations report, "In the 1950s, per-capita income in Egypt was similar to South Korea, whereas Egypt's per-capita income today is less than 20 percent of South Korea's. Saudi Arabia had a higher gross domestic product than Taiwan in the 1950s; today, it is about 50 percent of Taiwan's."

As Dr. A.B. Zahlan, a Palestinian physicist, has noted: "A regressive political culture is at the root of the Arab world's failure to fund scientific research or to sustain a vibrant, innovative community of scientists." He further asserted that "Egypt, in 1950, had more engineers than all of China." That is hardly the case today.

The UN Human Development Report reveals that only two Egyptians per million people were granted patents, compared to 30 in Greece and 35 in Israel (for Syria, the figure was zero).

Similarly, the adult literacy rate for women aged 15 and older was 43.6 percent in Egypt and 74 percent in Syria, while for the world's top 20 countries it was nearly 100 percent.

And finally, according to Freedom House rankings, no Arab country in the Middle East is listed as "free." Each is described as "partly free" at best, "not free" at worst.

The sad truth is that it is precisely political oppression, intellectual suffocation, and gender discrimination that explain, far more than any other factor, the chronic difficulties of the Middle East.

There exist no overnight or over-the-counter remedies for these maladies that would allow the region to unleash its vast potential, but one thing is clear: they, not the straw man of Israel, are at the heart of the problem.

It would be illusory to think otherwise.

The illusions, or myths, prevailed until the throngs in the Arab streets shattered them.

Like bowling pins, the myths keep falling. It remains to be seen whether they'll be replaced by new ones, or, at long last, by a dose of reality.

David Harris is the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress. Contact him at davidharrisblog@ajc.org

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WHAT WERE WE THINKING?
Posted by Ari Bussel, February 10, 2011.
 

They say they do not hate the Jewish State, some even say they "feel right at home." They say they are "pro-Israel" and are concerned with Israel's well being and her ability to maintain a democratic and Jewish character. But their actions do everything possible to bring about the Jewish homeland's demise, her downfall.

They say they care so much about Israel, although they are American and do not live there. They are "distance" lovers, which apparently gives them the right and obligation to dictate to the Jewish State their views on her existence. They claim it is in her best interest, but they will not waiver an iota from their destructive positions. p>They are dispensing advice TV-viewing style, where they sit in the comforts of America, using their viewing glasses based on the ideology and freedoms prevalent in the USA, and render decisions about what is good for Israel and what she must do. Alas, theirs does not fit the Middle East, and trying to force on a garment that does not fit is bound for failure — the garment will tear. They care not, which means their motives and approach are not pure.

Those who view them ask "Why do they hate Israel so much, these Jewish-self-haters?"

Do they really hate Israel that much? Is Israel that bad that she must be punished, obliterated, erased from the map and replaced with a country where all its citizens are a Muslim entity? Or do they not see the consequences of their actions and the threat looming on the horizon?

Muslims, who have been brainwashed from an early age to hate the notion of Jews (and by extension Israelis, understood to be Jewish) really are not to blame. Most have never met a Jewish person, and would probably be surprised to learn they have hands and legs, eyes and ears and a mouth and no horns on their heads.

Jewish people, Muslims may discover, are really not that evil once they get to know them. Except most have never met a Jewish person and only know they are "pigs and apes" that must be exposed and destroyed, slaughtered and beheaded.

The Muslims' acquaintance with the Jews is quite personal. They have been told of the Jewish enemy in Friday sermons, on TV in broadcasts around the clock, in cartoons and caricatures and even in music videos.

Once, last century, we were compared to vermin, infested with diseases which we supposedly helped spread. Today we are the very disease rather than its carrier, but our fate is the same — annihilation.

The Muslims, though, are very clear: They hate us (for all the wrong reasons), have a very specific plan of action and are working toward the goal of conquering the Zionist (i.e. Israeli, i.e. Jewish) enemy.

While I, and Israel, come from a different school of thought — one that respects the other and allows a playground for all, side-by-side — Israel's enemies' determination, conviction and clarity are striking. Qualities we seem to lack.

My concern is with the Jews, and some Israelis, who are not ignorant but lead the struggle to help the world rid itself of Israel. They come in all shapes and sizes, a great variety of self-hatred covered and presented in a varying degrees of acceptability to cater to every taste.

The spectrum is wide, so allow me to divide them into two main categories: those with us, and those against us. To belong to either category one needs not be Jewish. There are many Christians who belong primarily to the former, and Muslims are predominantly part of the latter. I am afraid, though, that too many Jews, the vast majority of American Jewry and a sizeable number of Israelis belong to the latter camp as well.

Allow me to be as politically incorrect as possible: I need not prove I want peace, for the simple reason I have done nothing to prove the opposite: I have not attacked my neighbors, nor do I wish their destruction. I have not engaged in blood libels and created a false image of those on the other side of the border. I have not raised my children to hate or trained them to be terrorists. Nor have I clung to an ideology dating back a millennium and a half that looks backwards rather than to a positive future.

There is goodness in Judaism, toward the self and others. It is a religion that asks a person to love and treat the other the way the person wants to be treated by others. It forbids us to murder, and it makes no difference who is the person being murdered, Jew or Gentile. The Ten Commandments speak of man as one and hold all accountable to the rules. There is no difference between "believers" and "non-believers," the prohibition and consequences are the same. It is a pivotal part of Judaism itself.

True, my people have clumsily (and stupidly) advocated the position of the other side on numerous occasions. So preoccupied they became, they took our very existence for granted and now assign full responsibility for all the evils of the world singularly on Israel's shoulders. They care only for the enemy, nothing more.

My enemies are playing games, saying they want Peace, but doing everything possible to resist its implementation. They allow Jews and Israelis to advocate their position and to protect their actions. Thus, it has become acceptable to burn Israeli products. Next they will burn books and then people. This, too, has happened before.

I stand alone, knowing I am right for I have seen the future. I will be walking in the valley of darkness, death looming everywhere, the abyss full of dry bones. Bones of all those (non Muslim) who joined the enemy camp believing they were ushering in peace.

They ushered in death instead, in whose shadow I must now walk. With them are so many others, too many to count or grieve, innocent ones, who were collateral damage. They had no bad intentions, no ulterior motives. They simply stood along the way of Death's march. They stood no chance; they were doomed, their fate decided by inaction. I cannot blame them.

They refused to see or believe, so they called me a dark-seer. Hezbollah was training to take over cities in Israel. What did they think, that there would be an orderly transfer of power, a transition from a Netanyahu-Likud-led government to Hezbollah? When Hamas vowed to destroy the country, were the missiles just children's toys?

After the cries of the first to be slaughtered in the Northern cities of Israel were heard, the country — and the world — momentarily froze in utter shock. No one could understand the atrocities. "Islam is a peaceful religion," the world was constantly told. Yet they didn't even behave like human beings. They were savages, animals excited into frenzy by the smell and sight of blood.

Women raped in the streets, pregnant women had their stomachs ripped open, just for the fun of the exercise. Children were pulled out of apartments, their skulls crushed. Those with fatal wounds were left in the streets, their vision blurry, no longer coherent. No one came to collect them. No one was there to console.

No, they were left for all to see, and fear, and learn the lesson. It happened before, its effectiveness proven.

Then they went to the next city, and the next, and the next.

It has all happened before, and then it happened again. Human beings have a very short memory and refuse to learn from the past, so they repeat their stupidity time and time again.

In the rest of Israel, people did not know where to escape. The sights and sounds from the North were the background, but the missiles landing, one after the other, with precision guidance systems, left one nowhere to go, no place to turn.

Israelis knew about the immense stockpiles of missiles in Gaza and Lebanon. The military and governing echelon knew of the supply routes from Iran via Syria, via the Sinai Peninsula and via the Mediterranean Sea. But they allowed the piles to grow bigger, for the supply chains to continue undiminished.

Everywhere one saw plumes of smoke, huge fires raging, so numerous they overwhelmed those who were still on their feet. The noise of explosions was overpowering, instilling even greater fear against those we cannot fight any longer.

The major sights, like the Tel Aviv skyline along the Mediterranean, obliterated into rubble. In Jerusalem, the square in front of the Western Wall became an impenetrable zone. Israel's main airport resembled a plowed land, preventing any airplane from landing. Thus, even those Israelis and Jews living in the Diaspora who wanted to come and help were prevented from doing so.

The screams and the pouring blood, the body parts and the mutilated bodies strewn in the streets would remain for days then became weeks. The stench was horrible, but the sights forever engraved in the collective memory of humankind.

It is here that I now walk, amidst the remains of all those who once aspired for "Peace" and who had a final taste of their own poison. I witness the horrors and images of pogroms and massacres pass thru me: those in Eastern Europe, later — just last century in 1929, not even a hundred years ago — in Israel by the Arabs and further, even closer in time during the Holocaust.

I recall all those "enlightened" who vanished from starvation or cruelty, experimentation or disease or just methodological extermination in gas baths, shooting grounds and in the ovens. The "enlightened" European Jews of pre-World War II were replaced later by those who wanted "Peace" or the American Jewry who was "Pro-Israel, but more Pro-Palestinians." Their fate was all the same.

What were they thinking, these Jews and Israelis who were urging the world to boycott, divest and sanction? Those who blamed Israel for wrongdoings and evil? Those who planted in our minds and our hearts images of brutal soldiers killing for fun or power, occupying lands not theirs and forcing the inhabitants out of their homes or into submission? Those who compiled statistics of homes we supposedly demolished and water we apparently stole and diseases we knowingly and purposely spread specifically to target only others?

That as a result of all the hatred they spread, people will feel sorry for young impressionable Jews?

They helped build the case against Israel. In their actions they justified the inevitable. They are guilty as the perpetrators of these atrocities, but I blame them no longer. For now their bones need to be brought to mass burials. I ache but my eyes are dry and my heart cannot contain the sorrow. There is no longer room left for hatred, just for grieving and rebuilding.

When Israel realized what was going on, she reacted. It was far too late already, but the response was just. There was nothing left of Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Egypt (now submerged underwater), Turkey and Iran. The "proportionality" argument, raised so many times in the past, finally was put to an ultimate test. Jews vowed "NEVER AGAIN" but no one took them seriously, not even they themselves. And when it did happen AGAIN, and the images, sounds and smells penetrated the human cognitive defenses, Israel reacted. She retaliated.

I am walking in a place that once was blessed with children playing, trees growing, bearing delicious fruit. A place that was so taken for granted, that no one paid attention to its medicinal properties or the goodness it bestowed on the whole world; especially not its inhabitants.

They grew accustomed to the place, so they turned their hearts elsewhere. It was their sympathy for so-called Palestinians, a figment of a very creative Middle Eastern storytelling, that managed to bring down the Jewish State.

What were they thinking, those refusing to see and those who felt strength and power were on their side? They were all guilty, and I now walk along this valley of destruction, with the Angel of Death guarding my every step.

Am I at the end of times? The place is deserted, the silence as sharp as a knife. My heart can contain no more horrors, all of which we brought on ourselves. But as long as death surrounds me, I know there is a future, for it is an Angel nonetheless.

A nation will reemerge, as we have done so many times before. We will rejoice once again, and the sound of a bride and groom will be heard, of children once again roaming freely, of people worshipping our God, closer than they ever were. All this will happen again in Zion Jerusalem, and this time — it will be different.

We paid the price we ourselves determined. Our enemies have extracted what they set out to get. They are no more, and we have to rebuild, to remember, for once not to repeat past mistakes.

As long as one Angel is around, so must be another. I blame no one but myself, and I now have to start rebuilding. Walk alongside me, for I am aching, eager to shout and explode. Yet I will not. I am holding my composure, keeping my head high, my eyes set forward. We will rebuild, we will survive: We never wanted to harm anyone, so we managed to destroy our very being, bringing it close to extinction. We insulted God, and He does not forget.

If I could only blink my eyelids a few times and wake up back in time, to that point where we could have acted, should have stood up, but did not. Maybe I could have done better to safeguard Israel, the country given to us not as a gift, but for safekeeping and protection; maybe I should have acted differently? Maybe all the Jewish people should have.

Contact Ari Bussel at busselari@gmail.com

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MUSLIM STUDENTS IN BRITAIN REPORTEDLY TAUGHT TO CHOP OFF HANDS OF THIEVES, HATE JEWS
Posted by Avodah, February 10, 2011.

Muslim children are being taught how to chop off thieves' hands and that Jews are plotting to take over the world at a network of Islamic schools, it has been disclosed.

This was written by Graham Paton.

 

Up to 5,000 pupils attending weekend schools across Britain are being exposed to textbooks claiming that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, and that some offences could be punished with stoning. One book for six year-olds warns that those who do not believe in Islam will be condemned to "hellfire" in death.

Another text for 15 year-olds teaches that thieves who break Sharia law should have their hands cut off for a first offence and their feet amputated for a subsequent crime. Teenagers are presented with diagrams showing where the cuts should be made.

Tonight's Panorama on BBC One will claim that the books were discovered at a network of 40 private schools teaching the Saudi Arabian national curriculum. The programme claims to have uncovered evidence apparently linking the schools to the Saudi embassy. Officials at the embassy deny any link.

Panorama also found examples of private Muslim schools using extremist sentiments on their websites.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said last night that extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism would not be tolerated in schools.

However, researchers claimed in a separate report that the education system was "not equipped" to deal with the threats posed by extremist organisations. The Policy Exchange think-tank said the Coalition's new free schools, run by parents, teachers and charities, could be exploited by organisations seeking to indoctrinate young people. It also claimed that checks on groups running private schools were "piecemeal, partial and lack depth". Mr Gove said Ofsted had been ordered to monitor part-time education providers closely.

The schools featured on Panorama were apparently organised under an umbrella group called Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland. They give Muslim children aged six to 18 a grounding the Islamic faith.

According to the BBC, a book for 15 year-olds teaches about Sharia law and its punishments. "For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence," it says. Two diagrams show where cuts should be made.

For acts of sodomy, children are told that the penalty is death. A textbook says there are different views on whether this should be done by stoning, or burning with fire, or throwing over a cliff. Textbooks for 15 year-olds revive the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which teach that Jews want world domination.

In a statement, the Saudi embassy said: "Any tutoring activities that may have taken place among any other group of Muslims in the United Kingdom are absolutely individual to that group and not affiliated to or endorsed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia." The Saudi Ambassador told the BBC it was "dangerously deceptive and misleading" to discuss some of the texts outside of context.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:
http://am-yisrael-blog.blogspot.com/. This is archived at
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02/09/ muslim-students-taught-chop-hands-thieves

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MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: THE UNRELIABLE ALLY
Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, February 10, 2011.

Two essays below:
 

Real Clear World
by Jonathan Schanzer
February 10, 2011
http://schanzer.pundicity.com/8747/ muslim-brotherhood-the-unreliable-ally

Last week Nobel Prize winner and Egyptian reformer Mohamed ElBaradei officially joined forces with the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to bring down the Egyptian government. Shortly thereafter, the White House began reassessing its relationship with the Islamist group. Now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomes the participation of the Brothers in a meeting with Hosni Mubarak's vice president. But, can the Brothers work with others in Egypt?

ElBaradei, a neophyte in Egyptian politics, has apparently not studied up on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood's political partnerships. Clinton may not be up on this history, either. The Muslim Brothers are notoriously bad political bedfellows. They have consistently overplayed their political hand, leaving behind only ill-will.

It is no secret that the Brotherhood has been banned in Egypt since 1954. But it cannot be ignored that it supported the secular 1952 coup known as the Free Officers Movement that gave rise to the current regime.

The late Richard P. Mitchell, a University of Michigan historian who famously chronicled the rise of the group in Egypt, noted in his 1969 classic The Society of the Muslim Brothers that:

"... an agreement of sorts was reached between the two groups concerning the part the Muslims Brothers would play on the day of revolution ... should immediate popular enthusiasm for the army movement be lacking, the Society would fill the streets to spark it off and ensure immediate popular acceptance of the coup ... if the movement, despite all precautions, failed the Muslim Brothers would assist in the protection and escape of the free officers."

There was more to the plan, but suffice it to say the Islamists backed the coup. From 1952 to 1954, however, the group overreached. It expanded power under first Egyptian President Muhammad Naguib, and worked assiduously to spread its ideology among the ranks of the same military that had just granted the new regime its power. When Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew Naguib in 1954, Nasser cleaned house. Mitchell sums it up:

"... six men were hanged; thousands of other Brothers were already imprisoned, and the organization had been efficiently crushed."

Since then, the Brotherhood has been angling to get back in the game.

When Anwar al-Sadat became president in 1970, it was a new era for the Brotherhood. Fearing the rise of communism, a godless belief system, Sadat viewed his country's Allah-fearing Islamists as a natural line of defense. Sadat released many Brothers from jail in exchange for the group's renunciation of violence in Egypt. Islamist newspapers, campus activism and a lively mosque culture were the offspring of this marriage. However, by the late 1970s, the Brotherhood spurned Sadat's peace overtures to Israel, and increasingly perceived him as insufficiently pious. Sadat grew concerned about the group's strength, and he began the process of re-jailing them — even shipping them to Afghanistan to join the anti-Soviet jihad.

The era was punctuated by the assassination of Sadat in 1981 at the hands of an Islamist gunman. Though the assassin, Khalid Islambouli, belonged to the group al-Jihad, the Brotherhood paid for his sins. An era of severe state repression followed.

With little room to maneuver under new President Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood reached out to an unlikely partner in 1984: the secular Wafd Party. Reformed in 1983 after being dissolved amidst the 1952 coup, the Wafd embraced everything the Brotherhood didn't: economic liberalization, political reform and a just peace in the Middle East. This was approximately when the Brothers began to adopt the rhetoric of reform. However, the marriage was short lived. The Brotherhood left the alliance when leaders realized the Wafd could not be co-opted.

The Brothers were, however, more successful in co-opting the Socialist Labor Party, which welcomed the Islamists in a misguided attempt to revive itself. The banned Brotherhood accepted, with the understanding that the Socialist Party provided it a legal shell from which to operate. By the 1987 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood succeeded in running Islamist candidates on a socialist ticket. Noting the full extent to which Labor had come under the thumb of the Brotherhood, the Mubarak regime shut the party down in 2000, along with its newspaper, al-Shaab.

Using history as a guide, it won't be long before ElBaradei and the other reformers regret their alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. Any student of Egyptian history can tell you that. So can the average Egyptian.

But who will tell the White House?


Has Mubarak Already Won?
by Jonathan Schanzer
Politico
February 9, 2011
http://schanzer.pundicity.com/8744/has-mubarak-already-won

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has learned a few things during his 30 years in power. One of them is how to divide those who oppose him. In recent days, he has done this masterfully, and has regained some leverage. This, coupled with a lack of decipherable direction from the White House, gives the impression that Mubarak may yet emerge the victor in this drama.

It began on Saturday, when Mubarak tasked his new vice president, Omar Suleiman, to invite the "old guard" political parties for a meeting. This included the secular Wafd party, the Leftist Tagammu, and the Arab nationalist Nasserite party. After meeting with the vice president, the parties agreed to a plan in which Mubarak's government would initiate a process of political reform. Predictably, the grass roots of these parties who remain skeptical of Mubarak were furious. Indeed, they view any change from this regime as cosmetic only, and demand nothing short of Mubarak's departure.

Thus, in one bold stroke, Mubarak divided Egypt's traditional parties among themselves.

The next day, Mubarak was at it again. Suleiman held another meeting, this time with the Muslim Brotherhood, civil society groups, some protest leaders, and others. But the group was not representative. The famous political reformer Ayman Nour was not invited, and Osama Ghazali Harb of the Democratic Front Party refused to attend. More importantly, the regime invited former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's National Association for Change, but blocked ElBaradei, himself, from attending.

The opposition, without its top leaders, was again divided. But unlike the traditional parties, the opposition groups balked at the regime's proposals. However, they also did not agree among themselves about the role of the Mubarak regime in the reform process.

Score again for autocrat.

Capitalizing on the confusion, Mubarak issued a presidential decree on Monday, announcing that his regime was set to enact the reforms he has been promising since this crisis began. He gave the impression that he was doing so with the blessing of the opposition.

Predictably, the protestors in Cairo were furious. The decree, along with the recent release of Google executive Wael Ghonim, has re-energized the masses. Protests of increased intensity and volume are now expected in the days to come. So, although Mubarak has gained leverage, the tide may turn again.

But Egypt's opposition lacks support from Washington. To say that the White House does not have a cohesive Egypt policy is an understatement. After initial silence, followed by calls for Mubarak's swift removal, the Obama Administration now appears to be leaning toward a more gradual transition that Mubarak may lead.

Thus, Mubarak has battled back from what appeared to be a certain demise just two weeks ago. He has done so with the cynicism of a 30-year dictator. But he has also done so with the help of U.S. leadership that can't seem to settle on a way forward.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former intelligence analyst at the U.S. Treasury, is vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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SIR NICHOLAS WINTON TURNS 101
Posted by International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, February 10, 2011.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation celebrates the life of a savior

 

click here to watch video on the full story about Sir Nicholas Winton.  

Sir Nicholas Winton´s deeds

In December 1938, 29-year-old Winton was packing for a skiing holiday in Switzerland when his would-be holiday companion told him to come urgently to Czechoslovakia instead. Adolf Hitler's forces had occupied the country's Sudetenland, and Winton was appalled to see the conditions in which the refugees were living. In other parts of central Europe, "kindertransporten" were already evacuating children, but Czechoslovakia had no such programme.

Winton immediately started raising money and organising trains to save the children, and on his return to Britain began finding homes and organising visas for them, all while holding down his day job in London. Word of Winton's audacious plan quickly spread throughout Prague. When he returned to the Czech capital and set up office in his hotel room on Wenceslas Square, long queues soon formed outside of parents who would plead with him to take their children to Britain.

"Those parents were desperate — it was heartbreaking to listen to their stories," Winton, now Sir Nicholas Winton, recalled in a 2007 interview. "They knew all too well what their fate was likely to be. Their first thought was for the little ones. Never themselves. Practically all those parents perished in the camps."

Between March and August 1939, eight Winton trains carried 669 children — most of them Jewish — to safety in Britain. Seventy years on, as the steam train whistled its impending departure, they recalled parents telling them that they were just going on a short holiday, the excitement of the older children and the bewilderment of the younger ones. They remembered their strange first impressions of Britain, spitting out a first sip of milky tea and their wonder at white sliced bread.

"Our parents put a brave face on things, and of course they didn't know that they wouldn't see their children again," said Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, who was sent to a family in Lancashire and still lives in Preston. "It is very unreal and very emotional to be here today. It's like a film set," she said, as Czech government ministers prepared to unveil a statue to Sir Nicholas.

The former evacuees also remembered how a ninth train had been due to leave Prague on 1 September 1939 and how, after war broke out, the Nazis stopped it leaving the city. Most of the 250 children on board were never seen again. "My brother was supposed to be on that train. He and my parents were all killed," said Eve Leadbeater, who lives in Nottingham, where she was taken in by a teacher at the age of eight. "Being in Prague again brings a whole mix of emotions: sadness at what happened and joy at being alive. What Nicholas Winton did was a great example of what one man with compassion and determination can do."

The scale of Sir Nicholas's achievements is almost matched by his reticence to discuss them. "I was never really in danger," he has said. "I simply saw a need and I filled it. I wasn't anyone special. I just saw what was going on and did what I could to help."

He did not even tell his wife about his exploits until the late 1980s, when she found a scrapbook of clippings in the attic of their home in Maidenhead. The scrapbook was passed to a Jewish historian and, before long, he was being introduced to some of the people he had saved, on Esther Rantzen's That's Life.

Having previously been awarded only the Freedom of Maidenhead, Winton was now described as "Britain's Oscar Schindler" and the "Pied Piper of Prague" and he was knighted in 2003. Four years later, the Czech Republic gave him its highest honour and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

After unveiling a statue of Winton with two children at Prague station, Barbara Winton said that her father was still an uncompromising man of action — even at 100 years old. "What he did 70 years ago is totally in keeping with how he is now. He believes that, if something needs to be done, you must do it. Looking back doesn't get people anywhere. But if this event makes people more aware of what we should be doing now, then he will see it as a good thing."

International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation postal stamp

Sir Nicholas Winton's letter addressed to the Wallenberg Foundation

Visit www.raoulwallenberg.net. This article is archived at
http://newsmaker2009.com.ar/modulos/ver_online.php?c= 47214bbbf8806b9ff4ae35a2b4630df3&n=27&id=135&d= 28a8585d8a77fc1bfedfa8d14a52b54f&e= d86b85d82f8690c965ebcda6f3766f37&op=1

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THE MUBARAK YOU DID NOT KNOW FROM A WITNESS TO HISTORY
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, February 10, 2011.

Mubarak vs. the Muslim Brotherhood This was written February 7, 2011 by Arnaud De Borchgrave, UPI Editor at Large at The Washington Times.

 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) — President Hosni Mubarak has been at the top or near the top of the Egyptian pyramid since 1975 when he was appointed vice president by his friend and mentor President Anwar Sadat.

A fighter pilot, he was trained at the Soviet air force academy at Bishkek, then Soviet Kyrgyzstan. And as chief of staff of the Egyptian air force in 1971, he bluffed his Soviet air force advisers into a humiliating defeat.

It was during the 1969-1971 War of Attrition that followed Egypt's total defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. The three major Egyptian cities along the canal — Suez, Ismailia and Port Said — had been leveled by Israeli bombs. Some 18,000 Soviets military advisers were in Egypt, courtesy of Gamal Abdel Nasser. They had installed batteries of SAM-2 anti-aircraft missiles to cover the 103-mile length of the Suez Canal, against Israeli air attacks.

As chief of staff of the Egyptian air force, Mubarak's Soviet advisers informed him they had detected a gap in the Israeli radar screen around the Sinai Peninsula, which was occupied by Israel. They told him this was a golden opportunity to fly through the gap and drop a few bombs on Israeli-occupied Sharm el-Sheik as a morale-booster for a dispirited Egyptian population.

A skeptical Mubarak declined the invitation.

Five Soviet pilots climbed into Egypt's MIG-21s and were ordered through the radar gap to bomb Sharm el-Sheik. Israeli fighters were waiting for them. Four of the Russian-piloted Egyptian aircraft were shot down. One skedaddled back to base. A Russian general was recalled to Moscow.

The Mubarak legend was established. He was promoted to deputy minister of war and, following the Yom Kippur War, he went up another rung to air chief marshal. Sadat had found a successor.

This reporter interviewed Mubarak a dozen times over 30 years. Perhaps the wisest piece of advice came in a lengthy conversation in Sharm el-Sheik, less than a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that caught me in the region.

"I know you are going to retaliate massively but there is one thing you must not do," he said. "Do not send American troops to fight a new war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Such an operation must be conducted by Muslim troops alone." If U.S. troops and other NATO contingents are dispatched, he added, America will find itself cast as the villain in a war against Islam, "which is precisely what Taliban wants."

So what would he suggest? I asked. "Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan troops, for example," he said. "And don't forget the Pakistanis. They had a lot to do with standing up the Taliban after the Soviets pulled out following 10 years of failed operations."

Mubarak contributed two Egyptian divisions to the liberation of Kuwait in the first Gulf War (1990-91). He is now paying the price for having been a close ally of the United States, a phenomenon that has achieved cliche status. He was sitting next to Sadat when Islamist extremists in the army riddled him with bullets, assassinated for signing a peace treaty with Israel.

Between the first and second world wars, Egypt hovered between faux colonialism and faux democracy, between bad and worse. It has only known six years of real democracy (1946-52) in its 5,000-year history. Much has been written about revolutions occurring because the masses are poor and their conditions beyond tolerable. Egypt has to produce 1 million new jobs a year to keep up with population growth and more than half of its 83 million people eke out an existence on $2 a day.

The million-strong anti-Mubarak demonstration in Cairo's Liberation Square was a bread-and-circuses affair that demanded blood — Mubarak's. Lame duck president, dead man walking, said would-be President Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who could see himself as an interim successor. Mubarak pledged he wouldn't be running for president again in the fall, which was his intention all along, as he maneuvered to get his 48-year-old son Gamal into the job. Now both are out with no redeeming features.

With the Gamal ploy now squelched by Twitter, Facebook, al-Jazeera's platoon of strategically placed correspondents openly siding with the million-plus demonstrators, Mubarak was backed into an electronic corner.

The conscript army is Egypt's most respected — and popular — institution. It moved in after the police, unable to cope, was overwhelmed. Inmates from four Cairo prisons escaped in the confusion. Vandalized stores, houses and apartments followed. The army's tanks and armored personnel carriers — all U.S. supplied with an annual $1.2 billion in U.S. defense aid as compensation for the 1978 Camp David accords that established normal diplomatic relations with Israel — kept huge crowds from spinning out of control.

The main concern in the White House, State Department, Pentagon and governments throughout the Arab and Muslim world is the notorious Muslim Brotherhood. It stands for Islamic Shariah law and is close to the Iran-funded Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.

On Jan. 26, 1952, the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorists torched some 300 buildings, including the old Shepherds (where this reporter had arrived the day before), and many luxury stores in Cairo. This led to martial law — and six months later to a bloodless army coup that ended the monarchy and brought Nasser to power, where he stayed for the next 18 years.

The Muslim Brotherhood tried and failed to kill Nasser in 1954. During World War II, it sympathized with the Nazis against what it then called the colonial occupation of Egypt. In recent years, officially banned, it has morphed into a regular political party and commands about 20 percent of the popular vote. Its political philosophy is certainly closer to Iran's thuggish theocrats than to what they brand American colonialism. Democracy in today's Egypt is the antithesis of stability.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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DEALS WITH DICTATOR
Posted by John Cohn, February 10, 2011.
 

  Pundits from The New York Times to The Toronto Star have not missed an opportunity to either blame Israel for the turmoil rocking the Middle East, or argue this is more reason for further Israeli concessions.

From the Roman conquest two millennia ago until 1948, there was no Israel. There were also no independent, liberal, democratic Arab states.

Today, even a cursory look at the region, from Iran to North Africa and Sudan, shows a sea of oppression, dictatorships and daily affronts to personal rights, but little democracy.

No concession by Israel can change that.

As for supposed Arab concern for the "Palestinians," that, too, is bogus.

If the Arabs really cared about their Palestinian cousins, they would have dissolved UNRWA generations ago and resettled them in new homes where they could start productive lives, rather than keeping them displaced.

We could only wish there was something Israel could do that would turn the Middle East's dictatorships into tolerant democracies and bring enduring peace.

Unfortunately, facts on the ground suggest otherwise.

As Egypt's current turmoil demonstrates, deals with dictators cannot be counted on to survive the next revolution.

John R. Cohn lives in Philadelphia. Contact him by email at john.r.cohn@gmail.com. This was published today in the Jewish Exponent.
http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/22845/

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CHURCHILL ON ISLAM — 1899
Posted by Albert Wendroff, February 9, 2011.

This is amazing. And even more amazing is that this hasn't been published long before now.

From: Geoff Snoyman

I am sending the short speech from Winston Churchill, delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. It probably sets out the current views of many but expressed in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time; He died on 24 January 1965, at the grand old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.

Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899!

 

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

Source: The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 London )

Contact Albert Wendroff by email at wendroff39@yahoo.com

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RIDING THE TIGER OF JEW HATE
Posted by David Isaac, February 9, 2011.
 

"Notwithstanding all internal feuds, rivalries, even mutual bloodletting, that have always marked inter-Arab relations, notwithstanding differences in nuances and in tactics, the destruction of the Jewish State remains the common ambition of all the Arab states." — Shmuel Katz, ("Mutuality of Interests" (The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 26, 1983)

"At the moment, they [the Israelis] have a peace treaty with Mubarak, but not one with the Egyptian people," said Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei in an interview with Der Spiegel on February 6th.

El-Baradei's point was that Israel would be better off making peace with a democracy than with a dictator, but his seemingly sensible argument is complete hokum, for at least two reasons. First, he glosses over the viciously anti-Semitic nature of the Arab street, which is why, among Arabs, the more democratic the vote, the more anti-Semitic the result. Secondly, he ignores the fact that Israel didn't have a peace treaty with Mubarak either.

While it's true that in a contest between the two evils of Hosni Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood, (likely to emerge as the dominant force in free elections) Mubarak is the lesser evil, the reality is that he ignored virtually all the provisions of the peace treaty with Israel. As early as 1984, five years after the treaty was signed, King Hassan of Morocco reported that Mubarak had told him the treaty was empty of substance since "Cairo had obtained from it what it could," i.e. full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula.

From Israel's perspective the peace treaty with Israel would achieve a transformation of relations between Israel and its most important Arab neighbor. Begin gave up the Abu Rodeis oil fields, with their promise of energy independence, the Sinai settlements (of which Yamit was the most important), which Begin had sworn in the early stage of negotiations that Israel would never relinquish, the Etzion air base, crucial to Israel's defense, and the great spaces of the Sinai desert that allowed Israel to deploy its aircraft — all this to change the nature of relations between the two countries, to establish "normal and friendly relations."

As Rael Jean Isaac noted in "The Real Lessons of Camp David" (Commentary Magazine, Dec. 1993), "To Israel, ending the 'teaching of contempt' was such a central target that it had put the promise 'to abstain from hostile propaganda' into the text of the treaty itself." She notes that some 50 side agreements were signed, all designed to transform attitudes, from cultural and educational exchanges to exchanges of radio and TV programs and cultural and scientific films to joint youth and sport activities.

But Egypt simply ignored the agreements it signed. In "Lessons the Arabs Taught", (The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 1985), Shmuel noted:

[T]he campaign of vilification of Israel had never ceased (a flagrant breach of the treaty), signifying Cairo's intention not to guide the public to thoughts of peace with Israel and rather to perpetuate attitudes of hatred and contempt — precisely as in pre-treaty days.

As Shmuel wrote in "The Meaning of Peace", (The Jerusalem Post, May 6, 1983), it was obvious the Egyptians never had any intention of honoring the treaty.

The only material difference in relations effected by the peace treaty — and the only one that cannot be cancelled by a stroke of the pen — is that whereas before it was signed Sinai was held by Israel, now Sinai is in Egyptian hands.

Egyptians will admit that that indeed is all the peace treaty was intended to achieve.

Mubarak did admit it, and revealed his own anti-Semitic attitudes during an address to Cairo University students in 1991. According to Ephraim Dowek, author of "Israeli-Egyptian Relations: 1980-2000″ (Routledge, 2001), Mubarak, disturbed by criticisms of Egypt's behavior during the Gulf crisis, dispensed with his prepared remarks and instead spoke from the heart in "vernacular Egyptian Arabic".

"Against us stood the most intelligent people on earth — a people that controls the international press, the world economy and world finances. We succeeded in compelling the Jews to do what we wanted; we received all our land back up to the last grain of sand! We have outwitted them, and what have we given them in return? A piece of paper! ... We were shrewder than the shrewdest people on earth! We managed to hamper their steps in every direction. We have established sophisticated machinery to control and limit to the minimum contacts with the Jews. We have proven that making peace with Israel does not entail Jewish domination and that there is no obligation to develop relations with Israel beyond those we desire".

Egyptian anti-Semitism is old and runs deep. Newspapers, books, television shows, religious broadcasts — they all portray the Jew in a maleficent light. In "Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine" (Bantam Books, 1973), Shmuel noted how much of the anti-Semitic writings coming out of the Arab world were assumed to be a "fringe literature". But as he explained:

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This literature consists of hundreds of books published since 1948 in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, in addition to thousands of articles. They range from the vulgar and the primitive to the sophisticated and pseudo-scholarly. Their theme is that the liquidation of Israel is not only a political necessity, but also a moral imperative; that Israel and its people — indeed, the Jewish people as a whole — are by their very nature evil; that it is thus not only desirable, but even permissible, to destroy them. This doctrine has been compounded by a large measure of old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

In comprehensiveness and absence of restraint, the Arab demonology probably goes farther even than the worst excesses by the German Nazis heralding their "final solution" of the Jewish problem.

Almost twenty years ago Rivka Yadlin of Hebrew University's Truman Center documented that only Iran could compete with Egypt as the world center for publication and dissemination of both original and 'classic' anti-Semitic literature. Nor were there any favorable portrayals of Israel in any forum to counter the poison. Nothing has changed since.

Mubarak rode the tiger of "Arab demonology" for decades, motivated, as Shmuel said, by "Cairo's overriding desire to resume its place in the Arab family", and no doubt, by the need to give the frustrated Egyptian populace a foreign object on which to vent their rage.

His strategy seemed to have worked up until three weeks ago.

The tiger has turned and is poised to swallow him. Of the many anti-Semitic images in Tahrir Square, none is so pervasive as that of Mubarak with a Magen David etched into his forehead. He has become the Jew, the ultimate villain, a monster not of his own making, but one which he helped nurture and grow. Mubarak ends his career having himself become an anti-Semitic slur.

It's a fitting end for one who fostered Jew hate and rejected an unparalleled, three-decade opportunity to humanize the Jewish people and bring the Middle East closer to peace.

David Isaac is editor of the Shmuel Katz website: www.shmuelkatz.com. Contact him at david_isaac@shmuelkatz.com

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: POPPIES IN ELA VALLEY
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 9, 2011.
 

"God made the light, I just paint with it. Amen." — Anonymous

HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

My passion for photography motivates me to invest a lot of energy chasing after new pictures. Yet photography can also be a very grounding practice because focused attention is critical to seeing important subtleties, especially in nature. It's hard sometimes to separate from the incessant inner urge to create, but in the process I've learned how light moves, seasons evolve and where to look for a rainbow. I've learned to slow down and smell the roses.

Or the poppies, as presented in this week's photo from the Ela Valley. Although I like to keep my weekly selections in sync with what's happening out in the field, this picture is a few weeks premature. Nevertheless, it is an excellent example of the compositional tool known as the leading line — in this case an "S" curve. The leading line pulls the viewer along a specific path before arriving at the photo's center of interest.

The small grouping of sunlit flowers in the lower left corner catches the viewer's eye and from there it's around the rock and off to the races, spiraling through the light into the depth of the photo. Springtime in Israel is almost upon us, the perfect time of year to wander into the forest in search of another field of dreams.

Technical Data: Nikon D200, 28-105mm zoom at 32mm, f11@1/200 sec., ISO 320.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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ANTI-SEMITISM AND ISRAEL BASHING? MUST BE A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PAPER 9feb11
Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 9, 2011.

Yet another "fact-finding" mission to Gaza (complete with posh hotel stay) results in double-standards for the Jews. Not surprising, considering the communists, socialists, and greens on the committee.

This was written by Stefan Frank and it appeared on Pajamas Media
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ anti-semitism-and-israel-bashing- must-be-a-european-parliament-paper/

Stefan Frank is a Hamburg-based journalist and author of Die Weltvernichtungsmaschine [The Doomsday Machine], a study of the development of financial markets and the origins of the current economic crisis.

 

he European Parliament is much like the General Assembly of the United Nations: it was founded for symbolic rather than for pragmatic reasons; it costs taxpayers a lot of money (what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly); its members "may not understand one another's speech (Genesis 11:7)"; its sessions are remarkably dull (while people around the world risk their lives in the fight for democracy, the European Parliament installs a working group whose task is to figure out ways to make debates "more interesting" in order to "improve attendance"); and it's a well-oiled machine that spits out anti-Israel resolutions on a regular basis. Every few months, a couple of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) travel to Gaza; when they come back, they are shocked, appalled, and dismayed, and send letters of complaints to the Israeli government.

"The delegation was shocked by the ongoing deprivations suffered by the people in Gaza," they wrote the last time. Not like home at all, huh? What went wrong? According to the travel program, the last delegation was accommodated in the Al Deira Hotel. From what can be seen on the hotel's website, it's a really nice one, and according to the guestbook, even Mia Farrow has spent some nights there. (You would certainly not ask her to recommend you a good movie, but as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she can be trusted when it comes to hotels). Was it the food? That's unlikely:

Al Deira's restaurant and Sea Terrace is one of Gaza's treasures, where locals and hotel guests can relax in a unique, elegant environment against a backdrop of blue sky and sparking sea. At night the twinkling lights of fishing boats spread like a pearl necklace along the horizon. Al Deira's kitchen offers an excellent variety of local and Mediterranean dishes, specializing in fresh seafood prepared by expert chefs, presented with style. In the cool shade of large white umbrellas our visitors can enjoy a full meal, dishes prepared a la carte, or simply one of our divine fresh fruit juices.

Al Deira is a top-notch location, but the true reason why Gaza is called the new dining hotspot is the famous Roots Club. The European delegation went there, too. Did they agree with "Ahmed," who wrote in the guestbook: "Very glad to see things in Gaza are not as bad as they say on TV"? No. While enjoying the Roots Club's "diverse and approachable cuisine of superb meats, pasta and seafood," the MEPs couldn't help but notice that "schools are still denied building material."

And that's not even the truth: The Israeli government allows the transfer of building materials, but only if they're used for the construction of Olympic-sized swimming pools. Obviously, the Zionists want to turn the Gaza strip into the world's biggest aquatic center. At the same time they prohibit the transfer of golf balls, and thus breed discord between Gaza's swimmers and golfers. What a cynical game.

750,000 people continue to need food aid from UNRWA.

Maybe the Roots Club should ponder the expansion in its key market?

300,000 of them are in abject poverty.

If true, that would amount to 20 percent, just like in Egypt (where no UN-sponsored agency provides free food).

What the European MPs are basically asking Israel to do is to erect a Scandinavian welfare state in Gaza. They spent a lot of taxpayer money for a vacation in a luxury resort (one night in Al Deira costs 150 dollars; use of business facilities and wireless internet connection are charged extra), only to publish another anti-Israel statement that they could have written before they even left. But should we jump to conclusions and call them a bunch of hateful, misanthropic, hypocrite pricks?

Yes, exactly. The stated purpose of the visit:

To meet with the elected representatives of all political parties in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in order to assess the living conditions in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well to discuss the issue of reconciliation.

In other words, they shook hands with Hamas terrorists, supported their PR efforts to demonize Israel, and mediated between rival terrorist groups in order to help them to focus on the common enemy. Who are these not-so-innocent innocents abroad? They belong to the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC), which was founded right after the first elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996. When Hamas won the elections in 2006, the DPLC had to decide whether to either dissolve itself or to turn into a Delegation for relations with Hamas. It chose the latter. The DPLC embraced its new brother in arms, and called upon the world to support the "union government."

The DPLC is chaired by the Irish socialist Proinsias De Rossa (who also served the group as Gaza travel guide). When he was young and immature, he had to spend some time in jail because of his involvement in IRA terrorism. Fortunately, he grew up and understood that "the whole business of armed struggle and trying to force people in Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic was utter nonsense." Today he is a respected member of the European Parliament, supports Hamas, praises Bashar Assad's Syria for its "freedoms of varying degrees," and calls for a "boycott of all Israeli goods and services, similar to that imposed on apartheid South Africa."

The DPLC has 22 members and 20 substitutes. Interesting: Although 196 MEPs from Eastern European countries are sitting in the European Parliament, all the members of the DPLC come from the west. Not all of them are crazed Israel haters, but most of them are — especially the chairman De Rossa, of course, and his vice, the Cypriot communist Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, whose biggest desire is to welcome Hamas terrorists in the EU headquarters.

How are the cards distributed between Israel's friends in the European Parliament and its foes? "The problem is the socialist group which is 95 percent anti-Israel," says Tomas Sandell, the founding director of European Coalition for Israel:

The Communists are 100 percent anti-Israel, and the Greens are just as bad. The Liberal group has only a few friends of Israel. The real friends are spread among the Christian democrats and the other right of center groups. Many MEPs are somewhere in the middle but easily manipulated over to the wrong side by media disinformation when it comes to the vote.

Hence, the institutions of the European Union have become a huge playground that offers Israel-haters a variety of toys to sate their palestinophile desires: They can ensure funding of anti-Semitic schoolbooks, anti-Israel NGOs and terror groups, and of course rant against Israel on a monthly basis. Every time a European delegation visits the country, it is awash with politicians who follow an anti-Israel agenda. This leads to the bizarre result that moderate politicians stay away from such activities, thus leaving the field to the loonies. "It looks like an anti-Israeli propaganda mission," Italian MEP Gabriele Albertini, the head of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, said last year when explaining the reason for quitting an official trip to Israel. "Out of the 25 deputies who are to take part in the mission, there are fewer colleagues than the fingers on one hand whom you could define as pro-Israeli, or even neutral," he criticized.

Focused anti-Israel networking was also crucial in gathering support for the European Parliament's backing of the Goldstone Report, a decision that Hamas celebrated as a major PR victory. Says De Rossa:

It is important that we operate within the European Parliament itself. ... In the recent debate on the Goldstone Report we quite successfully ensured that there was a majority in the Parliament for it.

Shortly thereafter, they rode another attack against the sovereignty of the Jewish state. On September 8, the European Parliament held a long debate about whether Israel should be allowed to increase transparency in its NGO sector (the relevance of this issue was highlighted last month when it was reported that the Dutch government unknowingly subsidizes the anti-Semitic website "Electronic Intifada"). When the European Parliament's anti-Israel majority learned that their agencies disguised as "human rights" NGOs had to disclose who is funding them, it was immediately up in arms (here is the protocol of the debate).

NGOs dedicated to "bona fide human rights work" were "being intimidated and harassed," it was said. Israel was compared with countries like Burma, Tunisia, and Rwanda; De Rossa called the bill "draconian and unbalanced" and warned that it "will have a bearing on our relationship." The German deputy Franziska Brantner (Green Party) even suspected that "a lot of people in Israel" do "not necessarily like democracy or human rights."

According to Gerald Steinberg, head of the Israeli not-for-profit organization NGO Monitor, "the whole debate was based on an earlier text of the draft bill and proposed amendments, as were many of the comments that were made by MEPs." So they deliberately "chose to hold a debate based on an irrelevant early draft of the bill instead of turning directly to their political counterparts in the Knesset," Steinberg told PJM. He added: "This discussion illustrates the wider political and ideological context of the EU-Israel relationship and the problems found therein."

How right he is. The most applause went to the British Liberal Democrat Chris Davies, clearly one of the most anti-Semitic deputies in the European Parliament: Davies likes to call Israel a "thief" who "has his hands in the open desk and is stealing the contents"; "Europe's governments should slam down the desk lid and crush the thief's fingers," he demands. In 2006, he had to resign as the party's leader in Europe after he had insulted a Jewish constituent. Here's what he had to say in the chamber:

Mr. President, I refer to the letter from the Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Curiel, to the chair of our Human Rights Subcommittee ... my eyes turned to one of the last paragraphs of his letter, where he expressed his resentment to any comparison being made between pluralistic Israeli civil society and some other countries. He uses these words: "Embarking on such a wrong path may lead us all to dwell on Europe's own credentials past and present." If that is not a reference to the Holocaust, I do not know what is.

If that were indeed true, the ambassador wouldn't have said "past and present," but Davies needs this weird interpretation for the sake of his argument:

The implications are clear: you Europeans do not have the right to criticise Israel because of your past. You have blood on your hands. I was not responsible for the actions of the Nazis. ... I resent the idea that we have to turn a blind eye to Israel's appalling behavior. ... I resent the idea that we should be forced not to ask why a people which suffered so much in previous centuries should now inflict such suffering upon the Palestinian people today.

Let's see what we have here: The straw-man argument that it's forbidden to criticize Israel (suggesting the existence of a Zionist conspiracy that censors opinions); the perception that the Holocaust served educational purposes (known as "the Jews should know better" argument — one of Davies' favorites); and the claim that Jews exploit the Holocaust for political goals. If that's not classical anti-Semitism, I don't know what it is.

What about his colleagues? One of the defining characteristics of anti-Semitism is the double-standard judgment. So I made a test: What do the thirteen MEPs who criticized Israel for its NGO draft think about the situation in Venezuela, a country where NGOs have been completely barred from outside funding, and where the outgoing National Assembly has given Chavez dictatorial powers?

Are the MEPs who compare Israel with Third World dictatorships as concerned about the recent developments in Venezuela? That's what I asked them. Only one of them, the Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Pöttering, answered that he is indeed concerned. Nine MEPs didn't answer at all. Two declared themselves not competent. The secretary of Ulrike Lunacek (Green party/Austria) writes: "Unfortunately, Mrs. Lunacek cannot provide information. As Rapporteur for Kosovo, her work is focused on the Western Balkans."

These politicians in Brussels are really something. They can run sneering attacks against Israel, but when you ask them whether they are concerned about the dictatorship of Hugo Chávez, they can't tell. It's too difficult a question.

Versatile people like Mrs. Lunacek, who can give advice to Israeli lawmakers on how to write their laws, suddenly turn into one-trick ponies that know only Kosovo. It's obvious: They are not in the democracy business, they are just in the anti-Israel business.

At least Chris Davies gave me an answer — and he really takes the biscuit. It seems that he has finally understood what the Israeli ambassador was trying to tell him. Mr. Davies writes:

Hungary has introduced media laws which restrict the freedom of the press. Italy has a press largely owned by the prime minister. Corruption in Bulgaria and Romania is endemic. I could go on. Just at present I don't think the European Union is in a good state to preach about values to other nations until it can find a way of ensuring that its own member states respect those values.

He hit the bird right between the eyes: Europe should not preach about values to others. Isn't that exactly what the Israeli ambassador supposedly tried to tell him? I should forward Davies' response to Mr. Curiel. Maybe it could prove useful to him when Chris Davies and his pals start preaching again.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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MK ORLEV: EDUCATION FOR ADULTS AND YOUTH ARE KEY TO JEWISH STATE
Posted by Arutz, Sheva, February 9, 2011.

This was written by David Lev, and appeared today in Arutz Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com)

 

The existence of the Jewish nation is the only justification for the existence of a Jewish state, says MK Zevulun Orlev, and unfortunately, there is a plague of Jewish ignorance raging in Israel.

"There are too many people who don't know the first thing about Jewish culture, religion, language, and thought — and we in the Knesset must do something about it," said Orlev, Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

That's why he sponsored "Jewish Identity Day" in the Knesset, in which many of the Knesset committee meetings discussed issues relating to Jewish identity, assimilation, intermarriage, and Jewish education. The event on Tuesday culminated in a Knesset session dedicated specifically to the issue, in which Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced that an expert on Jewish law would be added to the Knesset's legal advisory staff, to ensure that the Jewish perspective is considered when legislation is discussed.

The event was first proposed by the Tzohar rabbinic organization, a group that encourages the integration of Judaism into Israeli national life from a national religious perspective. In a statement before the event, Tzohar Rabbi Uriel Genzel said that the event was important "in order to fulfill the declaration of David Ben-Gurion of a a Jewish state in the Land of Israel."

Among the many issues raised in the plenum and committee discussions were the relationship of Judaism to democracy, practical steps the state could take to encourage Jewish identity, educational programs to prevent assimilation, and "hard" issues such as intermarriage of Jewish girls with Arabs. There was even musical entertainment with a Jewish bent, courtesy of Koby Oz of the "Teapacks" music group.

On the issue of intermarriage, for example, MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), chairperson of the Knesset's Women's Advancement Committee, said that "only intense education will prevent Jewish women from connecting as life partners with non-Jews. In the battle against assimilation we hear about the major stories, such as Jewish women marrying Muslim men, but we must remember that the issue is much wider — that there are 92,000 assimilated families living in Israel. We must set up a program in the schools that will teach young women about Judaism. The fact that there is assimilation shows that the educational system is lacking."

Orlev told Israel National News that he was satisfied with the outcome of the event. "The competing roles of religion and democracy in the Jewish, democratic state are issues that must be discussed and understood," Orlev said. "Unfortunately many people know more about democracy than about Judaism, and as a result, the Jewish aspect of legislation tends to get set aside. Our aim is to increase knowledge of Judaism in order to ensure that both sides get the credit they deserve."

Education, beginning from the elementary level, is of course an important way to promote Jewish knowledge. But it takes many years for a young generation to grow up and take the reins of leadership; and there is a great need now to increase the Jewish content of the state. As a result, says Orlev, new legislation will be introduced, by his party and others, to increase government funding of projects that increase Jewish knowledge and identity — including increased funding of community "batei medrash" (houses of learning), adult education programs, identity seminars, and cultural productions, such as plays, music, and television programs.

That kind of "adult education" is crucial if the state wants to adopt more Jewish values. "I know that many Knesset Members have very specific ideas about the role of Judaism in a democratic state — and that role is very minor — but I believe much of that comes from ignorance," according to Orlev. "Many MKs really know very little about their heritage, and their political stances are blurred by this ignorance, and the more they know, the more I believe they will take into account the Jewish perspective." That education will also help MKs clarify issues on Jewish law, and even halachic issues, that come up in the Knesset, Orlev added.

"I was very happy to work with Tzohar on this, because they have a deep understanding of how to integrate democratic rule with Torah law, and what a successful balance looks like," Orlev said. "I see this whole effort as one of the most important that a Jewish state can engage in. We cannot reach a situation where ignorance is allowed to rule the day."

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LAWLESSNESS SPREADS AS HAMAS TRANSFERS AL QAEDA CELLS
Posted by UCI, February 8, 2011.
 

Intelligence updates reaching Israel reveal that Hamas plans to follow up its attack on the Egyptian-Israel-Jordanian gas pipeline Saturday, Feb. 5, with more large-scale operations against Israel, using Egyptian Sinai as its launching-pad.

Israel's Egyptian border patrols are undermanned, under-equipped

Since the uprising began in Egypt two weeks ago, more than 1,000 Hamas gunmen have infiltrated North Sinai from the Gaza Strip and seized control of the region. They were followed by Al-Qaeda cells which redeployed from Iraq in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has established a command center in North Sinai for coordinating its operations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.

Israeli officers serving in this border sector told debkafile's military sources that the situation there was getting dangerously out of control: Hamas was giving free rein to lawless elements — not only Bedouin smugglers but other international networks, some working hand in glove with Somali pirates to smuggle into Israel armed criminal gangs posing as asylum and job seekers, prostitutes and vast quantities of drugs.

Those sources believe that Hamas and al Qaeda terrorists are sneaking into Israel from Sinai under cover of the swelling illegal traffic.

Hamas' attack on the gas pipe near El Arish which cut supplies to Israel and Jordan proves to have been its opening shot. The investigation found that two separate Hamas teams, reaching their target in four new minivans, had conducted not one but two explosions — one hit the Sheikh Zuweid station and the second blew up a one-kilometer long section of the pipe. The Egyptians have not yet started repairs.

Sunday, Feb. 6, Egyptian soldiers caught another team of five armed men on their way to blow up the pipeline's southern section to keep it inactive for a lengthy period. Three were Palestinian Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip and two Bedouin hired as accomplices.

Monday, Feb. 7, a second armed attack on the Egyptian police station in El Arish turned out to have been carried out by an Al Qaeda-linked cell from the Gaza Strip.

debkafile's military sources report that Hamas and Mumtaz Durmush, head of Jaish al-Islam (The Army of Islam) which is linked to Al Qaeda, have struck a deal for Hamas to transfer the Islamists to Sinai and provide them with the weapons and explosives for attacking Israeli patrols along the Egyptian border and Egyptian security forces posted there.

Not only are those jihadist cells ranged on Israel's southern doorstep but it is only a matter of time before they walk through the door along with the Palestinian fundamentalists of Hamas, security sources ward.

Moving them south has given Hamas two benefits: the Jaish al-Islam hard core which challenged its rule of the Gaza Strip has been transferred outside the enclave and secondly, the Palestinian group has help for its attacks on Israel.

It is now confirmed that the 22 Hizballah terrorists, whose escape from a Cairo jail last week was organized by Hamas, were escorted to the Gaza Strip by a heavily-armed Hamas guard which Egyptian forces failed to intercept.

The breakout also released Muslim Brotherhood activists. For Lebanese Shiite group, its chief objective was the release of Sami Shehab, one of Hizballah's top operational commanders. His outfit has joined the Hamas-led front taking shape for a concerted terrorist campaign against.

A senior security source reported that the Egyptian strength, though reinforced by the two battalions of 800 soldiers which Israel permitted to enter the peninsula, is totally inadequate for extending control in all parts of the peninsula. Most of that strength has been deployed in Sharm el-Sheikh and along the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, leaving the Gaza Strip and the border with Israel at the mercy of terrorists and smugglers.

Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the outgoing Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, commented on the turmoil in Egypt Monday, Feb. 7, neither referred to the dangerously out-of-control situation in Sinai nor did they mention the urgent need to address the threat to Israel's southern border.

Netanyahu recalled the 2009 demonstrations in Iran where, he said, unlike in Egypt, "there were no talks, the people were simply killed on the streets."

Gen. Ashkenazi spoke of the rise of radical strength in the region. He admitted that the IDF was taken by surprise by the uprising in Egypt but, he said, no intelligence service has a crystal ball.

debkafile's military sources note that no one needs a crystal ball to see the terror and lawlessness closing in on Israel from its border with Sinai. It is not 1,200 kilometers away like Iran, but already present under the noses of those speakers.

UCI — The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) — 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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JORDAN TRIBES THREATEN REVOLUTION OVER COUNTRY'S PALESTINIAN QUEEN RANIA
Posted by Daily Alert, February 9, 2011.

This comes from Reuters via Haaretz.

Hard-line nationalist East Bankers take issue with both Queen Rania's Palestinian background and her highly visible role in the country's male-dominated society.

 

Jordanian tribal figures have issued a petition urging King Abdullah to end his Palestinian wife's role in politics, in a new challenge to the monarch grappling with fallout from uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Evoking comparisons with the wives of Tunisia's former strongman Zine al Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, the signatories attacked Queen Rania's Palestinian origin and accused her of using state funds to promote her image abroad without concern for the hardship of ordinary Jordanians.

The 36 figures are drawn from conservative East Bank tribes who form the backbone of the Hashemite monarchy's support — as opposed to Jordanians of Palestinian, or West Bank, origin who are the majority of the country's 7 million population.

"She is building power centers for her interest that go against what Jordanians and Hashemites have agreed on in governing and is a danger to the nation and the structure of the state and the political structure and the institution of the throne," the petition said.

"Disregard for the content of the statement will throw us into what happened in Tunis and Egypt and what will happen in other Arab countries," it added.

The unusually blunt statement reflects the deep rift between nationalist East Bank Jordanians and the majority Palestinian population, rather than a direct challenge to Abdullah's rule.

But it keeps up pressure on the monarch who responded to anti-government protests last week by dismissing the cabinet and appointing former army officer Marouf Bakhit as prime minister.

The move, which followed a 500 million dollar package of state aid to raise civil service salaries and curb price rises, aimed to address East Bankers' alarm over economic liberalization by the previous government which threatened their state benefits.

Publicly attacking royal figures is taboo in Jordan under tough sedition that limits discussion of Jordan's royal family.

But the signatories, drawn from within the ruling hierarchy's chief tribal groups such as the Bani Sakhr, Abadi, Shobaki and Manaseer, said their concern for the country and throne had prompted them to speak out.

The signatories said the legitimacy of Jordan's Hashemite monarchy, which claims descent from Islam's Prophet Mohammad, depended on the consent of the East Bank tribes.

Mindful of the status of the monarch, Faris al-Fayez, who helped draft the petition, told Reuters the statement emphasized that aside from the monarch there should be no "legal immunity for any corrupt person regardless of his title."

Hard-line nationalist East Bankers have taken issue with both Queen Rania's Palestinian background and her highly visible role in the country's male-dominated society.

The queen, who meets top Western delegations alongside her husband, is an articulate advocate of Jordanian women's rights, including the right of women to pass on their citizenship to their children if they marry foreigners, a right which is absent in most of the Arab world.

By supporting a law that could naturalize more Palestinians, the queen has raised fears in Jordan's ruling hierarchy that the demographic balance could tilt further in favor of Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

They also argue that empowering Jordanians of Palestinian origin before a Palestinian state is created will give Israel a pretext to keep denying any Palestinian right of return and solve the issue at Jordan's expense.

The petition is the most sweeping personal attack on the 40-year-old queen since East Bank fans at a high profile soccer match chanted slogans denigrating her Palestinian background and even urging the monarch to divorce her.

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 daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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TORTURED EGYPTIAN ESCAPED TO ISRAEL ON A JET SKI, THEN OBTAINED ASYLUM IN CANADA
Posted by Israel Behind the News, February 8, 2011.
 

Rev. Majed El Shafie: Opposes the West backing El-Baradei to replace Mubarak as Muslim Brotherhood will Come to Power on His Coat-Tails

There aren't too many people who, after being tortured and condemned to death in Egypt, have managed to escape to Israel by driving a jet-ski from Taba in the Sinai to Eilat. But Rev. Majed El Shafie, who has since obtained political asylum in Canada and now lives in Toronto did just that.

Rev. El-Shafie, who is the President and founder of One Free World International, El. Shafie Ministries (OFWI),is following the current upheaval in Egypt very closely. His organization, which monitors violations in Egypt and other Arab states against the Christian minority, has people in Egypt who are updating him on the situation on the ground.

According to El Shafie who was interviewed on February 3 by the Winnipeg Jewish Review "The Muslim Brotherhood has used the demonstrations in Egypt to advance its agenda.They are going street to street, door to door asking people to go out to demonstrate...They want a hand in the new government. They are being more aggressive, more active, are coming out in full power..."

El Shafie, 34, was born a Muslim in Cairo to a distinguished Muslim family of lawyers and judges. He was exposed at an early age to hatred toward the Christian minority in Egypt through a Christian friend. He decided to convert to Christianity, wrote a book about it and as a result became an outcast and a victim of oppression.

He began a mission to bring the Christian community in Egypt all of the same legal rights as the Moslem community in Egypt. After beginning a ministry which built two churches, a bible school and medical clinic, he established a newspaper to request from the Egyptian government equal rights for the Christian community. The Egyptian government did not tolerate this and El Shafie was arrested in 1998 and taken to the torture section of the Abu Zaabel prison in Cairo.

"I was jailed at Abo Zaabl jail and tortured for seven days and then put under house arrest for three months...After receiving the death penalty, I escaped from house arrest and hid with a Beduin family for two months in Sinai. Then I went to the Hilton hotel in Taba, [near the border with Israel] and I stole a jet-ski and landed in front of the Princess Hotel in Eilat in Israel...It was about a three minute ride on the jet-ski." he said.

But when he got to Eilat, Rev. El-Shafie was imprisoned again, this time by Israeli authorities because the Israeli government did not know what to do in his circumstance. Legally he could not stay in Israel, but if they sent him back to Egypt, he would be executed.

"I was in Israeli prison in Israel because under the peace treaty with Egypt, they couldn't take me in," he said.

When asked how long he was in Israeli prison he answered, "one year, three months, 15 days, 12 hours and 24 minutes.When you are in prison you count every minute."

Rev. El Shafie was eventually released through the assistance of the UN, Amnesty International and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, which managed to obtain political asylum for him in Canada, where he emigrated and became a citizen in 2006. El Shafie, who founded OFWI in 2004, said he believes that Mubarak should leave now but he cautioned that the United States should NOT support Mohamed El-Baradei's attempt to become the leader to replace Mubarak as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will "ride to power on his coat tails."

He said "I am concerned that under current circumstances Mubarak's abrupt departure will create a political vacuum which will be filled by Islamic extremists. The West appears to be embracing Mohamed El Baradei, a former head of the UN nuclear inspection agency, as a replacement for Mubarak. This is of serious concern as El Baradei, in addition to betraying heavy anti-Israel sentiment through his actions at the UN agency, is reportedly communicating with the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamic extremist movement, in order to actively involve the Brotherhood in the future political landscape of Egypt."

Rev. El Shafie noted that Time Magazine quotes El Baradei as saying "The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with the Iranian movement, has nothing to do with extremism as we have seen it in Afghanistan and other places." According to Time, El Baradei intends to include the Muslim Brotherhood, "an integral part of Egyptian society," in the political process and has called the Brotherhood "a conservative group that favors secular democracy and human rights" [emphasis added]. El Baradei also told Fareed Zakaria the following: "I have been reaching out to them (the Moslem Brotherhood) We need to include them." Many Western news outlets have adopted the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood is a conservative, non-violent movement.

Rev. El Shafie counters:

"Nothing could be further from the truth. While it officially renounces violence, the Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological parent of terrorist movements such as Hamas and Al-Qaida. Members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are behind daily forced conversion attempts, violent attacks, and torture against Egyptian Christians. The Brotherhood cooperates with Hamas in Gaza and leaders are determined to launch war against Israel. This is a very serious matter and we cannot, under any circumstances, allow the Muslim Brotherhood to increase its influence in Egypt. To do so would be to condemn the Egyptian people, from Christians and other religious minorities to moderate and secular Muslims, to a regime of oppression and religious tyranny that will make Mubarak's repressive regime seem like a beacon of freedom."

He believes that if the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power they "will say at the outset that they respect the treaty with Israel, but then shortly afterwards they will say they want to reform the agreement."

They will not keep the peace with Israel. [Note: A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood said it won't commit to maintaining a peace treaty with Israel or even recognition of Israel on CNN television
(http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/ Article.aspx?id=206725.) Also, Rashad al-Bayoumi, a deputy leader of the Brotherhood said on Japan's NHTV "After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel."
(http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/ 2011/feb/3/muslim-brotherhood-seeks-end- to-israel-treaty/) ]

Rev. El-Shafie is of the view that "Even if Mubarak were to leave today, Obama still needs to work with Omar Suleiman, the new Vice-President [appointed by Mubarak] as democracy can't occur tomorrow. The regime needs to be supported until Suleiman can reform the constitution and educate the people, and allow freedom of the media, freedom of speech and work towards a free election."

When asked how long he felt would be needed before a free election should take place in Egypt, El Shafie answered "Five years from now there should be an election...Democracy in Egypt is an infant-it needs to learn to crawl before it can learn to walk."

Five years is much longer than US senators have called for. The U.S. Senate has called for Mubarak to immediately begin a peaceful transition to an interim government supported by the military and to enact reforms needed to hold free and fair elections this year.
(http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/ u-s-in-talks-with-egypt-about-immediate- mubarak-resignation-1.341193)

Rev. El-Shafie has family in Egypt but "is not-in communication with them since they disowned me after I converted to Christianity." He emphasized that "The people of Egypt have been living 'in darkness' under a dictatorship for 30 years-You can't expect them to adjust to light right away.

"Thirty percent of the population is illiterate-they can't read and write their own name-you can't give them absolute democracy in the beginning because it's easy for them to turn to extremism. The United States [and other countries] should support the new VP Omar Suleiman. We need slow change.

"Democracy as we know it in the West cannot simply be transplanted into Egypt, a country that has never experienced any form of true democracy. Democracy cannot survive where people cannot read their own constitution. It must be taught, nurtured, and brought to maturity so that it can flourish."

Rev. El Shafie explained that the Muslim Brotherhood is popular with the poor illiterate people of Egypt "because they provide the basic food and necessities to them...The Muslim Brotherhood is very wealthy. They own supermarkets in Egypt and they get funds from countries such as Iran and Saudia Arabia."

If there were elections now, Rev. El Shafie says that the Muslim Brotherhood would win because they are "the most organized group."

Rev. El-Shafie is concerned that if democracy is brought to Egypt too quickly, "we will see the same scenario that we saw in Gaza and the West Bank in 2006, where Hamas won the elections," or we risk "repeating the Iranian scenario where pro-democracy forces deposed the shah in 1979 but were quickly overcome by the radical Islamic ayatollahs."

He noted, "When Egypt had elections in 2005, even though they were rigged the Moslem brotherhood won 88 out of 454 seats in the Egyptian parliament. The Moslem Brotherhood really got more than 88 seats but once they got 88 seats the regime shut down the elections completely."

Regarding Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, Rev. El-Shafie said that the peace was not one that was really between people.

"It was a cold peace that the Egyptians entered into to get money from the Americans," he said.

"There is no love lost between Egypt and Israel," he added. He said Mubarak's regime was supporting Hamas under the table through enabling smuggling of weapons from Sinai into Gaza.

There are reasons for Israel to be concerned about developments in Egypt. "There is now a whole well equipped army in Egypt [due to American support Egypt received after entering into the peace agreement with Israel]. It is a built up modernized army that that could in the future "be at war with Israel."

Rev. El Shafie said that unlike Egypt, the Arab Gulf States are stable, even though there is no democracy there "because the people are wealthy." He said that "Saudi Arabia has a higher standard of living than Egypt." In Egypt, due to Mubarak's corrupt regime, Rev. El-Shafie says that "the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer and the middle-class is disappearing. The average Egyptian salary is under $2.00 a day."

[Editor's note: Although Rev. El-Shafie said the US ought to work with Omar Suleiman, a day after he was interviewed it was reported that Suleiman was also inviting the Moslem brotherhood into a national dialogue, something that would have been unthinkable before protests erupted on Jan. 25, indicating the giant strides made by the Moslem Brotherhood.
(http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/ u-s-in-talks-with-egypt-about-immediate-mubarak- resignation-1.341193,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-yn/content/ article/2011/02/03/AR2011020305073.html.

Rev. El-Shafie's response: If it's true that mean's that even the new government (under Suleiman)will be playing with fire by including the Muslim Brotherhood.]

Israel Behind the News (http://Israelbehindthenews.com) is headed by David Bedein and based in Jerusalem. Rhonda Spivak is an attorney, writer, and member of Canadian & Israel Bar Associations. She edits the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

To Go To Top

THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION AS FINAL SOLUTION
Posted by Dov Fischer, February 8, 2011.
 

President Obama's Grand Pyramid Scheme: The Two-State Solution As Final Solution

LEFT: Fatah logo [Note background: map of entire pre-1967 Israel plus "West Bank," Gaza, and Golan]

RIGHT: Hamas logo [Note top center: map of entire pre-1967 Israel plus "West Bank," Gaza, and Golan]


The Two-State Solution is indeed the most immoral suggestion of them all. It is a lie built on a foundation of mendacity. And, with it now having been sanctified in the President's Cairo Speech in Egypt, it can be termed The Grand Pyramid Scheme.

Back in President Barack Obama's America, the laws on the books clearly prohibit people from telling African Americans that, "sorry, you can't live in this neighborhood." Does anyone doubt that Justice Sotomayor would uphold those laws?

The Bigotry of Banning Jews from Living in a Region

Imagine how many American communities over the years could have resolved their racial issues simply by agreeing that Blacks need to be removed completely from "White neighborhoods," and Whites removed from "Black neighborhoods." Maybe James von Brunn would not have gone on a shooting rampage at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum if there were a compromise agreement that Jews may not establish residential communities in or near Washington, D.C. Separate but equal. Quite a concept!

Only, that's a racist concept. Part of America's greatness is that we evolved as a society over two centuries to reject that concept. See, e.g., Brown v. Board of Educ. of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686 (1954), overruling Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537; 16 S. Ct. 1138 (1896). Similarly, we are appalled by the bigotry in the Middle Ages and into the 1940s marked by governments segregating Jews from communities in Germany, Poland, Austria, or Hungary — say, to relocate them into their own ghettoes. And it is equally bigoted today to advocate a public policy that forcibly would segregate Jews from communities in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") or anywhere else in Israel. But that bigotry — what else can it rightly be called? — ironically defines the Obama Administration's Mideast program, now being pushed hard by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and being sold to American Jews in private meetings with the President's Jewish chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. It is a policy aimed at ethnically cleansing Jews out of a region in the world, rendering it Judenrein. And it is a policy whose moral failing further is eroded by the colossal transformation of historical fact into hysterical fiction unfolding before our very eyes.

"Palestine" Is Another Name for Israel, and That Entirety Is the Land that "Palestinian Arabs" Want for Their "Palestine" Country — Not a "West Bank" Without a Name

The "West Bank" is not the west bank of anything. There is no waterway, ocean, sea, or river in Hebron or Tekoah or Karnei Shomron or Ariel. Nor in Shiloh, Maaleh Adumim, Beitar, Shechem, Gush Etzyon, or Beit Lechem (Bethlehem). The nomenclature is fallacious, itself reflecting history's great cover-up: There is no such thing as an "Arab Palestinian Homeland." That land always has been Jewish, except when it was up for grabs like a basketball "jump ball." The Arabs never came down with that ball to put it into play.

There is no "Palestinian people," and the only "Palestine" that ever existed was synonymous with the Jewish homeland that later was renamed "Israel." Rent a copy of the movie "Exodus." Listen dispassionately to the dialogue. Don't take sides. Just listen for definitions. The British, fairly or unfairly, are depicted as the bad guys in the movie, trying to keep the Jews out of "Palestine." Paul Newman is trying to get the Jews into "Palestine." Everyone watching the movie perceives that "Palestine" is a name that refers synonymously with "Israel." Thus, what we seem to have here is a failure to communicate. It could not be simpler: For the past two thousand years, since the Romans renamed the land as they expelled and exiled its Jews, "Israel" always was "Palestine," and "Palestine" always was "Israel."

There never ever was an Arab Palestine entity. Who, after all, ever was its leader? Try to name any leader who ever in history led the sovereign "Palestinian Arab" people of "Arab Palestine." What year was it founded? What was the name of its capital city — any capital city? Where is the drawing or photograph of its seat of government, or the place where its governmental leader lived? What was the name of its currency? Whose face, what slogan was on that currency? When did it fall? In which Olympic Games did it compete? Which issue of Encyclopedia Britannica had an entry for its government? Can anyone answer any one of these questions?

Anyone? Anyone?

Consider it this way: The American city of Palestine, Texas was founded in 1846. It was so named in honor of an early settler there, Daniel Parker, who hailed from Palestine, Illinois. That Palestine was chartered in 1811. It drew its name in 1678 from the French explorer, Jean LaMotte, who looked at the land and named it "Palestine" because it reminded him of the Biblical Promised Land of the Jews, flowing with milk and honey. No one associated "Palestine" with the Arab community, not even in the 1600s. Rather, the name was associated with the Jews and their Biblical Promised Land. The same with Palestine, Arkansas and East Palestine, Ohio.

The "West Bank" is a ridiculous name for a land that has fewer ocean-front properties than Arizona. The "West Bank" of what? Hebron is not on the west bank of the Jordan. Nor is Shechem. Nor Bethlehem. Nor Karnei Shomron, Maaleh Adumim, Ariel, Beit El, Tekoah, nor so many others.

It would sooner make sense to rename New Jersey or Arkansas "the West Bank" (Hudson River, Mississippi River). But those territories have names of their own, reflecting a real history of people who named the land.

The Arabs call that section of Palestine/Israel the "West Bank" because, despite 1500 years' time for Islam to leave its mark on the region and more than two millennia of Mideast word-play, the Arabs have no other name for the land. What country — what people — has no name for its own land? And they cannot bear to call it by the names it always has borne: "Samaria" and "Judea." Not that the Arab world has problems with using other Biblical names — Lebanon, Tyre, Sidon, Damascus, Bethlehem. They just cannot use that one — Yehudah, Shomron — because once they find themselves compelled to justify their terrorism on grounds that "we Palestinians have the eternal right to return to our eternal home, the great Arab country of Yehudah/Judea," the jig is up.

For decades, from its founding in December 1932 until two years after Israel's 1948 sovereignty was established, the Jewish newspaper in Israel for Anglophones was the Palestine Post; it was not re-named "The Jerusalem Post" until 1950. Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s had blue charity boxes on their kitchen counters to raise money for the "Jewish National Fund for Palestine," and the Bergson-Merlin "American League for a Free Palestine" raised money for Menachem Begin's Irgun. When the PLO — the Palestine Liberation Organization — was founded in 1964 to Liberate Palestine, they were then holding the "West Bank" (under Jordan occupation) and Gaza (Egypt occupation), but their effort to Liberate Palestine did not include throwing Jordanian babies out of windows or killing Egyptian athletes in a passionate drive to return to their olive trees in Bethlehem. The history of 1964-1967 clearly demonstrates that they did not care about Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"). Rather, they wanted then what they want now: Tel Aviv and Haifa and all Jerusalem. That is what "PLO" meant in 1964 when they were founded to "liberate Palestine."

"Palestinian Refugee Camps" and Logo Images Now Worn by Their Terror Groups Remind That the Goal Remains Now As When the "P.L.O. — Palestine Liberation Organization" was founded in 1964: to "Liberate Palestine" by Conquering and Destroying Israel

The "West Bank" and Gaza were theirs for the taking in 1964. But they did not want it. The PLO's founder, Ahmed Shukairy, and Yasser Arafat his successor wanted pre-1967 Israel. To this day, the logo on their stationery and on their respective terrorist uniforms is that of pre-1967 Israel. "Palestine" in the "West Bank" only? Two states? It is such a fabrication, such a lie. Just look at the facts on their ground: Understand that they have built "Palestinian Refugee Camps" in Jenin, in the "West Bank." How can a real people ("Palestinians") in their own real land ("Palestine") living under their own government (the "Palestine Authority") be dwelling in "refugee camps" in their own land? Similarly, how can they have Palestine "refugee camps" in Gaza, now that the land is under sovereign Hamas control? These actual open facts on the ground evidence the mendacity, the lies, stuff, and nonsense.

Webster says that a "refugee" is "one who, in times of persecution or political commotion, flees to a foreign power or country for safety; as, the French refugees who left France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes." Merriam-Webster, in pertinent part, says that a "refugee" is "an individual who has left his or her native country and is unwilling or unable to return to it . ..." So: are these Arabs residing in Jenin and Gaza "refugee camps" indeed refugees — these "Palestinians" living in the "West Bank" and Gaza under the "Palestinian Authority"? If so, from where do those "Palestinian" refugees originally hail? If the "West Bank" and Gaza are not the "homeland" to which they yearn so that they someday may be "liberated" from their "refugee" status — well, where is their "homeland"? The answer could not be more clear and manifest: In the "West Bank" and Gaza they are "refugees." The "West Bank" is not their home, they know it, and they evidence it. They want Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. That is the home they ultimately seek, in their effort inexorably to destroy Israel. And that is the reason that no "Palestinian" leader can utter the words: "Yes, in any final peace agreement, we will recognize the land set aside for Israel as a Jewish nation-state."

And no amount of Jew-to-Jew lobbying by Rahm Emanuel can change the facts. Rather, the integrity of the Jewish American community is compromised by the insult and patronizing attitude that presupposes a community can be influenced to act against its own interest merely by sending it an emissary who presents himself as "one of our own." In Black America, there is a sad history of Caucasian carpetbaggers working through the quintessential "Uncle Tom." We do not need an "Uncle Rahm."

Zionism Humanely Avoided the Moral Failings of America — the Greatest Beacon of Freedom Ever Created — by Seeking to Build Fraternally Alongside Landed Neighbors Rather than to Force-and-Death-March Them into "Reservations" of Internal Exile

In America, we do have a variation on "internal refugee camps." They are called "Indian reservations" or "reservations for Native Americans," and they reflect not only adversely but deeply shamefully on those who put them there: American governments like that of the Andrew Jackson Administration, whose Government adopted and implemented terrible, horrible crimes of conscience against the Native Americans. This country's highest elected leaders, in full and open view, at some point 150-200 years ago made a chilling determination that has been swept from the American national conscience and institutional memory: For the United States, founded inexorably as a White European settler polity, to survive and flourish, with its borders open to new immigrants from around the world, there would need to be a complete and forcible uprooting and expulsion of the native American population — "Indian Removal." For example, "it will relieve the whole state of Mississippi, and the western part of Alabama, of Indian occupancy, and enable those States to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of Whites ... enable them to pursue happiness in their own way, and under their own rude institutions ... and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government, and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits, and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community."

Consequently, Native Americans were uprooted from Florida, from North Carolina, from Georgia, from states that many Americans today cannot imagine housed Native Americans. Their land was forcibly seized. Treaties and land contracts with them were breached notoriously and brazenly, torn up unilaterally, and they were forced on Hitler-like mass death marches to places "reserved" for them. This really happened in America. America did this, implemented in the open by our highest echelons and without mercy, to displace and uproot the Native American population.

It is deeply painful to visit the "Trail of Tears". Or to learn certain details of the Second Seminole War. There are monuments all along the miles and miles where the Native Americans walked their death marches. And they were resettled into reservations with such sops as permission to run casino gambling free from government interference.

That is what America did after our Government determined that, to create the kind of country envisioned by the Founding Fathers — a country that truly has emerged in history as the greatest and most kind, benevolent, and charitable country that people ever have created, with the greatest respect and love for freedom and decency that any society ever has registered — "those people had to go." In all, by the time the U.S. federal government had ended "allotment" in 1934, that policy had cost Native Americans at least 90 million acres of their land, two-thirds of the land they had owned half a century earlier. Kenneth H. Bobroff, "Retelling Allotment: Indian Property Rights and the Myth of Common Ownership," 54 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 1559, 1561 & n.5 (2001) (citing OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEP'T OF THE INTERIOR, INDIAN LAND TENURE, ECONOMIC STATUS AND POPULATION TRENDS 6 (1935)).

Today we compound the shame by designating our Native Americans as mascots for our sports teams: Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, Florida State Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Black Hawks.

But Israel never did that. As Jews lived in a land that was and has been our patrimony for 3,000 years, we engaged Arabs as neighbors. We engaged the Arab community with respect. We desired to build with them. So we encouraged their participation in our society, in our government, in our Parliament. Yes, Israel would be a Jewish nation-state, in a world that already recognizes more than twenty Arab states. There are so many Arab countries, even with names like United Arab Emirates, that they even have an Arab League. And for us, as Jews, there is one country to which we trace our heritage and legacy. Until 1948 it was called "Palestine," and "Palestine" was renamed "Israel" when the country became independent.

Only One Jewish Homeland: Passionately Loved Without Interruption and Yearned-for Through 2,000 Years of Exile

This land of "Palestine" or "Israel" always has been the Jewish homeland. For 2,000 years — from the time that the ancient Roman Empire conquered Jerusalem, expelled Jews from the Land, and re-named the land "Palestina" to eradicate its Jewish character in the popular memory — to this day we have continued praying three times daily for a return to Palestine/Israel. We fasted several times every year in tearful memory of events that led to Jews being exiled from the land 2,600 years ago by the Babylonians and again 2,000 years ago by the ancient Romans. We adopted customs, at the core of our Jewish identity, to remember Palestine/Israel. So, in all our prayers these past 2,000 years, we have faced Palestine/Israel during our prayers. We literally coordinate our synagogue architecture to assure that we pray facing Palestine/Israel. In America, we pray facing East, and in Russia we pray facing West. In Africa, we pray facing North.

At all our weddings for these past 2,000 years, the groom breaks a glass under the wedding canopy in memory of the destruction of the Holy Temple in East Jerusalem and the exile from Palestine/Israel. When we visit someone whose relative has died, we console the mourner with our hopeful prayer: "May [G-d], the One Who is in Every Place, console you among the rest [of us], who mourn for [the fall 2,000 years ago] of Zion and Jerusalem." As we dance with the bride and groom, we sing — as we have sung for 2,000 years — "There yet again will be heard in cities throughout Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem the sounds of rejoicing and sounds of happiness, the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride." For 2,000 years we have taken a day out of our lives each summer to mourn for the fall of Jerusalem: devoting the night and day to reciting tearful lamentations, fasting, crying, dimming our lights for much of the day, refusing to sit comfortably on chairs but instead sitting on the floor or overturned chairs. For 2,000 years we have left partially unpainted a section of every home in which we have lived, partially incomplete to remind us that East Jerusalem, with her Temple destroyed, is partially incomplete. Even after our every meal, we have recited a prayer for 2,000 years asking that G-d restore and rebuild Jerusalem.

Do Americans — the deepest, most patriotic of my countrymen — know the precise day on which the British burned down the White House during the Madison Administration in the course of the War of 1812? The Temple in Jerusalem was burned on the Ninth Day of Av. How do we Americans commemorate that incineration of the White House? Jews have never forgotten the eternal connection with the Land of Israel. And Jews continued living in that land. In 1929, Arab marauders still were perpetrating massacres, trying to remove Jews, for once and for all, from the City of Hebron, the City where our Biblical ancestors — Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Leah — lie interred at the Cave of Makhpelah. New waves of Arab massacres from 1936-1939 sought to drive Jews out of Shechem/Nablus. Within half a century, Jews were back.

Again.

In an Era of Mass Population Exchanges, the Arab World Hatefully Drove out 700,000 Jews and Confiscated All Their Property and Assets, Even as Israelis Pleaded with Their Arab Neighbors to Remain and Build a New Western Democracy Together

And yet, as a Jewish State was coming into being, we sought to live in peace with Arabs living there. Jews in Israel still seek to live in peace with them. Even as they forcibly expelled as many as 700,000 Jews from the various and respective Arab lands, lands like Yemen and Morocco, Syria and Iraq — driving them out, confiscating their land and portable property, confiscating their liquid assets, driving them into exile between the late 1930s and early 1950s — Israel was pleading with landed Arabs to remain within her borders, to remain and live side-by-side in peace.

Maybe many of those Arab residents would have remained behind if leaders of the invading Arab armies did not impel them to leave, to abandon their homes, essentially to get the heck out of the darned way during the planned extermination of the nascent Jewish State, as the Arab legions marched on Palestine/pre-Israel to drive the "Jews into the sea."

Many Arabs did indeed flee, as a result. They opted to get out of the way. Not as many Arabs left Israel as the number of Jews who forcibly were driven out of the Arab lands at the time. But many left. Perhaps 400,000. Perhaps more. And the vast majority of those who chose to leave departed not from Gaza nor from the "West Bank" but from the core of Israel itself. That is why they do not perceive a "Palestine homeland" in the "West Bank" or Gaza as their home, as a resolution of anything. It would be like telling someone who fled France, for one reason or another, that he will be "restored" to a "home" in neighboring Germany. Imagine your own situation: you have been forced out of your home, perhaps by a force majeure, in Teaneck, New Jersey or Brooklyn, New York — and your insurance company offers you a replacement home in Boise, Idaho or Butte, Montana. Is that "good enough" a replacement, given that it all is in the same country? So, how does a "home" in Berlin restore exile from Paris? And how does a "home" in Bethlehem restore a perceived exile from Tel Aviv or Haifa? Those questions' answers are the reasons that the logo of the uniform is what it is, why the "refugee camps" are where they are, and why the "Two-State Solution" fails by ignoring the reality that "Palestinian Arabs" cannot accept Tel Aviv, Haifa, and West Jerusalem as "Jewish."

Those Arabs who left Israel could have stayed. The Jews asked them to stay. Unlike the 700,000 Jews who were driven into exile from homes in Arab lands, those Arabs were not driven out. Unlike Native Americans, they were not driven off their lands. And unlike other exiles, they were put into concentration environments — Arab "refugee camps" — by their own people.

While the nascent State of Israel gamely was constructing a home and frantically was working to absorb the huge influx of landless, destitute Jewish exiles and refugees from Arab lands, the Arab world was building concentration camps and reservations for their own people, fellow Arabs, where those emigres would languish. Half a century later, while the Jewish refugees from Arab lands have seen their children become doctors and computer programmers, world leaders, attorneys, business moguls, plumbers, contractors, entertainment executives, and anything else out there, the children of those Arab emigres have become the victims of the world's most heinous example of cynical self-hatred. They remain in "refugee camps" that are historical anomalies and today are thoroughly anachronistic. They remain on international welfare, under the rubric of a cynically anti-Jewish United Nations agency, the "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East" (UNRWA), which runs the camps and their schools, and has a vested interest — namely, preserving their own existence, preserving their own continued employment and pay checks, preserving their jobs — in perpetuating the historical crime of refusing to let the residents be absorbed into their local environments.

During the last century, the world has seen so many tragically painful "population exchanges" play themselves out on the world stage. Greek ethnics were forced out of Bulgaria and into Greece, while Bulgarian ethnics were forced from Greece into Bulgaria. In 1922, under the League of Nations, 1.25 million Greek Orthodox ethnics were transferred from Turkey, and half a million Moslems were transferred reciprocally to Turkey from Greece. Fridtjof Nansen, the guy who oversaw the population exchange, was awarded the 1922 Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. In 1940, under the Treaty of Craiova, there was a massive population exchange: 80,000 Romanian ethnics were forced into Bulgaria, and 65,000 Bulgarian ethnics forced out of Romania. After World War II, between 14-16 million ethnic Germans were transferred out of Central and Eastern Europe, and into Germany. Poland and the Soviet Union exchanged populations: between 1944 and 1946, some 2 million people, Polish ethnics sent to Poland from the Ukraine and Ukrainians sent out of Poland, were transferred. More than 5 million Hindus and Sikhs were forced to India from the regions that became Pakistan, and more than 6 million Moslems were pushed out of India and into Pakistan.

The Cynicism of the Fabricated "Palestinian Refugee Problem"...

Where are the languishing Bulgarian refugee camps? Greek refugee camps? Romanian refugee camps? Polish refugee camps? German refugee camps? Ukrainian refugee camps? Hindu/Sikh refugee camps? Where are the Bosnian Moslem refugee camps? Why is there no massive international welfare apparatus in the rubric of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the [Bulgarian/ Greek/ Romanian/ Polish/ German/ Ukrainian/ Hindu/ Sikh/ Bosnian/ Vietnamese/ Cambodian/ Rwandan/ Darfur] refugees?

How is it that no one even thinks to ask?

And is it comprehensible that, at a time of national economic challenge within America, the United States funds more than one fourth the cost of this nonsense to the tune of nearly $100 million annually? By contrast, Saudi Arabia funds less than one percent ($2.5 million), and Kuwait less than that. Can there be anything that evidences more forcefully how cynical this entire mendacity is? The OPEC oil cartel raises our oil costs to the point of disrupting our national economy, and we responsively fund a massive, multi-national welfare infrastructure for those of their people whom they, unique among all countries into which emigrants have sought haven, have confined to concentration centers for more than half a century.

What people holds and concentrates its own brothers and sisters in "refugee camps" for half a century and more? And, to make matters more bizarre, these people in the UNRWA "Palestinian refugee camps" are the descendants of those who departed their homes voluntarily, gambling that their departure would facilitate the Arab Legions' rapid success in obliterating the Jewish presence from the face of the earth, driving the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, it was their leading spiritual leader of the time — Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem — who overtly and demonstratively allied the pan-Arab cause with Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Yet, people who have persecuted the Berber minority of Algeria, the Coptic Christian minority of Egypt, the Bahai minority of Iran, Christians in Saudi Arabia — even enslaving Black Christians in the Sudan — would have the temerity to equate Zionism with racism and to compare Zionists to Nazis. There are nations and peoples who, over the centuries, have ventured into Africa and forcibly expatriated tens of thousands of Black Africans to become slaves in theirs and others' countries on other continents. But in all the world, in all of human history, Israel is the only country that ever expended national human and financial resources, risking her citizens' lives in daring midnight sorties and dangerous trans-continental rescue missions, aimed at liberating tens of thousands of Black Africans from persecution and bringing them out of Africa, out from slavery and into freedom.

... And the Cynicism of Imposing on Israel a "Two State Solution" in the Face of America's Long-Term Commitments and Repeated Promises to a Time-Tested Friend and Ally

So what "Two-State Solution" are President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Mr. Emanuel talking about?

The irony is that this pressure from President Obama and Secretary Clinton comes at a time when not a single prominent political leader on the Israeli political scene even advocates building new Jewish communities ("settlements") in Judea and Samaria. There rarely before has been a more pliable Israeli government. All Bibi Netanyahu advocates, minimalistic and inadequate though it be, is the right for Jews to expand within a legal community for natural increase.

And even that now is to be proscribed, despite understandings with the prior American President and his Administration that America would respect that Israeli right if Israel would agree to abandon Gaza and pursue other parts of the ill-conceived "Road Map" structured by former President George W. Bush and his foreign affairs expert, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

So Israel ceded Gaza, and the Road Map played out by extending all of democracy's virtues to the now-liberated Gazans. Freed to vote their hearts' content, they elected into office the worst terrorist goons freely elected to a democracy's high office since the National Socialists got out the vote in 1933 Germany. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, refuses to live in peace with Israel, and refuses to recognize prior signed treaties with Israel. Now, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Mr. Emanuel emulate Hamas in one of the three critical immoralities: they unilaterally abandon America's prior policy and refuse to abide by America's understanding of the past that, if Israel compromises by ceding Gaza, she nevertheless may expand already established communities in Judea-Samaria to allow for natural increase.

For a team with the demonstrated ability to pull isolated passages from the Quran, it would be instructive to refresh consciences by recalling a few passages of the agreements that President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon reached, with the exchanges amplified between their respective advisors Condoleezza Rice and Dov Weisglas. America expressly contracted in writing to recognize the new post-1949 and post-1967 realities: namely, that Israel now has major population centers in areas in Judea and Samaria, and therefore there will be no returning to the 1967 borders.

Nor does anyone else in the Judea-Samaria ("West Bank") region have a better, more legitimate claim to the land than does Israel. Mexico has a better claim to California and Texas than the terrorists of Fatah and Hamas have to Judea and Samaria. At least Mexico can tell you the years they were sovereign there, the Mexican governmental leaders who oversaw the land, the currency they circulated there, and the years that Mexico lost sovereignty over their land in California and Texas.

Pressuring Israel to Abandon Her Security While Turning a Blind Eye, Deaf Ear, and Silent Tongue Towards a Concerted Vitriolic Hate Campaign Against Jews That Has Poisoned Children's Minds and Adults' Hearts Through the Next Generation, Even as the Hate Campaign Materially Has Breached and Thus Has Rendered Void and Nugatory Every Israel-Arab Treaty

There is more, so much more. America expressly contracted — in writing — that, if Israel were to cede Gaza, America would require that Abbas and his "Palestinian Authority" stop the hate-filled anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement among the population he leads: the hate-filled TV telecasts, the hate-filled radio broadcasts, the hate-filled summer camps, the newspapers of hate and their crossword puzzles of hate, the school textbooks of hate. Yet the hate continues unabated. Even teaching hate to the youngest of children. There is no comment or condemnation by President Obama or Secretary Clinton, and Rahm Emanuel continues unabated as point man for selling the "Two-State Solution" to American Jewish groups.

No Israeli relinquishing of land to Mahmoud Abbas or Hamas will bring anything but more Jewish suffering and more Jewish vulnerability, as the weapons Hamas placed in Gaza to ruin life in Israel's South (Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon) and the weapons Hezbollah placed in South Lebanon to reach into Israel's northern coastal plain (Haifa, Hadera) next aim to bring the cities of Tel Aviv under rocket fire exposure from Samaria and Jerusalem from Judea.

This is the reality on the ground — so different from the effort painted by propagandists to score points. Just as so much is confused about the everyday physical interface between Israelis and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"). Understandably, when a foreign visitor sees long lines of "West Bank" Arabs waiting to be permitted through Israeli security check points to enter pre-1967 Israel, the delay seems curious. "Why does Israel subject them to such intense inspection?" the visitor wonders. "How terrible the life under 'occupation!'"

Well, a closer look reveals that terrorists — with a proven record of bringing mass murder — cross through those borders, too. Some are armed with body explosives. Others carry minuscule portions of explosives that, when combined with other minuscule items smuggled by other terror couriers in their cell, have caused horrific tragedy in the past. And that is the reason for the security fence and the long, long, slow, slow lines at that fence. The fence was built to reduce the carnage. Indeed, upon reflection, is the experience of body inspections at that border all that different from the way that America treats aliens coming across our southern border? Or through our airports? To get into a domestic flight, even American citizens are expected to remove all their metal items — even keys, pens, nickels, even a dime. And even octogenarian travelers — every single one of them — have to remove their shoes for inspection. And elderly people with heart pacemakers have to subject themselves to individualized security checking, full-body wanding. As do people who have had metal splints or rods inserted into their limbs during surgery.

Meanwhile, in Israel, every Jewish Israeli must subject himself to inspection regularly throughout each day. Israelis must open their bags and purses for inspection, and submit to metal-detector body searches every time they enter a bank or post office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli men and women are frisked closely and methodically before they enter nightclubs. These daily "humiliations" extend to body searches at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and even when attending regular synagogue services. Similarly, Jewish schoolchildren in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with armed guards at schoolyard gates. By contrast, Arab schools and villages do not require such fences. Guards are not required at Arab shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools. Arabs in the "West Bank" do not need armed guards to accompany their every school trip or youth movement hike — because they are not targets of terrorism. Thus, the claim that Israel treats Arabs unfairly when slowly securing the safety as people enter pre-1967 Israel from the "West Bank" is mendacious. Israel is fair and reasonable to them — why else would they be lining up, seeking entry? (One does not see Jews lining up to enter Libya or Syria.)

The Facts on the Ground: Every Israeli Retreat Has Invited Anti-West Arab Terrorists to Arm and Militarize, Rain Unprecedented Destruction, and Launch New Deadly Battle Fronts of Rocket Fire at Israeli Cities That Previously Had Been Secure

In Israel, there are Orthodox religionists who debate with Jewish secularists whether Jews ever, under any circumstances, may depart from land that G-d promised in the Torah to the Jewish Patriarchs. That is a debate that fascinates and engages religionists (in whose number I am counted). "Realists," by contrast, simply need to look at the facts on the ground: Israel ceded land in Southern Lebanon in return for promises of peace. Instead, Hezbollah seized the region and has turned it into a rocket-firing gallery aimed at Israel. Israel ceded land in Gaza in return for promises of peace. Instead, Hamas seized the region and has turned it into a rocket-firing gallery aimed at Israel. Every single fact on the ground evidences that any Israeli cession to Abbas in Judea or Samaria will create a new front of incessant rocket barrage, and will add yet another rabidly anti-American, anti-West polity in the Middle East, which will arm itself and be armed by Iran and her cohorts.

If Israel retreats from any land in Judea or Samaria, it first will fall into the hands of Mahmoud Abbas, who lived a life as Arafat's Number Two (ancient history?), denies there was a Holocaust as described by Western historians (recent history?), and who explicitly rejects the notion that Israel can be called a "Jewish State" (this week's history). And he and his Fatah terrorists are the least of the problem because they already are out-polled among their residents by Hamas, who won the last election — freedom, democracy, as promised under the Road Map's vision — and who transparently are bent on destroying Israel (as well as Abbas himself).

The Grand "Two-State" Pyramid Scheme should remain in Cairo and at the Pyramids. The "Two-State Solution" is nothing but another term for a "Final Solution."

We Jews do not do so well with Final Solutions.

Visit Rabbi Fischer's website:
http://rabbidov.com/twostate.htm (A version of this study may also be found at Rav Fischer's Blog)

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THE CITY OF DAVID
Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 8, 2011.

This was written by Jennifer Rubin and it is archived at
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ right-turn/2011/02/the_city_of_david.html

 

In Jerusalem you become blasé about antiquity. Soon you fall into the habit of remarking, "Oh that is only Second Temple," meaning from the time of the return of the Jews from Babylon to the expulsion by the Romans in 70 C.E. Today I spent most of the morning learning that the "Old City of Jerusalem" is not old — well not what really is old. Below a parking lot outside the walls of the "Old City" (contained within a wall that is a mere 450 years old) is the most magnificent excavation site in Israel. We see the homes from which the Jews were expelled to Bablyon (leaving hidden money and remains of humans reduced to eating grass as the Babylonian starved the remaining Jews.) And then we traverse back to 1000 B.C.E., to the city David captured and from which he ruled a united kingdom.

That would be all extraordinary in and of itself. But there is more. Our guide from the Ir David Foundation has Bible in hand. Here the Bible is the archaeologists' guide. Within the same site they found two seals identifying two figures described in the Book of Jeremiah. You are standing in the palace of David, verifiable with Phoenician designs. And then you descend further through the underground water system that supplied the City of David with water and through which David and his army, in a commando-style raid, seized the city from the Jebusites. And there, on the spot covering the spring, as described precisely beginning in Kings 1:1, is the spot where Solomon was anointed king. And down you go to the spring, the existence of which fixed Jerusalem's location.

With regard to the Torah and Jerusalem, it turns out that, as with so many self-described realists, the realists turn out to reality deniers. Legions of "scholars" told us for decades that the Bible, don't you see, is allegory. Oh, David? Yes, a lovely tale but you must think of him as a King Arthur-type figure. No, that's all wrong. The realists turned out to be the people of faith. Now the Torah provides the guide for modern scientists to confirm that the Torah, at least in this regard, is history, written with precision — a sort of message in the bottle to the future to tell us that yes, the Jews, were here in this spot, at this time.

And mind you all of the City of David is in what the Palestinians would claim as their capital. And at the time of the First Intifada this was a war zone. Recall also that the track record of preservation of sites is not a good one. The Mount of Olives, the original Mount of Olives (not the "new" replacement in operations a scant 500 years) is now built over by slums, the opening to family tombs barely visible around the garbage and beneath the decrepit buildings. The original headstones were sold off during the Jordanian occupation.

Why do I relate all of this? It's more than a religious and historical site of immense meaning. It is the answer to the non-realists who would have us believe Jews lack a verifiable claim to land dating back 3000 years and beyond. At some point, the naysayers become the equivalent of flat-earthers. You see, in contrast to what Obama lectured us from Cairo at the beginning of his term (when the fantasy of "Muslim Outreach" assumed that Hosni Mubarak was an island of stability), Israel is not merely recompense for the Holocaust. It is the ancestral home of the Jewish people. And if you doubt it, spend a morning in the City of David.

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ARABS DIGGING ON TEMPLE MOUNT 'TO ERASE TRACES OF JEWISH ALTAR'
Posted by Gil Ronen, February 8, 2011.
 

Muslim religious authorities are concluding a clandestine eight-month dig on the Temple Mount that is intended to erase traces of the Jewish Temple's Altar, Temple activists charge.

The digs have been taking place under the Dome of the Chain, believed to have been built over 1300 years ago. For eight months, the dome — which has a diameter of 14 meters — has been surrounded by a metal fence and black cloth, which hide whatever activity has been going on there from outside inspection. The Muslim Waqf religious authority has claimed the activity is simply a refurbishing of the structure, but refuses adamantly to let Jews or tourists near.

Jewish activists made various attempts to enter the Dome, but met with no success. In the end, the Our Temple Mount news outlet found an Arab who was willing to take photos inside the compound in return for a handsome fee (see below). The man said that it appears the Waqf has already completed its digs and is now covering the dig with dirt.

Our Temple Mount notes that according to Jewish tradition, the place where the Dome of the Chain is located is the spot upon which the sacrificial Altar stood in Temple times. Temple activists said that the Muslim digs are intended to erase the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. Gil Ronen is a writer for Arutz-7, where this article appeared today.

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POLICE VIOLENCE
Posted by HandsFiasco, February 8, 2011.

Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar said

Following last week's brutal arrests and acts of police violence against us and other participants of the vigil calling for the release of the hikers who protected the group of hikers from and Arab assault, we sent a letter to Minister of Internal Affairs Yitzhak Aharonovitch asking him to personally intervene and investigate what happened. In addition, we are publishing here the translation into English of Rabbi Medan's strong words at the vigil last week. Rabbi Medan is the Rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion. Rabbi Medan does not mince his words and talks about the bad winds that blow from the triangle "Police-State Attorney's Office and Media." Following his words, please find details about our upcoming exciting Friday morning tour in Hebron- not to be missed!

With love for israel,

 

Rabbi Medan's Words at the Demonstration in front of the Court on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 demanding the release of the four hikers who had been arrested the Friday before while defending the group from an Arab attack:

"Bad winds blow in the triangle Police, State Attorney's office and Media" Bringing those arrested following the hike in Gush Etzion to the Hebron police station, after being under arrest for five days, and possibly tin order to keep them under arrest, attests to the very bad winds that blow from the direction of the Hebron police, especially, and of the Israel Police, in general.

The police did not see a body, and no one knows who died and what was the cause of death. Those arrested had weapons, but it's doubtful whether they fired, while the police in its statement to the media immediately accused them of intentional murder, without checking anything. None of the Arab rioters, who deliberately endangered the lives of the hikers, was arrested. No one who has never seen heavy rocks fired from slingshots from the top of a hill at hikers in an inferior position, many of whom were elderly, can understand the concrete meaning of such danger.

Firing in the air in these circumstances was a reasonable solution, while if the danger would have continued (and perhaps it would have), even more than that would have been needed. But the police weren't interested in the Arab rioters, nor in the danger to the Jews. It wasted no time in arresting whoever it could from among the Jews, and without checking anything, it accused them in the media of first-degree murder. In consequence, innocent people spent five days in jail, and this was not enough for the police! This wasn't the first time that the Hebron police automatically, and without bothering to investigate, have exonerated the Arab rioters and their Jewish supporters, while harassing settlers who work for their livelihood and innocent hikers, and I know of many such instances.

These bad winds in the police come from the top. It's easier to accuse the Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. This doesn't require confronting the violence of the Arabs and their Jewish supporters. This doesn't require confronting the media, that is sympathetic to the violent side, specifically. This is how an unholy alliance has been working for some time between the State Attorney's Office, that hates the Jewish settlers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza for no reason, the press, that fans the fires of contention as much as it can for the sake of sensation, and the police, that wants an easy life for itself, without confronting the strong and the violent, and without confronting the State Attorney's Office and the media. This is the spirit of the current Police Inspector-General and the minister above him.

It should be recalled that things were a bit different in the past. In the time of Uzi Landau as Police Minister, the police acted mainly against the Arab rioters. It worked hard, but it had not inconsiderable successes in this. And this means that tomorrow this could be different. The question is what will be the spirit at the top. Today the police wants an easy life, and to accuse innocent hikers of first-degree murder is more convenient for it. Unfortunately, today I don't expect anything from the police. I came here to call upon the young and energetic Knesset Members from the Likud — Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely, Yariv Levin, and others among those who are capable of putting some color back in the pale face of Zionism, not to let this harassment pass silently, and to put the police in its place.

To watch Rav Medan speak (in Hebrew) at the vigil: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/215180

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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IRAN'S KILLING SPREE OF INNOCENT PRISONERS INCREASING
Posted by Jim Kouri, February 8, 2011.
 

"The radical Islamic government of Iran is reportedly executing prisoners at an alarming rate,...

"The radical Islamic government of Iran is reportedly executing prisoners at an alarming rate, according to International Campaign for Human Rights. Iran is suspected of executing one person every eight hours. Since the beginning of 2011, Iran has executed 87 people on various charges."

While the international news media and government officials are preoccupied with events occurring in Egypt, the Iranian government's execution of a Dutch-Iranian woman government officials claimed was involved in drug smuggling has created a firestorm in Amsterdam, Holland over the weekend.

Those who knew Miss Bahrami, 46, claim the drug charges were bogus, and police officials in The Netherlands say that she was originally arrested for participating in anti-government protests two years ago when civil unrest in Iran followed accusations of a corrupt presidential election.

After being arrested and processed on charges of sedition, the Iranian government allegedly changed the records to show Bahrami was arrested for cocaine smuggling and possession, a capital offense in that Islamist nation.

Uri Rosenthal, Holland's foreign minister, blasted government officials in Tehran for not granting the executed woman's relatives entry into Iran to bury Bahrami. Instead of turning over her remains to her relatives, the Iranian officials secretly took Bahrami's body more than 200 miles outside of the Iranian capital and held her last rites and burial ceremony without her relatives in attendance.

"This is a shocking fact which bears upon the regime which does not meet the normal standards of civilized behavior towards citizens and foreigners," Rosenthal said.

Bahrami, a naturalized Dutch citizen, was hanged on January 29 after being convicted of the drug offense. Iranian prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi alleges that an unspecified amount of cocaine was found in a search of her temporary residence during the country's national elections in 2009.

Her execution nine says ago prompted the Dutch government to freeze all contact with what it labeled a "barbarous regime."

Meanwhile, two American citizens who claim they accidentally wandered into Iran last year are still being held in Iran. While the government released their female companion, Sarah Shourd, 31, her boyfriend Shane Bauer, 27, and a friend, Josh Fattal, 27, remain captives accused of being foreign spies.

The radical Islamic government of Iran is reportedly executing men and women at a shockingly high rate, according to officials with the International Campaign for Human Rights. The ICHR claims Iran executes at least three prisoners every 24 hours. Many of those given the death penalty are political prisoners who oppose the rule of Islamic clerics in Iran.

According to Aaron Rhodes of International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, "The Iranian Judiciary is on an execution binge orchestrated by the intelligence and security agencies."

Iranian judges are widely believed to lack independence and their decisions are frequently subordinated to the wishes of security agencies. Also, the actual number of prisoners executed in Iran is difficult to verify but many believe is higher than is reported.

Iranian prisons are often the scenes of mass execution such as in January when more than a hundred people were executed in a mass hanging in just one Iranian prison, according to International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The high rate of executions in Iran has prompted the United Nations order Iran to halt its execution of prisoners, but Iran continues its hardline approach to criminal justice and law enforcement.

Even Iranians with dual citizenships or permanent residency abroad have been arrested, sentenced to death by Iranian courts, and then summarily executed.

In a case that outraged the world's journalists in 2003, an Iranian-Canadian journalist taken into custody by the secret police was later murdered by Iranian security agents while in a Tehran prison, according to Canadian police officials. The reporter, Zahra Kazemi, was brutally tortured and sexually assaulted by her interrogators.

Jim Kouri, CPP, is Fifth Vice-President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police (copmagazine@aol.com). This article is archived at
http://www.examiner.com/law-enforcement -in-national/iran-executing-innocent-prisoners -on-phony-charges-say-officials

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RABBI KAHANE "THERE IS NO TAL"
Posted by Barbara Ginsberg, February 8, 2011.

If you did not receive this article personally, and would like to be on my weekly Rabbi Meir Kahane article e-mail list, contact me at: BarbaraAndChaim@gmail.com

To view previously sent Rabbi Kahane article go to:
www.barbaraginsberg-barbara.blogspot.com

 

"Harei va'Gilboa, al tal v'al matar aleichem..."
"Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew (tal) nor rain upon you."
(Samuel II 1:21)

It was the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that saw the Philistines massacre the Jewish armies of Saul. And David, hearing of the death of the first Jewish king, of his son Jonathan, and of the thousands of Jews, on the mountains of Gilboa, wrote a song of lament for the victims of the Philistines. "How are the mighty fallen!" And he cursed the place where they fell, the mountains of Gilboa, crying: "Let there be no tal, no dew upon you."

Some 3,000 years later, not more than a 40-minute ride from Gilboa, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the car of the Moses family, driving through Samaria. The mother, Ofra, was burned alive. She died on the spot, carrying an unborn child in her womb. The youngest of three children, Tal was terribly burned. He died two months later. And once again, the Jew writes a song of lament for a victim of enemies of the Jew. Yesterday, the Philistines. Today, the Palestinians. Yesterday, Gilboa was cursed with no tal, no dew. Today, the Jewish people lost its Tal. Tal Moses, aged five.

I sat in the home of the grandmother, Ofra's mother, on Rehov Stern, in Jerusalem. There, the family was sitting shiva, for the second time in two months. Next to me sat the father, his scars visible, though bearable. But opposite me sat Adi, a girl of eight, her face and body horribly disfigured by the flames of the Palestinian. And as she hobbled away into the kitchen, bent as an old women, her father said, in a matter-of-fact voice that was all the more terrible for its calmness: "Look, they made her an invalid for life."

Living in Israel, one can become a veteran of Jewish tragedy. Shiva, shloshim, memorials, eulogies. At every graveside a Cabinet minister lies to the angry mourners with heartfelt pathos: "Those that did this terrible thing will pay." "The Government of Israel will do all in its power to capture the criminals and insure that it will never happen again." Liars, hypocrites, frauds. The government of Israel through its policy is responsible for its happening. The government of Israel guarantees that it will happen again.

Ofra Moses, Tal Moses, Rami Chaba, a child of eight, whose head and face were smashed by a Palestinian and when his body was found, there was no face left. Jalil Jarusee of Netivot, sitting in this automobile in Gaza when a Palestinian shot him dead, in cold blood. They are only the latest in a long list of Jews murdered by the Palestinians who are protesting against the "occupation" (as Jewish liberals, New Jewish Agenda, Balfour Bricklner, Moment magazine, and an entire array of diseased Semites could call it).

How did Chaim Bar-Lev (today, Labor Party Minister of Police) put it, after the murder by Palestinians of six young Jews in Hebron? "Had they not been there, they would not have been killed." The logic, I admit, is impeccable. However, I prefer the reverse side of the coin:

"Had the Arabs not been there, the Jews would not have been killed either."

And so, the Jewish response to murder of Jews, the Jewish response to all the future murders of Jews now being planned by Palestinians is clear: The Arabs will not be there. For if they remain, another Tal will be murdered and another mother of Tal, Ofra. And another Rami and another Jalil — and that, I pledge, will not be, please G-d. Not for me is the "rachamanut shel tipshim" (Rabman, Deuteronomy 7:18) — the mercy of fools of the disturbed Jewish liberals and Left. The Rabbis, who understood the Divine halacha, laid it down in the form of the injunction "If one comes to slay you, slay him first" (Sanhedrin 74). At the very least, let Jewish moderates declare: "If one comes to slay you, throw him out first." They must go. Please G-d, they will.

July, 1987

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MIDEAST TURMOIL AND ISRAEL'S SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
Posted by Yoram Ettinger, February 8, 2011.
 

1. The dramatic developments in Tunisia and Egypt — and the potential regional destabilizing ripple effects which could dwarf the Egyptian upheaval — have a dramatic impact on the state of national and regional security, and therefore have dramatic consequences upon national and regional security requirements.

2. The lower the stability and life-expectancy of Middle East regimes, the shiftier their ideology, policy and commitments, the higher the volatility of domestic and regional affairs, the higher the security threshold and requirements.

3. President Obama's policy of engagement, the announced evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan are perceived by Arab/Muslim regimes as a policy of retreat, undermining the US posture of deterrence. In 2002/2003 the White House projected an assertive posture in the Middle East, in the battle against terrorism and in global affairs at-large. In 2011, the White House projects a relatively timid posture. The more uncertain the US global posture, the more eroded the US posture of deterrence, the more adrenalized are rogue regimes, the more acute is the threat of war and terrorism and the higher the security requirements.

4. Security requirements are peaking as a result of the long-term (and possibly immediate-term) potential of the Egyptian turmoil. It could traumatize northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, the Middle East in general and pro-US Arab regimes (e.g. Jordan) in particular, threatening vital US interests, undermining Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and emboldening enemies of the Big and the Small "Satan," the USA and the Jewish State.

5. Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: "I cannot defend this land (Israel) without that terrain (West Bank)...The West Bank mountains and especially their 5 approaches, are the critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible."

6. The late Admiral Bud Nance: "I believe if Israel were to move out of the Golan Heights and the West Bank, it would increase instability and the possibility of war, increase the necessity to preempt in war, and the possibility that nuclear weapons would be used to prevent an Israeli loss, and increase the possibility that the US would have to become involved in a war."

7. General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps: "Missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don't negate the strategic significance of territorial depth. The key threat to Israel will remain the invasion and occupation by armored forces. Military success requires more than a few hundred missiles. To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Israel and destroy the IDF on the ground. That was true in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and it remains true in the era of modern missiles."

8. The Judea & Samaria mountain ridges constitute the most effective tank obstacle (a 3,000ft steep slope over-towering the Jordan Valley, 40 miles away from Tel Aviv and pre-1967 Israel) and a dream platform of invasion to 9-15 miles wide pre-1967 Israel (a 2,000ft moderate slope) in the most conflict-ridden, unpredictable and treacherous neighborhood in the world. Israel's control of the Judea & Samaria mountain ridges provides Israel with the time, which is required to mobilize its active reservists (75% of the military force!) in face of a surprise offensive mounted by a few Arab countries.

9. The pre-1967 width of the Jewish State is equal to the distance between JFK and La Guardia airports, to distance between RFK Stadium and the Kennedy Center, the length of Dallas-Fort Worth airport, to the width of Washington, DC, San Francisco and Miami and to the distance between Wall Street and Columbia University. The pre-1967 sliver along the Mediterranean is less than the distance between downtown London and Heathrow Airport, equal to a roundtrip distance between Albert hall and the Tower of London and to the distance between Bois du Boulogne and La Place de la Bastille.

10. The Judea & Samaria mountain ridges constitute the "Golan Heights" of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and the entire pre-1967 coastal plain of the Jewish State, the core of its population and infrastructures.

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 yoramtex@netvision.net.il

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AN UNFORGIVABLE SACRILEGE
Posted by David Wilder, February 7, 2011.
 

Several days ago Hebron's police chief showed up at the home of Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba. The officer informed Rabbi Lior that an arrest warrant had been issued, ordering his arrest. Should the Rabbi agree to be interrogated, the warrant would be cancelled. On the spot Rabbi Lior answered, telling him that such questioning represented a 'disgrace to the honor of the Torah,' and that he would not cooperate with such humiliation.

Why are the police and prosecutor's office chasing this seventy-seven year old righteous man? Born in Galatia in Poland, Rabbi Lior arrived in Israel in 1948, shortly before declaration of the State of Israel. He studied under Rabbi Abaham Kook's student, Rabbi Moshe Tziv Neria at Kfar HaRoe and later at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem under Rabbi Kook's son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook. He was considered to be one of the Yeshiva's most important students, learning for hours at a time without moving. During festive dancing on the Simchat Torah holiday, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda changed the words of a popular song. Instead of Tov li, tov li, Toratecha (Your Torah is good for me), he recited 'Dov li, Dov li Toratecha,' paying his young student a great compliment.

In 1976 Rabbi Lior moved to the newly founded community Kiryat Arba, where he was appointed Rosh HaYeshiva — the Dean of the Kiryat Arba-Nir Yeshiva, working side by side with Rabbi Eliezer Waldman. Over the years the Rabbi became known as a prominent Torah scholar. However Rabbi Lior's teaching involved more than dry Rabbinic rulings. He became an active leader within the movement to repopulate Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He spent many summer vacations in Gush Katif. With the rise of the left and the advent of Oslo and the following Hebron Accords, he became an outspoken leader, blasting attempts to delegitimize the Israeli right. He worked tirelessly against the Gush Katif expulsion, making frequent trips to that beleaguered area, giving hope and strength to the local population, fighting for its collective life. He participated in prayer rallies and protests while providing Torah support via various Rabbinic rulings needed during those struggles.

Some twenty-five years ago he was elected Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba. Some years ago Rabbi Lior formed the Rabbinic Council for Judea and Samaria and was appointed its leader. Presently he is considered to be the important Rabbi of the Nationalist-Zionist movement and one of the most significant, scholarly rabbinical figures in Israel.

Frequently Rabbis are requested to write a 'hascama,' an approbation of a newly-authored Torah book by a younger Rabbi. Rabbi Lior, himself the author of thousands of Torah responsa as well as his own books dealing with Torah law, is also approached to write a short introduction to Torah books.

So it was that a couple of years ago the Rabbi agreed to write an approbation for a book titled "Torat HaMelech," meaning 'the King's Torah.' This scholarly work, written by two young Rabbis, deals with relationships between Jews and non-Jews, particularly during situations dealing with life and death during war and other conflict. Specifically it details rulings by many Torah giants, beginning with the Talmud, two thousand years ago, through the present.

Rabbi Lior was not the only Torah scholar asked to written such a approbation for this book. Others include Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, also considered to be an authentic Torah giant, one of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's son, Rabbi Ya'akov Yosef, a leading Sefardic Torah expert, and well-known Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg.

Amongst other comments, Rabbi Lior praises the authors for writing such a comprehensive book, including the opinions of so many Torah commentators. He clarifies the significance of understanding Jewish law to its fullest, even when dealing with most sensitive topics such as life and death.

As a result of his approbation, Rabbi Lior has been accused of incitement, and has been ordered to appear for police interrogation. In a short filmed class to yeshiva students, Rabbi Lior explained that a Rabbi must be able to freely express 'Da'at Torah,' that is the Torah ruling on any given subject, even if that expression is not popular with others. He stressed that a Rabbi must never fear to express the truth, as it appears in Torah, even if such a ruling could cause him damage. "Limiting what a Rabbi may say is comparable to Bolshevik regimes of Soviet Russia which would decide what people could think and what they could say...There are certain elements in society who, lately want to oppress Rabbis, ordering investigations and interrogations, in order to silence them from expressing Tora